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Sony Pictures TV Studios/CBS Media Ventures

Welcome to the Mayim & Ken Show... At Least for the Rest of 2021
Two Hosts to Share Podium While Search Continues Behind the Scenes
From TV Line

Mayim Bialik‘s time behind the Jeopardy! podium has been extended: She and Jeopardy! GOAT contestant Ken Jennings have been tapped to host the quiz show through the end of 2021 as the search for a permanent emcee continues.

Bialik was already set to host Jeopardy! for three upcoming weeks, beginning Monday, Sept. 20. Per Sony Pictures Television, her stint will now continue through Nov. 5, at which point she and Jennings will trade off hosting duties as their schedules allow through the end of the calendar year.

The duo will temporarily replace former Jeopardy! executive producer Mike Richards, who was initially tapped in August to permanently succeed Alex Trebek as host of the series. Just days later, though, Richards stepped down from that role after misogynistic, racist and anti-Semitic jokes he’d told on a podcast in the mid-2010s resurfaced online. Richards was retained as an EP on the show at first, then was ultimately fired from that position in late August.

“I’m writing to let you know that Mike will no longer be serving as EP of Wheel [of Fortune] and Jeopardy! effective immediately,” Sony Pictures Television exec Suzanne Prete told staff in a memo at the time. “We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at Jeopardy! it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks. That clearly has not happened.”

Despite vacating the host job quickly, Richards did tape five Jeopardy! episodes as Trebek’s permanent replacement, which are airing this week to kick off the trivia competition’s 38th season.

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posted 9/17/2021

THURSDAY: Godspeed, Nine-Nine
CBS Wins with "Big Brother"
From Deadline

NBC bid farewell to its Brooklyn Nine-Nine crew as the Andy Samberg-led comedy aired its final episode Thursday. The series finale rose in its final episode, earning a 0.5 rating in the 18-49 demo and 2.17 million viewers, per Nielsen fast affiliates.

The series finale, titled “The Last Day,” grew from the Season 8 premiere in August (0.4, 1.84M). Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which also features Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Stephanie Beatriz, Joe Lo Truglio and more, saw the gang come together for one last heist and an emotional farewell to the titular precinct.

As full the finale was of optimistic goodbyes and callbacks to earlier episodes, Brooklyn Nine-Nine came in second overall to Big Brother on CBS, which ruled Thursday’s primetime in all fields. The latest episode (0.9, 3.77M) of the reality series was the highest-rated and most-watched title of the evening.

For ABC, Holey Moley (0.3, 2.34M) was followed by The Hustler (0.2, 1.53M) and When Nature Calls with Helen Mirren (0.2, 1.26M).

Deadline

posted 9/17/2021

The Re-Activist?
CBS to Recut Competition Series into Documentary
From Deadline

“The Activist,” a CBS series that had itself become the target of online activism in recent days, is being reconfigured in response to the firestorm of criticism, and will now become a one-time documentary special instead of a five-episode competition series.

Although footage for the original incarnation of the series had already been shot, this version of “The Activist” will be entirely new, with filming expected to begin from scratch.

The show, originally set to premiere as a series on Oct. 22, had faced serious heat since Usher, Julianne Hough and Priyanka Chopra Jonas were announced as hosts late last week. Social media users, bloggers and opinion writers had laid into the competitive nature of a show meant to celebrate and encourage activism, among other concerns.

In a joint statement, CBS and producing partners Global Citizen and Live Nation announced the format switch, saying: “‘The Activist’ was designed to show a wide audience the passion, long hours, and ingenuity that activists put into changing the world, hopefully inspiring others to do the same. However, it has become apparent the format of the show as announced distracts from the vital work these incredible activists do in their communities every day. The push for global change is not a competition and requires a global effort.

“As a result, we are changing the format to remove the competitive element and reimagining the concept into a primetime documentary special (air date to be announced),” the CBS/Global Citizen/Live Nation statement continues. “It will showcase the tireless work of six activists and the impact they have advocating for causes they deeply believe in. Each activist will be awarded a cash grant for the organization of their choice, as was planned for the original show.”

The joint statement concludes by saying: “Activists and community leaders around the world work every day, often without fanfare, to advance protections for people, communities, and our planet. We hope that by showcasing their work we will inspire more people to become more involved in addressing the world’s most pressing issues. We look forward to highlighting the mission and lives of each of these incredible people.”

Global Citizen released its own separate statement that included an apology. “Global activism centers on collaboration and cooperation, not competition. We apologize to the activists, hosts, and the larger activist community — we got it wrong,” the philanthropic org said. “It is our responsibility to use this platform in the most effective way to realize change and elevate the incredible activists dedicating their lives to progress all around the world."

Priyanka Chopra-Jonas has apologized for the original premise of CBS’ “The Activist” one day after the network decided to retool the competition series into a documentary following backlash to the original idea.

“I have been moved by the power of your voices over the past week,” Chopra, who was announced as co-host/judge of the show alongside Usher and Julianne Hough last week, said in a statement posted to Instagram on Thursday. “At its core, Activism is (fueled) by cause and effect, and when people come together to raise their voice about something, there is always an effect. You were heard. The show got it wrong, and I’m sorry that my participation in it disappointed many of you.”

She continued: “The intention was always to bring attention to the people behind the ideas and highlight the actions and impact of the causes they support tirelessly. I’m happy to know that in this new format, their stories will be the highlight, and I’m proud to collaborate with partners who have their ear to the ground and know when it’s time to hit pause and re-evaluate.”

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posted 9/17/2021

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "Still Looming"

  • Yep... IATSE getting ready to strike (Deadline)

  • LeVar Burton no longer actively seeking the podium, or to put it best... "We good". (NextTV)

  • Tom Bergeron hints as his new project... it's a game show (Heavy)

  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Claire McNear on where Jeopardy! goes from here (Esquire)

posted 9/17/2021


Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Helen Mirren is Spellbound
Legendary Actress to Host "Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses"
From Winter Is Coming

Think you know everything about Harry Potter? Now you’ll get to prove it with a new Harry Potter game show!

Today, WarnerMedia revealed Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses, hosted by none other than the fabulous Dame Helen Mirren. The legendary actress was not, unfortunately, among the many great stars who have appeared in the Harry Potter movies, but she did express her gratitude for finally becoming a part of the Wizarding World.

"I knew someday I’d get a Harry Potter role, and I’m so pleased to take part in the 20-year film celebration. The films inspired such enchantment and wonder for so many of us, and it will be such a treat to reignite that magic for the countless fans who continue to revel in this spellbinding world."

Hogwarts Tournament of Houses will be a four-part special that will put several Wizarding World fans to the test with “hundreds” of trivia questions. The winner of the competition will be named the House Cup champion.

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses is set to premiere later this year, roughly 20 years after the release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone into theaters. The competition will premiere simultaneously on Cartoon Network and TBS, and it will later release on HBO Max. Filming will begin later this month..

Winter Is Coming
Nova 96.9 Sydney

Mugglenet

The Hollywood Reporter

TV Insider

The Verge

posted 9/16/2021

WEDNESDAY: And Finally...
NBC's Got Talent Beats Everyone
From Deadline

Show more sharing options Big Brother Big Brother America’s Got Talent and Big Brother ruled a finale-filled Wednesday, winning the top viewership and ratings spot, respectively.

On the tails of its Tuesday-topping performance, the Season 16 finale of America’s Got Talent drew in a 0.7 rating in the 18-49 demo and 6.13 million viewers, per fast affiliates.

The Season 16 finale dropped three tenths in demo rating but rose 16% in viewership from its premiere in June (1.0, 7.37M).

CBS’ Big Brother (0.8, 3.94M) shared the Wednesday Primetime throne, marking the highest-rated title of the evening. Big Brother was the peak of CBS’ primetime lineup.

Other notable finales were those for ABC’s. Press Your Luck (0.5, 3.56M) and MasterChef (0.5, 2.39M) on Fox, starting in the 8 p.m. hour. Down just slightly from its June premiere (0.6, 2.4M) saw the MasterChef Season 11 finale.

Deadline
TV Line

posted 9/16/2021

Meet "The Bachelor"... Before Michelle Does?
Report: An Upcoming Suitor to Be Given a Season
From Variety

The next star of “The Bachelor” will be an unfamiliar face — but not for long.

Variety reports that ABC’s new leading man for Season 26 of the hit dating show is Clayton Echard, though ABC and Warner Bros. TV declined to comment for this story.

If Echard’s name doesn’t ring a bell, it’s because Bachelor Nation hasn’t met him yet. Echard will be introduced to America as a suitor on the upcoming season of “The Bachelorette,” which premieres on Oct. 19, and will star fan-favorite Michelle Young.

“The Bachelor” typically premieres in January, just after the new year, but insiders say that production is starting this month.

On Wednesday, photos that leaked of Echard with a camera crew were published by E! News in a speculative piece, questioning whether he would be the new “Bachelor.”

Multiple sources tell Variety that Echard is indeed ABC’s pick, but he won’t officially be announced as “The Bachelor” anytime soon — after all, Young’s season of “The Bachelorette” hasn’t even aired yet.

Variety
E!

posted 9/16/2021

More on "Canada's Drag Race" SEason 2
Catch It on WOW Presents Plus October 4
From EW

Step your poutine up! Canada's Drag Race season 2 cast of queens is here.

Just over a year after Priyanka became the RuPaul's Drag Race spin-off's first winner, the World of Wonder-produced show unveiled on Tuesday the 12 contestants who will compete for their own sizzling slice of Canadian bacon in the form of a crown and a $100,000 cash prize.

The season 2 panel is presided over by returning judge Brooke Lynn Hytes, with actress Amanda Brugel and style superstar Brad Goreski joining in place of season 1's Stacey McKenzie, who couldn't film new episodes because of COVID travel restrictions, and Jeffrey Bowyer Chapman, who exited the series to film Doogie Kameāloha, M.D. Traci Melchor was also upgraded to permanent judge status for season 2 after appearing throughout season 1 as a "Squirrel Friend" advisor to the queens.

Canada's Drag Race season 2 premieres Oct. 14 on WOW Presents Plus in the United States and on Crave in Canada. See the new cast of queens below.

