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donderdag 19 april 2012

Simon Cowell has sensitivity chip missing, says 'Voice' Ana Matronic

Simon Cowell has sensitivity chip missing, says 'Voice' Ana Matronic

Scissor Sisters star Ana Matronic has taken a swipe at Britain's Got Talent and X Factor star Simon Cowell, claiming that the reality TV mogul is lacking a "sensitivity chip".

Matronic, who is a guest on this week's Voice UK Battle Rounds, said that she felt more comfortable working on the BBC series than on one of Cowell's shows, arguing that the Syco boss was "not very constructive".

"He is someone who has always been in a position of power and you can see that. You can smell the power coming off that guy," Matronic told The Sun.

"There is a sensitivity chip missing. I am not one of those women who find success an aphrodisiac. There are a lot of people who find success and power the ultimate aphrodisiac, but it is not for me."

She added: "He might be a perfectly lovely person and if he likes comic books and weird funny movies then we would probably get along but I somehow doubt that."

Matronic is the Battle Advisor helping out coach Jessie J this weekend. Other Battle Advisors on the show include Paloma Faith and former Catatonia singer Cerys Matthews.

The Voice UK's Battle Rounds airs on Saturday and Sunday (April 21 and 22) at 7pm on BBC One.

Scissor Sisters will perform on The Voice UK live shows on May 12, previewing their new single 'Only The Horses'.

Kiefer Sutherland's 'Touch' continues to lose viewers

Kiefer Sutherland's 'Touch' continues to lose viewers

Kiefer Sutherland's Touch lost more viewers last night, according to overnight data.

The US import only attracted 390k (1.7%) from 8pm - down from 523k last week. The series had originally premiered to 757k.

Elsewhere on the multichannels, Mad Men appealed to 39k (0.2%) on Sky Atlantic. In the same 9pm timeslot, The Vampire Diaries earned 437k (1.8%) with a further 134k (0.8%) on timeshift, while Alcatraz entertained 459k (1.9%) on Watch.

The terrestrials saw BBC One's The Syndicate dominate with 5.53m (23%) from 9pm, beating ITV1's The Mighty Mississippi, which grabbed 2.63m (10.9%) and 242k (1.5%) on +1.

Earlier for ITV1, Countrywise Kitchen was seen by 2.35m (10.6%) from 7.30pm, with a celebrity special of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? winning 2.41m (10.5%) afterwards (+1: 104k/0.4%).

BBC Two aired Hairy Bikers' Bake-ation (2.95m/12.9%) and Meet the Romans with Mary Beard (1.78m/7.4%).

Channel 4's The Undateables was watched by 2.28m (9.5%) and 417k (2.6%) on +1. It was preceded by Supersize v Superskinny, which averaged 1.7m (7.4%) across the 8pm hour (+1: 257k/1.1%).

CSI continued strongly for Channel 5 with 1.77m (7.3%) and 145k (0.9%) on timeshift. Rory McGrath's Pub Dig managed 802k (3.5%).

Overall, BBC One won primetime with 24%, far ahead of ITV1's 12.9% (+1: 0.7%). BBC Two came third with 8.5%, beating Channel 4's 6.4% (+1: 1.2%) and Channel 5's 4.9% (+1: 0.3%).

Ceefax service switched off in many areas today

Ceefax service switched off in many areas today

The teletext service Ceefax will be switched off in the London area today (April 18).

The long-running analogue TV information service will be turned off after nearly 40 years as part of the ongoing switchover to digital TV.

Currently, the areas of Kent, Sussex, north-east England and Northern Ireland can still access Ceefax on analogue televisions.

Ceefax provided television viewers across the UK and Ireland with an interactive information news service decades before the arrival of the internet after it was launched in 1974.

The full interactive service will be turned off completely in October 2012 when the digital switchover is complete.

In London and other areas, Ceefax can be seen as Pages from Ceefax on BBC Two overnight until 6am, but it will not have an interactive function.

The service includes live news, sport, weather and travel information in real time, as well as shopping and gaming options.

Bamboozle - one of Channel 4 Teletext's most iconic quiz games - can be purchased as an app for the iPhone or iPad.

Ceefax, Telextext and Bamboozle have also been trending on Twitter following the announcement of Ceefax's closure in London today.

Looking back at Dramarama: series 1-2

Looking back at Dramarama: series 1-2

Dramarama was an anthology series on Children’s ITV from 1983 to 1989. A unique production, being a collaboration of the various ITV franchises, Dramarama enjoyed a separate cast and crew for each edition. The main players were London-based Thames; TVS, which had recently replaced Southern TV (the makers of successful Jon Pertwee-vehicle Worzel Gummidge) and which oversaw the administration and general direction of the programme; Tyne Tees had a good track record in children’s drama with The Paper Lads, Nobody’s House and Andy Robson amongst its output. Indeed, as Dramarama was being developed, Tyne Tees acquired the rights to produce a series based on a book called Super Gran; newly-created Central had recently wrested control of the Midlands region from Sir Lew Grade’s ATV, itself no stranger to kids television having produced The Muppet Show.

The first season of Dramarama was transmitted in two parts. Dramarama: Spooky was broadcast in April 1983 and produced by Thames Television. The programme was a direct descendant of a series called Theatre Box (screened in 1981), which had given children their first glimpse of the bubblegum-blowing tomboy, Marmalade Atkins. This led to the series Educating Marmalade which starred the much-missed Charlotte Coleman. The series also included 2-part story School for Clowns which starred Ken Campbell as a beleaguered tutor.

Dramarama was  created and developed by the head of children’s drama at TVS, Anna Home. Before defecting to ITV in 1981, Home had spent a hugely successful decade and a half in children’s drama for the BBC. She rebuilt the children’s drama department which had been savaged in the mid-sixties. An overspend on the classic serial Rob Roy saw the head of drama, Owen Reed, removed from his post and the department axed. The overthrow of the old guard had begun, as Biddy Baxter and Edward Barnes observed in their book Blue Peter: The Inside Story, “The chaps in tweed jackets with donnish manners were being vanquished by thrusting young men in crumpled grey suits, who called each other boy and slammed the swing doors in the face of anyone unlucky enough to be in their wake down the BBC corridors”

The shake-up, which was ordered to redress the audience balance (70% in favour of ITV in 1963) resulted in a new science-fiction serial (being developed by Canadian head of drama, Sydney Newman and a bright, tenacious young female producer, Verity Lambert) being made by the drama department rather the defunct children’s department. Had Doctor Who debuted a year earlier, the now familiar defence to accusations that it’s “merely a children’s show”, couldn’t have been made.

