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Tag: Industry News (1-10 of 25)

Al Jazeera taking over Current TV

Long-struggling news network Current TV has been acquired by Al Jazeera, the massive Middle East news corporation which has variously earned praise and attracted controversy for its coverage.

According to The New York Times, Al Jazeera plans to create a completely new channel — tentatively called Al Jazeera America — which will feature 60 percent original programming. (The rest will be provided by Al Jazeera’s English-language channel, headquartered in Qatar.)  The acquisition marks the end of the Current TV experiment — the network was founded in 2005 and appeared poised for a major leap in viewership after it hired Keith Olbermann in 2011, but that plan backfired, to put it mildly.

This season broadcast networks feature most gay characters in TV history, says GLAAD report

After a decrease last year, the number of LGBT characters on the five broadcast networks has risen to the highest ever recorded, according to the “Where We Are on TV” report released today by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. The report released today lauded the cable networks for also increasing their overall LGBT character count this year, too.

Which networks are the most inclusive? After Fox lead the broadcast networks last year, ABC — with shows like comedy Happy Endings (above) featuring gay characters — has been named as the most gay-friendly network, with 10 of 194 (5.2 percent) regular characters identifying as LGBT. Over on cable, last year’s victor HBO was dethroned by Showtime, which this year had 12 LGBT characters, seven of which are series regulars on shows like Shameless and Weeds.

“This year’s increase of LGBT characters on television reflects a cultural change in the way gay and lesbian people are seen in our society,” says GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “More and more Americans have come to accept their LGBT family members, friends, coworkers, and peers, and as audiences tune into their favorite programs, they expect to see the same diversity of people they encounter in their daily lives.”

The report — which studied 97 broadcast shows, as well as cable offerings — also delivered a slew of other facts and figures. EW has pulled out the most fascinating tidbits for you here:

• LGBT characters account for 4.4 percent of scripted series regulars on the broadcast networks in 2012-13. This is up from 2.9 percent in 2011, 3.9 percent in 2009, 2.6 percent in 2008, and 1.1 percent in 2007.

• There are a total of 31 LGBT characters on the five broadcast networks, as well as 19 recurring characters.

• ABC leads the broadcast networks with 10 of 194 characters (5.2 percent). Fox is in second with six of 118 (5.1 percent), followed by The CW with four of 81 (4.9 percent), NBC with seven of 166 (4.2 percent), and CBS with four of 142 (2.8 percent). The report singles out CBS’ “authentic and conscious effort” to increase diversity, as it is up from 0.7 percent LGBT characters last season.

• Regular LGBT characters on scripted cable television also rose this year to 35 (up from 29) for the 2012-13 season.

• Showtime leads the cable pack, with 12 total characters, seven of whom are regulars. The runners up include: HBO (9 characters), FX (8), Adult Swim (5), and ABC Family, MTV, Syfy, and TeenNick (4 each).

• As it was in 2010 and 2011, HBO’s True Blood is the most inclusive show on cable television with six gay, lesbian, or bisexual characters.

• GLAAD also analyzed the race/ethnicity and gender demographics of all 701 series regular characters in primetime television. There are more males (55.5 percent) to females (44.5 percent), and 78 percent of all series regulars are white. Compared to last year, African American representation has increased from 9.9 percent to 12 percent, followed by Latino (4.1 percent) and Asian-Pacific Islander (4.7 percent).

• Of the 31 announced LGBT regular characters in the 2012-13 season, 11 are people of color (35.5 percent). GLAAD counted seven regular or recurring black LGBT characters on broadcast television, up from zero last year.

• Lastly, GLAAD counted people with disabilities, of which there are four (0.6 percent) regular characters on broadcast television.

The full “Where We Are on TV” report can be viewed on the GLAAD website.

Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky

Read more:
GLAAD lauds The CW, ‘Modern Family’ for treatment of gay characters
Fox, HBO most gay-friendly networks on television, says GLAAD
NBC’s ‘The New Normal’ pilot available online
Kermit’s no longer a fan of Chick-Fil-A
Shonda Rhimes wins GLAAD awards

Glenn Beck returns to TV on his very own channel

Jon Stewart, it’s time to dust off that chalkboard.

