In today's increasingly niche media landscape, CNN's Jake Tapper is happy to be a generalist. Starting Monday, the former ABC News White House correspondent anchors a new daily program, The Lead With Jake Tapper, which he promises will be a smart, wide-ranging look at the world. You can expect some of the usual suspects from the Beltway to appear on the Washington-based show. But Tapper also plans to mix in some big names from pop culture and television. Stephen Colbert, Shonda Rhimes, the cast of Mad Men, Jimmy Kimmel, Game of Thrones executive producer David Benioff are all lined up for the first month. The Lead will be closely watched by the TV news industry, as it's the first new CNN show since Jeff Zucker took the helm as president. The Biz recently caught up with Tapper to get a preview.
Seth MacFarlane and William Shatner
So what did I really think?
Yes, I was the byline on the faux Oscars review William Shatner showed to host Seth MacFarlane in the opening number on Sunday's telecast ("Seth MacFarlane Worst Oscar Host Ever").
I didn't know it was coming. I was watching the show at home with my wife. Staring at the byline, it took a few seconds to absorb that it was being seen by an audience of one billion viewers — a nice jump over the 12.8 million people who see each issue of TV Guide Magazine. After my name appeared a second time, every electronic device in our apartment was ringing, buzzing, pinging or vibrating...
Robin Roberts, who made an emotional return to her co-anchor chair at ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday, is taking it one day at a time. "My doctor is saying the test is tomorrow," Roberts said in an interview at ABC's Times Square studio after her first show back. "When I wake up am I going to want to come in and go to work?"
For reality-TV fans, the revelation that not every aspect of a show is legit is like learning there's no Santa Claus. They move on and enjoy the presents.
But the curtain on "reality" is getting pulled back more and more. Last spring, HGTV acknowledged that the home viewings on House Hunters are done for the cameras after buyers have already chosen their properties. In his recent wrongful-dismissal suit, former Storage Wars star David Hester charged producers with planting valuable items in the bins up for...
TV shows and movies set in Washington, D.C., often cast real-life members of the media to report on fictional proceedings. But the new Netflix political drama House of Cards takes that to a new level.
ABC's George Stephanopoulos plays himself in the series' second hour, interviewing a Secretary of State nominee on his This Week set. No spoilers, but it's a tough grilling that provides a turning point in the story...
When the networks decide which programs to pick up for fall and which ones to ax, it's not only about the Nielsen numbers. "There is more financial analysis going on than ratings analysis," says one executive. Here are the prognoses for a few series fighting for survival.
Finding a home for Happy Endings since it moved from Wednesday and away from its strong lead-in Modern Family has been tough (it now airs on Tuesday, a night full of comedies). And its scheduling options are limited, since ABC still...
Watching New Girl or Homeland on your computer, mobile phone or Xbox has become so second nature to viewers, it's hard to recall that new technology once brought Hollywood to a standstill.
But how writers were paid for the digital distribution of their work was at the core of a 100-day work stoppage that put primetime TV viewers on a strict diet of reality and reruns in 2007 and early 2008. Daily Variety deputy editor Cynthia Littleton, who chronicles the battle and its lasting impact in her new book TV On Strike: Why Hollywood Went to War over the Internet (Syracuse University Press), says while many writers took a financial beating from the walkout, they had little choice but to take a hard line. The emergence of Netflix, Hulu and other services since the strike has proven online viewing is a robust business. We asked her about the strike's aftermath and what's ahead...
Just when Jon Lovett thought he was out of politics, they pulled him back in. The 30-year-old former stand-up comic toiled over speeches for President Obama for three years before he quit in September 2011 to pursue comedy writing in Hollywood. "The one thing I didn't want to do was a show about the White House," he says. "I was too close to it." But on January 9, Lovett...
Every cable news anchor gets his or her share of hostile tweets. But CNN's Piers Morgan might be the first to spark a petition to the White House demanding deportation. More than 80,000 signatures have been gathered from pro-gun activists angry over the British journalist's repeated calls for an assault-weapons ban in the aftermath of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 children dead. They can sign all they want — but he's not backing down.
This may go down as the year movie studios discovered that there's no place like home for watching some first-run films.
In Demand, a major distributor of video-on-demand services for cable systems, says 2012 saw a 21 percent increase in the number of movies it offered subscribers on the same day or before they played in theaters. Thirteen distributors now supply new films to VOD and online streaming services, more than double the number in 2010, when indie distributors like IFC and Magnolia were leading the trend.