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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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Emmys: Race to the Top
An "Amazing" Record for Outstanding Reality
From the Wrap
The big winners at the Primetime Emmys? Amazing Race, and NBC.

"Race", CBS' long-running (C-Note: pun intended) reality game won its 10th trophy for Outstanding Reality Competition Series out of 12 nominations, the most of any reality show on television.

Monday's awards show on NBC was the most-watched night on any network since this year's Oscars.

Monday's Emmy Awards earned a 4.2 demo rating and 15.6 million total viewers, according to final Nielsen numbers.

It was the second-biggest audience for the Emmys in eight years, and it tied for the second-highest rating in the key 18-49 demographic in seven years.

The NBC telecast, hosted by Seth Meyers, was the most-watched night on any TV network since March's Academy Awards.

Those numbers come despite the obstacles of being on a Monday evening (for the first time since 1976) and taking place in August. Last year's September telecast earned 17.8 million viewers, and also had the advantage of a Sunday NFL lead-in on CBS.

In 2013, the Emmys scored a 4.9 in the key demo.

Here's a fun fact: Monday's Emmys topped the rest of the combined so-called “Big 4” competition in primetime, with a 4.2 rating edging the combined 4.1 of Fox (1.8), ABC (1.2) and CBS (1.1).

The 15.6 million in total viewers beat the combined total of 13.8 million for CBS (5.0 million), Fox (4.6 million) and ABC (4.2 million).

The Wrap
The Hollywood Reporter
TV by the Numbers
The Futon Critic

posted 8/26/14

Syndies: Wake Me Up When September Begins
Results for the Week Ending August 17
From Eater
Magazines saw dramatic increases in the week ending Aug. 17, fueled by extensive coverage of the life and tragic death of Robin Williams.

The game shows bounced back, with CTD’s Wheel of Fortune regaining leadership over the genre with a 4% gain to a 5.7, edging ahead of CTD’s Jeopardy!, which was unchanged at a 5.5. Debmar-Mercury’s Steve Harvey-led Family Feud perked up 5% to a 4.6. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire was flat at a 1.9.

TV by the Numbers

posted 8/26/14

Restaurant Restart
CNBC Renews "Restaurant Startup"
From Eater
Restaurateur Joe Bastianich and Texas-based chef Tim Love's CNBC show Restaurant Startup has been renewed for a second season. According to a press release, the show will return in January 2015 with ten episodes — each one hour long — which is two episodes more than the first seasons' eight episode run. Love initially confirmed that the show had been picked up for two seasons back in June.

Restaurant Startup pits Bastianich and Love against each other as they "vie to invest their own money" in restaurant concepts they believe could be successful. There is no word on if consultant Waylynn Lucas (of Bravo's Eat, Drink, Love) — who worked with contestants on the show — will return. The final episode of season one airs tonight on CNBC.

The Futon Critic

posted 8/26/14

"Yo Soy El Artista": September 14
Lucero to Host
From TV by the Numbers
Telemundo announced that the much anticipated mega-reality show "Yo Soy El Artista" (I Am the Artist), will premiere on Sunday, September 14th at 8pm/7c. Hosted by international star Lucero, the reality show will air simultaneously in the U.S. on Telemundo and throughout Latin America on the cable networks E! and Telemundo Internacional. A select panel of celebrity judges, including Luis Fonsi, Olga Tañon, Mario Quintero Lara, Stephanie Himonidis ‘La Chiquibaby’ and Boris Izaguirre, along with 100 international social media influencers, will vote on contestants from around the country, who will have to sing, dance and demonstrate star quality and showmanship, in an intense 13-week competition, where the winner will be named the ultimate true "Artist."

International Latin music idol Juan Luis Guerra, winner of top industry awards, will be the special guest star during premiere night, bringing his music and unique flair to the stage of this innovative competition.

From the more than 4,000 people that participated in auditions in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Houston, Chicago, Orlando and Puerto Rico, only 120 contestants were preselected to travel to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida to take part in the competition, which will include three phases: Auditions, Selection and Galas.

TV by the Numbers

posted 8/26/14

Fashion Star Shoots to China
Dragon TV to Air "The Goddesses' New Clothes"
From The Futon Critic
Multimedia entertainment studio Electus, an operating business of IAC (Nasdaq: IACI), today announced that it is co-producing 10 episodes of The Goddesses' New Clothes with Dragon TV, Hitao and Blue Flame. The show, based on the U.S. show Fashion Star, premiered on Dragon TV on Saturday, August 23.

In The Goddesses' New Clothes six female celebrities will design and model "themed" clothes with the help of professional designers to win orders from shop owners at tmall.com--one of China's largest e-commerce sites. The show will continue in its current slot, airing on Saturday nights at 9:15pm.

