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Showtime cancels 'The Borgias'

Showtime has canceled The Borgias, its period drama that stars Jeremy Irons as Pope Alexander VI.

Season-to-date, the drama has been averaging 2.4 million weekly viewers across platforms. The final episode of the drama from Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview with the Vampire) will air on June 16th at 10 p.m. ET/PT. “I never thought I would make a cable series and have enjoyed every minute of it,” said Jordan in a statement. “For a variety of reasons we won’t be doing a fourth season, but, ‘The Prince’ [the final episode], when I wrote it and shot it, did seem like the end of a journey for the family. Whatever bonded them as a family dies in this episode, and the center of the drama for me was always the family.”

Shot entirely on location in Budapest, the series is about the infamous Borgia dynasty and how Alexander VI built his empire by bribing, buying and muscling his way into the papacy. The cast included François Arnaud, Holliday Grainger, Joanne Whalley, Lotte Verbeek, Sean Harris, Thure Lindhart and Gina McKee.

'America's Got Talent' gives NBC a win

NBC’s back-to-back talent shows helped the peacock to take Tuesday in adults 18-49 (3.1 rating/10 share) and viewers (10.9 million), despite their rather unremarkable results.

The Voice was down 6% percent in the demo (3.0/11) to earn its lowest-rated Tuesday results show ever, while the premiere of America’s Got Talent earned a 3.1/9, down 16% from last year’s start (when it had the advantage of bowing mid-May with a 3.7/10). Last night was also AGT’s lowest-rated season premiere ever.

But hey! It actually built on The Voice’s lead-in and was the most-watched show of the night with 11.1 million! So there’s that.

Fox was second for the night in the demo (1.6/5) thanks to its two-hour block of So You Think You Can Dance. ABC tied CBS for third in the demo (.9/3) despite having an original episode of Extreme Weight Loss (1.0/3) at 9. CBS aired back to back repeats of NCIS and NCIS: LA followed by week two of the new series Brooklyn D.A. (.8/2, down 20% from the premiere).

'Good Morning America' pulls away in ratings as 'Today' sinks

Even as Good Morning America solidifies its status as the most popular morning program, ABC isn’t the only network where executives have been smiling lately.

The CBS This Morning broadcast is actually growing at a faster rate, according to the Nielsen ratings company’s measurement of viewers during May. The CBS telecast, though, remains in third place behind Good Morning America and NBC’s struggling Today show.

It’s a remarkable time of viewer experimentation at a time of day when habits are often difficult to break. That has to be encouraging to CNN, which premieres its New Day morning program in two weeks.

During a newsy month, Good Morning America averaged 5.7 million viewers, up 10 percent from 2012. Its nearly million-viewer lead over Today, at 4.78 million, represents a dramatic shift; in May 2012, the two telecasts were nearly tied, with Today holding a slight lead. READ FULL STORY

Lowest-rated 'DWTS' finale ever

But Kellie Pickler was so popular!

In the end, though, the allure of the pixie-haired hoofer wasn’t enough: Tuesday’s two-hour finale of Dancing with the Stars only earned a 2.6 rating/7 share in adults 18-49, down 21% from last year’s spring results (3.3/9 on May 22, 2012) to become the lowest-rated finale in the franchise’s history, according to Nielsen. Since the show averaged 14.9 million viewers, ABC came in first for the night in eyeballs but second in the demo behind NBC, which was buoyed by The Voice.

Speaking of which: NBC’s singing competition, which earned a 3.1/9, was down 11 percent versus last week but it still ruled at 9 (where it averaged 9.9 million). It was preceded by a special about Oklahoma (2.0/6, 8.1 million) and followed by the Grimm finale (1.7/5, up 6% from last year, 5.2 million).

Fox came in third with a two-hour installment of So You Think You Can Dance (1.9/6, 4.5 million) while CBS trailed in fourth with a bunch of pesky NCIS repeats.


CBS' Fall Schedule: A Snap Judgment

Who says CBS doesn’t make bold programming moves? Oh, that’s right: Everyone. But everyone would be slightly wrong! At yesterday’s upfront presentation, the nation’s most-watched — if least-interesting — broadcast television network surprised reporters by revealing that it was not green-lighting two high-profile potential series: A small screen revival of Beverly Hills Cop from executive producer Shawn Ryan (The Shield) starring Brandon T. Jackson as the son of Axel Foley and a recurring Eddie Murphy; and NCIS: Red, starring John Corbett and Kim Raver. Beverly Hills Cop might find a home elsewhere, while NCIS: Red was deemed unworthy of the franchise’s creative standards. (Why are you giggling?)

