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Charlie Brown, Parade Hot, Lady Gaga Not in Thanksgiving Ratings

29 November 2013 2:31 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Traidtional holiday faves like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC and “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” on ABC scored strong ratings on Thursday but the Alphabet’s special featuring Lady Gaga and the Muppets failed to bring in much of a crowd.

According to preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, “Lady Gaga & The Muppets’ Holiday Spectacular” averaged a 0.9 rating in adults 18-49/3 share and 3.6 million viewers overall from 9:30 to 11 p.m. While that left it behind football on NBC and repeats on CBS, it matched Fox’s “Glee” original in the demo while drawing more total viewers.

The special saw the singer and puppet ensemble perform songs from her new album with guests including Elton John, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Kristen Bell. Gaga was looking to recruit new fans as her “Artpop” recently bowed at No. 1 on the Billboard albums chart but took a sharp dive in its second week. »

- Rick Kissell

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Deadline Big Media 61: The We All Want To Buy Time Warner Cable Episode

29 November 2013 1:17 PM, PST | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

Listen to (and share) episode 61 of our audio podcast Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman. Deadline’s financial editor talks with host David Bloom about the latest potential entrant, Cox Communications, in the cable TV consolidation sweepstakes that seem to be just about to take off via Time Warner Cable; the uncertain future of DVR maker TiVo despite a terrific quarter; a surprising shakeup at the top of No. 2 event company Aeg Live; and a whole new game for Take-Two Interactive, which weeks after the billion-dollar debut of Grand Theft Auto V has bought out investor Carl Icahn, sparking analyst concerns that its stock price has peaked. Deadline Big Media 61 (.MP3 version) Deadline Big Media 61 (.M4A version) The .M4A version of this podcast is designed to run on any device using Apple’s iTunes software, and includes enhanced graphics and links to stories and other resources. The .MP »

- DAVID LIEBERMAN, Financial Editor

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'The Mentalist' flashes forward: 5 things to look for in 'My Blue Heaven'

29 November 2013 12:33 PM, PST | Zap2It - From Inside the Box | See recent Zap2It - From Inside the Box news »

Even before "The Mentalist" comes on screen Sunday (Dec. 1), you may notice something different about the show.

All but a handful of the CBS show's 124 previous episode titles have made some reference to the color red -- either variations on the color itself or things (roses, blood) that are red. Now that Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) has finished his quest to find and kill Red John, however, creator Bruno Heller says he's "very happy" about leaving "Red" out of episode titles.

He's sticking with the color theme, though -- Sunday's episode is called "My Blue Heaven," and the one that follows it is called "Green Thumb."

Here's more of what you can expect to see in "My Blue Heaven," which Baker also directed.

There's a time jump. The story picks up two years after the events of "Red John." The Red John-Blake Association scandal that took down the Cbi has scattered the show's regulars. »

- editorial@zap2it.com

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Is Bones a Fun Drunk? Did Poi 'Hurt' So Good? Gaga Flashes the Muppets?! And More TV Qs!

29 November 2013 12:10 PM, PST | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

We’ve got questions, and you’ve (maybe) got answers! With another week of TV gone by, we’re lobbing queries left and right about shows including Homeland, Beauty and the Beast, Person of Interest and NCIS: La!

1 | Has BonesEmily Deschanel ever been funnier than in her delivery of, “What’s a skank? It sounds bad!” And Brennan needs to get drunk more often, yes?

2 | Who’d have guessed that Hawaii Five-0 would employ funnywoman Carol Burnett to make us tear up? And how great that she ended up singing a li’l something for us?

Related | Spoilers for Himym, »

- Team TVLine

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Five Things You May Have Missed On TV During Thanksgiving

29 November 2013 11:40 AM, PST | TVovermind.com | See recent TVovermind.com news »

So are you all feeling it today? That urge to stay in bed and sleep off your turkey hangover? I think we all are. The thing is, we need to get on with our lives. We need to shake the scent of turkey from our clothes and get back to life. Thankfully, yesterday’s TV was [&hellip

Five Things You May Have Missed On TV During Thanksgiving »

- Remy Carreiro

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'Homeland': Damian Lewis talks Brody's risky mission, defends Dana

29 November 2013 11:24 AM, PST | EW - Inside TV | See recent EW.com - Inside TV news »

Has the major star of a TV series ever spent so much time off-screen for strictly creative reasons? Damian Lewis only appeared in one of the first seven episodes of Showtime’s Homeland season 3 this fall. Then, on Sunday, his character Nicholas Brody came back to the foreground in a riveting hour. The episode depicted Brody withdrawing from heroin and then was getting built back up by a special-ops team charged with preparing him for a dangerous assassination mission in Iran. Despite winning an Emmy for his role on the show last year, Brody’s off-screen time reflects the conundrum »

- James Hibberd

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'The Walking Dead' Season 4 midseason finale: Will Carol return?

