Search This Blog

woensdag 18 juli 2012

The Inbetweeners US remake first trailer

MTV's The Inbetweeners remake has its first trailer, and you can take a look at the new Will, Simon, Neil, and Jay speaking in American.

When the first cast picture for MTV's The Inbetweeners remake was put up on these very pages, it was greeted with roughly the same level of warmth as might welcome a serial killer, or worse, someone dishing out TDKR spoilers on Twitter.

People, it's fair to say, weren't massively looking forward to seeing The Inbetweeners American-style. Let's see if this new trailer for the US remake can change anyone's mind (we'll embed as soon as it becomes available, but for now, just follow the YouTube link above).

Writers of the UK series, Iain Morris and Damon Beesley, are credited as executive producers on the show, which stars Joey Pollari, Bubba Lewis, Mark L. Young, Zack Pearlman, and Alex Frnka, and debuts on MTV in the US on the 20th of August.

'Zombieland' Director Ruben Fleischer Inks Overall Pod Deal With 20th Century Fox TV

"Zombieland" director Ruben Fleischer has scared up a partnership with 20th Century Fox Television.

The director-producer has entered into an overall pod deal with 20th TV, which will see him developing, executive-producing and directing comedy and drama projects, the company said Tuesday.

As part of the two-year agreement, Fleischer will launch a production company that will be based at Fox.

Fleischer recently finished directing and executive-producing the Warner Bros. film "Gangster Squad." Set for a Sept. 7 release, the film stars Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

His other impending projects include the upcoming indie drama "Two Night Stand," which he's producing with Max Nichols and Beau Flynn. Casting is currently underway for that project.

Fleischer, who cut his teeth directing music videos and commercials, made his entry into television by helming segments for "Jimmy Kimmel Live," moving on to create and executive-produce the MTV series "Rob and Big" and "Fantasy Factory."

Benedict Cumberbatch for 'Sherlock' masterclass at Edinburgh

Benedict Cumberbatch is to give a Sherlock masterclass at the Edinburgh Television Festival next month, it has been announced.

Cumberbatch, one of the biggest stars of the small screen, will appear at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival on August 24, joining a special session on the hit BBC drama series.

Also appearing on the high-profile panel will be Sherlock writers and co-creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, as well as show producer Sue Virtue and director Paul McGuigan.

The session has been developed in collaboration with The Network, a career development programme that helps young people who want to work in television.

In the masterclass, Cumberbatch and the panel will reflect upon the show's two series to date, which have gained critical acclaim, multiple awards and bumper ratings.

They will discuss the show's conception as a modern interpretation of Arthur Conan Doyle's famous detective, including how the programme "maintains its dual appeal between die-hard fans of Conan Doyle's original stories and contemporary TV viewers".

Series fans will also be treated to "revelations" about the forthcoming third series, which picks up from the dramatic series two cliffhanger in episode 'The Reichenbach Fall'.

The MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival will go ahead between August 23 and August 25 in the Scottish capital, featuring a range of events, talks and panels.

Alongside Sherlock, the creative talent behind various other leading television shows will also speak in masterclasses at the festival, including Modern Family, Educating Essex, Homeland and Horrible Histories.

Meanwhile, entries have been extended by one week for The Pinewood Pitching Competition, involving one lucky indie producer being able to win a studio prize worth £30,000 to bring their proposed format to life.

Applications are now open for programme makers to submit their ideas for a studio-based format, with the best five to be invited to pitch to a panel of channel controllers live at the festival.

The winner will then get to shoot a mini pilot for their programme at Pinewood Studios, where some of the most famous TV shows in history have been filmed.

'Family Guy' rockets to 1.2m on BBC Three after 'Shrek' boost

BBC Three was the top-rated digital channel on Sunday night (July 15) thanks to a lineup of mostly animation.

Family Guy upped its game to 1.25m (5.8%) for a new edition at 10pm, inheriting some of the 1.11m (4.6%) from movie Shrek which aired before.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's Superstar held 3.08m (11.1%) between 8pm and 9.30pm and 157k (0.6%) on ITV1 +1, then The Nation's Favourite Number 1 Single - hosted by Fearne Cotton - concluded with 3.43m (16.2%) and 247k (1.9%) on timeshift.

Over on BBC One, Wallander's audience declined sharply to 5.19m (22.4%) for its second episode from 9pm, shedding 1.2m week on week, prior to which 6.05m (26.3%) watched Countryfile.

Thelma's Gypsy Girls continued with a decent 2.12m (8.8%) for Channel 4 at 9pm (+1: 365k/1.1%), tying in the hour with BBC Two's World's Most Dangerous Roads (2.12m/8.8%).

Once Upon a Time rallied to 1.16m (5.3%) for Channel 5 at 8pm (+1: 113k/0.5%) for an episode titled 'Heart of Darkness', after which Big Brother attracted 1.15m (4.8%) and 103k (0.5%) an hour later.

