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Thursday, December 15, 2016
ON THIS DAY                                                                          
The first installment of western “Davy Crockett” aired on ABC’s “Disneyland” in 1954.  The five-part miniseries featured Fess Parker as Davy and Buddy Ebsen as his friend, George Russel…Joe Garagiola joined the “Today” show panel in 1967…”Elvis: The Tribute,” hosted by John Stamos, was telecast on ABC in 1994…Celebrity Birthdays: Former “The Carol Burnett Show” star Tim Conway is 83; Actor Don Johnson (“Miami Vice,” “Nash Bridges”) is 67; “Downton Abbey” star Michelle Dockery is 35; Former “The O.C.” star Adam Brody is 37.

Did You Know?
The “Walt Disney” anthology series first aired as “Disneyland” on ABC in 1954.  The title changed to “Walt Disney Presents” in 1958, followed by “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color” in 1961. It moved to NBC in 1961 and remained on the network until 1981 (where it changed its name to “The Wonderful World of Disney” in 1969, and “Disney’s Wonderful World” in 1979). A move to CBS in 1981 resulted in another title change, “Walt Disney,” where it aired for two seasons.  After a short absence, it was revived as “The Disney Sunday Movie” in 1986 and “The Magical World of Disney” on NBC from 1988-90.

RATINGS BOX                                                                            

Wednesday 12/14/16

Household Rating/Share
Fox: 5.0/  8, CBS: 4.9/ 8, ABC and NBC: 4.2/ 7 each, CW: 0.9/ 1

Percent Change from the Year-Ago Evening:
Fox: +163, NBC: +68, CW: +29, ABC: +40, CBS: – 6,

-Winners: “Survivor” (CBS), “Empire” (Fox), “Star” (Fox), “Modern Family” (ABC), “Designated Survivor” (ABC)
-Honorable Mention: “A Pentatonix Christmas Special” (NBC)
-Losers (excluding repeats): “The 12 Greatest Christmas Movies of All Time” (CW)

Ratings Breakdown:
Fox, which inched past CBS by one-tenth of a household rating point in the overnights last night, should have a greater advantage in adults 18-49 (and all the key young adult demographics).  “Star,” from “Empire” creator Lee Daniels, was positively sampled with a 4.8 rating/8 share in households in the 9 p.m. hour.  Comparably, that finished second in the time period behind the second half of the fall finale of competing “Survivor” on CBS (5.2/ 8).  It also held a solid 89 percent of the 8:30 p.m. portion of its “Empire” lead-in (5.4/ 9), which concluded for the fall in the 8 p.m. hour.

“Star” returns in the Wednesday 9 p.m. ET hour on January 4 in place of “Empire,” which will be taking a break until on March 22.

Overall, “Empire” averaged a 5.2/ 9 in the 8 p.m. hour, while “Survivor” on CBS concluded another successful fall edition with an approximate 5.3/ 9 in the household overnights from 8-10 p.m.  Comparably, that was just five percent below the year-ago fall season-ender (5.6/ 9 on 12/16/15).

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

-The Five Least Promising Midseason Network Shows: Click here
-Five to Watch: Midseason’s Most Promising New Shows: Click here


Live + Same Day Data
-Monday 12/12/16: Click here
-Tuesday 12/13/16: Click here

Source: Nielsen Media Research

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“How I Met Your Mother” Spin-Off in the Works
Two years after CBS passed on its planned spin-off of 2005-14 sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” comes word of a new potential series called “How I Met Your Father” from “This Is Us” writers Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger.  The proposed half-hour from 20th TV will be told from a female point of view and will feature an entirely new set of characters and writers in this new tale of how the main character met her eventual spouse.

Original series creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas will serve as executive producers on the project, along with Aptaker and Berger. Bays and Thomas, however, will not be involved directly because of their overall deal at competing studio Sony Television.

No network, at present, is attached to “How I Met Your Father,” and the series is being pitched for fall 2017.

Discovery Announces “Everest Rescue”
Discovery has ordered six episodes of “Everest Rescue,” which will feature exclusive access to a group of diverse helicopter pilots as they manage emergency calls during the 2016 climbing season as well as intimate interviews with them and their loved ones.  The logline: “Everest Rescue” journeys to the tops of the treacherous Everest Himalayan Mountains, highlighting the work of a rare breed of pilots who put their lives on the line to save those facing certain death.

“Everest Rescue” premieres on Sunday, January 8th at 9 p.m. ET, with virtual reality extras will be available on DiscoveryVR.com.  Shot over three days with rigged VR cameras on helicopters, these two exclusive pieces transport viewers to the mountain where Sir Edmund Hilary and his team made those first historic steps up the Southern Face of Everest to the summit. They feature a detailed tour of the mountain and an inside look at Lukla — the world’s most dangerous airport.


E! Renews “Rob & Chyna” for Season Two
E! had greenlit a second season of docuseries “Rob & Chyna,” featuring Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna, with an order for eight new episodes in 2017.  “Rob and Chyna’s romance struck such a chord with our viewers, who were engaged in their story even before we started filming the first season. We are excited to share the next chapter of their story,” said Jeff Olde, E!’s Executive Vice President of Programming and Development, in a statement.

Ryan Seacrest, who is also behind “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” and Rob’s mother, Kris Jenner, will continue to serve as executive producers on the show, while Rob and Chyna will be co-executive producers.  Upcoming special, “Rob & Chyna Baby Special,” airs Sunday, Dec. 18 on E!

