Imagine Robin Williams working at Leo Burnett. Or just watch "The Crazy Ones," CBS' new fall sitcom that marks the comedian's return to sitcoms. The series was inspired by Burnett executive creative director John Montgomery, who also serves as executive producer and consultant, reports T.L. Stanley. In the pilot, the fictional agency folks work on a campaign for McDonald's, a big Burnett client. Executive producer David E. Kelley told TCA attendees earlier this week that Montgomery has been spending several days a week working with the sitcom's writers, and both Kelley and Williams have spent time at Burnett to get ...
Jay Penske -- he "of the auto-racing family" -- is a potential buyer of Newsweek from IAC, "now kicking the tires and checking under the hood," writes Keith Kelly. Penske "already owns HollywoodLife and Deadline Hollywood and last year bought Variety from Reed Elsevier.
More bad news in newsrooms: First, yesterday Cleveland Plain Dealer journalists were told to wait by the phone for news of whether or not they'd be pink-slipped. Meanwhile, at the Indianapolis Star, the laid-off were a known quantity: "11 employees, including three copy editors, a graphic artist, the metro/region team leader, and two custodians," writes Jim Romenesko.
NBC Sports Group & Yahoo Sports are partnering on two series that will appear on TV, the Web, and mobile devices in August. The half-hour "Fantasy Football Live -- Thursday Night!" -- "a weeknight version of Yahoo's Sunday Web show of the same name" -- will premiere, not surprisingly, this Thursday, writes Tim Baysinger. "The second series, 'SportsDash with Yahoo Sports,' is an hour-long series that will air at noon on NBCSN, followed by a 15-minute digital version at 1 p.m.," beginning Aug. 19.
Oprah Winfrey's OWN network is finally turning a profit "six months ahead of schedule, according to David Zaslav, CEO of Discovery Communications, half-owner of Winfrey’s young enterprise," writes Claire Atkinson. Zaslav reported a 30% increase in revenue and "solid gains in profits," according to Atkinson. "The move from red ink to profit was accomplished with additional upfront spending by advertisers and commitments from distribution companies that carry the channel."
Twentieth Television, a division of 21st Century Fox, is targeting returns of $1 billion for licensing of reruns of long-running animated show "The Simpsons" to "stations and cable channels at the same time," according to a source cited by Ronald Grover. "The company's fx cable channel is expected to have first claim to the show. Other potential buyers are Viacom, whose cable properties include Comedy Central and Nick at Nite, and Turner Broadcasting."
ESPN confirmed previous reports that it's hiring bloggers to cover every single NFL team. "Most of the operations will be one-person, but they will be bolstered by editors and producers who will work to move these bloggers’ work across platforms," writes Andrew Beaujon.
Viewers who watch Netflix regularly also watch a lot of regular TV, according to a study from TiVo Research and Analytics, Inc., that says "Netflix subscribers are still watching as much TV as people who don’t have the streaming video service," writes Peter Kafka."This isn’t the first time we’ve seen data that shows that the more video we can get, the more video we watch, and that the TV isn’t going anywhere soon."
A summer hit for CBS, "Under The Dome" was renewed for next summer, with Stephen King to write the premiere episode of the second season. King wrote the original novel on which the show was based.
The three startups that make up TimeSpace, the New York Times' "foray into startup accelerators," are set to “graduate" from the program in September and make a pitch for their news-related tools to their host of the last few months, writes Erin Griffith. She interviews the entrepreneurs involved to get a sense of how the program has worked for them. One benefit: The startups "have had front row seats to the inner workings of the Times’ newsroom," Griffith writes. Meanwhile, the Times is infused "with some of that sweet innovation nectar startups are known for," according to Griffith. "The ...