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Friday, December 16, 2016
ON THIS DAY                                                                          
“Dragnet,” which officially debuted on January 3, 1952, was previewed on NBC variety half-hour “Chesterfield Sound Off Time” with Jack Webb and Raymond Burr in 1951…“One Day at a Time,” which aired for nine seasons, debuted on CBS in 1975.  It would have lasted another two years had Bonnie Franklin and Valerie Bertinelli not called it quits. A revival of “One Day at a Time,” featuring a Cuban-American family, will debut on Netflix on January 6th …CNN talk show “Larry King Live” concluded its 25-season run in 2010.  It was replaced by “Piers Morgan Live” effective on Jan. 17, 2011…Celebrity Birthdays: Actor Benjamin Bratt is 53; Comedian JB Smoove is 51; Actress Krysten Ritter (“Don’t Trust the B__ in Apt. 23”) is 35.

Did You Know?
The now classic episode of “All in the Family” called “Edith’s 50th Birthday” (originally telecast on Oct. 16, 1977), where Edith (Jean Stapleton) fights off a rapist, was a storyline originally planned for Bonnie Franklin as Ann Romano on“One Day at a Time.”  Norman Lear changed it to Edith Bunker because he wanted to make a statement that this could happen to anyone.

RATINGS BOX                                                                            

Thursday 12/15/16

Household Rating/Share
NBC: 7.4/12, CBS: 5.4/ 9, ABC: 2.2/ 4, Fox: 1.4/ 2, CW: 0.7/ 1

-Percent Change From the Comparable Year-Ago Evening:
NBC: +252, Fox: – 7, CBS: – 8, CW: -12, ABC: -37

-Winners: NFL Football (NBC), “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS)
-Losers (excluding repeats)“The iHeart Radio Jingle Ball” (CW), “Great American Baking Show” (ABC), “Pure Genius” (CBS), “What Would You Do?” (ABC)

Ratings Breakdown:
NBC was the network to beat last night care of the Seattle Seahawk’s 24 to 3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on the NFL at an estimated 7.9 rating/13 share in the metered market households from 8:30-11:30 p.m. ET.  Combined with coverage on the NFLN, that household rating increased to a 10.1.  Keep in mind that results for any live sporting event are estimated.

In a night of all sitcom fall finale episodes on CBS, “The Big Bang Theory,” featuring the birth of Howard (Simon Helberg) and Bernadette’s (Melissa Rauch) baby girl Halley, stood well above the others with an above-average 10.1/17 at 8 p.m.  Note to CBS: Keep working on that renewal, and make it multi-year again.  Next was painfully generic “The Great Indoors” at a not-so-great 5.0/ 8 at 8:30 p.m., which slipped by 50 percent.  “Mom” followed with a 5.3/ 7 (#2), and it led into a 4.4/ 7 for sophomore “Life in Pieces” at 9:30 p.m., which from a creative standpoint is vastly improved this season.

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
-Wednesday 12/14/16: Click here

Source: Nielsen Media Research


“The Honeymooners” Reboot in the Works at CBS
Bang!  Zoom!  CBS has put into development a present-day version of classic comedy “The Honeymooners.”  The proposed multi-camera comedy from CBS Television Studios will focus on two couples, who are best friends like the original, but this time one couple is recently remarried after divorcing four years earlier.  It hails from Bob Kushell (“The Muppets”), who will pen the script and will executive produce alongside Carl Beverly, Sarah Timberman, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, and Jeff Greenstein.

Debuting as a stand-along sitcom on Oct. 1, 1955 on CBS, “The Honeymooners” began as a sketch based the DuMont network’s “Cavalcade of Stars,” Jackie Gleason’s variety show and subsequently on variety hour “The Jackie Gleason Show” on CBS.  The original Alice was played by Pert Kelton and Elaine Stritch originated the role of Trixie Norton for one sketch.  After just one season (and 39 episodes), the sitcom was canceled and Jackie Gleason revived “The Honeymooners” as a series of occasional sketches until 1966 when it became full hour-long episodes with Sheila MacRae and Jane Kean inheriting the roles of Alice and Trixie from Audrey Meadows and Joyce Randolph.  Art Carney, of course, was the one and only Ed Norton.  It ran through 1970.