EW

posted 9/16/2021


Fremantle/Fox
FREDDIE COMBS: 1971-2021
Pastor an "X Factor" Contestant
From TV Line

Freddie Combs, a minister who gained notoriety for competing in the second season of Fox’s The X Factor, died on Friday, Sept. 10 at the age of 49.

Combs famously received four yeses from the show’s judges for his audition, an incredible rendition of Bette Midler’s “Wind Beneath My Wings,” which he dedicated to his wife Katrina.

According to Combs’ public obituary, he died after battling a “brief illness,” while TMZ reports kidney failure as his official cause of death.

“Freddie is survived by his wife, Katrina (Kay) Combs, parents Leslie & Nancy Rife, sisters Carrie Rife, Kristina (Andrew) Boggs and nephew Colin Boggs,” the obituary reads. “Freddie spent most of his life in ministry preaching the gospel and singing praises to his Lord Jesus Christ. He has touched countless lives and their ministry will continue to do so.”

In addition to the three episodes of The X Factor on which Combs appeared, he and his wife were featured in a 2010 TLC special called Ton of Love, which documented his weight-loss struggle.".

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Deadline
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TMZ

posted 9/16/2021

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Looming"

  • Is IATSE getting ready to strike (Deadline)

  • Quibi settles suit over Israeli tech (NextTV)

  • Arie Luyendyk ready for the snip (Reality TV World)

  • HONEST QUESTION: where does "Pointless" get its answers from? (Metro)

  • CASTING COUCH: Family Feud heads to Tallahassee (Tallahassee Democrat)

posted 9/16/2021


ViacomCBS

More on "Tough as Nails" Season 3
Catch It on CBS October 6
From the Futon Critic

TOUGH AS NAILS, the reality series that celebrates everyday Americans who get their hands dirty while working long, hard hours to keep the country running, returns with 12 new competitors ready to test their strength, endurance, life skills and mental toughness, on the third season premiere, Wednesday, Oct. 6 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. The cast includes a fire captain, crop duster, lineman, and ironworker, among others. Phil Keoghan is the creator, host and showrunner.

These competitors who are the best of the best in their chosen trades and come from different walks of life, but all roll up their sleeves every day to make an honest day's living, will kick off the third season from Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base in Southern California, when season one's winner, Marine veteran Kelly "Murph" Murphy, returns to lead the crews through a series of military-style challenges. Throughout the season, crews will have to complete their jobs at other renowned locations, including Mt. Baldy, the highest peak in Los Angeles, the U.S. Coast Guard in San Pedro, and the Irwindale Speedway, a motorsports facility, leading to one competitor being crowned the champion and winning the coveted TOUGH AS NAILS belt. However, anyone who "punches out" of the individual competition can still win additional cash prizes in the team competitions that continue throughout the season.

"It is a privilege that we are now in season three of TOUGH AS NAILS and can continue to honor America's hardest-working people, the essential workers who have helped us get through a really challenging time," said Phil Keoghan, host and executive producer. "It feels good that this is a show for the people and about the people that we should all acknowledge and celebrate. While there is only one TOUGH AS NAILS champion in the individual competition, I think what viewers are really gravitating towards, and what makes this show special, is the team competition and the legacy that is being built with Savage Crew and Dirty Hands. At a time when there is so much division in the world, it's good to see a group of people from all walks of life, who have never met each other before, unite and work together for a common goal."

The Futon Critic
TV Insider

posted 9/15/2021

Survivors Ready!
Meet the 18 Season 41 Contestants!
From the Futon Critic

We'll see a lot of big changes in the new season of Survivor (which premieres Sept. 22 on CBS). For one thing, the game will be only 26 days long as opposed to 39. Viewers can also partake in a separate game within a game at home. And, thanks to Mike White, some sort of monster will be on the loose. But there is one other big change for season 41 of the show. It is being called Survivor 41. That marks the first time a Survivor season number has been in its title. What's with the change?

We asked Jeff Probst. "As you know from our talks during Winners at War, we always envisioned our 40th season as the end of an era of Survivor," the show's host says.

And the new era meant a new approach towards titling the seasons. "From a game standpoint, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get away from seasons that were built around a casting theme or a major twist," says Probst. "That led to an easy decision to also do away with titles and just go with numbers for each season."

The series is also available to stream live and on demand on the CBS app and Paramount+.

As TV's preeminent reality series for 20 years, SURVIVOR 41 begins a bold new era this fall with the introduction of exciting fresh elements to the competition, which promise to intensify the battle for $1 million and the title of Sole Survivor. As the thrilling competition begins on the beautiful islands of Fiji, 18 determined castaways will be divided into three tribes of six to face a faster, more intense and more dangerous season than ever before. The unpredictable, accelerated pace will test even the strongest super-fan, as supplies are minimal, reward challenges are scarce, and players find themselves faced with advantages that could significantly help their game or, just as easily, extinguish their torch.

"I cannot remember a time when I've been this excited to launch a new season of SURVIVOR," said executive producer and host Jeff Probst. "SURVIVOR 41 features a really likable group of savvy SURVIVOR players, and they are in for the most intense, most difficult and most dangerous season we've ever done. We know we have the most loyal fans of any show on television, and we are pumped to bring them a new, exciting season of SURVIVOR!"

For the first time, host Jeff Probst will also take viewers inside the action, addressing the audience directly throughout the season, even letting fans in on some twists before the players are made aware. In addition, junior fans can test their own SURVIVOR skills by playing the new "Game within the Game." Each week, they'll have to spot a hidden rebus puzzle within the episode and then solve it.

The individuals competing on season 41 are from diverse backgrounds with the same ultimate goal: to outwit, outplay and outlast, and in the end only one will remain to claim the title of Sole Survivor.
- Name: Brad Reese Age: 50 Hometown: Shawnee, Wyo. Current Residence: Shawnee, Wyo. Occupation: Rancher
- Name: Danny McCray Age: 33 Hometown: Houston, Texas Current Residence: Frisco, Texas Occupation: Ex-NFL player
- Name: David Voce Age: 35 Hometown: Highland, Calif. Current Residence: Chicago, Ill. Occupation: Neurosurgeon
- Name: Deshawn Radden Age: 26 Hometown: San Bernardino, Calif. Current Residence: Miami, Fla. Occupation: Medical student
- Name: Eric Abraham Age: 51 Hometown: Atlanta, Ga. Current Residence: San Antonio, Texas Occupation: Cyber security analyst
- Name: Erika Casupanan Age: 32 Hometown: Niagara Falls, Ont. Current Residence: Toronto, Ont. Occupation: Communications manager
- Name: Evvie Jagoda Age: 28 Hometown: Westchester, N.Y. Current Residence: Arlington, Mass. Occupation: PhD student
- Name: Genie Chen Age: 46 Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif. Current Residence: Portland, Ore. Occupation: Grocery clerk
- Name: Heather Aldret Age: 52 Hometown: Charleston, S.C. Current Residence: Charleston, S.C. Occupation: Stay-at-home mom
- Name: Jairus Robinson Age: 20 Hometown: Oklahoma City, Okla. Current Residence: Oklahoma City, Okla. Occupation: College student
- Name: Liana Wallace Age: 20 Hometown: Evanston, Ill. Current Residence: Washington, D.C. Occupation: College student
- Name: Naseer Muttalif Age: 37 Hometown: Sri Lanka Current Residence: Morgan Hill, Calif. Occupation: Sales manager
- Name: Ricard Foyé Age: 31 Hometown: Lynnwood, Wash. Current Residence: Sedro-Woolley, Wash. Occupation: Flight attendant
- Name: Sara Wilson Age: 24 Hometown: Sherman Oaks, Calif. Current Residence: Boston, Mass. Occupation: Healthcare consultant
- Name: Shantel Smith Age: 34 Hometown: Toronto, Canada Current Residence: Washington, D.C. Occupation: Pastor
- Name: Sydney Segal Age: 26 Hometown: Los Angeles, Calif. Current Residence: Brooklyn, N.Y. Occupation: Law student
- Name: Tiffany Seely Age: 47 Hometown: Forest Hills, Queens, N.Y. Current Residence: Plainview, N.Y. Occupation: Teacher
- Name: Xander Hastings Age: 21 Hometown: Jacksonville, Fla. Current Residence: Chicago, Ill. Occupation: App developer

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Gold Derby

Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly

posted 9/15/2021

Time for a Re-"Toon" with Jerry Trainor
Nick Locks in Season 2 of "Tooned In" September 17
From the Futon Critic

Nickelodeon's ultimate cartoon trivia showdown, Tooned In, returns for season two with Jerry Trainor (iCarly) co-hosting alongside the animated A.I. supercomputer, Nicky (voiced by Rama Vallury, Baby Shark's Big Show!). The epic gameshow puts contestants to the test to prove their animation knowledge, with three kids competing in rounds of trivia for a chance to be declared the episode's big winner. Season two of Tooned In premieres Friday, Sept. 17, at 8:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon.

In Tooned In, Trainor and an animated A.I. robot, Nicky, co-host a messy and slime-filled gameshow where kid contestants must compete in a battle of Nickelodeon cartoon knowledge for the chance to be named the night's big winner and take home a cash prize of up to $1,000. Each episode features three kids who are tasked with solving animation questions across rounds of trivia until only one contestant is left in the competition. The final kid will then move on to a special round where they must compete against Nicky and climb the robot's motherboard to be declared the episode's winner.

Tooned In is executive produced by Jack Martin (The Misery Index), who also serves as showrunner. The series is directed by Genji Keen (The Dungeon Run, Good Mythical Morning). Production of Tooned In for Nickelodeon is overseen by Ashley Kaplan, Senior Vice President, Digital Studios; Paul J Medford, Vice President, Unscripted Current Series; and Luke Wahl, Vice President, Digital Studios..

The Futon Critic
Animation World News
BSC Kids

posted 9/15/2021

TUESDAY: Finale Tuesday
Bachelor, AGT Tie
From TV Line

In the latest TV show ratings, ABC’s Bachelor in Paradise this Tuesday drew 3 million total viewers and a 0.9 rating, ticking up in the demo to tie NBC’s America’s Got Talent for the nightly demo win.

