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
Katie Couric has signed a multiyear deal with Disney/ABC to host and produce her own syndicated talk show, the network announced Monday.
Couric will reunite with Jeff Zucker, who served as executive producer on Today when she co-anchored the show. Zucker, who rose through NBC's ranks while the network fell to fourth in prime time, will executive-produce her series. It's scheduled to start in September 2012. Under the new pact, she will also join the ABC News team and will anchor specials.
Katie Couric signed off as the anchor of CBS Evening News on Thursday, calling the last five years an "incredible journey."
It was business as usual for most of Couric's last night behind the desk, which kicked off with a piece from her Evening News successor Scott Pelley. The broadcast also included a rare interview with...