Anna Home restored many of the BBC’s great drama directors, notably Dorothea Brooking, a former actress who specialised in adaptations of classic serials. Brooking was responsible for the first colour adaptation of Frances Hodgson-Burnett’s The Secret Garden in 1975; next Brooking directed Kizzy, a memorable 1976 production of Rumer Godden’s The Diddakoi about the isolation of a young half-gypsy girl, and A Traveller in Time, Alison Uttley’s 1930s-set tale of a young girl (played by Sophie Thompson) staying on her Uncle and Aunt’s Tudor farmhouse, drawn back in time to a household trying to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I in favour of Mary Queen of Scots.

Anna Home would often produce projects herself, if she couldn’t find or afford the requisite talent. She produced the ambitious drama serial, The Changes, a shocking, post-apocalyptic thriller set in Bristol, which, even today, is vividly recalled by the generation of children who were scared out of their wits by it in 1975. Home adapted a trilogy of books by Peter Dickinson into ten half-hour filmed episodes. It represented the biggest commitment to children’s drama ever seen pre-Box Of Delights. By the late seventies, Rocky O’ Rourke and King Cinder (which starred a young Peter Duncan) were stealing away the traditional audience for ITV’s kids' drama. Seeking to further redress the balance, Anna Home developed a gritty new serial about a London comprehensive school with its creator Phil Redmond. Debuting in February 1978, Grange Hill enjoyed phenomenal success throughout its thirty-season run and eventually bowed out in 2008.

Once at TVS, Anna Home was keen to develop ITV’s approach to contemporary children’s drama. She instigated a series of seven plays on a theme: Spooky. The umbrella title for the series was Dramarama, the idea being to develop further seasons on other subjects. The first series began on Monday April 18th 1983 at 4.45pm on ITV. The opener War Games with Caroline was a hauntingly effective drama about a girl from the Blitz in need of help from contemporary schoolboy, Kevin, to avert the death of her school choir in a doodle-bug attack. Creepy and enjoyable in equal measure, this well-acted debut set the template for the next six years.

Perhaps the best episode of the spooky series was The Danny Roberts Show. An all-adult cast provided chills aplenty as Nicholas Ball starred as Danny Roberts, a smarmy late night radio host, haunted by a particularly unforgiving poltergeist. Ball gives a remarkably affecting unhinged performance, ensuring the play was etched into the minds of its young audience for years to come. Equally terrifying was The Exorcism of Amy in which Amy’s malevolent imaginary friend Amelia's mischievous behaviour can only be curbed by an exorcism. However, something goes wrong and Amy’s cousin Elizabeth suddenly begins to behave erratically…

In a Dark, Dark, Box… explores the intriguing idea of a poem written about a seemingly innocuous place only for the young protagonist to gradually realise it’s the very room he currently occupies. If so, what lies in the dark, dark box in the dark, dark trunk at the end of his bed? Then came the rather charming The Ghostly Earl in which a young girl befriends a benign spirit to help her stand up to developers of a theme park intent on destroying her stately home. Wilfrid Brambell appeared as a gravedigger (a truly inspired bit of casting) in a particularly effective play called The Restless Ghost, a period piece wherein two young boys set out to scare an old Sexton and manage to invoke a real ghost in the process. The last play of the series proper was The Keeper, about would-be ghost hunters who get more than they bargain for when they visit an allegedly “haunted” house. Five Theatre Box episodes (re-titled Dramarama) were repeated directly afterwards.

A mixed-genre Dramarama was a very successful part of the new-look Children’s ITV which began in the autumn of 1983, fronted by a host of child-friendly celebrities (most notably Tommy Boyd), and which replaced the Watch It! strand. The BBC (still two years away from Philip Schofield and the broom cupboard) countered with “cutting edge” BBC Micro graphics. Notable fantasy plays in this continuation of the first season were Jack and the Computer in which a boy’s computer comes to life embodying a malevolent power with sinister results and Sweet Revenge which was enjoyable but lacked the supernatural edge of its stable-mate. A group of boffins use their school computer to make bulk orders of bubblegum for a local shopkeeper. This follows an antagonistic confrontation between the shopkeeper and the whizzkids over confectionery.

A second 12-part season of Dramarama followed in the spring and summer of 1984. This season’s plays of a supernatural and sci-fi bent were Josephine Jo and Mr Stabs. The former was about a contemporary girl, Jo Wilson, visiting a former convent, only to be confronted by Edwardian girl Josephine Webb - essentially a mirror image that comes to life. A clever play, somewhat reminiscent of The Clifton House Mystery and Come Back Lucy (both ITV children’s dramas from 1978).

Mr Stabs starred Davids Jason and Rappaport as Stabs and Luko, with Patrick Malahide as Stabs adversary The Visitor. Mr Stabs was created by author Trevor Preston for the (oc)cult Ace Of Wands back in 1970, although he makes no reference to the former series here. Portrayed originally and in the 1975 anthology series Shadows by Russell Hunter. Mr Stabs has potential for a spin-off series. David Jason relishes every syllable of Stabs' evil utterances. He’s not a stranger to the sci-fi genre, having appeared as the eccentric, permanently-bathing Captain in the late Geoffrey Perkin’s influential BBC Radio production of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.

David Jason confessed to a “keen interest in sci-fi” around the time the likes of Tony Robinson and Dermot Crowley were in the frame for the part of the Seventh Doctor in Doctor Who. It’s perhaps significant that the 1986 series of Only Fools and Horses was potentially going to be the last, with Delboy possibly emigrating to Australia. David Jason branched out into drama with Porterhouse Blue around this time. However, after two successful Christmas specials, he was eventually lured back to Peckham and filmed the ultimate pratfall in a yuppie wine bar ...

Night of The Narrow Boats featured the then unknown Leslie Grantham. His very next role would be as “Dirty Den” Watts in Eastenders. Hitherto this performance, Grantham appeared in Doctor Who as a henchman to Davros. Grantham’s soon-to-be Eastenders co-star Nick Berry turned up in The Purple People Eater about a rock ‘n’ roll band. He would then have a costumed role as a pirate rat in the prestigious drama The Box Of Delights before arriving in Albert Square.