"Fashion Star attracted audiences and advertisers in a never before seen way," said Cyrus Farrokh, VP of Distribution at Electus. "By co-producing The Goddesses' New Clothes we were able to localize the Fashion Star format with much more success than we could have done with only a format deal."

Airing on NBC from 2012-2013, the original format gave 12 eager young designers the chance to win a multi-million dollar prize of launching their original collections in three of the nation's largest fashion retailers. Fashion Star is currently airing on Vietnam's VTV3.

The Futon Critic

posted 8/26/14

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "Emmy Comes A-Calling II"

  • Billy on the Street... on the Emmys (Entertainment Weekly)
  • "Bachelor" contestant denied a third leave of absence, goes from media ho to nobody (Wilkes-Barre Citizen's Voice)
  • Former "Card Sharks" dealer Markie Post (yeah, the Night Court lady) returns to NBC on "Chicago PD" (Entertainment Weekly)
  • FIRST LOOKS: Hell's Kitchen (Fox, September 10) (WRAZ Raleigh) and Celebrity Squares (ITV, September 10) (ITV)
  • Jon Bauman does what he does best... and it's not host "Hollywood Squares" (Syracuse.com)
  • YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS S#*! UP!: Countdown has orgasmed. Again (Daily Mirror)

posted 8/25/14

TPIR Wants More Men
Second Male Model Search Is On!
From Zap2it
On the heels of Rob Wilson becoming "The Price Is Right's" first male model, the CBS daytime staple has decided to hold a national competition for another handsome lad to join the usual bevvy of beauties showing off the fancy cars and exotic trips.

The search will begin Sept 6. in Spartanburg, S.C., followed by open calls in cities, including Los Angeles, Boston and Dallas, to find a male model who can do it all. Hopefuls will be judged on their sense of humor, red carpet skills and, of course, their ability to show off a car, all in the hopes of earning a modeling gig on the show, hosted by Drew Carey.

The search will air as a six-episode web series competition and fans will be able to cast their vote for the winner. At the conclusion of the web series, the final three contestants will be revealed on "The Talk," with fans being able to vote online for their favorite. The grand prize winner will be announced on Monday, Dec. 8 and begin his week-long modeling gig on Monday, Dec. 15 in Los Angeles.

If you can't make it to an open casting call, never fear -- there are online auditions as well. For audition dates and locations as well as additional contest info, go to Priceisright.com.

Los Angeles Times
Broadway World
TV by the Numbers

posted 8/25/14

Sunday: Falling Star
ABC's Talent Show Ends, But Football Wins
From Deadline
One night before the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards and with the MTV VMAs on plus some finales on cable, it was still a pretty packed house on the Big 4 on Sunday. With only Fox in full repeats after some football overruns, there was the NFL preseason game on NBC that pushed the Emmys to a Monday for the first time since 1976 and there was some reality taking a bow and some more unscripted heading towards its final month of this season. Though West Coast votes didn’t really count, they declared a winner last night on the freshman season of Rising Star (0.9/3). With judge Brad Paisley performing with the final four contestants, fellow judge Kesha bringing rainbow hair to the screen and judge Ludacris doing his thing, the live 1-hour broadcast was up 13% among adults 18-49 from its August 17 show. While that’s the second double digit growth in as many weeks for the highly hyped competition show, it is down 40% from RS’s June 22 2-hour debut in what has been a very unsteady first season for the as of yet not renewed show. While Rising Star was up on the competitive night, its lead-in Wipeout (0.7/3) fell a hard 22% from the week before to hit a series low according to preliminary numbers.

Heading into the beginning of the football season next week, last night’s game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Arizona Cardinals saw the former winning their first preseason after there previous losses. Scoring a touchdown for NBC, last night’s 8:15 – 11 PM ET game got a 4.8/8 rating in meter markets. That’s up 17% from last week’s Carolina Panthers vs. Kansas City Chiefs game. However, the preliminary rating of 1.9/6 that the Bengals and Cardinals game pulled in last night was a dip of 9% from the 2.1/7 that last week’s game got in final numbers among the 18-49s. Last night’s game was also down the same from the 2.1/6 that the comparable Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49s last August 25 received. That game last year went up to a 2.7/6 in final numbers. As always with live events like football games, expect an adjustment in today’s final numbers. With a Dateline special at 7 PM getting a 1.2/5, NBC’s total winning rating for the night was a 1.8/6. The network topped viewership as well with 6.54 million watching.

