This Mika Brzezinski and NBCU Tour Is All About Empowering Women Leaders

March 2, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In 2011 Mika Brzezinski released her powerful New York Times bestselling manifesto, Knowing Your Value: Women, Money and Getting What You're Worth —a must read for women everywhere. And now, Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, will bring

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Fox Is Rebuilding Its Slate, One Hit at a Time

March 2, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As co-chairman and co-CEO of Fox Television Group, Dana Walden, alongside partner Gary Newman, now oversees both Fox Broadcasting Company and 20th Century Fox Television, which Walden (who started there in 1992) has run with Newman since 1999. But when she and Newman took over the network last summer, replacing Kevin Reilly, who stepped down shortly after the Fox upfront last May, they received a baptism by fire. Aside from Gotham, audiences rejected all of Fox's new fall shows, including Utopia, Mulaney, Red Band Society and Gracepoint. Then, hip-hop drama Empire, from Walden's studio, wiped the slate clean in January, becoming the biggest new series in decades, with an unprecedented seven consecutive weeks of audience growth and an 18-49 rating of 5.4. The show has helped pull Fox from a distant fourth in 18-49 this season to a tie for third with ABC. Walden—who jokes that she handles the "fun stuff" (i.e., creative issues) while Newman gets the "hard stuff" (business issues)—talked about surviving Fox's fall to forget and how she'll capitalize on Empire's success. Did you have any idea that last fall was going to be as rough as it was? Yes. Going in, Gary and I always anticipated that this was going to be a really tough fall. We were encouraged by Gotham , encouraged by Sunday night. I felt like our job as the new leaders was to stay focused on the positive momentum and point to things that establish what we wanted to do in the future. That was a far better approach than being mired in how demoralizing the overnights can be. You and Gary have been in the new job for seven months. How has it been working out managing your network and studio hats

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After Conquering Reality TV, Kim Kardashian Is Taking the Mobile World By Storm

March 2, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Kim Kardashian West first grabbed our attention in October 2007 with the premiere of E!'s Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Who could have guessed where that basic-cable reality show moment would lead? Since then, Kim, 34, has entered that rare pantheon of mononymous celebrities. Like Madonna and Oprah, Pel

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How Leonard Nimoy Created an Alien Who Embodied the Best of Humanity

February 27, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

One story often told by Leonard Nimoy, who died today at age 83, was that quite a few fans of his Star Trek character, Mr. Spock, assumed Nimoy himself was a real scientist. Maybe it was the gravity he brought to what was, occasionally, a very silly show. Or maybe it was simply that television was so young when the show premiered in 1966, viewers weren't as skeptical as they are today.

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Nickelodeon Unveils Subscription Service for Preschoolers at Upfront

February 25, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Starting March 5, Nickelodeon will debut a streaming service for TV's smallest viewers: Noggin, a preschool-targeted, ad-free app that will stream reruns of Blue's Clues; Little Bear; Ni hao, Kai-Lan; and music videos featuring Nick's kids characters. The $5.99 monthly service will be "library-based, separate and distinct from Nickelodeon's preschool content available on its existing distribution platforms," the company assures. But it's a good indicator of which way the wind is blowing—we've been saying for years that kids prefer the iPad to TV. The announcement came out of Nick's Wednesday afternoon presentation, in which the company also announced a number of new series and took a victory lap for its recent movie successes, including The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and Michael Bay's recent Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles flick, represented at the event by star Will Arnett. Nick is doubling down on star Nick Cannon, who co-creates and produces the new musical series Make It Pop. The network is also going really old school: H.R. Pufnstuf masterminds Sid and Marty Krofft will have an upcoming show on the network—yes, really—called Mutt & Stuff starring actual dogs and, obviously, dog puppets. Should be trippy.

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The Big Bang Theory’s Kunal Nayyar Talks Hip-Hop, Nerd Culture and Hosting The Late Late Show

February 25, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who Kunal Nayyar Age 33 Claim to fame Stars as Raj on The Big Bang Theory (Thursdays, 8 p.m. on CBS); guest host of CBS' The Late Late Show from Feb. 25-27 Base Los Angeles Twitter @kunalnayyar What's the first information you consume in the morning? The first thing I do when I wake up is go on Twitter because that's where I get all my news. I follow MSNBC Breaking News, BBC World, Times of India, CNN, HLN, Al Jazeera, ESPN News. Do you follow other actors or comedians on Twitter? I don't follow a lot of comedians on Twitter, to be honest. I try to keep my feed focused on news. I do follow some people on Instagram, like The Fat Jew , who I think is really hilarious. But I mainly follow puppy stuff, like The Dogist, cute puppies, animal videos, things like that. You're guest hosting three episodes of The Late Late Show this week. Did Craig Ferguson give you any advice to help you prepare? The last time I was on Ferguson—I was one of the last guests he had—I told him that I was going to guest host the show and asked him, "What advice do you have?" And he said, "Don't do it even if they want you to." I had no idea what that means! But I think what he was trying to say was just trust your instincts no matter what everybody tells you to do. Do you watch a lot of late-night TV? I love most talk shows, to be honest. I watch Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon and Craig Ferguson, and I love watching Ellen on daytime TV

