Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Story of the Day - CBS
CBS is one of the largest radio and television networks in the United States. The name is derived from an abbreviation of Columbia Broadcasting System, its former legal name. It is legally known as CBS Broadcasting, Inc. After the company became known as CBS, Inc. in 1971, Westinghouse Electric Corporation acquired the network in 1995. Westinghouse adopted the CBS name in 1997 and was subsequently acquired by Viacom, Inc., in 2000.
At the end of 2004, CBS and other traditional broadcasting assets became the new CBS Corporation following the split of Viacom. CBS Corporation and the new Viacom are controlled by Sumner Redstone through National Amusements, the parent of the two companies.
One of the pioneer radio networks, from its earliest days CBS established a reputation for quality. Prior to the fracturing of the market under cable television, CBS's television network was one of three which dominated broadcasting in the United States and is also shown on basic cable in Canada (the others were ABC and NBC).
It is sometimes referred to as the Tiffany Network; the nickname is both a reference to the perceived classiness of CBS programming, and an allusion to some of the first demonstrations of color television, held by CBS in a former Tiffany building in New York City, in 1950.
According to a New York Times piece on November 9, 1950, "the first local public demonstrations of color television will be initiated Tuesday by the Columbia Broadcasting System. Ten color receivers are being installed on the ground floor of the former Tiffany building at 401 Fifth Avenue, near Thirty-seventh Street, where several hundred persons can be accommodated for each presentation." CBS actually was the first network to offer some commercial programming in color for a few months in 1951, but the system was incompatible with black and white televisions, so CBS marketed a special color receiver.
Between the sets not selling very well, and the complete elimination of all black and white viewers during a CBS color broadcast (a black and white set tuned to CBS during a CBS-system color show just received noise), it was a hopeless exercise. CBS quietly cancelled the whole project later in the year, and recalled the few color sets that it sold. RCA-NBC introduced the "compatible" color system in 1953, which is still in use today.
Les Moonves is chairman of CBS and president of CBS Corporation. Prior to 1998, Moonves was president of CBS Entertainment. CBS has been criticized as advocating liberal political positions; the network denies allegations of bias in their news reporting.
This media conglomerate has its eye focused on the TV. CBS Corporation is one of the leading television broadcasting and production companies in the world, operating the #1 TV network in the US, CBS. It also operates about 40 TV stations around the country and owns 50% of The CW Network. On cable, CBS owns movie channel Showtime and sports channel CSTV. It creates and distributes programming through CBS Television Distribution Group and CBS Paramount Network Television. In addition to TV, the company owns CBS Radio, CBS Outdoor, and book publisher Simon & Schuster. Chairman Sumner Redstone has more than 70% voting control over CBS Corp. through his National Amusements cinema chain.
Thank You, CBS, for Renewing ‘How I Met Your Mother'
Variety has just reported that CBS is bringing back ratings-challenged comedy How I Met Your Mother. Unlike other on-the-bubble shows like Friday Night Lights (renewed!), One Tree Hill (renewed!), and Veronica Mars (not lookin' great!), there hasn't been much noise about How I Met Your Mother. But last night's season finale was yet another good example of why it's one of the best sitcoms on TV, and why giving it another season is a smart idea for CBS.
No other show replicates so accurately what it's like to hang out with a group of funny, nice friends. Even at their own wedding reception, Lily (Alyson Hannigan) and Marshall (Jason Segal) never stop joking, but not sitcommy jokes that make the laugh-track roar and normal human viewers scowl — actual jokes, the kind actual people tell each other every day. Bemoaning for a moment their decision to keep their own last names, they suggest alternate last names they could adopt. Marshall hits on one: "I got it. You ready? You ready? Lily and Marshall Awesome. 'Do you know the Awesomes? Marshall and Lily, and their son Totally and their daughter Friggin'?"
The show is consistently funny, remarkably true to life, unafraid of honest emotion, and the No. 1 employer of former Buffy and Freaks and Geeks cast members in Hollywood. Plus, Doogie Howser! Plus, a Bob Saget voice-over from the future! At the end of the season finale, Ted (Josh Radnor) and Robin (Cobie Smulders) have broken up, peaceably, the way actual people often do, and we know that we haven't yet seen the conclusion of the story. It's a testament to the show's good writing that we don't just hope for more jokes from How I Met Your Mother; we hope to meet her, too.
