On This Day – Thursday, April 9, 2020
Paul McCartney announced he was leaving “The Beatles” in 1970…Animated special “It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown” launched on CBS in 1974…Alfred Hitchcock’s final film, “Family Plot,“ opened in theaters in 1976…Also in 1976, in movie theaters was the opening of “All the President’s Men,” starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman… In 1977, ABBA song “Dancing Queen” hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100… Johnny Carson hosted “The Academy Awards” for the first time in 1979. “The Deer Hunter” was named Best Picture…In 1980, the Madison Square Garden Sports Network relaunched as USA Network…Also in 1980 was the debut of CBS made-for television movie “Nurse,” starring Michael Learned (“The Waltons”) and “The Brady Bunch” Dad Robert Reed. It led to the short-lived drama, which resulted in Learned’s fourth Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama…“The Jeffersons” spin-off “Checking In,” starring Marla Gibbs,” debuted in 1981. It aired for only four episodes… Also on CBS in 1981 was the launch of another failed comedy, “Park Place,“ starring Rhoda and Brenda Morgenstern’s TV Dad Harold Gould…Best Picture Oscar winner “Chariots of Fire” opened in theaters in 1982…In 1985, Patty Duke debuted on short-lived ABC comedy “Hail to the Chief”…The producers of the original “Dallas” on CBS announced in 1986 that Patrick Duffy would be returning after his one-season absence, which led to his character, Bobby Ewing, stepping out of the shower at the end of the season. It was all a dream!…Salvatore “Big Pussy” Bonpensiero (Vincent Pastore) got whacked in the second season finale of HBO’s “The Sopranos” in 2000…
Celebrity Birthdays: Michael Learned is 81; Actor Dennis Quaid is 66; “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough is 57; model Paulina Porizkova is 55; “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon is 54; “Cosby Show” star Keshia Knight Pulliam is 41; “Sons of Anarchy” star Charlie Hunnam is 40; Leighton Meester (“Gossip Girl”) is 34; actress Kristen Stewart (“Panic Room”) is 30; Jackie Evancho (“America’s Got Talent”) is 20.
-Did You Know?:
The premise behind sitcom “Checking In” was Marla Gibbs as Florence Johnston accepting a job to become the executive housekeeper at the fictional St. Frederick Hotel in New York City. When the spinoff was canceled, Florence returned “The Jeffersons” as the family’s housekeeper after the St. Frederick Hotel burned down…According to Patrick Duffy, not even the cast, crew, or CBS executives knew the scene had been shot when Bobby stepped out of the shower on “Dallas.“ It was edited in less than an hour before airtime; Victoria Principal, who played Pam, hadn’t even been on set with Duffy and she was reacting to another actor in the shower.
“Tiger King” Scores Over 34-Million Viewers in First 10 Days
Nielsen is reporting 34.3 million unique viewers in its first 10 days streaming on Netflix, which is above former leader “Stranger Things 2” in the same time frame. The Netflix docuseries, which has created quite a stir on social media, follows the bizarre life of former tiger zoo owner Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin and other big cat owners in the country.
More specifically, “Tiger King” scored an average-minute audience of 18.99 million U.S. viewers in the first 10 days after its March 20 launch, besting the 17.5 million put up by “Stranger Things 2” (Oct. 27, 2017) and nearly matching the 20.5 million earned by “Stranger Things 3” (July 4, 2019) in their same post-premiere time frames.
Earlier this week, Investigation Discovery (ID) announced “Investigating the Strange World of Joe Exotic,” which is a continuation of the seven episode Netflix entry “Tiger King.” The series will delve further into the story of Carole Baskin and Joe Exotic, among others involved in the tiger community.
NEW PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENTS
“Doogie Howser, M.D.” Spinoff in the Works at Disney+
Remember “Doogie Howser, M.D.,” the 1989-93 sitcom from Steven Bochco and David E. Kelley featuring Neil Patrick Harris as a teenage physician who balances the challenge of practicing medicine with the everyday problems of teenage life? A reboot is in the works, under the working title “Doogie Kealoha, M.D.” at streamer Disney+, with the focus on a 16-year-old half Asian, half-white female who works as a doctor in Hawaii.
The reboot hails from writer and executive producer Kourtney Kang, Jake Kadsan and Melvin Mar will also executive produce along with Dayna and Jesse Bochco. 20th Century Fox Television will produce, with the studio also having produced the original series. Kang, Kasdan, and Mar are all under overall deals at the studio.