Freeform Orders New Scripted Comedy ‘Alone Together’
Freeform has ordered single camera half-hour comedy “Alone Together” to series for 2017, which stars Esther Povitsky (“Lady Dynamite,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) and Benji Aflalo (“Not Safe with Nikki Glaser”) as platonic best friends who want nothing more than to be accepted by the vain and status-obsessed culture. Despite their sometimes contentious relationship, when push comes to shove, they’ve got each other’s back…and they have nobody else to hang out with.

In addition to Povitsky and Aflalo, the pilot episode features guest stars Chris D’Elia (“Undateable”), Ginger Gonzaga (“Wrecked”), Edgar Blackmon (“Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping”), Hayley Marie Norman (“Adam Ruins Everything”), Kamilla Alnes (“American Horror Story”), Jim O’Heir (“Parks and Recreation”) and Justine Lupe (“Younger”).


Fuse Renews “Big Freedia Bounces Back” for Season Six
Fuse, network targeted to the Latino and multicultural 18-34 audience, has greenlit docuseries “Big Freedia Bounces Back” (formerly “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce”), starring the American musician, for a sixth season.  Eight new episodes have been ordered.

The logline: Last season, viewers were left wondering ‘what will happen next?’ as they saw a rollercoaster of highs and lows in Freedia’s professional and personal life.  The logline: When the series returns, Freedia will allow cameras in for a closer, extended look at her journey to renew and reinvent herself. The new, longer episodes will follow a clean and sober Freedia, ready for a new lease on life, and with many surprises along the way. The series will again be produced by World of Wonder Productions.

Disney Channel Orders Second Season of “Bizaardvark”
Disney Channel has ordered a second season of comedy “Bizaardvark,” which debuted on June 24, 2016 and follows the everyday lives of best friends Paige (Olivia Rodrigo) and Frankie (Madison Hu) who express their offbeat individuality through funny music videos on their vlog channel, Bizaardvark. Now that their channel is on the Vuuugle Studios social media platform, their lives include their longtime friend Bernie acting as their agent, and their fellow Vuuugle stars Dirk (Jake Paul) and Amelia (DeVore Ledridge).

The multi-camera comedy will resume production in the coming months with season two scheduled to roll out in 2017.

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CBS Announces Feb. 2nd Start Date for Sitcom “Superiod Donuts”
Upcoming CBS sitcom “Superior Donuts,” starring Judd Hirsch and Jermaine Fowler, will debut with a special preview on Thursday, Feb. 2 at 8:30 p.m. ET. The new comedy then moves to its regular Monday, 9:00 p.m. time period on Feb. 6.  Current time period occupant “2 Broke Girls” will shift to 9:30 p.m., following the season (or series) finale of “The Odd Couple” on Jan. 30.  “Superior Donuts” follows the relationship between the gruff owner (Hirsch) of a small donut shop, his enterprising new young employee (Fowler) and their loyal patrons, in a quickly gentrifying Chicago neighborhood.

Based on the play by Tracy Letts, the comedy also stars Katey Sagal, David Koechner, Maz Jobrani, Anna Baryshnikov, Darien Sills-Evans and Rell Battle. Bob Daily, Neil Goldman, Garrett Donovan, Mark Teitelbaum, John Montgomery, Michael Rotenberg, Josh Lieberman and Jermaine Fowler are the executive producers for CBS Television Studios.

Craig Sager, Sports Reporting Legend, Passes Away at 65
Legendary TV sports reporter Craig Sager, most known for his sideline reporting for the NBA on TNT and his colorful outfits, passed away in Atlanta yesterday at the age of 65 due to complications from leukemia.

Sager was born on June 29, 1951, in Batavia, Ill. His father, Al, was an advertising executive; his mother, Coral, was a golfer who held a pilot’s license. As a Northwestern University graduate, he became a reporter for a Sarasota, Fla. radio station. On April 8, 1974, Sager famously went onto the field at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium after Hank Aaron hit the then-all-time record-setting 715th home run and briefly interviewed Aaron.  For more, click here

NBC to Launch All-Olympic Channel
NBC announced an agreement with the International Olympic Committee to launch a year-round channel which will focus exclusively on the Olympics.  The channel, set to begin in the second half of 2017, will offer fans year-round Olympic-sport programming from around the world, with an emphasis on their favorite American athletes and teams.

