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Monday, October 24, 2016
ON THIS DAY                                                                          
Short-lived NBC sitcom “The Michael Richards Show” launched in 2000, signaling what many referred to at the time as the “Seinfeld Curse,” an assertion that the former cast from “Seinfeld” could not carry a series of their own. But with six additional Emmy wins since “Seinfeld” (including five consecutive for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy for HBO’s ‘Veep”), Julia Louis-Dreyfus broke the “curse”…Celebrity Birthdays: Oscar winner Kevin Kline (“A Fish Called Wanda”) is 69;  Actor BD Wong is 56; “The Real” co-host Adrienne Bailon is 33; “90210” star Shenae Grimes is 27.

Did You Know?
The Tuesday 8 p.m. half-hour on NBC where “The Michael Richards Show”aired was the dumping ground for some of the worst comedies in the history of the network.  “Emeril,” featuring Chef Emeril Lagasse, was housed there in the fall of 2001, followed by “The In-Laws” in 2002, and “Whoppi,”headlined by Whoopi Goldberg as the Archie Bunker-ish Mavis Rae, in the fall of 2003.

RATINGS BOX                                                                            

Sunday 10/23/16

Household Rating/Share
NBC: 8.7/14, CBS: 8.6/14, ABC: 2.3/ 4, Fox: 2.1/ 3

-Percent Change From the Year-Ago Evening:
CBS: +28, NBC:-18, ABC: -28, Fox: -65

-Winners: “60 Minutes” (CBS), “Sunday Night Football” (NBC)
-Honorable Mention: “NCIS: Los Angeles” (CBS), “Madam Secretary” (CBS)
-Losers (excluding repeats): “Once Upon a Time” (ABC), “The Simpsons” (Fox), “Son of Zorn” (Fox), “Secrets and Lies” (ABC), “Family Guy” (Fox), “The Last Man on Earth” (Fox), “Quantico” (ABC)

Ratings Breakdown:
It was another easy overnight Sunday victory for NBC care of the Indianapolis Colts at the Houston Texans on “Sunday Football,” which averaged an estimated 11.5 rating/19 share from 8:30-11:30 p.m. ET.  As a reminder, results for any live sporting event are always approximate.

CBS also benefited by football, with a primetime overrun leading the 7 p.m. half-hour with a hefty 14.6/25.  The Eye net’s regularly scheduled Sunday night line-up is estimated due to football, of course.

For more (including the breakdown by half-hour), click here

Fast Affiliate Ratings
-Friday 10/21/16: Click here
-Saturday 10/22/16: Click here

Live + Same Day Data
-Monday 10/17/16: Click here
-Tuesday 10/18/16: Click here
-Wednesday 10/19/16: Click here
-Thursday 10/20/16: Click here

Source: Nielsen Media Research


Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to Make Series about Wrestling for Fox
Fox has secured a put pilot commitment for a one-hour single-camera comedy from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and producer Will Ferrell, still untitled, that will offer a behind-the-scenes look at a fictional wrestling group.  The stories will revolve around two main characters. The first is a young wrestler, based on Johnson’s early career as “The Rock,” whose charisma and athleticism are enough to push him to stardom early in his career. The second is an excruciatingly awkward former sitcom writer, based on former WWE head writer Brian Gerwitz, who enters the world of wrestling for a fresh career start. The writer is completely out of place in the middle of a group of larger-than-life alpha males, and he will need a lot of help if he wants to stay in the game.
The project hails from Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions and Ferrell’s Gary Sanchez Productions.  Andrew Gurland, who created FX’s “Married,” will write the pilot script.

The announcement comes after the Johnson’s upcoming roles in “Fast 8” (which will be released on April 14, 2017) and Jumanji (July 2017), as well as his new YouTube Red sci-thriller.  His HBO comedy “Ballers” was recently renewed for a third season.

