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The Walking Dead shatters ratings record on return

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Last night, AMC’s mid-season three premiere of “The Walking Dead” returned with its largest audience ever in series history delivering 12.3 million viewers at the 9pm premiere.  The previous record was 10.9 million viewers from the season three premiere on October 14, 2012. The episode is also the strongest telecast for a series in basic cable history for adults 18-49 with 7.7 million. These results shatter the hit series’ previous record with an increase of +6% (A18-49) over the October 14, 2012 season three premiere. “The Walking Dead” season three series average for adults 18-49 delivers 6.8 million outperforming other television series season averages including “Modern Family,” ‘The Big Bang Theory,” “Two and A Half Men,” and “NCIS.”  In addition to the 9 PM premiere, the show encored at 11 PM, midnight and 2am, delivering 16.6 million viewers for the night. Following the 9 PM premiere of “The Walking Dead,” AMC premiered a new episode of “Talking Dead” at 10 PM. 4.1 million viewers tuned in to the live show.  Hosted by Chris Hardwick, “Talking Dead” is a companion series to “The Walking Dead” and features Hardwick and fans, actors, producers and other TV enthusiasts, discussing and dissecting that night’s “Dead” premiere. The series expanded to a full hour with the final 8 episodes of season three. "When you look at numbers like this, the first thing that comes to mind is how grateful we are to the fans of this show.  They embrace ‘The Walking Dead’ in a way that we wanted to believe was possible but we never take for granted,” said Charlie Collier, AMC’s president. “The cast and crew put everything they have into making this show. They’re a phenomenally talented group who truly give their all. We congratulate everyone involved.” Key Nielsen Highlights for the season three B premiere of “The Walking Dead”: 
  • 9pm airing – 7.3 HH rating with 12.3 million viewers; a +40%/+51% increase respectively over last year’s season 2B premiere
  • 9pm airing - Adults 18-49 delivered 7.7 million viewers; a +44%  increase over last year’s season 2B premiere
  • 9pm airing - Adults 25-54 delivered 6.7 million viewers; a +51% increase over last year’s season 2B premiere.
  • 9p premiere, 11p, midnight and 2a airings grossed to 16.6 million viewers, 10.7 million Adults 18-49 and 8.9 million Adults 25-54
Key Nielsen Highlights for the season three B premiere of “Talking Dead”: o        10pm:        2.6 HH rating with 4.1 million viewers, +225%/+371% vs. last year’s season 2B premiere. o        10pm:        2.7 million Adults 18-49, +396% vs. last year’s season 2B premiere. o        10pm:        2.3 million Adults 25-54, +369% vs. last year’s season 2B premiere. Source: Nielsen. Live+SD. M-Sa 8P-11P/Su 7P-11P. The Walking Dead Season 3B Premiere (2/10/13); Season 3 To Date 10/14/12-2/10/13 vs. 12/13 Season to Date (9/24/12-2/7/13) Broadcast and Cable.  9/13/93-2/7/12,   Ad Supported Cable, Telecast Level Data.  Excluding Sports, News, Specials.  A18-49 (000).  3B Premiere (2/10/13) vs 2B Premiere (2/12/12).  Qual Avail Upon Request. Hailed by Entertainment Weekly as “the greatest thriller ever produced for television,” “The Walking Dead” has become a juggernaut on social media. The series currently has close to 15 million likes on Facebook and last night “The Walking Dead” was a top trend on Twitter for the night of the mid-season premiere. Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, the Emmy Award-winning series tells the story of the months and years that follow the zombie apocalypse. It follows a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, who travel in search of a safe and secure home.
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CW renews Arrow, The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural

