Showing posts from February, 2014

Kevin Spacey to Self-Release Documentary

Trailer Kevin Spacey , riding the success of House Of Cards, will distribute Now: In The Wings On A World Stage ,   a documentary about Spacey's world tour playing Shakespeare's Richard III. We have lots of admiration for Spacey and love Shakespeare. We wish him the best of luck. Here's the trailer:

Scandal and Grey's Anatomy Return to Strong Ratings

Ratings Shonda Rhimes ' Grey's Anatomy and Scandal returned from hiatus with an increase in ratings from their last original air date. Grey's Anatomy was up 11% and Scandal up a tenth. This should be a  welcome relief for ABC, who tried a split season (common for cable) experiment that didn't work out so well. 

'Arsenio Hall Show' Renewed

The Arsenio Hall Show , a late-night talkie, will be returning for a second season. The show airs on 17 stations which include the 3 largest markets, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.  The renewal might surprise some, especially after Hall was left out of a "late-night" hosts montage, but Hall pulls in 6.7 million viewers a week and has a built-in fan base whose median age is 50.1 As some may recall, Hall's previous talk show ran from 1989 to 1994.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Jumping All The Hoops

Jimmy Fallow's debut week as host of "The Tonight Show" delivered the show's most-watch numbers in more than 20 years. Fallon, it seems, is funny and always on trend. As a host it appears Fallon is likable and appeals to a broad segment of the population. Just what NBC needed to keep "The Tonight Show" relevant. Here's Fallon's "Wastepaper Basketball" skit with  LeBron   James:  

Spring UpFront Schedule

Toni Fitzgerald lays out the schedule:  Here it is, this spring's upfront schedule | Media Life Magazine

Parks & Rec Lands FLOUTS for Season Finale

First Lady Michelle Obama will do a cameo on the season finale of  Parks and Recreation . Mrs. Obama will appear in a scene that celebrates "healthy out-of-school programs" which ties in nicely with Mrs. Obama's Let's Move  initiative that focuses on childhood obesity.

R.I.P. Jim Lange

Jim Lange, the original host of The Dating Game  and iconic television figure of the 1960s and 70s, will be remembered fondly by us.

UPDATE: Ronan Farrow Daily Off To A Slow Start

UPDATE: Ratings MSNBC's Ronan Farrow Daily posted even lower ratings than the premiere telecast. The second episode of the show posted 209,000 total viewers compared to 216,000 for the premiere. The targeted adult demo dipped slightly from 46,000 to 45,000. Some in the Conversation Circle feel it's a matter of branding  and promotion for Ronan Farrow . He's a lawyer, former government advisor and Rhodes Scholar, but what is his brand? Ronan Farrow's persona must surface if viewers are to be interest enough to tune in. Ratings The  Ronan   Farrow   Daily  show premiered on February 24 as one of (Jansing & Co is the other) the least watched shows on MSNBC. Only 46,000 of the show's viewers were in the targeted adult demographic (25-54) and the telecast was down 51% from the 1pm February average. We're not sure if it's a time slot issue for Farrow or if the show hasn't hit the right mix of social and traditional media promotion. Farrow&

Wille Geist Makes One Hand Basket on Shaq

Video We like to have a little fun in the Conversation Circle. Willie Geist ,  co-anchor of Morning Joe and third hour of Today, makes a basket, with Shaq (Shaquille O'Neal) defending, with one hand! Check out this tweet: Geist 1 - Shaq 1! Willie sinks circus shot to tie hoops showdown via @todayshow — ConversationCircle (@ConversationCir) February 27, 2014

Launch Date and Slate Set For FYI

Programming The   FYI Network  (previously   A + E Networks' Bio ),  has set July 7 as its launch date with a slate of six series and two pilots. FYI, described as a lifestyle network , hopes to pull in a younger and more upscale audience. Related: A+E Rebranding Bio as FYI Network Slate Release for FYI New Original Series: “The Epic Meal Show” (working title) – 16 half-hour episodes With more than 600 million viewsin weekly webisodes and 6 million YouTube subscribers to date, Harley Morenstein, aka the “Sauce Boss,” and his kitchen crew are ready for primetime television. The Epic Meal Time team delivers recipes that are visually mind-blowing spins on food preparation and presentation. This FYI series will follow the ingenious group as they invent spectacular new dishes. Produced for FYI by The Collective and Nexttime Productions. Executive Producers for FYI are Gena McCarthy, Liz Fine and Audra Smith. “The Feed” (working title) – 6 one-hour episodes Part road s