Overall, BBC One led primetime with 22.5%, comfortably ahead of ITV1's 17.4% (+1: 0.9%). Channel 4 earned third place with 5.9% (+1: 0.8%), followed by BBC Two's 5.5% and Channel 5's 4.4% (+1: 0.5%).

Lord Sugar confirms role on two more series of 'The Apprentice'

Lord Alan Sugar has agreed to another two series of The Apprentice.

The former Amstrad boss announced on Twitter that he will front a ninth and tenth edition of the BBC reality show, before inviting his followers to apply for next year's series.

"I have agreed to do 2 more series of The Apprentice, making it 10 years," he wrote, adding a link to the show's online application process.

The Apprentice's eighth series concluded in June with recruitment manager and professional wrestler Ricky Martin becoming Lord Sugar's business partner and receiving a £250,000 investment.

Nick Holzherr, who finished third in the 2012 contest, went on to secure £170,000 of funding for the food and recipe website that he pitched on the show.

The Apprentice launched in 2005 on BBC Two, offering candidates the chance to land a £100,000-a-year job with Lord Sugar. It was promoted to BBC One for its third series in 2007.

'Strictly Come Dancing' coming to the Arab world

Strictly Come Dancing has conquered Europe, the Americas, Australasia and Asia, but now the BBC has agreed a deal to bring the show's sequins and salsa steps to the Arab world.

In October 2012, Lebanon will gets its own version of Dancing with the Stars - the international format of Strictly Come Dancing.

The dance show, which will be locally produced for Lebanon's Murr Television (MTV) as part of a two-year deal, will mark the first time that a tailored version of the format has been shown in the Arab world.

Dancing with the Stars was named in the Guinness Book of World Records 2010 as the most successful reality TV format. The BBC has licensed the show to 42 countries around the world, including America, Australia, China and India.

But the deal with Lebanon's MTV is the result of nearly two years' hard work by BBC Worldwide to bring the show to Arab viewers, said Worldwide senior sales executive Cynthia Kennedy in a blog post.

"Ever since Strictly Come Dancing took to the air on BBC One in 2004, audiences around the world have been captivated by the heady combination of celebrity, dance, glamour and competition," she said.

"The local versions are licensed to international broadcasters by BBC Worldwide's Format Licensing team. As a member of this team, one of my responsibilities is to look after our formats business in the Middle East region.

"Dancing with the Stars is a format that needs no introduction; in the Arab world, however, there are unique cultural sensitivities that made it difficult to persuade broadcasters to produce a local version with local stars."

Kennedy said that she had held "numerous discussions" with broadcast partners and production companies in the Middle East since joining Worldwide in 2010, but it has taken until now to reach the first deal.

She found that the best way forward was to find Lebanese production company Iprod, as it had the "expertise, skills and experience" required to produce a "quality show on this scale".

"I then looked for a broadcaster who was willing to invest the time and resources to make Dancing with the Stars a television event for their audience and MTV Lebanon came forward as the company to do this. MTV has negotiated a two-season commitment to Dancing with the Stars, starting this Autumn," she said.

"The Lebanese version of Dancing with the Stars will go to air nearly two years after I started the conversation. It's taken a long time, but I know it will be worth the wait. I look forward to seeing it on air on MTV and throughout the rest of the region in the coming years."

Dish Demands N.Y. Jury Trial Against ABC Over Auto Hop (Exclusive)

Dish Network is demanding a New York jury trial in its dispute with ABC over the satellite provider's ad-skipping Auto Hop feature.

A New York federal judge ordered July 9 that the dispute over Auto Hop would play out mostly in California. CBS, NBC and Fox sued Dish in California on May 24, the same day Dish sued them and ABC in New York.

The judge's ruling this month that the CBS, Fox and NBC case would be argued on the West Coast also permitted the portions of the suit involving ABC to remain in New York. The reason was that ABC, unlike the other networks, did not sue Dish in California. Instead, it filed a counter-claim against Dish in New York.

That handed Dish a bicoastal fight. In the one on the East Coast, it demanded the jury trial in a no-frills motion Monday.

In the filing, Dish also denied several claims by ABC that it had violated its copyrights by creating, in essence, an "unauthorized, commercial-free, on-demand service." It responded to about three dozen claims from ABC with the dry response, "Dish denies the allegations."

The networks claims that Auto Hop, which allows subscribers to watch previously aired, primetime network shows with no ads, is a threat to traditional ad-supported TV. Dish contends that it is essentially a more advanced version of fast forwarding.

In prepared testimony to Congress last month, Dish Charlie Egren made another novel case for Auto Hop, saying, according to the Washington Post, that it allowed parents to protect their kids from "commercials for junk food and alcohol.”

