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Discovery Communications execs opened the cable group’s upfront presentation at Jazz at Lincoln Center with a pitch about how keenly engaged viewers are in the range of programs that air across its 14 networks.
“Our super fans are like no others. What sets Discovery apart is a curiosity effect,” said ad sales topper Joe Abruzzesse. “Our audiences are more likely to engage with your message and purchase your product because we make our talent your talent.”
Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery and Own unveiled a tidal wave of fresh series and specials for the coming season in advance of Thursday’s presentation. The upfront presentation marked a parade of stars and executives touting the strength of the individual brands with distinct demographic groups.
- Addie Morfoot
The quarterly ratings fortunes of cable networks often ride on a single show, and that was the case for the likes of AMC, A&E and Own during the first three months of the year.
AMC surged behind record ratings for “The Walking Dead,” and Own had its best showing to date thanks in large part to Tyler Perry soap “The Haves and the Have Nots.” On the other hand, the decline of “Duck Dynasty,” though still a top program, produced noticeable declines for A&E.
Overall according to Nielsen primetime estimates for the quarter (Dec. 30, 2013 through March 30, 2014), TBS prevailed in the key demos of adults 18-49, 25-54 and 18-34 but was down about 10% from last year; it had won a year ago in 18-49 and 18-34. The cable home to repeats of “The Big Bang Theory” also aired three of the quarter’s top 10 original cable comedies, led by »
- Rick Kissell
Apollo 13 meets Here Comes Honey Boo Boo? Hard to say yet what might come from the venture, called New Form, that unites the Hollywood creative team — plus lawyer Craig Jacobson, TV exec Ed Wilson, agent Jim Wiatt, film exec Michael Rosenberg and CAA — with pay TV’s leading producer of non-fiction programming. There’s no word on terms of the arrangements, including how much cash is behind New Form. Kathleen Grace will be chief creative officer of the La-based operation. Her mission, the companies say, is to develop “high-quality, scripted and unscripted programming for today’s digital viewers” — and to create alliances with “key distribution partners and brands.” Digital productions typically have low budgets, and generate low revenues on the Internet, but the ones from New Form have a “possibility of expanded distribution across Discovery and partner platforms globally.” The announcement comes ahead of Discovery’s upfront presentation today in NYC, »
- DAVID LIEBERMAN, Financial Editor
Here comes a Honey Boo Boo wedding! On last night's episode of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo (who knew it was still on TV?), Alana Thompson's older sister Anna Shannon got engaged to her boyfriend Michael and you better believe he popped the question "redneck style." The whole thing went down at the annual Tallapossa Possum Drop on New Year's Eve (seriously). Michael popped the question with a cheese pizza that read "Marry Me?" And if you haven't guessed already, Anna couldn't help but say yes before planting a giant kiss on her boyfriend of one year. How romantic. Before proposing, Michael asked Mama June and dad Sugar Bear for permission, old fashioned »
For the Season 3 finale of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," it was all about what the Shannon-Thompson clan was doing leading up to the annual "Tallapoosa Possum Drop," which is a real thing that happens for two different New Year's Eve celebrations every year. The Tallapoosa one, thankfully, uses a taxidermied possum (as opposed to a live one).
Either way, it was just one of many down-home holiday activities in the special, like bobbing for hot dogs in vats of egg nog, "Slopoke Boggin'" at a giant mud pit, sledding at a hill with man-made snow and the "even-steven" burn-barrel tradition.
They also make New Year's resolutions. Sugar Bear's resolution is to give up chewing tobacco ("dippin'"), but Mama June is skeptical because he's told that tale before. Meanwhile, Mama June resolves to get over her fear of mayonnaise. She goes to see a hypnotherapist (as one does), but it does not help, »
Everybody dance now! The latest viral video clip will have you jumping on your toes and doing just that thanks to Christopher Walken and some very skilled editors over at the Huffington Post who pieced together clips of the actor dancing in 57 of his films. Whether he's breaking it down in 1988's Puss and Boots or busting a move beside John Travolta in 2007's Hairspray, the mashup clip is sure to put a smile on your face as Walkens shows off his smooth dance style. Coincidence that today just happens to be International Happiness Day? We think not. Watch: Christopher Walken as Here Comes Honey Boo Boo's Mama June Super fans of the 70-year-old Oscar winner may even »
If you're not a fan of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" (Thurs. at 9:00 p.m. Et on TLC) and loathe the Kardashians, tonight's episode of the show might not be right for you. It's Halloween, and the gang is all dressed up as a family you might recognize -- even if none of the neighbors do. But that's not all! To keep it classy, the girls get out the creepy crawlers and exploding fart bags, but in the end, June gets the last laugh. Then, they bring in a medium to find out if the musical snowman is haunted by their dead Nana. On a less ridiculous note, the whole family volunteers at a charity haunted barn. Are you still watching this show? »
- Liane Bonin Starr
June and Sugar Bear need to get busy — at least that’s according to June’s newly-in-love sister Doe-Doe, who has a new squeeze of her own and would like to spread the love, so to speak.