They might not want to see any adjustments over on CBS. With a 14% rising over its August 17 show, Big Brother (2.5/8) hit a season high last night. That’s a high among not just 18-49s but also viewers with an audience of 7.26 million and adults 25-54 with a 2.9 for the 1-hour show. The rest of CBS’s night wasn’t half bad either with Unforgettable (0.9/3) rising 13% over last week and Reckless (0.5/2) remaining even with its August 17 show. Unfortunately for the latter, that preliminary rating means it tied a low.

Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 8/25/14

Monday Lightning Round
... or "Emmy Comes A-Calling"

posted 8/25/14

"Food Truck Face Off": October 2
Jesse Palmer to Host
From The Futon Critic
Four talented teams compete to make their culinary dreams come true by winning their very own customized food truck for a year on new series Food Truck Face Off, premiering Thursday, October 2nd at 8:00pm ET/PT on Food Network. On each of the 13 episodes, hosted by Jesse Palmer,four teams present their unique food truck concepts to an expert panel of judges. Based on the viability and quality of their ideas, two teams will be selected to face off in an intense two-day showdown. The team that earns the most will drive away with the grand prize!

"With the popularity of food truck fare, and after five successful seasons of The Great Food Truck Race, the food truck industry continues to draw passionate food entrepreneurs," said Bob Tuschman, General Manager and Senior Vice President Programming, Food Network. "Food Truck Face Off provides the opportunity for aspiring food truck owners to realize their dreams in a heart-pounding culinary competition that tests every skill needed to succeed, including creativity, business savvy and, of course, culinary skills."

Throughout the season, the four teams must impress radio and television personality Steak Shapiro and restaurateur Alpana Singh (The Boarding House), as well as a rotating panel of guest judges including, Andrew Gruel (Slapfish Restaurant), Robyn Almodovar (Palate Party) and Zane Caplansky (Caplansky's Deli and Thunderin' Thelma), with their food truck concepts. Then, the two remaining teams must put their ideas to the test on the streets of North America. On the first day, it is truck-against-truck. The team with the tastiest food, best service and most pleasing presentation is awarded a critical special advantage during the final round. On the last day, the competition fuels up as the trucks must face off not only against each other, but against other local food trucks. The team with the highest profits at the end of the two days will be crowned winner, and will drive away with their own food truck for one full year!

Don't miss as all the delicious action unfolds! Fans can visit FoodNetwork.com/FaceOff all season long for behind-the-scenes photos and more from the competition, as well as connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FoodTruckFaceOff.

After five seasons as a quarterback in the National Football League for the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers, Jesse Palmer's broadcast career began as a studio analyst for CSTV, and later for Fox Sports Net and Fox Sports, providing commentary for college football and NFL games. Outside the sports arena, Jesse has co-hosted ABC's Live with Kelly, The View, contributed on The Chew, and hosted Food Network Canada's Recipe to Riches. In 2008, Palmer became an analyst for ESPN College Football Primetime, joining announcer Chris Fowler and analyst Craig James in the booth. In addition to the Thursday night games, he served as a studio analyst on College Football Live. A few years later, Palmer added ABC Studio analyst to his duties, joining longtime analyst John Saunders in providing pregame, halftime and postgame analysis for every ABC telecast college football game. Jesse currently appears on ESPN's Thursday Night College Football and will be appearing on the new SEC Network.

Food Truck Face Off is produced by Peace Point Entertainment Group.

The Futon Critic

posted 8/22/14

Thursday: Julie Challenges Every Big Brother Player Ever
And CBS Challenges for the Night
From The Futon Critic
CBS (5.926 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.5, #1) was the network to beat on Thursday with its mix of "The Big Bang Theory" (7.997 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.7, #2), "Mom" (6.384 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.5, #3), "Big Brother 16" (6.968 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.3, #1) and "Elementary" (3.619 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T8).

ABC (4.683 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.0, #2) then took home the silver with new episodes of "The Quest" (2.704 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T8), "Rookie Blue" (5.202 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.0, #5) and the season finale of "Rookie Blue" (6.144 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.2, #4).

Next up was FOX (2.822 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T3) with repeats of "Bones" (2.447 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T12) and another "Bones" (3.198 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T6).

Meanwhile, NBC (2.767 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T3) served up its combination of "Hollywood Game Night" (3.686 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T6), "Welcome to Sweden" (2.431 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T8), another "Welcome to Sweden" (2.082 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T8) and "America's Got Talent" (2.359 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.6, #T12).

And finally, repeats of "The Vampire Diaries" (0.631 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.2, #T14) and "The Originals" (0.540 million viewers, #15; adults 18-49: 0.2, #T14) on The CW (0.585 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.2, #5) closed out the night.