CBS also made news with some bold scheduling swaps and shifts. Mike & Molly is being held for midseason (but received a full order of 22 episodes); Hawaii 5-0 is sailing to Friday; and Person of Interest is relocating to Tuesday, joining NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles to form a blockbuster night of brawny drama. Thursday now has two hours of comedy, a mirror to its Monday night block of powerhouse yukkers. With few holes to fill and (quoting network president Nina Tassler) “limited shelf space,” CBS ordered just eight new shows, five of which will premiere this fall. Here, CBS was true to form: All have potential to be watched by a broad audience, and very few seem all that creatively daring. To be fair, it’s hard to glean meaningful insight from the preview videos released by the network, comprised of select scenes, behind the scenes footage, and rah-rah interviews with actors and producers. And while CBS may not have leveraged its position of great strength to take a chance on innovation, I found something commendable about each of its new offerings. READ FULL STORY

'Voice' hits ratings low against 'Idol,' BUT...


NBC’s The Voice and Fox’s American Idol had a rare head-to-head battle last night.

The Peacock had a one-hour off-pattern airing of the The Voice on Wednesday evening. Voice was barely edged out in these early numbers by a two-hour Idol. But while they were facing off in the 8 p.m. hour, The Voice came out on top (2.7 rating vs. 2.5).

Given that NBC’s competition was airing on a different night than usual, The Voice predictably dipped in the ratings — though went down a bit more than one might expect, falling 27 percent from the Tuesday night performance show to a series low. Whereas Idol was basically steady with last week. The Voice had some unusual drama last night when NBC told viewers that a vote tallying snafu had occurred earlier in the week (the problem did not impact the voting results, the network said).

Both reality shows were beaten by ABC’s Modern Family, but the comedy hit a season low. ABC’s freshman comedies Family Tools and How to Live With Your Parents also both dropped, with Family Tools falling a particularly steep 27 percent. Full Chart: READ FULL STORY

'Splash' finale ratings just a drop in the bucket


ABC’s Splash experiment came to a close Tuesday night with a very modestly rated finale.

Splash had only 4.4 million viewers and a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49 (see our winners post). Though that was up 11 percent from last week, it was still broadcast’s lowest-rated show for the night on a major network. I can’t see ABC investing in Splash again, unless it was maybe for a summer series but even that’s a long-shot.

Also Tuesday, NBC’s Grimm maintained last week’s time-period-premiere rating and won 10 p.m., despite its lead-in from The Voice going down 8 percent. Will NBC keep Grimm on Tuesdays next season or shuffle it back to Fridays? The network announces its fall schedule on Sunday and EW will have all the details.

Another finale last night: The CW’s Hart of Dixie wrapped its second season steady with the previous week. Also: CBS’ freshman drama Golden Boy fell to its Tuesday low — it’s not coming back. ABC’s Body of Proof fell 13 percent despite its Dancing lead-in rising 13 percent, and didn’t help its odds. Most other shows were roughly on par with their last episodes. Full Chart:

'Inside Amy Schumer' gets strong premiere ratings

Comedy Central’s newest original show has scored big in the ratings.

Inside Amy Schumer, the latest original programming on the comedy channel, premiered as the number one entertainment series on cable in its time slot with 1.6 million total viewers.

The show rated especially well with young male viewers,  earning a 2.4 rating among men 18 to 34, despite being largely about the situations that girls find themselves in on a day-to-day basis. Our own review will tell you that Schumer is an actual Girl’s Girl, not a Cool Girl as so many comediennes try to be, and that seems to have struck a chord with audiences.

'Grimm' tops rivals with Tuesday move


NBC’s moved fantasy crime drama Grimm to Tuesday nights and saw the show rise to its best rating in months.

Grimm had 6 million viewers and a 2.0 rating among adults 18-49 last night, which was enough to win 10 p.m. That’s a major improvement upon the short-lived reality show Ready for Love in this slot and is Grimm‘s best rating since October. Still, it’s worth pointing out that Grimm shed nearly half its two-hour Voice lead-in, with the competition show dipping 10 percent this week.

