Search This Blog

vrijdag 20 januari 2012

'American Idol': Judges urge former hopeful Colton Dixon to audition

'American Idol': Judges urge former hopeful Colton Dixon to audition

American Idol judges Jennifer Lopez, Steven Tyler and Randy Jackson urged former hopeful Colton Dixon to audition in Savannah after hearing that he was in the building.

Colton was at the auditions on Wednesday night to support his sister Schyler Dixon. The pair had auditioned together last season, but Colton - who was cut just before the Top 24 round - told the cameras that he wanted to "take a back seat" and let his sister have the spotlight this time around.

However, the judges recognised Schyler in the audition room and found out that Colton was not planning to audition. "What?" said Lopez. "He almost made it! He could have made it to the Top 12!"

After demanding to see Colton in the audition room, Jackson said: "Dude, come on!" Colton insisted that he wasn't giving up on his singing dream and eventually succumbed to the judges' pressure to perform.

"We're not going to let you get away that easy," said Lopez.

Schyler was first to sing, impressing with a rendition of 'Breakeven' by The Script, before Colton took the stage for 'Permanent' by former American Idol winner David Cook.

Both siblings got tickets to Hollywood, with Colton looking slightly shell-shocked: "I have no idea what just happened... [Schyler] sucked me in again. Look what she did!"

Cook, who won the seventh season of American Idol, wrote on his Twitter account: "Awesome seeing Colton singing 'Permanent' tonight on @AmericanIdol. Humbled and flattered that he chose that song. (sic)"

'Unsupervised' review: An underwhelming animated comedy

'Unsupervised' review: An underwhelming animated comedy

FX has two hit comedies on its hands with "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "Archer." So when the network had the chance to combine the minds from these show into a new animated series, it makes sense that they gave it a green light. If only things worked out the way they look on paper.

"Unsupervised" follows two teen misfits Gary (Justin Long) and Joel (David Hornsby) whose parents are never around -- thus the title. Because the two have no actual adult guidance in their lives, they have carte blanche to do whatever they want. This results in the two conducting "Jackass"-type stunts and doing generally irresponsible things. If all this sounds familiar, it's because the show is essentially "Beavis and Butt-head" without the musical interludes...or the laughs.

In the pilot, Gary and Joel realize that they're behind the curve in terms of getting girls. So they decide the surefire way to remedy that situation is guessed it...throw a party. The voice of reason on the show is their friend Megan (Kristen Bell), who has more than a little bit of former "Beavis and Butt-head" character Daria in her. But, try as she might, she is unable to dissuade them from their plans. The show also features a bevy of cliches including jocks, hot chicks, nerds, etc. The pilot builds up to the party and, in the end, a number of things go awry.

The two main characters are basically indistinguishable and offer none of the comedy that their made shows like "It's Always Sunny" and "Archer" such successes. Rather than working dark or hyperbolic, they play it straight. And an animated comedy that doesn't exaggerate or take advantage of the medium typically doesn't pan out. But even leaving that aside, the biggest problem with "Unsupervised" is that it's just not funny. The jokes are predictable and flat. And in a comedy, this poses a major problem.

"Unsupervised" debuts Thursday (Jan. 19) on FX at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Professor Brian Cox triggers telescope sales rise on Amazon

Professor Brian Cox triggers telescope sales rise on Amazon

The return of Professor Brian Cox and his Stargazing Live series to BBC Two has resulted in an almost 500% increase in sales of telescopes on Amazon's UK website.

In what has been dubbed the "Brian Cox effect", Amazon UK saw a 491% uplift in sales of telescopes in the hours after the programme, co-presented by Cox with comic Dara O'Briain, relaunched on Monday.

Sales of telescopes on, including models ranging from £18 to more than £350, are currently over three times higher than they were in 2011.

The interest in Cox has also seen sales of his books more than double on Amazon since the physicist and former musician appeared on The Jonathan Ross Show.

"In the three hours following Stargazing Live being aired we saw an almost six-fold increase in sales of telescopes," said Neil Campbell, the camera & photo store manager at

"Each time the popular physicist appears on TV we see a jump in telescope sales and that would appear to point to a significant 'Brian Cox effect' encouraging a renewed interest in stargazing."

'The Angel' entrepreneur reality show to air on Sky1

'The Angel' entrepreneur reality show to air on Sky1

Sky1 has ordered a new competition show for entrepreneurs called The Angel.

The five-part series will see budding businesspeople fighting it out for a £100,000 investment from 'The Angel' John Caudwell, whose company owns mobile phone shop Phones4U.

Each day, six contestants will be invited into the studio to take part in a series of challenges.

The rounds - including individual tasks, head to heads and group challenges - will test the hopefuls on their drive, ambition, passion, resilience, commercial intellect and leadership.

One contestant will be eliminated in each round until there is a winner, who will receive £100,000 of Caudwell's own money for their business. Only then will Caudwell find out what he is investing in.

"Success can be down to the individual and his or her qualities, and he ability to deliver against an idea rather than the idea itself," Caudwell said.

"Bearing that in mind, the show provides a fantastic opportunity to combine analysis of business people's abilities with an opportunity to help drive young entrepreneurial companies forward but, best of all, it creates a vast opportunity to generate cash for charity.