On cable, Lifetime's "Project Runway" led the troops with 2.366 million viewers. "Beat Bobby Flay" gave Food 1.159 million viewers. MTV's "Snack-Off" had 689,000 at 10:30, while the recent controversy behind "Dating Naked" did little for its rating, 535,000 total.

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers
Showbuzz Daily
And since we promised you a challenge... YouTube

posted 8/22/14

Sky Gets Wild
"Wild Things" Blends Cosplay with Obstacle Course
From Broadcast
Sky has ordered a cosplay gameshow and a Christmas drama alongside a trio of acquisitions, including The Flash.

The pay-TV broadcaster has commissioned Wild Things, a 6 x 60-minute format that features couples undertaking a range of challenges dressed as squirrels on a woodland obstacle course.

The show is produced by Zodiak-owned IWC and Mad Monk, which is Banzai creator Gary Monaghan’s indie, in association with GroupM Entertainment. Wild Things is planned to air on Sundays following The Simpsons in a teatime slot.

Speaking at the Edinburgh International TV Festival, Sky 1 director Adam MacDonald said that the show was the “silliest” thing it was doing and was a “daft slice of genius”.

TBI Vision
The Guardian
Digital Spy
TV Wise

posted 8/22/14

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

  • CASTING COUCH: "The Chase" season 4 (ChaseCasting.com)
  • FIRST LOOK: "The Voice" season 7 (The Hollywood Reporter)
  • Billy on "The Millers" (Entertainment Weekly)
  • YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS $#*! UP!: former "Jeopardy!", "Millionaire" contestant arrested for breaking into lawmaker's home and beating on his wife (WCVB Boston)
  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: "Two Tribes"... by a woman who hates quiz shows. (The Independent)
  • VIDEO WALL: It's The 90s Are All That! Night with the Brooklyn Cyclones (BrooklynCyclones.com) plus Tom Bergeron (Twitter: @Tom_Bergeron) and a Top Chef (People) get wet
  • PROGRAMMING NOTE: ABC O&Os shuffle "Millionaire", "Daytime Jeopardy!" for the afternoon (Soap Opera Network)
  • CASTING COUCH: MasterChef (The Futon Critic)
  • If you're a fan of Bob Barker... Watch "The Bold & the Beautiful" next Thursday! (TV Guide)
  • "Only Connect" connects from BBC4 to BBC2 starting September 1 (Wales Online)
  • Paul Sinha: "The Chase" can't survive without Bradley Walsh. Brooke Burns begs to differ (Radio Times)
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Craig Tracy (Channel Guide)

posted 8/22/14

GSN's Double Play
"The Chase", "It Takes a Church" Renewed for 2015
From The Futon Critic
GSN, the leader in game shows and competitive entertainment, announced today it has picked up additional seasons of two original series: Emmy(R)-nominated THE CHASE (season four, 20 episodes) and matchmaking competition show IT TAKES A CHURCH (season two, eight episodes). Both seasons will air in 2015.

THE CHASE, hosted by Brooke Burns, features the brilliant and intimidating Mark Labbett (aka "The Beast") who faces down contestants in the ultimate trivia challenge. One of GSN's most popular original series, THE CHASE has attracted more than 18 million total viewers since its premiere in August 2013. Throughout its season three run, the series has posted impressive ratings growth among P18-49 (+52%), P25-54 (+56%), W25-54 (+36%), W18-49 (+30%), with total viewership up 37%, vs. GSN's year-to-date time period average.

Dating series IT TAKES A CHURCH, which premiered in June, features Christian congregations across the U.S. in a matchmaking competition to help one unattached fellow congregant find his or her partner. Hosted by Grammy(R) nominated Curb recording artist Natalie Grant, each one-hour episode features a church from a different region of the country. In its inaugural season, more than seven million viewers tuned into IT TAKES A CHURCH. The show delivered triple-digit growth among W18-34 (+100%) and W18-49 (+117%), and double-digit growth among W25-54 (+94%), P18-49 (+92%) and P25-54 (+72%), vs. GSN's year-to-date time period average.

"'The Chase' and 'It Takes a Church' reflect GSN's commitment to programming all types of game, from shiny floor to competition elimination," said Amy Introcaso-Davis, executive vice president, programming, at GSN. "We're delighted with the quality, reach and growth of these two original series."

The Futon Critic
The Hollywood Reporter

GSN has renewed "The Chase" & "It Takes a Church"
photo courtesy GSN

posted 8/21/14

It's Official: Julianne Hough Heading BACK to "Dancing"
This Time, She's a Judge
From The Futon Critic
Two-time "Dancing" champion, actress, musician and Emmy(R)-nominated choreographer Julianne Hough returns to the ballroom as a fourth judge on this season of "Dancing with the Stars," premiering MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 (8:00-10:00 p.m., ET/PT) on ABC. Hough will judge alongside resident judges Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli.

