All Articles Tagged "cbs"

“City Of Angels” Remembering CBS’ First And Last Black Drama

January 15th, 2016 - By Charing Ball
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city of angels


Tomorrow marks the 16th anniversary of the very last time CBS had a show with a predominately Black cast in its lineup.

The series was called City of Angels and it was the network television’s first predominantly Black medical drama.

The show, which premiered in 2000, centered around the lives of doctors and nurses at the fictitious Angels of Mercy community hospital in Los Angeles. Basically it was like E.R., but with Black and Hispanic people. And it starred Blair Underwood, Gabrielle Union, Hill Harper, and just about every Black actor who was not named Denzel or Halle at the time.

What made the show even more interesting was that it was a grand experiment by CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves and executive producer Steven Bochco (Hill Street Blues, Doogie Howser and NYPD Blue) to test the public’s appetite for shows starring Black actors.

In other words, would White people support a show which did not center around them?

And reported by the LA Times back in 1999,

In an unprecedented move, on Wednesday night Moonves, Bochco and the other executives began making their case for “City of Angels.” The group of mostly black entertainment professionals attending an invitation-only forum about the show at the Directors Guild of America was largely supportive of CBS’ efforts. The forum, sponsored by the guild’s African-American Steering Committee, represented a first glimpse into the making of the drama, which has already come under intense scrutiny because of its subject matter and groundbreaking agenda.

Acknowledging the high stakes already surrounding “City of Angels” and the impact the series could have on future drama series featuring minority casts, the panelists outlined their commitment to pull out all the stops in producing and marketing a high-quality drama that would appeal to all viewers. At the same time they underscored their intent to provide a show with minorities in a high-pressure professional atmosphere, which has been traditionally avoided by network executives, who have repeatedly concluded that there is no interest in a serious black drama.”

CBS would go on to invest heavily in the promotion and marketing of the show. But by the end of the first season, the series would struggle greatly in the ratings. And there would be other struggles too. Like the creative riff between Bochco and Angels co-producer Paris Barclay (who is Black and the current president of the Directors Guild of America).

According to another LA Times article from 2000:

There was no single issue at the center of the disagreement. On the one hand, the men disagreed over what role race should play in a drama about African Americans. Barclay, who is African American, felt “City of Angels” was too black. Bochco, who is white, felt that a black-themed drama should be just that.”

Barclay would eventually bow out of the series. And there was strong consideration of canceling it all together. But after a letter campaign sparked by Black viewers, Moonves decided to give the series one more season.

Unfortunately, a new creative direction, cast changes and the support of the Black community was not enough to bring in the ratings the show so desperately needed. And eventually the series was canceled in December of 2000 only after two seasons.

In spite of what appeared to be an instance of good intentions-gone bad, some media watchdog groups including the National Council of La Raza argued that the show was purposely set-up to fail. As noted in this Entertainment Weekly article from December 14th 2000, City of Angels not only had the misfortune of being pitted against ABC’s rating juggernaut Who Wants to Be A Millionaire but it also shared the same time slot with NBC’s wildly-popular Must See TV lineup.

At the time Lisa Navarrete, spokeswoman for La Raza, would tell EW that prior to the cancellation, City of Angels made up 40 percent of CBS’ lineup’s 41 minority hires. And now that the show had failed, she worried what it all meant for the future of minority dramas. More specifically she said: ”It seems like we get one shot,” she says. ”The networks think ‘Angels’ didn’t work, so why should another drama about African Americans, not to mention Latinos or Asians.”

It’s hard to say for certain if the failure of City of Angels experiment is why CBS hasn’t taken a chance on a predominately Black series since. But, as noted by the Awl in 2014, although CBS employs actors of color on many of its shows, about 83 percent of CBS’ scripted primetime programming is White.

So it is a serious possibility.