In Thursday’s episode of TLC’s Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, June talks longingly (well, as longingly as the Honey Boo Boo’s mom can sound) about how she and Sugar Bear used to “hook, book, get into the bed four or five times a night.” Now they’ve lost that loving feeling.
Maybe some Japanese food with Doe-Doe and her dude will do the trick! »
- Lynette Rice
News that NBC's favourite killer Hannibal is to have his own scent opens up a world of possibilities for branded fragrances. We imagine what else might be in the pipeline
With Mother's Day looming on the horizon, you might already be wondering what gift could best express your love for the woman who brought you into the world. Worry no more. Gaumont International Television, NBC Universal and brand-marketing firm Evolution have announced plans to create a perfume based on the hit NBC show Hannibal. After all, nothing says "thanks for raising me" like a tiny bottle of offal-stinking water with a picture of a serial killer on the front, does it?
Admittedly, if you wanted to overlook the whole murderer thing, this decision does almost make a fraction of sense. After all, Hannibal is an impossibly beautiful show. It's gorgeous to look at. It's an aesthete's programme, and this sensibility »
- Stuart Heritage
“This program will be broadcast in Hds: High Definition Shade.”
So said hostess with the mostess RuPaul, introducing the seven queens competing on Monday’s season 6 premiere, part one. Yep. You heard that right: Seven queens, part one. In an effort to shake it up like a stiff (no longer Absolut) cocktail, Ru changed the game for this edition of Drag Race. For starters, the premiere will take place over two weeks, with one batch of queens arriving the first week and facing elimination. The process will repeat next week because, as Ru put it, “The only thing better than »
- Lanford Beard
RuPaul’s Drag Race kicked off its sixth season with seven contestants battling it out for six available spots in part one of the premiere.
Next week, the premiere will conclude with seven more contestants being put to the test, and finally in week three the surviving 12 will come together for the competition. The two-part premiere is not the only trick RuPaul had up her sleeve. Another big change this season is there will be absolutely no immunity from eliminations.
First things first, RuPaul opened the show with her usual flair and introduced us to the Queens:
Adore Delano, aka Danny Noriega, is perhaps one of the less experienced of the contestants, but she has enough sass to fill any room. Noriega is no stranger to reality tv competition. He was a contestant on Season 7 of American Idol.
Emmys for Honey Boo Boo and "Duck Dynasty"??? during our Emmy video slugfest below. Even though it's still Oscar season, we wanted to take a moment to break down all those rule changes just announcd by the TV academy and make our early predictions. The new changes include the separation of TV Movie and TV Miniseries, the splitting of Best Narrator and Best Character Voice-Over and the creation of Structured Reality Program and Unstructured Reality Program, where it's possible we can see first-time nominations for "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" and "Duck Dynasty" -- oh, the horrors! Some of the other topics discussed during our hour-long gabfest include: Can Harry Shearer finally win a voice-over Emmy for "The Simpsons"? Are the Oscars better than the Emmys because they h »
What's a mother to do with a baby with an extra thumb? That's the question Anna Shannon asks herself in our exclusive clip from TLC's Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Anna's baby, Kaitlyn, was born with two thumbs on her right hand. Now that she's over a year old, it's time to explore her options. Does she have it removed from the baby or keep it around? Mama June is in favor of keeping it. Anna is torn. "It's really frustrating talking to my mom about Kaitlyn's thumb getting removed," Anna says. "I want it removed and Mama don't." Anna's concerned Kaitlyn will be picked on for having an extra thumb. Read: Check Out Honey Boo Boo's Glamorous New »
20) Road Signs
The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.