Former Fox News host Glenn Beck is returning to television on his very own 24-hour satellite channel: TheBlaze TV, named after the live streaming video arm of Beck’s website (formerly known as GBTV). Beck’s new venture launches on Dish Network today, which also happens to be TheBlaze TV online’s one-year anniversary. was launched two summers ago, before Beck left Fox in June 2011.

Beck’s video site has attracted over 300,000 paying subscribers, according to Blaze CEO Christopher Balfe. The TV channel will be available to Dish subscribers both as a part of the provider’s 250 channel package or as an à la carte purchase for $5 a month. In a letter on, Balfe hints that other providers will soon follow Dish’s lead.


'Community' moving to Fridays this fall


Brace yourselves, Community fans.

The series is moving to Friday nights this fall.

The upside: Community will now have the perfect hit comedy lead in: Whitney!

“I know that most people in our industry think Friday is a graveyard but we don’t really believe that,” NBC’s entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt told on Sunday about the move. “If you don’t build it they won’t come. We got some traction with Grimm, it’s the No. 1 18-49 on Fridays. We thought if we have a base there, let’s see if we can give Grimm a lead-in with these shows that actually have fan bases — including Whitney.” READ FULL STORY

NBC's 2012-13 fall schedule revealed


The Voice in the fall! Comedy on four weeknights! Community and Whitney on Fridays! Rock Center with Brian Williams somehow still on the air! NBC has just released its fall schedule. (Below).

“We’ve taken a few first steps toward a turnaround over this past season and now we’re seeing a real opportunity to accelerate that process,” said NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt. “We’ve got a lineup of new shows that will really get people to sit up and take notice. And with the Olympics coming this summer and two nights of The Voice in the fall, we’ve also got the tools we need to give our shows the kind of launch they deserve.”

The Voice will not only air in the fall, but will have another spring cycle as well — doubling down on the music competition for the first time and setting the stage for a X Factor vs. The Voice rivalry in a few months (especially if Christina Aguilera returns as a Voice judge and Britney Spears is officially announced as an X Factor judge, as expected). Greenblatt told reporters on a conference call Sunday that he also plans to add the ever-popular spinning chairs from the audition phase into the battle rounds, though wouldn’t reveal further details on that change. (Fox’s fall schedule is here).

Asked about the fate of NBC’s returning comedies, Greenblatt said that, contrary to what’s been widely reported, this is not necessarily the final season of 30 Rock. In fact, none of the NBC comedies, including the modestly rated titles picked up for only 13 episodes, are automatically going into their final season. “As they age [ordering a final season is] something you look at each year, but we haven’t definitively said that to any of them yet,” Greenblatt said. (Details about Community‘s move to Fridays here). READ FULL STORY

'A Gifted Man,' 'Rob' canceled; Patrick Wilson 'couldn't be happier'


A Gifted Man is going to the TV afterlife.

The CBS medical drama, Rob Schneider’s sitcom Rob and crime procedurals NYC-22 and Unforgettable were also cancelled. “So…shocking to no one: A Gifted Man is done,” star Patrick Wilson tweeted. “Found out via email … and not from the network. Stay classy. Thanks to AGM fans! Great cast/crew … Thanks for the AGM love…but now that it’s ‘official,’ I couldn’t be happier. As good as it was (sometimes) it was not what I signed on for.”

Gifted Man wasn’t terribly rated by some Friday show standards (ahem, Fringe), but with with 8.6 million viewers and, more importantly, a 1.4 adult demo rating, it was low-rated by CBS standards. Unforgettable was far from a sure bet for cancellation with its hearty 12.1 million viewers and a 2.5 average. READ FULL STORY

CBS cancels 'CSI: Miami'


“It’s time for Miami … to go into retirement.”


CBS has made its CSI decision: CSI: Miami is being cancelled after a rather incredible 10-season run. CSI: NY is expected to live on for a ninth season, though that’s not official yet.

Though Miami (10.8 million viewers, 2.5 among adults 18-49) had better ratings than NY (10.4 million, 1.9), as we’re sure learning this upfront season, the ratings mattered less than other elements like the show’s time slot (NY was fairly stable in a tougher Friday night gig vs. Miami struggling on Sundays) and the show’s age (the older the series, the more expensive its cast and producer deals).