"Any profits, and all The Angel's fees, will go to my charity Caudwell Children (@caudwellkids), which helps sick and dying - but massively inspirational - children."

Meanwhile, Sky1's director Stuart Murphy described the show as "populist, audacious and life-changing", adding: "This is the first business show where the investor really has to put their money where their mouth is. Investors all say it's about the person and not the business, and for the first time we're going to test that theory."

Production for The Angel will begin immediately and members of the public who want to take part can find out more at The show will air on Sky1 in the summer.

Bravo's 'Shahs of Sunset' cast revealed

Bravo's 'Shahs of Sunset' cast revealed

"Shahs of Sunset" will premiere on Bravo in March, and the first picture of the cast has been released.

The new series is a joint venture between the network and Ryan Seacrest Productions, which follows "group of young Persian-American friends who juggle living and working in Los Angeles while balancing the demands of their families and traditions."

After seeing the cast photo, we're not so sure about the "young" part of that equation -- but we're excited to watch, regardless.

According to Seacrest's website, ""Shahs" is set in the area between Beverly Hills and West L.A. -- nicknamed Tehrangeles, a combo of Los Angeles and Iran's capital Tehran -- which is home to approximately 500,000 Iranians, the largest population outside of Iran. An incredibly affluent community, the income of an Iranian-American is 50 percent higher than that of the average American."

Sounds like a cross between "Jersey Shore" and "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills": It's got that blend of upper class LA decadence and cultural cliches which promises to amuse (and offend) viewers.

The show has already attracted buzz in recent months after Seacrest and Bravo were sued by a cast member who was unhappy about her portrayal during filming.

CBS orders Sherlock Holmes pilot. BBC responds: 'WTF?'

CBS orders Sherlock Holmes pilot. BBC responds: 'WTF?'

Improbably, we already live in a world with two successful Holmes franchises. The first is, of course, the set of rebooted action flicks starring Robert Downey Jr. as Holmes -- a second one debuted in December 2011 and another is expected in 2013. The other, and many TV watchers would argue -- superior -- version is the BBC's complete reinvention, "Sherlock," which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular detective and is set in present day London.

Now, CBS has aroused the ire of Holmes enthusiasts -- including the BBC's own "Sherlock" Facebook page administrator, who responded to the news with a well-timed "WTF" post* on the show's official Facebook page -- by announcing plans to order a pilot called "Elementary."

"['Elementary'] is described as a modern take on the cases of the pipe-smoking private eye created by Arthur Conan Doyle, with Sherlock now living in New York City. Veteran Medium writer-producer [Rob] Doherty wrote the script and is executive producing the project with Sarah Timberman & Carl Beverly."

So, a good news bad news situation. The good news: "Medium" was a smart show so it isn't a sure thing that the script will get mangled into some kind of "Murder, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Wrote" farce. The bad news: that CBS is doing it at all. The BBC has a good thing going with "Sherlock" and American viewers are fully engaged via the show's PBS "Masterpiece Theater" runs, so why jump on any already stuffed bandwagon when there are certainly more "CSI" spinoffs to be had?

The BBC's full Facebook comment: "WTF. American version of Sherlock Holmes. You be crazy!"

'Glee' First Look: Meet the Berry Family

'Glee' First Look: Meet the Berry Family

Lea Michele posts the first photo of her character's two gay dads — played by Jeff Goldblum and Broadway veteran Brian Stokes Mitchell.

Nearly three seasons in, Lea Michele's Rachel Berry finally has her family portrait.

The Glee star — whose character's two gay dads have been referenced countless times but never seen — tweeted the first look at the Berry family from the set featuring her with the recently cast Jeff Goldblum and Brian Stokes Mitchell.

The duo were cast earlier this week and are set to first appear on the Feb. 14 Valentine's Day episode, fittingly titled "Heart."

Since the casting, Michele has voiced her excitement online, tweeting, "So excited that we're finally going to get to meet Rachel's dads!!! So anxious to get to work with both of them!!"

Earlier Thursday the actress, whose onscreen boyfriend, Finn, proposed marriage on Tuesday's episode, tweeted about Goldblum and Broadway veteran Mitchell's arrival on the set: "This is definitely going to be the best day ever. Getting ready to shoot my first scene with my two dads!"

What do you think of the Berry family? Glee returns Jan. 31 with its Michael Jackson tribute episode.

'Law & Order's' Courtney B. Vance Returns to the Courtroom on ABC's 'Revenge'

'Law & Order's' Courtney B. Vance Returns to the Courtroom on ABC's 'Revenge'

He'll replace Victoria's (Madeleine Stowe) sneaky attorney on the ABC series.

Here’s just a little bit of Revenge news to make the wait until the next new episode on Feb. 8 hurt a bit less.

Spoiler if you haven't watched Wednesday's episode.

After Victoria dropped her divorce attorney -- who happened to be working with Emily -- on Wednesday’s episode, we now know who’s taking up the case.

An ABC spokesperson confirms to The Hollywood Reporter that Courtney B. Vance will first appear in March as Victoria’s new attorney, as first reported by TVLine.

