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Archive for June, 2011

Nothing Better Than Hockey Coverage of the Stanley Cup

June 4th, 2011 No comments

This is the best time of year for hockey.  For a lot of reasons.  The National Hockey League is enjoying one of their best seasons when it comes to the number of viewers tuning in for this year’s race to win the big prize, the Stanley Cup.  When I watch hockey it’s only this time of year.  When the playoffs begin.  Game two is on tonight and the best announcer in broadcasting for NHL games is Mike Emrick who voices all of the Stanley Cup Finals games and he is without question one of the best.

I first caught Mike when he was doing the Philadelphia Flyers games in that city.  I never thought there would be an announcer that could top the late, great Gene Hart who I worked with on radio games back in the late 70’s.  But Mike Emrick is absolutely brilliant.   You like Gus Johnson, the former voice of the Road to the Final Four on CBS?  Emrick is one of the most exciting announcers in hockey.

This year’s Stanley Cup Final features the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins.  Chilling at home watching game two of the series and watched the first contest that Vancouver won 1-0 over Boston.  Boring game when there’s not a lot of scoring.  But the play by play of Mike Emrick made that an exciting game no matter what the score.

Mike Emrick

He’s good.  He really is a good announcer.  I would say “Let’s Go Flyers” but my boys aren’t in the big final this year but this series between these two good teams is still fun to watch.

Rick Thomas

“In this very moment I slay Goliath with the sling. In this very moment I bring, put it on everything. That I will retire with the ring. And I will retire with the crown, yes!” -Nicky Minaj

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CBS Contract Done Sunday, Katie Couric’s New Daytime Talk Show Comes

June 4th, 2011 No comments

Katie Couric left the CBS Evening News a little over a week ago shortly before the official end date of her contract to anchor that program.  Sunday that agreement is over and the new phase of her life begins.

Disney ABC Domestic Television announced an agreement with Katie Couric for a 2012 launch of her new syndicated talk program and this venture will team her up with her old boss Jeff Zucker, the former head of NBC.  In addition to her duties on the daytime program, the deal gives her exposure on segments of the ABC News division but her role there is probably not going to be clear.  Plus ABC News is expected to have a limited investment in the financial deal that brings Couric to the syndicated side of the conglomerate.

Disney ABC Domestic Television also is responsible for the syndication of LIVE! with Regis & Kelly which is going through changes as Regis Philbin departs that weekday show in November.  And DATV also produces Who Wants To Be A Millionaire in syndication as well.  But the costs associated with producing the new Katie Couric venture could be upwards of $1 million per week.  Which means this show needs to be extremely successful for Disney ABC Domestic Television to be profitable.  A huge risk for the network but with Oprah leaving daytime and the soap opera genre dropping audience in droves, this could be a long term effort that could be profitable as the daytime television landscape changes.

“In this very moment I slay Goliath with the sling. In this very moment I bring, put it on everything. That I will retire with the ring. And I will retire with the crown, yes!” -Nicky Minaj

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‘Gunsmoke’ Ran for 20 Years with James Arness, the Cowboy, Western Genre

June 3rd, 2011 No comments

Marshall Matt Dillon is gone.  One of the best cowboy dramas on television, on CBS.  Gunsmoke ran for 20 years on the network and the title of the show was always connected to the great James Arness who played Dillon in the series.

James Arness in 'Gunsmoke'

Gunsmoke was one of the longest running television programs and James Arness, who passed away today at the age of 88, was the man who we all grew to love during his tenure on the show. 635 episodes of Gunsmoke ran on television from 1955 to 1975.  He also starred in the television series How The West Was One in the 1970’s.

His brother, actor Peter Graves who starred in many movies and the television show Mission Impossible, was his older sibling.  Arness is survived by his wife Janet, two sons and six grandchildren.

“In this very moment I slay Goliath with the sling. In this very moment I bring, put it on everything. That I will retire with the ring. And I will retire with the crown, yes!” -Nicky Minaj

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Rihanna Shot a “Man Down” on BET, Creates Huge Controversy (Video)

June 3rd, 2011 No comments

It’s over Rihanna.  You’re out of the top five on list of  women most men would get the OK from their wives or girlfriends to go one on one with and not get in trouble.   BET launched the world premiere of her latest music video Man Down and  you have to be the dumbest cluck on earth not to get the real point of this one.

Calling it “art with a message” during an interview on BET’s 106 & Park, Man Down opens up with a man getting shot in public by an obviously upset woman and that woman in the video is Rihanna.

Chris Brown, you might take Rihanna off speed-dial.

And all you need to do is watch this one several times, listen to the words and this is no joke.  To the point that even the Parents Television Council labeled Man Down “disturbing” and has asked the network to remove it from rotation on BET’s programming.