As previously announced, the twelve professional dancers competing this season for the Mirrorball Trophy are Mark Ballas, Cheryl Burke, Witney Carson, Artem Chigvintsev, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani, Allison Holker, Derek Hough, Keo Motsepe, Peta Murgatroyd, Emma Slater and Karina Smirnoff. The professional dancers will be paired with a brand new cast of celebrities, announced live on "Good Morning America" on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 (7:00-9:00 a.m., ET).

Julianne Hough said today, "I'm so excited to be back with my "Dancing with the Stars" family again on a regular basis. I've always aspired to be an all-around entertainer, whether I'm acting, dancing or singing, and I'm thrilled for this opportunity that will allow me to continue all of those pursuits. Derek and I just finished our Move Live on Tour, which reminded me how much I miss the interaction with the dance fans that have been so supportive of me in my career. I am warming up the paddles and the sass, and I'm ready to have fun in this new role."

Executive Producer, Rob Wade stated, "We are delighted to welcome Julianne back to the DWTS family. Her blend of ballroom dancing experience and unique judging ability make her the ideal choice for the show, and we are very excited to have her, Carrie Ann, Bruno and Len on board."

The Futon Critic

posted 8/21/14

Wednesday: Big Eyes
CBS, NBC Split Night
From The Futon Critic
CBS (5.913 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.4, #1) was the top demo draw on Wednesday with its mix of "Big Brother 16" (6.582 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 2.3, #1), "Extant" (5.505 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.0, #6) and a second "Extant" (5.652 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T7).

NBC (6.572 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.3, #2) then claimed the silver with its combination of "America's Got Talent" (5.599 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #5) recap, "America's Got Talent" (9.188 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.8, #2) and "Taxi Brooklyn" (4.928 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T7).

Next up was ABC (3.554 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T3) with repeats of "The Middle" (3.265 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T7), "The Goldbergs" (3.079 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T7), "Modern Family" (3.549 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T3), another "Modern Family" (3.836 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 1.2, #T3) and a new "Motive" (3.798 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.8, #12).

Meanwhile, FOX (3.363 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T3) offered up a new "So You Think You Can Dance" (3.363 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T7).

And finally, The CW (1.094 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.4, #5) closed out the evening with a new "Penn & Teller: Fool Us" (1.720 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.6, #13) and a repeat "The 100" (0.467 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.2, #14).

"Top Chef: Duels" had a tasty 762,000 to "Skin Wars'" 725,000, a series high on cable.

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
Showbuzz Daily
TV by the Numbers

posted 8/21/14

... Oh, HI, ITV!
ITV Greenlights "You're Back in the Room"
From TV Wise
ITV has given the greenlight to You’re Back In The Room, a four-part game show which sees contestants hypnotised before they attempt seemingly simple tasks.

You’re Back In The Room is being hosted by Phlilip Schofield and sees five contestants hypnotised by mentalist Keith Barry. The seeming straight-forward tasks they need to complete only become harder as their hypnotic triggers cause them to inadvertently sabotage their chances of winning.

The four-part series was commissioned by ITV’s Director of Entertainment & Comedy Elaine Bedell and ITV’s Comedy Commissioning Editor Claire Zolkwer and is being produced by Tuesday’s Child. The series producers are Chris Lore and Marc Bassett, while Karen Smith is set to executive produce.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be launching a completely fresh, brand new format. This series is totally original and unlike anything I’ve ever hosted before”, said Phillip Schofield. “From making the pilot, the contestants are undoubtedly the stars of the show; their reactions are bizarre, hilarious, completely unpredictable and always thoroughly entertaining.”

While ITV’s Comedy Commissioning Editor Claire Zolkwer added: “We are thrilled to have Phillip on board for this unique and exciting new show. It’s entertainment the whole family can enjoy and I’m looking forward to seeing the contestants in action.”

TV Wise
The List
Digital Spy

posted 8/21/14

Top Chef Returns to the Heat October 15
Former Champ Richard Blais to Recur as Judge
From TV by the Numbers
Bravo Media’s Emmy and James Beard Award-winning series “Top Chef” will premiere its 12th season in Boston on Wednesday, October 15th at 10PM ET/PT. Returning to the judges table for the new season in New England are head judge Tom Colicchio, judges Gail Simmons, Hugh Acheson and host Padma Lakshmi. For the first time ever, a “Top Chef” winner is joining the judging panel. Richard Blais will make his debut as a recurring judge offering the chef’testants guidance from a chef and a former competitor’s point of view. For a sneak peak at season 12, visit http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/season-12/videos/top-chef-goes-to-boston.