He’ll play Ben Barnett, who may not be nice but he’s the best there is. As if Victoria cared about "nice." He takes charge of Victoria’s case, sets up a “war room,” and makes sure everyone connected to the divorcing Grayson knows what role they’re playing in her case.

You can see Vance in theatres right now as the pastor in the Dolly Parton/Queen Latifah movie, Joyful Noise. FlashForward fans will recognize him as Stanford Wedeck while Law & Order fans know him as Assistant District Attorney Ron Carver.

How Hulu's Andy Forssell Will Spend $500 Million

How Hulu's Andy Forssell Will Spend $500 Million

With a half-billion dollar budget in 2012, the online TV juggernaut's dealmaker breaks down the company's programming strategy and how it differs from Netflix.

Nearly five years into a venture backed by rivals Disney, NBCUniversal and News Corp., video hub Hulu is going where it's not yet gone: original scripted programming. The online video site's first entry, Battleground, is a workplace dramedy that explores the behind-the-scenes chaos of unruly political campaign workers from (500) Days of Summer's Marc Webb and actor-turned-director JD Walsh. The project, set to launch Feb. 14, joins a second season of Morgan Spurlock's documentary series A Day in the Life and Richard Linklater's travel show Up to Speed. The man behind the move is Hulu's senior vp content, Andy Forssell, 46, a Harvard Business School pal of chief executive Jason Kilar who has been at the site since its inception in 2007. Hulu's $7.99-a-month paid service, Hulu Plus, now offers north of 1.5 million subscribers some 45,000 TV episodes. (Visitors to the free, ad-supported site can watch nearly 37,000.) The result is about $420 million in revenue in 2011 and plans to invest $500 million in content in 2012. The Pennsylvania-born father of three, who began his career as an Army captain, sat down with THR in Hulu's Los Angeles headquarters to discuss his plans to bulk up on originals, how to save struggling shows and the future of Hulu ownership.

Last February, Jason Kilar angered Hulu's studio owners when he wrote: "History has shown that incumbents tend to fight trends that challenge established ways and, in the process, lose focus on what matters most: customers." Do you agree?

Andy Forssell: I do. Look, I think the danger that all big businesses have is, "How much time am I spending defending my existing businesses versus investing in the new ones?" Their businesses are going pretty well today. Nielsen numbers are not bad. Multichannel households fluctuate, but for the most part that hasn't fallen apart. It's a natural tendency for those big businesses to think, "Oh, the whole linear model's working pretty well." The way we can help guard against that is to make the business models work better and better so that we pick up plenty of viewers and get them to watch traditional TV versus [video game] Plants vs. Zombies.

How seriously are you moving into scripted originals?

Forssell: Where we started was working with big network partners on [airing] last night's TV, as well as great series from five, 10, 20 years ago. That will remain the core of our business for some time to come. But we've developed a lot of relationships with great content owners, and we see stories that aren't getting told because they haven't found a home. We're not going to compete with our biggest partners for content because they do a great job and their stuff is going to end up on Hulu anyway.

How would you define an ideal Hulu show?

Forssell: We'll look for content that's beloved not beliked. The content that really pays off and punches above its weight in our ecosystem is a show that somebody's going to see and then they want to go e-mail five of their friends or get on Facebook and post about it.

Like Community, for which you recently struck a digital syndication deal?

Forssell: Exactly. In our world, we'd much rather have Community than Two and a Half Men, and I don't mean that as a criticism of Two and a Half Men. It's great for advertisers that want to use that show as a proxy to get to this big audience. But for us, we're much more excited about Community because while it's a smaller audience, it's an audience that self-organizes online. They'll not only tell their friends to go watch it, they'll spend time convincing someone on a bus to watch it.

Networks spend some $3 million on an episode of TV. How will Hulu's budgets compare?

Forssell: I don't want to share numbers, but they're significantly less. But still, you will see, it's TV, and to get that quality, you've got to spend a certain amount of money.

Netflix is believed to be spending $100 million on 26 episodes of House of Cards. Too much?

Forssell: I don't think we'll know until we see it on the screen … It's certainly an aggressive number, but I think it's a great experiment for the industry in a lot of ways.

Fox Greenlights Teen Spy Drama From 'Bones' Producer

Fox Greenlights Teen Spy Drama From 'Bones' Producer

From 20th Television, the untitled project revolves around the orphaned daughter of a CIA operative.

Fox is getting into the spy business with former Bones producer Karyn Usher.

The first-place network has ordered to pilot an untitled spy drama from Usher revolving around the orphaned 17-year-old daughter of a CIA operative who is recruited to become an operative herself.

From 20th Television and Marty Adelstein and Shawn Levy's 21 Laps/Adelstein Productions, Usher will write and exec produce alongside Adelstein, Levy and Becky Clements.

The project is the second female-driven spy drama to land a pilot order at Fox this season, joining Josh Friedman's (The Finder) CIA project.

The project marks the fourth drama ordered to pilot behind Greg Berlanti's Guilty, Kevin Williamson's untitled serial killer drama and Friedman's spy piece.

Usher, whose credits also include Prison Break and The Playboy Club, is repped by UTA.

