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RIP, Charles Durning

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 25, 2012

An obit for the character actor and war hero is here.He played tough guys and lovable sorts in an array of roles. "Tootsie" comes to mind as an especially good one. In ffact, he did not even have to be seen to make an impression, In the Al Pacino "Scarface," Durning's and Dennis Franz's voices were dubbed in for a couple of other actors playing Pacino's interrogators.

Durning served nobly during World War II, though he reportedly did not talk about it much until late in life. I remember being in L.A. once and seeing signs for an event honoring Durning, with a description of his military experiences, and being astonished by all he had done. Was this the same man who had danced so merrily in "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas"? Indeed it was. Durning, it was clear, could do anything asked of him.

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RIP, Jack Klugman

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 24, 2012

Mixed Notes - Dec. 23

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 23, 2012

It's a holiday weekend and family is visiting. That has meant a lot of cooking and some Blu-ray viewing, including an action triple play: "The Dark Knight Rises," Marvel's The Avengers" and "RED." Also, "A Charlie Brown Christmas," which proved short on gunplay.

In today's Beacon Journal, and on Ohio.com, is a video column with some reminders of holiday fare. Pay special attention to the Dean Martin special, which is such a nutty time capsule. And, in Channels, I take a peek at the latest Kennedy Center Honors special, with Dustin Hoffman, Buddy Guy, David Letterman and more.

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Donellan Promoted to News Director at WKYC

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 21, 2012

The official word: Award winning journalist Brennan Donnellan will begin a new role at the station beginning in January.
“I’m very happy to promote Brennan into the News Director position,’ stated Brooke Spectorsky, President and General Manager of WKYC. “While he’s only been at Channel 3 for 18 months, he’s been instrumental in launching our new anchor teams of Russ Mitchell and Kris Pickel, Chris Tye and Erin Kennedy, and Lynna Lai and John Anderson. He’s led our live coverage of major news events including the shootings in Chardon, the Presidential Election, Super Storm Sandy and others. He’s a forward thinking manager who expects the best from his team and fights for the resources to bring high quality newscasts to viewers in Northeast Ohio.”

An Ohio University graduate, Donnellan has held news management positions in Atlanta, Boston, and Cincinnati. “He also led a digital media team for two years, and understands the challenges and opportunities that producing content for various platforms entails,’ added Mr. Spectorsky.

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"Argo" DVD/BD Release Set

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 21, 2012

It comes after the Oscar nominations, but five days before the ceremony. The official word:

Hollywood hijinks and high-stakes espionage collide in “Argo,” arriving onto Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital Download on February 19 from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group. Based on the declassified true story, “Argo” chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis, focusing on the little-known role that the CIA and Hollywood played.

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"Idol" Sets Preview Online and In Select Theaters

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 21, 2012

The official word: On Wednesday, Jan. 9 (7:00 PM ET/4:00 PM PT), fans in 11 cities across the country will have the exclusive opportunity to see the Season 12 premiere episode of AMERICAN IDOL for free one week prior to its debut on FOX. Immediately following (8:30 PM ET/5:30 PM PT), AMERICAN IDOL host Ryan Seacrest and judges Mariah Carey, Randy Jackson, Nicki Minaj and Keith Urban will participate in a nationwide, interactive Q&A, which will be live streamed on www.americanidol.com and www.livestream.com.

 

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Jake Tapper Jumps From ABC to CNN

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 20, 2012

The official word: Accomplished Washington journalist Jake Tapper, who has served the last four years as ABC’s senior White House correspondent and is a best-selling author, joins CNN as anchor of a new weekday program and CNN’s chief Washington correspondent, it was announced today by Ken Jautz, executive vice president of CNN/U.S.

Tapper has been a widely-respected reporter in the nation’s capital for 14 years and his most recent book, The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor, is currently on The New York Times best seller list. In his new role at CNN, he will be a key Washington, D.C. anchor and correspondent for CNN.

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Mixed Notes - Dec. 20

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 20, 2012

Today's mailbag, which includes a seasonally appropriate item about the old "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" special, can be found here.

PBS will offer a peek at the new season of "Downton Abbey" (or, as CNN called it in a recent graphic, "Downtown Abby":) beginning Dec. 26. The official word:

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USA Orders Eighth Season of "Psych" ...