This season features some of the franchise’s “hungriest” chefs battling it out against the backdrop of Bean Town’s flourishing culinary scene. The chefs will go knife-to-knife at iconic Boston locales including Fenway Park, Plimoth Plantation and The Bull and Finch Pub, which served as the inspiration for “Cheers” and where exterior shots for the show were filmed. Mirroring Boston’s own rich history, Season 12 is full of firsts, including the first meal ever served on the field underneath the Green Monster, a challenge using only ingredients that would have been on hand at the first Thanksgiving meal, the first “Top Chef” food festival and the first fan appreciation challenge where fans of the show were invited to dine inside the “Top Chef” kitchen. The show will also feature a challenge highlighting Boston’s finest from the police and fire departments.

The stakes are higher than ever as “Top Chef” introduces sudden death Quickfire challenges that occur without warning throughout the season and a fiery judges table that puts every chef on the spot. The chefs will be tasked with serving up food for top entertainers, culinary stars and celebrity guest judges including: actress Emmy Rossum, Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski of the New England Patriots, MLB Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley, actor George Wendt (Norm from “Cheers”), “Watch What Happens Live” host Andy Cohen, Todd English, Barbara Lynch, Jasper White, Ming Tsai, Jacques Pépin, Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonette.

The chef’testants will bring out their knives as they battle it out for $125,000 furnished by Healthy Choice, a feature in FOOD & WINE magazine, a showcase at the annual FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen and the title of “Top Chef.”

TV by the Numbers
Boston Globe
Atlanta Journal Constitution

posted 8/21/14

Sports Jeopardy!: September 24
Catch It on Crackle!
From The Futon Critic
Crackle announced today that the first season of new television quiz show Sports Jeopardy! with Dan Patrick will premiere on Wednesday, September 24 on Crackle and all Crackle platforms. Hosted by Emmy(R)-Award winning sportscaster Dan Patrick (The Dan Patrick Show), Sports Jeopardy! is a weekly 30-minute program that combines the excitement and prestige of Emmy Award(R) winning quiz show JEOPARDY! with the rich and diverse world of sports. New episodes will be available to stream on demand year round every Wednesday for a total of 52 episodes each year.

"We've got a great starting lineup for the debut of Sports Jeopardy! on September 24," said Sports Jeopardy! host Dan Patrick. "It's the only game show that rewards you for the hours you spend on your couch watching sports and being anti-social, so reward yourself, tune in, and play along."

More than 30,000 contestants registered online for auditions held this past summer in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Dallas, Chicago and New York. Each contestant was then presented with a qualifying test of 30 clues in 30 sports-related categories for the first phase of the audition process. For those who passed that initial test, the second phase of auditions featured mock game play and a short interview. Qualified contestants who passed the test and interview and met all eligibility requirements went on to appear on the show.

Sports Jeopardy! is produced by Sony Pictures Television, a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.

For more information about Sports Jeopardy! with Dan Patrick, please visit sportsjeopardy.com

The Futon Critic
The Hollywood Reporter
Sports Illustrated
Awful Announcing

Dan Patrick hosts "Sports Jeopardy!" for Crackle September 24
photo courtesy Premiered Radio Networks

posted 8/21/14

Thursday Lightning Round
... or "Undressed"

  • ICYMI: "Dating Naked" gets even more naked, and the even-more-naked woman in question is filing suit (New York Post)
  • VIDEO WALL: Les Moonves challenges Julie Chen (YouTube) and Craig Ferguson challenges Dave Attell & Bob Saget (Mobypicture)
  • Pharrell Williams getting sued for bolting YouTube for "The Voice".... Really? (TMZ)
  • Padma Lakshmi gets roasted by Teamsters (Deadline)
  • Carson Daly welcomes a third child (People)
  • ZOMBIES IN LOVE... Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon (People)
  • CASTING COUCH: MasterChef (The Futon Critic)
  • If you're a fan of Bob Barker... Watch "The Bold & the Beautiful" next Thursday! (TV Guide)
  • "Only Connect" connects from BBC4 to BBC2 starting September 1 (Wales Online)
  • Paul Sinha: "The Chase" can't survive without Bradley Walsh. Brooke Burns begs to differ (Radio Times)
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Craig Tracy (Channel Guide)

posted 8/21/14

Tuesday: Consistency Is Key
NBC Wins Night, Week 2 of "IdioTest"
From various sources
NBC (7.803 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.6, #1) was still the network to beat on Tuesday with new episodes of "Food Fighters" (4.635 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T2) and "America's Got Talent" (9.388 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.9, #1).