Leading out of that, Ultimate Surfer (1.3 mil/0.3) also ticked up week-to-week. NBC’s AGT (7.2 mil/0.9, predict Wednesday night’s winner) added some eyeballs and was steady in the demo week-to-week, utterly dominating Tuesday in total audience.

Over on Fox, LEGO Masters (1.4 mil/0.4) was steady with its Season 2 finale, while Fantasy Island (1.2 mil/0.3) ticked up in the demo ahead of this Sunday’s season finale. Pending adjustment due to sportsing preemptions, Stargirl (810K/0.1) and Supergirl (650K/0.1) are both currently in in audience/steady in the demo.

TV Line

Deadline

posted 9/14/2021

SYNDIES: Week Zero
Results for the Week Ending September 5
From TV News Check

Only a handful of syndicated shows were able to overcome the powerful headwinds of Hurricane Ida, which caused numerous news preemptions and electrical failures in the pre-Labor Day session ending Sept. 5.

Turning to primetime access, Family Feud slipped 2% to a 5.5, but still topped the games. Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy each inched up 5% to a 4.5 and a 4.1, respectively.

For the just-ended syndication season (Aug. 29), Feud led all of syndication with a 5.5, the first time Feud has won a syndicated season since local people meters debuted in 1986, Debmar-Mercury said. Feud also was tops among women 25-54 for the season with a 2.0.

In the household rating rankings that follow, % change is from the previous week; * indicates a new season-high rating; ** indicates a new season low; NC indicates no change from the previous week; NA mean not applicable.

GAME SHOWS
- Family Feud (Debmar-Mercury/FMNA) 5.5 -2%
- Wheel of Fortune (CMV) 4.5 +5%
- Jeopardy (CMV) 4.1 +5%
- 25 Words or Less (Fox First Run) 0.8 NC
- Funny You Should Ask(Entertainment Studios) 0.5 NC

PopCulture
TV Newscheck
NextTV

posted 9/15/2021

Welcome to Super Monday!
Premieres Abound
From the Futon Critic

The fall season is officially upon us, and with it comes an endless parade of new episodes of old favorites... and a new series as well.

- WHEEL OF FORTUNE: Pat Sajak and Vanna White, signed to 2024, will return for more Wheel of Fortune, but the game itself is getting something of a facelift. In addition to a new set, a new theme song, and a new baseline bonus ($39,000), the series will also expand its social media footprint, bringing on Maggie Sajak, Pat's daughter, as its social correspondent. The younger Sajak will be the "online host," a role which Today describes as "sharing exclusive videos, behind-the-scenes access, and interviews with the hosts, staff, crew, and contestants." She will also be responsible for the show's social media pages. Announcer Jim Thornton, who has been with the show for 10 years, will now have a podium on stage from which he will introduce Sajak and White. This makes him significantly more of a presence for the viewing audience. Even more significant: Sajak will no longer personally do the final spin of the wheel, with the duty instead going to the player who is in control of the wheel at the time. In addition, the Free Play space on the wheel will be removed and replaced by an $850 wedge, and a $4,000 bonus added to contestants who solve all three puzzles in the Triple Toss Up Round, making the round worth $10,000.
- JEOPARDY!: PErhaps the most notable difference between this year and last is the host. Mike Richards had taped a week's worth of shows before he stepped down as host and executive producer earlier this summer. Those show will air as produced. In addition, the show has dedicated Stage 11 at Sony Pictures Studios as The Alex Trebek Stage. In a brief pre-taped appearance that starts tonight’s episode, Trebek’s wife Jean and three children Matthew, Emily and Nicky are shown at the recent dedication and naming of the Alex Trebek Stage. Mayim Bialik, who is set to tape the Jeopardy! College Championship for ABC later this year, will step in at least for the interim beginning. It is reported that she has taped at least seven weeks worth of material. The show's iconic theme music also sees a refresh. But the main story... Matt Amodio, who has won as many fans as detractors with his play style, and with that, becoming the third-winningest player in monies behind only some guy named Ken Jennings and some other guy named James Holzhauer.
- THE PRICE IS RIGHT: The longest-running game show in television history is celebrating its 50th season this month and offering viewers a chance to, as always, “come on down” to win big. To celebrate its milestone, the show this week will feature a game each day where contestants can win up to $1 million. A two-hour primetime special will air Thursday, September 30. Premiere week will honor the lasting legacy with two new games, including a special limited edition game, “Back to ‘72,” that will only be played throughout the 50th season complete with a retro ‘70s look. In the game, contestants’ pricing skills will be tested on actual items that appeared on the show during the early years of its run on CBS.
- LET'S MAKE A DEAL: The season will include new themed days, three primetime specials, and plenty of celebrity guests starting with Drew Barrymore in the first episode. Each week will promise Mega Money Mondays and Fabulous Car Fridays.
- YOU BET YOUR LIFE WITH JAY LENO: “You Bet Your Life” first aired from 1950 to 1961 with famed comedian Groucho Marx, followed by a short-lived 1992 remake with Bill Cosby. In the new version, Leno shares host duties with Kevin Eubanks, the former “Tonight” band leader who'd gleefully rib the comedian when a joke fell flat. “People seem to like that camaraderie, because we are friends and we know each other,” Leno said.

Also on tap: the season finales of "American Ninja Warrior" and "Hell's Kitchen", and the season premieres of "Halloween Baking Championship" and "The Big Bake."


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Decider
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posted 9/14/2021


YouTube/Larry King
NORM MACDONALD: 1959-2021
Comedian Played "Millionaire", "Match Game"
From TV Line

Norm Macdonald, whose laconic delivery of sharp and incisive observations made him one of Saturday Night Live‘s most influential and beloved cast members, died today after a nine-year private battle with cancer. He was 61.

Macdonald’s death was announced to Deadline by his management firm Brillstein Entertainment. The comedian’s longtime producing partner and friend Lori Jo Hoekstra, who was with him when he died, said Macdonald had been battling cancer for nearly a decade but was determined to keep his health struggles private, away from family, friends and fans.

“He was most proud of his comedy,” Hoekstra said. “He never wanted the diagnosis to affect the way the audience or any of his loved ones saw him. Norm was a pure comic. He once wrote that ‘a joke should catch someone by surprise, it should never pander.’ He certainly never pandered. Norm will be missed terribly.”

He was an SNL cast member from 1993-98, making his greatest impact as the anchor of the show’s “Weekend Update” segments for three seasons. Remembered for his droll style — and for his refusal to go easy on O.J. Simpson despite reported pressure from NBC execs — Macdonald would prove one of the most impactful “Update” anchors, pivoting away from the slapstick approach of Chevy Chase and toward the more barbed political approach of his successor, Colin Quinn.

Born on October 17, 1959, in Quebec City, Macdonald started his show business career in the comedy clubs of Canada, developing the deadpan style that would become both his trademark and a highly influential touchstone for a generation of comics. After being a contestant on Star Search in 1990, he landed his first regular TV writing gig on The Dennis Miller Show, fronted by the man who anchored “Weekend Update” from 1986-91. Macdonald was hired to write for Roseanne Barr’s sitcom Roseanne for the 1992-93 season before landing the coveted gig at NBC’s Saturday Night Live.

Among his most popular SNL bits was a gum-chomping impression of Burt Reynolds, complete with charming smile, bolo tie and wiseguy attitude, often at hilarious odds with Will Ferrell’s Alex Trebek. If his Reynolds was his best, other impressions were nearly on par: Macdonald’s roster included Andy Rooney, Clint Eastwood, David Letterman, Larry King, Quentin Tarantino, Mr. Bean and Rod Serling, among others.

Macdonald’s departure from the show was controversial in itself, and the firing was often attributed to his continued lambasting of Simpson as a murderer despite what was said to be the displeasure of Don Ohlmeyer, president of NBC’s West Coast division, a friend of the former football great. Macdonald would later tell The New York Times that he believed his dismissal was the result of doing “experimental stuff, non sequiturs” on “Update,” saying, “Ohlmeyer would watch Leno kill every night for 15 minutes. Every joke, huge laughs, and then I’d do 10 minutes a week and sometimes not get laughs.”

After his firing, Macdonald’s career entered a gradual decline. He hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live, insulting the show to boos from the cast. He starred in a short-lived sitcom, The Norm Show, and a buddy comedy with Howard Stern cohost Artie Lange, Dirty Work. Both received poor reviews but live on as cult classics. He showed up in commercials and on celebrity episodes of game shows, memorably winning $500,000 for charity on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (and walking away before the last question only because Regis Philbin encouraged him to). He also featured on "Celebrity Poker Showdown", "Match Game Canada", "Last Comic Standing", "High Stakes Poker", and "Million Dollar Password".

Deadline
Deadline
TV Line
The Wrap
City Journal

posted 9/14/2021

MONDAY: That's Still Football, Baby!
MNF Wins for ABC
From TV Line

In the latest TV ratings, ABC’s coverage of the Monday Night Football season opener averaged 7.4 million total viewers and a 1.7 demo rating, obviously dominating the night in both measures.

Fox’s two-hour (and unexpectedly emotional!) Hell’s Kitchen season finale (averaging 2.2 mil/0.5) and NBC’s American Ninja Warrior finale (3.4 mil/0.5) held steady and tied for (a very distant) second in the demo. Leading out of ANW, The Wall (2.1 mil/0.3) was also steady.

Placing second for the night in total audience was CBS’ The Neighborhood rerun, which drew 3.5 million viewers. Pending adjustment due to sports preemption, The CW’s Roswell NM (720K/0.1) is currently up in viewers and steady in the demo..

TV Line

posted 9/14/2021

SUNDAY: That's Football, Baby!
SNF Wins for NBC
From Deadline

As we discover far too often, history loves to repeat itself – in the NFL and otherwise. That was the case for Sunday Night Football’s season kickoff between the hometown Los Angeles Rams and the Chicago Bears on NBC on September 12.

Sure, even with the Covid-19 Delta variant seemingly everywhere, there were actual fans in the seats at SoFi Stadium this year, unlike the season-opening SNF game in 2020. However, once again, the matchup was played in the City of Angels, once again the Rams won (34-14), and once again NBC took a viewership drubbing.