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 20, 2012

... but is still being cagey about all but two cast members. Still, the renewal comes before the seventh season begins on Feb. 27.  The official word:

On the heels of a seventh consecutive win as the most-watched cable network, USA Network today ordered an eighth season of its longest running series on-air, and comedy favorite, PSYCH.  Santa Barbara’s favorite faux psychic and his sidekick, played by James Roday and Dulé Hill, will return with eight new episodes featuring the zany crimes, hilarious antics and a bevy of guest stars that the series has been known for since its premiere on USA in 2006.  The announcement was made today by USA Co-Presidents Chris McCumber and Jeff Wachtel.

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"America's Got Talent" Auditions in Columbus in January

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 19, 2012

So far, that's as close as the show is getting to here. The official word:

Ready for your shot at $1 million? NBC’s top-rated summer series “America’s Got Talent,” is heading to Columbus, Ohio to continue the nationwide search for season eight contestants with auditions on January 19th & 20th, 2013.

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Jay Mohr Succeeds Jim Rome on Fox Sports Radio

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 19, 2012

Mohr, the actor and comedian, has often filled in on Rome's show. Rome is moving to the CBS Sports Radio Network. WARF (1350-AM) is already promoting Mohr's show on its website.

The official word: FOX Sports Radio is pleased to announce the addition of actor, comedian and radio personality Jay Mohr as its new midday host.  Airing live on weekdays from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. ET/9 a.m. – 12 p.m. PT, Jay Mohr Sports will feature sports talk and entertainment highlighted by Mohr’s trademark comedic style and unique perspective as a multi-media star, in addition to conversations with top athletes and celebrities.  Originating from FOX Sports Radio’s Los Angeles studios, Jay Mohr Sports will debut on radio stations nationwide Wednesday, January 2, 2013.

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Super Bowl, Pro Bowl and Wild Card Games To Be Streamed Online

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 19, 2012

After successful streaming of the Super Bowl last year, the NFL is adding more games online. (I wrote a story about online viewing tied to that Super Bowl telecast, which you can find here.)

The official word: Super Bowl XLVII on CBS, and the Pro Bowl and the Wild Card Saturday doubleheader games on NBC will be available to fans on television, online and on select mobile phones, the NFL announced today.  All four postseason games will also be available on NFL Mobile from Verizon. 

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Derf Backderf Having a Very Good Year

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 19, 2012

In case you missed it, Revere High School grad Derf Backderf's book "My Friend Dahmer" has become one of the most widely praised titles of 2012 -- and not just by fans of graphic novels. Time magazine put it among the 10 best nonfiction books of the year, ranking it fourth. Time said:

"By pure, horrific chance, Backderf went to high school with Jeffrey Dahmer. Miniing his memories, Backderf creates a shockingly recognizable, almost tragic portrait of the future serial killer as an alienated kid in a toxic family."

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Trapper Jack, McIntyre Out at WDOK

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 19, 2012

You can hear Trapper Jack's announcement on the air this morning  here. As he makes clear in the announcement, neither he nor Jim McIntyre is leaving voluntarily; their contracts were not renewed, with no explanation given. The WDOK online announcement on this is here. (HT to Ohio Media Watch.)  UPDATE: The WDOK page is not available now, although the audio link appears to still work. UPDATE 2: The audio link is not working now, either.

 This is just the most recent retooling at the station, where  Jack survived another purge at the station a year ago.

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"A Christmas Story" Added to National Film Registry

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 19, 2012

Below is the list of the latest selections for the Library of Congress registry. Following that are an explanation of the registry and descriptions of the films.

3:10 to Yuma (1957)
Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
The Augustas (1930s-1950s)
Born Yesterday (1950)
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
A Christmas Story (1983)
The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Title Fight (1897)
Dirty Harry (1971)
Hours for Jerome: Parts 1 and 2 (1980-82)
The Kidnappers Foil (1930s-1950s)
Kodachrome Color Motion Picture Tests (1922)
A League of Their Own (1992)
The Matrix (1999)
The Middleton Family at the New York World’s Fair (1939)
One Survivor Remembers (1995)
Parable (1964)
Samsara: Death and Rebirth in Cambodia (1990)    
Slacker (1991)
Sons of the Desert (1933)
The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973)
They Call It Pro Football (1967)
The Times of Harvey Milk (1984)
Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)
Uncle Tom's Cabin (1914)
The Wishing Ring; An Idyll of Old England (1914)

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How's This For a Picture?