CBS (7.096 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T2) then claimed the silver with repeats of "NCIS" (9.028 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T2), "NCIS: Los Angeles" (7.027 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T5) and "Person of Interest" (5.235 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T7).

Next up was ABC (3.490 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T2) with originals from "Extreme Weight Loss" (3.372 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.9, #4) and "20/20: From Hell" (3.727 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 0.8, #T5).

Meanwhile, FOX (1.338 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 0.6, #4) offered up second runs of "Family Guy" (1.899 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T7), "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" (1.404 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 0.6, #9), "New Girl" (1.060 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 0.5, #10) and "The Mindy Project" (0.989 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.4, #11).

And finally, repeats of "Arrow" (0.772 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.3, #12) and "Supernatural" (0.637 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.2, #13) on The CW (0.704 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.2, #5) closed out the night.

In series premiere news, Syfy's Wizard Wars proved magical in its premiere, conjuring up 1.015 million total viewers on Tuesday, August 19 from 10-11PM (ET/PT). The series also averaged 573K Adults 25-54, 552K Adults 18-49 and 240K Adults 18-34. This led out of 1.221 million for Face Off. Over on Food, Chopped competed with 1.45 million.

Elsewhere, Restaurant Startup catered to 324,000. The Chase on GSN rose to a season high with 596,000. Week 2 of IdioTest held steady at 429,000. 

The Futon Critic
The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily
Showbuzz Daily
TV Media Insights

posted 8/20/14

DON PARDO: 1918-2014
Legendary Voice of "Jeopardy!", "SNL"
From Los Angeles Times
Don Pardo, the legendary NBC announcer whose deep, resonant voice was heard for more than three decades on "Saturday Night Live," has died. He was 96.

Pardo died Monday evening, according to NBC spokesman Rich Licata. The cause was not given, but Pardo reportedly broke a hip last year.

After launching his broadcasting career at a small radio station in Providence, R.I., Pardo began his six-decade tenure as a staff announcer at NBC in New York City in 1944.

He was an announcer for radio shows such as "Front Page Farrell" and "Pepper Young's Family" before moving into the new medium of television, where he was an announcer for shows ranging from "Caesar's Hour" and "The Kate Smith Evening Hour" to the original versions of "The Price is Right" and "Jeopardy!"

On Nov. 22, 1963, it was Pardo who delivered the audio news bulletin to NBC TV viewers, first locally in New York and then nationally, that President Kennedy had been shot in downtown Dallas.

His longest-running announcing gig began Oct. 11, 1975, when NBC launched what it originally called "NBC's Saturday Night," with George Carlin as the first guest host: a live, 90-minute mix of youthfully irreverent comedy and music that became a TV institution that continues to this day.

On that first show — after cast member Chevy Chase uttered the now-famous "Live from New York. It's Saturday Night!" at the end of the opening skit — the jazzy musical theme and opening credits began as veteran announcer Pardo intoned in his authoritative yet friendly voice:

" 'NBC's Saturday Night.' Starring George Carlin. With Janis Ian and Billy Preston. A film by Albert Brooks. Jim Henson's Muppets. The Not for Ready Prime Time Players. And comedians Valri Bromfield, Andy Kaufman. Ladies and gentleman, George Carlin!"

Illustrating the unpredictability of live television, Pardo had made one flub in his intro.

As he recalled in a 2006 videotaped interview for the Archive of American Television: "[Writer] Herb Sargent, I'll never forget, came to me after the show. He says, `Do you know what you said? You said 'Not for Ready.' I says, "I did?"

Noting in the interview that he had said "Not Ready for Prime Time Players" correctly in the dress rehearsal, he recalled: "In the early days [of the show], I was like in a little hallway; it wasn't a studio per se. I was there with a clipboard, and that was it. Maybe I got distracted by something. Whatever it was, I don't know."

The show, which was renamed "Saturday Night Live" in 1977, became a star-making success. And, with the exception of the seventh season when changes were made and he was replaced, Pardo continued to be the show's announcer.

In the process, the already well-known announcer became something of a celebrity himself, appearing occasionally on screen, including joining musical guest Frank Zappa on the song "I'm the Slime" in 1976.

Pardo, whose career included countless commercial voiceovers, also made a cameo appearance in the Weird Al Yankovic music video for his 1984 song "I Lost on Jeopardy," and he had a bit part as the "Guess That Tune" host in Woody Allen's 1987 movie comedy "Radio Days."

Even after retiring as an NBC staff announcer in 2004 and moving to Tucson, he continued to fly to New York to announce "Saturday Night Live" at the request of "SNL" creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels, who has said he couldn't imagine the show without Pardo.