BBC slashes top talent pay by £9.5 million

The BBC reduced the amount it paid its top stars by £9.5 million in the financial year 2011/12, although the corporation still had 16 individuals earning more than £500,000.

According to the BBC's annual report, the corporation spent just over £203m in the last financial year on salaries for its "talent", such as presenters Jeremy Clarkson and Graham Norton.

The corporation does not disclose exact details on individuals' pay, but instead gives the number of people in specific pay bands.

It was disclosed that 16 people were paid more than £500,000 in the financial year up to March 31 2012, although this was three fewer than in the preceding 12 months.

BBC director general Mark Thompson earned £622,000 over the year. This was down from £779,000 in 2010/11, but his remuneration was still 15 times more than the meridian pay for BBC employees.

Thompson will step down in the autumn after almost eight years in the role, and be succeeded by BBC Vision director George Entwistle, who will be paid a reduced salary of £450,000 in his first year.

In total, the combined pay of the BBC's senior executive directors fell from £5.714m in 2010/11 to £2.56m in the last financial year.

This was mostly due to a cut in board members from 13 down to seven, including notable departures such as BBC deputy director general Mark Byford and marketing director Sharon Baylay.

Certain executives have left the board but remain on the BBC payroll, including BBC People boss Lucy Adams and BBC North director Peter Salmon.

The BBC's annual report also covers the BBC's production activity last year - showing that spending on the BBC's television channels fell by £37.1m to £2.3bn in 2011/12.

However, radio spending was up by £2m to £640.1m.

Entertainment programmes on television increased by 470 hours, but drama output fell by 156 hours - although overall new British drama across the BBC increased by 144 hours.

The BBC reached 96% of people in Britain with its content via TV, radio and online every week in 2011/12. The BBC Online division touched 42% of the internet audience in the UK.

BBC chairman Lord Patten said that the BBC should be "a broadcaster whose quality and integrity are unparalleled".

"When we do not achieve these standards we should resolve to do better, but overall the BBC consistently provides quality content at the touch of a button across television, radio and the internet. This has been a particularly strong year for news, which we know is one of the BBC services most valued by audiences," he said.

"One of our main priorities is ensuring the BBC produces genuinely distinctive programmes, and progress has been made here, although there is more to do.

"We have also continued to push hard on value for money, encouraging the BBC to continue to drive down senior management pay and draw up a plan for living in more financially constrained times."

Lord Patten said that Entwistle will inherit a BBC in a "strong position financially and editorially" when he becomes the 15th director general later in the year.

"I look forward to working with him to ensure the required savings are delivered without compromising the quality and distinctiveness audiences quite rightly expect from the BBC," he added.

Thompson noted that the report comes on the eve of the London 2012 Olympics, the "biggest single broadcasting event in the BBC's history".

He said that it "shows how we have been successfully transforming the BBC while delivering the quality output our audiences love and expect".

"We have cut costs, yet delivered a creative revival of drama on TV and radio, a very strong year for BBC Radio, continued audience growth in our digital services and new digital broadcasting and production centres in Salford and Cardiff, both delivered on time and on budget," said Thompson.

"This is a huge achievement and I'm very proud of everyone in the BBC who has delivered on the challenges we were set. I know they will continue to deliver for my successor, who I wish every success."

'Coronation Street' star Ryan Thomas approached for 'I'm a Celebrity'?

Coronation Street actor Ryan Thomas has been approached for I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!

The actor, who plays Jason Grimshaw on the soap, is considering an offer to take part in the jungle-based reality show, The Sun reports.

His Coronation Street co-star Antony Cotton took part in I'm a Celebrity last year.

"Ryan was really pleased to be approached," a friend of Thomas said. "He watched Antony in the jungle last year and talked to him about it afterwards.

"It's a great opportunity for someone like Ryan who gets on with most people and isn't afraid of a challenge. But it is a big decision so at the moment he is weighing up his options before taking things any further."

An ITV insider added: "Ryan is good looking, charismatic and popular with viewers, so he would be a fantastic signing for the jungle."

The source also claimed that if Thomas commits to I'm a Celebrity, the show's production team would "definitely be on the hunt for some girls that he might have some good chemistry with".

I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! is due to return to ITV1 later this year.

'Celebrity MasterChef' 2012 lineup: Gareth Gates, Cheryl Baker, more

Celebrity MasterChef will return next month for a new series, it has been confirmed.

The cookery show's seventh run, hosted as usual by Gregg Wallace and John Torode, will play out in an early evening slot on BBC Two.

A total of 16 celebrities will battle across 30 weeks of cooking challenges, culminating with the gruelling Critics' Table and final cook off.

Gareth Gates, Bucks Fizz member Cheryl Baker, Footballers' Wives actress Laila Rouass and Jamie Theakston are among the series' most high-profile stars.

Richard McCourt, better known as Dick from CBBC's Dick and Dom in da Bungalow, will also compete on the programme, as well as Michael Underwood, George Layton, Emma Kennedy, Zoe Salmon, Jenny Eclair and Javine.

