HBO at TCA: Wednesday Afternoon Smackdown with Aaron Sorkin

Wednesday was cable’s turn at The Television Critics Association Press Tour as HBO took center stage for its presentation with the main event – Aaron Sorkin vs. The Critics over controversial new drama The Newsroom. Things were so tense, you wonder if Larry Merchant (HBO’s boxing analyst) should’ve moderated the panel. But first, a few undercards: – HBO executive session: […]

Meet WGN-TV’s new late night host… a sheep

The late-night battle for viewers is quite fierce. Battling for audience – and all those ad dollars, you have Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Craig Ferguson, George Lopez, Chelsea Handler, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Monique, and Frank Woolanski. Wait a minute… who’s Frank Woolanski?? In news first reported by CRM yesterday, Tribune-owned WGN-TV announced it […]

WGN-TV, Tribune renew "Friends" through 2017

WCIU clears Rules of Engagement; show now in 75% of country¬† You can always count on your Friends – especially in syndication. Tribune Broadcasting announced a third-cycle syndication renewal for Friends, the Emmy-winning sitcom that was a mainstay on NBC’s “Must-See TV” from 1994-2004. The renewals cover the fifteen Tribune stations currently airing the series, including WGN-TV here in Chicago […]

Warner Bros. sacks "Curb", Entourage" in syndication

In a move that is seldom used involving off-network syndicated product, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution is removing Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage from broadcast syndication, effective in September. The news broke Friday afternoon on Broadcasting & Cable’s website and Deadline Hollywood. The request is coming from HBO, who asked sibling Warner Bros. (both are owned by Time Warner) to […]

New syndicated fare off to slow start; "Martha" tanks on Hallmark

It’s not a good thing: “Golden Girls” reruns had more viewers than Martha’s relocated show on Hallmark. The new crop of first-run and off-network/cable fare has gotten off to a slow start with the The Nate Berkus Show leading the pack with a 1.2 household Nielsen Overnight rating in its first two days. How low is this number? Back in […]

Syndication’s new season

Stations are hoping to strike it rich with “The Nate Berkus Show”.¬† While the official start of the 2010-11 television season is only a week away, syndicators rolled out their new programs this week per tradition, with several new faces. One is interior designer Nate Berkus, who hosts his own talk show courtesy of Sony Pictures Television. A lot of […]

TCA: Wasting away on the "Jersey Shore"

The Television Critics Association Press Tour came to an end on Saturday with the last three days devoted to cable networks. In the past, cable usually kicked off the press tour, but this year shoved toward the end of the twelve-day tour. Neverthless, critics stayed through the end, with the HBO presentation playing to full capacity on Saturday. The biggest […]

BET revives "The Game"

(Note: This is a refurbished and retooled version of a post yours truly wrote on July 1, 2009 – updated to include more recent information, including today’s announcement of “The Game” returning to television. Yes, I’m now recycling posts!) BET announced today at its upfront presentation to advertisers in New York that canceled CW comedy The Game will make a […]

"Ugly Betty" sold to – TV Guide channel?

Yes, it’s true – Disney-ABC Domestic Television Distribution has sold off-network rights to Ugly Betty to the TV Guide Channel – a channel known primarily for scrolling TV listings. The series will be stripped beginning in Fall 2010, but the network will begin airing “re-purposed” episodes of the fourth season of the show two weeks after new episodes appear on […]

BET to revive "The Game"?

Could canceled CW comedy The Game make a return? According to TV Guide, CBS Television Studios (formerly CBS Paramount Television) and Black Entertainment Television (BET) are negotiating a lower license fee so CBS can produce the series for cable. If negotiations are successful, The Game would become the first former live-action network sitcom to be revived on basic cable since […]

WCIU picks up "Old Christine"

Sinclair also picks up sitcom; double run could air in prime, displacing My Network TV shows WCIU-TV here in Chicago has picked up the off-network syndication rights to The Old Adventures of New Christine from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution for airing beginning in the fall of 2010. The Weigel-owned station is expected to air the show twice a day […]

T Dog’s Grab Bag

A lot of items in The Grab Bag today: – Warner Bros. and HBO has sold the sitcoms Entourage and Curb Your Enthauism to the Tribune station group for late-fringe time periods begining in 2010 on all-barter basis (meaning stations don’t have to pay a dime – just surrender half of their ad inventory to the syndicator.) Locally, you can […]