CBS cancels "Jericho," "Close to Home"
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - CBS has canceled the apocalyptic drama "Jericho," the much-hyped freshman comedy "The Class" and the sophomore drama "Close to Home."
The network also announced Tuesday that it renewed the dramas "Shark," "The Unit," "Criminal Minds," "Ghost Whisperer" and "Numbers," as well as the comedies "How I Met Your Mother" and "Rules of Engagement." Additionally, the critical darling "The New Adventures of Old Christine" is coming back with a 13-episode midseason.
The network will officially unveil its lineup Wednesday.
CBS' new series orders for next season include the musical mystery "Viva Laughlin," the vampire crime drama "Moonlight," the Latin family drama "Cane" starring Jimmy Smits, the comedy "The Big Bang Theory," and the game show series "Power of 10."
Also in strong contention are the comedies "I'm in Hell" and "The Captain," while the partner-swapping drama "Swingtown" is rumored to he held for midseason.
Close to Home
CBS's fall lineup:
Bolder yet still CBS
Last year, media people criticized CBS for being too conservative with its new fall schedule in making very few changes and offering a small number of new shows, none particularly impressive.
It seems the network heard those complaints, and its fall schedule, released this morning, reflects that.
After months of insisting that it wanted to become the big-buzz network, CBS is making several bold moves and rolling out six new series that are much different from the crime dramas and family sitcoms that have dominated the network for years.
The most notable move may be in returning “Without a Trace” to Thursday night. The network had moved it to Sunday last year, and the result was double-digit declines that left it behind ABC.
Five new shows made the fall schedule, one more than last year. And the network has changes on every night of the week, a big departure from the minimal and cautious changes of the past few years.
Speaking of the new schedule, CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler said in a statement: “We approached our development this year with a specific goal in mind - to be daring and different.”
The network needed to do something. This season CBS’s adults 18-49 rating fell 3 percent compared with last year, despite carrying the Super Bowl this year.
Thursday night has the most notable change, with “Trace” moving to 10 p.m.
This year there was no dominant show in the timeslot, with NBC’s “ER” slipping from last year, ABC airing five different shows there thus far, and CBS’s “Shark” doing well among total viewers but only so-so among 18-49s.
ABC has a new show airing in the timeslot as well, which could make it vulnerable against “Trace.” Still, “Trace” did not perform as well as it did last year when it aired its season finale as a special last Thursday.
CBS’s other notable scheduling move is putting “Cane,” the steamy drama about a rum runner played by Jimmy Smits, in the Tuesday 10 p.m. slot, where the network hasn’t had a solid show in two years.
“Cane” has gotten more buzz than any of CBS’s other pilots, and many thought it would get the valuable post-“CSI” slot on Thursday that “Trace” is returning to.
But by putting a big-buzz drama in its most problematic spot, where reruns have aired most of this year, CBS seems to be acknowledging media people’s concerns about being overly cautious.
Other new dramas include Hugh Jackman’s musical gambling romp “Viva Laughlin” and “Moonlight,” about a modern-day vampire.
The lone new sitcom, “The Big Bang Theory,” focuses on hot young singles instead of the family model that has been successful for CBS in the past.
“Theory” airs after “How I Met Your Mother” in the 8 p.m. hour Monday, followed by “Two and a Half Men” and “Rules of Engagement” at 9 and “CSI: Miami” at 10.
The first two hours Tuesday also remain the same, with “NCIS” and “The Unit,” followed by “Cane.”
“Kid Nation,” a new reality show in which children attempt to build a town, leads off Wednesday at 8, followed by “Criminal Minds” and “CSI: NY,” both holdovers.
Thursday features “Survivor,” “CSI” and “Trace,” while Friday gets a new look with “Moonlight” replacing “Close to Home” at 9 p.m. “Ghost Whisperer” remains at 8 and “Numb3rs” stays at 10.