Joy Reid's 'The Reid Report' Bests Lead-in

Ratings The Reid Report premiere didn't suffer the same "least watched show" on MSNBC ranking as its lead-in, Ronan Farrow Daily, did. The Reid Report was able to grow the audience pulling in 262,000 in the 2pm time slot, but lost momentum with adults 25-54. Considering who the "natural" audience for Reid and Farrow might be, we're not sure if either has the correct time slot yet. Or, perhaps it's just a matter of time and promotion. Related: The Reid Report Premieres Today

'Ronan Farrow Daily' Off To A Slow Start

Ratings The Ronan Farrow Daily show premiered on February 24 as one of (Jansing and Company )   is the other) the least watched shows on MSNBC . Only 46,000 of the show's viewers were in the targeted adult demographic (25-54) and the telecast was down 51% from the 1pm February average. We're not sure if it's a time slot issue for Farrow or if the show hasn't hit the right mix of social and traditional media promotion. Farrow's brand isn't clear either, but we were impressed by him as a contributor on MSNBC.  Farrow, who is extremely knowledgable and articulate, may need to define his brand more so "viewers know what to expect".  We also hope MSNBC will invest in the right mix of promotion to help drive up the numbers. Related: The Reid Report Premieres Today

Viola Davis Toplines ABC Studios and Shondaland Drama Pilot

Pilot Season  Viola Davis , in her first full-time role in series television, will topline an ABC Drama produced by Shonda Rhimes " How To Get Away With Murder ". The drama pilot is described as a sexy suspense-driven legal thriller that centers on law students and their professor Annalise DeWitt (Davis). This lead role seems well-suited for the Oscar-nominated actress. With Davis onboard and the producing powerhouse that is Shonda Rhimes and her team, we should expect a pickup. Betsy Beers (Grey's Anatomy and Scandal) and writer Peter Nowalk (Grey's Anatomy) will executive produce with Rhimes.

CBS Orders New 'Odd Couple' Pilot

Pilot Season  CBS has ordered an updated version of "The Odd Couple" from Matthew Perry, who will star and executive produce the multi-camera comedy filmed in front of a live audience. The Odd Couple , was originally a 1965 broadway play that was written by Neil Simon, starring Art Carney and Walter Matthau. In 1968 The Odd Couple was released as a movie (starring Matthau and Jack Lemmon), then had a successful run as an ABC television series starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall. "The Odd   Couple" reboot is a "new take" on the old Odd Couple theme.  It seems Perry has wanted to play the messy Oscar Madison since seeing the movie as a child. The Conversation Circle members are fond of The Odd Couple and admirers of the legendary Neil Simon , so Perry had better not mess this up. Our question, who will play Felix?


Trailer Legendary and Warner Bros' " Godzilla " has dropped, and it's not the Godzilla we remeber. Features Bryan Cranston and Elizabeth Olsen. In theaters May16.

Cable Rating Show FNC Up, CNN Down and MSNBC With a Lifeline

Ratings It looks like CNN's axing of Piers Morgan Live , which lost around have of its audience from the same time last year, won't help the rest of CNN's primetime lineup.   Anderson Cooper at 8PM dropped 47% in overall audience and Erin Burnett's Outfront dropped 39%. If CNN is all about "attitude and take" obviously viewers aren't buying.  At the same time, FNC is seeing a ratings increase The O'Reilly Factor is still ahead of the pack and jumped 3% in overall audience and The Kelly File  increased by 23%  in overall audience.  Over at MSNBC, The Rachel Maddow Show is the top draw, but the show's overall audience is flat, while Hardball with Chris Matthews was up 24% in overall audience.  Rating comparisons are from February to February. Related: Piers Morgan Live Ending

Michael Jackson's 'Slave to the Rhythm' Featured in Sony Ad

Sony's ad, "Details Make The Difference" for its Xperia Z2 Smartphone, features Michael Jackson's song "Slave to the Rhythm," and it's an attention grabber.

