ON THIS DAY Paul McCartney & Wings released single “Band on the Run” in 1974…Alex Haley received a Pulitzer Prize for his book “Roots” in 1977…The final episode of controversial ABC sitcom “Soap” aired in 1981 after four seasons. Spin-off“Benson” had a longer shelf life at seven seasons (from 1979-86)…HBO debuted the telefilm “In the Gloaming” in 1997. The film, based on a short story by author Alice Elliott Dark, starred Robert Sean Leonard as a gay man dying of AIDS who returns to his parents’ home for the final months of his life…Celebrity Birthdays: “Star Trek’s” George Takei is 80; actor Ryan O’Neal is 76; “Feud: Bette and Joan” star Jessica Lange is 68.
-Did You Know?:
Radio disc Jockey Casey Kasem was the narrator of “Soap” in the pilot episode, but decided to exit due to the adult themes of the sitcom. Rod Roddytook his place and rerecorded the narration of the pilot. He continued with the show for all four seasons. “Soap” initially was only planned for five seasons. Had it been renewed past season four, there would have only been one additional season.
Sad but True: The season finale of the exceptional “Feud: Bette and Joan”airs on FX this Sunday at 10 p.m. ET.
RATINGS BOX Note: The metered market (overnight) household ratings for Wednesday, April 19 were not available at press time. But please visit our website for the fast affiliate ratings at approximately 11:30 a.m. ET.
Live Plus Same Day Ratings
Monday 4/17/17: Click here
Tuesday 4/18/17: Click here
Source: Nielsen Media Research
NEW PROGRAMMING ANNOUNCEMENTS
Crackle Orders Dramas “The Oath” and “RPM”
Streaming service Crackle has greenlit 10 episodes of a new one-hour scripted drama tentatively called “The Oath,” which will explore gangs made up of those sworn to protect and defend. Written and created by former Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy Joe Halpin (“Hawaii Five-O,” “Ice,” “The Lottery”) and executive produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and his G-Unit Film & Television Inc., the logline is as follows:
These secret societies are nearly impossible to get into – but once inside, members will do what they must to protect each other from enemies on the outside and from within their own ranks. The drama examines this all-too-real world through a gang that started out with the right intentions. But in order to stay both out of jail and alive, they will all need to re-examine the principles that guide them and speculate as to whether they can trust the badged criminals that operate amongst them. The series pulls the curtain back on the inner workings of this band of brothers forced to turn on each other after being picked off by the FBI.
In addition to “The Oath,” Crackle closed a deal with the rapper/actor/producer to develop an hour-long original, “RPM,” (also a working title) written by Leo Sardarian. Described as a high-octane drama set in the working class streets of Boston’s most corrupt neighborhoods, “RPM” follows a used car salesman who starts moonlighting as a getaway driver for a Boston crime syndicate after financial ruin threatens his family. Executive produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson and his G-Unit Film & Television Inc., “RPM” is produced by Adam Riback, Nick Phillips and Kelly Wagner.
SERIES RENEWALS AND CANCELLATIONSCrackle Renews “Snatch” for Season Two
Crackle has re-upped scripted drama “Snatch” for a second season in 2018, which centers on a group of twenty-something, up-and-coming hustlers who stumble upon a truck load of stolen gold bullion and are suddenly thrust into the high-stakes world of organized crime. The boys must quickly learn to navigate the treacherous waters of London’s underworld as rogue cops, gypsy fighters, international mobsters and local villains descend.
Debuting on March 16 and inspired by the cult favorite film of the same name, “Snatch” stars Rupert Grint as the utterly posh, Charlie Cavendish-Scott. Best known as Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter film franchise, Grint also serves as an executive producer. In addition, the series stars an ensemble cast featuring Luke Pasqualino (“Skins”, “The Borgias”), Lucien Laviscount (“Scream Queens”), Dougray Scott (“Fear the Walking Dead”), Phoebe Dynevor (“The Village”) and Juliet Aubrey (The Infiltrator”). The series is executive produced by Alex De Rakoff, who also serves as writer and showrunner.
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NOTES OF INTEREST Freeform Prepares for Life Without “Pretty Little Liars”
FromPromaxBDA:As it prepares to say good-bye to “Pretty Little Liars,” Freeform has picked up five new primetime series, including its first Marvel-themed comedy.
“With compelling programming and innovative viewing experiences that combine linear with on-demand, Freeform is redefining what it means to be a television network for today’s consumer,” said Freeform President Tom Ascheim.
The breakdown is three new dramas — “Siren,” “Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger”and “The Bold Type”; new single-camera comedy “Alone Together;” and “Marvel’s New Warriors,” a new comedic live-action adaptation of the Marvel comic featuring young adult heroes. For more, click here
More Scripted Programming on Tap at Nat Geo
From PromaxBDA: Described as a “Further Front” (as opposed to an upfront) to capitalize on its recently revised global tagline, Further, National Geographic presented its original programming initiatives to advertisers and the media community Wednesday night in New York City.