Joining the cast on stage at the end of a "Saturday Night Live" show in 2008, the day after he turned 90, Pardo received a kiss from former SNL head writer and performer Tina Fey and managed to summon the breath to blow out all 90 candles on a birthday cake.

Michaels said that he originally chose Pardo to announce the youthfully irreverent comedy show because he "was very much an announcer" and he wanted "that authority voice."

In 2010, Pardo was inducted into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.

He was born Dominick George Pardo on Feb. 22, 1918, in Westfield, Mass., and primarily grew up in Norwich, Conn.

Los Angeles Times
The Hollywood Reporter
USA Today
AV Club
Wall Street Journal
Geeks of Doom
Kelowna Daily Courier

photo courtesy Splitsider

posted 8/20/14

Wednesday Lightning Round
... or "All-In"

  • LIST ABUSE: every moment Alex Trebek rapped (Music Times)
  • Boris Izaguirre joins "Yo Soy el Artista" as a judge (TV by the Numbers)
  • DEFINING MOMENT OF AWESOME: first person to go all the way on "Let's Ask America" ... goes all the way (Instagram @letsaskamerica)

posted 8/20/14

Monday: Ninjas vs. Chefs. Winner: EVERYONE.
NBC, Fox Tie in the Demo
From the Futon Critic
NBC (5.490 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T1) and FOX (4.874 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 1.7, #T1) shared top demo honors on Monday as the former served up new episodes of "MasterChef" (5.703 million viewers, #3; adults 18-49: 2.0, #1) and "Hotel Hell" (4.046 million viewers, #10; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T3).

The Peacock then served up originals from "Running Wild with Bear Grylls" (4.258 million viewers, #9; adults 18-49: 1.2, #6) and "American Ninja Warrior" (6.106 million viewers, #2; adults 18-49: 1.9, #2).

Next up was CBS (5.503 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T3) with repeats of "2 Broke Girls" (4.495 million viewers, #7; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T8), "Mom" (4.266 million viewers, #8; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T8), "Mike & Molly" (4.916 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.0, #7) and "Two and a Half Men" (4.884 million viewers, #6; adults 18-49: 0.9, #T8) plus a new "Under the Dome" (7.229 million viewers, #1; adults 18-49: 1.5, #T3).

Meanwhile, ABC (4.356 million viewers, #4; adults 18-49: 1.1, #T3) offered up fresh installments of "Bachelor in Paradise" (4.886 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 1.3, #5) and "Mistresses" (3.297 million viewers, #11; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T11).

And finally, a new "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.676 million viewers, #13; adults 18-49: 0.6, #13), a repeat "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" (1.932 million viewers, #12; adults 18-49: 0.7, #T11) and the return of "America's Next Top Model" (1.182 million viewers, #14; adults 18-49: 0.5, #14) on The CW (1.493 million viewers, #5; adults 18-49: 0.6, #5) closed out the night.

The Futon Critic
Showbuzz Daily

posted 8/19/14

Syndies: While We Were in Vegas...
Results for the Week Ending August 10
From TV News Check
The game show race continued to be a nail biter in the week ending Aug. 10, as Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune both declined and fell into a dead heat. A week ago, Jeopardy upset the usually dominant Wheel for only the second time in 10 years.

At the top of the overall ratings chart, however, Judge Judy forged ahead and was syndication’s runaway No. 1, winning by the widest margin in the show’s 18-year history. Judy, which was entirely in reruns, has now been the highest-rated syndicated show for 20 consecutive weeks.

1. Jeopardy (CTD) 5.5 -5%
1. Wheel of Fortune (CTD) 5.5 -4%
3. Family Feud (Debmar-Mercury) 4.4 -2%
4. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Disney-ABC) 1.9 -5%

TV News Check
TV by the Number

posted 8/19/14

Tuesday Lightning Round
... or "The Wizarding World"

  • BRUTALLY HONEST REVIEW: "Wizard Wars" (Syfy, tonight) (New York Times)
  • Simon Cowell takes the ALS ice bucket challenge. In typical. Simon Cowell. Fashion. (Twitter @SimonCowell)
  • LIST ABUSE: all 20 seasons of America's Next Top Model... annotated and ranked (The Wire)
  • The votes are in... and "Big Brother" is getting sued (TMZ)
  • Is Julianne Hough headed to the judge's table? After "Rock of Ages", I'd seriously consider it (TMZ)
  • LEAVE GUY FIERI ALONE! The real problem with Food Network? Talk to Bob Tuschman. (Salon)
  • A FEW GOOD MINUTES with Erin Andrews, "the new Ryan Seacrest" (Fox News)

posted 8/19/14

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