R.I.P Harold Ramis

Harold Ramis, actor, director and writer passed away this morning. Ramis was a comedy legend with films like Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, Caddyshack, Animal House and Stripes to his credit.  Most of the Conversation Circle has seen all of his movies!

Alec Baldwin Lashing Out

Again? We're not sure why he feels the need to cover old ground. (SEE BELOW.) It's never a good idea to call someone else's "passion" in to question. Alec Baldwin Lashes Out at MSNBC: Mocks Phil Griffin, Calls Maddow a 'Phony' via @mediaite — ConversationCircle (@ConversationCir) February 24, 2014

The 'Reid Report' Premieres Today

Joy Reid, a journalist and contributor at MSNBC, will premiere her own show " The Reid Report " today February 24 at 2PM on MSNBC.  The Conversation Circle members have been buzzing about Reid for over a year. It was obvious Reid , who is replete with facts and skilled at making cohesive arguments in less than one minute, (an absolute necessity when she contributes on "Hardball with Chris Matthews") could anchor her own show.  Reid's new show is part of MSNBC's brand new daytime lineup which includes Ronan Farrow's "Ronan Farrow Daily." Phil Griffin's morning news block shake up may completely shut CNN out of the rating race.

Tamron Hall to Co-Host Third 'Today' Hour

NBC has officially announced Tamron Hall , a national corespondent for NBC News and MSNBC, will be joining Willie Geist, Al Roker and Natalie Morales for the 9 AM edition of " Today ". In addition to co-hosting at " Today " Hall is the anchor of MSNBC's NewsNation , where most in the Conversation Circle are familiar with her work.

'Piers Morgan Live' Ending

Programming It appears CNN will end " Piers Morgan Live ," due to low ratings, in March. Most in the Conversation Circle were not fans of the show.  There always seemed to be some kind of spectacle associated with Morgan's "style" of interviewing.  We felt  Morgan  competed (perhaps not consciously) with his guests for attention. Morgan's low ratings may also be an indicator that CNN's "attitude and take" approach to news is not working. It will be interesting to see what Jeff Zucker does in that primetime slot. Related: The Zuckering of CNN

No 'Space Jam 2' For LeBron James

It's unfortunate but it seems reports of LeBron James starring in " Space Jam 2 ," reported Friday (Feb. 21) by Deadline.Com  as confirmed ,  and picked up by us, appear to be premature if true. A source "with knowledge of the situation" says, "James has not had discussions" regarding the project. Too bad, we think Space Jam 2 would be a great vehicle for James ( as apposed to the half-hour comedy he's slated to executive produce ) to work his way back into  the general goodwill of the nation. (Not that James should care what people think of him, but there are still lots of people holding a grudge that dates back to James leaving the Cavaliers .) The original Space Jam  starred Michael Jordan and co-starred Larry Bird and Charles Barkley . Related: Space Jam 2 For LeBron James

Bill Cunningham's Unbuttoned

Fashion Forward We think vanity for sure Bill.

Most Watched Week For "The Tonight Show" in Two Decades

Ratings Jimmy Fallon wrapped up the debut of " The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon " with an average of 8.5 million viewers for the week. It was the biggest week for the franchise since the week of the " Cheers " finale. Five of the telecasts followed the Olympics , which aired in primetime, and all but one show was pushed to midnight. Related : The Tonight Show Trending Heavily Jimmy Fallon and Will Smith Hip-Hop 'The Tonight Show' Premiere FLOTUS Gives "The Tonight Show" A Ratings Bump

Space Jam 2 For LeBron James

Broadcasting legend Dick Ebersol's sons, Willie and Charlie Ebersol , are to produce and write the sequel to Warner Bros ' 1996 animated-live action hit " Space Jam " as a starring vehicle for Miami Heat star LeBron James . Related : LeBron James also had a series pick up (reportedly an order for 6 episodes) from Starz for, " Survivor's Remorse ", a half-hour scripted comedy executive produced by James and Mike O'Malley .