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Why Keith Olbermann Picked Such a Dumb Fight on Twitter and Ended Up Suspended

February 25, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

ESPN commentator and world-champion friendmaker Keith Olbermann today launched a twitter war with college students who'd raised $13 million to fight pediatric cancer. The incident left Olbermann with a (paid) suspension through the end of the week, and it left many of us with one simple question: What the hell, man? Olbermann's more vocal critics are just chalking it up to him being a jerk. But more specifically and perhaps generously, there are three intersecting issues that likely led to his poor decision to lash out at Penn State's entire student body as they celebrated saving children's lives: 1. His seething anger at how the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse case was handled by Penn State and coach Joe Paterno was inflamed again recently by the NCAA's decision to reinstate 112 wins that had been stripped from the school's record during the time Sandusky, an assistant coach, had been molesting children. 2. Olbermann loves sparring on Twitter, and Penn State is an easy topic to rile him up with. Once he was in fight mode, he seemed unwilling or unable to pause for a breather. 3. As with many misunderstandings on the Internet, he probably just didn't click the link to see what the original tweet was about, or else even Olbermann might have decided to pick his battles a bit more carefully. Speaking of the original tweet, here's how it all began, when a Penn State alumna (who had sparred with Olbermann on Twitter in the past ) tweeted at him about the school's success in raising $13 million for children being treated for cancer at the university's Milton S. Hershey Medical Center: @lisaadeleon ...Pitiful — Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) February 23, 2015 So @KeithOlbermann says PSU students raising over $13m for pediatric cancer research is "pitiful." No sir, u r the definition of the word. — Dave Seidel (@dave_seidel) February 23, 2015 As you can see from Olbermann's next reply, he didn't seem to have noticed the fact he had responded to a tweet about students raising money to fight child cancer: . @dave_seidel No, Son. I said PSU students were pitiful. Had nothing to do with fundraising #AlsoPSUReadingComprehensionAppearsToBeWeak — Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) February 23, 2015 . @dave_seidel her tweet reads "we are..." I finished her sentence "...pitiful." At this rate your diploma won't be recognized, Moron — Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) February 23, 2015 . @dave_seidel Again - get your $ back - you didn't learn how to read. PSU students are pitiful because they're PSU students - period.

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Pee-wee Herman’s 30-Year Journey From Obscurity, Through Infamy and Onto Netflix

February 24, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Netflix let it be known today that the long-awaited third Pee-wee Herman film, Pee-wee's Big Holiday, would finally make it to the ... well, not the big screen, but a screen. Specifically any screen hooked up to a Netflix subscription. The project has been in the works with producer Judd Apatow for nearly five years, but the original team —Pee-wee portrayer Paul Reubens and Arrested Development writer Paul Rust on script duties, Apatow producing—is now in place at Netflix. It's a show with a rich history, some of it very strange. The movie goes into production next month and, given Netflix's track record, will probably get made at an impresisve level of investment (the first two seasons of House of Cards cost a reported $100 million ) for television and a totally reasonable level for an indie comedy. With Pee-wee on his way back into the national limelight, we thought we'd take a look back at the long, strange trip that brought him to Netflix:

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SNL’s Vanessa Bayer Gives Sound Advice for Hyundai

February 24, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Vanessa Bayer, the Saturday Night Live actress famously known for her impressions of Miley Cyrus, is teaming up with Hyundai to impart some unnecessary advice to musicians. In her Web series Sound Advice , Bayer plays aloof media coach Janessa Slater, who consults with celebrity clients like Drake , HAIM and TV on the Radio . Above Average is the digital arm of SNL production company Broadway Video, and it licensed the new 12-episode second season to IFC's online comedy portal, the Comedy Crib . The network then worked with exclusive sponsor Hyundai and its agency of record, Innocean USA, to create branded integrations both in the Web series and in 60-second TV spots that will tease the show.

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Emerging Cable Network WGN America Looks to Cast Its Spell Over SXSW Film

February 24, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On March 13, WGN America and its original series Salem will turn the official SXSW Film opening party into a "witches' playground," complete with fortune tellers, aerial dancers and other elements of the supernatural.

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