Intruders Star Mira Sorvino Waits Until Her Kids Are Asleep to Binge on Banshee

September 1, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who Mira Sorvino Age 46 Accomplishments Oscar-winning actress, currently starring in The Intruders on BBC America (Saturdays at 10/9c); United Nations Goodwill Ambassador to Combat Human Trafficking Base Los Angeles

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Jim Parsons Hits the Stratosphere

September 1, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Honestly, if this keeps up, they’re just going to have to rename the Emmy Award for Lead Actor in a Comedy the Jim Parsons Award. Last week, the 41-year-old won the prize for a fourth time for his role as Sheldon Cooper, main character on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory . It was a busy August for Parsons. Two weeks earlier, he and his cast mates Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting signed a three-year deal with the show for $1 million per episode each, and more than one observer suggested CBS should be happy to pay so little. (Big Bang returns for Season 8 on Sept. 22.) Jim Parsons was photographed Aug. 27 by Randall Slavin on the Warner Bros. lot in Los Angeles. Parsons in particular is worth it. The sitcom is the most-watched show on broadcast, averaging a 6.2 rating in the dollar demo (the next-most popular show gets a 4.4). It’s also an incredibly valuable rerun, bringing in $2 million per episode for studio Warner Bros. Domestic TV. In many ways, it’s the swan song of the multicamera, laugh-track comedy era, with Parsons’ Sheldon at its center. Parsons, an accomplished stage actor, took time between seasons to play Tommy Boatwright in a revival of Larry Kramer’s groundbreaking autobiographical play about the AIDS crisis, The Normal Heart, in 2011, and then again in 2013 to reprise the role for Ryan Murphy’s adaptation for HBO . Over the phone, Parsons is warm and deferential, discussing his career successes the way you’d talk about finding a $50 bill on the ground. But it’s clear after a moment or two of conversation that he’s also a guy who takes nothing for granted. Adweek: You started your career on the stage, and you’ve come back to New York to work in The Normal Heart on Broadway in between seasons. Do you miss that part of your career? Parsons: Yes, without a doubt

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And the Year’s Hottest TV Show Is…

September 1, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The Big Bang Theory. True Detective. Orange Is the New Black. The Walking Dead. Which was the year's must-see show, on TV or the Web?

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CBS Exec Steve Capus Discusses the Evolution of the Evening News

August 31, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who

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No Less Than 5 Shows Inspired by Sherlock Holmes Find Homes on TV

August 31, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

A shadowy cabal of influential media barons went to war with a lone mastermind earlier this year in the court. This, of course, was the legal battle between Sherlockian Leslie S. Klinger and the estate of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, which tried to argue that, more than 100 years after the first Sherlock Holmes story was published, Holmes had not yet passed into the public domain because not every story starring him had been written yet by Doyle. The estate's licensing strategy was a novel one: demand licensing fees. And if the demandee pointed out that the character was more than 100 years old and thus in the public domain, threaten to sue. In his ruling, 7th Circuit judge Richard Posner said not just that the estate was in the wrong but that Klinger had performed "a public service" by fighting the Doyle estate's lawsuit and awarded Klinger some $30,000 in court fees. But the television world has long made a habit of creating almost-Sherlock versions of Doyle's famous consulting detective; so many that the abrasive, crime-solving para-cop genius trope is all over the TV dial—and, a little surprisingly, it remains popular in several different contemporaneous versions. Sometimes showrunners perform genre reassignment surgery on the fabled detective and his various pals: make irascible, drug-addicted Holmes a doctor, change his name so it's a synonym for its homophone, and instead of Holmes and Watson you have House and Wilson.

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Eight O’Clock Coffee Is Bringing to Life the Central Perk Coffee Shop From Friends

August 29, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Rejoice, Friends enthusiasts! Your dream of sipping coffee at the iconic Central Perk will soon become a reality. It's been 20 years since Ross, Phoebe, Monica, Joey, Chandler and Rachel first graced our TV screens, and the love for the gang remains strong, if all of the people on my Facebook feed are to be trusted. To celebrate two decades of shouting "Pivot!" every time a friend announces he's moving, Warner Bros. Television Group, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Eight O'Clock Coffee are partnering to create a Central Perk pop-up in Manhattan. It'll be short-lived—the shop, created with help from agency Source Marketing, will open Sept. 17 at the corner of Lafayette and Broome Streets, and close Oct. 18—but fans can hang out on the weird orange couch, listen to a rendition of Smelly Cat, see some special guests (Gunther will be there) and maybe, I don't know, try to figure out how Rachel afforded to live in a sprawling Manhattan apartment on a barista's salary. It's a brilliant partnership for Eight O'Clock, which will also be adding a special Central Perk blend to its coffee line next month, if you want to K-Cup your way to a Friends-in-your-travel-mug experience.