“Equity” TV Series in the Works at ABC
ABC, which has struck out in the new drama department this fall care of “Conviction” and “Notorious,” is adapting the 2016 financial thriller “Equity” into a television series from Sony TV’s TriStar Television. ABC has handed out a script commitment plus penalty.

From “The Strain” producer Regina Corrado and ex-Sony head Amy Pascal, the proposed drama is set in the world of cutthroat investment banking.  It centers on a Wall Street banker (played by Anna Gunn in the film) who has to navigate a world of money and power where women still haven’t broken the glass ceiling  Corrado will serve as an executive producer alongside Pascal Pictures’ Pascal, Rachel O’Connor, Alysia Reiner and Sarah Megan Thomas.


AT&T Buying Time Warner for $85.4 Billion
AT&T is purchasing Time Warner for a reported $85.4 billion.  AT&T will pay $107.50 a share per Time Warner share in cash and stock, the company said in a formal announcement.  The deal means AT&T will acquire HBO, Turner Broadcasting System and Warner Bros., which would give the telecom company ownership of television channels, publications and websites. The properties include Cinemax, The CW, Cartoon Network, CNN, TNT and TBS, which has deals to carry MLB and NBA games, DC Comics, Bleacher Report, SI.com and NASCAR.com.

Regulators will now have to sign off on the acquisition.  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump already said in a speech that under a potential GOP White House, his administration would not approve the deal.

In 2011, AT&T purchased DirecTV for $48.5 billion and is expected to offer a streaming TV package, DirecTV Now, by the end of the year, aimed at people who have dropped their cable subscriptions or never had one.

Comedian Kevin Meaney Dead at 60
Kevin Meaney, who headlined the first sitcom based on the “Uncle Buck” theatrical on CBS from 1990-91, was found dead on Friday at his home in Forestburgh, in upstate New York.  The cause of his passing was not immediately known.

Born April 23, 1956, Meaney began his career as a comedian in 1980 and had his first big break headlining an HBO comedy special in 1986.  That led to his first appearance on NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” in 1987. Meaney also appeared as a guest on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and on talk shows hosted by David Letterman, Oprah Winfrey and Conan O’Brien, and had a co-starring role in Tom Hanks 1987 theatrical “Big.”  Guest starring roles on the small screen included sitcoms “The Jackie Thomas Show,” “Ned and Stacy,” “Brotherly Love” and, most recently, “2 Broke Girls.”

Meaney was also known for his raucous “I Don’t Care” song in standup routines that had him dancing and waving around one arm: “I don’t care. I don’t care. My jokes don’t go over, I don’t care!”  And he was a singer and musician, writing and producing songs for HBO and Comedy Central with his co-writer Martin Olson, with whom he wrote several television series. In 1996, he wrote and performed a one-man play titled Vegas “Vows” based loosely on his brief marriage to a woman he had just met

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Upcoming A&E docuseries “The Killing Season” from executive producer Alex Gibney will premiere with back-to-back episodes on Saturday, Nov. 12th at 9 p.m. ET.  The series will investigate one of the most bizarre unsolved serial killer cases of our time — ten dead sex workers discovered on Gilgo Beach, Long Island.  Authorities believe these killings are the work of the Long Island Serial Killer, who after five years remains at large.

ABC special “David Blaine: Beyond Magic,” will be broadcast on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 10 p.m. ET.  The logline: Magic meets documentary in the one-hour special, as Blaine blows the minds of the most recognizable celebrities in the world, including David Beckham, Johnny Depp, Drake, Steph Curry, Dave Chappelle, John Travolta, Patrick Stewart, Emma Stone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, among others.  “David Blaine: Beyond Magic” is executive produced by David Blaine and directed by Emmy Award-winner Matthew Akers.