Michelle Obama: From kids TV to late night with Leno

Michelle Obama: From kids TV to late night with Leno

After showing off her acting and dancing skills on kids TV show "iCarly" this week, Michelle Obama is headed for Jay Leno's couch in her first appearance as U.S. first lady on a late-night talk show.

NBC said on Thursday that Michelle Obama will be a guest on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on January 31, talking about her health and fitness campaign "Let's Move", and her upcoming book about the White House kitchen garden.

NBC said it will mark Obama's debut as first lady on any late-night television talk show, although she was a guest on "The Tonight Show" during the 2008 presidential campaign.

Michelle Obama is becoming a familiar face on American TV. On Monday, she appeared as herself on the popular Nickelodeon comedy "iCarly" in an episode honoring military families, delivering several punchlines and taking part in the "iCarly" tradition of "random dancing".

Other TV appearances since her husband Barack Obama was elected U.S. president in November 2008 include "Sesame Street" in 2009 and, with Barack, "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in May 2011.

In March 2009, Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to appear on any late night talk show, also choosing "The Tonight Show".

Katherine Heigl Wants 'Grey's Anatomy' Return

Katherine Heigl Wants 'Grey's Anatomy' Return

Katherine Heigl's stint on "Grey's Anatomy" certainly wasn't without its drama -- on-screen and off -- and now the actress says she wants to check back into Seattle Grace and see what her Dr. Izzie Stevens character is up to.

While promoting her new big-screen action comedy "One for the Money," Heigl told E! Online she has already let the "Grey" producers know she wants to return to the medical drama to find out if her "floundering" Dr. Izzie finally got her act together.

"I've told them I want to (return)," Heigl said. "I don't know … being a showrunner and being a writer of a TV series like that is so complicated … she's (series creator Shonda Rhimes) balancing about 40 different storylines, so I don't know if it fits into their sort of vision for this season or next or however many seasons it goes.

"I really, really, really want to see where (Izzie) is," Heigl continued. "I just want to know what happened to her and where she went and what she's doing now. My idea is that she actually, like, figures it out, and finds some success and does really well in a different hospital, because she was always floundering … she was always one step behind the eight ball, and I want to see that girl take some power back."

Heigl, one of the show's original cast members, won a Supporting Actress Emmy for her role on "Grey's" in 2007, and left "Grey's Anatomy" in 2010, saying she wanted to devote time to raising her daughter.

But her stint on the series included a bitter 2007 contract negotiation that became public, as reported by People magazine. Heigl also made negative, and public, comments to the Los Angeles Times about the show's writers and storylines when she refused to submit her name for consideration in the 2008 Emmy competition.

SOPA Generates 2.4M Tweets; Who Says It Limits Online Expression?

SOPA Generates 2.4M Tweets; Who Says It Limits Online Expression?

Who says SOPA limits online expression? It generated 2.4 million tweets on Wednesday as people shut out from Wikipedia and other sites turned to Twitter to vent their frustration with the anti-piracy legislation.

The tweets were decidely one-sided, with pro-SOPA sentiment about as easy to find as -- well, a Wikipedia entry. Twitter said the top five terms of the day were SOPA, Stop SOPA, PIPA, Tell Congress and #factswithoutwikipedia, all related to the debate.

SOPA refers to the House legislation the Stop Internet Piracy Act,  and PIPA for its Senate counterpart, the Protect Intellectual Propert Act. Wikipedia and other sites went dark Wednesday to protest them.

The bills are intended to prevent copyright infringement and intellectual property theft. But opponents say they would limit expression and require draconian responses to improper use, including blocking access to websites that post copyrighted material and imprisoning people who share it.

The 2.4 million tweets came just between midnight and 4 p.m. Wednesday; Twitter was expected to release numbers for the whole day later.

Among high-profile opponents of the bills was Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who said in his first tweet since 2009: "Tell you congressmen you want them to be pro-Internet." He then linked to a Facebook post about the legislation.

Among the highly retweeted Tweets was this one from David Shares, who runs the technology and culture blog BitShare:

"If #SOPA passes, there'll be NO YouTube, Twitter, Google, Wikipedia, Facebook & Tumblr, #SOPAstrike today and End Piracy, Not Liberty!"

Advocates of SOPA say it would only block access to websites that repeatedly use pirated material.

Another frequently retweeted argument was that those who upload a Michael Jackson could get five years in prison under SOPA -- one year longer than Conrad Murphy, the doctor convicted in his death. (This isn't exactly accurate; under section 201 of SOPA, one would need to upload 10 or more copies of at least one Michael Jackson song. But the point is made.)

Other tweets blacked out certain words to create ominous messages, like this one:

"WTF is SOPA? ---- ----- ----- ----- It's ----- Internet ---- censorship. RETWEET if you are against #SOPA. #stopsopa." The tweet contained a link to an anti-SOPA video on YouTube including Internet users with their mouths taped.

'Idol' Ratings Fall: Are Viewers 'X'-hausted?

'Idol' Ratings Fall: Are Viewers 'X'-hausted?

"American Idol" shed a quarter of its ratings between its last season premiere and its return Wednesday, and "X Factor" may be a viewer-exhausting factor in the drop-off.

