Tuned In Journal

PRESS TOUR JOURNAL: CBS's new 'View'

Wednesday, 28 July 2010 02:31 PM Written by

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- This fall CBS will replace "As the World Turns" with "The Talk," a daytime talk show described as a mommy version of "The View." The show will feature round table discussion with  hosts Julie Chen ("Big Brother"), Leah Remini ("King of Queens"), Sara Gilbert ("Roseanne," "Big Bang Theory"), Sharon Osbourne ("The Osbournes"), Holly Robinson Peete ("21 Jump Street") and Marissa Jaret Winokur ("Hairspray").

Gilbert pitched the show and serves as executive producer of "The Talk." Read more after the jump. ...

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PRESS TOUR JOURNAL: 'Big Bang' prepares for big move

Wednesday, 28 July 2010 12:13 PM Written by

Big_BangBEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- CBS sitcom hit "The Big Bang Theory" moves to Thursdays this fall for its fourth season, taking on NBC's low-rated comedy "Community."

Why the change? Read more after the jump. ...

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PRESS TOUR JOURNAL: Changes at the top for ABC

Tuesday, 27 July 2010 11:53 PM Written by

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- During a day of set visits for future stories, news broke in the midst of a "Parenthood" panel that ABC Entertainment chief Stephen McPherson was resigning. Blackberries started buzzing and NBC Entertainment's Angela Bromstad, who introduced the "Parenthood" panel, could be seen on the sidelines reading something on her handheld device.

For NBC, the news was no doubt a sweet relief, especially after all the turmoil during January when the whole Conan O'Brien-"Tonight Show" implosion overtook the network's attempts to promote its midseason shows.

The timing is curious for ABC though. According to early trade reports, McPherson was asked to resign after lackluster ratings and personal battles with other Disney executives and a reputation for not playing well with others. But it's surpring that Disney executives would choose this moment to make the move. For one thing, it will overshadow ABC's press tour day on Sunday. For another, it sends a negative message to everyone working on ABC's fall shows: The guy who put your series on the schedule got bounced so his replacement will feel no allegiance to keeping your show on the air. (Another report suggested McPherson got wind that he was about to be bounced and chose to walk.)

The timing is also peculiar because for the first time in about a decade all of ABC's new comedies are actually pretty good. McPherson did seem somewhat tone deaf to how lousy ABC comedies were in recent years until the success of "Modern Family" last fall but this new batch suggests ABC's comedy development may be on the right path. (Similarly, McPherson replaced Lloyd Braun in 2004 just before the debut of soon-to-be-hits "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" that Braun scheduled after years of disappointing development.)

The trades report McPherson will be replaced by fast-rising executive Paul Lee, currently overseeing ABC Family and a former top executive at BBC America. At Sunday's ABC executive conference he'll be able to dodge questions about new fall shows since he did not put them on the schedule.

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PRESS TOUR JOURNAL: And so it begins

Tuesday, 27 July 2010 12:00 AM Written by

The Television Critics Association 2010 summer press tour begins today with set visits (“Desperate Housewives,” “Parenthood,” “Undercovers,” etc.) so I’ll be without wifi for the day, but coverage begins in full tomorrow.

I’ve watched all the fall pilots and my overall feeling is it’s not as ambitious a year as last fall. There’s no “Modern Family” or “Glee” that jumps out at me. There are a few comedies I liked and I’m eager to see more of (namely ABC’s “Better With You” and for midseason “Happy Endings” and “Mr. Sunshine”) and there were a couple of dramas I liked a lot (Fox’s “Lone Star,” NBC’s “The Event”) and one well-made procedural (ABC’s “The Whole Truth”).

 But there’s also a lot of junk, and at the top of that list there’s “Outlaw,” a ridiculous drama about the most conservative member of the Supreme Court (Jimmy Smits) who quits to defend a death row inmate. On what planet is this series set? CBS’s “Hawaii Five-0” is pretty generic and solidifies my impression that Alex O’Loughlin will not be the next Simon Baker. And ABC’s “No Ordinary Family” – “The Incredibles” done as live-action – was a complete bore.

On cable, HBO may have another winner in “Boardwalk Empire” about the mob in Atlantic City during prohibition in the 1920s. Many “Sopranos” comparisons will be made but this series doesn’t have the psychological component of ‘The Sopranos,” so it could just as easily be compared to fellow mob period piece “Goodfellas.” I’ve watched two “Boardwalk” episodes so far – it looks fantastic and star Steve Buscemi is great – and I’m eager to see more.

 Check back tomorrow and continuing through Aug. 7 for for updated press tour posts throughout each day of the tour. And if you have questions for TV producers or actors, send them now to TV Q&A and I'll do my best to get answers.

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The spinning door at the WTAE weather center has rotated again. And yet again, weeknight meteorologist Stephen Cropper is getting bumped to weekend evenings. This is the second time that's happened.

You'll recall a few years back, Cropper was working weeknights and then got moved to weekends in favor of Don Schwenneker. After some time, Cropper returned to weeknights and has been there in some capacity for several years, at one point sharing weather duties with Demetrius Ivory.

Now Cropper is being bounced back to weekends and the station has reportedly hired a new weeknight meteorologist, Mike Harvey out of Norfolk. WTAE news director Alex Bongiorno has not responded to requests for comment and confirmation but Cropper issued a statement.

"I've been blessed to be a part of a great team for 15 years and I look forward to helping our team continue it's position as the most trusted weather leader in the region," Cropper wrote. "This area has some of the most challenging weather in the nation to forecast and I am grateful that viewers have welcomed me into their homes. I believe God opens and closes doors for a reason and I trust He will continue to guide and protect me and my family."

UPDATE 7-28-10: I received an e-mail late Tuesday from Bongiorno in response to my request for comment from last week. She confirmed the new hire but declined to say what his schedule will be. I suppose it's possible that Erin Kienzle or Demetius Ivory could end up working weeknights with the new guy taking a different spot, although that doesn't really square with the "chief meteorologist:" title she gives him: "Mike Harvey is our new Chief Meteorologist. He comes to us from WTKR-TV in Norfolk VA where he was Chief. Mike has an impressive background including a stint as Chief in Phoenix at KPHO-TV. Mike is a great addition to our current team – he will join us in September. With Erin soon to be out for an extended period on maternity leave – details on schedules are still being worked out."

Over at KDKA-TV, reporter Alison Morris will leave the station in early September to take a job closer to home (Long Island) at the Fox station in Hartford, Conn., where former KDKA news director Coleen Marren is now news director. It's a small TV world.

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Coverage from the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills begins this week so in advance of that, after the jump we'll have an early look at a few upcoming prime-time premieres. ...

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TV Q&A with Rob Owen
Submit your question to Rob Owen

This week’s TV Q&A (after the "Read more" jump below) responds to questions about “Pillars of the Earth,” “The Tonight Show” and a missing newsreader. As always, thanks for reading, and keep the questions coming.

— Rob Owen, Post-Gazette TV writer

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'Being Human' returns, 'Pillars' premieres

Thursday, 22 July 2010 12:00 AM Written by

being_human_ep_1jFans of supernatural and fantasy epics have two strong choices this weekend: "Being Human" returns on BBC America at 10 p.m. Saturday and Starz debuts the miniseries "Pillars of the Earth" at 10 p.m. Friday.

Read more after the jump. ...

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