Elsewhere: CBS’ NCIS was up 7 percent this week, but just about everything else was down — NCIS: LA (-19 percent), Golden Boy (-7 percent), Fox’s New Girl (-9 percent), Mindy Project (-13 percent and yikes), ABC’s Splash (-18 percent), Dancing (-25 percent).


'Good Wife' ends season on modest note


The finales are coming! The finales are coming! Last night CBS’ The Good Wife closed its fourth season on the network with a typically modest performance.

Good Wife was up 7 percent from last week, yet down 6 percent from last season’s finale. It’s already earned a renewal, however, so it’s safe for another year.

The same can’t be said for ABC’s Red Widow, down a whopping 42 percent from its last original episode five weeks ago for a series low. Once Upon a Time also crept down to a series low last night. Of all the soft drama performances on Sunday night, this is the show that concerns me the most. Good Wife and ABC’s Revenge were never really full-fledged hits anyway. And CBS’ The Mentalist is getting long in the tooth. But Once Upon was a super strong show last year and this is only its second season. What happened?

That left Fox’s Family Guy to lead the night among adults 18-49. Here’s your full chart, below, and click here for EW’s season finale calendar. READ FULL STORY

'Vampire Diaries' spinoff ratings lack bite


Will The CW have two Vampire Diaries shows next season?

Maybe … maybe not: The Vampire Diaries spinoff pilot had a disappointing performance in the flagship show’s 8 p.m. slot last night. The Originals delivered 2.2 million viewers and a 0.9 among adults 18-49 last night. Not only did the episode not demonstrate a spike of interest — which is what you hope to see when debuting the pilot for a potential new series — the rating was down 10 percent from the show’s last episode. The hour was also down 31 percent from The Vampire Diaries‘ average this season.

The CW has several pilots in contention for next season with supernatural and sci-fi themes, so The Originals has some competition too. But it’s always easier for a network to launch a show that has a built-in audience than jump-start a concept from scratch, and a weak Vampire Diaries rating is still better than the vast majority of other CW shows. What fans say online about The Originals pilot (and how the network’s executive team feels about the project creatively) might have just as much impact on the series-order decision as how many viewers initially showed up. In other words: Semi-lousy ratings or not, a series pickup remains likely. UPDATE: The CW gives Originals a series order.

Here’s EW’s recap of the episode if you want to sound off in the comments with your thoughts. READ FULL STORY

'The Following' beats 'Revolution' for first time


Charlie and Miles suffered another setback Monday night: The Revolution heroes were beaten in the ratings by smooth-talking serial killer Joe Carroll for the first time.

The penultimate episode of Fox’s first season of The Following rose to its best rating in weeks, with 7 million viewers and a 2.4 among adults 18-49, up 14 percent. That was enough to suppress NBC’s Revolution, which was steady this week with 6.2 million viewers and a 2.2 rating. The disparity between the shows is probably greater than these numbers suggest, since The Following merely had a Bones lead-in (1.9) while Revolution has The Voice (4.8). Revolution and The Following have tied twice in the demo, but this is the first time The Following has had a higher number outright.

Speaking of which, The Voice dipped 8 percent for its third Battle Rounds episode, yet still easily led the night. Over on ABC, Dancing was down 5 percent to tie its lowest rating ever for a performance show, while Castle was up 10 percent.


'Defiance' is Syfy's biggest premiere in years


Syfy’s cross-platform multi-species terrestrial alien invasion drama gave the network its biggest debut in years.

The premiere of Defiance on Monday night was seen by 2.7 million viewers and 1.3 million adults 18-49. That made Defiance the network’s most-watched telecast since 2009 (a two-hour episode of Warehouse 13) and its top scripted series premiere among adults 18-49 since 2006 (Eureka).

Syfy unveiled an online open-world game version of the show on April 2 as part of its cross-platform strategy (Defiance: It’s a TV show! It’s a game! It’s both!). Syfy isn’t releasing the number of players who have signed up, but did note that players have logged more than 6 million hours of gameplay since it went live.

Beginning next Monday, Defiance will assume its regular 9 p.m. time period. On April 29 it will be joined by the return of Warehouse 13 at 10 p.m.

Defiance has been billed by some as the next Firefly or Battlestar Galactica (or at least the next Caprica). What did you think?


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