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Update: Stephen Colbert Visits David Letterman On CBS (Video)

6 hours ago

Updated with details of Colbert’s appearance: Viewers curious to know what Actual Stephen Colbert is like, and what might his upcoming CBS late-night show be, got a good look tonight when the Comedy Central star made his first visit to David Letterman‘s Late Show since being named as his replacement. After telling Dave he’d been offered a gig with Dave’s old NBC show but turned it down because it was an unpaid internship –  “It’s an expensive city,” Colbert explained. “The next job I’m taking here, that pays? Cause I’ve already signed” — they exchanged pleasantries about their families and Dave asked Colbert if he vacations well. “No, I do not,” Colbert responded. “I don’t know why you do comedy, but it’s not because everything’s all right up here, for me,” he said, tapping on his own head. “It’s not a »

- LISA DE MORAES, TV Columnist

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Espn Could Rewrite Record Book When It Airs Cable’s First NFL Playoff Game

6 hours ago

The NFL regular-season schedule comes out tomorrow, but we already know something big about the postseason. The league said today that Espn will air a wild card game during the first weekend of the playoffs in early January. The milestone game will mark the first postseason NFL game on pay TV — and should draw astronomical ratings for the cable universe. Last season’s wild card weekend was a goldmine for NBC, CBS and especially Fox, whose 49ers-Packers contest was the most-watched wild card game on any network since the Reagan administration with 47.1 million viewers. Even that weekend’s lowest-rated game — in which the Colts erased a four-touchdown deficit to stun the Chiefs — drew 27.6 million. But that’s more than the largest cable TV audience ever: the 2011 Auburn-Oregon college football title game, which pulled in 27.3 million viewers for Espn. The sports network, which carries Monday Night Football games, signed an eight-year »

- ERIK PEDERSEN

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Update: Post Crew On NBC’s ‘Last Comic Standing’ Win Iatse Contract

7 hours ago

Update, 8:14 Pm: No joke — the strike is over. After a day-and-a-half labor action on the part of the Motion Picture Editors Guild, Iatse Local 700, the postproduction crew of Last Comic Standing now have a union contract, I’ve learned. With that over, everybody is heading back to work tomorrow on the soon-to-debut NBC reboot. The roughly 15 editors, assistant editors and other briefly striking post employees have won the health and retirement benefits plus vacation and holiday pay they sought when they walked out on Monday. A day of picketing today outside the Glendale postproduction facility of the NBC Studios show also saw significant wage increases for the assistant editors. Last Comic Standing is set to premiere on May 22. Previous, April 21, Am: Just more than a month before its reboot is set to debut, NBC‘s Last Comic Standing today has been knocked down by a labor action. About 15 editors »

- DOMINIC PATTEN

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Hot TV Trailer: NBC’s ‘Crossbones’

9 hours ago

Lots going on in this first trailer for NBC‘s new pirate drama. Crossbones stars a white-goateed John Malkovich as Blackbeard — Genius. Madman. Legend., we’re told — who reigns over a rogues gallery of outlaws and miscreant sailors in 1715. He comes up against Tom Lowe (Richard Coyle), an assassin masquerading as a physician who is sent to the Bahamian island of New Providence, the first functioning democracy in the Americas, and tasked with taking out the ruthless and much-feared Blackbeard. Swashbuckling, torture, explosions and pillowing ensue. The cast also includes Claire Foy, David Hoflin, Yasmine Al Massri and Tracy Ifeachor. Have a look, ye landlubbers: »

- ERIK PEDERSEN

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Mitch Hurwitz Inks Multi-Year Deal With Netflix For New Series

11 hours ago

Exclusive: Mitch Hurwitz is staying in the Netflix fold with a multi-year deal, a rare pact with a writer-producer for the streaming giant. Under the multi-tier agreement, the Arrested Development creator will create and produce new original series for the Internet TV network through his banner The Hurwitz Company. Additionally, he will develop projects with other creators as a non-writing executive producer and will consult for Netflix on comedy series. Hurwitz first worked with Netflix on a new season of his Emmy-winning comedy series Arrested Development, which was released last year. “We are lucky to be in business with Mitch Hurwitz, a true genius with one of the most distinctive voices in comedy today,” said Netflix’s Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos. “Mitch’s inventive approach to Arrested Development — one of the top TV comedies of this generation — was ahead of its time, and we’re fortunate to have him on our team. »

- NELLIE ANDREEVA

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WGA Targets Larry Levinson And Hallmark For Unpaid Residuals