Amazon Competing With Netflix in UK

It looks like Amazon isn't planning to yield any territory to Netflix. Hopefully, the end result will be  more original programming and opportunities for producers looking to get a foot in the door. Amazon Ups Rivalry With Netflix In The UK, Combines LoveFilm Prime Service - via @deadline — ConversationCircle (@ConversationCir) February 21, 2014

FLOTUS Gives "The Tonight Show" A Ratings Bump

RATINGS First Lady Michelle Obama helped "The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon" draw a 5.3 household rating for her appearance on Thursday night's broadcast. The 5.3 ratings in the metered markets was up a tenth from Wednesday's ratings. Based on Mrs. Obama's previous guest appearances, she and Fallon could "go on the road". Related : The Tonight Show Trending Heavily Jimmy Fallon and Will Smith Hip-Hop 'The Tonight Show' Premiere 

The Tale Of Food Stamps And The Billionaire

People  Jam Koum , co-founder of WhatsApp, has an interesting story of perseverance and vision. We think his life's story, which included being the recipient of Foods Stamps and Welfare, is was a good illustration of why it is so important not to define people by their current circumstances. Brain Acton , also a co-founder of WhatsApp , was turned down for a job at Facebook. It would seem even the brightest people can sometimes lack the ability to see talent in people who have a greater vision than they do. The fact that Kuom and Acton were vocal about the rejection and  struggles in their lives sends a strong message of perseverance and belief in one's self. It's a message everyone can benefit from. WhatsApp founder: Food stamps to billionaire via @CNNMoney — ConversationCircle (@ConversationCir) February 21, 2014

Kevin Spacey on The Daily Show

You know we are "House of Cards" fans. Kevin Spacey discusses Netflix (great original programming story about the company) , House of Cards  and his character development based on politicians. We must admit House of Cards threw us a few curve balls this season!

Hip-Hop Drama Pilot For Fox TV

  Terrance Howard will star in Fox's " Empire"  a family drama centering on a "charismatic music superstar" set in the world of hip-hop. Howard , who co-starred in The Butler , will be reuniting with The Butler's director, Lee Daniels , and writer Danny Strong . Empire is a drama pilot from Strong , Daniels and Brain Grazer . Strong penned and Daniels will direct.

The BRIT Awards 2014 - Official Live Stream 8:00PM UK Time

Clash of Television Host Titans?

While discussing Jimmy Fallon's performance as a host on the premiere of "The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon" Chris Cuomo, a "New Day" host at CNN , assessed Fallon's interviewing skills, then for some reason brought Jon Stewart, host of "The Daily Show," into the discussion referring to him as a "court jester". Well, if you read our blog regularly, you know we are fans of Stewart , and as one person (see tweet below) indicated in the comments "Cuomo better have material ready after Stewart rips him a new one..." We couldn't agree more. However, maybe Cuomo was only fishing for ratings ( "New Day" is suffering from low ratings with no end in sight) rather than a fight. CNN Host Takes Swipe At Jon Stewart via @HuffPostMedia — ConversationCircle (@ConversationCir) February 19, 2014

Miley Cyrus in the Rolling Papers Business

We've always made allowances for  Miley Cyrus is a Show Business Diva ! We've also admired her marketing ability and her success in reinventing herself whether we like the "new  Cyrus " or not. However, we're just not sure Cyrus needs "rolling papers," 24 karat for not, associated with her brand. Miley Cyrus Is Now Selling 24-Karat Rolling Papers - The Cut via @thecut — ConversationCircle (@ConversationCir) February 18, 2014

Jimmy Fallon and Will Smith Hip-Hop 'The Tonight Show' Premiere

We watched the premiere of "The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon" and we were pleasantly surprised. The first show directed by Spike Lee, we were told, gave a little back story on Fallon and introduced his parents. Viewers were also told what to expect from future shows, then came the cameos. For the most part, some were unexpected and most were funny. On the ratings front, "The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon" delivered 11.3 million viewers. That is the second biggest audience for "The Tonight Show" since May 29, 2009. There was also a lot of "Philly in the house" in the form of Will Smith and Philadelphia band  The Roots.   U2 , the musical guest,   turned in a fantastic rooftop performance and ended the show with an acoustic version of their Oscar nominated song "Ordinary Love" that eventually brought the audience to their feet. But back Fallon and Smith's "Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing" bit. Actually, Fallo

The Tonight Show Trending Heavily

It seems "The Tonight Show,"  which is decades old, has been trending in social media at 12 times the previous  rate of engagement in the past 7 days since Jay Leno's last show. We've experienced "The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon" social-media team's effort to command online dominance, and it's impressive. Not bad for a decades old show.