cw   The CW Network has given early pickups to three of its hit series for next season, including freshman hit ARROW, its top-rated drama THE VAMPIRE DIARIES and fan favorite SUPERNATURAL, it was announced today by Mark Pedowitz, President, The CW.  All three shows will return in Fall 2013. “We said last year that one of our goals was to establish building blocks to grow on, and now with our new hit ARROW and fan favorite SUPERNATURAL on Wednesday night, and the continued success of THE VAMPIRE DIARIES on Thursday, we’ve been able to do that,” said Pedowitz. “Not only do ARROW, SUPERNATURAL, and THE VAMPIRE DIARIES perform well on-air, they’re also extremely successful for us both digitally and socially. I’m thrilled to have all three shows returning to our schedule next season.” One of the true breakout hits of the season, ARROW posted The CW’s best series premiere since 2009 and currently stands as the network’s most watched show (4.3mil).  Heading into its fifth season next fall, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES remains The CW’s highest rated series in target demographics, including adults 18-34 and women 18-34.  THE VAMPIRE DIARIES also continues to be one of the network’s top performing shows digitally and socially; in fact, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES recently topped Trendrr’s list as network TV’s #1 social program for the week of January 21–27  The Winchester brothers of SUPERNATURAL will continue to fight the forces of evil for a ninth season.  Since being paired with ARROW on Wednesday this year, SUPERNATURAL has seen a dramatic uptick in its ratings from last season, rising 15% among total viewers, 10% in adults 18-34 and 18% in adults 18-49
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Christina Applegate leaves Up All Night

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As first reported by Deadline, actress Christina Applegate has decided to leave Up All Night. The sitcom has been on hiatus as of late and NBC was planning to retool the comedy by making it a multi-camera series with a live studio audience. She states that this creative change is the reason why she is leaving the series.

“It’s been a great experience working  on Up All Night, but the show has taken a different creative direction and I decided it was best for me to move on to other endeavors,” Applegate said. “Working with Lorne Michaels has been a dream come true and I am grateful he brought me into his TV family.  I will miss the cast, producers and crew, and wish them the best always.” This setback doesn't seem to be stopping NBC from moving forward with the sitcom, in the same article, Deadline reports that the network is looking at Lisa Kudrow to replace Applegate.

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NBC cancels freshman series Do No Harm

do-no-harm-trailer   After only 2 episodes, NBC has pulled the plug on its struggling freshman series Do No Harm.  Starting immediately in the 10pm Thursday night-time slot, NBC will air repeats of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.  The series starred Steven Pasquale (Rescue Me) as Dr. Jason Cole;   a highly respected neurosurgeon who has it all: a lucrative career, confident charm and the gift of compassion. But he also has a deep, dark secret. One morning when he wakes up disoriented in a wrecked hotel room amidst several near-naked women he's never seen before, he knows one thing: It's happening again. Every night at the same hour, something inside Jason changes, leaving him almost unrecognizable -- seductive, devious and borderline sociopathic. The series premiered to the lowest numbers ever recorded by the four big networks for a scripted drama series. Things only became worse for the second episode which only had 2.1 million viewers.
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NCIS renewed for 11th season

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What was an obvious no brainer, CBS has renewed its veteran series NCIS for an eleventh season. The 10th season has seen NCIS average 21.5 million viewers an episode making it the top ranked drama on television. The network has come to terms with a new contract for executive producer and star Mark Harmon.

"In a world gone niche, NCIS keeps getting bigger, and Mark Harmon continues to define the role of leading man on the #1 show on television," CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves.

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Shameless, House of Lies and Californication renewed

houseoflies Showtime  definitely has confidence in three of their hit television series. President of Entertainment David Nevins announced today that Shameless, House of Lies and Californication will all be renewed. "CalifornicationHouse of Lies, and Shameless possess highly distinctive comedic voices, and given that all three continue to grow their audience season after season – the pick-up decision was easy,” said Nevins. “I am incredibly excited to see what each of these series has in store for their next seasons."    
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Cinemax renews Banshee