The most striking play from season 2 was Dodger, Bonzo and the Rest about life in a children’s home facing potential closure. It featured Pam Ferris, Cheryl Hall and a young Joanne Bell (later seen in Grange Hill and the Doctor Who serial The Curse of Fenric). A direct antecedent of the Tracy Beaker stories, Jacqueline Wilson may well have been inspired to some extent by this play and subsequent series. Dodger, Bonzo and the Rest announced its conceit from the outset with the clever use of the Madness hit Our House over a shot of the various protagonists stood outside their home, which is then revealed to be a postcard on a busy noticeboard. ITV was impressed by the success of the play and rewarded it with its own series. Dodger, Bonzo and the Rest ran for two series from February 1985 to Christmas 1986.

Are we set to get Fringe season 5?

Are we set to get Fringe season 5?

As it's revealed that two different endings have been filmed for Fringe season four, is this the end of the show, or is there more around the corner?

There’s been a sense this season that the excellent Fringe may have been coming to the end of its time. So complex has its narrative become, that it feels like a show playing to its sizeable home support now (with little tolerance for latecomers), but whether that’s enough to get a fifth season commissioned is up for debate. And D-day for the show is imminent.

To be fair to Fox, which has taken more than its fair share of stick for its handling of genre shows over the years, its commitment to Fringe has been admirable and appreciated. It would have surprised few, for instance, had it pulled the plug last year, but here we are now, as the show heads towards the end of its fourth season. It's also heading there without pandering or dumbing down, making it one of the most interesting genre shows in recent times as a result.

In keeping with the mysteries of the show, it was revealed last week that two different endings for season four have been shot, and there’s a sense being conveyed in interviews that the storyline itself it being wrapped up, or at least being left in a position where it wouldn’t feel unnatural to end the show.

But might Fringe yet have more in the tank? Were it a straightforward decision before Fox, then it could have cancelled it some time ago, after all. Yet there’s still hope.

For starters, Joshua Jackson has told TV Line that “the door to the fifth season is opened in episode 19”, which loudly suggests that there’s a plan to take the show forward.

Furthermore, showrunner Joel Wyman has been keeping people updated via his Twitter feed, and he’s revealed that a decision on the show’s future is imminent. We might even found out today – the 17th April – whether the show has another season run.

Fox may decide to do a shorter season five, to bring in a new partner, or to straight-out commission a fresh run. It’s looking less likely that it’ll abandon the show altogether, although it does feel like tempting fate suggesting that. But Fringe’s ratings – which aren’t massive, but might be enough – and the ongoing, loyal and loud fan support of the show may just win it another year. Here's hoping.

Doctor Who: a celebration of continuity errors

Doctor Who: a celebration of continuity errors

Do Doctor Who continuity errors send you up the wall? Or is debating where they fit in with canon all part of the fun?

When I was a child, I spake as a child. I thought like a child. I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things.

Like simply, unquestionably enjoying television programmes. Growing up and having a greater understanding of a show comes with a downside. With great power comes great responsibility. And also a sense of impotent rage. Why can't I watch Pyramids of Mars now without just enjoying an old man being brutally crushed by Sutekh's gift of death to all humanity? Is it because I know Sarah's jarring line about coming from 1980 is coming up and I won't be able to stand the confusion in my mind?

I blame canon: The list of things that are and are not included in the Doctor Who universe. Once I became aware that some episodes of Doctor Who contradicted other episodes things instantly started going wrong in the world. Conkers lost their lustre. I ran out of foil. All the bad things. And yet, Steven Moffat wilfully (and, I bet, gleefully) uses time travel in a way that goes against the show's own rules so you can hear the facepalm slap echoing around the country. Does The Pope sometimes announce that Catholicism has changed its rules a bit? Yes, sometimes. Bad example. Though the next Pope has different ideas to the old one and things change a bit once more. What have we learned? Well, mainly that being the showrunner of Doctor Who is a lot like being Pope, so Steven Moffat obviously wants to be Pope, but not being Catholic, celibate, or fond of pointy hats, he has settled for the next best thing.

Doctor Who has its own dogma, albeit one that is e'er-shifting between objective consensus and subjective undercurrents. The sheer number of different continuities, errors, and wilful changes to the format over the years make it difficult for the show to make even a modicum of sense.

Fortunately, it doesn't. Problem solved? No, not really. That presupposes that viewers enjoy nonsense. They do, but only if it is internally coherent nonsense. Look at Genesis of the Daleks. It's a classic, and watching its six episodes it has good internal logic (apart from the bit with the clams, and also the bit with the secret tunnels, but it's easier to ignore them). However, it does necessitate an off-screen revision of the entirety of televised Dalek history up to that point. However, if we look at the story of Doctor Who from An Unearthly Child to The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe it is somewhat lacking in internal logic. Even its sensible nonsense makes no sense. The reason Genesis of the Daleks' retcon is tolerated is partially because the story is very good, and also because it does contain a line stating that the Doctor is being tasked with changing history, even though he himself has vehemently stated that this is impossible (in The Aztecs, which you should all watch immediately).

As there has been a one-line explanation that doesn't bear anyone poking at it with logic-spoons, so we scurry away and try to make sense of it all. Whereas, in The Big Bang, the Doctor crosses his own timeline with only a line to suggest rather than flat-out tell you what allows this to happen. This breaks the rules, and doesn't tell us it's going to, and hence some people are annoyed. Then we have a chicken and egg situation of 'Do they dislike the continuity error because they didn't like the episode, or do they dislike the episode because of the continuity error?' and so the seeds of discord (which, "logically", should be the title of an episode featuring the Krynoids poisoning the Ice Warriors' water supply on Mars and leading to the events of The Waters of Mars. You're welcome.) are sown between those who will adapt and overcome because they enjoyed the episode and want it to make sense, and those who will didn't and won't. From here your own personal canon may spring forth.

Fortunately, after the initial grieving period for the passing of an episode's internal logic, fans are remarkably good at coming up with their own explanations for things. It is international law that at this point I should make a joke about humans seeing patterns in things that aren't there (We're working on getting Paul McGann to provide an Audio Descriptive version of Den of Geek. Just, y'know, slowly). This is why I quite like continuity errors. They don't have to be an annoyance that ruins an episode, rather a lateral thinking puzzle where the reward is a fundamental satisfaction with your newfound universal order.