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 18, 2012

Kimmel's 11:35 p.m. Kickoff, Midnight Farewell

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 18, 2012

The official word:

 

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Capra: The Comic Book

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 18, 2012

The official word: Frank Capra is an icon of American popular culture. But he is so much more than simply the director of  “It's a Wonderful Life”, the most beloved Christmas movie of all time. Bluewater's comic book biography traces the course of Capra's life from penniless immigrant to Hollywood royalty, and examines his unique and invaluable contribution to America's war effort.

“Tribute: Frank Capra” the comic book is written by Matthew J Elliott and drawn by David T. Cabera is out now for the holiday season.

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HitFix TV Critics' Poll Results Announced

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 17, 2012

The official word: HitFix (http://www.hitfix.com) announced today that “Breaking Bad” has been chosen as the top television series of 2012 in HitFix’s First Annual Television Critics’ Poll. The AMC network and Sony Pictures Television’s Emmy winning series was followed by “Homeland” (Showtime) and “Mad Men” (AMC).

The First Annual HitFix Television Critics Poll was compiled with the top 10 picks of more than 40 participating television critics and journalists from across the country. HitFix decided to host this poll after realizing there was a lack of prestige year-end honors for television programs.

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Monday Morning

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 17, 2012

A Quiet Space

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 15, 2012

I don't have much to add to the conversation about the latest school shootings. Even writing a phrase like "latest school shootings" is horrible enough. I have some lighter topics to discuss, and have tweeted a little about them this morning, but for the rest of the day, I wil leave this as is. Use the time you might have spent reading here on something else. Think about our culture. Hug your kids.

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"Merlin" Starts Final Season Jan. 4

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 14, 2012

The official word: Syfy will say good-bye to Camelot when the fifth and final season of Merlin returns Friday, January 4 at 10PM (ET/PT) with 13 all-new episodes.

As season five opens, Camelot is at the height of its golden age. With Queen Guinevere and the Knights of the Round Table at his side, Arthur has never felt stronger. But even as Camelot flowers, the seeds of its destruction are being sown. As the forces of darkness gather, only Merlin stands between Arthur and a fate that has been written since the dawn of time.

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Larry Merchant Leaving HBO Sports Boxing Role

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 13, 2012

The official word from HBO: Larry Merchant will end his unprecedented 35-year run as a ringside boxing commentator for HBO Sports with the season finale of World Championship Boxing® this Saturday night (9:30 p.m. ET/PT) from Houston. Following the telecast, Merchant will be moving into another phase of his wide-ranging career.

 

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Carole King Receives Gershwin Prize

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 13, 2012

The official word: Librarian of Congress James H. Billington today announced that Carole King is the 2013 recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

The iconic singer-songwriter, known for such beloved hits as “You’ve Got a Friend,” “So Far Away,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and “I Feel the Earth Move,” will receive the prize in Washington, D.C., in the spring of 2013. She will be feted with a series of events, including an honoree’s luncheon and musical performance in the Library of Congress’s historic Coolidge Auditorium. The prize honors the lifetime achievement of artists whose work exemplifies the standard of excellence associated with towering songwriters George and Ira Gershwin. King joins prior recipients Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney and songwriting duo Burt Bacharach and Hal David in receiving the honor.

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Mixed Notes - Dec. 13

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 13, 2012

Lots of stuff in the print Beacon Journal and online today, including:

-- My review of "The Hobbit"  and a companion piece trying to explain HFR and all the different ways you can see the movie. And, one thing I neglected to mention in all that tech talk: Peter Jackson beat the frequent 3D problem of too-dark images. (The 3D glasses even seem to have a lighter-tinged lens than usual,) At least as I saw it, this looked crisp and well-lit throughout.

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"Hell on Wheels" Renewed for 3rd Season

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 12, 2012

The official word: AMC announced today the renewal of “Hell on Wheels” for a third season with John Wirth (“V”  “Fallen Skies” “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”) serving as executive producer and showrunner. Season three of the series has been greenlit for ten, one-hour episodes and is scheduled to premiere in third quarter 2013.  