29 November 2013 11:00 AM, PST | Zap2It - From Inside the Box | See recent Zap2It - From Inside the Box news »

"The Walking Dead" is bringing the first arc of Season 4 to a close with its midseason finale, "Too Far Gone." The title doesn't bode well for any of the characters on the show, especially considering the fact this season has been about whether people can truly change.

Plenty of the show's characters have tried. From Rick to the Governor, they've both intentionally and unintentionally tried to become better people. For Rick, that meant putting down the gun and picking up the hoe. For the Governor, that meant taking on a new persona and choosing a new family to care for.

But both were inexorably drawn back to the darkness they tried to stray from. While Rick hasn't become the troubled person he was in Season 3, he realized he couldn't continue to stay clear of violence if he wanted to keep those close to him safe. The Governor simply couldn't resist the draw of control, »

- editorial@zap2it.com

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'Doctor Who' Christmas special spoilers: 'The Time of the Doctor' is going to be intense

29 November 2013 10:35 AM, PST | Zap2It - From Inside the Box | See recent Zap2It - From Inside the Box news »

Warning: The following contains possible big time spoilers from the "Doctor Who" Christmas special. If you don't want key moments and plot points spoiled, stop reading now.

If you thought "The Day of the Doctor" was intense, the "Doctor Who" Christmas special might blow your mind. The Sun has revealed what they claim are spoilers for "The Time of the Doctor" and they paint a very bleak picture of the 11th Doctor's (Matt Smith) final episode.

According to The Sun (via MTV), 11 will be seen growing old in the episode, and even lose his leg during a battle with the Weeping Angels. It seems the episode's plot will see him fighting a 300-year long war against the Angels, Daleks, Santorans and Cybermen, all while trying to save a city on the planet Trenzalore called, of course, Christmas Town.

Related: 'Doctor Who': 'The Day of the Doctor' makes regenerations even more »

- editorial@zap2it.com

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Thanksgiving Ratings Rat Race: Macy’s Parade Hits 11-Year High, Lady Gaga’s Muppets Tie ‘Glee’s Puppets

29 November 2013 10:07 AM, PST | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

The Spider-Man baloon may have been clipped by a tree, but the ratings for NBC’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade continued their ascent. After hitting a six-year high in the metered markets last year with a 11.5 household rating, NBC’s 9 Am-noon coverage of the parade anchored by bearded Al Roker and Matt Lauer did one better yesterday, climbing 17% to a 13.5, an 11-year high. NBC’s Thanksgiving dominance extended to primetime with the Steelers-Ravens football game, which drew a 11.8 metered market rating, up 3% from last year, and the network is expected to win the night in total viewers and adults 18-49. ABC’s A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1.6 in 18-49) from 8-9:30 Pm ranked in between the network’s two rebroadcasts of the special last year — 2.2 on Thanksgiving Eve and 1.1 on Thanksgiving. It was followed by  Lady Gaga And The Muppets Holiday Spectacular (0.9), which was down 25% from the Michael Jackson »


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Ratings: Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Rises, Gaga Does So-So, Macy's Parade Hits 11-Year High

29 November 2013 9:52 AM, PST | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

ABC’s broadcast of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving this Thursday tackled 5.3 million total viewers and a 1.6 demo rating, surging 33 and 45 percent versus last year.

Following a Modern Family rerun (3.4 mil/1.1), Lady Gaga and the Muppets Holiday Spectacular closed ABC’s night with 3.6 mil and a 0.9, down 22 and 25 percent from the network’s year-ago Michael Jackson special and trailing CBS’ Crazy Ones (4.3 mil/1.1) and Elementary (4.7 mil/1.1) repeats.

Ratings | The X Factor Top 8 Results Recap: Did the Right Two Acts Go Home This Week?

Over on Fox, The X Factor (3.8 mil/1.0) and Glee (2.8 mil/0.9) were expectedly down.

Related | Glee Recap: Snap, Crackle, »

- Matt Webb Mitovich

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Matt Cherniss Building Provocative New Worlds for Wgn America

29 November 2013 9:30 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Matt Cherniss is turning to the past to define Wgn America’s brand identity for the future.