Saturdays will be crime repeats. Sunday gets the most changes, with “60 Minutes” leading into “Laughlin” at 8 p.m. “Cold Case” stays at 9, followed by “Shark” at 10.
CBS canceled “The Class” and “Jericho,” two first-year shows, as well as “Close to Home.”
“The New Adventures of Old Christine,” “The Amazing Race” and the new drama “Swingtown” will debut at midseason.
CBS Announces 2007-08 Primetime Schedule
CBS announced today its 2007-2008 Fall Primetime lineup, featuring five new series - one comedy, three dramas and one reality program.
These freshman series will join 17 returning programs on the current CBS lineup, which will win the 2006-2007 season in viewers and adults 25-54, continuing the Network's multi-year winning streak.
The five new series feature bold and creative concepts, including Viva Laughlin, where drama is accented by iconic music; Cane, starring Jimmy Smits as the head of a powerful South Florida Cuban-American family; Moonlight, a romantic thriller with a new twist on the vampire legend; The Big Bang Theory, a comedy about genius geeks from "Two and A Half Men" co-creator Chuck Lorre; and KID NATION, a reality series where 40 kids will try to build a new society in an abandoned ghost town.
"We approached our development this year with a specific goal in mind - to be daring and different," said Nina Tassler, President, CBS Entertainment. "The Fall and mid-season series we have selected offer creativity and variety with great potential to excite and surprise television audiences everywhere."
These new shows will be woven into a deep and successful lineup that returns more series and has more time period-winning programs than any other network. CBS will return television's Number One drama and scripted program, CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION; the Number One comedy, TWO AND A HALF MEN; the Number One new comedy, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT; the Number One news magazine, 60 MINUTES; and the premiere reality series, SURVIVOR.
Also returning are: HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, CSI: MIAMI, NCIS, THE UNIT, CRIMINAL MINDS, CSI: NY, WITHOUT A TRACE, GHOST WHISPERER, NUMB3RS, COLD CASE and SHARK, as well as 48 HOURS: MYSTERY and CRIMETIME SATURDAY.
The new 2007-2008 schedule is:
On Monday, CBS adds a new series to television's top rated comedy lineup. HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, with a young and loyal audience, returns at 8:00 PM, paired with the new genius comedy THE BIG BANG THEORY at 8:30 PM to form a young adult comedy block. From 9:00-10:00 PM, CBS returns television's top comedy, TWO AND A HALF MEN, followed by the Number One new comedy, RULES OF ENGAGEMENT. At 10:00 PM, CSI: MIAMI, the night's Number One scripted series, returns for its sixth season.
On Tuesday, the Top 20 hit NCIS and THE UNIT return from 8:00-10:00 PM. This successful two-hour drama block will serve as a launching pad for the stylish new drama CANE at 10:00 PM.
On Wednesday, CBS returns its successful duo of CRIMINAL MINDS and CSI: NY from 9:00-11:00 PM. Earlier in the evening at 8:00 PM, the network will try something very different with a new reality series, KID NATION, starring 40 remarkable kids attempting to prove they can form a functioning society in an abandoned New Mexico ghost town, where their adult predecessors failed.
On Thursday, CBS returns one of television's top dramas, WITHOUT A TRACE, to 10:00 PM, joining forces once again with the time period-winning SURVIVOR at 8:00 PM and CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION, television's Number One drama, at 9:00 PM.
CBS will again use an established series as a launch pad for a new one on Friday. GHOST WHISPERER opens at 8:00 PM as a compatible lead-in to the new romantic thriller MOONLIGHT at 9:00 PM, followed by the return of the time period-winning drama NUMB3RS at 10:00 PM.
Saturdays will feature CBS's CRIMETIME programming from 8:00-10:00 PM, followed by 48 HOURS: MYSTERY, the night's top-rated program.
On Sunday, CBS will once again open with 60 MINUTES, the perennial Number One newsmagazine on television. At 8:00 PM, CBS will make one of its biggest moves with one of its boldest new shows, VIVA LAUGHLIN, a drama with music, based on the British hit "Viva Blackpool." From 9:00-11:00 PM, the network will program a two-hour block of successful crime and justice with the growing COLD CASE and the sophomore series SHARK.