Centered on the lawless town known as “Hell on Wheels,” that travels with and services the construction of the first transcontinental railroad, the series examines the railroad’s institutionalized greed and corruption, the immigrant experience and the plight of the newly emancipated African-Americans during reconstruction. “Hell on Wheels” second season wrapped in October with an average of 2.4 million viewers and 3.2 million viewers with Live plus 7.

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Oh, Those Wacky Folks at WE

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 12, 2012

I offer, with considerable giggling and eye-rolling but no further comment, this lst of shows in development at WEtv:

BEDROOM CONFIDENTIAL

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ABC Family Sets New Year's Day "Bunheads"/"Dirty Dancing"/"Burlesque" Fest

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 12, 2012

The official word: It’s a marathon of “Bunheads,” “Baby” and “Burlesque” as ABC Family celebrates the New Year with a day of dance. Starting at 11AM ET/PT, catch seven hours of the hit drama “Bunheads,” followed by a special airing of “Dirty Dancing” at 6PM ET/PT and the network premiere of “Burlesque,” at 8:30PM ET/PT. 

Tired of her life as a showgirl in Las Vegas, Michelle (Tony Award®-winning actor Sutton Foster) impulsively agrees to marry Hubbell – her biggest fan. But her arrival into his small town isn’t well received – especially by his mother (Kelly Bishop, “Gilmore Girls”), who runs a dance studio full of “Bunheads.” The series returns with all new episodes with the mid-season premiere on Monday, January 7th at 9PM ET/PT.

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"Walking Dead Live" Coming to Cleveland; Tickets on Sale Friday

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 10, 2012

The official word: THE WALKING DEAD LIVE - An Evening with the Cast & Creators of the Hit Show gives audiences an exclusive look inside The Walking Dead with cast members Norman Reedus (Daryl), Steve Yeun (Glenn) & Lauren Cohan (Maggie) and executive producer/special effects guru Greg Nicotero for a special live panel discussion, fan Q&A, never before seen footage, a look behind the scenes and much more!

 

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Ho Ho Ho

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 9, 2012

Above, a little video chat about Christmas songs that can bum you out, with Malcolm X Abram and me. You can find our written discussion of  these and other songs here.

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Time Warner Adds RLTV; Local Chef To Appear on Channel

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 6, 2012

Meals on Wheels for Stark & Wayne Counties passed along this news recently:

We have arranged for Sonny Sonnhalter, our commissary manager, to appear on "Good Food, Good Deeds," a program hosted by Florence Henderson that airs on RLTV, a cable network geared to people 50 and above. The program is produced in association with the Meals On Wheels Association of America.

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CBS Mid-Season Plans

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 6, 2012

The official word: CBS announced mid-season premiere dates for the new drama GOLDEN BOY and the seventh season return of the comedy RULES OF ENGAGEMENT.

The Network also announced the premiere dates of the spring editions of SURVIVOR and THE AMAZING RACE and the season finale of CSI: NY.

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"Very Special Christmas" Anniversary Show This Weekend on GMC

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 6, 2012

I was digging into my Christmas-music archive this weekend and landed on the first "VSC" recording (with Pointers, Bruce, Run-DMC, Pretenders, Whitney, Madonna, U2 and more). The music was often a mixed bag, the cause a worthy one. Here's the official word:

GMC TV, America’s favorite channel for uplifting family entertainment, presents the original GMC World Premiere Music Special “A Very Special Christmas:  25 Years of Bringing Joy to the World,” a landmark documentary that celebrates a quarter-century of star-studded Christmas albums in support of Special Olympics. Hosted by award-winning actress and singer Vanessa Williams, the show features new performances by Francesca Battistelli, Martina McBride, Jordin Sparks, Train, Lauriana Mae, Grayson Sanders and Jono, memorable musical highlights from the past 25 years and interviews with many of the artists and others who have made the series the most successful music fundraising series of all time.  “A Very Special Christmas:  25 Years of Bringing Joy to the World” premieres exclusively on GMC TV, Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9, 2012  at 9:00 p.m. ET.

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"Bunheads," "Switched" Return Jan. 7

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 6, 2012

The official word:

Monday nights on ABC Family are all new with the Season Two premiere of the award-winning family drama “Switched at Birth” and the winter premiere of the critically-acclaimed series “Bunheads” on Monday, January 7th, 2013.