CBS Analyst Greg Anthony Arrested For Soliciting Prostitute

January 17th, 2015 - By Courtney Whitaker
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Detectives Failed To Investigate Over 1,000 Sex Crimes feat

Wow. According to ABC7 News, CBS basketball analyst and former NBA player Greg Anthony has been arrested and charged with soliciting a prostitute.

The only details we can confirm, are that Greg was arrested Friday afternoon and released later that evening. He was reportedly in town to announce the Michigan State vs Maryland men’s basketball game. As of today, CBS has suspended Anthony indefinitely. A CBS spokeswoman says “Greg Anthony will not be working again for CBS this season.”

To make matters even worse, Greg is a married man with children. Greg has four children, including a beautiful 10-month-old daughter. His wife Chere, is a dermatologist.


“Am I Getting A Free Pair Of Boobies?!” ‘Undercover Boss’ CEO Offers Employee Breast Augmentation As A Bonus

December 29th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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The premise of CBS’s Undercover Boss is to feature CEOs who are willing to take low-level jobs within their company to see how their employees feel about the work environment. By disguising the CEOs in costume and hidden cameras, viewers (and the CEOs) are provided an authentic view of their companies day-to-day operations. In the show’s latest installment, CEO Doug Guller of Bikinis Sports Bar and Grill went undercover to see what the cooks and bikini-clad waitresses go through at his controversial company, which operates as (what he calls) “breastaurants.” Believing that his chain-restaurants are recession-proof because of its $25 million business model —  “boobs, food, sports and sex” — Guller was surprised to meet employees who did not share the same enthusiasm for his money-making brand.

During the episode Guller fired an employee, Rachel, who decided to wear a t-shirt instead of bikini top on camera. While he was undercover at her restaurant location, Rachel confided to Guller she was looking for other jobs since she was laid off as an accountant executive at a previous company. Despite firing her at the end of the show, Guller promised he would help find her a job she would be much interested in. Besides being condescending towards Rachel, Guller offered another employee a breast augmentation if she worked harder in the next six months.

Because of Guller’s crass and sexist behavior on the show, Twitter followers were shocked CBS allowed the episode to air:

Aside the social media outrage, a petition has been launched for CBS to apologize to its viewers for allowing the episode to air:

On the Episode of UnderCover Boss that showcased the sports bar “Bikinis” CBS also showcased an incredibley [sic] sexist owner in a fairly positive light. David Guller, the CEO, first promotes one girl and offers her a boob job. He then fires one girl on air for wearing a shirt instead of a bikini top and for saying she wanted to be something more one day. He even has security cameras in the womens [sic] dressing rooms. CBS is a fairly family oriented channel and showcasing this behavior is not okay. CBS needs to apologize.

Currently the petition has 106 signatures and CBS has not released an apology to their viewers for airing Guller’s episode of Undercover Boss. Watch the entire episode here and let us know where you stand in this outrageous episode.

H/T Jezebel 

CBS Releases All Access Online Live Stream Subscription Service

October 16th, 2014 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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CBS Releases All Access Online

A day after HBO announced they will become an online-only service, CBS chimed in, revealing their new online subscription service “CBS All Access.” CBS will allow consumers to watch live television programs, along with current or past CBS shows on demand without the traditional TV subscription. The new CBS All Access will cost $5.99 a month.

The New York Times notes it will be the first broadcaster that will provide a live feed of its local stations over the web to non-paying TV subscribers. Once the streaming service launches, it will be available in 14 markets in the United States.

The direction CBS and HBO are moving in signals how consumers will watch television in the next 20 years. With direct web access, consumers will only have to pay for the networks or shows they want to watch. In an interview, CBS Corporation chief exec Leslie Moonves shared, “Everybody is talking about it. It is an important part of our future. Our job is to do the best content we can and let people enjoy it in whatever way they want. The world is heading in that direction.”

