Programming Insider TV/CABLE

Programming Insider

Friday, January 27, 2017
Schlemiel! Schlimazel! “Laverne & Shirley” debuted on ABC in 1976 and rose to the top of the charts from 1977-79 ahead of parent series “Happy Days.” It aired for seven and-one-half seasons, producing 178 episodes (and an animated series called “Laverne & Shirley in the Army” in 1981)…Stephen King’s three-part, six-hour miniseries “Rose Red” opened on ABC in 2002…Celebrity birthdays:  Actress Mimi Rogers (“Desperate Hours”) is 61; Former “The Good Wife” star Alan Cumming is 52; Former “The King of Queens” star Patton Oswalt is 48.

Did You Know?
Cindy Williams abruptly exited “Laverne & Shirley” two episodes into the final season after she became pregnant with her first child and was not happy with the working conditions. The final episode of the sitcom, meanwhile, was a backdoor pilot for a spin-off series for Eddie Mekka as Carmine, which showed him moving to New York City to star in the Broadway show “Hair.”

RATINGS BOX                                                                            

Thursday 1/26/17

Household Rating/Share
ABC: 5.3 rating/9 share, CBS: 4.5/ 8, Fox: 2.1/ 3, NBC: 1.9/ 3, CW: 1.1/ 2

-Perfect Change from the Year-Ago Evening:
ABC: +165, – 4, CW: -27, NBC: -56, Fox: -65

-Ratings Breakdown:
ABC was the network to beat in the household overnights on this final Thursday in January care of the return of its TGIT-themed line-up: “Grey’s Anatomy” (#1 for the evening: 6.6 rating/11 share at 8 p.m.), “Scandal” (season premiere: #1: 5.5/ 9 at9 p.m.) and “How to Get Away with Murder” (#1: 3.9/ 7 at 10 p.m.).  While not as strong as previous seasons, “Scandal” is still a vast improvement from recent failed time period occupant “Notorious” and a welcome return on ABC.

In series-premiere news, drama “Riverdale,” based on the iconic “Archie” comic book characters, was left at the starting gate on The CW with a mere 1.0/ 2 in the household overnights at 9 p.m.  Comparably, that could not even top modest year-ago time period occupant “The 100” (1.1/ 2 on 1/28/16), and it dropped by 17 percent from the time period debut of lead-in “Supernatural” (1.2/ 2 at 8 p.m.).  Particularly alarming for “Riverdale” was a loss of 18 percent in the second half-hour (1.1/ 2 to 0.9/ 1).

For more, plus the breakdown by half-hour click here

Live Plus Same Day Data
-Tuesday 1/24/17: Click here

-Wednesday 1/25/17: Click here

Source: Nielsen Media Research

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Mike Connors, TV’s “Mannix,” Dies at 91
Mike Connors, who is remembered for his portrayal as Joe Mannix on CBS detective drama “Mannix,” has died.  The actor passed away surrounded by family Thursdayafternoon at a Los Angeles hospital from complications of leukemia that had been diagnosed a week earlier, said his son-in-law, Mike Condon. He was 91.

Born Krekor Ohanian on August 15, 1925, his film career started in a title called “Sudden Fear” with Joan Crawford in 1952. Billed as Touch Connors, early film roles included “The 49th Man,” “Sky Commando” and “Island in the Sky” with John Wayne.  In 1956, still known as Touch Connors, he appeared in Cecil B. Demille’s “The Ten Commandments.” On television, early guest appearances included “The Millionaire,” “The Loretta Young Show,” “Gunsmoke,” “The People’s Choice” and “Hey, Jeannie!”

Connors’ first regularly scheduled series role was CBS police drama “Tightrope,” which aired in the 1959-60 season.  “Mannix,” which began in 1967, ran for eight seasons, resulting in a Golden Globe Award for Connors in 1970 and an appearance as the character on Lucille Ball sitcom “Here’s Lucy” in 1971.  In the 1981-82 season, Connors headlined “Today’s F.B.I.” on ABC.

His movie and TV career stretched from the 1950s to 2007, when he had a guest spot on “Two and a Half Men.”  He also guest-starred on series including “The Love Boat,” “Murder, She Wrote” and Walker Texas Ranger.”

Decades Remembers Mary Tyler Moore
Classic TV themed network Decades will pay tribute to the legendary Mary Tyler Moore in an 84-episode marathon of her classic 1970-77 CBS sitcom, “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”  It begins on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 1 p.m. ET and airs throughMonday, Feb. 5 at 7 a.m. ET.  Moore passed away on Wednesday at the age of 80.

Decades will also feature Mary Tyler Moore on “The Dick Cavett Show,” where she appeared in 1986.  It will be telecast on Friday, Feb. 3 at 8 a.m. ET (into another episode of the Cavett talker, featuring Valerie Harper). Immediately following is her 1986 starring role in theatrical “Just Between friends,” co-starring Ted Danson and Christine Lahti. Next is her early appearance on TV series “77 Sunset Strip” at 12 p.m. ET that day.

Celebrated for her work as a ground-breaking actress who paved the way for women on television, Moore’s career spanned from the 1950s beginning with television guest parts, to leading Emmy and Golden Globe Award winning TV roles in the 1960s and 1970s, and then to film roles (including one Academy Award nomination for “Ordinary People”) and on to Broadway and a Tony Award winning performance in “Whose Life is it Anyway?”


INSP Orders Season Two of “State Plate”
Family themed INSP has renewed “State Plate” for a second season, with production set to begin this spring.  Hosted by “American Idol” winner Taylor Hicks, “State Plate” celebrates and explores the food traditions of 13 different states across the country.  “Produced by RIVR Media, the series originally premiered on INSP in October 2016.


