The Biz

ABC's This Week Goes Global with Christiane Amanpour

Christiane Amanpour

During more than two decades as a globe-trotting correspondent for CNN, Christiane Amanpour was often asked why she rarely smiles on camera. "Well, that's because you often see me covering genocide, civil war and things like that," she would answer. Don't expect her demeanor to change much when she takes the anchor chair at ABC's political roundtable program This Week on Sunday (August 1, 9am/8c)... read more

The Biz: Big American Idol News Coming Monday

Simon Cowell

Monday is the day when American Idol changes forever.

According to an industry source close to the situation, Fox and Idol's production company, 19 Entertainment, have made their decision on a replacement for departing judge Simon Cowell — and will make an ...
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The Biz: Summer TV's Scorecard

Charlotte Sullivan, Missy Peregrym and Enuka Okuma

In cable TV, summer is the new fall. For the broadcast networks, it's "Let's throw it against the wall and see if it sticks" time. So what's working as we wait for the curtain to rise on the fall schedules?

Canada American networks can get Canadian-made series for as little as 25 percent of what they pay for Hollywood shows. Of course, it only makes economic sense if you can get somebody to watch them (which wasn't the case with CBS' quickly axed The Bridge). Now that ABC's Rookie Blue is averaging 7 million viewers, you can bet there will be a lot more imports next summer.

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The Biz: Who Will Be the Next Cable News King?

Ryan Seacrest, Katie Couric

There will never be another Larry King. Gone are the days when a guy from Brooklyn who addictively plays the horses and gets married eight times can fall into TV stardom. CNN is hunting down some big names to fill King's suspenders in prime time. Here's the lowdown on who is being considered and why... read more

Is There Too Much Cursing on TV?

2010 MTV Movie Awards

There sure is a hell of a lot of foul language on television these days.

You may have noticed some profanity if you sat through the MTV Movie Awards on June 6. Always a rollicking event where celebrities can cut loose in a way they wouldn't on a traditional trophy show, the telecast was laced with so many vulgarities that whoever was in control of the "bleep" button couldn't keep up... read more

Season Report Card: Winners and Losers

Modern Family

It seems like yesterday that The Jay Leno Show was going to revolutionize the TV business. That didn't happen. But the 2009—10 television season did have its share of triumphs—and a few tribulations... read more

Fox Press Tour
Ex-NBC Prez Kevin Reilly discusses his new job

Kevin Reilly

Never before has a network exec gone from worst to first in such a short time. When the Television Critics Association last saw Kevin Reilly, he was the entertainment president at the fourth-place NBC. On Sunday, he made his debut as the new chief for Fox, the ratings leader in the advertiser-coveted audience of 18- to 49-year-old viewers. After being pushed aside at NBC for Ben Silverman, Reilly was quickly recruited by Fox's Peter Liguori, who has yet to develop a big hit since joining the network two years ago.

Liguori was upped to chairman after convincing his bosses to bring Reilly in. The two execs, who once formed the team that put cable network FX on the map, looked ready to burst into a chorus of "Reunited" when they met with reporters. "I have an unbelievable amount of respect for him professionally," Reilly said of Liguori. "He's a great guy. We've maintained a personal friendship and really not in that Hollywood way where everybody's friends. It's genuine."
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CBS Press Tour The net tries for "daring and different" with Kid Nation, Viva Laughlin and Swingtown

Kid Nation

When the promos for CBS' new fall reality show Kid Nation come on, you can't look away. Forty kids. No adult supervision. Watch how they build their own civilization in a ghost town in New Mexico. You immediately want to know: Which one is going to be Piggy from Lord of the Flies?

But when pressed by reporters at the Television Critics Association — stirred by a report in Television Week that the kids were performing on camera for 14 hours a day, making their own meals and missing school days — the show's executive producer Tom Forman was forced to repeat a far less provocative message: "I don't know that it was different than what goes on at an Eagle Scout camp," he said. As reporter questions chipped away at the show's artifice, Forman noted that there was a large "adult safety net" on the set... er, in the town, wh read more

NBC Press Tour Day 1
New exec Ben Silverman gets thumbs up

Ben Silverman and Marc Graboff, NBC

It was fair to wonder why NBC put Kevin Reilly in the executive ejector seat just after signing him to a new multi-year contract. After seeing the debut performance of his replacement, Ben Silverman, at the Television Critics Association press tour, we're not wondering anymore.

Instead of doing a rope-a-dope with reporters because he's only been in the job a month, Silverman came out with guns blazing, firing off one programming announcement after another. He even made a deal with legendary sitcom producer Norman Lear. That's red meat for the TCA, since many of its members love TV the way it used to be.

He's even ignored the mandate NBC chief read more

Still a Fresh P.O.V. The PBS documentary series turns 20 but keeps breaking new ground

P.O.V.: Revolution '67

Unscripted shows are a staple of the TV landscape. But no reality series has ever packed as provocative a punch as public television's documentary showcase P.O.V., which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this summer. Its 1991 presentation of Tongues Untied, a groundbreaking film about gay life in the black community, was condemned on the Senate floor and stations that carried the show received bomb threats. Farmingville, a film about the murder of two undocumented Mexican day laborers in a Long Island town, aired just after President Bush proposed his guest-worker program in 2004 and helped stir the recent immigration debate. The series has also brought the work of filmmaking mavericks Michael Moore and the read more

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