Famous Olympians Steve Parry and Rebecca Romero and former England footballer Danny Mills make up the lineup.

Previous winners include Lisa Faulkner, Jayne Middlemiss, Liz McClarnon, Nadia Sawalha and Matt Dawson. Phil Vickery won Celebrity MasterChef last year.

'I Love Lucy,' 'Bewitched' Director Bill Asher Dies at 90

Bill Asher, the Emmy-winning director of "I Love Lucy" and "Bewitched," died at a Palm Desert, Calif. facility on Monday, according to the Desert Sun. He was 90.

Asher was the lead director of "I Love Lucy," helming most of the episodes from 1952 to 1957. He moved on to become a producer and director on "Bewitched," starring his then-wife Elizabeth Montgomery. Asher earned four Emmy nominations for his work on "Bewitched," taking home an Emmy for best director in 1966.

Asher's film credits include "Beach Blanket Bingo," "Beach Party" and "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini." He also served as producer and director on "The Patty Duke Show," and directed multiple episodes of "Alice," "The Bad News Bears" and "Private Benjamin."

Asher retired in 1991, living in La Quinta and Indian Wells.

A memorial service will take place on September 29 at the Desert Springs Church in Palm Desert. Asher is survived by his wife Meredith, as well as his daughters Liane Sears and Rebecca Asher, sons Brian, Bill Jr., Robert and John, four step-children, nine grandchildren and and eight step-grandchildren.

'Strictly': Zoe Ball confirmed to return on 'It Takes Two'

Zoe Ball has been confirmed to return as the host of Strictly Come Dancing spinoff It Takes Two.

Ball stood in for Claudia Winkleman last year, who missed the BBC Two series due to maternity leave.

The former Live & Kicking presenter will now replace Winkleman permanently when the show returns in September.

Meanwhile, Winkleman is expected to retain her spot on the Sunday results show, which she co-hosts with Tess Daly.

Speaking to Digital Spy earlier this year about her move away from It Takes Two, Winkleman said: "I'm not going to do the daily show. That is now Zoe's and she is brilliant and far better at it than I ever could be."

Strictly returns to BBC One this autumn and star names such as Ronnie O'Sullivan, Charlie Brooks, Sian Williams and Michael Vaughan are being tipped to take part.

'X Factor' acts axed before singing at Boot Camp

X Factor contestants faced a shock twist during the first day of Boot Camp on Tuesday (July 17).

A total of 60 acts were axed from the singing competition before they even had the chance to sing, The Sun reports.

Over 200 contestants had travelled to Liverpool to perform in front of Tulisa Contostavlos, Louis Walsh, Gary Barlow and new judge Nicole Scherzinger.

However, nearly a third were instantly sent home from the Echo Arena, ruining their chances of making it through to Judges' Houses.

Some hopefuls are said to have burst into tears when they were told the news. X Factor creator Simon Cowell is believed to have ordered the cull of contestants.

"It was carnage," a source said. "They were told there would be an important announcement. They went out on stage to face Tulisa, Louis, Gary and Nicole - and then the bombshell.

"There were looks of shock on people's faces. Even the judges looked upset. Simon wants a higher calibre [of acts] this year."

An X Factor spokesman added: "Some of the contestants who got a 'Yes' at their first auditions, when seen side by side against the others, were not of a good enough standard."