CBS and HBO are following the footsteps of Netflix, whose streaming service has 50 million global subscribers at a cheaper rate. Unfortunately for football fans, NFL games will not be available on CBS live stream. Currently, CBS executives are discussing terms with the NFL to determine if that can be made available. (Read: The NFL doesn’t want to pay one more penny or lose any money by changing the broadcast structure.)

In the meantime, other live sports will be available on live stream. CBS executives also say their television network Showtime will have a similar online feature in the future.

CBS live stream will have 12 to 16 minutes worth of ads per hour and their CBS Classics section that will include shows like Star Trek and Cheers will stream without ads. CBS live stream will be available starting today.

Will you be subscribing?

CBS Said To Be Creating A New Show To Replace Queen Latifah

August 20th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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The ups and downs of television are enough to make you sea sick. Back in December, it was all celebration over the fact that The Queen Latifah Show was getting picked up for a second season. Now, Sony is denying that they’re going to give the show the boot.

Calling the show “ratings-challenged,” The Hollywood Reporter says CBS is already developing a talk show with host Jerry O’Connell (??) to step into the 9am slot if Queen Latifah’s program doesn’t make it out of the next season. Queen Latifah has a contract for two seasons of the program, and Sony Pictures Television, which produces the show, says everything will be stepped up this year. Ads for the new season debut on August 25. The season premiere will be on September 15.

The decision about whether to continue with a third season will be made in October or November, according to THR. Ratings last year were good but not outstanding, with an average of 1.4 million viewers. Still, of all the shows that debuted last year, Queen’s was the only one to get picked up again.

The new show waiting in the wings, Man in the Middle, would be hosted by a man, but is said to be geared towards women. O’Connell will be joined by a roundtable of other hosts. (It sounds like it’s also following in the format of The View and The Talk, et al.) Topics to be covered include women’s pet peeves and relationships, and fellow hosts on the test shows have included D.L. Hughley and Joe Manganiello (hot werewolf Alcide from True Blood).

As we saw with Arsenio Hall’s show, one minute you’re on top, the next you’re out on your ear. So things are really up in the air for Queen Latifah. Part of the problem, in our opinion, is saturation. There are only so many talk shows that people can watch; only so many times we can see makeovers  and talk about how to fix crumbling relationships. A show really needs something to stand out.

Queen Latifah has a great personality, she has a special rapport with her guests, but there will need to be a fresh new vibe if she’s going to make it to season three.

Your thoughts?

Halle Berry Can’t Compete With ‘America’s Got Talent!’ CBS Pushes ‘Extant’ Up An Hour

July 29th, 2014 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Halle Berry in Extant, photo credit CBS

Extant,CBS (2014)

Even with Steven Spielberg as the executive producer and Halle Berry as the lead character, Extant is drawing in less-than-stellar ratings. Could America’s Got Talent, the summer’s No.1 show, be too competitive for the sci-fi extraterrestial drama? CBS is shifting Extant up one hour to escape the head-to-head face-off, EurWeb reports.

Last week, America’s Got Talent devoured the out-of-this world series with 11.09 million viewers — compare that to Extant’s 6.48 million. On its third episode, Extant scored a 1.1 rating among the key demo, 18-to-49-year-olds. That’s a 27 percent plummet from Extant’s 1.5 rating from the previous week.

It’s clear that everyone is flocking to watch the likes of Heidi Klum and Mel B, not Berry, to quench their viewing pleasures.

The debut had actually been strong enough for people to start calling it a “breakout hit.” But the July 9th launch was lackluster with the key advertising demographic. “The series premiere drew a 1.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic most sought by advertisers,” TheWrap wrote. That’s down from CBS’ Under the Dome (written by Stephen King), another Spielberg production, which drew in a 3.3 rating during its summer premiere last year.

Working fast to save intergalactic space fantasy, CBS has decided to push Extant into the 10 p.m. time slot on Wednesdays, swapping with the vet series Criminal Minds.