Happy President's Day!

We got it in! Billboard has a great take on remembering 5 Most Musical Presidents: From Barack Obama to Thomas Jefferson | Billboard .

Bill Cunningham on Fall 2014 Collections


Curtain Call Captures The Designers


Simpsons Celebrating 25 with LEGOs

"The LEGO Movie" is experiencing impressive success at the box office.  In its first week, LEGO was reported to have earned $80 million dollars. It's also on track to crush RoBoCop over the President's Day weekend. Now we can look forward to LEGOs conquering the small screen. " The Simpsons " are planning to celebrate its 25th season with an episode of animated LEGOs. It's never to late to jump on a bandwagon. Who doesn't love LEGO !

POTUS Doesn't Want Spoilers

"House of Cards" spoilers that is. We're with you Mr. President! Fan-In-Chief Obama Tweets “No Spoilers” For ‘House Of Cards’ Season 2 Debut — ConversationCircle (@ConversationCir) February 14, 2014 Related : Season Two For 'House Of Cards' 

Season Two For 'House Of Cards'

For those who check in with us frequently, you know we've been waiting for the second season of  Netflix's "House of Cards" since the final episode of season one. It's here. We suspect there will be lots of watch parties considering the bad weather most are experiencing. Valentine's Day and President's Day, bad weather all wrapped up together.  Let the watching begin! Related : Season Two For 'House Of Cards' Premieres President's Day Weekend

Happy Valentine's Day!


'Bethenny' Talk Show Cancelled

We're not surprised Bethenny Frankel's talk show, " Bethenny " was cancelled after one season. Apparently, Frankel's show was suffering from "soft" ratings and the final nail in the coffin was, the show could not get affiliate clearings. We followed Frankel from " Real Housewives of New York " to " Bethenny Getting Married? " to " Bethenny Ever After " (where our perception of Frankel began to change). Suddenly Frankel's "tell it like it is" persona began to grate on us.  Perhaps viewers felt the same way.  Related : 'Bethenny' Debuting Today Is All Bethenny

Why Did Brian Roberts Buy Time Warner?

David Lieberman, Financial Editor for Deadline.Com offers us a few answers for why Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corporation, would buy Time Warner and it isn't all about dwindling cable subscribers. However, reportedly, the WGA West and WGA East are against the purchase. One thing is clear, about Roberts' Time Warner deal, Roberts is putting Comcast and Philadelphia on the media map. Related :  Will Comcast buy Time Warner Cable?  Why Did Comcast's Brian Roberts Agree To Buy Time Warner Cable? via @deadline — ConversationCircle (@ConversationCir) February 13, 2014

The Row's Shapes and Sweaters Speak Volumes

FASHION FORWARD Hands down The Row has the most interesting shapes and sweaters in the Fall 2014 RTW collection. The collection seems retro, while totally fashion forward.  It really speaks to our desire to be classic, but chic at the same time. We adore designs that can stand the test of time, say more than two seasons!  3 - The Cut via @thecut — ConversationCircle (@ConversationCir) February 13, 2014

Micheal Kors Fall RTW Collection Practically Beautiful

FASHION FORWARD Michael Kors ' Fall RTW 2014 collection had lots of fur, fringe and looks that reminded us of Ralph Lauren . While we typically are not fans of Kors ' mass produced clothing line, this collection does have beautiful yet practical pieces in it. Michael Kors Fall 2014 RTW via @thecut — ConversationCircle (@ConversationCir) February 13, 2014