TV Tonight 18th of July 2012

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

    24 Hours in A&E S02E10: "Series 2, Episode 10"
    America's Got Talent S07E19: "4 acts advance to the top 24"
    American Guns S02E10: "Helicopter Machine Gun/ BMX Challenge"
    Around the World In 80 Plates S01E10: "A Winner Comes Home"
    Australia's Got Talent S06E20: "Season 6 Finale"
    Avondetappe, De S08E19: "Season 8, Episode 19"
    Baby Daddy S01E04: "Guys, Interrupted"
    Baggage Battles S01E11: "Toronto"
    Barter Kings S01E09: "Four Wheeling and Dealing"
    Barter Kings S01E10: "Divide and Conquer"
    Best Sandwich in America S01E07: "West Coast"
    Bethenny S01E28: "Brooke Burke-Charvet"
    Beverly Hills Nannies S01E02: "Nannenemies"
    Big Brother (UK) S14E47: "BB 13, Episode 47"
    Big Brother (US) S14E03: "Episode 3 - Veto Competition #1"
    Big Brother After Dark S07E07: "Season 7, Episode 7"
    Big Brother's Bit on the Side S04E44: "Series 4, Show 44"
    Blockbusters (2012) S01E28: "Series 1, Show 27"
    Cajun Pawn Stars S02E13: "Springing Forward"
    Cajun Pawn Stars S02E12: "Cash Kart"
    Chelsea Lately S06E113:
    Cherry Healey: How to Get a Life S01E05: "Work and Play"
    Come Dine With Me S19E29: "Series 19, Episode 23"
    Coming Home (US) S02E12: "Love And Laughter"
    Conan S02E115: "Bryan Cranston, Ringling Bros.
    Coronation Street S53E141: "Wed July 18, 2012"
    Dallas (2012) S01E07: "Collateral Damage"
    Damages S05E02: "Have You Met the Eel Yet?"
    Daybreak S02E222: "July 18, 2012"
    Days of our Lives S47E177: "Ep. #11887"
    Deal Or No Deal (UK) S07E292: "Episode 1972"
    Degrassi S12E03: "Walking On Broken Glass (1)"
    Diamond Divers S01E04: "There Will Be Blood"
    Doctors S14E59: "Now They'll Sleep"
    Emmerdale S41E167: "July 18, 2012"
    Fast 'n' Loud S01E06: "Frankensteined Ford"
    Fast Food Mania S01E08: "Breakfast for Fast Food Champions"
    Fast Food Mania S01E07: "Fast Food Tech"
    Figure It Out S04E26: "TBA"
    Final Witness S01E04: "Vixen’s Elixir"
    Four In A Bed S03E53: "Series 3, Episode 53"
    Futurama S07E06: "The Butterjunk Effect"
    General Hospital (US) S50E76: "#12604"
    Haunted Collector S02E06: "Stirring The Dead/ghost Writer"
    Hollyoaks S18E143: "July 18, 2012"
    Hollywood Exes S01E05: "Season 1, Episode 5"
    Hollywood Heights S01E23: "Chloe's Jealousy"
    Home and Away (AU) S25E128: "Episode 5563"
    House Hunters S50E18
    House Hunters International S34E13
    Iron Man: Armored Adventures S02E25
    Jeopardy! S28E218: "Show #6423"
    Jimmy Kimmel Live S09E281: "Kate Beckinsale, Rubblebucket"
    Late Night with Jimmy Fallon S02E306
    Late Show with David Letterman S19E103
    LEGO NinjaGo: Masters of Spinjitzu S02E14
    Live with Kelly S29E231
    Mama Drama S01E01: "Welcome to Vegas"
    Masterchef Australia S04E64
    Melissa & Joey S02E09: "Eat, Pray, Date"
    Million Dollar Listing S05E06
    Myf Warhurst's Nice S01E06: "Nice and Classy"
    Necessary Roughness S02E06: "What's Eating You?"
    Neighbours S28E138: "Episode 6448"
    Operation Repo S10E08: "TBA"
    Panorama S60E25: "The Truth About Sports Products"
    Picked Off S01E02: "What the Early Bird Catches"
    Restaurant: Impossible S04E02: "The Main Dish"
    Restoration Home S02E01: "Coldbrook Farm"
    Royal Pains S04E06: "About Face"
    RPA S18E06: "Season 18, Episode 6"
    School Spirits S01E04: "Ghostly Girls' School"
    Secret Dealers S03E08: "Series 3, Episode 8"
    So You Think You Can Dance S09E08: "Top 20 Perform, Part 2"
    Superstar S01E07: "Live Show 4"
    The Block (NZ) S01E05: "Season 1, Episode 5"
    The Bold and the Beautiful S26E83: "Ep. #6367"
    The Colbert Report S08E87: "Mayor Annise D. Parker"
    The Culture Show S17E05: "Series 17, Episode 5"
    The Daily Show S17E125: "Sigourney Weaver"
    The Exes S02E05: "Lethal Weapons"
    The Franchise S02E02: "Miami Marlins (2)"
    The Jeremy Kyle Show S07E211: "July 18, 2012"
    The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson S08E111
    The Listener S03E07: "Poisoned Minds"
    The Project S04E170: "Season 4, Episode 170"
    The Real World S27E04: "To Pee or Not to Pee"
    The Soul Man S01E05: "My Old Flame"
    The Soup S09E29: "July 18"
    The Tonight Show with Jay Leno S20E121
    The View S15E205
    The Young and the Restless S40E82: "Ep. #9951"
    Through the Wormhole S03E07: "Can We Eliminate Evil?"
    Tipping Point S01E13: "Episode 13"
    Toddlers and Tiaras S05E15: "Miss Mardi Gras Madness"
    Tricky Business (AU) S01E11: "Episode 11"
    Watch What Happens: Live S07E19: "Ashley Tisdale & Chris Colfer"
    Who The (Bleep) Did I Marry? S03E04: "Gamble on Love"
    Who The (Bleep) Did I Marry? S03E03: "From Lebanon With Love"

Senate Panel to Probe Broadcast, Cable Programming Feud

The Senate Commerce Committee has scheduled a hearing on the cable TV industry for July 24, and the committee’s chairman lashed out about programming carriage impasses that he says are hammering consumers.