The time slot shift has helped a couple of CBS shows in the past. Reckless and Unforgettable both saw a surge in total viewers after the time changes.

Though Extant, which follows Berry as an astronaut who comes home mysteriously pregnant after a 13-month solo mission, is doing just okay in the U.S., it’s a top-performing show for Amazon Prime users in the U.K.

Extant’s time change is effective immediately. Watch the Spielberg series at 10 p.m., this Wednesday, on CBS.

Halle Berry’s TV Sci-Fi Drama, ‘Extant’, Pulls In High Ratings For Debut

July 16th, 2014 - By Ann Brown
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Halle Berry’s movies may be hit-or-miss at the box office these days, but television seems to like her.  The Academy Award winner just took home first place in the television ratings for her summer drama Extant. The limited-run series pulled in 9.6 million viewers for its first episode on CBS last week, according to Nielsen.

In Extant, Berry plays an astronaut who mysteriously comes back from a solo space mission pregnant. The drama was the most-watched prime-time show during the week. “By comparison, the second-season debut of ‘Under the Dome’ a week earlier had 9.4 million viewers, a number considered disappointing given its hit status a year earlier,” reports Black American Web.

The long July 4th holiday weekend helped increase the total viewership for Extant to 11.9 million.

The scary sci-fi drama also stars Pierce Gagnon as Ethan, a boy robot who may be murderous.

The show has been already called a breakout hit. This is a far cry from her films as of late, which, to put it politely have bombed. When looking at her resume following her Oscar winning performance in Monster’s Ball, her only hits have been the X-Men series of films.

“Outside of those movies, she’s had a string of either very bad luck or she’s made some very bad decisions. 2004′s Catwoman was a disaster bringing in only $82 million at the global box office…2010′s Frankie & Alice, where Berry played a woman with multiple personality disorder, was ignored by audiences and derided by critics. The film earned a terrible 14 out of 100 on Rotten Tomatoes,” reports Forbes. Then Cloud Atlas, though much-hyped and supported by a big budget and co-star Tom Hanks, only earned $121 million at the global box office.

Forbes speculates that being a 47-year-old black actress stacks the odds against Berry in the white male dominated world of Hollywood. “Studios just aren’t looking to finance movies that star middle-aged black women no matter how beautiful they are. They’re not financing many movies starring white middle-aged women either so it’s not even like there are color blind roles that Berry could be getting,” reports the magazine.

Maybe Extant will translate into a box office win for Berry’s next feature film.

CBS won the week in prime time, averaging 5.6 million viewers. NBC came in second with 4.6 million, ABC had 4.3 million, Univision had 2.8 million, Fox had 2.7 million.

Did you watch Extant?

Report: First Daughter Malia Obama Worked On Halle Berry’s New Show ‘Extant’

June 16th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Malia Obama, up top beside FLOTUS. Image Source:

Malia Obama worked as a production assistant on the set of Halle Berry’s new CBS show Extant according to an exclusive report by TheWrapThe First Daughter was seen on set last week in Los Angeles, and she was said to have “helped with computer shop alignments and the director also let her slate a take,” an “insider” says. TheWrap has not gotten comment from CBS or the White House on the matter.

In the show, Berry will play an astronaut who comes home from a yearlong mission and tries to resume life with her family. However, there are big consequences from the space mission.

Malia will turn 16 on July 4. The show will debut on July 2. If the show does well, it’ll be brought back for a second season and Berry will continue to star. There is a definite sci-fi element to the show, but it’s also a very human story, Berry says.

The show also has the backing of superstar director Steven Spielberg, a definite plus. Will you watch?

5 Winners & 5 Flops: The TV Shows That Could & Could Not In 2014

May 14th, 2014 - By Candace Smith
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In the wake of this year’s television upfronts, one can’t help but wonder which of the recently ordered shows for the upcoming fall season will be abruptly cancelled before a second episode will see the light of day. Or which one will enjoy the same success like runaway hits Scandal and Girls. To celebrate our favorite renewed shows and mourn our beloved cancelled ones, here is our list of five successful shows that have either just premiered, or, in light of the merciless television industry, have been miraculously granted another season, and five TV programs that just could not cut the mustard.