Home Box Office has dodged more bullets than Wyatt Earp at the Ok Corral. Going on the satellite in 1975 turned the company from a regional possibility into a national success; then came “hitting the wall” and the challenge of VCRs in the 1980s; and then there was the late 1990s course correction which turned the service into an original series king; and then there was the struggle of the Chris Albrecht years and the WGA strike.
Today, HBO has its big hits – Game of Thrones and True Blood, and its second tier, buzz-making winners like Girls, The Newsroom, Veep and Treme. Medical dramedy Getting On, and Looking – often described as a gay Sex and the City – show the service hasn’t gotten any shyer about trying to tackle provocative subject matter in risky ways. »
- Bill Mesce
The stars of TLC’s “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” are looking to the future. On Thursday’s episode of the hit show, Mama June is encouraging her girls to think about their careers and practice them. That has Anna Aka Chickadee, who wants to go to culinary school, cooking a chicken pot pie for the family. Also read: ‘Little Couple’s’ Jen Arnold’s Cancer in Remission Meanwhile, Lauryn Aka Pumpkin wants to go to cosmetology school. Her theory? “Makeup is like finger painting, no matter what it’s beautiful.” And in an effort to improve her family’s manners, »
- Jethro Nededog
Fa Cup Football: Fulham vs Sheffield United | Inside The Animal Mind | Births, Deaths And Marriages | Rococo: Travel, Pleasure, Madness | Here Comes Honey Boo Boo | Ross Kemp: Extreme World | House Of Fools | The Richard Dimbleby Lecture
Fa Cup Football: Fulham vs Sheffield United
One final chance for an act of giant-killing in a fourth round that has been found wanting on that count. A trip to Craven Cottage should hold no fears for League One outfit Sheffield United: they were the dominant side for much of the first leg, leading 1-0 until the second-half dismissal of their captain Michael Doyle prompted a late Fulham equaliser. Can United finish the job here? The remaining replay, Preston North End v Nottingham Forest, is on BT Sport 1 tomorrow. Gwilym Mumford
Inside The Animal Mind
Chris Packham takes a break from season-watching for this look at nature's brainboxes. Episode two features »
- Gwilym Mumford, Hannah J Davies, Hannah Verdier, Rachel Aroesti, Andrew Mueller, David Stubbs, John Robinson
Boys, for the love of Mama June, please keep your Tic Tac and Skittles away from her girls. In our exclusive preview of the Thursday, Jan. 30 episode of TLC's Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Mama June lets Jessica and Anna go on a double date...with the whole family there to chaperone. Ah, young love, monitored by the entire family. The family ventured to an arcade where Alana and Pumpkin (Lauryn) were sent to watch the two couples during a game of laser tag. News: Honey Boo Boo, Mama June and Uncle Poodle Play Drag Queen Bingo at Hamburger Mary's—See the Pics! a "I mean, my biggest concern for the girls, honestly is one of 'em coming up pregnant," Mama June says. "Because Anna already »
Accessibility trumps artistry in “Fed Up,” a formulaic and functional documentary that nevertheless proves effective at getting the message out about America’s addiction to unhealthy food. Focusing specifically on childhood obesity, the insidious practices of big food companies and the lack of political will to address the problems, Stephanie Soechtig’s film is the latest in a long line of call-to-action docs following in the footsteps of “An Inconvenient Truth” (and boasts that film’s executive producer, Laurie David to boot). Slick execution and big-name participants, including narrator Katie Couric and an interview with former President Bill Clinton, puts the pic in prime position to become one of the year’s highest-profile commercial docs.
Couric opens the film with alarmist voiceover — turning her years of reporting stories about the obesity epidemic into a mark of authority on the subject — accompanied by clips from the likes of YouTube and “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. »
- Geoff Berkshire
They also discover a poop shoot that prompts an, um, colorful discussion about the family bowels. Take it away, Honey Boo Boo… »
- Lynette Rice
Guess what? With age doesn't always come wisdom. In this exclusive clip from the season premiere of "Trailer Park: Welcome to Myrtle Manor" (airing Thurs. Jan. 16 at 10:00 p.m. on TLC -- right after "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo"), party prep for a 4th of July shindig is temporarily derailed by a neighbor who thinks the gelatin shots taste great -- and, despite warnings to go easy on them, gets hammered. But that's not the extent of the fun in this episode. When Cecil leaves on vacation and puts Becky in charge of Myrtle Manor for the summer, she's immediately »
- Liane Bonin Starr
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