Stephen Battaglio


The Biz: Don Draper Travels to the 1980s

Jon Hamm

Ever wondered what happened to Mad Men's Don Draper after the swinging '60s ended?  John McNamee, a comic and writer, has created the Twitter account @80sDonDraper to give voice to the character's Reagan-era musings. We asked McNamee for some insights into Don's future.

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The Biz: Tyler Perry Raises OWN

Tyler Perry

Maybe Tyler Perry's next movie should be called Madea Saves Oprah's Network.

Just a year ago, OWN's financial losses and struggle for ratings began to concern the Wall Street analysts who follow the venture that Oprah Winfrey co-owns with Discovery Communications. So writer-director-producer Perry, a longtime Winfrey pal, offered his services to create comedies and dramas for the network, which had been built on reality series and talk shows.

Twelve months later, his scripted ...
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The Biz: Robin Meade's Morning Glory

Robin Meade

When Robin Meade was a child growing up in the small town of New London, Ohio, neighbors would catch her singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" in front of the flagpole on her lawn. Turns out it was excellent training for the anchor of HLN's Morning Express: She's opened many NASCAR events with the song. "There's less ...
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The Biz: It's a New Day for CNN's Morning Strategy

Kate Bolduan, Chris Cuomo, Michaela Pereira

If we've learned anything from the turmoil at NBC's Today, it's that morning show co-anchors better like each other if they're going to succeed.

Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan, the duo that will lead CNN's New Day when it premieres on June 17, appear to have that aspect of the job down. They frequently have... read more

The Biz: Steve Harvey is the New King of Daytime

Steve Harvey

When Steve Harvey talks about stand up comedy, he can sound like a physicist. "My job is to draw an instant reaction and measure that reaction and that act upon that action again," he says after a recent taping of his daytime talk show at the NBC Tower in Chicago. "That's what stand up is. I have to make an observation that makes 85 percent of that room laugh every eight to 12 seconds for an hour an a half to be successful and make money at this. I figured that out."

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The Biz: Why American Idol's Ratings Are Falling

Janelle Arthur

Not so long ago, the annual arrival of American Idol on the primetime schedule sent executives at ABC, CBS and NBC running for cover. The ratings dominance of Fox's singing competition crushed all comers and earned it the TV-industry moniker "Death Star."

This year, the execs have come out from under their desks. Idol is no longer the most watched primetime show — in recent weeks, thanks to NBC's The Voice, it hasn't even ranked as the most watched singing show. "The Death Star is now more like a water gun," says one former NBC executive.

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The Biz: What is Jay Leno's Next Move?

Julie Scardina, Jay Leno

NBC announced on April 3 that Jay Leno will once again hand over the reins of NBC's Tonight Show — which he began hosting in 1992 — this time to Late Night's Jimmy Fallon. Leno says that after he signs off in February 2014, you'll find him in his garage. But it's more likely the car enthusiast will be back in front of a camera than under the hood of a classic Chevy.

One industry insider who knows Leno says two cable networks have already approached the comic about launching a new show after he leaves NBC. By that time, Leno will be 64 — considered over the hill for the 18- to 49-year-old viewers advertisers seek in late night. But in the wider TV landscape, where octogenarians such as Barbara Walters and Regis Philbin still hold jobs, he's practically a youngster.

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The Biz: Fox News' Shepard Smith Heads to the Jersey Shore

Shepard Smith

Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith's reports on the government's failed response to Hurricane Katrina were a career-defining moment back in 2005. And he's still getting his boots muddy on behalf of natural disaster victims. On Monday he's taking his shows Studio B (3/2c) and The Fox Report (7/6c) to Seaside Heights, N.J., where Hurricane Sandy damaged 60 percent of the homes. Both programs will assess the cleanup and rebuilding efforts six months after the storm. The Biz checked in with the Holly Springs, Mississippi, native before he left and learned about his love for the Brooklyn Nets, his disdain for Twitter and why you'll never see him become a commentator.

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The Biz: Matt Lauer Is Still Today's Man

Matt Lauer

Despite what you may have read, not everybody hates Matt Lauer.

So says Today executive producer Don Nash, who recently sat in on a focus group of female morning-show viewers. When they were asked what would make them stop watching the NBC program, "every one of them said, 'If Matt Lauer were to leave,'" Nash says. "Their opinions didn't square with what we had been reading in the papers and on websites."

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The Biz: The News about ABC's David Muir

David Muir

Hardly a day passes at ABC News without a report from David Muir. From his popular "Made In America" segments to on-the-scene reporting from Cairo's Tahrir Square and the school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, the 39-year-old journalist keeps getting more airtime. He's added 20/20 to his weekend evening news anchor duties and is considered the odds-on favorite by many in the TV news business to succeed Diane Sawyer at World News. Time to get to know him better.  

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