"The cast of ABC's hit comedy 'Modern Family' agreed to new terms on their contracts Friday [July 27, 2012], in time to begin production Monday on the show's fourth season, a spokesman for 20th Century Fox Television, which produces the show, confirmed," reports our good friend Gary Levin of USA Today.
The story notes that six of the show's actors - Ty Burrell, Julie Bowen, Eric Stonestreet, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Ed O'Neill and Sofia Vergara - "who were paid $65,000 an episode (or about $1.6 million) last season, will get close to $180,000 for the upcoming season, more than an earlier, rejected offer but less than they had been seeking. (O'Neill, who was paid about $100,000, will get more)."
The six actors, Levin writes, "sued the studio on Tuesday, seeking to void their 7-year contracts, but with the new agreement have dropped the lawsuit."
The USA Today story continues, "Executive producer Steve Levitan said, "the cast is 'a huge part of the success of Modern Family, and we're happy they're going to get what they deserve.'more »
"NBC’s two-day primetime average of 35.6 million viewers is the best start to a Summer Olympics on record," the network reports.
Based on the fast national ratings, NBC announced that "In the more than 50 years of televised Olympics, NBC’s coverage of the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics (8 p.m. – 12:02 a.m. ET/PT on Friday, July 27, 2012) is the most-watched for a Summer Games on record with 40.7 million average viewers, topping the Atlanta Games (39.8 million).[V]iewership of the opening ceremony is nearly six million more than the 2008 Beijing Olympics (34.9 million) and 15 million more than the 2004 Athens Olympics (25.4 million), the last European Olympics."
As for Saturday night's coverage of the first day of competition, NBC said, "The first night of competition from the London Olympics (8:30-11:28 p.m. ET/PT on July 28, 2012) is the most-watched for a Summer Games opening night on record, with 28.7 million average viewers, topping the first night of competition from the 1996 Atlanta Games by more than two million viewers (26.3 million). Saturday night’s viewership is nearly five million more than the first night of the 2008 Beijing Olympics (24.0 million), and nearly nine million more than the first night of the 2004 Athens Olympics (19.8 million), the last European Olympics."
From the NBC press release:
OPENING CEREMONY AVERAGE VIEWERS (ALL SUMMER GAMES ON RECORD):
NON-U.S. OPENING CEREMONY NATIONAL RATING (SUMMER GAMES)
1. London – 2012
2. Beijing – 2008
3. Rome – 1960
4. Sydney – 2000
5. Seoul – 1988
6. Athens – 2004
7. Barcelona – 1992
8. Montreal – 1976
9. Mexico City - 1968
10. Munich – 1972
11. Tokyo – 1964
TOP 20 METERED MARKETS FOR OPENING CEREMONY:
1. San Diego
T2. Washington D.C.
T2. West Palm Beach
4. Salt Lake City
T8. Kansas City
14. Los Angeles
T18. Ft. Myers
AVERAGE VIEWERS FOR 1st NIGHT OF COMPETITION (ALL SUMMER GAMES ON RECORD):
NBC’S DAYTIME AND LATE NIGHT VIEWERSHIP SOARS:
- 9:46 a.m.-Noon ET/PT averaged 12.3 million viewers, an increase of 56% over the first Saturday morning at the Beijing Games (7.9 million from 10 a.m.-Noon). The household rating in this time period (7.9/22) is 49% higher than the comparable morning from Beijing (5.3/16).
- The Noon-6 p.m. ET/PT window drew 14.9 million viewers and a household rating of 9.3/23, an increase of 20% and 19%, respectively vs. Beijing Games.
- The early-morning window (5-9:46 a.m. ET/PT) drew 5.1 million viewers and had a household rating of 3.6/16. There is no comparable coverage for this time period in previous Games.
- The late night program (12:30-1:18 a.m. ET/PT) drew 7.4 million viewers and a household rating of 4.9/15, an increase of 35% and 29%, respectively.