With the final numbers now in, the primetime NFL battle drew an audience of 17.6 million on NBC, according to Nielsen. That’s a slip of about 4% from the 2020 season opener and a new multi-year low for the network and league’s mothership show..

DEadline

posted 9/14/2021

RIP DCP
Adam Stosky to Lead New Company
From Deadline

Former E! president Adam Stotsky has been named president of MRC Live & Alternative. He replaces Amy Thurlow, who exited as president of Dick Clark Productions in June, and will report to MRC CEOs and co-founders Modi Wiczyk and Asif Satchu.

The dcp moniker will not be used going forward. The production company, launched in 1957 by Dick Clark, had been sold multiple times, and merged — along with several other media companies — with MRC in 2018 to form Valance Media. That company was rebranded as MRC in April 2020 with all of its divisions carrying the same name, including MRC Live & Alternative, which housed dick clark productions.

The transition from dcp to MRC Live & Alternative completes the rebranding process.

“We continue to celebrate Dick Clark’s legacy on our top-rated Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest, and through his son R.A. Clark’s terrific work on the Academy of Country Music Awards, in our new home on Amazon; and we congratulate RAC on his newly launched company Lewis & Clark,” said Wiczyk and Satchu..

Deadline

Variety

posted 9/14/2021

"Drag Race" Heads to Italy
Priscilla to Host
From EW

There's a new bella on the block, as RuPaul's Drag Race Italia has unveiled international superstar Priscilla as the host of its inaugural season.

Though she rose to prominence in her home region of Italy, the drag entertainer is widely known for her work in the Grecian nightlife metropolis of Mykonos, where she's a regular fixture at the JackieO' beach club.

She gained significant exposure as an entertainer when she competed on the 2017 edition of Ellada Eheis Talento, the Greek iteration of the global Got Talent series. On the show, she performed a lip-sync rendition of Ike and Tina Turner's cover of the Creedence Clearwater Revival tune "Proud Mary."

Priscilla joins the Drag Race franchise as one of a handful of queens who've taken over for RuPaul at the helm of various international spin-offs of the Emmy-winning American original, including season 11 finalist Brooke Lynn Hytes on Canada's Drag Race, Supremme de Luxe on Drag Race España, and Drag Race Thailand cohosts Pangina Heals and Art Arya.

EW

posted 9/14/2021

Charles Wachter Teams with All3Media
Hard North Media to Create Formats
From C21Media

The US arm of UK-based producer and distributor All3Media is partnering with showrunner and executive producer Charles Wachter to launch an unscripted-focused production outfit called Hard North Media. Charles Wachter The company plans to create and produce a range of unscripted content including formats, competition series, live events and gameshows.

Its goal is to “establishing Hard North Media as a multi-genre provider of premium content for US broadcast networks, streaming platforms, cable channels and digital,” according to All3Media America. Wachter has produced more than 35 TV projects, including Holey Moley and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution for ABC, King of the Nerds for TBS and the rebooted Fear Factor for MTV.

Most recently, he was executive producer and showrunner on ABC’s The Celebrity Dating Game and YouTube’s Copy That. He also has pilots in development with Netflix and Canadian pubcaster the CBC.

“Charles is one of the most successful unscripted creators and showrunners in the business and joins us at a time when demand in this space has never been stronger,” said All3Media CEO Jane Turton. “His fantastic credentials and relationships with leading networks and platforms perfectly complement our core unscripted business in the US, and we are thrilled to have him join the All3Media family.”.

C21 Media

posted 9/14/2021

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Staying Up Late"

  • James Corden looking to stay up late later (Deadline)

  • Jacques Torres reveals the secret that keep folks from nailing it (The Wrap)

  • Peyton & Eli Manning are the only way to watch MNF (Sporting News)

posted 9/14/2021

RuPaul Makes Emmy History
Emmy for Outstanding Reality Host Gives "Drag Race" Host a Tie for Most Wins from an African American Performer
From Deadline

RuPaul has taken home his sixth straight Emmy win for Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Competition Program. It puts him in the same position as Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who broke the Emmy record by winning the best actress in a comedy award six times in a row for her role in Veep.

The win also sees RuPaul Charles tie the record for the most Emmy wins by a person of color with cinematographer Donald A. Morgan. If RuPaul wins at next week’s Emmys for Outstanding Competition Program for Drag Race, he will break the record.

The host of VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race thanked all of the people in the business who have been “kind” in his acceptance speech, recalling his role hosting The American Music Show, which started in 1981.

"I started in television 40 years ago on a public access station in Atlanta, Georgia. A little show called The American Music Show. They were so kind to me to have me do my hard yards there years ago, and I want to thank them for being so kind to me and all the people in this business who’ve been kind. I’ve got to tell you, the sweetness and the kindness is what I appreciate the most today. In fact, the sweetness and the kindness are at the top of my list of human virtues. After that would be a big fat ass. Thank you so much for this award,” he said.

RuPaul beat Nailed It! host Nicole Byer, who was thought to have a chance in this category, the Queer Eye team of Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness, Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, and Kevin O’Leary, and Top Chef’s Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons.

RuPaul has won this award every year since 2016, with Jane Lynch, host of NBC’s Hollywood Game Night winning in 2015 and 2014.

The World of Wonder-produced show won five awards on the day, also picking up awards for Outstanding Casting For A Reality Program with Goloka Bolte, and Ethan Petersen, and Outstanding Directing For A Reality Program with Nick Murray, and Outstanding Picture Editing For A Structured Reality Or Competition Program with Jamie Martin, Paul Cross, Ryan Mallick, and Michael Roha and Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program for spinoff RuPaul’s Drag Race Untucked.

Deadline
The Wrap
TV Insider
Entertainment Weekly

posted 9/13/2021

USA's "Big Deal"
Catch It October 14
From the Futon Critic

See the American dream in action on USA Network's new LIVE competition series "America's Big Deal" from world-renowned inventor and entrepreneur Joy Mangano. With a mission to lift up America's greatest small businesses and inventors, this groundbreaking first-of-its-kind series invites entrepreneurs from across the country to sell their products live on-air to home viewers through One Platform Commerce @ NBCU.

Each week entrepreneurs will take the stage for a three-minute product pitch and the person with the most live sales throughout the episode will win the chance to strike a life-changing deal with one of the show's retail giants.

Premiering Thursday, Oct. 14 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on USA Network, "America's Big Deal" will be hosted by Emmy Award-nominated "Access Hollywood" journalist Scott Evans and will empower audiences to shop live using ShoppableTV and NBCUniversal Checkout to turn entrepreneurs' dreams into reality.

In each episode of "America's Big Deal," the at-home audience will meet four budding entrepreneurs who, after facing a challenging year for small businesses, are eager to sell their ingenious, ready-made products live in primetime via One Platform Commerce @ NBCU. Knowing a big purchase order is on the line for the entrepreneur who makes the most live sales, these inventors will prepare bold and innovative product pitches unlike anything seen before in the traditional television shopping landscape. By purchasing their favorite products each week, viewers will take an active role in deciding which entrepreneur will win the night and stand before the panel of retail titans to field what will be life changing deals.

At the top of each episode, viewers will be prompted to participate in the upcoming shoppable competition experience in three easy steps: first, scan the ShoppableTV code that appears on-screen, shop your favorite products, and then complete your purchase seamlessly with NBCUniversal Checkout.

The series' executive producers are DIGA Studios' Tony DiSanto, Nick Rigg, Shawn Strickland and showrunner Alison Holloway. Joy Mangano also serves as executive producer.

The Futon Critic
The Wrap
TV Insider
Newsday

posted 9/13/2021

"Masked Singer" Takes It Off
Season 6 Introduces a New Twist
From Entertainment Weekly

It's hard to believe, but things are about to get even more chaotic on The Masked Singer stage. EW can exclusively reveal a new twist for the show's upcoming sixth season: the Take It Off Buzzer. If one of the panelists is completely certain they know who a contestant is, they can hit the buzzer at any time during the competition and give the name. If they are correct, that contestant has to unmask immediately and will leave the competition right then and there, and the panelist who guessed correctly gets two points toward the Golden Ear Trophy. But the stakes are high — if they are wrong, the contestant remains masked and the panelist will lose two points towards the Golden Ear Trophy.

The new buzzer can only be used once in Group A and once in Group B, meaning not every panelist will get a shot at using the buzzer.

"The whole idea to introduce this is just to add spontaneity. Our panel keeps saying, 'I know who it is,' but we wanted to put them to the test," executive producer Craig Plestis tells EW. "So the Take It Off Buzzer can be used any time in the show, anytime. As long as that contestant's on the stage, and [the panelist] thinks they know who that person is, they can hit that buzzer." He also teases that, in addition to losing two points, there will also be an additional penalty if the buzzer is used and an incorrect guess is made, but he won't say what that is just yet. "It's something that is absolutely humiliating," he teases.

According to showrunner James Breen, the twist makes for some very shocking moments in season 6. "It's a very fun addition this season, and very dramatic on a couple of occasions," he says, with Plestis adding that it took all of the panelists "by surprise." So, if a panelist uses the buzzer and gets it right and sends someone home unexpectedly, is there still a normal elimination, meaning there'd hypothetically be two eliminations in one night? "Possibly. Yeah, anything can happen on The Masked Singer. There's no rules," says Plestis.

The Masked Singer returns for its sixth season on Fox with a special two-night premiere on Sept. 22 and 23 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. And before that, fans will get a 30-minute sneak peek at the new season — including the final costume reveal — live across all time zones at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, after the FOX NFL Sunday double-header on Sept. 12.

Entertainment Weekly

The Wrap
Gold Derby

posted 9/13/2021

Monday Lightning Round
... or "Double Standard and Selective Outrage"

posted 9/13/2021

Meet the Alter Egos
Catch It on Fox September 22
From the Futon Critic

Twenty contestants from all walks of life will go head-to-head in ALTER EGO, the world's first avatar singing competition series. Featuring judges Alanis Morissette, Grimes, Nick Lachey and will.i.am, and hosted by Rocsi Diaz, the genre-busting series debuts with a special two-night premiere Wednesday, Sept. 22 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX, following the Season Six premiere of THE MASKED SINGER (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). The two-night premiere continues with an all-new episode the following night, Thursday, Sept. 23 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT), before airing in its regularly scheduled time slot Wednesdays at 9:00 PM.