Oh sure, the universe is full of holes and has been rebooted a couple of times now, but that's not where the fun is. You can explain anything with cracks in time (except, I've found, in exams). Before that time was in flux. Before that multiple realities stretching and interweaving across the universe were happening. Before that Fenric, the Great Intelligence, and the Animus were all bobbing about being all non-corporeal and evil, but that's technically irrelevant, insofar as any malevolent entities that predate the dawn of time can be regarded as irrelevant.

Fans have already created ideas such as Season 6B to explain away continuity errors, so that dialogue in later multi-Doctor stories that contradicts The War Games can make sense. They've already, as mentioned above, added some villains to the Cthulhu Mythos, and exerted much energy trying to solve the UNIT Dating Controversy. It's never been stated on screen how Dalek history changed after Genesis of the Daleks, but fan consensus has been assimilated into the canon. However, canonicity is largely agreed on as being defined by the TV series. Obviously this is a fan arrangement, because you can't very well have the Doctor saying that his adventures only definitely count if they're on the telly while he is currently on said telly. That'd be silly. The bad kind of silly.

Spin-off novels and audioplays are, however, excellent places to indulge in all sorts of continuity wrangling. Big Finish went so far as to produce a series of Unbound adventures that ignored canon completely. Some novels spent their entirety joining the dots between events no one wanted to see connected (Witness John Peel - not that one - and his Eighth Doctor Dalek books), some may have invented new strands, but they had an audience of hardcore fans happy to see new orders imposed. Now, understandably, these are fleeting references rather than full blown stories. Beneath this, there are simpler things to ponder such as: 'Why spaceships in the future are made of wood, or cassettes reels, and have BBC Microcomputers on their flightdecks?'

Rather than tiresome faults, continuity errors can be embraced as a challenge. Obviously we don't want to have too many of them (unless the BBC wants to put fandom on a retainer as 'Creative Consultants'), but if they do exist it's more fun to make sense of them. All of them. Even the ones that blatantly and deliberately contradict the others. Let's be grown-up enough to notice them, but childish enough to have fun with them.

The Legend of Korra episodes 1 and 2 review: Welcome to Republic City & A Leaf in the Wind

The Legend of Korra episodes 1 and 2 review: Welcome to Republic City & A Leaf in the Wind

"I'm the Avatar! You gotta deal with it!"

With those words, Avatar Korra announces her arrival. It's an excellent introduction to the character, but it's also a statement to the audience: Korra is the Avatar now, and we have to accept that. As Katara states later on in the episode, the time of Aang and his friends has passed. It's time for a new generation to take over. And so though we get a handful of updates on what the original series characters have been up to since we last saw them (Aang and Katara had three children, Toph had a daughter, and Sokka has died), we're quickly thrust into this brave, new world with a boatload of new characters to meet.

Most important is Tenzin, Aang and Katara's son and the world's only airbending master. Aang's son lacks his childish sense of fun and is much more of a no-nonsense teacher. He quickly lays out strict rules and becomes frustrated with Korra when she fails to grasp the more spiritual side of bending. Korra is just as frustrated with him, though, as her hotheadedness and short temper are at odds with the mindset one must have in order to airbend. Just as Aang had trouble with the stubborn, confrontational stance required for earthbending, Korra has difficulty adapting and listening to the world around her, which puts the two at instant odds.

When Korra ventures away from Air Temple Island in order to watch a pro-bending match (a sport so complicated that it makes Quidditch look relatively simple and sensical) she meets brothers Mako and Bolin who make up two thirds of the rookie team The Fire Ferrets. Bolin, an earthbender, brings to mind memories of Sokka, particularly in the scene right after their first match when he and his brother discover that Korra is the Avatar. Mako, on the other hand, brings to mind early memories of Zuko, but unfortunately feels a bit more one-dimensional than Zuko ever did. That said, the original's greatest strength was always its character development, and so I'm eager to see how they develop Mako out of the "brooding guy" persona.

Finally, there is Lin Bei Fong, the head of law enforcement in Republic City. When Korra is arrested for destruction of property while trying to stop a group of ruffians from escaping, Lin comes down on her hard. Lin is completely different than her mother, and her dynamic with both Korra as well as Tenzin is fascinating.

The brilliant thing about this show in these first two episodes is that every interaction has multiple layers: when Katara encourages Korra to set out on her own, it's never far from the viewer's mind that Korra is the reincarnation of Katara's husband. Similarly, when we see Tenzin try to teach Korra how to airbend, it's impossible not to think about the fact that this is the reincarnation of his father. And when Tenzin arrives to retrieve Korra from Lin at law enforcement headquarters, one must remember that these two people grew up together. Their parents were friends. Tenzin and Lin have known each other their entire lives. So why the animosity? We don't find out in this episode, but hopefully this will be explored further in future episodes, because the history all of these people have with each other and with Korra's previous incarnation makes for fascinating dynamics.

But perhaps most importantly of all is Amon, a mysterious figure who seems to have dark designs on Korra and indeed all benders. While walking through the park, Korra encounters a man rallying others to the cause of the Equalists, a group that believes benders oppress non-benders. It's an interesting idea because we're supposed to immediately side with Korra - bending is the coolest thing in the world, and can do so much good. Additionally, it's not as though we've never seen non-benders be just as competent at fighting as benders are: Sokka, Suki, Mei, and Ty Lee all come to mind as extremely competent fighters who were not capable of bending.

But being able to bend is a privilege. In this world, it's the equivalent of being born with a silver spoon in your mouth. There will always be things that come easier to you than they do to your non-bending peers. And is that right? Is that fair?

It's a question we explore in our own world, and given how well the original show handled complicated topics, I have to believe that it will be explored thoroughly and handled with aplomb in this new series.

It's been way too long since there was an Avatar in my life, and though Korra's premiere isn't as good as, say, season two of the original series was, it's off to a great start. I can't wait for more Korra in my life. Can you?

'The Only Way Is Essex' cast angry at paycheque taxes?

'The Only Way Is Essex' cast angry at paycheque taxes?

The stars of The Only Way Is Essex are reportedly angry at tax cuts from their paycheques after appearing in the show.

The cast have been told that they must sign a contract in order to appear on the programme, which includes being taxed for up to four months after the series has finished.

Producers have decided to raise the cast's daily pay rate from £50 to £80, reports The Sun.

Cast members are said to make most of their earnings from other personal appearances and magazine deals, which executives state that they deserve a cut from in the future.

Joey Essex and Lauren Goodger were among the stars who did not sign a contract last series, but producers are now demanding that every castmate must sign a deal if they want to be in the show.