The cabler’s president and general manager has moved quickly in his quest to redefine the Tribune Broadcasting flagship as an outlet for provocative original series. He’s greenlighted two straight-to-series productions, both period pieces, since he was hired in April by Tribune CEO Peter Liguori, his former boss at FX and Fox. “Salem,” about the witch trials of the 1600s, debuts in the spring, and “Manhattan,” a soap set in New Mexico’s Los Alamos lab — the one that developed the atomic bomb in the 1940s — is slated to bow in the summer.

Both are weighty, ambitious projects with one shared goal: Establish Wgn America as the next FX or AMC, with original shows that can attract a loyal fanbase, generate strong word-of-mouth and ratings for a channel now known for airing »

- Marc Graser

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Christmas baby Jordin Sparks on her Lifetime movie 'Dear Secret Santa'

29 November 2013 9:03 AM, PST | Zap2It - From Inside the Box | See recent Zap2It - From Inside the Box news »

Jordin Sparks loves Christmas. How could she not? Her birthday is Dec. 22, so the most wonderful time of the year is synonymous not only with celebrating the festive holiday, but also her birthday. So co-starring in Lifetime's latest Christmas movie, "Dear Secret Santa," premiering Saturday, Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. Et/Pt, is an extra special treat.

"I just love Christmas movies so I was excited to be a part of it," Sparks tells Zap2it. The singer-turned-actress plays the best friend of Tatiana Ali's Jennifer, a woman who moves into her childhood home and begins to receive letters from a secret admirer who knows so many personal things about her it's almost as if her recently deceased friend Jack is the one who wrote them.

Watching the movie will be a family event in the Sparks household. "I can't wait for my family to watch it because we all love Christmas. »

- editorial@zap2it.com

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TV ratings: NFL rules Thanksgiving, 'X Factor' and 'Glee' go low

29 November 2013 9:03 AM, PST | Zap2It - From Inside the Box | See recent Zap2It - From Inside the Box news »

Fast National ratings for Thursday, Nov. 28, 2013

Following a day of turkey and football, Americans settled down for ... more football, as NBC's prime-time NFL broadcast drew the night's best ratings by a long shot. CBS also got a boost from its afternoon football game, which ran into the start of primetime.

Elsewhere Thursday, new episodes of "The X Factor" and "Glee" struggled badly opposite the NFL. "Lady Gaga and the Muppets' Holiday Spectacular" on ABC came in lower than Gaga's Thanksgiving special two years ago, but "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" was up over last year.

NBC averaged 17.6 million viewers and a 9.2 rating/16 share in households in primetime, pending updates for its NFL broadcast. That was more than twice as many viewers as second-place CBS (7.35 million, 4.0/8). ABC (4.2 million, 2.2/4) came in third, and Fox (3.3 million, 2.0/4) took fourth. The CW trailed with 1.1 million viewers and a 0.7/1.

NBC's 5.6 rating among adults 18-49 beat the combined »

- editorial@zap2it.com

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The Walking Dead: Is The Governor Going to Die?

29 November 2013 9:01 AM, PST | TVGuide - Breaking News | See recent TVGuide - Breaking News news »

[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead and the comics that the AMC series is based on. Read at your own risk.]

The Walking Dead may have already tipped its hand.

The return of The Governor (David Morrissey) has brought the group full circle to the events of last season: Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his group are severely weakened and the dastardly former leader of Woodbury has come knocking at their door. But where The Governor's assault on the prison last season was subpar to the comics, this time around, the comics could actually be driving the storyline much closer than some eagle-eyed viewers may have realized...

Read More > »

- Natalie Abrams

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‘Breaking Bad’ to ‘Blacklist’: Sony Touts TV Growth to Investors

29 November 2013 9:00 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

The message was unmistakable: TV is the growth engine of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

That was the word spread to Wall Streeters and investors who gathered on the Culver City lot Nov. 21 for the first-ever investor day presentation for Sony’s studio and music divisions.

Michael Lynton, the Sony Entertainment CEO who oversees the Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Music operations, made it clear that the studio was in the midst of a “shift in emphasis from motion pictures to television production.”

The numbers tell the tale. According to revenue and growth projections for its fiscal year ending March 31, 2015, Sony Pictures Entertainment estimates revenue of $8.4 billion, with a thin operating income margin of 7.5%.

The growth rate in film production is expected to be flat at best. Television production is pacing at mid- to high-single digits.