"Idol" scored a 7.4 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, a 24 percent decrease, and 21.9 million total viewers, a 17 percent drop. If it can maintain those numbers for the season, it should easily remain television's top show. (Only top-rated sitcom "Two and a Half Men" debuted bigger than "Idol" this season, before falling to less stratospheric ratings.)

It makes sense that "Idol" would be down this season. Last year, many tuned in to see how new judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez would fare; with the panel stable this time, there's no similar curiosity factor. The show is also aging, entering its 11th season, and its ratings are especially impressive for a show so old.

But the falling numbers may have less to do with "Idol" than with "X Factor."

The show created by former "Idol" judge Simon Cowell, which follows a nearly identical format to "Idol," wrapped its season just weeks ago -- so viewers thirsting for a glitzy musical competition haven't had to wait months. NBC's hit series "The Voice," meanwhile, overlapped with "Idol" last season, further glutting the music show market.

Viewers may just be "X-hausted from all the competitions.

If any finger pointing ensues from the "Idol" slip, some will be at "X Factor" for stealing its antecedent's thunder. The two Fox shows have a friendly (and sometimes not-so-friendly) rivalry.

Cowell said last summer that he hoped "X Factor" would top "Idol" as the biggest show on television. (It hasn't -- it earned less than half the ratings for "Idol.")

And last week, at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, "Idol" judge Randy Jackson said Cowell's new show had copied the "Idol" format -- but wished it well anyway.

The jousting isn't just verbal: When Cowell introduced the original, British "X Factor" in 2004, "Idol" creator Simon Fuller filed a lawsuit accusing Cowell of ripping off his format.

Fuller filed another suit in July, saying Fox and Fremantle made a deal with him in 2005 in which he agreed to drop the first suit in exchange for an executive producer credit and fees on the American version of "X Factor." That suit continues.

Maybe the two sides can settle it by having "X Factor" kick back any ratings it sapped from "Idol." (We'll leave that metaphysical dillemma to the lawyers.)

The music show calendar will get even more crowded next month, when "The Voice" begins its second season with a premiere episode after the Super Bowl. "Idol" has dismissed the upstart outright, and mocked it for bringing on former "Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson as one of its new mentors.

Jerry Bruckheimer's 'Trooper' Drama Gets Pilot Order From CBS

Jerry Bruckheimer's 'Trooper' Drama Gets Pilot Order From CBS

Jerry Bruckheimer's drama "Trooper" has been given the go-ahead for a pilot by CBS, an individual familiar with the order confirms to TheWrap.

The project, written by "Heroes" scribe Aron Eli Coleite, will chronicle the adventures of a common-sense mother who turns New York State trooper. Bruckheimer and Coleite are executive-producing, along with Jonathan Littman ("CSI"; "The Amazing Race"). KristieAnne Reed will serve as co-executive producer, as she does on Bruckheimer's ABC reality series "Take the Money and Run." Jerry Bruckheimer Television and Warner Bros. Television are producing.

"Trooper" joins the Sherlock Holmes revamp "Elementary," the legal drama "Baby Big Shot" and an as-yet-untitled comedy from "Muppets" writer Nick Stoller as recent pilot acquisitions by CBS.

HBO's 'Treme' Won't Be Back Until Fall

HBO's 'Treme' Won't Be Back Until Fall

Don't book your ticket to New Orleans just yet. At least not as far as the HBO drama "Treme" is concerned.

The network has confirmed that season three of the David Simon series won't hit the airwaves until sometime in the fall. A specific premiere date has not been announced.

The fall premiere date is a departure from the norm for the series: The show's previous two seasons had April premiere dates.

In a tell-tale sign, the show was MIA on a HBO scheduling announcement for April premieres of shows including "Game of Thrones" and "Veep."

"Treme" chronicles the efforts of residents to rebuild a New Orleans neighborhood in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

'The Big Bang Theory': 100 Episodes of a Show No One Hates

'The Big Bang Theory': 100 Episodes of a Show No One Hates

It may not be your favorite show. And you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who claims it's the greatest show of all time.

But as CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" airs its 100th episode tonight, you're probably just as unlikely to hear anyone express a hefty dose of disdain for the series about two geeky, videogame and pop culture-obsessed roommates, their comely neighbor across the hall, and the many, many geeks who populate their world.

Fellow CBS hit "Two and a Half Men" draws derision for lowbrow jokes even as it dominates in the ratings. On the flip side, AMC's "Breaking Bad" draws a relatively small number of viewers -- many of who proclaim it to be the greatest show ever.

"Big Bang," co-created by "Men" co-creator Chuck Lorre, earns high ratings while offending almost no one. Popular in syndication as well as on CBS, it earns plenty of affection for its characters -- without anyone getting too obsessed with them.

The sitcom's Q Score -- which measures a show or star's familiarity and appeal -- is the fourth-highest among all primetime comedies and dramas.

Part of its charm is offering jokes about work, romance, sex and geekdom, without falling back on stereotypes.

Head geek Sheldon Cooper (two-time Emmy winner Jim Parsons) thinks more highly of himself than anyone else, which makes him more or less immune to becoming the butt of everyone else's jokes, as the geek character would be on almost every other show.