In addition to the new series for Fall, the network announced the pick up of three programs for midseason, including the four-time Emmy Award-winning THE AMAZING RACE, the comedy THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE, starring Emmy Award winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and the provocative new drama SWINGTOWN.
The network also announced it has ordered the reality series POWER OF 10, hosted by comedian Drew Carey ("The Drew Carey Show") for this summer.
The new comedy is:
THE BIG BANG THEORY is a comedy from the Emmy Award nominated Co-Creator and Executive Producer of "Two and a Half Men" Chuck Lorre, about brainy best friends Leonard (Johnny Galecki, "Roseanne") and Sheldon (Jim Parsons "Judging Amy"), who can tell you anything you want to know about quantum physics, but when it comes to dealing with everyday life here on earth they're lost in the cosmos. Neither fully understands that scientific principles don't always apply in matters of the heart - until they meet their sexy new neighbor Penny (Kaley Cuoco, "8 Simple Rules..."), a friendly screenwriter/waitress from the midwest who also happens to be newly single. She quickly makes an impression on the other members of Leonard and Sheldon's geek squad - Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip"), who portrays himself as the Casanova of Cal Tech, and fellow whiz kid Rajesh Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar, "NCIS"), who is rendered speechless around anyone unprepared to converse about the Theory of Relativity or other scientific jargon. The chemistry between this gaggle of geniuses and a delightful damsel is about to undergo a stimulating series of inter-personal experiments. Multiple Emmy Award winner James Burrows ("Will & Grace") directed the pilot. Lorre and Bill Prady ("Gilmore Girls," "Dharma & Greg") are executive producers for Warner Bros. Television.
The new dramas are:
Executive produced by Tony and Emmy Award winner Hugh Jackman ("The Boy from Oz," "X-Men"), VIVA LAUGHLIN is a mystery drama with music about eternal optimist and freewheeling businessman Ripley Holden, whose sole ambition is to run a casino in Laughlin, Nev. Occasionally using upbeat contemporary songs to accentuate the drama and humor and advance the story, the series is based on the hit BBC show "Viva Blackpool." Ripley (Lloyd Owen, "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles") is the ultimate gambler with an infectious personality who is on the brink of making a killing... just as soon as he opens his casino that's nowhere near completion. When his financing suddenly falls through, the fearless and tenacious Ripley approaches his enemy - dashing, sarcastic, wealthy casino owner Nicky Fontana (Hugh Jackman) for help. Though the odds are stacked against him, Ripley doesn't miss a beat, even when he becomes embroiled in a murder investigation after the body of his ex-business partner is found at his club. At home, Ripley uses his dry wit to adjust to the demands of his family: his gorgeous wife, Natalie (Madchen Amick, "ER"), wants more attention; his teenage daughter, Cheyenne (Ellen Woglom, "The O.C."), wants his approval; and his son, Jack (Carter Jenkins, "Surface"), wants to help him at work. All of this adversity would defeat a lesser man, but for the outgoing and passionate Ripley there's no such thing as bad news, only deals to be struck and wagers to be won in the intoxicating neon glow of Laughlin, where the cards are on the table, romance is in the air and lively music is on the stage. Eric Winter ("Wildfire") and D.B. Woodside ("24") also star. Directed by Gabriele Muccino ("The Pursuit of Happyness"). Golden Globe Award nominee Hugh Jackman, John Palermo ("X-Men: The Last Stand"), Bob Lowry ("Huff"), Paul Telegdy and Peter Bowker ("Viva Blackpool") are executive producers for BBC Worldwide Productions, Seed Productions, CBS Paramount Network Television in association with Sony Pictures Television.