“In particular, I want to take a close look at how we make sure that consumers do not continue to get caught in the crossfire in programming disputes, facing dark screens and losing access to news, sports, and other entertainment programming,” committee chair Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va. (pictured left), said in a statement Monday.

The hearing also will more generally look into what impact the Cable Television and Consumer Protection Act has had on the TV marketplace and consumers since it was adopted 20 years ago. Among the provisions in the act is one that established the retransmission consent rules.

Under the current guidelines, broadcasters have a right to try to negotiate payments with cable operators and satellite TV systems for retransmitting popular broadcast programming.

A series of disputes over how much cable operators will have to pay for those rights has led to an escalating series of programming blackouts this year.

In one recent example, a negotiating impasse over retransmission consent led to Hearst Corp. pulling its local broadcast TV network affiliates from Time Warner cable systems.

Another ongoing high-profile programming dispute, this one unrelated to retransmission consent, led Viacom to pull its programming -- including such channels as Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV -- from satellite distributor DirecTV.

Time Warner Cable and other major cable TV companies have been urging Congress to gut retransmission consent rules.

“The retransmission consent system is not working,” a TWC spokesman told.

But the regulations have the support of the broadcast industry, which has thus far been able to deflect previous cable TV industry challenges to the rules.

“The reality is Time Warner Cable and Dish Networks are responsible for more than half of the disruptions in service, because they are aggressively encouraging Congress to change a law that has been working as intended,” National Association of Broadcasters spokesman Dennis Wharton told TheWrap.

“There’s a concerted effort by those two companies to manufacture a crisis that would not otherwise exist if they were to negotiate fairly for the most valuable programming on television.”

TWC spokesman Alex Dudley said in response: “The bottom line is that Hearst is asking our customers through us to pay a 300% increase for the exact same programming that the customers currently have. In today’s economy, a 300% increase is simply way out of line.”

A spokesman for Dish Network said Charlie Ergen, the company's chairman, had addressed the blackout issue in his June 27 testimony before the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee.

“Broadcasters play the pay-TV providers against one another," the spokesman quoted Ergen as saying. "They cut off the most popular sports and entertainment programming if their demands for drastically higher rate increases are not met.

Consumers lose because they cannot see the programming they paid for, they end up paying higher rates, or both."

Harold Feld, senior vice president of Public Knowledge, a consumer watchdog group, told TheWrap that the hearing’s aim was not to pass legislation but to warn the industry that legislation might be forthcoming if the disputing parties don’t work out their differences over programming carriage on their own.

“This is a chance for the members (of the Senate Commerce Committee) to wag their fingers and show their constituents back home that they care,” Feld told TheWrap. “If you don’t deal with this, we’re going to have to pass legislation,” is the rest of the message, according to Feld.

'Killing Lincoln' Casts Its John Wilkes Booth and Mary Todd Lincoln

National Geographic Channel's upcoming movie "Killing Lincoln" has added "Gran Torino" actress Geraldine Hughes, "L.A. Confidential" actor Graham Beckel and Jesse Johnson to its cast. Beckel, Hughes and Johnson join a production that includes "The Killing" actor Billy Campbell, who will play the title role of Abraham Lincoln.

Hughes will play First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln, while Johnson -- the son of "Miami Vice" star Don Johnson -- will play Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth. Beckel will play Edwin Stanton, who served as Lincoln's secretary of war.

"John Wilkes Booth has been dismissed as a scoundrel and a madman," Johnson (pictured) said of the upcoming role. "Yet I was drawn to the part because he is a fascinating character that is fanatical, yet complicated and passionate."

The two-hour "Killing Lincoln," which is being produced by Ridley and Tony Scott's Scott Free Productions, is based on Bill O'Reilly's book "Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever."

The film, which will air on National Geographic Channel in early 2013, begins production in Richmond, Virginia on Monday.

Imogen Thomas to tempt cheating boyfriends in 'Tool Academy'

Imogen Thomas has reportedly signed up for a role on Tool Academy.

The former Big Brother star, who hit the headlines last year for her alleged affair with Ryan Giggs, will be offered up as a date to male contestants on the E4 series.

However, the men will be unaware that their partners are watching their attempts to seduce her, according to The Sun.

Thomas will likely appear on the opening episode of Tool Academy, when contestants are traditionally duped into thinking they are on a different show that encourages their upsetting behaviour, before the truth is revealed.

The couples then undergo a relationship crash course, with the most improved man winning £25,000.

Tool Academy, which is hosted by Rick Edwards, will return for a third series later this year.

Thomas has long been rumoured to be embarking on a genuine televised quest for love in Channel 5's The Bachelorette. She has also reportedly filmed a cameo for Shameless.

Comcast, Scripps Reach Multi-Year Partnership

Comcast and Scripps Networks Interactive announced Monday that they struck a long-term deal to bring more of Scripps' networks and shows to Comcast's Xfinity TV customers.