Judging the competition are some of the biggest names in music, including iconic singer/songwriter and seven-time Grammy Award winner Alanis Morissette; actor, singer and television personality Nick Lachey; acclaimed Canadian producer, songwriter, singer and visual artist Grimes; and multi-Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, producer, entrepreneur and actor will.i.am. Emmy Award-winning personality Rocsi Diaz hosts the musical spectacle.

Meet the 20 ALTER EGO Contestants:
- ANTHONY FLAMMIA Alter Ego: The Loverboy Current City: Yonkers, New York Hometown: Yonkers, New York Age: 34
- CHASE PADGETT Alter Ego: Orlando Deville Current City: Vancouver, Washington Hometown: Orlando, Florida Age: 38
- DANIELLE CETANI Alter Ego: Phoenix Embers Current City: Roseville, California Hometown: Stockton, California Age: 39
- DASHARRA BRIDGES Alter Ego: Queen Dynamite Current City: Atlanta, Georgia Hometown: Rochester, New York Age: 31
- ERNY NUNEZ Alter Ego: Bernie Burns Current City: Port Saint Lucie, Florida Hometown: New York City, New York Age: 17
- ISRAA DARWICH Alter Ego: Night Journey Current City and Hometown: Dearborn Heights, Michigan Age: 19
- JACOB (JAKE) THOMSEN (CALINODA) Alter Ego: Dipper Scott Current City and Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina Age: 28
- JAMES PAEK Alter Ego: Kingston Sol Current City and Hometown: Fullerton, California Age: 35
- JAY MIAH Alter Ego: Nevaeh King Current City: Tampa Bay, Florida Hometown: Longwood, Florida Age: 32
- KALEIA AYELETT Alter Ego: The Dawn Majesty Current City: North Hollywood, California Hometown: Orlando, Florida Age: 34
- KAYLEE FRANZEN Alter Ego: Aster Current City: Nashville, Tennessee Hometown: Flower Mound, Texas Age: 20
- KOBE VANG Alter Ego: Kai Current City: Schofield, Wisconsin Hometown: Berlin, Wisconsin Age: 23
- KYARA TETREAULT Alter Ego: Seven Current City and Hometown: Toronto, Ontario, Canada Age: 28
- MAMA YAYA (YASMIN SHAWAMREH) Alter Ego: Siren Current City and Hometown: Chicago, Illinois Age: 30
- MARIAH ROSARIO (RIAH LENA) Alter Ego: Safara Current City: Phoenix, Arizona Hometown: Tuscon, Arizona Age: 26
- MATTHEW LORD Alter Ego: Wolfgang Champagne Current City: Dallas, Texas Hometown: Napa, California Age: 60
- MIA CHERISE HALL Alter Ego: Fern Current City: Rochester, New York Hometown: Irondequoit, New York Age: 18
- MILTON PATTON (YOTE) Alter Ego: Wylie Current City: Hendersonville, Tennessee Hometown: Forrest City, Arkansas Age: 30
- SAMAERA HIRSCH Alter Ego: Misty Rose Current City: New Orleans, Louisiana Hometown: Glen Head, New York Age: 21
- SARAH ISEN Alter Ego: St. Luna Current City: Los Angeles, California Hometown: Berkeley, California Age: 21

Don't Miss the Two-Night Series Premiere of ALTER EGO Wednesday, Sept. 22 and Thursday, Sept. 23 at 9/8c on FOX.

The Futon Critic

posted 9/10/2021

Happy Friday Lightning Round
... or "Ghosted"

  • Anthony Anderson & Mama Doris play "House Haunters" for Discovery+ (The Futon Critic)

  • FIRST LOOK: Survivor 41 (TV Line)

  • Is there a gender gap on "University Challenge"? (B&T)

  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Jay Leno (TV Newscheck)

posted 9/9/2021


Jerry Bruckheimer Productions/CBS

On the Road Again
"Amazing Race" Resumes Production; Release Expected
From Deadline

The Amazing Race is set to return to CBS this season. This comes after the long-running reality series, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, faced a long production delay due to Covid.

“The Amazing Race will be back this season,” said Senior Executive Vice President, Programming, CBS Entertainment Thom Sherman during the network’s virtual TCA press tour.

Deadline reports that the series is currently in pre-production.

The 32nd season of the show, which was filmed before the pandemic, premiered in October 2020. But the 33rd season of the show was forced to halt production in February 2020, having only filmed three episodes of the series.

The team behind the show, including creators Bertram Van Munster and Elise Doganieri and host Phil Keoghan, have all told Deadline over the last twelve months that they are keen to get back into production as soon as possible with Keoghan saying that he was “champing at the bit” to get back out there.

Doganieri added they’re aware of the demand from fans to get back out there.

“We’ve been talking to CBS and they want to get back,” she told Deadline in April. “We just need to get that mass vaccination happening. Safety is key, you don’t want to do a show and have people get sick. That’s our priority.”

Deadline
Gold Derby

posted 9/9/2021


EndemolShine North America/CBS

"Big Brother Celebrity" Returns
House Reopens for Stars in 2022
From Deadline

There will be a new horde of celebrities entering the Big Brother house. CBS has renewed Big Brother: Celebrity Edition for a third season and will air it in winter 2022.

This comes after the two previous seasons of the celebrity spinoff of the long-running reality series aired in 2018 and 2019.

Julie Chen Moonves returns as host. C

The winter edition of the format also will stream on Paramount+, where fans will be able to watch the 24/7 live feed of the house that is outfitted with 94 HD cameras and 113 microphones.

The first season, which aired in 2018, featured, among others, Omarosa Manigault Newman, Mark McGrath and Shannon Elizabeth, while the second season featured the likes of Anthony Scaramucci, Dina Lohan, Tom Green, Ryan Lochte and Tamar Braxton.

Season 23 of Big Brother is currently airing on CBS.

Deadline
The Futon Critic

Variety

Gold Derby

Reality Blurred

posted 9/9/2021

Peacock Sets Date for Three
Frogger, ANW Jr., Top Chef Family Style to Play Fall
From TV Line

The Peacock streaming service is poised for a very unscripted September, with the release of American Ninja Warrior Junior Season 3 alongside the new competition series Frogger and Top Chef Family Style.

Each of the series will drop two to three episodes on Thursday, Sept. 9, to be followed by weekly releases every Thursday.

Frogger (premieres Thursday, Sept. 9), described as a “fierce and ridiculously fun competition,” features a variety of outrageous obstacle courses or “crossings,” including Frog City, Candy Frog Land, Frogs in Space, Frog Skull Island, Ribbit River and Toad Temple. These physically demanding challenges will ask contestants to dodge treacherous traffic, leap over snapping ‘gators and hop over hungry hippos, in order to conquer the course.

American Ninja Warrior Junior Season 3 (premieres Thursday, Sept. 9) promises to be “more extra than ever,” taking the nation’s top junior athletes and putting them on the world’s most iconic course to compete on some of the most challenging obstacles yet. With the minimum age on the currently airing 13th season of American Ninja Warrior now lowered to 15 years old, and ANW Junior spotlighting contestants aged 9 to 14, many ‘tweens and teens now the opportunity to hone their skills on the Junior course before competing against Ninja Warrior veterans.

Top Chef Family Style (premieres Thursday, Sept. 9) features talented young chefs — hailing from states including Alaska, New York and Hawaii — who sharpen their knives and battle it out to prove that their culinary skills are aged to perfection. “From mastering molecular gastronomy for the cast of Peacock’s Saved by the Bell to cooking in a culinary smackdown for WWE Superstars and creating a meatless menu for an NFL tailgate with the L.A. Rams,” the chef duos are put to the test in a series of creative and suspenseful Quickfire and Elimination Challenges. To avoid elimination, the chef duos will also have to impress culinary leaders Josiah Citrin, Michael Cimarusti, Dominque Creen, Susan Feniger, Chris Ford, Timothy Hollingsworth, Amirah Kassem, Nathan Myhrvold, Nancy Silverton and Sherry Yard, while also showcasing their prowess for guest judges and special guests including Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Jojo Siwa. Top Chef Host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio and an array of alums stop by the kitchen to lend their expertise.
.

TV Line
Deadline
Gamespot
Uproxx
Comic Book
Kotaku
Polygon
GeekTyrant
Decider
Syfy
Reality Blurred

posted 9/9/2021

Ant & Dec Go "Limitless"
New Primetime Quiz Promises an Endless Money Ladder
From Radio Times

ITV has announced that Ant and Dec will present a brand new prime-time gameshow – which is to include the world’s first-ever limitless jackpot. Ant & Dec’s Limitless Win will air on the channel next year and will offer contestants the chance to ascend a “money ladder that never… ever… ends”. According to the channel, a contestant can climb the ladder by answering questions correctly – but if they push their luck too far they risk losing everything. The series has been commissioned for five hour-long shows, set to air on Saturday nights in 2022, and ITV promises viewers “drama, jeopardy and real emotion”.

Speaking about the show, Ant McPartlin, said “We’re genuinely so excited to launch this new series. It’s something we’ve been developing with Hello Dolly and ITV for a while now and we can’t wait for you all to experience it. We hope you love it as much as we do.”

And Declan Donnelly added, “It’s been a number of years since we launched a brand new TV format, it’s not something we do very often! But we’ve hit on something that is groundbreaking and innovative, and that’s why we are so excited to host this series and bring it to the nation.”

Meanwhile, ITV’s Head of Entertainment Commissioning Katie Rawcliffe said, “It’s hugely exciting to be working with the wonderful Ant and Dec on a new primetime entertainment format where contestants can win a limitless cash prize! “Unpredictable, tense and guaranteed to have viewers on the edge of their seats, this is a quiz show unlike anything you’ll have seen before.”

Radio Times
Telly Mix
The List
ITV Press Centre

posted 9/9/2021

WEDNESDAY: Zing!
NBC, Got Talent Wins
From TV Line

In the latest TV show ratings, CBS’ Big Brother drew 3.8 million total viewers and a 0.9 rating, dipping week-to-week yet still dominating Wednesday in the demo.