Showbosses had originally wanted the stars to hand over 15% of the earnings up to six months after each series, but after an angry reaction it was reduced to four months.

"A lot of the stars were furious and threatened a walkout which would have sent the show into chaos. Many went to seek legal advice," a source said.

The Only Way Is Essex returned for its fifth series on ITV2 on Sunday (April 15).

George Lopez Makes Date to Host New Fox Series 'Take Me Out'

George Lopez Makes Date to Host New Fox Series 'Take Me Out'

George Lopez will host Fox's new reality dating show "Take Me Out."

Lopez will serve as main matchmaker for the show, the network announced Wednesday. It's produced by FremantleMedia North America and will debut on June 7 at 8 p.m.

His roots are in stand-up comedy, but Lopez is probably best known for starring in his self-produced sitcom "George Lopez," which ran on ABC from 2002-2007. He hosted the TBS late-night talk show "Lopez Tonight" on TBS until it was canceled in August of last year.

The show will feature 30 single women -- dubbed "The Flirty 30" -- who meet several eligible bachelors each week. The bachelors attempt to impress the women with their wit, looks and personality, and when one of the women becomes disinterested in a man, she turns off the light in her podium, taking herself out of the pool of potential couplings.

As the rounds progress and more women declare themselves disinterested, the tables are turned, and the bachelor gets to eliminate the women he's not interested in. At the final round, the bachelor will ask one last question of the two remaining women. Whichever woman answers most satisfactorily will be "whisked away on a romantic fantasy date" with the bachelor.

Jeff Apploff will executive-produce "Take Me Out," with Jack Martin and Kevin Williams co-executive producing.

FremantleMedia North America also produces "American Idol" and "The X Factor."

'God Save the Queens': Sky Atlantic series to celebrate gay performers

'God Save the Queens': Sky Atlantic series to celebrate gay performers

A new series from Sky Atlantic will celebrate gay performers in British entertainment.

God Save the Queens will chart the history of gay comedians and performers in Britain.

The three-part series will cover the period between Queen Elizabeth's coronation and the present day.

"It starts in 1952 and tells the story of gay performers and the role they have played in changing public perception of homosexuality and becoming national institutions along the way," said production company Twofour in a statement.

"It will be a celebration of achievements and career highlights, as well as a history of how gay rights and our perception of gay performers has changed over the last 60 years."

The series has also been described as "a warm-hearted and intelligent definitive history" of gay performers in British entertainment.

Julian Clary is among the stars expected to contribute, while the three episodes will profile the likes of Carry On stars Charles Hawtrey and Kenneth Williams, stand-up and actor Frankie Howerd and entertainer Larry Grayson.

God Save the Queens is expected to be broadcast this summer, to coincide with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

'Doctor Who' star Matt Smith 'auditioned for Footballers' Wives'

'Doctor Who' star Matt Smith 'auditioned for Footballers' Wives'

Doctor Who star Matt Smith reportedly once auditioned for a role on Footballers' Wives.

The drama - starring Zoe Lucker and Ben Price - aired on ITV from January 2002 to April 2006.

Smith's sister Laura Jayne told The Daily Mail: "I had a friend who worked on Footballers' Wives so I covered Matt in fake tan, gelled his hair, made him wear salmon pink trousers and sent him for an audition."

However, Smith - who won the role of the Doctor in 2009 - failed to impress the Footballers' Wives team.

"He didn't get the part, which was probably a good thing," said Jayne. "That kind of look definitely isn't him."

Prior to replacing David Tennant on Doctor Who, Smith also auditioned to play John Watson in BBC drama Sherlock, a role eventually won by Martin Freeman.

Doctor Who returns to BBC One in the autumn.