TOP 20 METERED MARKETS FOR SATURDAY NIGHT, JULY 28, 2012:
1. Salt Lake City
2. San Diego
3. Kansas City
5. Ft. Myers
11. Oklahoma City
12. St. Louis
T15. San Francisco
AMC is pulling the plug on a drama series, with the studio behind the show vowing to find another outlet for it, Deadline.com reports.
The show is “The Killing,” which will end its run on the cable network after two seasons.
“The series, an adaptation of a Danish format, launched strong in 2011,” the report notes. “Its first-season finale was one of the most talked about episodes of television in the past few years, triggering controversy with the decision not to reveal the killer. The show returned lower in Season 2 and never regained its ratings momentum.”
The cancellation was reportedly a tough call for AMC, which is expected to get only a couple more seasons out of “Mad Men” while “Breaking Bad” is also winding down.
“After much deliberation, we’ve come to the difficult decision not to renew ‘The Killing’ for a third season,” the network said in a statement. “AMC is incredibly proud of the show and is fortunate to have worked with such a talented team on this project, from showrunner Veena Sud and our terrific partners at Fox Television Studios to the talented, dedicated crew and exceptional cast.”
The studio vowed to try to keep the show going, issuing a statement saying: “Fox Television Studios is extremely proud of ‘The Killing,’ the extraordinary writing staff and crew, and what we believe is one of the best casts on television. We will proceed to try to find another home for the show.”more »
'Idol' Judge Rumor Watch: Another R&B Singer's Name Surfaces; Meanwhile, a Country Superstar Turns Down the Job
We may be at the point where it would be easier to report names of any famous singers who have NOT been mentioned as possible replacements for the judges who have left “American Idol.”
The latest name to surface as an “Idol” judge rumor is R&B star Toni Braxton, a six-time Grammy winner also known for the “Braxton Family Values” TV show.
S2S Magazine reports that an insider revealed plans to bring Braxton aboard, although the rumor has not been confirmed.
Meanwhile, country superstar Toby Keith says he was approached recently for a judge’s job but has turned it down, MTV.com reports.
“Keith's name was thrown onto the pile of potential replacements for departed judge Steven Tyler earlier this month after the Aerosmith singer announced the end of his two-year tenure on the show,” the story reports. “But in an upcoming interview in the Inland Empire Weekly, the ‘American Ride’ singer said he turned ‘Idol’ brass down when they approached him in early July because he's too busy to commit half a year to the gig.”
Another country star, Brad Paisley, has also been mentioned as a possible judge on the show.more »
ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” changed things up during Friday’s Television Critics Association presentation by revealing the lineup for the upcoming All-Star edition well ahead of schedule, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In the lineup for the show’s 15th season are Kelly Monaco, Emmitt Smith, Shawn Johnson, Bristol Palin, Kirstie Alley, Joey Fatone, Helio Castroneves, Apolo Anton Ohno, Melissa Rycroft, Pamela Anderson, Drew Lachey and Gilles Marini. One spot is being held open for viewers to pick.
Here’s the video announcement:more »
CBS Sports Network has closed a deal that will bring football telecasts to the cable network, B&C reports. The network will broadcast games played by the United Football League, which has been in operation since 2009.
CBS Sports Network will air two games a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays, starting Sept. 19. The network will televise games throughout the UFL's eight-week schedule.
Dan Weinberg, senior VP, programming, CBS Sports Network, said in a statement: "We're pleased to partner with the UFL and bring more live football to CBS Sports Network. Fans have an appetite for football at all levels and we're excited to showcase the UFL."more »
Actors Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have both moved out of the house they shared, and sources say they aren’t speaking to each other, People magazine reports.
Pattinson, 26, and Stewart, 22, have left their L.A. home and are living separately elsewhere in the wake of the cheating scandal involving Stewart and her “Snow White and the Huntsman” director, Rupert Sanders.
“But they won't be able to avoid each other indefinitely,” the report notes. “They are scheduled as co-presenters at MTV's Video Music Awards on Sept. 9, followed by their massive promotional tour for the final film in the ‘Twilight’ saga, ‘Breaking Dawn: Part 2,’ due out Nov. 16.”