Leading out of that, House Calls With Dr. Phil (1.7 mil/0.2) and 48 Hours (2 mil/0.2) were steady.

Over on NBC, America’s Got Talent (5.7 mil/0.6) was steady week-to-week and delivered the night’s biggest audience. Family Game Fight (2.2 mil/0.4) was also steady.

Elsewhere: FOX | A two-hour, nerve wracking MasterChef (2.4 mil/0.6) ticked up from last week to tie for No, 2 in the demo.

TV Line

posted 9/9/2021


ABC/BBC Studios

Meet The "DWTS" Class of 2021
Celebrities & Partners Announced
From the Futon Critic

ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" 2021 celebrity cast was announced today on ABC's "Good Morning America," live from Disney's California Adventure. The series, hosted by supermodel and businesswoman Tyra Banks, returns to the ballroom for its milestone 30th season with a lineup of celebrities including a WWE legend, a Real Housewife, a Bachelor, a country superstar and a Spice Girl, to name a few.

The cast joins Suni Lee and JoJo Siwa, both of whom were previously announced at ABC's 2021 TCA Virtual Press Conferences last month. The new celebrity cast will debut their twists, tricks and kicks during the premiere, live on MONDAY, SEPT. 20 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on ABC. Watch episodes on demand and on Hulu the day following their premieres.

The celebrities and professional dancers heading to the ballroom are as follows (in alphabetical order): 

Celebrities:
· Country singer Jimmie Allen
· Spice Girl Melanie C
· Christine Chiu ("Bling Empire")
· Brian Austin Green ("Beverly Hills, 90210")
· Melora Hardin ("The Office")
· Social media star Olivia Jade
· Matt James ("The Bachelor")
· Amanda Kloots ("The Talk")  
· Martin Kove ("Cobra Kai")
· Gold medal Olympian Suni Lee
· WWE Superstar Mike "The Miz" Mizanin
· Kenya Moore ("The Real Housewives of Atlanta")
· Peloton star instructor Cody Rigsby
· NBA star Iman Shumpert
· Popstar JoJo Siwa

Professional dancers:
· Brandon Armstrong
· Lindsay Arnold
· Alan Bersten
· Sharna Burgess
· Cheryl Burke
· Witney Carson
· Artem Chigvintsev
· Val Chmerkovskiy
· Sasha Farber
· Jenna Johnson
· Daniella Karagach
· Pasha Pashkov
· Gleb Savchenko
· Emma Slater
· Britt Stewart

Viewers will have to tune in to the season premiere to find out with whom their favorite professional dancers are paired. The pairs will be judged by a panel of renowned ballroom experts, including Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough..

The Futon Critic
Deadline
TV Line

THe Wrap

Gold Derby
Gold Derby

Gold Derby

posted 9/9/2021


Sony Pictures TV

"Wheel" to Spin to 2024
Pat Sajak & Vanna White Sign to Host Three More Seasons
From NextTV

Pat Sajak and Vanna White, hosts of syndicated access game show Wheel of Fortune, will continue hosting the program through the 2023-24 TV season. As part of his new deal, Sajak will also serve as consulting producer.

Announcer Jim Thornton, who is celebrating his 10th anniversary with the show, will be seen at the beginning of each episode as he introduces the two hosts. Sajak’s daughter, Maggie, will join the show as social correspondent, providing new content across all of the show’s social platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok and on the show’s website.

When Wheel of Fortune premieres for season 39 on Monday, Sept. 13, it will debut a refreshed set and modernized music. The game itself will also feature a few changes. For example, Sajak will no longer spin the final wheel of the game; instead, the contestant in control at the time will spin to determine how much each consonant is worth during the final sped-up round.

“If you think about it, by doing the ‘final spin,’ I, as host, had an impact on the outcome of the game and that has always bothered me because it just didn’t feel right,” said Sajak in a statement. “With this change, only the contestants determine the outcome of the game and the host does not impose themself in any way.”

More money will be up for grabs in season 39 with the removal of the “Free Play” wedge from the wheel, which was replaced by an $850 wedge. Also, a $4,000 bonus is being added to contestants who solve all three puzzles in the “Triple Toss-Up Round,” making the round worth $10,000. And finally, the minimum amount that can be won on the bonus wheel has been upped to $39,000, in honor of the show’s 39th season in syndication.

Finally, fans can once again look forward to the show’s annual “Secret Santa Holiday Giveaway” that gives online Wheel Watchers Club members the chance to win everything a contestant wins, up to the $1 million grand prize. To date, Wheel of Fortune has awarded nearly $3 million in cash and prizes to viewers through the Secret Santa promotion.

NextTV
Decider

TV insider
Deadline
The Futon Critic

Insider

Newsweek

posted 9/9/2021

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Crossover"

  • Alexis Gaube to drop in on Price this season (Instagram @Lexi_MG)

  • FIRST LOOK: Survivor 41 (TV Line)

  • Is there a gender gap on "University Challenge"? (B&T)

  • LIST ABUSE: Eight of the biggest game show scandals (Insider)

posted 9/9/2021

SYNDIES: Week 47
Results for the Week Ending August 29
From TV News Check

Sophomores Kelly Clarkson and Tamron Hall, the only two talkers in the plus column, lit up the Nielsen chart in the session ending Aug. 29. Both scored double-digit increases despite being nearly or totally in reruns and facing plenty of daytime preemptions for breaking Afghanistan news.

In access, game show Jeopardy, which has recently become a public relations pinata, slipped 3% to a new season low 3.9 with a second straight week of “Around the World with Alex” archival reruns.

Game show and syndication champ Family Feud fell 2% to a 5.6.

In the household rating rankings that follow, % change is from the previous week; * indicates a new season-high rating; ** indicates a new season low; NC indicates no change from the previous week; NA mean not applicable.

GAME SHOWS
- Family Feud (Debmar-Mercury/FMNA) 5.6 +2%
- Wheel of Fortune (CMV) 4.3** -4%
- Jeopardy (CMV) 3.9** -3%
- 25 Words or Less (Fox First Run) 0.8 NC
- Funny You Should Ask(Entertainment Studios) 0.5 NC

PopCulture
TV Newscheck
NextTV

posted 9/8/2021

Meet the Season 4 Dragula Cast
Catch It on Shudder October 19
From the Futon Critic

Shudder, AMC Networks' premium streaming service for horror, thrillers and the supernatural, unveiled today the cast for season four of the hit drag competition series THE BOULET BROTHERS' DRAGULA, premiering exclusively on the horror streaming service on Tuesday, October 19 with new episodes to follow every Tuesday.

The new season of the groundbreaking Shudder Original series features ten diverse drag artists from around the world including the series' first South Korean competitor, Hoso Terra Toma; a competitor from Mexico City, La Zavaleta; the first trans woman competing on a main season of the show, Bitter Betty; and an AFAB (Assigned Female At Birth) drag queen, Sigourney Beaver. In addition, Jade Jolie, known from RuPaul's Drag Race joins season four as well as the winner of The Boulet Brothers' Dragula: Resurrection, Saint.

Below is the full lineup of competitors vying for the $100,000 grand prize - the largest in show history.

Previously announced season four guest judges include Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical film series), Harvey Guillén (What We Do in the Shadows), Kristian Nairn (Game of Thrones), Misha Osherovich (Freaky), Queer country music icon Orville Peck, pop metal star Poppy, Ray Santiago (Ash vs. The Evil Dead), Bob the Drag Queen (We're Here), with additional judges to be announced later.

Dubbed one of "the 19 best LGBTQ+ shows everyone needs to watch" by Cosmopolitan, The Boulet Brothers' Dragula is written and produced by the Boulet Brothers with Executive Producer David Sigurani and director Nathan Noyes.

The Boulet Brothers' Dragula Season Four Cast:
- Astrud Aurelia (She / Her)
- Bitter Betty (She / Her)
- Koco Caine (They / Them)
- HoSo Terra Tom (She / Her, They / Them)
- Formelda Hyde (He / Him, They / Them)
- Jade Jolie (She / Her)
- Merrie Cherry (She / Her)
- Saint (He / Him, She / Her, They / Them)
- Sigourney Beaver (She / Her)
- La Zavaleta (She / Her, They / Them)


The Futon Critic
Entertainment Weekly

posted 9/8/2021

"Great British Baking Show" Returns to Netflix
Catch It September 24
From TV Insider

On your marks… get set… BAKE! Netflix’s addictively bingeable series The Great British Baking Show is gearing up for its Season 9 return.

Beginning Friday, September 24, fans of the delightful program can tune in to stream the premiere episode and return to the platform each following Friday for a new installment. The unscripted series’s ninth collection is comprised of 10 hour-long episodes, similar to past seasons.

Previously teased in early August, Netflix’s Season 9 premiere date specifically applies to subscribers in the U.S., others outside of that territory will have to wait for additional details regarding a return date. For lucky viewers in the U.S., they can expect more signature, technical, and showstopper challenges with a whole new set of amateur bakers.

Returning as judges are the formidable Paul Hollywood and Prue Leith, who will be joined by lovable hosts Noel Fielding and Matt Lucas. As the season unfolds, one baker from the set of Season 9 contestants will be eliminated each week leading up to the finale when one winner will be crowned.

The Futon Critic
TV Insider

posted 9/8/2021

TUESDAY: Paradise Lost... Barely
NBC, Got Talent Wins
From TV Line

In the latest TV show ratings, NBC’s America’s Got Talent drew 6.7 million total viewers and a 0.8 demo rating, ticking up week-to-week and topping Tuesday in both measures. Leading out of that, College Bowl (2.5 mil/0.4) was flat with its freshman finale.

Over on ABC, Bachelor in Paradise (3 mil/0.8) ticked up week-to-week and again tied AGT for the demo win. The Ultimate Surfer (1.3 mil/0.2) was steady.

The CW’s Stargirl (640K/0.1) and Supergirl (480K/0.1) each dropped a handful of eyeballs while steady in the demo, though the latter nearly reported its smallest audience ever.