Stephen Colbert Will Replace David Letterman When He Retires From ‘The Late Show’ Next Year

April 10th, 2014 - By Tonya Garcia
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Stephen Colbert paid a visit to Jimmy Fallon to congratulate him on his 'Tonight Show' job. Now Fallon can return the favor. via @StephenAtHome

Stephen Colbert paid a visit to Jimmy Fallon to congratulate him on his ‘Tonight Show’ job. Now Fallon can return the favor. via @StephenAtHome

Update: Stories we’ve read since this news first broke report that Colbert will probably be doing The Late Show as himself. After nearly a decade, Colbert could be putting his satirical alter ego to rest.

“CBS said creative elements, producers and even the location of the show will be announced at a later date. “He is not going to play that character,” said Nina Tassler CBS Entertainment in an interview. (via VarietyStill, the intelligence and humor that he brings to the character is what CBS is banking on. That and his ability to attract a younger audience, which is what all of the late-night shows are looking for. The average age of a Colbert Report viewer is 41.9. The average age for a viewer tuning in to both the Jimmys is over 50.

Moreover, The Late Show will probably stay in New York City at the Ed Sullivan Theater. In an interview that aired on CBS This Morning, CBS head Les Moonves says the network is being courted by everyone in Los Angeles to make the move. (Remember, Jimmy Fallon moved The Tonight Show back to the East coast when he took the hosting duties.) However, Colbert lives in Montclair, NJ and CBS owns the theater, a landmarked location. And the goal is to start Colbert right after Letterman retires.

As for Comedy Central, they’ve got to deal with a hole at 11:30. “‘The Daily Show’ won’t be going anywhere just yet, and ‘@Midnight’” (at midnight) has become a bona fide hit. There is no question that Comedy Central will have a new 11:30 p.m. show come 2015; the only question is what,” says Capital New York. The Times speculates that they could go with Amy Schumer, the popular comedienne who already has a show on the network, because late night could use a woman. Or they could go with Key & Peele (also with a Comedy Central show) to spice things up with diversity.

Original story below

Well, I guess our speculation and requests went ignored. CBS has announced that Stephen Colbert will replace David Letterman when he retires from late-night television next year. (We’re big fans, BTW. If only for this right here.)

The announcement comes shortly after rumors that Colbert was a front runner for the job began circulating. Moreover, it comes on the heels of a controversy over a tweet that took one of his skits — a play on the racism of the Washington Redskins football team name — out of context and offended Asian Americans. It sparked a #CancelColbert hashtag that has been comically revived and is currently trending.

A statement from CBS says Colbert has signed a five-year deal, though it hasn’t yet been specified when Letterman will step down. Colbert’s contract with Comedy Central also ends in the coming months.

“I’m thrilled and grateful that CBS chose me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go grind a gap in my front teeth,” Colbert said after the announcement was made.

David Letterman has been on late-night television for 33 years. Colbert, who’s 49 years old, has been host of The Colbert Report  on Comedy Central since 2005. He launched his conservative Bill O’Reilly-like persona on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart before that.

Which begs the question of what will happen to the satirical news personality that Colbert has inhabited almost wholly in public for the past 10-plus years. Just this morning on the commute in, we were reading this story from The New York Times that speculated about the impact it would have to move Colbert to the Late Show desk. On the one hand, it would be a shame to have to give up the wit and humor that has become a Colbert staple. But if it can be moved to CBS, that would be a gem.

“If CBS gives him room and support to rethink the form, Mr. Colbert could reinvigorate late-night talk and provide a radically different alternative to Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel,” the article says.

For more about the dollars and cents behind the late-night TV game, click here for our “By the Numbers” story.