TBS to Air “CONAN Without Borders: Made in Mexico” Special
Conan O’Brien will travel to Mexico City for a new primetime special on TBS called “CONAN Without Borders: Made in Mexico.”  The logline: With all of the negative news about the current state of the U.S.-Mexico relationship, O’Brien has decided to strike a positive note by heading to Mexico City, where he’ll outsource his show by shooting his latest “CONAN Without Borders” special with the help of an all-Mexican staff, crew, guests and studio audience.  It airs Wednesday, March 1 at 10 p.m. ET.

NBC Orders Comedy Pilot From Mindy Kaling
NBC has picked-up an untitled single-camera sitcom pilot from “The Mindy Project” star and creator Mindy Kaling and Charlie Grandy focusing on Vince, “a charismatic gym owner with no ambition who lives with his younger brother Michael, a gorgeous idiot,” per the official synopsis. But the dude-bros’ are thrown for a massive loop when Vince’s teenage son arrives on his doorstep, courtesy of Vince’s high school fling Priya.

Kaling will recur as Priya if the comedy is ordered to series, and will produce alongside Grandy, Howard Klein and Universal Television/3 Arts Entertainment.

ABC Picks Up Comedy Pilot “The Trustee”
ABC has greenlit an hour-long comedy pilot from writers Jay Scherick and David Ronn, and executive producers Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman.  Described as a fun, female buddy cop comedy, the pilot follows a stubborn detective who finds unlikely help from her precinct’s trustee, a larger-than-life ex-con finishing out her prison sentence doing menial tasks for the police department. Though the duo has completely opposing views on crime and punishment, a highly entertaining and successful partnership is born.

Scherick and Ronn co-wrote the pilot and will serve as executive producers with Banks and Handelman, who are producing through their Brownstone Productions banner. Warner Bros. Television is the studio.


“City in the Sky,” which gives viewers an inside look to the intricate web of processes that unfold behind the scenes and the incredible feat of engineering that is flying, will debut on PBS on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 10 p.m. ET.  The logline: How do you capture a ‘global network’ that reaches into the farthest corners of the planet, employs hundreds of thousands of people, and never stands still? “City in the Sky” is a three-part series that offers an extensive look at the American and global aviation industry in fascinating, never-before-seen detail, from the vast highways in the sky to the professionals on the ground working efficiently within the most complex ecosystem.
Nickelodeon will launch new animated series “Bunsen is a Beast” on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 5:30 p.m. ET.  Created and executive produced by Butch Hartman (“The Fairly OddParents”), the 20-episode series follows the adventures of Bunsen, the first beast to attend a human grade school, and his best friend Mikey.

Docuseries “Mama June: From Not to Hot,” will debut on WE tv on Friday, Feb. 24 at 10 p.m. ET.  The logline: The one-hour/seven episode, docu-dramedy will follow Mama June Shannon (formerly from “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”) as she embarks on a quest of self-discovery that will redefine who she is as a woman, mother, lover and celebrity. Throughout the transformative journey Mama June will find much needed support—and a little tough love– from daughters, Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Shannon and Lauryn “Pumpkin” Shannon, as well as other close family and friends.

Univision drama “El Chapo,” based on the life story of one of the world’s most notorious criminals, will premiere on Univision Network in April 2017. The series marks the first co-production between Univision Story House and Netflix.  The announcement comes just days following the extradition of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman to the U.S. where the renowned Mexican drug kingpin faces a sweeping 17-count indictment in connection with his leadership of the Sinaloa Cartel, a Mexican crime syndicate.

The third annual “Red Nose Day,” when people across the country come together, wear their Red Noses and raise money and awareness to help children living in poverty, will air on NBC on Thursday, May 25.  Created by writer-director Richard Curtis, “Red Nose Day” has raised more than $1 billion globally since 1988 and more than $60 million in its first two years since launching in the U.S. in 2015 (including more than $36 million in 2016).


ABC’s “20/20” remembers Mary Tyler Moore. Amazon debuts period drama “Z: The Beginning of Everything.”  Viceland premieres drama “Rise.”   For the schedule listings for Friday, Jan. 27, click here


1. What grade would you give the debut of “Riverdale” on The CW? Click here
2. Who is your favorite character in the “Archie” comic book franchise?  Click here
2. What is your favorite daytime talk show? Click here
3. . Are you planning to watch the upcoming revival of “Twin Peaks” on Showtime? Click here

The daily trivia question is below “You Might Like.”
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Remembering Mike Connors

Which one of the following dramas in 1993 featured an episode with Mike Connors as a guest star that was a sequel to a season seven episode of “Mannix” titled “Little Girl Lost”?

a) “Diagnosis Murder”
b) “Law & Order”
c) “Matlock”
d) “N.Y.P.D. Blue”
e) “Picket Fences”

The answer to yesterday’s question…

Which one of the following five statements about “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” is not true?

a) Jack Cassidy was originally offered the role of Ted Baxter.
b) Betty White as Sue Ann Nivens was originally just a one-episode guest spot.
c) Gavin MacLeod first auditioned for the role of Lou Grant.
d) Georgia Engel was the only series regular not to win an Emmy award on the show.
e) Anne Meara auditioned for the role of Rhoda Morgenstern.
e) They are all true.

is: d) Georgia Engel was the only series regular not to win an Emmy award on the show.  Gavin MacLeod also went home trophy-less, but he did find immediate success as Captain Merrill Stubbing on ABC’s “The Love Boat” after “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” ended.

Trivia All-Stars
Steve Bitterman (2x), Gerry Bixenspan, Tom Condosta, Caryn Gray, Jeff Greenberg, Bob Ingersoll, Synda Kollman, Alex Petrilli, Gordon Purcell, Wayne Schulman, Ken Stowe, Joe Swaney, Mike Tankel

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