Fox’s LEGO Masters (1.4 mil/0.4) was steady, while Fantasy Island (1.4 mil/0.2) hit and ties its lowest numbers yet.

TV Line

posted 9/8/2021

Ready... Steady... Cooked
BBC Cancels Reboot After Two Seasons
From Yahoo!

Rylan Clark-Neal's reboot of Ready Steady Cook has been axed after just two seasons.

The cookery gameshow was revived last year with Clark-Neal, 32, as its host, after its initial run ended in 2010. The BBC has now confirmed it will not be making any more episodes of the updated version.

A spokesperson said: "We sometimes have to make difficult decisions to grow new shows and after two brilliant series of Ready Steady Cook, we’re making space in the schedule for some exciting new titles that we’re sure viewers will enjoy.

“We are hugely grateful to Rylan and our team of chefs for making the return of the series so special.”

Yahoo!

posted 9/8/2021

Fox Bets on Ireland
New Format Blends Talent, Dealing
From Deadline

Fox is looking at the Emerald Isle for its next big format hit. The company’s production division Fox Alternative Entertainment has been road-testing non-scripted entertainment series The Big Deal in Ireland as part of an experiment that it hopes will help unearth a global format hit.

The six-part series features variety acts performing for the judges, with each offered a deal to either accept a cash payment or bet on themselves and hope they’ve impressed the judges enough to make it to the final. The series is presented by Vogue Williams and includes celebrity judges such as Boy George.

The show launched last weekend via Virgin Media Television, formerly known as TV3, with 180,000 viewers tuning in on Saturday night, comparable to what The X Factor was averaging in the country.

Rob Wade, President, Alternative Entertainment and Specials, Fox Entertainment told Deadline that it beat all expectations. “We’ll be keeping a close eye on how the format develops there,” he said.

Deadline

posted 9/8/2021

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "Super Monday Looms"

posted 9/8/2021

Netflix to Drop "The Circle" Season 3 September
Show to Air Over Four Parts
From Deadline

Netflix is expanding its circle of influence next month. The streamer said today that its popular competition series The Circle will return for a four-part Season 3 on September 8. New episodes will go live on ensuing Wednesdays through the September 29 finale. Critics Choice Award winner Michelle Buteau returns as the host.

A cast of eight new contestants enter the Circle, where they flirt, befriend, piss off and compete in challenges against one another on a unique social media platform to earn the ultimate cash prize as top influencer. With $100,000 on the line, will they be able to earn clout and figure out who is real and who is a catfish?

Deadline
The FUton Critic
Gold Derby
Meaww
Netflix Life

posted 9/7/2021


Jerry Bruckheimer Productions/CBS

"The Amazing Race" at 20
A History of the Reality Classic
From TV insider

When The Amazing Race got the green light from CBS in 2000, married cocreators Elise Doganieri and Bertram van Munster didn’t know if they’d get a second episode, let alone a second season.

“We decided to put the most amazing route together for the first episode, in case we didn’t get to do another one,” Doganieri recalled to Variety in 2014. “Bert sold the show in June and by August we were on our way to India, to see the Taj Mahal.”

That first season debuted September 5, 2001, and the show has surpassed all expectations, with 10 Emmy wins for Outstanding Competition Program so far. (In fact, The Amazing Race dominated the category for its first seven years.).

TV Insider
E! Online

Reality Blurred

posted 9/6/2021


The Guardian
WILLARD SCOTT: 1934-2021
Beloved "Today" Weather Anchor Was on "Hollywood Squares"
From TV Line

Willard Scott, a veteran weatherman who spent 65 years at NBC and 35 as a Today show regular, has passed away. He was 87.

The news was confirmed on the show’s official Instagram page: “#WillardScott — the legendary Today weatherman known for his exuberant personality and launching the tradition of celebrating fans who reached the century mark — died this week.”

Scott, who created and portrayed the original Ronald McDonald, died surrounded by his family, according to Today show weatherman Al Roker. Roker took to his own Instagram page writing, “We lost a beloved member of our @todayshow family this morning… He was truly my second dad and am where I am today because of his generous spirit. Willard was a man of his times, the ultimate broadcaster. There will never be anyone quite like him.”

The TV vet made his broadcast debut in 1955 via the daytime variety show Afternoon. In 1959, Scott went on to play Bozo the Clown five days a week.

According to his 1983 book The Joy of Living: “When Bozo went off the air, the local McDonald’s people asked me to come up with a new character to take Bozo’s place,” Scott wrote. “So I sat down and created Ronald McDonald.”

He officially joined Today in 1980, when then-NBC News president William Small was looking for ways to beat ABC’s Good Morning America in the ratings. The weatherman joined an on-air team that included Tom Brokaw and Jane Pauley. Scott served as the Today show’s No. 1 weatherman until he stepped aside for Roker in 1996, and headed into semi-retirement. Then, despite announcing his full retirement from the show in December 2015, he continued to appear periodically to wish a Happy Birthday to viewers turning 100+ years old, maintaining a tradition he started in 1983.

Around the time he was tapped to portray Mr. Poole on "The Hogan Family", he was a guest panelist on "Hollywood Squares".

Scott is survived by his wife Paris, and two daughters from his first marriage to Mary Dwyer Scott. They were married for 43 years until her death in 2002..

TV Line
FTVLive
The Wrap

posted 9/6/2021


Sony Pictures TV Studios/CBS Media Ventures

FIRED.
Mike Richards Out as EP of Wheel, Jeopardy!
From Deadline

The drama concerning Jeopardy!'s host saga continues to play out. After naming Mike Richards as Alex Trebek's full-time replacement on the quiz show program, the series had to reverse course after problematic comments from his past resurfaced. Since then, there have been murmurs that this drama could be taken to the next level, as Richards may be preparing for a legal battle.

Matt Belloni, the former editor of The Hollywood Reporter, wrote in his What I'm Hearing newsletter that Richards hired attorney Bryan Freedman after he was let go from the show. According to Belloni, Freedman is "already blaming" Sony for how the situation was handled. As a result, the conversation has now turned to how Sony can handle this matter with Richards. Sony reportedly has three options on the table in regards to the former producer — pay him a settlement, keep him within the Sony family in some fashion, or cut him off entirely and risk him suing the company. The former THR editor reached out to both Sony and Freedman, but they both declined to comment.

Now, this news should be taken with a grain of salt as neither Richards nor anyone from the Jeopardy! team has confirmed these latest developments.

Richards departed as executive producer of Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune after a turbulent few weeks for the long-running syndicated program, which saw Richards, who joined Jeopardy! as exec producer in 2020, ousted as host after one day of production.

Suzanne Prete, EVP, Business and Strategy, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, just sent an internal note to staff on these shows explaining that Richards would depart effective immediately with Embassy Row’s Michael Davies agreeing to help on an interim basis.

She said that they hoped that Richards exiting as host would have “minimized the disruption and internal difficulties” that they experienced over the last few weeks, but added that “clearly has not happened.”

Deadline reports that given all that has transpired over the last few weeks, it was clear that Richards’ position as EP has been too compromised for him to effectively continue in that role. It’s thought that given he doesn’t have the internal or external support that he needs to lead the team, his exit was in the best interests of the show.

Richards stepped down as host earlier this month following a Ringer report about insensitive and sexist comments Richards had made towards his female co-hosts and guests on The Randumb Show, a podcast he hosted in 2013 and 2014, along with off-color remarks about Haitians and Jews. Last week, the staff and crew of the venerable game show were summoned for a Microsoft Teams meeting this morning, sources told Deadline. Richards apologized to his staff for the comments and addressed his team during the meeting, which was attended by Sony’s top TV executive, Ravi Ahuja, Chairman of Sony Global Television Studios, who oversees the studio’s gameshow franchises and was in charge of the search for a permanent Jeopardy! host following the death of Alex Trebek. A similar virtual meeting was held with the staff of Sony’s Wheel of Fortune, which Richards also executive produces. During this meeting, the studio confirmed that he would continue as executive producer. Yet, multiple Jeopardy! staffers who attended the meeting said that they had expected for him to step down as EP as the show is restarting the search for a permanent host.

Mayim Bialik, named earlier this month as host of the Jeopardy! primetime and spinoff series, will fill in as host of the mothership syndicated program for at least the next three weeks.

See the full note below:

Dear Team,

I’m writing to let you know that Mike will no longer be serving as EP of Wheel and Jeopardy! effective immediately. We had hoped that when Mike stepped down from the host position at Jeopardy! it would have minimized the disruption and internal difficulties we have all experienced these last few weeks. That clearly has not happened.

Michael Davies from Embassy Row has agreed to help with production on an interim basis until further notice. Michael and I will work together with all of you in the weeks ahead to ensure that production remains on schedule and we do not miss a beat as we head into the new season.

I know this has been a challenging time for the entire team, and I want to thank you all for your cooperation and professionalism over these last few weeks. As Ravi mentioned last week, I will be more involved in the day-to-day on our shows moving forward and I am looking forward to working closely with all of you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything.

Sincerely,
Suzanne

James Holzhauer, best known for his 32-game winning streak on Jeopardy!, has slammed Mike Richards following the latter’s departure as executive producer. Holzhauer, who is one of the show’s top-three winners alongside Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, the trio of stars of ABC’s primetime series Jeopardy! The Greatest of All Time, said on social media, “Do I think Mike Richards’s podcast comments were appropriate for polite society? No. But did he deserve the benefit of the doubt for the job he did running Jeopardy? Also no.”

After his initial post of Twitter, he also posted a GIF of ‘Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead’ from The Wizard of Oz.

Deadline
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Santa Fe New Mexican
Newsday
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Screen Rant

posted 9/6/2021

Labor Day Lightning Round
... or "You'll Never Walk Alone"

  • Julie Chen Moonves defends the Cookout (EW)

  • Ken Jennings visits... (SIU)

  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with .... Art Fleming? (WJW Cleveland)

posted 9/6/2021

"Wizarding World" Comes to Cartoon Network
HBO Max Harry Potter Series to Air Linearly
From the Hollywood Reporter

WarnerMedia will give cross-platform runs to several HBO Max shows — including a quiz show for Harry Potter superfans — as part of a family programming block on Cartoon Network.