Touting change and innovation, and emphasizing its first fully scripted series, “Genius,” the goal at Nat Geo remains offering a diversity of subject matter that entertains, inspires and educates.
“Nat Geo connects people with creator-driven content: series that impact us and the stories, discoveries and innovations that are worth exploring,” opened James Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox. “Our quest is to always go deeper; to seek and to take risks and to push any and all boundaries.”
Once the sole home to non-scripted programs targeted to nature, science, culture and history, Nat Geo announced three new scripted dramas in development: “The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution,” recounting the development of a drug that forever changed medical and social history; “The Hot Zone,” which tells the true story of the origins of the Ebola virus; and an untitled project that begins in the 1960s and examines how National Geographic became a network. For more, click here
Bill O’Reilly Out at Fox News
It is official: Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to Fox News following his so-called “vacation.” “After a thorough and careful review of the allegations, the Company and Bill O’Reilly have agreed that Bill O’Reilly will not be returning to the Fox News Channel,” 21st Century Fox said in a statement.
O’Reilly, the cable news net’s top attraction, came under fire after reports broke that Fox News and O’Reilly paid around $13 million to settle sexual harassment and verbal abuse accusations made by five women since 2002. Since the initial reports, Fox News has been plagued by advertisers yanking money from spots airing during O’Reilly’s show, “The O’Reilly Factor.”
O’Reilly will be replaced by Tucker Carlson, who hosts the 9 p.m. Eastern hour that follows O’Reilly’s show, stepping in for Megyn Kelly after she departed in January. There is no news at present will will now replace Tucker Carlson at 9 p.m. Fox executives at present are reportedly debating whether O’Reilly should be allowed to give a good-bye address to his audience.
Netflix Releases “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” Season Three Trailer
Netflix has released the official season three trailer of comedy “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” will will be made available for streaming beginning on Friday, May 19.
The logline: In the season three premiere, Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) finds herself in an unfamiliar position with the Reverend back in her life. Titus (Titus Burgess) returns from his cruise and auditions for an exciting new role. And Lillian (Carol Kane) has to break up with her boyfriend Robert Durst. Guest stars in upcoming new season will include Laura Dern, Daveed Diggs, Rachel Dratch, Ray Liotta, Andrea Martin and Maya Rudolph, with returning guest stars Fred Armisen, Anna Camp, Mike Carlsen, Josh Charles, David Cross, Tina Fey, Jon Hamm and Amy Sedaris. For a look, click here The 8 New Summer Shows Most Likely to Become Hits
For a look at the most promising entries among the broadcasters this summer, scripted and non-scripted, click here
The Value of Social Media in Upfront Season:
For all media outlets, the collective goal in the upfront (and NewFront) is to convince media buyers to commit to advertising deals for TV shows months away, or even the following year. And, for any outlet in search of an audience in an environment where a record number of scripted series (over 500) are expected to be competing, building a social audience prior to premiering, and after the debut, is often the key ingredient in finding those elusive eyeballs.For more, click here
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
HBO’s “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers”will open five episode season on Tuesday, Aug. 8 at 10 p.m. ET. The series will chronicle head coach Dirk Koetter and a mixture of young emerging stars, Pro Bowl veterans, free agents and rookie hopefuls throughout training camp and the preseason.
Crackle scripted drama “StartUp,” which explores what happens when a brilliant, yet controversial tech idea gets incubated on the wrong side of the tracks by three strangers who don’t necessarily fit the mold of tech entrepreneurs,” will open season two on Friday, Sept. 28. Ten new episodes have been ordered and Ron Perlman (“Sons of Anarchy”) joins the cast,
ON THE AIR TONIGHT
NBC’s “The Blacklist” returns with back to back episodes. CBS airs two episodes of “The Amazing Race.” CNN debuts “Soundracks.” Three season finales: “Supermansion” on Crackle, “Hustle & Soul” on WE and“Nightwatch” on A&E. For the schedule listings for Thursday, April 20, clickhere
PI POLLS 1. What are you watching this evening? Click here
Not From MTM
Remember production company MTV Enterprises? Which one of the following five options was not one of its series?
a) “Cagney & Lacey”
b) “Hill Street Blues”
c) “St. Elsewhere”
d) “Three For the Road”
e) “WKRP in Cincinnati”
f) They all were
The answer to yesterday’s question…
Jon Hamm, of course, is remembered for his Emmy winning performance as Don Draper on AMC drama “Mad Men.” But which one of the following five actors was considered for the role before Hamm?
a) Robert Downey, Jr.
b) Thomas Jane
c) Edward Norton
d) Mark Ruffalo
e) Mark Wahlberg
Is: b) Thomas Jane, who at the time apparently did not want to do television but ultimately ended up on 2009-11 HBO dramedy “Hung.”
Latasha Allen, Mark Amato, Gerry Bixenspan, Sharon Case, Larry Collins, Jim Forkan, Maureen Goldman, Jody McIntyre, Michel Murphy, Alan Perris, Joseph Picarello, Gordon Purcell, Colleen Roth, Michelle Stanton