Parsons' Q Score puts him second on the list of the most popular male primetime stars, just behind "NCIS" star Mark Harmon. The other male "Big Bang" cast members -- Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg and Kunal Nayyar -- are "well above average" with their Q Scores, while the show's female lead, Kaley Cuoco, has a score that makes her one of the 10 most popular females in primetime.

The Q Scores Company says the show is also the highest-scoring sitcom among males age 13 and up and is the second-highest scoring sitcom among females age 13 and up (just behind "Modern Family").

"(It's) a combination of viewer satisfaction -- which is an indication of saying the show is one of my favorites -- combined with how frequently (people) view the show in a given month, and (a measure of viewers') commitment to watching the show into the future," says Q Scores Company executive vice president Henry Schafer.

CBS has given the show time to reach that level of likability. Its ratings have risen over five seasons, even after CBS made the risky decision last season to move it from its original Monday night timeslot to Thursdays -- where it sometimes competes with "American Idol," television's most popular show.

Keith Lemon heads to ITV1 primetime with 'Jim'll Fix It'-style show

Keith Lemon heads to ITV1 primetime with 'Jim'll Fix It'-style show

ITV1 has commissioned a Keith Lemon Saturday night primetime series.

Lemonaid will be fronted by Lemon, the comic creation of Leigh Francis, and will feature the Celebrity Juice star meeting "real people with real problems".

TalkbackThames head of comedy Dan Baldwin said: "Keith Lemon is about to demolish people's problems and make their dreams come true... and we should all be immensely happy about this. Keith Lemon's Lemonaid will be a great opportunity for the British public to interact with Keith on a whole new level.

"We want to reflect the great 'wish fulfillment' shows from yesteryear but add a very special twist of Lemon to ITV1's Saturday nights. We're delighted with the commission."

Keith Lemon said: "I'm very excited to be in t'living rooms of the lovely ITV1 viewers with me new telly show Lemonaid. Solving people's problems and making dreams come true making me look nice like Cheryl Cole like when she went out to t'troops. She's lovely in'it she not as fit as Kelly Brook though! If anyone has ever dreamed of meeting her let me know I can hook you up, I know her in real life. All t'best!"

ITV's commissioning editor of entertainment Claire Zolkwer added: "We're absolutely thrilled to be bringing Keith Lemon to the wider ITV1 audience. He's been entertaining the ITV2 audience on Celebrity Juice for six series and his unique brand of naughty but nice is certainly going to bring some colour and fun to family Saturday evenings on ITV1. It's going to be proper bang tidy!"

Six episodes of Keith Lemon's Lemonaid will air during the spring on ITV1.

TV Tonight 20th of January 2012

TV Tonight 20th of January 2012

The daily list in alphabetical order, of all the new episodes airing.