12 hours ago

The WGA is preparing to bar prolific TV movie producer Larry Levinson from ever using guild writers again unless he pays up on millions he allegedly owes in unpaid residuals. In the past 20 years, Larry Levinson Productions has produced nearly 200 family-oriented TV movies, most of which were made for the Hallmark Channel or in association with Hallmark Entertainment. The guild is currently pursuing arbitration claims against Levinson’s various production entities for unpaid residuals and interest owed on 38 of those TV movies. In a recent letter to a group of writers who Levinson allegedly stiffed, the guild stated that “Levinson continues to demonstrate an egregious, ongoing failure to pay residuals.” An arbitration hearing is set for August 14. In its notice of arbitration (read it here), the WGA claimed that two of Levinson’s companies, Hardstone Entertainment and Branwen Productions, violated the guild’s contract by failing to pay residuals on »

- ANITA BUSCH

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Supreme Court Watchers Examine Justices’ Comments For Insights Into What They’ll Do With Aereo

13 hours ago

This is a risky exercise. Jurists often like to play devil’s advocate when they question lawyers in open court. But the comments that Supreme Court justices made today in the hearing pitting Aereo against broadcasters likely will provide the only clues about what investors and others should expect ahead of a ruling expected in June. Guggenheim analyst Paul Gallant says he senses that “a majority of Justices would shut down Aereo if there were no potential implications on cloud storage.” But if that’s an open question, then “our guess is that the Court will find some way to thread the needle and say that Aereo is inconsistent with the 1976 Copyright Act, or send the case back to the lower courts with some negative (but not conclusive) commentary toward Aereo.” Related: Aereo Case Reactions: Did CBS Shares Fall In Response To Supreme Court’s Questions? The basic debate: Aereo »

- DAVID LIEBERMAN, Financial Editor

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Adult Swim’s ‘The Boondocks’ Big In Return

13 hours ago

Like The Game, which set ratings records when revived by Bet, another comedy series targeting black audiences came back roaring after a lengthy break from television. Last night’s Season 4 bow of the Sony Pictures TV-produced animated series The Boondocks on Adult Swim set series highs across all key demos, including adults 18-34 (1.40 million) and adults 18-49 (1.9 million), up 50% from the show’s previous season averages. It was Adult Swim’s most-watched primetime telecast among key adult demographics in at least five years. The Boondocks premiere was the No. 1 TV program in all of television last night — broadcast or cable — among Adult Swim’s target 18-34 demographic, topping NBC’s The Voice (1.36 million) and TNT’s NBA Playoffs coverage (1.16 million). Related: Adult Swim Greenlights Live-Action Comedy Series ‘Black Jesus’ Based on Aaron McGruder’s comic strip, The Boondocks premiered on Adult Swim in 2005. Four years after the 2010 third-season finale, Adult Swim »

- NELLIE ANDREEVA

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Starz’s Chris Albrecht Made $30.5M In 2013, +137%

13 hours ago

A huge slug of option awards propelled the Starz CEO to a compensation package that’s close to what Jeff Bewkes made at Time Warner, a much bigger company. Chris Albrecht benefited from a new contract that coincided with the premium cable channel company’s spinoff from Liberty Media in January 2013, according to the company proxy just filed at the SEC. His package: $1.3M salary, $27.9M option awards, $1.3M non equity incentives, and $16,134 in other compensation. Not much commentary in the proxy about Albrecht’s achievements, but Starz shares basically doubled in value in 2013 following the spin off. His compensation accounted for 71% of the pie for the company’s five top execs, up from 63% in 2012. Corporate governance watchdogs also would consider it way out of whack for the company. Albrecht’s pay was 9.9 times the median for his closest lieutenants, up from 6.7 times in 2012. Many governance specialists flash a warning »

- ERIK PEDERSEN

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Jeremy Davies & Robert Knepper Join History’s ‘Texas Rising’

13 hours ago

Jeremy Davies (Justified) and Robert Knepper (Prison Break) have been cast in History’s miniseries Texas Rising (working title) from A+E Studios and ITV Studios America. Leslie Greif (Hatfields & McCoys) is exec producing the project, which will detail the Texas Revolution against Mexico and the rise of the legendary Texas Rangers. Davies, repped by Paradigm, Silver Lining Entertainment and attorney Karl Austen, will play Sgt. Ephraim Knowles, a shifty rogue whose only thought is for his own survival who reluctantly joins the Rangers to avoid being executed for desertion. Knepper, repped by Innovative Artists and Kramer Management, will play Empresario Buckley, an unshaven bombastic slob. He is the only law in the town of Victoria, and he abuses his position to further his own agenda and make himself rich in the process. Davies won an Outstanding Guest Actor Emmy for FX’s Justified. He recurs on NBC’s Hannibal »

