Friday, March 27, 2009

News Round-up: Death of Broadcast, Spelling, Hasselhoff

TIME: Here's to the Death of Broadcast TV
In the 1994-95 season, 43% of U.S. households, on average, watched the Big Four at a given moment in prime time. Now it's 27%. With more viewers drifting to cable and going online, the formerly mass networks are losing money and cultural clout. The decline of the networks is of course a bad thing. For the networks. But for critics and viewers, the important question is, Are there better shows on TV or not? The answer is--and has been for years--yes.

No doubt, TV is changing, and fast. Free TV will become more cut-rate; quality will cost, as movies and books do. There will be more rarefied TV and more craptastic dreck. There will be less middle-of-the-road TV for everybody but more venues for telling stories that don't have to please 30 million people. The old networks (and the people who make shows for them) will struggle to make a buck, but new outlets will rise and thrive. Broadcast TV may be flatlining. But its offspring are doing just fine.

Deep Soap: GUIDING LIGHT in Orlando Part 3
Sara Bibel continues her report on the GL location shoot with new interviews from last Saturday, the day of the Q&A and autograph sessions. She has new quotes from Jessica Leccia, Jeff Branson, Kim Zimmer and Robert Newman.

Leccia: "I brought purple for a reason. Natalia actually wears purple a lot. Purple’s a great color. I’m glad [the Otalia fansite] is called Big Purple Dreams. It would be weird if it were green checkered dreams."

Zimmer: "I want the Tony Geary contract. If you can’t afford to work me four days a week, then don’t work me for three months and give me a story where you can work me, an arc story, then have me disappear again. Tony works seven months out of the year then goes to Amsterdam. When he comes back they have a story for him and the fans are ready to see him again."

Aaron Spelling mansion on market for $150 million, top price in U.S.
The widow of producer Aaron Spelling is placing “The Manor” in the exclusive Holmby Hills neighborhood on the market for a jaw-dropping $150 million, making it by far the most expensive home for sale in the U.S.

Could ABC/Disney Join Hulu?
The Walt Disney Company could wind up with an equity stake in Hulu in exchange for adding ABC programming to the NBC Universal-News Corp joint venture, a source familiar with the situation tells paidContent.

Mexico to produce another soap opera in China
Mexican media giant Televisa says it is producing a Chinese version of its hit show DUMB GIRLS DON'T GO TO HEAVEN, about a woman who must choose between loving the father of her child and a man she just met.

But Chinese star Wan Li Kun says the story line will be modified for China because it's taboo in the Asian country for a woman to be in love with two men at the same time. The Chinese version will named BEING INNOCENT IS BETTER. It airs in August.

David Hasselhoff explains how he almost became Superman
“Believe it or not, I was up for Superman — the original Superman,” said Hasselhoff to “Christopher Reeve was on a soap (LOVE OF LIFE) at the time, and tall and skinny, and I was on a soap (Y&R) at the time and also tall and skinny, and I was up for Superman, too.”

Given that Hasselhoff clearly fit the casting requirements for the role — which apparently called for a tall, skinny actor with soap opera experience — how did he manage to lose out to Reeve for the role of Big Blue?

“Christopher Reeve got it, and it was one of the brilliant decisions that my staff and I made. They said, ‘You don’t want to be Superman because you’ll be Superman for the rest of your life!’” laughed Hasselhoff. “So that’s why those people are no longer with me.”

INTERVIEW: EMMERDALE's Lucy Pargeter (Chas)
"I don't think she could love anybody the way she loved - or still loves - Carl, really."

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