CBS orders 7 shows: Sherlock Holmes drama, Groupon sitcom, more

CBS pilot verdicts are in: Four dramas, two comedies — including a Sherlock Holmes detective series and sitcom about working at Groupon. The network also picked up a reality show from Mark Burnett.

CBS has given a half-dozen scripted projects series orders for next season, starting with Elementary, a modern-day New York City-based drama series that’s sounded like a no-brainer for the network’s brand since it was first developed. Jonny Lee Miller plays Sherlock, Lucy Liu gives a feminine twist to Watson. Aidan Quinn co-stars.

The network’s most intriguing-sounding new drama is Vegas, a period piece set in the 1960s centered around the true story of Ralph Lamb: rodeo cowboy turned longtime sheriff of Las Vegas. On paper, this one seemed like a long shot given the way fellow recent ’60s-set dramas Pan Am and Playboy Club fared in the ratings. But if you’re going to dip into the past on CBS, you can’t get much safer than doing a Vegas-set crime drama — you could almost call it a CSI prequel. Plus the cast is great: Dennis Quaid is the sheriff, Michael Chiklis is a mob fixer, plus there’s Jason O’Mara and Carrie-Ann Moss. READ FULL STORY

Pat Buchanan and MSNBC part ways

aren’t really appropriate for national dialogue, much less the dialogue on MSNBC.”

“My days as a political analyst at MSNBC have come to an end,” Buchanan wrote yesterday in a lengthy post on The American Conservative website, titled “Blacklisted, but not Beaten.” “After 10 enjoyable years, I am departing, after an incessant clamor from the left that to permit me continued access to the microphones of MSNBC would be an outrage against decency, and dangerous.”

The CW inks five-year streaming deal with Hulu

CBS and Warner Bros. announced today that The CW and Hulu have struck a five-year licensing deal to allow the website to stream CW shows on Hulu and Hulu Plus. This encompasses network tentpoles 90210, America’s Next Top Model, Gossip Girl, Supernatural, and The Vampire Diaries, as well as Ringer, Hart of Dixie, The Secret Circle, and Nikita. Under the agreement, up to five in-season episodes will only be featured on Hulu Plus for eight days following the broadcast, at which point they will be available on the ad-supported free Hulu site. “The CW programming is a great example of the kind of in-season content we want to make available,” said Hulu’s SVP of Content Andy Forssell. “Making these shows available on Hulu and Hulu Plus will allow new and existing fans to get their fix of The CW’s great shows anytime and anywhere.”

Mandy Moore set to star in new ABC comedy, rep confirms

After numerous guest appearances on TV shows, Mandy Moore seems poised to make a more permanent move to the small-screen.

The actress has just signed on to star in the single-camera ABC sitcom, Us and Them, her publicist confirmed Wednesday. READ FULL STORY

Lester Holt replacing Ann Curry as the host of 'Dateline'

When Dateline NBC returns for its 20th season this Friday, it will have a new lead anchor: Lester Holt, previously a Dateline correspondent. As NBC announced today in a press release, Holt — an NBC News fixture who also anchors the weekend editions of NBC Nightly News and Today — replaces Ann Curry, who has already taken over for Meredith Vieira as co-host of Today. The news of Holt’s promotion comes at an evolving moment for NBC News, which recently announced the creation of an original newsmagazine, Rock Center with Brian Williams. Dateline has continued to garner solid ratings on Friday, a night when “solid ratings” earn instant grade inflation to “spectacular.”

Nancy Grace departing 'Swift Justice'

That was swift, indeed: Nancy Grace is exiting her syndicated courtroom series Swift Justice with Nancy Grace after only one season. In a statement released by CBS Television Distribution on Tuesday, Grace attributed her departure to the move of the show’s production to Los Angeles from Atlanta, where she resides with her family and also hosts HLN’s Nancy Grace. “I am so proud of the work we have done on Swift Justice,” she said. “Leaving such a successful show was a tough decision, but, with the increased requirements of the production’s relocation to Los Angeles, it became challenging to balance my most important job — mother to John David and Lucy — back home.”

Grace’s replacement for next season will be Jackie Glass, a state District Court judge from Nevada who presided over O.J. Simpson’s 2008 armed robbery trial. Swift Justice, which recently earned a Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Legal/Courtroom Program category, is this season’s top-rated new first-run syndication series. 


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