TV Tonight 19th of April 2012

TV Tonight 19th of April 2012

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

    30 Rock S06E18: "Murphy Brown Lied To Us"
    60 Minute Makeover S09E17: "Series 9, Episode 17"
    Acchi Kocchi S01E03: "Merciless Snowball Battle <=> Cooking Lesson"
    All Star Dealers S01E13: "Yogi and Bling"
    American Idol S11E30: "Results Show - Week Seven"
    Australia On Trial S01E03: "The Myall Creek Massacre Trial"
    Awake S01E08: "Nightswimming"
    Big Brother Sverige S08E53: "Del 53"
    Bikini Barbershop S01E10: "Hostile Takeover"
    Border Security S12E11: "Season 12, Episode 11"
    Burlacul S03E08: "Season 3, Episode 8"
    Celebrity Juice S07E11: "Greg James, Chris Moyles and Katy B"
    Chelsea Lately S06E67
    Come Dine With Me S18E82: "Series 18, Episode 69"
    Community S03E16: "Virtual Systems Analysis"
    Conan S02E82: "Regina Hall, Emeli Sande"
    Coronation Street S53E78: "Thu Apr 19, 2012"
    Dance Academy S02E24: "The Prix De Fonteyn"
    Danni Lowinski VTM S01E08: "Season 1, Episode 8"
    Days of our Lives S47E114: "Ep. #11824"
    Deal Or No Deal (UK) S07E215: "Episode 1895"
    Dickinson's Real Deal S08E92: "Series 8, Episode 92"
    Doctors S14E12: "Friend and Neighbour"
    Eagleheart S02E02: "Bringing Up Beezor"
    EastEnders S28E64: "April 19, 2012"
    Éden Hotel S02E28: "Season 2, Episode 28"
    Emmerdale S41E94: "April 19, 2012 [Episode 2]"
    Emmerdale S41E93: "April 19, 2012"
    Four In A Bed S03E29: "Fallowfield Hotel and Restaurant"
    General Hospital (US) S50E14: "#12542"
    Get Your House in Order S01E05: "Joy"
    Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden S22E164: "Season 22, Episode 164"
    Golden Goal S12E10: "Season 12, Episode 10"
    Grand Designs Australia S02E03: "5 Dock Retro"
    Grandma's House S02E01
    Great British Menu S07E09: "The Olympic Feast - 9"
    Grey's Anatomy S08E20: "The Girl with No Name"
    Heir Hunters (UK) S06E04: "Series 6, Episode 4"
    Hellstrøms Mesterkokk S01E06: "Season 1, Episode 6"
    Holiday Heaven on Earth S01E09: "Episode 9"
    Hollyoaks S18E79: "April 19, 2012"
    Home and Away (AU) S25E64: "Episode 5499"
    Hotel cæsar S28E185: "Season 28, Episode 185"
    House Hunters S48E78
    House Hunters International S25E81
    House of Bryan - On The Rocks S01E03: "Beam Me Up"
    Impact Wrestling S08E81: "Season 8, Episode 81"
    Jeopardy! S28E154: "Show #6359"
    Jimmy Kimmel Live S09E241: "Gabourey Sidibe, Kasabian"
    Kathy S01E01: "Season 1, Episode 1"
    Keuringsdienst van Waarde S11E03: "EHEC-bacterie"
    Kore wa Zombie desuka? S02E03: "Yo! That's You! Truly!"
    Live with Regis and Kelly S29E167
    Long Lost Family S02E02: "Series 2, Episode 2"
    Los protegidos S03E06: "TBA"
    Louis Theroux's BBC 2 Specials S02E17: "Extreme Love: Autism"
    Lupin the Third: Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna S01E03: "Season 1, Episode 3"
    Medaka Box S01E03: "Season 1, Episode 3"
    My Mom is Obsessed S01E04: "Men & Freedom"
    Nårje S01E06: "Season 1, Episode 6"
    Naruto: Shippuuden S11E17
    Neighbours S28E74: "Episode 6384"
    Omroep Maxim S02E05: "Aflevering 5"
    Parks and Recreation S04E19: "Live Ammo"
    Punk'd S09E04: "Tyler the Creator"
    Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is S06E19: "Series 6, Episode 19"
    Question Time S32E27: "April 19, 2012"
    Reguły gry S01E10: "Męskie zasady"
    Rehab Addict S02E09: "New Project, New Headache"
    Rules of Engagement S06E11: "Missed Connections"
    Russell Howard's Good News S06E02: "Series 6, Episode 2"
    Sand Masters S02E04: "Sarasota Muscle Boats"
    Scandal S01E03: "Hell Hath No Fury"
    Sket Dance S02E03: "Episode 3"
    Swamp People S03E10: "Gates of Hell"
    Sweet Genius S02E06: "Speechless Genius"
    The Biggest Loser (AU) S07E60: "Season 7, Episode 60"
    The Block S05E04: "Elimination Night 4"
    The Bold and the Beautiful S26E20: "Ep. #6304"
    The Celebrity Apprentice (AU) S03E02: "Pop Up Shop"
    The Chase (2009) S05E53: "Series 5, Episode 53"
    The Colbert Report S08E55: "Tavis Smiley & Cornel West"
    The Daily Show S17E91: "Judy Smith"
    The Ellen DeGeneres Show S09E142: "Wanda Sykes, Bon Iver"
    The First 48 S12E10: "Missing"
    The Jeremy Kyle Show S07E152: "Jeremy Kyle unseen"
    The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson S08E65: "Kelly Preston, Joel Stein"
    The Office (US) S08E21: "Angry Andy"
    The Pauly D Project S01E04: "The Ring Toss"
    The Penguins of Madagascar S02E72: "Action Reaction"
    The Project S04E93: "Season 4, Episode 93"
    The Real Housewives Of Atlanta S04E22: "Reunion Part 2"
    The Secret Circle S01E19: "Crystal"
    The Talk S02E149: "Season 2, Episode 149"
    The Tonight Show with Jay Leno S19E283
    The Vampire Diaries S03E19: "Heart of Darkness"
    The View S15E142: "John Cusack, Rashida Jones"
    The Young and the Restless S40E19: "Ep. #9888"
    This Week (2003) S10E26: "April 19, 2012"
    Thuis S17E169: "Season 17, Episode 169"
    Tonight with Trevor McDonald S14E15: "Why Isn't Briatin Working?"
    Touch S01E06: "Lost and Found"
    Truck Stop Missouri S02E04: "Joe vs. Food"
    truTV Presents: World's Dumbest... S12E21: "World's Dumbest Performers 12"
    Two Greedy Italians S02E01: "Calabria and Bambinone"
    Watch What Happens: Live S06E68: "Ricki Lake and Jaleel White"
    Watchdog S30E06: "Series 30, Episode 6"
    Интерны S06E16: "Пожарник"
    Светофор S04E04: "Сезон 4, Эпизод 4"

'The Voice' UK: Four acts to be eliminated in first live show

'The Voice' UK: Four acts to be eliminated in first live show

Four acts will be eliminated from The Voice UK during the first week of the live stages, it has been announced.

Of the final 20 contestants left after this weekend's battle rounds, a total of 12 will be saved by the first public vote - three for each of the coaches Jessie J,, Sir Tom Jones and Danny O'Donoghue.

The mentors will then each discard one of their remaining two singers, allowing a final 16 to progress to the next round, reports the Radio Times.

The Voice UK's first live performance show will begin April 27 at 7pm and run for 90 minutes. It has been confirmed that results shows will air every Sunday.

The first results edition on April 28 will screen for 35 minutes from 7.25pm, between established BBC programmes Countryfile and Antiques Roadshow.

The Voice UK's battle rounds begin this Saturday, April 21 at 7pm, and conclude Sunday, April 22 at 7.30pm on BBC One.

British Soap Awards 2012 airdate confirmed

British Soap Awards 2012 airdate confirmed

ITV has confirmed the broadcast date for the British Soap Awards 2012.

Philip Schofield will host the annual awards ceremony on Saturday, April 28, and it will be aired on ITV1 on Wednesday, May 2 at 8pm.

A host of stars are due to be announced as award presenters in the near future.

Zoe Hardman and Joe Swash will also host The British Soap Awards 2012: The Party on ITV2, where they will interview award winners, nominees and other guests.

The full viewer and panel shortlists were announced earlier this month after the first round of viewer voting.

Fans can still vote for 'Sexiest Male', 'Sexiest Female', 'Villain of the Year', 'Best Actor', 'Best Actress' and 'Best British Soap' on the official website.

Voting closes on April 27.

Samantha Womack recalls Simon Cowell, 'Britain's Got Talent' meeting

Samantha Womack recalls Simon Cowell, 'Britain's Got Talent' meeting

Samantha Womack has revealed that she met with Simon Cowell after being offered a judging role on Britain's Got Talent.

Former EastEnders star Womack told OK! magazine that she discussed joining the show at his Los Angeles home before eventually rejecting it.

When asked whether she was in talks for the programme, Womack said: "Yes, and I thought about doing it, because you'd be crazy not to.

"Simon Cowell flew me out to his mansion in Los Angeles. I was already committed to South Pacific, and I kind of knew that, but to be honest, I wanted to see what Simon and his house were like!"