In the multi-year agreement, Scripps' content will be distributed through Comcast's linear and on-demand platforms online, on mobile and other devices. In return, Comcast gets access to the networks' award-winning programming.

Scripps' lifestyle networks like HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country, with highly rated shows such as "House Hunters," "Chopped" and "Hotel Impossible," will come to Comcast's TV Everywhere program, which distributes content across multiple platforms.

Also read: PayPal Teams With TiVo, Comcast for Interactive Click-And-Buy Ad Service

“This agreement with Scripps Networks underscores our commitment to TV Everywhere and our desire to use the latest technologies and rapid pace of innovation to deliver the best content to Xfinity TV customers wherever and whenever they want to watch it,” Gregory Rigdon, executive vice president of content acquisition at Comcast, said in a statement.

Amid a major consumer move toward on-demand or time-shifted viewing, the deal provides for increased distribution of Scripps' content through Comcast's video-on-demand services.

And the new contract also allows Scripps to collect advertising revenue through Comcast's new ad platforms.

'Breaking Bad' Ratings Hit Series High With Season Premiere

"Breaking Bad" returned for a fifth season on Sunday and hit a series record for the show, drawing 2.9 million total viewers.

In addition to making Sunday's premiere the most-watched episode in the AMC show's history, that also represents a 14 percent jump in total viewers over the show's Season 4 premiere.

In the 18-49 demographic most important to advertisers, the growth was even more dramatic, with the "Breaking Bad" premiere drawing 1.9 million viewers, a 34 percent jump over last season's premiere.

Overall, between the 10 p.m. premiere and an 11:30 re-airing, the "Breaking Bad" premiere drew 3.5 million viewers.

Sunday's premiere also enjoyed a considerable boost over last October's Season 4 finale, which drew 1.9 million total viewers.

BBC pulls England riots programme after court order

The BBC opted to pull a drama-documentary about the England riots in 2011 after receiving a court order, it has emerged.

The Riots: In Their Own Words was due to air on BBC Two at 9pm last night (July 16), featuring actors reconstructing the disruption and unrest that hit London and other English cities last August.

To produce the two-part series, programme makers gathered interviews with more than 270 people involved in the riots and expert testimony from The Guardian and London School of Economics to re-enact the events.

Alongside the dramatic reconstructions, the series was also expected to show some never-seen-before footage of the riots.

In a statement last night, the BBC declined to comment on the nature of the court order against the programme, or which judge had issued the ruling.

"A court order has been made that has prevented the BBC from broadcasting the programme The Riots: In Their Own Words tonight. We will put it out at a later date," the BBC said.

Instead of the drama-documentary, BBC Two showed a repeat of Operation Crossbow, a documentary on the use of 3D photographs in World War II to reveal the Nazis' advanced military technology.

For the first episode of The Riots: In Their Own Words, playwright Alecky Blythe reinterpreted confidential interviews conducted as part of the Reading the Riots study to produce a script for the actors.

The second instalment features interviews with police officers who were on the streets during the disorder. It is unclear whether this programme is also covered by the court order.

Development Update: the 18th of July

LEFT TO DIE (Lifetime, New!) - Barbara Hershey and Rachel Leigh Cook are set to star in a new original movie at the cable channel based on the true story of Sandra Chase (Hershey), "a woman who takes an innocent vacation in Ecuador but ends up being wrongly imprisoned for drug trafficking." Cook then will play Tammi, Sandra's daughter who fights for her mother's release. Leon Ichaso is directing from a script by Agatha Dominik and Suzette Couture with Sony Pictures Television, Blue Blazer Productions and Sandbar Pictures co-producing. Frank von Zerneck, Danielle von Zerneck, Elizabeth Zox Friedman, Greg Little and Tammi Chase are the executive producers. Production begins this month for a premiere date next year. (

UNTITLED ROGES AILES PROJECT (HBO, New!) - Gabriel Sherman's planned book, tentatively titled "The Loudest Voice in the Room: An Inside Account of the Rise of Fox News," has been optioned for a potential telefilm about Fox News Channel president Roger Ailes at the pay channel. Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were set to executive produce the project, which ultimately has been tabled by HBO Films President Len Amato. "It had become clear to us before even receiving a script that due to our company's CNN affiliation the film could never be seen as objective," the executive said in the report. (

UNTITLED PETER PAIGE/BRAD BREDEWEG PROJECT (ABC Family, New!) - Peter Paige and Brad Bredeweg have booked a potential drama at the cable channel about a lesbian couple - one's a cop, the other a private school teacher - "who suddenly have their already child heavy household turned upside down when a wayward teenage girl moves in." Said clan includes a biological son and adopted teen twins, one a boy, the other a girl. Jennifer Lopez and Simon Fields of Nuyorican Productions are also on board to executive produce alongside the duo, as is Greg Gugliotta. (