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CINEMAX has renewed the action series BANSHEE for a second season, scheduled to debut in 2014, it was announced today by Kary Antholis, president, HBO Miniseries and CINEMAX Programming. The show is currently in its first season, with episodes debuting Friday at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT). Executive produced by Jonathan Tropper, David Schickler, Peter Macdissi, Alan Ball and Greg Yaitanes, BANSHEE stars Antony Starr (“Rush”) as Lucas Hood, an ex-con and master thief who assumes the identity of the sheriff of Banshee, Pa., where he continues his criminal activities, even as he’s hunted by the shadowy gangsters he betrayed years earlier. Scripts for the first season are conceived and written by Tropper and Schickler.  Writers John Romano (“Monk”), Evan Dunsky (“Two and a Half Men”), and Doug Jung (HBO’s “Big Love”) join Schickler and Tropper for season two. Also starring in season one of the series are: Ivana Milicevic (“Charlie’s Angels,” HBO’s “Mind of the Married Man”), Ulrich Thomsen (“The Celebration”), Frankie Faison (“The Good Wife,” HBO’s “The Wire”), Hoon Lee (“Premium Rush”), Rus Blackwell (“Burn Notice,” HBO’s “Recount”), Matt Servitto (HBO’s “The Sopranos”), Demetrius Grosse (“Justified”), Trieste Kelly Dunn (“Brothers and Sisters”), Ryann Shane (“Blue Bloods”), Daniel Ross Owens (“Prison Break”), Lili Simmons (“Fat Kid Rules the World”) and Ben Cross (“Star Trek,” “Ben-Hur”). The ten-episode first season of BANSHEE, which began Jan. 11, has inspired critical raves, with the Hollywood Reporter calling it “taut, entertaining and smart,” and the Wall Street Journal describing the show as “enticing” and “indisputably satisfying.”

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Syfy sets television premiere for Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome

syfy-logo-350x220 Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome, prequel to popular blockbuster franchise Battlestar Galactica, will have its world television premiere as a 2-hour full-length TV movie on Syfy on Sunday, February 10, 2013 from 9 to 11PM ET/PT. This highly anticipated chapter in the Battlestar Galactica saga from Universal Cable Productions originally debuted as a weekly web series on YouTube’s premium channel Machinima Prime, drawing upwards of 8 million total views. On February 10, fans will get to see it for the first time in its film version entirety, including additional scenes not included in the online release.  The unrated edition from Universal Studios Home Entertainment will then be available on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download on February 19th. Blood & Chrome takes place in the midst of the first Cylon war. As the battle between humans and their creation, the sentient robotic Cylons, rages across the 12 colonial worlds, gifted fighter pilot, William Adama (Luke Pasqualino, The Borgias), finds himself assigned to one of the most powerful battlestars in the Colonial fleet: the Galactica. Full of ambition and hungry for action, Adama quickly finds himself at odds with his co-pilot, the battle-weary officer Coker (Ben Cotton, Alcatraz). With only 47 days left in his tour of duty, Coker desires an end to battle as much as Adama craves its onset. Lili Bordán (Silent Witness) also stars. Leveraging cutting edge CGI and virtual set technology, Blood & Chrome is produced by Universal Cable Productions, a division of NBCUniversal, and the award-winning producing team of Battlestar Galactica. David Eick (Battlestar Galactica, Caprica) is executive producer along with Michael Taylor (Battlestar Galactica, Caprica), who wrote the teleplay from a story by Taylor, Eick, Bradley Thompson (Battlestar Galactica, Falling Skies) and David Weddle (Battlestar Galactica, Falling Skies).  Blood & Chrome was directed by Jonas Pate (Prime Suspect, Caprica).  
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Gwyneth Paltrow to visit Downton Abbey?

With the third season in full swing , Downton Abbey has become a huge hit in the United States. The first episode from Season three drew a record 7.9 million viewers.

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HBO renews Girls

girls With two wins recently at the Golden Globes for Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical and Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical, it comes as no surprise that HBO has announced it will renew Girls for a third season. Created by and starring Lena Dunham (“Tiny Furniture”), GIRLS takes a comic look at the assorted humiliations and rare  triumphs of four girls in their early 20s. The third season of the hit series will have 12 episodes.
 
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