EPIX Orders Docuseries “Helter Skelter”
EPIX has greenlit docuseries Helter Skelter, executive produced and directed by Lesley Chilcott (“An Inconvenient Truth”). The logline: “Helter Skelter” features never-before-accessed interviews from former family members and journalists first on the scene and in the courtroom, weaving these original narratives with archival footage and newly-unearthed images. It will upend what people think they know about this layered and complex story and cast an entirely new light on this Crime of the Century.
The six-part docuseries is executive produced by Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter for Berlanti Productions and Eli Frankel for Rogue Atlas Productions. Warner Horizon Unscripted Television serves as the studio. Lesley Chilcott will direct as well serve as executive producer.
“Helter Skelter” premieres on Sunday, June 14 at 9 p.m. ET.
Married at First Sight Spinoff in the Works at Lifetime
Lifetime has greenlit six episodes of “Married at First Sight: Couple’s Cam,” which in response to the coronavirus will be self-shot by the couples themselves, as it follows their ongoing stories in real time. Using mounted cameras, diary cams and virtual group chats, the series will follow the highs, lows, humor and drama and domestic life of eight former “Married at First Sight” couples.
The spinoff, which debuts on Wednesday, May 20, will feature never-before-seen footage captured by the couples, including births of their babies, and other personal highlights of their lives, since their time on their seasons. The show will also bring the couples together virtually as they discuss their own hopes, dreams and futures.
TV AND DIGITAL UPDATES
Disney+ Tops 50 Million Subscribers
Streaming service Disney+, which launched in November, has surpassed the 50-million subscriber mark. By comparison, Netflix has 167 million subscribers around the world, while Huly, Disney’s other streamer service, has approximately 30 million subscribers. Hulu only operates in the United States, however, and Disney is looking at an international rollout beginning in 2021.
“We’re truly humbled that Disney Plus is resonating with millions around the globe, and believe this bodes well for our continued expansion throughout Western Europe and into Japan and all of Latin America later this year,” Kevin Mayer, Disney’s head of direct-to-consumer, said in a press release. “Great storytelling inspires and uplifts, and we are in the fortunate position of being able to deliver a vast array of great entertainment rooted in joy and optimism on Disney Plus.”
Signing Off: “Modern Family” Concludes on ABC After 11-Seasons
Back in January 2010 at the National Association of Television Critics Association (NATPE) conference in Las Vegas, arguably the hottest panel presented, moderated by myself, was a conference with the cast of ABC’s “Modern Family.” Just four months earlier the comedy premiered to universal accolades and significant audience sampling, making it one of the biggest hit series in any genre in years.
“My prediction,” I said, as I introduced the cast members of ‘Modern Family,’ “was a 10-year run.”
Technically, I was one season short. “Modern Family” enjoyed an 11-season stint, making it the third longest-running network sitcom in television history (behind “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, “M*A*S*H,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men,” and – excluding reboots – tied with “Cheers” and “Frasier”). For more, click here
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
“TMZ Investigates: Tiger King: What Really Went Down?” will premiere on Fox on Monday, April 13 at 9 p.m. ET. This one-hour special will delve into what really went down, with the interviews only TMZ can get, exploring outstanding questions about whether or not Joe Exotic is guilty, an inside look into Carole Baskin’s husband’s disappearance and the current status of the new investigation.
“Sesame Street: Elmo’s Playdate” will air simultaneously across HBO, HBO Latino, TBS, TNT, truTV, Cartoon Network, Boomerang and PBS Kids on Tuesday, April 14 at 7 p.m. ET. The special will also air will later air internationally in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Part of Sesame Workshop’s Caring for Each Other initiative, the special is aimed at helping kids and families around the world feel connected in this time of uncertainty and features everyone’s favorite “Sesame Street” friends and celebrity guests including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anne Hathaway and Tracee Ellis Ross.
ABC special “The Happy Days of Garry Marshall” will air on Tuesday, May 12 and will feature an array of celebrities sharing their memories of the late director and producer, Included will be Julie Andrews, Jennifer Garner, Richard Gere, Anne Hathaway, Kate Hudson, Ron Howard, Jimmy Kimmel, Ashton Kutcher, Chris Pine, Julia Roberts, John Stamos and Henry Winkler.
ON THE AIR TONIGHT
Series premieres: “Families of the Mafia” on MTV; “Shaq Life” on TNT; “Vegas Chef Prizefight” on Food…Season premieres: “Hi Score Girl” on Netflix; “Playing for Keeps” on Sundance Now; “The Good Fight” on CBS All Access…Season finales: “Mark of a Killer” on Oxygen; “Marriage Boot Camp” on WE; “My Murder Story” on ID…For the listing of available programs for Thursday, April 9, click here