CANE stars Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Jimmy Smits ("The West Wing") in an epic drama about the external rivalries and internal power struggles of a large Cuban-American family running an immensely successful rum and sugar business in South Florida. When the family patriarch, Pancho (Hector Elizondo, "Chicago Hope"), is offered a lucrative but questionable deal by his bitter adversary, the Samuels, to purchase thousands of acres of sugar fields, he's faced with a tough choice: Should he cash out of the sugar business and focus solely on rum, which would please his impulsive natural son, Frank (Nestor Carbonell, "Lost"), or protect the family legacy that he built from the ground up by not selling, and side with his adopted son, Alex (Smits), who mistrusts the Samuels and still sees value in sugar. Alex and Frank's approach to business is as different as their approach to life. While Frank might lose focus chasing women, Alex is deeply in love with his beautiful wife, Isabel (Paola Turbay, "Bailando por un Sueo"), who is also Pancho's daughter. Married when she was just 17 years old, Isabel balances Alex by choosing not to involve herself in the business, focusing instead on their three children, who are determined to forge their own paths outside the family. For the Duques, will family allegiance come first or will their secrets and acrimonious conflicts over love, lust and control of the family fortune be their downfall? Eddie Matos ("General Hospital"), Rita Moreno ("West Side Story"), Michael Trevino ("The Riches"), Lina Esco ("CSI: NY"), Sam Carman ("Bones"), Alona Tal ("Veronica Mars") and Polly Walker ("Rome") also star. Cynthia Cidre ("The Mambo Kings"), Jonathan Prince ("American Dreams"), Jimmy Iovine ("8 Mile") and Polly Anthony ("Lifehouse: Live in Portland!") are the executive producers for ABC Studios in association with CBS Paramount Network Television.
MOONLIGHT, from prolific movie producer Joel Silver ("The Matrix," Trilogy), is about Mick St. John (Alex O'Loughlin, upcoming "White Out"), a captivating "undead" private investigator who uses his acute vampire senses to help the living... instead of feeding on them. In an agonizing twist of fate, Mick was "bitten" 60 years ago by his new bride, the seductive and beguiling Coraline (Amber Valletta, "Hitch"). Immortal and eternally as young, handsome and charismatic as he was then, Mick is sickened by Coraline and other vampires who view humans only as a source of nourishment. With only a handful of undead confidantes for company, including deceitful ally Josef (Rade Serbedzija, "24"), Mick fills his infinite days protecting the living, and trying not to think about how his life would have been if he hadn't followed his heart. However, after six decades of resisting, he wonders if it's time to pursue the love of a mortal. He has his eyes on Beth Turner, a beautiful, ambitious reporter who has been covering the ongoing plague of unusual murders. But would Beth even consider giving up a normal life to be with him, and can Mick risk the pain of seeing himself as a monster in her eyes? As Mick lives between two realities, fighting his adversaries among the undead and falling in love with Beth, he knows he needs to figure out a reason to keep "living." MOONLIGHT is directed by executive producer Rod Holcomb ("ER"). Joel Silver, Ron Koslow ("Birds of Prey"), Trevor Munson and Gerard Bocaccio are also executive producers for Warner Bros. Television.
The new reality series is:
KID NATION is a reality-based series in which 40 kids will have 40 days to build a new world - in a ghost town that died in the 19th Century. These kids, ages 8-15, will spend more than a month without their parents or modern comforts in Bonanza City, N.M., attempting to do what their forefathers could not - build a town that works. They will cook their own meals, clean their own outhouses, haul their own water and even run their own businesses - including the old town saloon (root beer only). They'll also create a real government - four kid leaders who will guide the group through their adventure, pass laws and set bedtimes. Through it all, they'll cope with regular childhood emotions and situations: homesickness, peer pressure and the urge to break every rule they've ever known. At the end of each episode, all 40 kids will gather at an old fashioned Town Hall meeting where they will debate the issues facing Bonanza City. They'll show wisdom beyond their years and the unflinching candor that only kids can exhibit. There are no eliminations on KID NATION - you only go home if you want to. And in every Town Hall meeting, kids may raise their hands and leave. Will they stick it out? In the end, will these kids prove to adults everywhere (and their own parents!) that they have the vision to build a better world than the pioneers who came before them? And just as importantly, will they come together as a cohesive unit, or will they abandon all responsibility and succumb to the childhood temptations that lead to round-the-clock chaos? KID NATION is produced by Emmy Award winner Tom Forman ("Extreme Makeover: Home Edition") for Tom Forman Prods. and Good TV, Inc.