“I’ve been abused in the past and you don’t see me running around killing people,” Rihanna told BET during an interview.  But that certainly won’t stop those who don’t hear her comments beyond the video from acting out on their abuser.  The content in the production of her new video also shows images of a sexual assault.  “We just wanted to hone in on a very serious matter especially if you’ve been victimized,” said the singer during the interview.

Check out Man Down at the link below.

http://youtu.be/DQPVhlMHvvs

“In this very moment I slay Goliath with the sling. In this very moment I bring, put it on everything. That I will retire with the ring. And I will retire with the crown, yes!” -Nicky Minaj

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FOX Banking on Zooey’s ‘New Girl’ and Simon’s ‘The X Factor’

June 2nd, 2011 No comments

OK so we’ll say it.  If it wasn’t for American Idol, FOX might be fighting a few rounds with Manny Paquiao for survival of the network fittest.  Now with about $2 billion on the line from advertising agencies promising to spend huge dollars on the network two shows are destined to re-make FOX or send it in to a tailspin that the big four networks don’t like.  Giving  back money or handing out what are called make goods if the audience doesn’t buy in to Zooey Deshcanel’s New Girl or Simon Cowell’s The X Factor.

Zooey Deschanel in FOX's 'New Girl'

FOX is expected to realize almost $2 billion from brands wanting to spend ad dollars on the network during this upcoming television season and these two shows are key in guaranteeing that they get those dollars.  We’ve talked a lot about The X Factor that is already having issues with releasing pop singer Cheryl Cole from her duties as a judge for that show.  Apparently her thick British accent was a turnoff to show producers and would lead to viewer turnout.  Plus getting along with Queen Paula Abdul was an issue for her as well and since Paula is the Queen, well bye-bye Cheryl Cole.

But advertisers are also excited about New Girl starring Zooey Deschanel.  A comedy that sees her character go through a break-up with a boyfriend and decides to move in to a new place with three male roomates, one that includes Daman Wayans.  After watching the trailer for the new series this one may have some issues that don’t have to do with thick British accents but more with the fact that it was about as engaging as, well it was not engaging at all.  So this one could be a problem for FOX as well.

In a statement from the network FOX had “significant growth in volume and pricing” during this phase of upfront which is always a good thing for any network but their take of the ad dollars is similar to what they grabbed in 2010.

Rick Thomas

“In this very moment I slay Goliath with the sling. In this very moment I bring, put it on everything. That I will retire with the ring. And I will retire with the crown, yes!” -Nicky Minaj

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The ‘Factual Entertainment Forum’ Definitely the Real Deal

June 2nd, 2011 No comments

Most of the events we attend are purely focused on talent in reality shows or prime time programs.  So we decided to take a bit of a turn and check out a more management targeted event with limited star power and what a great two day event.  The Factual Entertainment Forum in Santa Monica, California was a pretty cool deal that gave attendees a real good overview of what television and cable networks seek for programming content.

 

Family Jewels cast Gene Simmons, Shannon Tweed, Nick, Tweed-Simmons, Sophie Tweed Simmons – Photo from Rahoul Ghose/Factual Entertainment Forum

But we had to check out Gene Simmons of Gene Simmons Family Jewels before on A&E.  The full crew from the show attended the event and the picture we are highlighting is about the whole family but that was just a small part of the program at the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica.

First it was great to get out of the city for a minute.  The Loews is right on the Pacific Ocean so they couldn’t have picked a better location but the content for those involved in the reality television business was incredible.  I would suggest that if you have any interest in the genre, next time then present the Factual Entertainment Forum, you might want to attend.

Reality Royalty was the session that launched the Forum and that was about it for the star power for the event.  The rest of the Forum was a list of incredibly talented executives from many of the major networks that carry reality programming.  LifeTime, TLC, ABC, Syfy, Oprah’s OWN, truTV, Spike TV and other major networks sent executives their to give the attendees a solid overview of the reality television genre and it was quite informative.

Of all the featured speakers, Kevin Burns from Prometheus Entertainment stole the session titles Trends to Watch for Factual Entertainment.  A more mature producer of television shows including A&E’s Biography, the reality show The Girls Next Door on E! and Kendra Wilkinson’s Kendra along with a plethora of other shows in his long career.  An awesome wealth of knowledge that added immensely to that session.

In addition if there was interest in pitching your own reality show, this was the place to be and is the place to be for future programs produced by the Factual Entertainment Forum with agent meetings and speed pitching sessions with those interested in presenting their own ideas for reality programming was part of this event.

And then there was Gene Simmons.  A suggestion that his is the event to attend next time it rolls around especially for those in Los Angeles looking to network with top management people at very well respected network and cable channels.  An event worth attending that we will definitely put on the calendar next year.

