Thursday, May 7, 2020
Early dramatic antholgy “Kraft Television Theater” premiered on NBC in 1947…Bruno Sammartino became the WWF champion in 1963…NBC action/adventure “Daniel Boone” ended its six season run in 1970. It starred Fess Parker… The Honda Company introduced the Accord in 1976…Short-lived comedy “Quark“, created by Buck Henry (“Get Smart”) and starring Richard Benjamin, debuted on NBC in 1977. It would next run the following February before being canceled in April 1978. Only 8 episodes were telecast…Classic bad career move: Shelley Long departed “Cheers” on NBC in the fifth season finale in 1987. The sitcom lived on for another six seasons with Kirstie Alley, sparking the debate of which era of “Cheers” is more preferred…Long-running sitcom “The Facts of Life” ended in 1988. It ran for nine seasons on NBC…The Denver Nuggets defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in 1994 to become the first No. 8 seed to eliminate a No. 1 seed in a playoff series in NBA history…Legal drama “Matlock,“ starring Andy Griffith, concluded on ABC in 1995 after a nine season and two network (NBC and ABC) run…The start of the two-part reunion movie “Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-de-Sac” originally aired on CBS in 1997…Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz starred in the motion picture blockbuster “The Mummy” that had premiered in theaters in 1999…Also in 1999, a Michigan jury found “The Jenny Jones Show” was at least partly liable for the shooting death of one of its guests after he revealed he was a secret admirer of another man. Later, however, an appellate court overruled that decision…Morgan Spurlock‘s famous fast-food documentary “Super Size Me” opened in theaters in 2004.
Songs: Hitting No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 — “Hotel California” by The Eagles in 1977, “Wishing Well” by Terence Trent D’Arby in 1988.
Celebrity Birthdays: actress Robin Strasser (“One Life to Live”) is 75; singer Thelma Houston is 74; director Amy Heckerling (“Fast Times at Ridgemont High”, “Clueless”) is 68; actor Michael E. Knight (“All My Children”) is 61; “Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade is 57; actress Traci Lords is 52; actor Breckin Meyer (“Clueless”) is 46; reggaeton singer J Balvin is 35; “Saturday Night Live’s” Aidy Bryant is 32.
-Did You Know?:
A landmark in the history of the “Kraft Television Theatre” was the use of color, which began intermittently in April 1954 and became permanent in July 1956…“Cheers” was ranked third overall in all of primetime in Shelley Long’s final season in 1986-87 (behind lead-in sitcoms “The Cosby Show” and “Family Ties”). By the 1990-91 season, featuring Kirstie Alley, it was the top-rated series…In the final episode of “The Facts of Life,” Blair Warner (Lisa Whelchel) bought Eastland and changed it to a co-ed school, which was a backdoor pilot for a new sitcom focused on Blair and a new set of supporting characters. The new Eastland students included Juliette Lewis, Seth Green and Mayim Bialik. But it did not move forward.
NEW PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENTS
FX Greenlights B.J. Novak Anthology Series
FX has given a series order to a half-hour anthology from “The Office” star B.J. Novak. The untitled series (formerly known as “Project”) is described as using the issues of our times as a jumping off point to tell character-driven stories about the world we live in at present. Each episode will feature a different cast and the pick up comes after the show filmed its first two episodes. Episode one features Lucas Hedges, Kaitlyn Dever, Beau Bridges, O’Shea Jackson Jr., George Wallace, Ed Asner, Brendan Francis Scannell, among others. The second episode stars Jon Bernthal, Boyd Holbrook, and Amy Landecker.
Novak wrote and directed the first two episodes and serves as executive producer. FX Productions will produce.
Nickelodeon Orders Two New Virtually Interactive Shows for the Summer
Nickelodeon has announced two brand-new virtually interactive series premiering this summer — “Group Chat: The Show,” hosted by social media stars Annie LeBlanc and Jayden Bartels; and “Game Face” (working title), a video chat rundown of the week’s latest hot topics, taken directly from what kids love and are talking about across social media.
The loglines: Each episode of “Group Chat: The Show” will also feature Hayley LeBlanc (“Mani”), along with fan-favorite stars, as they talk about the hottest trend topics of the week based on what kids are currently discussing across social media, play games and compete in challenges–all via video chat. It premieres on Saturday, May 23, at 8:30 p.m. ET.
In Game Face” (six episodes), celebrities’ true identities are hidden behind an animated filter and voice changer in the game show, while a star-studded panel is given wacky clues and competes to decipher the mystery guest. Viewers can get in on the fun by downloading the show’s filters to transform into the same characters as their favorite celebrities. A host will be announced at a later date, and it debuts on Saturday, June 13, at 8:30 p.m. ET.