CASSANDRA FRENCH'S FINISHING SCHOOL FOR BOYS (MTV) - Rose McIver ("The Lovely Bones") has been cast in the title role of the drama pilot, about a 22-year-old overachiever who decides to lock a guy up in her basement in order to train him to become the perfect gentleman. Steve Talley also stars as said fellow, Owen, with Abby Pivaronas and Lyndon Smith as her best friends, Lexi and Claire. Michael Lehmann is directing the hour from a script by Eric Garcia based on his novel. Krysten Ritter also serves as an executive producer. (

GRASS VALLEY (AMC, New!) - Taylor Sheridan has booked a potential drama at the cable channel about "two brothers whose lives and livelihoods are inextricably tied to the marijuana boomtown of Ukiah, California." Sony Pictures Television-based One-Two Punch Productions is behind the hour, with the company's Deborah Spera and Maria Grasso presumably executive producing alongside Sheridan. (

THE TASTE (UNTITLED BOURDAIN & LAWSON PROJECT) (ABC) - The Alphabet has given an eight-episode order to the project, in which four culinary experts - including Nigella Lawson and Anthony Bourdain - "each coach a team of cooks who compete individually and together, facing elimination at the end of each show." Kinetic Content is producing. (

EX MEN (A.K.A EX LIFE) (CBS) - Rob Greenberg's single-camera comedy, about "a young guy who finds camaraderie living among the more experienced guys he meets in a short-term rental complex," has been ordered to pilot by the network. The CBS Television Studios-based half-hour originally received said commitment back in February of 2007 and was rolled to the following season before being shelved. The Tannenbaum Co.'s Eric and Kim Tanenbaum will executive produce alongside Greenberg, who's also attached to direct. (

THOSE WHO KILL (A&E) - Glen Morgan's drama, about a police detective and a forensic profiler who possess a deep understanding of the serial killers they hunt, has likewise landed a pilot commitment from the network. Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, Jonas Allen and Peter Bose are executive producing the project, a Danish format based on the bestselling work of author Elsebeth Egholm, alongside Morgan for Fox 21 and Imagine Television. (

TWO KISSES FOR MADDY (Lifetime, New!) - Matt Logelin's memoir - about his courtship and marriage to wife Liz, who died shortly after giving birth to their daughter Madeline - is being developed as an original movie at the cable channel. Marta Kauffman is executive producing the project alongside The Lucky One's Denise Di Novi and Alison Greenspan. No writer is currently attached. (

THE JONESES (Bravo) - Liz Tigelaar's drama, a small screen take on the 2009 film about a seemingly perfect family that are actually guns-for-hire cast to play family members and do stealth product marketing among their neighbors, has found a new home at Bravo. ABC Studios and Echo Lake Productions are behind the project, which was originally set up at ABC last year. Gary Fleder and Mary Beth Basile of Mojo Films are executive producing alongside Tigelaar. (

MALICE (FX, New!) - Brannon Braga ("Terra Nova") and Adam Simon ("The Haunting in Connecticut") have booked a potential drama at the cable channel billed as "a psychosexual paranormal thriller that redefines the events of the Salem Witch trials." Prospect Park's Jeff Kwatinetz and Josh Barry will executive produce alongside Braga and Simon for Fox 21. (

SLEEP NO MORE (Showtime, New!) - "Hung" co-creators Dmitry Lipkin and Colette Burson are developing a supernatural thriller at the pay channel which "tells the tale of a town where the dead keep returning to life." Fox 21 is behind the project, where said duo recently inked a two-year overall deal. (

Ratings: 'Big Brother' Top-Rated, but ABC and Fox Share Key Demo Win

The Sunday night premiere of CBS's "Big Brother" took the night's top ratings slot, while ABC and Fox tied for first in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary numbers.

ABC and Fox both averaged a 1.4 rating/4 share in the demo, with ABC taking second place in total viewers, averaging 4.8 million throughout the night. Following a repeat of "America's Got Talent," "Secret Millionaire at 8 posted a 1.5/5 and 5.6 million total viewers. "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition" from 9 to 11 drew a 1.4/4 and 4.1 million total viewers.

Fox, which came in fourth in total viewers with an average 3.1 million, ran repeats throughout the night.

CBS took third place in ratings and first in total viewers with an average 1.1/3 and 5.4 million. "60 Minutes" at 7 posted a 1.0/4 and 7.2 million total viewers, while "Big Brother" the following hour drew a 2.2/7, the night's best performance in the demo, and 6.2 million total viewers. Repeats of "The Good Wife" and "The Mentalist" followed.

NBC came in fourth in ratings and third in total viewers with a 0.9/3 and 4.6 million. "Dateline: NBC" from 7 to 9 drew a 0.8/3 and 5.2 million total viewers, and was followed by a repeat of "America's Got Talent."