Rick Thomas

Rick Thomas

“In this very moment I slay Goliath with the sling. In this very moment I bring, put it on everything. That I will retire with the ring. And I will retire with the crown, yes!” -Nicky Minaj

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Could Be Chelsea Handler Versus Kim Kardashian on E!

June 2nd, 2011 No comments

The future of E! Entertainment Network is in the hands of one woman.  Is it Chelsea Handler?  Nope!  Is it Kim Kardashian? Nada!  But these two popular television and reality personalities are the focus of a possible makeover of the network that has grown substantially over the 2o plus years of existence.

The Hollywood Reporter has a great article from Lacey Rose which details the intense review that the aforementioned one woman it taking to enhance E!.  Bonnie Hammer, one of the most powerful female executives in television is the boss over at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment and is on a mission to re-vamp the network as was the case with USA Network.

And USA Network, without question is the b-b-b-bomb!  With solid scripted programming that has made USA cable television’s most highly rated cable network.

E! may be on the same track as Bonnie Hammer, the one woman who can produce that makeover, wants what she says is a “brand audit” of the network.

USA Network went through the same “brand audit” seven years ago and look what it has become.  Great scripted programming and great growth in viewers.  Shows like Burn Notice, Royal Pains, Psych, In Plain Sight and other programs have launched USA Network to incredible heights as a cable network.  So the same process may be in the making for E!.

Why?

The goal is to take E! “from a successful channel and have it just completely break out,” Hammer told The Hollywood Reporter.  Hammer says the brand of E! is “is not broken in any way, shape or form” but what could be the dagger in some of the reality fare on the network is her one quote that the network will become “a more broad, upscale, fresh tone.”

How does that affect the network’s two big names?  Chelsea Handler, a huge name on E!, is a lock with her brand that even gets her a new show on NBC the parent company.  And E! will use it’s on-air content to promote the launch of her mid-season replacement show Are You There, Vodka?  It’s Me Chelsea.  And why we use “versus’ in the title of this story and mention Kim Kardashian is can E! afford to keep her content on the air looking toward “a more broad, upscale, fresh tone.”

That is a huge question.  Because no one over at NBC’s programming department is losing sleep on whether Kim Kardashian and her family’s brand would ever fit on the big network.  How about a big no way!  Chelsea Handler, well fits very well on NBC at least in planning stages for a show there.

Could this be the time to move the Kardashian properties to Bravo, also owned by NBC to their relatively low brow programming and build E! into a more upscale network?

To be or not to be “upscale” and that is definitely the question.

Read Lacy Rose’s solid article at the link below.

“In this very moment I slay Goliath with the sling. In this very moment I bring, put it on everything. That I will retire with the ring. And I will retire with the crown, yes!” -Nicky Minaj

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Omarosa follows RealTVCritics.com to get up to date on really hot TV shows and so does Kim Kardashian. Even Yoko Ono is on board with RealTVCritics.com.

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There is a God, Namely TNT as ‘Franklin & Bash’ Begins, ‘Men of a Certain Age’ Return (Video)

June 1st, 2011 No comments

Yaaaaaaay!!!  So really there’s not a dang thing on network TV worth watching unless you want to see some woman get her parrot to name an animal voice on America’s Got Talent.  What else is there but a bunch of repeats and some victim movies from the 90’s on LifeTime.   Yeah there’s always a woman, picking the wrong man, being stalked for about 52 minutes of the movie, he corners her in her home, shoots him dead and goes on trial for murder.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer in TNT's 'Franklin & Bash"

Mark-Paul Gosselaar and Breckin Meyer in TNT's 'Franklin & Bash"

Welcome to summer TV.  At least for a minute.  Right between May sweeps and right around now there’s this lull.  Nothing new.  The Miami Heat are making fools out of all of us watching the NBA Finals so that’s even more depressing.  The next time someone, like me, calls LeBron James a punk for leaving Cleveland, well just watch game one of the Finals on NBA-TV.

Tonight TNT is God-like with the premiere of Franklin & Bash and the return of Men of a Certain Age.  Since I have not watched Franklin and Bash yet it will definitely get some props at launch.  But since I am a man of a certain age, Men of a Certain Age certainly is so about guys who are in and out of mid-life crisis, have screwed up relationships with wives and girlfriends, have messed up children, can’t get along with their parents who they work with, have serious career issues and on and on.

So my favorite show which is a lot about guys in their 40’s and 50’s is back.

Franklin & Bash premieres at 9PM and Men of a Certain Age hits at 10PM.

Rick Thomas

 

“In this very moment I slay Goliath with the sling. In this very moment I bring, put it on everything. That I will retire with the ring. And I will retire with the crown, yes!” -Nicky Minaj

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