Another of Stewart’s upcoming projects is “Snow White and the Huntsman 2.” She’s also set for the action comedy “Cali,” which has just cast Alex Pettyfer from “Magic Mike” as her love interest.
Pattinson has his own projects coming up, including “Cosmopolis,” slated to open Aug. 17. He recently signed on with “The Rover,” a revenge movie set in Australia, the report notes.more »
Actor Ed O'Neill has officially become part of the lawsuit filed by the actors on ABC's "Modern Family," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In an amended complaint filed Thursday, O'Neill threw in with his castmates -- Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara -- alleging that their deals should be deemed illegal because they violate California's prohibition on personal services contracts that extend beyond seven years.
Negotiations took place Thursday between the actors' representatives and 20th TV Chairs Gary Newman and Dana Walden, with an ABC representative also involved. The talks were considered positive, although they fell short of an agreement on new deals and failed to convince the actors to drop the lawsuit. The suit was characterized by some as playing hardball.
"Modern Family" has been extremely successful, both critically and commercially. The cast members are seeking significant increases in salary.
As of Monday, 20th had offered the non-O'Neill group $150,000 per episode for season four (plus a $50,000 bonus), $200,000 per show in season five; and up to $325,000 per episode by the ninth season.more »
“CSI” alum Laurence Fishburne has signed to return to television as a cast member of the upcoming NBC drama "Hannibal," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
We reported earlier this week that Fishburne was close to a deal to join the show. Fishburne will play Jack Crawford, head of the FBI's behavioral sciences unit who specialize in tracking down serial killers. The character is a tough lawman, dedicated to his job and relying on the teamwork of Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), an FBI profiler, and Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen), to solve crimes.
Bryan Fuller of "Pushing Daisies" is overseeing the creation of "Hannibal," which is based on Thomas Harris' novels. The Lecter character was most famously brought to the screen in "The Silence of the Lambs," played by Anthony Hopkins. "Hannibal" takes place before the action depicted in the film.
NBC has ordered 13 episodes of "Hannibal."more »
Emmy-Nominated TV and Film Actress, Known for Roles in 'As Good as It Gets' and 'Selena,' Dead at 69
A veteran actress who carved out a long career in feature films and on television has died, The Huffington Post reports. Lupe Ontiveros, known for her performances in “As Good as It Gets” and “Selena,” died Thursday at 69, reportedly from liver cancer.
Ontiveros, a Mexican-American, played Yolanda Saldivar, the convicted killer of pop singer Selena, in the 1997 film “Selena,” and appeared in the Oscar-winning “As Good as It Gets” the same year. She was nominated for an Emmy for a guest appearance on “Desperate Housewives” in 2005.
In a widely cited interview with NPR in 2009, Ontiveros estimated that she played a maid at least 150 times. "You've got maids and you've got maids," she is quoted as saying. "You got maids that have longevity beyond what you ever conceived of in your wildest dreams. I'll give you an example -- ‘The Goonies.’ Those that got hooked -- I have a whole following of 30-year-olds who got hooked. Oh my gosh, I'm a heroine to them."
Among her many TV credits, Ontiveros appeared on "Hill Street Blues,” “Reba" and "Who's The Boss.” She recently played Abuelita on “Rob.”
On the big screen her credits included "Born in East L.A.,” “The Border” and “California Suite.”
“Aside from being a Latina icon, and an immensely talented actress, Ontiveros should also be credited with opening doors and breaking down barriers for the new generation of Latina stars,” The Huffington Post reports. “In that same NPR interview, Ontiveros talked about Latina actresses like Jennifer Lopez, Salma Hayek and her friend America Ferrera, and said they have opportunities she never had."
"[America Ferrera] probably has already formulated the kinds of roles she will or will not accept. She doesn't have to sacrifice her identity, her culture or her dignity to become a star," Ontiveros said in the interview.
She is survived by her husband and three adult children.more »