The shows will be part of “ACME Night,” a Sunday evening block of family-friendly movies and shows that will debut on Cartoon Network Sept. 19 and HBO Max in early 2022. Among the other HBO Max titles making the jump to the cable channel are animated series Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, Aquaman: King of Atlantis and Unicorn: Warriors Eternal. Batman: Caped Crusader, which was already slated for a run on both platforms, will also be part of the block.

“In the world of ACME anything, and I do mean anything, is possible,” said Tom Ascheim, president of Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics. “We know families want to spend time together, so we’ve created a destination for multigenerational stories that pull families together through the power of imagination.”

The Harry Potter Wizarding World quiz show, announced in May, will help commemorate the 20th anniversary of the release of the first movie in the massive franchise, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (a retrospective special is also set for HBO Max). The four-episode series is set to premiere later in the year and will feature Potterheads testing their knowledge of the Wizarding World. The show comes from Warner Bros. Unscripted Television and Warner Horizon
.

The Hollywood Reporter

posted 9/2/2021

WEDNESDAY: The Usual Suspects Show Up
NBC, CBS Split Night
From TV Line

In the latest TV show ratings, Big Brother drew 3.9 million total viewers and a 0.9 rating, ticking down in the demo week-to-week yet still dominating Wednesday in that measure.

Continuing CBS’ night, House Calls With Dr. Phil (1.7 mil/0.2) took its first dip. A special 48 Hours (2.1 mil/0.2) was also down.

Over on NBC, America’s Got Talent (5.9 mil/0.6) delivered the night’s largest audience while dipping in the demo week-to-week. Family Game Fight (2.3 mil/0.4) was steady.

FOX's MasterChef (averaging 2.1 mil/0.5) was down from last week’s double helping.

ABC's combination of Press Your Luck (3.2 mil/0.5), Pyramid (3.4 mil/0.5) and Superstar (1.8 mil/0.3) were all steady in the demo.

TV Line

posted 9/2/2021

Meet Michelle... "The Bachelorette"
Preview Aired Over the Last Week
From Reality TV World

The Bachelorette star Michelle Young has stopped hearts with her beautiful appearance in ABC's first promo for her upcoming season. During Bachelor in Paradise's latest episode on Tuesday night, ABC ran a promo of The Bachelorette's eighteenth season starring the 28-year-old teacher from Edina, MN.

"I'm looking for someone who's going to change the world with me," Michelle says in the promo. "I'm ready."

The promo begins with The Bachelor star Matt James' runner-up walking through a room adorned with flowers while wearing a fit and flare jacquard ivory gown with a high slit that hugs her curves. Michelle wore her hair down curled and spiced her dress up with a gold belt.

As the song "Bounce Back" plays, Michelle enters a basketball court, dribbles a basketball and then sinks a shot in a hoop made of a crystal net. She then proceeds into a classroom, where Michelle grabs a red apple and tosses it into the air with a sexy smile.

After stepping down a staircase lined with gorgeous flowers, Michelle grabs a rose and strikes a pose.

Michelle's season reportedly began filming on July 30 and is expected to conclude around September 10..

Reality TV World

posted 9/2/2021

Australia to Return "Letters & Numbers"
SBS to Pick Up Version of "Countdown"
From the Sydney Morning Herald

Q: What’s got 23 letters, three spaces and one ampersand and is all but guaranteed to set the hearts of the nation’s nerds a-racing? A: Celebrity Letters & Numbers. It sounds like one of those star tours of Hollywood, only for postal workers. No, it’s the return of a show SBS “rested” in 2012.

The original series ran for six seasons between August 2010 and June 2012. By the time SBS made the decision to drop it, its ratings weren’t great. But the 450 episodes filmed back then have been in constant repeat on the network (it’s on right now at 5.30pm weekdays), and still do tolerably good business. Wednesday’s episode was watched by 85,000 people in the mainland capital cities, making it the station’s seventh-most-watched show of the day.

It’s based on a French show called Des Chiffres et Des Lettres (literally: Numbers and Letters), which has been running since 1965, and a British version called Countdown, which first aired in 1982. When the local version debuted in June 2010 host Richard Morecroft said, “We’re hoping the show will be just as popular here”. Close, but no rolled bundle of dried and fermented tobacco leaves made to be smoked (that’s “cigar”, for those of you playing along at home).

Are the original hosts coming back? Yes and no. There’ll be no Morecroft – actor-comedian Michael Hing will be in the host’s chair this time around – but David Astle (aka the world’s meanest cryptic crossword compiler) will be back on the letters side of the fence and mathematician Lily Serna is once again handling the numerical part of the equation.

Apart from the new host, is it just a straight rehash? Nope. Attentive readers will have noticed the word “celebrity” in the title. The original had two competing brainiacs battling it out for the honour of taking home a Macquarie Dictionary. In this revamped version, two teams of two – three celebrities and a “special guest” – will battle it out for a unique prize: “One single book,” SBS promises, “from a vintage 1980s encyclopaedia collection, generously gifted by Michael Hing’s parents after they cleaned out their garage”.

Sydney Morning Herald

posted 9/2/2021

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Back on the Road Again"

posted 9/2/2021

E!'s Cover Story
Jimmy Fallon Sets Up "Battle of the Cover Bands"
From Deadline

Jimmy Fallon-exec produced series Clash of the Cover Bands is set to launch this fall. E! has unveiled a trailer for its competition series Clash of the Cover Bands, both of which come from The Tonight Show host and his production Electric Hot Dog, which has a big overall deal with Universal Television Alternative Studio.

Clash of the Cover Bands, which is hosted by Stephen “tWitch” Boss with Meghan Trainor, Adam Lambert and Ester Dean serving as celebrity judges, launches on Wednesday October 13 at 9:30pm.

Clash of the Cover Bands brings together the best cover bands from across the country to celebrate music and the art of performance across all genres. The half-hour series will see bands competing to win a cash prize by covering artists such as Aretha Franklin, Blink 182, and Bon Jovi.

The series is produced by Universal Television Alternative Studio and Electric Hot Dog. Jimmy Fallon and Jim Juvonen will executive produce.

Deadline

posted 9/1/2021

Richard Blais Joins "Next Level Chef"
Top Chef All-Stars Replaces Gino D'Acampo
From Deadline

Richard Blais, who won Bravo’s first Top Chef All-Stars, is to star in Gordon Ramsay’s Fox cooking competition series Next Level Chef.

Blais, who is a James Beard nominated cookbook author and recently opened Ember & Rye at the newly renovated Park Hyatt Aviara in Carlsbad, California, replaces Gino D’Acampo in the series as a mentor. ITV star and Ramsay pal D’Acampo had a family commitment that prohibited him from traveling to the United States for filming.

Blais will join Ramsay and Nyesha Arrington in the series, which will see line cooks, home chefs, social media stars and food struck owners will compete against each other to be crowned the food world’s newest superstar.

The show, which is produced by Studio Ramsay and Fox Alternative Entertainment, features a culinary gauntlet, set on a stage, over three stories high, each floor containing a different kitchen. The project was developed by the Studio Ramsay team led by Chief Creative Officer Lisa Edwards and creative director of development Fernando De Jesus. Ramsay, Lisa Edwards and Matt Cahoon serve as executive producers.

Deadline

posted 9/1/2021

SYNDIES: Week 46
Results for the Week Ending August 22
From TV News Check

Ratings for the suddenly controversial Jeopardy plunged in the session ending Aug. 22. The show sank 23% to a new season low 4.0 live-plus-same-day national Nielsen rating with “Around the World with Alex” reruns featuring the late Alex Trebek in multiple settings around the world. That was far below the frame’s game show and overall leader, Family Feud, which grew 6% to an eight-week high 5.7 as well as Jeopardy’s sister series Wheel of Fortune, which held steady at a 4.5.

(It was announced today that Mike Richards, the executive producer of both Jeopardy and Wheel, who had been chosen to succeed Trebek as Jeopardy host, had been fired from those EP jobs in the wake of the scandal involving comments Richards made eight years ago on a podcast.)

In the household rating rankings that follow, % change is from the previous week; * indicates a new season-high rating; ** indicates a new season low; NC indicates no change from the previous week; NA mean not applicable.

GAME SHOWS
- Family Feud (Debmar-Mercury/FMNA) 5.7 +6%
- Wheel of Fortune (CMV) 4.5 NC
- Jeopardy (CMV) 4.0** -23%
- 25 Words or Less (Fox First Run) 0.8 NC
- Funny You Should Ask(Entertainment Studios) 0.5 +25%

PopCulture
TV Newscheck
NextTV

posted 9/1/2021

TUESDAY: Talented Tuesday
NBC Wins with Got Talent
From TV Line

In the latest TV show ratings, Fantasy Island this Tuesday drew 1.5 million total viewers and a 0.2 demo rating, marking its lowest numbers in four outings. Opening Fox’s night, LEGO Masters (1.4 mil/0.4) dipped to match its demo low.

NBC’s America’s Got Talent (7 mil/0.7) dipped in the demo week-to-week yet still topped Tuesday in that measure, while easily delivering the night’s biggest audience. College Bowl (2.5 mil/0.3) hit a demo low.

ABC's Bachelor in Paradise (2.6 mil/0.6) slipped to season lows, while The Ultimate Surfer (1.2 mil/0.2) posted its lowest numbers in four outings.

Deadline
TV Line

posted 9/1/2021

MONDAY: Fighters
NBC, ABC Split Night
From TV Line

In the latest TV show ratings, ABC’s Bachelor in Paradise drew 3.2 million total viewers and a 0.9 rating, dipping week-to-week yet still dominating Monday in the demo.

Leading out of that, The Ultimate Surfer (1.4 mil/0.3) matched its week-ago debut.

Over on NBC, American Ninja Warrior (3.5 mil/0.5) ticked up and delivered Monday’s largest audience. The Wall (2.5 mil/0.4) was steady.

On Fox, Hell’s Kitchen (2.5 mil/0.6) and Duncanville‘s finale (710K/0.2) were steady, while Housebroken (980K/0.3) ticked up with its own finale.

Deadline
TV Line

posted 9/1/2021

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