    20/20 S34E20: "Season 34, Episode 20"
    A.N.T. Farm S01E21: "You're the One That I wANT"
    Amagami SS S02E03: "Sakurai Rihoko - Part 1: Twilight"
    America's Most Wanted S25E08: "Season 25, Episode 8"
    Anderson S01E80: "Purity: Promise or Myth?"
    Bargain Hunt S31E15: "Series 31, Episode 15"
    Blade Anime S01E02: "A Night for the Living, A Mourning for the Dead"
    Celebrity Big Brother S09E16: "Series 9, Episode 16"
    Celebrity Big Brother S09E17: "Series 9, Episode 17"
    Celebrity Coach Trip S03E05: "Series 3, Day 5"
    Celebrity Wedding Planner S01E03: "Series 1, Episode 3"
    Chris Moyles Quiz Night S05E07: "John Bishop, Ruth Jones, Jason Derulo"
    Chuck S05E11: "Chuck Versus The Bullet Train"
    Come Dine With Me S18E06: "Series 18, Come Dine With Me"
    Come Dine With Me S18E05: "Series 18, Episode 5"
    Confessions: Animal Hoarding S03E09: "I Live in a Kennel"
    Coronation Street S53E14: "Fri Jan 20, 2012 [Episode 1]"
    Coronation Street S53E15: "Fri Jan 20, 2012 [Episode 2]"
    Countdown with Keith Olbermann S10E13: "Season 10, Episode 13"
    Dateline NBC S21E18: "FR2118"
    Days of our Lives S47E51: "Ep. #11761"
    Deadly Women S05E19: "Match Made for Murder"
    Deal Or No Deal (UK) S07E138: "Episode 1818"
    Dickinson's Real Deal S08E34: "Series 8, Episode 34"
    Doctors S13E181: "Scratch the Surface"
    Dr. G: Medical Examiner S06E33: "Deadly Holiday"
    EastEnders S28E13: "January 20, 2012"
    Emmerdale S41E18: "January 20, 2012"
    Escape To The Country S12E14: "Cambridgeshire"
    Fish Hooks S02E08: "Just One of the Fish"
    Flying Wild Alaska S02E13: "One Flying Family"
    Fort Boyard - Ultimate Challenge S02E05: "Season 2, Episode 5"
    Four Weddings (2010) S03E24: "...and Bling-Blau"
    Fringe S04E09: "Enemy of My Enemy"
    General Hospital (US) S49E204: "#12478"
    Generator Rex S03E09: "Deadzone"
    Gold Rush: Alaska S02E11: "Rock Bottom"
    Got to Dance S03E23: "Series 3, Episode 23"
    Great British Railway Journeys S03E15: "Port Talbot to Milford Haven"
    Grimm S01E09: "Of Mouse and Man"
    Guilty Crown S01E13: "Isolation"
    High School DxD S01E03: "I Made A New Friend!"
    Hollyoaks S18E15: "January 20, 2012"
    Homes Under the Hammer S14E174: "Series 14, Show 174"
    House of Anubis S02E19: "House of Crushes"
    House of Anubis S02E20: "House of Vertigo"
    Hustle S08E02: "Series 8, Episode 2"
    Ich bin ein Star - Holt mich hier raus! S06E08: "Folge 8"
    Inu x Boku SS S01E02: "A Lonely Dog"
    Jeopardy! S28E90: "Show #6295"
    Jessie (2011) S01E10: "Are You Cooler Than a 5th Grader?"
    Jimmy Kimmel Live S09E191: "Terrence Howard, Thomas Horn, Safetysuit"
    Kill Me Baby S01E03: "Of Esper`s Curse, Rainy Days, and Sumo"
    Kitchen Nightmares S04E10: "El Greco"
    Last Exile (JP) S02E13: "Episode 13"
    Late Night with Jimmy Fallon S02E209
    Late Show with David Letterman S19E14
    Law & Order: UK S06E03: "Haunted"
    Live with Regis and Kelly S29E104: "Carla Gugino, guest co-host Dana Carvey"
    Mastermind (UK) S40E10: "Series 40, Show 10"
    Neighbours S28E10: "Episode 6320"
    Persona 4 The Animation S01E15: "The Long-Awaited School Trip"
    Pointless S05E99: "Series 5, Episode 99"
    Portlandia S02E03: "Cool Wedding"
    Primetime S23E01: "What Would You Do? (1)"
    Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is S05E15: "Series 5, Episode 15"
    Real Time With Bill Maher S10E02: "Season 10, Episode 2"
    Room 101 S12E01: "Fern Britton, Robert Webb, Danny Baker"
    Safari Vet School S01E03: "Episode 3"
    Saints and Scroungers S03E15: "Series 3, Episode 15"
    Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta S03E06: "Mini Monte"
    Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta S03E05: "Tunnel Vision"
    Senhime Zesshou Symphogear S01E03: "Episode 3"
    Shark Tank S03E01: "Season 3, Episode 1"
    Sicily Unpacked S01E03: "Episode 3"
    Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) S04E15: "Deception"
    Stella (UK) S01E03: "Episode 3"
    Sweet Home Alabama S03E02: "TBA"
    The 7pm Project S04E15: "Season 4, Episode 15"
    The Bold and the Beautiful S25E214: "Ep. #6243"
    The Chase (2009) S05E14: "Series 5, Episode 14"
    The Ellen DeGeneres Show S09E83: "Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Nealon"
    The Graham Norton Show S10E12
    The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret S02E03
    The Jeremy Kyle Show S07E90: "January 20, 2012"
    The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson S08E15
    The Life and Times of Tim S03E06
    The Million Pound Drop Live S08E03: "Series 8, Episode 3"
    The Real Hustle (UK) S11E01: "Celebrity Chancers"
    The Revolution (2012) S01E05: "Season 1, Episode 5"
    The Tonight Show with Jay Leno S19E230
    The View S15E88: "Cuba Gooding Jr., John Quinones, Dr. Lindsey Duncan"
    The Young and the Restless S39E211: "Ep. #9826"
    Thuis S17E105: "Season 17, Episode 105"
    Tyler Perry's House of Payne S07E42: "R.I.P. - Rest In Payne"
    Tyler Perry's House of Payne S07E41: "Do or Die"
    UFC on FX S01E01: "Lightweight bout: Melvin Guillard vs Jim Miller"
    Voetbal International S04E42: "Season 4, Episode 42"
    Wanted Down Under S06E15: "Series 6, Episode 15"
    Wereld draait door, De S07E96: "Season 7, Episode 96"
    World's Toughest Trucker S01E03: "Episode 3"
    WWE Friday Night SmackDown! S12E69: "Season 12, Episode 69"

Big Brother maker Endemol nears deal on £2.3bn debt burden

Big Brother maker Endemol nears deal on £2.3bn debt burden

Endemol has reportedly reached an agreement with its lenders over the restructure of its €2.8bn (£2.3bn) debt burden.

Endemol, which makes Channel 5's Big Brother and Deal or No Deal for Channel 4, said that it had reached a "milestone" deal with more than two-thirds of its lenders to push through the financial restructure.

Media reports suggest that the deal will reduce Endemol's debt to about €500m.

Endemol's three shareholders - Goldman Sach's Capital Partners, the Silvio Berlusconi-owned Mediaset and Endemol founder John de Mol's Cyrte investment vehicle - are expected to reduce their stake to around 50% and also relinquish control of the production firm.

The three major shareholders will retain seats on the Endemol board, but will also be joined by representatives of some of the firm's lenders, which include Apollo Management, Centrebridge, Providence Equity Partners and RBS.

In a statement, Endemol global president Marco Bassetti said: "We are delighted that the majority of our lenders have in principle agreed to the proposed commercial restructuring terms and we can now enter into the final part of the process. A solution that puts Endemol on a strong financial footing for the future is now imminent."