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Adrien Brody Has No Time for Your Facebook Friend Request

August 28, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who

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Canada Getting New Video Streaming Service

August 26, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Two of Canada’s largest cable television companies are putting their differences aside and joining forces to launch a new video streaming service as the industry responds in kind to competition from online players such as Netflix. The new service, called shomi (pronounced: show me), will debut in November at a suggested retail price of $8.99 (Canadian) a month. It will be available on tablet, mobile, online, Xbox 360 and set top boxes, to Rogers and Shaw Internet and television customers. Shomi will feature prior seasons of popular television shows, as well as iconic series from the past, cult classics and fan favorite films, the two companies said in a statement. At launch, the shomi catalog will contain 11,000 hours of television shows and 1,200 movies; 30 percent of the content will be Canadian. Shomi has exclusive past-season streaming rights to a number of popular titles, including Modern Family, Sons of Anarchy, Sleepy Hollow, Vikings, New Girl, 24: Live Another Day, Chicago Fire, The Strain and American Horror Story. "We've taken the time to talk with Canadians to find out what they want and to create an unbelievable user experience," said Rogers Media president Keith Pelley. "They told us loud and clear—they want all the past seasons of the most popular, current TV shows and they want it to be easy. Shomi takes the guesswork out of finding what to watch, acting like a new-age video clerk serving up all the best content based on individual viewing habits." Netflix in particular will prove to be a formidable competitor. Although the company does not disclose how many Canadian customers it has, estimates range as high as 5.8 million. However, there’s one point in shomi’s favor: Netflix Canada’s content is considered inferior to the content available in the United States, a weakness the programmers at shomi could exploit.

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Canada Getting New Video Streaming Service

August 26, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Two of Canada’s largest cable television companies are putting their differences aside and joining forces to launch a new video streaming service as the industry responds in kind to competition from online players such as Netflix. The new service, called shomi (pronounced: show me), will debut in November at a suggested retail price of $8.99 (Canadian) a month. It will be available on tablet, mobile, online, Xbox 360 and set top boxes, to Rogers and Shaw Internet and television customers. Shomi will feature prior seasons of popular television shows, as well as iconic series from the past, cult classics and fan favorite films, the two companies said in a statement. At launch, the shomi catalog will contain 11,000 hours of television shows and 1,200 movies; 30 percent of the content will be Canadian. Shomi has exclusive past-season streaming rights to a number of popular titles, including Modern Family, Sons of Anarchy, Sleepy Hollow, Vikings, New Girl, 24: Live Another Day, Chicago Fire, The Strain and American Horror Story. "We've taken the time to talk with Canadians to find out what they want and to create an unbelievable user experience," said Rogers Media president Keith Pelley. "They told us loud and clear—they want all the past seasons of the most popular, current TV shows and they want it to be easy. Shomi takes the guesswork out of finding what to watch, acting like a new-age video clerk serving up all the best content based on individual viewing habits." Netflix in particular will prove to be a formidable competitor. Although the company does not disclose how many Canadian customers it has, estimates range as high as 5.8 million. However, there’s one point in shomi’s favor: Netflix Canada’s content is considered inferior to the content available in the United States, a weakness the programmers at shomi could exploit.

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The Emmys Are Basically Fantasy Football for Network Executives

August 26, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The Emmy Awards are a game. That doesn't mean they're worthless, or meaningless, or cynical; it just means that there is high-level strategy around who gets what award and why, beyond simply who turned in the best performance. And this year in particular, we were able to see that game being played a lot more baldly than it has been in years past. So let's take a look at said strategy, shall we? One of the reasons cable TV shows split "final" seasons into two parts is so that they'll cross years and potentially end up sweeping more than one awards season. Breaking Bad did this perfectly last night—it's difficult to argue that they didn't deserve it. Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Vince Gilligan and the rest of the honorees worked on a show that is already being talked about in the same breath as The Wire and Homicide. How It's Done HBO pioneered more than daring cable content. It originated the nomination-gaming strategy, raising eyebrows and earning the consternation of broadcasters when they pulled off an unprecedented 16 nominations in 1999, including several for their brand new series, The Sopranos. It was the first time the cable world had ever landed even a single Emmy nod. This year, they got the most nominations of any network (as they have in an unbroken streak

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