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More "Dance Moms" DVDs

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 6, 2012

Season 3 begins on Jan. 1. The official word: Featuring a powerful cast of characters, Dance Moms Season 2: Volume 1 and Dance Moms Season 2: Volume 2 take viewers into the excitement and stress of the dance competition season. Dance Moms Season 2: Volume 1, the 3-disc collection encompasses the first 12 episodes plus a bonus episode from the all-new reality competition series “Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition.” Dance Moms Season 2: Volume 2, the 3-disc collection encompasses the final 13 episodes plus a bonus two-part reunion show. Containing more name calling, backstabbing and chair throwing than ever before, the Dance Moms Season 2: Volume 1 and Dance Moms Season 2: Volume 2 will be available for the suggest retail price of $24.98 each.


DANCE MOMS SEASON 2: VOLUME 1 SYNOPSIS
Set in Pittsburgh’s renowned Abby Lee Dance Company, owned and operated by the famously outspoken Miller, Dance Moms follows children’s early steps on the road to stardom and their mothers who are there for every rehearsal.  Presenting a powerful cast of characters, the show immerses itself in dance competition season, delivering a captivating and dramatic look at the cast’s intense pursuit of National Dance titles.   Volume 1 includes the first 12 episodes of the second season culminating with the 1.5 hour “Abbygeddon” episode in which the girls travel to New York to audition at the Joffrey Ballet School and  Abby Lee Miller breaks down crying when her favorite dancer, Maddy forgets her routine.

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Some Christmas Cheer

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 5, 2012

Check out this adorable video with Mariah Carey, Jimmy Fallon, the Roots, some schoolchildren and classroom instruments.

 

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"Smash" Season One on DVD/BD on Jan. 8

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 4, 2012

The second season begins Feb. 5 on NBC. The official word: Smash” Season One tells the compelling story of a heated rivalry between upcoming starlets, a writing team in need of a new hit and a Broadway producer finding her own way in a “captivating fusion of music, dance and potent storytelling” (Dorothy Rabinowitz, Wall Street Journal).  From executive producer Steven Spielberg (Jaws, Schindler’s List) comes the groundbreaking, critically acclaimed series “Smash,” Emmy Award® winner for Best Choreography.  Starring Emmy Award® winner Debra Messing (Will & Grace), Academy Award® winner Anjelica Huston (Prizzi’s Honor), Megan Hilty (Broadway’s Wicked) and American Idol’s Katharine McPhee,   “Smash” Season One  is available on DVD with UltraViolet™ on January 8, 2013.  Experience all 15 “gloriously entertaining” (Robert Bianco, USA Today) episodes back-to-back and uninterrupted in this four-disc set,  filled with fantastic musical performances, stunning production numbers and scandalous backstage dramas.  Fans can also see never-before-seen bonus features including deleted scenes, featurettes and much more!

 

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ABC Sets Mid-Season Premieres

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 4, 2012

The very long official word: ABC announced midseason premiere dates for new dramas “Red Widow” and “Zero Hour” today, along with new comedies “How to Live with Your Parents (for the Rest of Your Life)” and “Family Tools,” and new alternative series “The Taste” and “Celebrity Diving.” Returning series “Dancing with the Stars” and “Body of Proof” will rejoin the schedule will all-new seasons in the new year, and “Suburgatory” will move to Wednesday nights at 8:30 p.m., beginning April 3, 2013.

“Red Widow,” from “Twilight Saga” films writer Melissa Rosenberg and starring Radha Mitchell, is a riveting new drama about one woman’s journey into the world of organized crime, and how far she will go to keep her family safe. “Red Widow” will debut with a two-hour premiere on Sunday, March 3 from 9:00-11:00 p.m., ET, and premiere in its regular timeslot, Sunday nights at 10:00 p.m., ET, on Sunday, March 10.

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FX Sets "Americans" Premiere

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 4, 2012

The official word: The series premiere of FX’s newest drama, The Americans, has been set for Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 10pm ET/PT. 