New reality/competition “The Battle of the Ex-Besties” will premiere on Oxygen on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 11 p.m. ET.  Hosted by Sibley Scoles (“E! News”), the series follows 14 best friends who share a bond unlike any other, but what happens when your partner-in-crime morphs into a frenemy? Ex BFFs are secretly paired together to participate in challenges that put forgiving and forgetting to the ultimate test. Can two former friends come together to win a $100,000 grand prize and maybe even rekindle their relationship, or will it be the final nail in their friendship coffin?

Concert film “Madonna: Rebel Heart Tour” will premiere on Showtime on Friday, Dec. 9 at 9 p.m. ET. Shot around the world, the film, co-directed by Danny  B. Tull and Nathan Rissman, features  a collection of live and behind these scenes footage culminating in performances at the Sydney Olympic Park in March of this year.

From Clippit

Chicago Cubs Reach Their First World Series in 71 Years
For the first time since 1945, the Chicago Cubs have broken their legendary infamous “Billy Goat” curse and reached the World Series.  For a look at the highlights, click here

Highlights from NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” on Oct. 22 via Clippit
Click here for the following highlights from “Saturday Night Live,” hosted by Tom Hanks and featuring Kate McKinnon as Hillary Clinton and Alec Baldwin as Donald Trump.

1. What low-rated new network series do you think will be canceled first?  Clickhere
2. Who do you think won the third – and final – Presidential debate? Click here
3. Who is your all-time favorite coach on NBC’s “The Voice”?  Click here
Matt LeBlanc sitcom “Man With a Plan” debuts out of relocated “Kevin Can Wait” on CBS.   The broadcast networks are in all originals.  “Hotel Impossible” opens for the season on Travel Channel.  For the complete listing for Monday, Oct. 24, click here
She Made it After All!

What sitcom did “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” replace when it debuted in the Saturday 9:30 p.m. half-hour on Sept. 19, 1970?

a) “The Doris Day Show”
b) “Family Affair”
c) “Get Smart”
d) “Hogan’s Heroes”
e) “Petticoat Junction”

The answer to Friday’s question…

Which one of the following TV mothers gave birth to eight children?

a) Carolyn Ingalls
b) Kate Lawrence
c) Jane Mulligan
d) Jo Skagska
e) Olivia Walton
f) None of them did

Is…e) Olivia Walton.  Although CBS 1972-81 drama “The Waltons” featured seven Walton siblings – John Boy, Jason, Mary Ellen, Erin, Ben, Jim-Bob and Elizabeth — what many of you don’t remember is that Jim-Bob had a twin.  His brother Joseph died at birth, unfortunately.  As for the other TV Moms…

-Carolyn Ingalls (“Little House on the Prairie”): Mary, Laura, Carrie, Grace and a boy named Charles who died shortly after birth.  Albert, James and Cassandra were all adopted.
-Kate Lawrence (“Family”): Nancy, Willie and Letitia (“Buddy”).  Annie, who Kate and Doug adopted, joined the series in season four.
-Jane Mulligan (“Mulligan’s Stew”): Mark, Melinda and Jimmy.  Adam, Stevie, Polly and Kimmy moved in with the family after their parents were killed.
-Jo Skagska (“Skag”): David, John, Patricia and Barbara

Trivia All-Stars
Barbara Berman, Gerry Bixenspan, Sharon Case, Larry Collins – that’s it!

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Valerie Milano is the well-connected Senior Editor and TV Critic at TheHollywoodTimes.Today, a showbiz/promotions aggregate mainly for insiders. She has written for Communications Daily, Hollywood Today, Television International, and Video Age International plus freelanced for others. Valerie donates and works closely with the Human Rights Campaign (Fed Club Council Member), GLSEN, Outfest, NCLR, LAMBDA Legal and the Desert Aids Project. She is a member of the Los Angeles Press Club. Milano loves meeting people and does so in her fave getaway Palm Springs as a member of the Palm Springs Museum of Art and the Old Las Palmas area community member. For years Valerie was a board member and one of the chief organizers for the Television Critics Association’s press tours. The tours take place twice a year in Beverly Hills/Pasadena.