Showtime's competitive juices aren't limited to the arena of scripted entertainment. Now the pay cable network is challenging HBO's Real Sports franchise by turning to masters of long-form narrative with the launch of 60 Minutes Sports (10/9c). Among the segments in Wednesday's premiere: a closer-up profile by Bob Simon of FC Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi, whose prowess at 25 was demonstrated in last Sunday's 60 Minutes piece on the Barcelona team.
Election Day is finally here! And your favorite Tuesday night shows will step aside for wall-to-wall results coverage. Not sure what to watch when? Check out our roundup below to see what the networks have planned (all times Eastern):
The timing couldn't be better for this week's announcement by FX that the current — and best to date — season of Sons of Anarchy is being expanded by an extra episode (No. 14 will now air Dec. 6).
The following is a roundup of programming in honor of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Sunday, Aug. 28
George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview (10/9c, Nat Geo): The former president opens up over a two-day interview about his experiences during the hours and days following the attacks.
Objects and Memory (10/9c, PBS): Narrated by Frank Langella, the film examines the importance of items recovered after 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing and the Vietnam War.
A lot of people think TV is better than movies these days. For many actors, it certainly pays better. Unless you're able to play a superhero, it's tough to get super-rich from big-screen work, so more actors are moving to series TV. The expanded talent pool has given networks and studios extra leverage in negotiating salaries. "There are so few gigantic stars in features and the rest are not making any money," says one industry executive familiar with this year's deal-making. "That's helpful."
The general rule across the TV business is to keep lead performers on new network prime-time series to $125,000 an episode. (Cable networks are going as high as $150,000.) That's not Charlie Sheen money, but it's not bad. "Times that by 22, [and] you can maintain a pretty good lifestyle based on what you were making in features but now you're not," the executive says.
There are always exceptions