The Americans is a period drama about the complex marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington D.C. shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President.  The arranged marriage of Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell), who have two children – 13-year-old Paige (Holly Taylor) and 10-year-old Henry (Keidrich Sellati), who know nothing about their parents’ true identity – grows more passionate and genuine by the day, but is constantly tested by the escalation of the Cold War and the intimate, dangerous and darkly funny relationships they must maintain with a network of spies and informants under their control.   Complicating their relationship further is Philip’s growing sense of affinity for America’s values and way of life. Tensions also heighten upon the arrival of a new neighbor, Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich), an FBI agent.  Stan and his partner, Agent Chris Amador (Maximiliano Hernández), are members of a new division of Counterintelligence tasked with fighting against foreign agents on U.S. soil, including KGB Directorate S illegals, Russian spies posing as Americans.

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"Walking Dead" Claims Ratings Victory -- By Counting 3 Telecasts Together

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 3, 2012

Isn't it possible that some of the same viewers watched more than once?

The official word: AMC’s “The Walking Dead” is the first cable series in television history to reign as the biggest show of the fall season among Adult 18-49 rating, beating all broadcast and cable entertainment series including “The Voice,” “Modern Family,” “X Factor,” “Two and a Half Men,” “The Big Bang Theory” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” Last night, the 9PM premiere of “The Walking Dead’s” mid-season finale delivered 10.5 million viewers.  The series encored at 10PM and then again at midnight, delivering an additional 3.6 million & 1.1 million viewers respectively, totaling 15.2 million viewers for the night. With Live plus 7, “The Walking Dead” adds another 3.4 million viewers a week on average. “The Walking Dead” Season 3 to date reigns as the number one ad supported drama series in basic cable history among total viewers, adults 18-49, adults 25-54, adults 18-34, men 18-49, men 25-54 and men 18-34. AMC resumes the final eight episodes of “The Walking Dead” season three on Sunday, February 10th at 9pm EST.

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Oscar Documentary Semifinalists Announced

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 3, 2012

The official word: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 15 films in the Documentary Feature category will advance in the voting process for the 85th Academy Awards®. One hundred twenty-six pictures had originally qualified in the category.

The 15 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production companies:

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New GM for WKSU

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 3, 2012

Dan Skinner, former president of Texas Public Radio, will be joining the Kent State-based public-radio operation in January, and will be in town to look things over in mid-December.

He stepped down from the TPR post in November, after six years with the organization. An announcement of his departure said: "During his tenure, Skinner was instrumental in leading TPR’s strategic direction. Under his stewardship, TPR saw dramatic growth in audience and services, particularly the expansion of local news coverage and the development of an award-winning newsroom."

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Stern Will Be Back on "AGT"

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 3, 2012

The official word: NBC announced today that Howard Stern, American radio personality, television host and author, will return as a judge for a second season on the top-rated summer alternative series “America’s Got Talent,” produced by FremantleMedia North America and Simon Cowell’s SYCO Television.

Stern will continue to provide his observations on the colorful array of hopeful future stars that are currently auditioning in major cities around the country for the show’s upcoming eighth season.

The announcement was made by Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment.

“Howard Stern’s towering presence and opinions on last season’s show as a new judge made a dramatic impact and added a sharper edge to the fascinating developments on stage,” said Telegdy. “We know that Howard believes in ‘America’s Got Talent’ -- which remains America’s top-rated summer series -- and that dedication comes across in a genuine way to our viewers who share his passion about our amazing talent competition.” ...

The auditions for “America’s Got Talent” will continue in Seattle (November 29), Portland (December 1), Birmingham (December 10), Memphis (December 11), Nashville (December 13) and continues onto the East Coast, making stops in Savannah (December 14), Raleigh (December 15), Norfolk (December 16), before heading to San Antonio (January 12 and 13) and Chicago (January 26 and 27). For all the latest information and to pre-register, go to www.AGTauditions.com.

 

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New Boss at Rock Hall

By Rich Heldenfels Published: December 3, 2012

The official word: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum announced today that Gregory S. Harris, its vice president of development since 2008, will become president and chief executive officer. Harris, who holds a graduate degree in museum studies and whose industry background also includes curatorial, membership and sponsorship experience, was approved by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Inc. board following a broad nationwide search.

A driving force behind growing the Museum’s philanthropic support and a key figure in fundraising, planning and execution of the successful 2012 Hall of Fame Induction Week, Harris, 47, succeeds long-time President and Chief Executive Officer Terry Stewart, who announced in May his intention to retire from the position by the end of next year. The transition will be effective January 1, 2013.

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