TV AND DIGITAL UPDATES
CBS Announces the Renewal of 23 Series
CBS has announced the return of 23 primetime series, citing an 80 percent renewal rate. Returning in the 2020-21 season are dramas “All Rise,” “Blue Bloods,” “Bull,” “FBI,” “FBI: Most Wanted,” “MacGyver,” “Magnum, P.I.,” “NCIS,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” “S.W.A.T.,” and “SEAL Team;” comedies “The Neighborhood” and “Bob Hearts Abishola;” inspirational reality series “Undercover Boss;” and justice-themed “48 Hours.” They join the previously announced renewals of “Evil,” “Mom,” “Young Sheldon,” “The Amazing Race” and “Survivor.” Veteran newsmagazine “60 Minutes,” of course, is also returning.
Not returning are comedies Carol’s Second Act” and “Man With a Plan;” and Edie Falco crime drama “Tommy.” There is no word, at present, when the new season will actually begin given the current production shutdown due to COVID-19.
Tribeca Enterprises, IMAX and AT&T Announce “Tribeca Drive-In”
Tribeca Enterprises in partnership with IMAX and AT&T has announced the unveiling of “Tribeca Drive-In,” a nationwide summer drive-in series that will roll out in markets across America featuring a curated selection of films as well as music and sporting events. The first-of its-kind limited engagement series kicks off on June 27 with full programming and ticket information to be announced in the coming weeks.
The goal: Just as Tribeca was founded to unify New York City in the aftermath of 9/11, “Tribeca Drive-In” seeks to strengthen and bring together audiences for a communal entertainment experience that is both fun and safe. For each Drive-In event, Tribeca will also collaborate with local vendors to support small businesses in those areas and ensure each event is reflective of the communities they are stationed in.
An Unexpected Opportunity for Advertisers
In the complicated media world of today, where an abundance of platforms, both linear and digital, and series — scripted and non-scripted — are competing, brand messaging can be a challenge. But, even in this era of “Peak TV,” where a fractionalized environment riddled with original content can limit the audience reach for each entry, there is an unusual pattern at present that can be advantageous for an advertiser.
Not surprisingly, streaming service usage is on the rise as Americans remain at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent online survey conducted by market research firm Invoke. And the traditional television ratings, according to Nielsen Media Research, have increased (often by double-digital percentages) for the first time in what has to be years during these unprecedented times.
So, as more people remain in search of content to consume their time with, the opportunity for an advertiser is, perhaps, greater than ever before. But the question, and the challenge, remains how exactly to do it. While emerging strategies and technologies continue to offer marketers additional opportunities for their clients, choosing the right venues with the appropriate messaging can be a daunting task. For more, click here
PIPodcast with Douglas Pucci and Scott Nolte
Discussion about current and upcoming shows in early May 2020: “Never Have I Ever” (Netflix), “Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill” (Netflix), “Becoming” (Netflix), “The Eddy” (Netflix), “Dead to Me” season 2 (Netflix), “Celebrity Watch Party” (Fox), “Disney Family Singalong: Volume II” (ABC) and “Feeding America Comedy Special” (NBC). To listen, click here
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
WABC-TV in New York will air “Retail Rescue: Deals & Steals,” a half-hour special focused on helping small businesses impacted by the temporary shutdown orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on SATURDAY, MAY 9 at 7 p.m. ET. Co-hosted by Tory Johnson of “Good Morning America”’s “Deals & Steals” alongside Eyewitness News’ Sam Champion, “Retail Rescue” reflects WABC’s ongoing commitment to support its community and struggling businesses during this unprecedented global health crisis.
CNBC’s “DNA Testing: The Promise and the Peril” will premiere on Monday, May 11 at 10 p.m. ET. Scott Wapner examines the explosive rise and recent decline of direct-to-consumer DNA testing, an industry virtually unheard of 20 years ago that has convinced nearly 30 million paying customers to hand over their most sensitive personal information–their genetic code. While industry leaders like Ancestry and 23andMe promise to reveal secrets about your heritage and health, there are growing concerns about privacy, the reliability of test results, and the question of who has access to your data. As just a handful of companies build the world’s largest private DNA databases and sell access to them to outside companies, some say it’s time to step back and consider the critical questions this controversial technology raises.
Travel Channel’s “Buried Worlds with Don Wildman” will debut on Monday, June 8 at 9 p.m. ET. The logline: Don Wildman is on a mission of a more cryptic sort, heading to remote regions of Peru, Haiti, Bulgaria and beyond – visiting the dark chasms and caverns of the paranormal and supernatural, tracking alleged lingering ghosts, devilish demons, vampires and witches burned at the stake. His global quest to explore the world’s most terrifying mysteries will consist of seven hour-long episodes and a two-hour special event finale airing on Monday, July 27 at 8 p.m. ET.
ON THE AIR TONIGHT
NBC drama “Council of Dads” moves into the Thursday 8 p.m. ET hour…Series premieres: “Bad Mothers” on Sundance Now; “Bruh” on BET+…Season premieres: “Blindspot” on NBC; “Scissor Seven” on Netflix…Season finales: “If I Should Die Now” on ID; “Shaq Life” on TNT. For the listing of available programs for Thursday, May 7, click here