- THE DEADLINE TEAM

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Hot Clip: TV Creators Get Their Close-Up In Docu ‘Showrunners’

13 hours ago

Exclusive: Jj Abrams, Matthew Carnahan, Jane Espenson, Hart Hanson, Ronald D. Moore, Kurt Sutter, and Joss Whedon are just some of the powerhouse television creators who appear in new docu Showrunners, from writer/director Des Doyle. Pic is the first feature length film to explore the rising power of the TV showrunner and the behind the scenes process that goes into making a hit show. Doyle brought the WonderCon crowds a taste over the weekend, appearing alongside Steven Molaro (The Big Bang Theory), Espenson (Once Upon a Time, Husbands), Steve Callaghan (Family Guy), John Rogers (Leverage, The Librarians), Andrew Kreisberg (Arrow), Rockne S. O’Bannon (Revolution), Marc Guggenheim (Arrow), Chris Carter (The X-Files, The After), and Showrunners co-producer Ryan Patrick McGuffey to unveil a clip from the film, which you can check out exclusively on Deadline below. The Black Sheep Productions, Romark Entertainment, and Junto Entertainment production came together with »

- JEN YAMATO

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‘Fargo’s Noah Hawley Inks Overall Deal With FX Productions

15 hours ago

FX Productions has closed an overall production deal with Noah Hawley, the writer, executive producer and showrunner of Fargo, FX‘s first limited series as part of the cable network’s push in event programming. The two-year agreement for Hawley and his 26 Keys banner covers development for all television, both cable and broadcast. “As is evident by the universal acclaim and extraordinary reviews pouring in for Fargo, Noah Hawley is one of the most talented writer/producers in this business,” said FX Networks and FX Prods President of Original Programming Eric Schrier. Inspired by the 1996 Coen brothers movie, Fargo tells a new story. Hawley wrote all episodes of the limited series, which earned great reviews. It launched to so-so premiere audience of 2.65 million but has grown in time-shifted viewing, amassing 6.3 million viewers in Live+3. “Making Fargo for FX has been the highlight of my career,” Hawley said.”A writer can »

- NELLIE ANDREEVA

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ABC ‘World News’ Beats ‘NBC Nightly News’ For Second Consecutive Week

15 hours ago

For the first time in more than six years, ABC’s World News With Diane Sawyer beat NBC Nightly News With Brian Williams in the news demo for a second consecutive week. Last time it happened it wasn’t “with Diane Sawyer” because Charlie Gibson was anchoring back in March of ’08 when ABC’s newscast last enjoyed two weeks of demo ratings wins.. Sawyer took over as anchor in December of 2009. The week of April 14, ABC’s newscast also posted its largest victory over NBC’s in that 25-54 age bracket in more than five years. Sawyer’s newscast beat Williams’ by 85,000 demo viewers. One week earlier, Sawyer’s win was by a slim 12,000 demo viewers. ABC’s newscast bested NBC in head-to-head competition on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday during the week of April 14. Season to date, World News has narrowed its season margin with NBC Nightly News in Adults »

- LISA DE MORAES, TV Columnist

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Food Network Adds Valerie Bertinelli Project To Daytime Lineup

16 hours ago

Food Network and Cooking Channel today unveiled 35 new series that will roll out during the next several months. Among the new additions on Food Networks’ slate, announced during Scripps Networks Interactive‘s upfront in New York, is The Valerie Bertinelli Project (wt) set for a September premiere. It features the Hot In Cleveland star and bestselling cookbook author and her husband preparing dinners for family and celebrity friends in their Los Angeles home. Bunim/Murray is producing. Also on the slate is an expansion of the Chopped franchise set for a July premiere. The five-episode Chopped Teens Tournament features 16 talented teenage chefs who must create the perfect appetizer, entree and dessert as they navigate through each round. The winner from each episode heads into the finale with a chance to win a $25,000 grand prize and culinary school scholarship. Notional is producing for Food Network. New Food Network and Cooking Channel »

- THE DEADLINE TEAM

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Josh Berman Inks New Overall Deal At Sony

16 hours ago

Exclusive: Josh Berman tenure at Sony Pictures Television will be crossing the decade mark with a fourth consecutive overall deal. Under the new, three-year pact, Berman continues as executive producer and showrunner of Sony TV’s Lifetime series Dead Drop Diva. He created the dramedy, now in its sixth and final season, under his first overall pact at the studio. He also will continue to develop projects for network and cable. Berman began his career as a junior writer on the first season of CBS’ CSI. He remained on the long-running procedural for six years, rising to executive producer. He went on to create the Fox drama Vanished and spent four years on the network’s veteran procedural Bones. While at Sony TV, Berman, repped by CAA and attorney Ken Richman, also co-created and executive produced the Fox drama Mob Doctor. »

- NELLIE ANDREEVA

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Aereo Case Reactions: Did CBS Shares Fall In Response To Supreme Court’s Questions?

