ON THIS DAY
ABC action/adventure “The Fall Guy,” starring Lee Majors, concluded in 1986 after five seasons…Phil Donahue taped the final edition of his syndicated daytime talk show, “Donahue,” in 1996, which aired for 29 years…In 2010, Conan O’Brien made his first television appearance since exiting NBC’s “The Tonight Show.“ He did an interview with Steve Kroft on CBS’ “60 Minutes”…Celebrity Birthdays: “The Good Fight” star Christine Baranski is 67; designer Donatella Versace is 64; Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is 47; soccer player David Beckham is 44; “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” star Ellie Kemper is 39.
-Did You Know?:
Lee Majors got his big break when he was chosen over 400 actors, including Burt Reynolds, for the role of Heath Barkley on ABC western “The Big Valley.” It aired from 1965 to 1969 and also featured another newcomer, Linda Evans.
NBC: 5.7/10, CBS: 3.6/ 6, Fox: 2.9/ 5, ABC: 2.6/ 5, CW: 0.6/ 1
Note: The percent comparisons to the year-ago period is not available.
It was an easy Wednesday overnight victory for NBC with the live three-hour telecast of annual “The Billboard Music Awards” at a 5.7 rating/10 share in households from 8-11 p.m. ET. The peak half-hour was 8 p.m. and 9 p.m., respectively, each with a 5.9/10.
Despite the added competition, “Survivor” on CBS was relatively consistent at a second-place 4.6/ 8 in households at 8 p.m., which bested competing “Empire” on Fox (#3: 3.3/ 6) by 33 percent. Despite its sixth season renewal, “Empire” remains a shell of what it once was. For the remainder of the analysis for Wednesday, May 1, click here
Source: Nielsen Media Research
Life After “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS
Let’s be honest. We are all probably still watching top-rated CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” due to force of habit. It really has been quite stale in recent seasons, hasn’t it? But it remains a juggernaut after 12 seasons, which for the Eye net will leave quite a crater on its primetime line-up in 2019-20.
What CBS needed to do, and never did, was find another comedy of significant popularity to eventually position as its replacement. Unfortunately, that is not prequel “Young Sheldon,” which I do believe will lose considerable interest minus adult Sheldon and company as its lead-in. Like NBC before it, which squandered the lead-in support from former hit comedies “Friends,” “Seinfeld” and “Frasier” for years (excluding, of course, when “Frasier” did air following “Seinfeld”), no sitcom really resonated on CBS as a breakout hit since “The Big Bang Theory.” For more, click here
NEW SERIES ANNOUNCEMENTS
Kanye West Developing Showtime Series “Ominiverse”
A half-hour limited anthology series starring Jaden Smith as a younger “alternate reality” version of rapper Kanye West has been put into development at Showtime. The series is titled “Ominiverse” and it is described as a limited half-hour anthology series “examining the many doors of perception.” The first season, the one for which a pilot script has been commissioned, would explore ego through the alternative reality of West.
Scooter Braun is set to executive produce, along with West, James Shin and Scott Manson on behalf of SB Projects, Braun’s media company. Miguel Melendez and Smith will executive produce on behalf of Westbrook Studios. Lee Sung Jim (“Undone”) is attached as writer and executive producer.
Hulu Orders Two New Marvel Series and Drama “Nine Perfect Strangers”
In an expanded partnership, Marvel Television will bring two new live-action series to Hulu, with “Marvel’s Ghost Rider” and “Marvel’s Helstrom” slated to debut on Hulu in 2020.
The logline: Marvel’s Ghost Rider, also known as Robbie Reyes, is a quintessential antihero, consumed by hellfire and supernaturally bound to a demon. Reyes lives on the Texas/Mexico border and when he unleashes the Rider, Robbie brings vengeance for the innocents he encounters, but struggles to control the power he wields. Marvel’s Ghost Rider is executive produced by Ingrid Escajeda, who will serve as showrunner, Paul Zbyszewski and Marvel’s Jeph Loeb.
Daimon and Ana Helstrom are the son and daughter of a mysterious and powerful serial killer in “Marvel’s Helstrom.” The siblings have a complicated dynamic as they track down the terrorizing worst of humanity — each with their attitude and skills. “Marvel’s Helstrom” is executive produced by Paul Zbyszewski, who will serve as showrunner and Marvel’s Jeph Loeb.
Hulu willalso partner with Vox Media Studios, David Chang’s Majordomo Media, and Chrissy Teigen’s Suit & Thai Productions to develop and produce a slate of food-centric programming for the platform. Among the first projects being produced by this new partnership is a cooking show featuring Chang and Teigen. Tentatively titled “Family Style,” the show will revolve around the ways in which people express their love for friends and family by cooking and eating together. Also in the pipeline is a documentary series tentatively titled “Eater’s Guide To The World,” which taps into Eater’s extensive knowledge of the most interesting and delicious restaurants on the planet.