“This is wonderful news for fans of Olympic athletes and Olympic sports, and we’re proud to partner with the IOC and USOC to bring the vision of the Olympic Channel to life in the United States,” said Gary Zenkel, the president of NBC Olympics. “The Olympic Channel partnership will provide multiple, year-round platforms to highlight the incredible achievements and inspiring stories of Olympic athletes and the Olympic values they represent, including a full-time home for Olympic sports when we launch the new linear channel in 2017.”

The programming will include archival footage and documentaries, along with original Team USA programming contributed by the USOC.

Charter Spectrum Launches RFD-TV on Digital Basic
RFD-TV will be available in millions of new homes on Charter Spectrum.  Residents of New York and Los Angeles and many major markets in between, including Texas, Florida, and Ohio will now be able to watch the variety of western lifestyle and rural programs thanks to Charter Spectrum’s decision to expand its carriage of RFD-TV.  With the addition of these new homes, RFD-TV’s distribution now exceeds 50 million homes, marking nine consecutive years of growth.

Once complete, RFD-TV will be available to Charter Spectrum subscribers the nation’s top two markets, and RFD-TV will be launched or expanded in markets such as Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin, Tampa, Orlando, Charlotte, Raleigh, North Carolina,  Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus.


Holiday special “The Keys of Christmas,” starring Mariah Carey and YouTube musical star Rudy Mancuso, will debut on YouTube Red on December 19, 2016.  This seasonal tale, from Endemol Shine North America and its digital studio Endemol Shine Beyond USA and Just Entertainment Studios, will uncover what happens when you accidentally go off the grid on Christmas Eve with no phone and no way to function on this festive night.

Season two of Starz drama “The Missing” will premiere on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. ET. Produced by New Pictures in association with Two Brothers Pictures and Playground for BBC One and Starz, the eight-episode limited series, written by Harry and Jack Williams (“Rellik,” “Fleabag”) and solely directed by Ben Chanan, introduces a new case with new characters in a new location.  The anthology series follows parents Sam (David Morrissey) and Gemma Webster (Keeley Hawes), whose daughter, Alice, went missing in 2003. Eleven years later, a young British woman stumbles through the streets of her German hometown and announces herself as Alice Webster (Abigail Hardingham), the girl who went missing over a decade prior. Alice’s sudden return causes ripples of suspicion through the small community, especially when it is revealed she may hold vital clues to the whereabouts of another missing girl, Sophie Giroux, who vanished shortly before Alice.

Spike TV will debut documentary series “TIME: The Kalief Browder Story” on Wednesday, March 1 at 10 p.m. ET.  The six-part series from Weinstein Television and Shawn “JAY Z” Carter tells the story of Kalief Browder, a 16 year-old African-American student who spent three years in jail on Rikers Island without ever being convicted of a crime.  Featured will be exclusive interviews from a wide range of those connected to the story, including politicians to close friends and family members to social reformers.

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. Good or bad idea? What do you think about CBS eyeing a reboot of “The Honeymooners”? Click here
2. What grade would you give the just concuded fall edition of CBS’ “Survivor”? Clickhere
3. What TV series would you like to see win the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy? Click here
4. What TV series would you like to see win the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama? Click here
The CW offers “The 85th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade.” Network fall season-enders: “Last Man Standing” and “Dr. Ken” on ABC; “MacGyver” and “Hawaii Five-O” on CBS; and “The Exorcist” on Fox.  “Paranormal Lockdown” returns on TLC.  For the complete listing for Friday, December 15, click here
The daily trivia question is below “You Might Like.”
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Which one of the following TV series introduced the blended holiday of Chrismukkah?

a) “My So-Called Life”
b) “The O.C.”
c) “Seinfeld”
d) “Sex and the City”
e) “thirtysomething”

The answer to yesterday’s question…

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 sweater

…Is: c) a four-leaf clover.  In this episode, Kevin ponders buying Winnie, who is spending her first Christmas without her brother, the perfect $6 Christmas gift while visions of finding a color TV under the family tree dance through his head.

Trivia All-Stars
Latasha Allen, Gerry Bixenspan, Matt Bradley, Larry Collins (2x), Jim Forkan, Maureen Goldman, Bob Ingersoll, Jody McIntyre, Tom Moore, Richard Naldrett, Gordon Purcell, Michelle Stanton