17 hours ago

Updated: CBS investors apparently became more comfortable with the Aereo news from the Supreme Court as the afternoon wore on. The broadcasters’ shares edged back into positive territory, closing +0.1%, and narrowed the striking gap with the S&P 500 that opened right around the time justices began questioning lawyers in the case.  Previous, 11:00 Am: Can’t say for sure, but the timing leads me to think that there’s a connection. CBS has the most at stake in the Aereo case among Big Media companies because it’s so dependent on broadcasting — including retransmission consent fees which, in theory, could be jeopardized if the streaming service can tap over-the-air transmissions without payment. CBS was up about 0.8% this morning, in line with the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500, until shortly after noon Et — during the court’s questioning period — when it fell sharply to -0.8% without a corresponding change in the S&P. »

- DAVID LIEBERMAN, Financial Editor

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘The Voice’, ‘Dancing’, ‘2 Broke Girls’ And ‘Mike & Molly’ Slip

17 hours ago

NBC’s and ABC’s lineups followed a similar pattern last night, with a two-hour reality series posting declines from last week to hit lows and a 10 Pm drama returning to originals on par. NBC’s The Voice made a bumpy transition to live shows last night with the first performance edition suffering a mic malfunction in addition to a 15% week-to-week ratings drop. The singing competition (2.9) logged its lowest Monday rating to date, matching a series low. Meanwhile, ABC’s Dancing With The Stars (2.1) was down 9% from last week to a season low. But compared to the same night last spring, the veteran ABC dancing competition was even, while The Voice was down 41%. NBC’s The Blacklist (2.8) and ABC’s Castle (1.8) were both flat with their most recent originals three and four weeks ago, respectively. NBC still won the night in 18-49 (2.9) with Voice and Blacklist as the top two programs, »

- NELLIE ANDREEVA

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Chief Justice Slams Aereo At Supreme Court Hearing

18 hours ago

If you thought that the legal dispute between Aereo and the broadcasters was combative, it paled compared with today’s one-hour hearing at the Supreme Court. In oral arguments before the nine Justices, both sides took some heavy blows, but the Barry Diller-backed streaming service definitely took one to the jaw from Chief Justice John Roberts. “Your technological model is based solely on circumventing legal prohibitions that you don’t want to comply with,” Roberts told Aereo attorney David Frederick during the presentation before a packed chamber. “There’s no reason for you to have 10,000 dime-sized antennas except to get around the Copyright Act,” he said. Added Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: ”You are the only player so far that pays no royalties whatsoever.” Coming after arguments from the broadcasters by former Solicitor General Paul Clement and current Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart, Frederick started off his presentation by »

- DOMINIC PATTEN

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Hot TV Trailer: We TV’s ‘The Divide’

18 hours ago

WEtv has dropped a trailer for its first original scripted drama The Divide. Written by Richard Lagravenese (Behind The Candelabra) and co-created by Lagravenese and Tony Goldwyn (Conviction), The Divide explores the personal cost of morality, ambition, ethics, politics, and race in today’s justice system through the eyes of Christine Rosa played by Marin Ireland (Homeland, Boss, Side Effects), an impassioned caseworker with The Innocence Initiative, and Adam Page played by Damon Gupton (The Newsroom, Prime Suspect), an equally passionate district attorney and political rising star. The eight-episode series, produced by AMC Studios, premieres in July. Have a look:

»

- THE DEADLINE TEAM

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VH1 Lays Off Development & Production Executives In New York

18 hours ago

Exclusive: As many as 13 VH1 staffers have been let go, we have learned. That represents the bulk of the network’s New York development and production team who have overseen such series as Mob Wives. Among the departing are VPs East Coast production and development Brad Abramson and Kari McFarland. The move comes a month after VH1 brought in veteran showrunner Nina Diaz (Mob Wives) as Svp East Coast Production and Development. She is expected to build a new New York development and production team. Additionally, some of the vacated positions are expected to be filled by people with different skill sets, including some servicing the network’s app. “With ratings on an upswing and the pace of development increasing cross platform, we felt it was the right time to examine our overall production and development structure in New York,” VH1 said in a statement to Deadline. “It’s imperative »

- NELLIE ANDREEVA

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