The new summer reality series is:
POWER OF 10, hosted by award-winning comedian Drew Carey ("The Drew Carey Show"), is a high-stakes game that challenges contestants to guess the behaviors, opinions and lifestyle choices of the American public for the chance to win $10 million. POWER OF 10 polls thousands of people across the U.S. asking them, well, just about everything - from "What percentage of married Americans said they were virgins the day they got married?" to "What percentage of American's believe they are smarter than the president?" Each week, contestants must decide if they have their finger on the pulse of the American majority and can accurately predict the results of these nationwide surveys. With the first question worth $1,000 and only five questions to answer, each one increasing 10 times in value, contestants participate in a potentially lucrative game where they just might walk away with $10 million. The higher they are on the money ladder, the closer they must be to the actual statistic. The studio audience and a friend can help them, but the final answer is theirs. Michael Davies ("Who Wants to be a Millionaire") is executive producer for Embassy Row in association with Sony Pictures Television.
The new midseason series is:
SWINGTOWN, from the director of "Big Love" and "Rome," peeks into the shag-carpeted suburban homes of the 1970s to find couples reveling in the sexual and social revolution that introduced open marriages, women's liberation and challenged many conventional wisdoms. During this heady era of provocative change, Susan (Molly Parker, "Deadwood") and Bruce Miller (Jack Davenport, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest") move their family to an affluent Chicago suburb in search of a different sense of community, and they look forward to barbecues and get-togethers with their new neighbors, as well as a change of pace for their teenage daughter and pre-teen son. Enter Tom (Grant Show, "Melrose Place") and Trina (Lana Parrilla, "24") Decker, a striking, outgoing couple on the hunt who redefine the term "neighborhood watch." After a mind-blowing evening with them, Susan and Bruce realize that couples in this town share much more than recipes, local gossip and a view of Lake Michigan, and are worlds apart from their former conservative neighbors, Janet (Miriam Shor, "Big Day") and Roger (Josh Hopkins, "Brothers & Sisters") Thompson. Susan's loyal friend Janet is appalled by what she witnesses in this new neighborhood, while Roger, though dutiful to his wife, may be more intrigued than she knows. In a changing social climate - defined by its music, fashion and style - everyone in SWINGTOWN is confronted with personal choices, experimentation and shifting attitudes. Shanna Collins ("Wildfire"), Aaron Howles and Brittany Robertson ("Freddie") also star. Mike Kelley ("The O.C.") and director Alan Poul ("Six Feet Under") are executive producers for CBS Paramount Network Television.
The following is the 2007-2008 CBS Television Network Primetime schedule"
CBS TELEVISION NETWORK
2007-2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE
(N=New, NT=New Time, all times ET/PT)
8:00-8:30 PM HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER
8:30-9:00 PM THE BIG BANG THEORY (N)
9:00-9:30 PM TWO AND A HALF MEN
9:30-10:00 PM RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
10:00-11:00 PM CSI: MIAMI
8:00-9:00 PM NCIS
9:00-10:00 PM THE UNIT
10:00-11:00 PM CANE (N)
8:00-9:00 PM KID NATION (N)
9:00-10:00 PM CRIMINAL MINDS
10:00-11:00 PM CSI: NY
8:00-9:00 PM SURVIVOR
9:00-10:00 PM CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION
10:00-11:00 PM WITHOUT A TRACE (NT)
8:00-9:00 PM GHOST WHISPERER
9:00-10:00 PM MOONLIGHT (N)
10:00-11:00 PM NUMB3RS
8:00-9:00 PM CRIMETIME SATURDAY
9:00-10:00 PM CRIMETIME SATURDAY
10:00-11:00 PM 48 HOURS: MYSTERY
7:00-8:00 PM 60 MINUTES
8:00-9:00 PM VIVA LAUGHLIN (N)
9:00-10:00 PM COLD CASE
10:00-11:00 PM SHARK (NT)
Andy Rooney On Iraq
Ali G and Andy Rooney