Hulu has also given a straight-to-series order for “Nine Perfect Strangers,” which reunited Nicole Kidman and producer and writer David E. Kelley. The series takes place at a boutique health-and-wellness resort that promises healing and transformation as nine stressed city dwellers try to get on a path to a better way of living. Watching over them during this ten-day retreat is the resort’s director Masha (played by Kidman), a woman on a mission to reinvigorate their tired minds and bodies. However, these nine “perfect” strangers have no idea what is about to hit them.
Netflix Makes First-Look Deal with Regina King
Netflix has entered into a multi-year first look deal with director, producer, and Oscarwinning actress, Regina King. King’s production company Royal Ties is entering into the first-look deal to produce films and series for Netflix. Her sister, Reina King, will serve as head of production of the shingle.
Named one of Time Magazine’s most influential people of 2019, Regina King has had an acclaimed career garnering multiple accolades. She most recently won an Academy Award for her role as Sharon Rivers in feature film If Beale Street Could Talk as well as an Emmy Award for her role as Latrice Butler in Seven Seconds. King has also taken on many roles behind the camera directing episodes of This is Us, The Good Doctor, and the season three finale of Insecure among others. She is next set to star in Damon Lindeloff’s upcoming series Watchmen.
UPtv Acquires “Wonderama”
UPtv, the television home for uplifting and positive programming, will air new episodes of the reboot of tween-targeted variety show “Wonderama” at 8 and 8:30 am ET beginning this Saturday. Hosted by David Osmond, “Wonderama” blends musical performances, science experiments, cooking demonstrations, messy games, fun facts and much more in each episode. Each episode of “Wonderama” features an array of guests representing a cross-section of amazing talent for a fast-paced, family-friendly entertainment experience.
HBO Acquires Documentary “Diego Maradona”
HBO has acquired the exclusive U.S. television and streaming rights to feature-length film “Diego Maradona,” executive produced and directed by Asif Kapadia (“Amy”). Drawing on more than 500 hours of never-before-seen footage from the Argentine icon’s personal archives, the documentary charts the trials and triumphs of the legendary footballer when it debuts on HBO on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. ET. “Diego Maradona” will also be available on HBO on Demand, HBO NOW, HBO GO and partners’ streaming platforms.
NBC’s TV Lineup For Next Season Looks Remarkably Stable, But It’s Still Looking For A Hit Comedy – Click here
2019 NFL Regular Season Weekly TV Schedule on Fox, CBS, NBC, ESPN, and NFL Network
The National Football League (NFL) announced on Wednesday, April 17 its 17-week, 256-game regular-season schedule for 2019, which runs from September 5 through December 29, 2019. For the complete breakdown, clickhere
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
PBS and Smithsonian Channel will simultaneously debut “When Whales Walked: Journeys in Deep Time,“ a two-hour film tracing the evolutionary secrets of some of the world’s most majestic creatures, from crocodiles and birds to whales and elephants, on Wednesday, June 19 at 9 p.m. ET. Also debuting on June 19 at 8 p.m. ET, the three-part BBC co-production “Rivers of Life” will explore the extraordinary animals, epic landscapes and remarkable people who live alongside three iconic rivers – the Amazon, the Nile, and the Mississippi.
Three-part PBS series “Ancient Skies,“ which discusses how centuries of knowledge, experimentation and engineering helped our ancestors explore outer space, will launch on Wednesday, July 24 at 8 p.m. ET. It leads into five-part NOVA “The Planets” at 9 p.m. ET, which tells the dramatic story of our solar system, spanning billions of years through the discoveries of the most groundbreaking space missions. The series treats viewers to an up-close look at faraway worlds, including Saturn’s 45,000-mile-wide rings, Mars’s ancient waterfalls and Neptune’s winds – five times stronger than any hurricane felt on Earth.
The ninth — and final — season of “Suits” will open on USA on Wednesday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET. It leads into the debut of spin-off “Pearson” at 10 p.m., which centers around the world of recently disbarred NYC powerhouse lawyer Jessica Pearson (Gina Torres) as she adjusts to down and dirty Chicago politics. Both dramas hail from UCP and will have 10-episode seasons.
ON THE AIR TONIGHT
The 2019 “Miss USA Pageant” airs on Fox…ABC featured crossover installments of “Grey’s Anatomy” and spin-off “Station 19”…Season premieres: “iZombie” on The CW; “Murder Chose Me” on ID…For the listing of programming options for Thursday, May 2, click here