Revealing what she thought of Cowell, who has recently suffered revelations about his private life, Womack divulged: "He was bloody charming!

"I'd never been to LA before, and I spent a good few hours in his amazing house, just chatting.

"He's very easy to talk to and he smoked like a trooper - though weirdly his house didn't smell of cigarette smoke! He must have a magic machine that makes it disappear!"

She added: "It was amazing to witness LA like that and have the big black car pick me up.

"I took a sneaky photo of his house on my mobile - and I think he caught me doing it! It was a lovely meeting, but at the end of the day, it's just not me."

Dick Clark Dead at 82: 'America's Oldest Teenager'

Dick Clark Dead at 82: 'America's Oldest Teenager'

Iconic television star and producer Dick Clark, whose youthful looks and vigor gained him the  nickname "America's Oldest Teenager" as he built an "American Bandstand" gig into an entertainment empire, has died of a heart attack, his publicist said. He was 82.

The same youthfulness that helped score him the hosting duties on "Bandstand" also powered him through six workaholic decades of profoundly influencing both music and television. He played a huge part in popularizing rock 'n' roll, helped Americans mark each year for three decades, and had a hand in shows from the various incarnations of "Pyramid" to the Golden Globes telecast.

Known for his catchphrase "For now, Dick Clark... so long!" he continued to appear on his "New Year's Rockin' Eve" celebration even after handing off hosting duties to Ryan Seacrest following a massive stroke in 2004. Since starting the celebration in 1972, he missed out on hosting only twice: when ABC replaced the special with turn-of-the-century coverage, and after the stroke.

"I am deeply saddened by the loss of my dear friend Dick Clark. He has truly been one of the greatest influences in my life," Seacrest said.

Born Nov. 30, 1929, he began his broadcasting career after graduating high school, working at upstate New York's WRUN-AM, a radio station owned by his uncle and run by his father. He quickly moved from office duties to delivering the weather and station breaks. He moved to the Philadelphia area in 1952 and joined TV and radio station WFIL, which had just latched onto the new trend of playing popular records on-air.

When the host of a TV show that featured teenagers dancing to the records was arrested for drunken driving, Clark's youthful look made him seem like a clean-cut alternative. It also reassured parents worried about the supposed seediness of rock music. Clark assumed hosting duties in 1956.

The show went national the next year, exposing Americans to such rock legends as Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry. It ran in syndication and later on USA until 1989.

Early on, the show helped radio stations across the country decide what the kids were listening to, Clark said in a 1998 NPR interview.

"We got serviced with the latest releases," Clark said in a 1998 NPR interview, "and we had a huge teen audience watching who were trendsetters. So radio-station program directors used to assign their assistants to watch the program and copy down what we played. And within a day it was being played everywhere."

Clark, who also counted down top 40 hits on the radio for decades, was a TV trendsetter as well.

In 1973, he began hosting the first of many versions of "Pyramid." In 1984, he began collaborating with his former Philadelphia neighbor, Ed McMahon, on "TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes," which featured outtakes and celebrity pranks.

He hosted several other game shows -- sometimes at the same time -- while also popping up as himself in films and TV shows including "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind," "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air," and "Dharma and Greg."

From 2001-03, he was one of the panelists on "The Other Half," serving as a male counterpart to Barbara Walters on the show intended as a male answer to "The View."

His Dick Clark Productions produced shows including the the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's Golden Globe telecast and NBC's "American Dreams," which traded on nostalgia for the early years of "Bandstand." Though it still bears his name, Dick Clark Productions has changed hands twice in the last decade, and is now owned by a group of private investors.

In a 2010 lawsuit against the company, the press association contended that it had made surreptitious deals for the Golden Globes without its consent. In one filing, the association seemed to long for the time -- Clark began producing the telecast in 1983 -- when he was "actually involved with the company that now only bears his name."

Clark's survivors include his third wife, Kari, and his three children.

In his final television appearance, a still youthful-looking Clark struggled slightly as he described the scene in Times Square for "New Year's Rockin' Eve."

"What a night to remember," he told Seacrest.

Cartoon Network to live-stream shows online

Cartoon Network to live-stream shows online

Cartoon Network has announced its plans to live-stream its on-air content.

The shows will be available for live viewing at and on the iPod, iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad.

Stuart Snyder, president and COO of Turner Broadcasting's Animation, Young Adults & Kids Media, said: "It is our commitment to the TV Everywhere strategy to let our audiences enjoy our shows whenever and wherever they want.

"Soon, viewers will be able to catch Cartoon Network anywhere and everywhere - whether they are in front of their television or maybe even at the airport waiting for a flight, we will be available for viewers to experience the live telecast seamlessly."

Cartoon Network has also announced it has cast YouTube sensation Toby Turner in Annoying Orange, a series about Orange and his friends as they encounter adventures from the fruit stands to parts unknown and everything in between.

Turner said on his YouTube channel that he will be the only human on the show.

The network will also be airing a live-action sketch comedy series by America's Got Talent's Nick Cannon called Running Errands with my Mom.

'Celebrity Juice', 'Sherlock' battle for BAFTA YouTube Audience Award

'Celebrity Juice', 'Sherlock' battle for BAFTA YouTube Audience Award

ITV2's Keith Lemon comedy vehicle Celebrity Juice is the surprise nomination in this year's BAFTA YouTube Audience Award shortlist.

The comedy panel show, which features Holly Willoughby and Fearne Cotton, will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of fellow ITV2 hit and last year's YouTube Award winner The Only Way Is Essex and take home the gong at this year's Arqiva British Academy Television Awards.

Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock, Sir David Attenborough's documentary series Frozen Planet and Mary Berry's hit cookery competition series The Great British Bake Off are also battling for the prize.

Completing the shortlist, which was devised by a team of journalists and broadcasters including Digital Spy, are Channel 4's Educating Essex and Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong's university sitcom Fresh Meat.

Fans can vote for their favourite from their list between April 19 and 5pm on Thursday, May 24.

The TV BAFTAs will be hosted by Dara O'Briain at the Royal Festival Hall on Sunday, May 27, and will air on BBC One.

"With the diverse range of nominated TV programmes this year, the YouTube community has its work cut out in selecting this year's Audience Award winner," said YouTube marketing manager Mike Sullivan.

Amanda Berry, chief executive of BAFTA, added: "It is terrific to see such a variety of genres represented by the nominated programmes for this year's YouTube Audience Award. Each programme has really engaged the television audience and earned its place on this year's shortlist."