For longtime watchers of Sony’s TV production biz, this is a remarkable turnaround from the »

- Cynthia Littleton

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'Rick and Morty' revitalized Dan Harmon's post-'Community' faith in network TV

29 November 2013 9:00 AM, PST | Zap2It - From Inside the Box | See recent Zap2It - From Inside the Box news »

Dan Harmon returned to "Community" for Season 5, but the experience of being bumped from his own show for a season has changed him. It's no secret that Harmon lost a lot of faith in the network television medium after his difficulties working on his beloved project, and he took that expectation of network executives along with him to Adult Swim.

There Harmon teamed with voice actor, writer and producer Justin Roiland to create the animated TV series "Rick and Morty." Roiland voices both title characters, but that wasn't always the case. The process of convincing Adult Swim senior executive vice president Mike Lazzo to make the show Roiland and Harmon wanted to create helped revitalize Harmon's faith in the network TV process.

During an interview with Zap2it, Roiland explains that "Rick and Morty" was developed around him voicing both brilliant grandfather scientist character Rick and his young grandson Morty. »

- editorial@zap2it.com

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Lady Gaga Muppet special a ratings turkey

29 November 2013 8:40 AM, PST | EW - Inside TV | See recent EW.com - Inside TV news »

Lady Gaga’s holiday special failed to generate much applause. The Artpop singer’s Thanksgiving special with The Muppets disappointed in the ratings Thursday night.

ABC’s 90-minute Lady Gaga & The Muppets Holiday Spectacular had only 3.6 million viewers and a 0.9 rating among adults 18-49 at 9:30 p.m. That’s considerable less than ABC’s 8 p.m. annual repeat of a 40-year-old holiday special, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (5.3 million, 1.6 in demo).

Perhaps a more telling comparison: Lady Gaga’s previous ABC holiday effort, A Very Gaga Thanksgiving, aired in this same slot two year ago, but had a 78 percent higher rating (5.4 million total viewers, »

- James Hibberd

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'True Blood': Stephen Moyer wants Eric-Bill sex scene

29 November 2013 8:33 AM, PST | Zap2It - From Inside the Box | See recent Zap2It - From Inside the Box news »

There's only one season left of "True Blood," meaning those hoping to finally see a sex scene between Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) are running out of time. Sadly, Moyer doesn't think it will happen, even though he's rooting for it.

In an interview with HuffPo, Moyer says he hasn't seen a single script for the show's final season, even though shooting begins in January. However he doesn't envision Eric and Bill getting any steamy screen time together. "Alex and I have been pushing for an Eric-Bill love scene for a long time, but they always said no," he reveals. His dream scenario involves the two men going to see their favorite football teams face off against each other, and let it bloom from there.

When asked how Sookie (Anna Paquin) would feel about it, he admits, "I'm sure Sookie would find a way to be part of the action. »

- editorial@zap2it.com

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TV Review: Hallmark Hall of Fame’s ‘Christmas in Conway’

29 November 2013 7:30 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

The present state of the Hallmark Hall of Fame is such that the once-hallowed franchise has to be graded on a curve. By that yardstick, “Christmas in Conway” is perhaps better than most of its recent card-peddling sojourns, even if the whole movie is essentially a long, rather tedious buildup to one grand, snow-capped romantic gesture. Andy Garcia, Mary-Louise Parker and Mandy Moore lend a star halo to the pic, but even for those who listen to all-Christmas-song radio stations starting around Thanksgiving, this one is a pretty thin alternative to simply watching one of the holiday classics.

In the early going, Moore’s Natalie signs on as the caregiver to Parker’s Suzy, who is dying of cancer. She’s the friendly half of a couple with Garcia’s Duncan, whose main attribute – other than gruffness – seems to be that he truly, madly loves his wife, so much so »

- Brian Lowry

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Nikita's Devon Sawa on Sam's Final Season Arc: Alex Is Turning Him Back Into 'Nice Guy' Owen

29 November 2013 7:00 AM, PST | TVLine.com | See recent TVLine.com news »

If Owen Sam’s gun-wielding return in Nikita‘s final season premiere left you a worried mess, fret not. Devon Sawa assures TVLine that his character’s new (but actually old) alter ego is not as dangerous as he seems, thanks in large part to the lovely lady we know as Alex.

But before the CW spy thriller can truly delve into that dynamic, we must first learn why Sam is back — and why tracking the aforementioned Miss Udinov has a lot to do with it.

Related | Nikita Final Season Spoilers — Maggie Q Reveals Big Death

“Sam got himself into a really deep gambling debt, »

- Megan Masters

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