Endemol was the subject of a €1bn cash takeover bid from Time Warner last year. ITV was also rumoured to be interested in teaming up with Mediaset to acquire the firm, while European broadcasting giant RTL has kept a close eye on the situation.

However, the Endemol board has instead opted to pursue a strategy of restructuring the debt mountain and remaining independent, despite some disagreement among the shareholders over whether this was the right way forward.

The company said that talks will continue over coming weeks to finalise the agreement, but there are thought to be enough parties behind the deal for it to go ahead.

Endemol management said that freeing up the "onerous" constraints of the current capital structure will enable the firm to "pursue exciting growth initiatives and build upon the solid progress that the group has made in 2011 as we focus on and develop the creative strategy which lies at the heart of our business".

It is understood that Endemol's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were €150m last year.

The Voice season 2 will redefine music on TV, says Carson Daly

The Voice season 2 will redefine music on TV, says Carson Daly

The Voice coaches Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and Cee Lo Green have appeared alongside host Carson Daly in a new promo video for the upcoming second season, premiering February 5 on NBC.

In the four-minute video, which mainly focuses on the friendly competition between the mentors, host Daly says: "Here we are now, season two, and this is going to redefine music on television and music in popular culture."

The Voice's first season was won by father-of-two Javier Colon, who was mentored to the recording contract prize by Maroon 5 frontman Levine.

"Adam has a big advantage because he won with Javier Colon," says Daly. "He was prepared. He played season one very, very well. It means the other coaches are hungry to win. He'll have to raise his game."

Daly also predicts that Levine and Aguilera will be the coaches to watch, saying: "Christina really wants to win. I think she'll try to keep the boys at bay and take a prominent step up to the front and say, 'I'm the coach you want to work with'."

The Voice returns immediately following the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 5 on NBC and will then air in its regular slots on a Monday night on NBC.

Celebrity Big Brother Georgia Salpa won't rule out 'Playboy' shoot

Celebrity Big Brother Georgia Salpa won't rule out 'Playboy' shoot

Celebrity Big Brother star Georgia Salpa has revealed that she would consider doing a Playboy shoot.

Salpa, who made friends with Playboy twins Karissa Shannon and Kristina Shannon during her Celeb Big Brother stint, said that she would love a trip to the Playboy mansion to meet Hugh Hefner.

"[The Shannon twins] are just nice girls. They are fun," said Salpa. "I know some of the stuff they say is mad and wild, but they are nice girls. They had my back in there. In the past few days, we got much closer and they really had my back in there.

"We had a laugh together. We'd talk about girly stuff, we had fun, it was really great to have them in there. And yeah, I'd love to go on a trip with them and meet Hugh Hefner."

On the subject of stripping off for Playboy, the Irish glamour model added: "I wouldn't say no to doing it. Not right now, I don't think, but I wouldn't say no to doing it in the future.

"I'd definitely go over for a party with the twins."

Martin Lawrence developing two sitcoms at CBS

Martin Lawrence developing two sitcoms at CBS

CBS is developing two sitcom pilots for comedian Martin Lawrence.

It was first reported in August last year that the Big Momma's House star was considering a return to television.

The first project, from The Bernie Mac Show creator Larry Wilmore, would see Lawrence play a single man who becomes a foster parent to a group of children, according to TV Guide.

The second script has been devised by Rules of Engagement creator Tom Hertz. In it, Bad Boys actor Lawrence would play a family man who clashes with his wealthy in-laws and works to keep his kids grounded.

Only one of the projects is expected to be picked up to pilot. Lawrence and CBS are expected to come to a decision on which script to continue with in the coming weeks.

Lawrence first rose to fame in '80s sitcom What's Happening Now!! and later starred in his own Fox comedy series Martin from 1992 to 1997.

Deuce Bigalow comic Rob Schneider also recently returned to television, playing the lead role in CBS sitcom Rob.

The first episode of the culture-clash comedy, which also stars Cheech Marin, pulled in an impressive 13.5m viewers on Thursday night.

'Dexter' exec: 'Seventh season will be a different show'

'Dexter' exec: 'Seventh season will be a different show'

Dexter producer Manny Coto has dropped hints about the show's seventh season.

Coto told IGN that the Showtime drama will be "a different show" following Deb's (Jennifer Carpenter) discovery that her brother Dexter (Michael C Hall) is a killer.

"It will affect their relationship from now on," he said. "It's not going to be the same... which is a way to refresh and remain creatively alive."

He continued: "[We had to] change the dynamic, and change the show. Now it's about a serial killer who has a sister who's a detective who has found out that he's a serial killer. She has a big decision to make this next season."

Coto admitted that it is a "terrible challenge" keeping Dexter fresh, adding that it is necessary to keep reinventing the show.

"It's the hardest thing there is to do," he insisted. "The only way to do it is to overturn the apple cart every once in a while. And let the characters grow and progress and have their lives get overturned."

Dexter was picked up for a seventh and eighth season back in November.

Earlier this month, Showtime's entertainment president David Nevins indicated that the series may also continue into a ninth year.

Dexter will return to Showtime in late 2012.