Is Ralph Lauren Replacing Black with Gray

FASHION FORWARD "The Cut's recap of the " Ralph Lauren Collection RTW   FALL 2014 really made us feel soft and sophisticated as we viewed Lauren's soft colors of gray and pink! New Runway Show: @RalphLauren #NYFW — The Cut (@TheCut) February 13, 2014

Nielsen's Local Broadband Sampling Pulled

Nielsen has put a hold on its local Broadband sampling because of a NAB resolution. It seems the NAB feels Nielsen's "hybrid measurement" needs more testing. The NAB fears the local sampling could  " understate actual viewership of local television stations." Some of our members who have teens say their children spend more time watching television programs  online, rather than on an actual television. Our members feel it's easier for their teens to  multi-task, as they normally have 3 or 4 windows up at a time, while engaging in "chat" as well! How do you measure that? Nielsen Yanks Broadband From Local Sample

R.I.P Sid Caesar

When learning about Sid Caesar we were immediately reminded of the great comedy writers that got their start with Caesar's  "Your Show of Shows". That included a Conversation Circle's former professor, Mel Tolkin . We were lucky to find this piece in Vanity Fair again. Those were the days. Related :  R.I.P. LARRY GELBART  Sid Caesar, Comedy Icon, Dies at 91 via @VanityFair — ConversationCircle (@ConversationCir) February 13, 2014

Billboard Looks at Whitney Houston Chart Legacy

 Music  Whitney Houston , no matter the circumstances of her death, will always be a fond memory for us. Who can forget that voice and the chills she would evoke when she reached of the high notes of songs like, "I Will Always Love You" written by Dolly Parton in 1972. There will always be a place in our hearts for Houston . Whitney Houston's 20 Biggest Billboard Hits: A Look at Her Legendary Chart Career | Billboard

R.I.P Shirley Temple

A few of The Conversation Circle members remember watching Shirley Temple movies on a black and white television.  Unbeknownst to us at the time, Temple had been credited with helping the country through the Great Depression, and saving Fox Studio all at the age of five. However, what we do remember is, Temple always put a smile on our face especially when she sang and danced. There never was another Shirley Temple .

Historic App and Website for Ken Burns

If you're into history and appreciate the documentaries (25 films to be exact)   Ken Burns has produced for PBS , you'll want to get  The Ken Burns App . The app is supposed to contain a "thematic playlist" and offer comprehensive material from his films. The iPad app is free, content is $9.99.  We've enjoyed Burns ' work over the years and think this is a great supplemental tool for schools. Ken Burns Launches iPad App — Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 10, 2014

Bill Cunningham Captures Men Acting Like Men

We find this video by Bill Cunningham , " Whiteout ," for the New York Times hilarious! We're sure it is not about fashion, so why do men act this way?

Amazon Is Making Original Programming A Lot More Competitive

In addition to  Amazon Studios Releasing 10 New Pilots , five primetime and five kid pilots on Prime Instant Video, we've learned  Amazon  has greenlighted four  Amazon   Studios  pilots: an hourlong dramedy " Cocked ," two dramas " Hand   Of   God"  and " Hysteria ," and a comedy " Cosmopolitan."  Wow, who said programming wasn't interesting.

Amazon Studios Releasing 10 New Pilots

Amazon , who has gotten in to the original programming market, is set to release 5 primetime and 5 kid pilots on Prime Instant Video. All are free and viewers help decide which shows become series, making those that tune in mini-programming executives.  You can view the pilots at Pilot Season on Amazon Instant Video. Related : Premiere Date Set for Amazon Original Comedy 

Project Runway Season 12 Winner Headed to NYFW

Dom Streater , a Philadelphia native and graduate of Moore College of Art, was crowned winner, with guest judge Kerry Washington looking on, of Project Runway Season 12 back in October 2013. Streater, who was able to make prints and patterns interesting again, will present a Fall 2014 womenswear collection during NYFW.  Some of our members are Philly natives and they are thrilled to see Streater's progress. Can can't wait to see the collection. Related:   SPOILER ALERT: Dom Streater winner of Project Runway Season 12! The Fall 2014 New York Fashion Week Calendar Mirror, Mirror: 'Project Runway's' Dom Streater on a Fashion Week style streak via @phillydotcom — ConversationCircle (@ConversationCir) February 5, 2014