For my personal thoughts on “Rob & Chyna,” click here

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Actor Bernard Fox Dead at 89
Welsch character actor Bernard Fox, who is remembered for his ongoing role as Dr. Bombay on sitcom “Bewitched,” died yesterday from heart failure.  He was 89 years old.  Other notable series appearances over the course of his career included sitcoms “Make Room For Daddy,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “The Andy Griffith Show,” “F Troop,” “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Love, American Style” and “Hogan’s Heroes,” where he appeared on eight episodes as Sir Charles Chitterly.  Fox’s additional guest roles included dramas “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” “Ironside,” “It Takes a Thief,” “The Wild Wild West,” “Emergency!,” and “Hart to Hart.”

His film resume included “A Night to Remember” (1958), “Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo” (1977), “The Private Eyes” (1980) and “Yellowbeard” (1983).

A Betty White Christmas on Buzzr
Buzzr, the diginet for classic game shows, will feature beloved Betty White in the second annual themed programming block, “A Betty White Christmas.”  From Monday, December 19th through Saturday, December 24th, fans of the retro game show network will have an opportunity to watch the young, White in action from 8-11 p.m. ET, with encore telecasts from 11 p.m. – 2 a.m, ET.  Then on Christmas Day, the Betty White episodes of “Match Game,” “Password” and “Family Feud” that aired throughout the week will be packaged into one marathon to be featured from 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. ET.


Upcoming Amazon drama “Sneaky Pete “ will premiere on Friday, January 13 exclusively on Prime Video in the US, UK, Germany and Austria. Starring Giovanni Ribisi (“Avatar”), Marin Ireland (“Side Effects”), Margo Martindale (“The Americans”), Peter Gerety (“Prime Suspect”), Libe Barer (“Parenthood”), Shane McRae (“Still Alice”) and Michael Drayer (“Mr. Robot”), “Sneaky Pete” revolves around a con man, Marius (Ribisi), who gets out of prison only to find himself hunted by the vicious gangster he once robbed. The series, a co-production with Sony Pictures Television, comes from Executive Producers Graham Yost (“The Americans”), Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”), Michael Dinner and Fred Golan (“Justified”), James Dequs (“All The Way”) and Seth Gordon (“Horrible Bosses”).

Period drama “Mercy Street” will open season two on PBS on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017.  The logline: Allegiances blur, loyalties shift and the drama intensifies as the scope of the war pushes beyond Mansion House, the former hotel commandeered by northern troops to serve as a Union hospital.
Executive produced by Ridley Scott (“The Martian,” “The Good Wife”) and David W. Zucker (“BrainDead,” “The Man in the High Castle”) of Scott Free, Lisa Q. Wolfinger (“Desperate Crossing, the untold story of the Mayflower”) and David Zabel (“ER”), “Mercy Street” follows the doctors, nurses and soldiers, as well as free, enslaved and contraband African Americans and other residents of the war-torn city, as they navigate the new world emerging from the most cataclysmic event in our country’s history.

2016-17 College Football Bowl Season TV Schedule
The matchups for the 2016-17 college football bowl season are set.  ESPN will deliver the third year of the College Football Playoff Semifinals on New Year’s Eve Thursday, Dec. 31. At 3pm eastern, the SEC champion Alabama Crimson Tide and the Pac-12 champion Washington Huskies meet at the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Ga. for the first Semifinal. Then, at 7pm Eastern, ACC champion Clemson Tigers plays the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz. for the second Semifinal.

The winners of those Dec. 31 games play in the National Championship on Monday, Jan. 9 (also on ESPN) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.  For the complete listing, click here

Marc Berman is available for freelance writing, consulting and speaking engagements.  Contact Marc at marc@programminginsider.com or 646/204-7937
1. What grade would you give the just concuded fall edition of CBS’ “Survivor”? Clickhere
2. What TV series would you like to see win the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy? Click here
3. What TV series would you like to see win the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama? Click here
CMT offers a sneak peak of the new season of “Nashville.”  The Los Angeles Rams face the Seattle Seahawks on the NFL on NBC.  CBS comedies “The Big Bang Theory,” “The Great Indoors,” “Mom” and “Life in Pieces” conclude their fall runs.  For the complete listing for Thursday, December 15, click here
The daily trivia question is below “You Might Like.”
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Christmas “The Wonder Years” Style

What gift did Winnie (Danica McKellar) give Kevin (Fred Savage) on the second season Christmas-themed episode of sitcom “The Wonder Years”?

a) a box of chocolates
b) a dance together
c) a four-leaf clover
d) a kiss
e) a red sweater

The answer to yesterday’s question…

Which one of the following statements about ABC sitcom “Growing Pains,” featuring Alan Thicke and Joanna Kerns as Jason and Maggie Seaver, is not true?

a) The family living next door was named Koosman.
b) Bruce Willis was considered for the role of Jason Seaver.
c) Matthew Perry played Carol’s (Tracey Gold) boyfriend, Sandy.
d) “Growing Pains” finished two of its seven seasons ranked in the Top 10.
e) River Phoenix auditioned for the role of Ben.
f) They are all true.

…Is: f) they are all true. Koosman in choice A was a shout-out to the 1969 New York Mets, which featured Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman.

“Growing Pains” produced 164 episodes in total in its 1985 to 1992 run on ABC.  The gang reunited twice in TV movies airing in 2000 and 2004.  Rest in Peace, Alan Thicke.

Trivia All-Stars
Michelle Bauer, Gerry Bixenspan, Matt Bradley, Audrey David, Maureen Goldman, Caryn Gray, Bob Ingersoll, Mary Kinoshita, Alan Perris (2x), Gordon Purcell

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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.