Viewers can vote for their favourite show online at The official Twitter hashtag is #YTAAvote.

Charlie Sheen's 'Anger Management' Slapped With $50M Lawsuit

Charlie Sheen's 'Anger Management' Slapped With $50M Lawsuit

Charlie Sheen's TV adaptation of "Anger Management" has found itself entangled in a legal drama, months before its premiere.

Jason Shuman and his Blue Star Entertainment company have filed suit against "Anger Management" producer Joe Roth and his company, Revolution Studios, claiming that he developed the adaptation of the movie and has been denied back-end ownership and credit on the FX show by Roth. Shuman is seeking $50 million in the suit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Roth told TheWrap that he had not yet seen the complaint. He declined further comment.

The breach of contract suit alleges that Roth tapped Shuman in 2008 to go through the company's film catalog for titles that could be worked into adaptation and remakes. Shuman claims that Roth promised him a sweet deal, after getting shortchanged over developing the film "Are We There Yet" into a series. However, rather than "make it up to" Shuman as he allegedly promised, the suit claims that Roth cut him out of the loop.

"Then, in June 2011, without warning or justification, Roth went silent and refused to answer any of Shuman's emails or take any of his telephone calls," the suit claims. According to the suit, after getting frozen out, he saw media reports that Roth was negotiating with Sheen to develop and star in the adaptation.

Shuman's attorneys have not yet responded to TheWrap's request for comment. Lionsgate, which is producing the show, and FX, which will air the series, had no comment on the suit. Nor has a spokesman for Sheen.

Shuman says that he and his company are out more than $50 million in compensation due to the alleged abandoned deal.

The "Anger Management" adaptation is scheduled to premiere on FX in June. Sheen has a "significant ownership stake" in the project.

The Emmys Grapple With a New Question: TV or Not TV?

The Emmys Grapple With a New Question: TV or Not TV?

It used to be so simple.

The Primetime Emmy Awards honored television's marquee programs, the ones that everybody watched in the same place and at the same time: on network broadcasts that took place Monday through Saturday from 8 to 11 p.m. (7 to 10 Central), Sunday from 7 to 10.

And then, for good measure, the Emmys threw in the news shows that preceded those primetime blocks, and the late-night programming that followed them.

But today's television landscape is dramatically different, and the primetime designation is gradually – or not so gradually – becoming almost irrelevant.

Shows originate on the web, or start on traditional television and migrate to the web; DVR and streaming mean that viewers watch shows whenever they feel like it, traditional definitions and time frames be damned.

So how do the Primetime Emmys adapt to a post-Primetime world?

"Change is coming," said John Leverence, the senior vice president of awards for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. "I think we are at the dawn of a strong new presence of web-based programming.

"It is in 2012 what premium cable was in 1984, in terms of moving in the way of Emmy recognition and prominence."

The tip of the iceberg, he told TheWrap, came when the animators in the TV Academy changed their categories to make room for the kind of short-form animation often showcased on the web. (The Outstanding Short-Format Animated Program category accepts web-based work, as do two Interactive Television categories.) Leverence also points to the live-action show "Lilyhammer," a Netflix series that is exclusively web-based.

Steve Van Zandt in LilyhammerIf Emmy voters recognize that series starring Steve Van Zandt (right), Leverence thinks it could be a watershed moment as the Academy moves to set up special-class categories designed to accommodate the new reality.

All of this comes because of a decision that the Academy made a few years ago: If it feels like television, it's eligible for Emmys.

(The TV Academy is also far less particular about a program's debut platform than their cohorts at the Motion Picture Academy, who disqualify films premiering on TV from Oscar eligibility. The TV Academy will accept programs even after they've had a limited or film-festival theatrical debut.)

"We have on the one hand established that there are certain national platforms [that qualify for Emmys]," said Leverence. "They are broadcast, premium cable, basic cable, satellite and internet. That's one defining parameter of the primetime competition, and the other is the genres that are typical to the history of primetime.

"We've come a sophisticated distance from where we were not too many years ago, when we were looking at broadcast and syndicated and public television as our platforms, and had straight-ahead, no-nuanced 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. parameters for shows. It's getting a little bit more complex now."

few years ago, he added, the TV Academy met with its New York-based sister organization, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which administers the daytime, sports, news and documentary Emmys. The two groups discussed what Leverence called "a breakdown in categories, mostly because of web-based programming."

Rather than adhering to the traditional borders – if it airs at night it goes on the Primetime Emmys, otherwise it goes to the Daytime Emmys – the groups decided, he said, "not to worry too much about temporal distinctions, but rather generic distinctions."

John LeverenceWhich is to say, if a program fits in a typical primetime-type genre – if it's a procedural cop show, adult animation, a sitcom – it qualifies as primetime, regardless of when and where it initially aired. If it is a usual daytime genre like soap opera, the Daytime Emmys get it.

And as web-based programming expands and attracts the Academy's attention, Leverence thinks the Emmys could well see an expanded number of categories, just as the rise of reality television increased the number of Primetime Emmys categories by a full 20 percent.

"It's very likely that we are going to see some kind of expansion to accommodate what we have coming up on the web," said Leverence (left). "With the way this niche programming is growing, you have a real opportunity to expand the field. I see it, perhaps, as a parallel trend to what we saw with Reality and Reality-Competition shows."

Any expansion, he added, will be governed by the Academy's so-called "Rule of 14." If a category falls below 14 entrants for two consecutive years, the Board of Governors is obligated to consider it for elimination or consolidation, the way they did last year when they folded the flagging Outstanding Miniseries category into a new Outstanding Miniseries or Movie category.

And if 14 shows qualify for a category that doesn't exist, the board is able to consider adding that category.

"It's kind of a respiratory system," said Leverence. "You breathe in, you breathe out. You expand here, you contract there."

The rise in reality programming, though, did not come with a commensurate reduction in any other categories, pushing the Primetime Emmys and the Primetime Creative Arts Emmys to the verge of 100 categories. So with web-based programming ready to redefine what qualifies as television, is an expansion to triple digits inevitable?

"I don't know," said Leverence with a laugh. "I think more categories are coming, but we already have 99 categories. And proliferation is kind of like inflation in a monetary system: It's something that you have to be very careful about.

"Because just as inflation decreases the value of each one of the monetary units, so does proliferation decrease the perceived value of every awards category."