‘Orange Is the New Black’ to End With Season 7

Lionsgate’s “Orange Is the New Black,” which streams on Netflix, will end with Season 7 in 2019.

Season 6 dropped in its entirety on June 27.

“After seven seasons, it’s time to be released from prison,” said series creator Jenji Kohan. “I will miss all the badass ladies of Litchfield and the incredible crew we’ve worked with.  My heart is orange but fade to black.”

Also Read: Why This ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Star is ‘Most Dangerous’ Celeb to Search for Online

Netflix had given “Orange is the New Black” a three-season renewal back in 2016, ahead of its fourth season. The drama, which has been widely praised by critics, is based on Piper Kerman’s 2010 memoir, “Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison,” which detailed her experiences at a minimum-security federal prison.

Here is an announcement video with “OITNB” cast members thanking the fans:

Warning: This may make you cry. The Final Season, 2019. #OITNB pic.twitter.com/bUp2yY0aoK

— Orange Is the New… (@OITNB) October 17, 2018

Taylor Schilling starred as Piper Chapman, who was based on Kerman. The series also starred Uzo Aduba, Kate Mulgrew, Laura Prepon, Laverne Cox, Dascha Polanco, Danielle Brooks, Selenis Leyva, Taryn Manning, Yael Stone, Jackie Cruz, Lea DeLaria, Adrienne C. Moore, Elizabeth Rodriguez Michael Harney and Nick Sandow.

“During production of Season 1, everyone involved with ‘Orange Is The New Black’ felt like we knew a special secret we couldn’t wait to share with the world.  Since then, we have laughed, cried, raged, and roared with the women of Litchfield, and every moment spent with them felt like borrowed time — too good to last forever,” said Cindy Holland, Netflix’s VP of original content. “We will be sad to say goodbye but we will definitely be going out on a high. We are grateful to Jenji Kohan and her groundbreaking vision; to her supremely talented team of writers and producers; and to a once-in-a-lifetime cast and crew for creating a truly special work of art that has inspired conversations and connected audiences around the world.”

“Orange is the New Black” first premiered in 2013 and was part of Netflix’s first batch of original programming — it’s third, to be specific, after “House of Cards” and Eli Roth’s “Hemlock Grove.” When it wraps with its seventh season next year, it will hold the title of Netflix’s long-running original series, with “House of Cards” set to premiere its sixth and final season next month.

“‘Orange is the New Black’ has profoundly impacted popular culture worldwide, and has played a prominent role in building Lionsgate into a platform-defining brand,” said Lionsgate Television Group chairman Kevin Beggs. “Thanks to the brilliance of Jenji Kohan, the mastery of the creative and production team, the transcendent cast, and our tremendous partnership with Netflix, the series has surpassed our expectations year after year. With great pride, we are working together to bring this landmark series to a triumphant, satisfying close with the upcoming seventh season.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Elite’ Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix

Netflix Smashes Q3 Earnings and Subscriber Projections, Stock Soars 14 Percent

Adam Sandler Promises New Jokes and New Songs in Netflix Special (Video)

Lionsgate’s “Orange Is the New Black,” which streams on Netflix, will end with Season 7 in 2019.

Season 6 dropped in its entirety on June 27.

“After seven seasons, it’s time to be released from prison,” said series creator Jenji Kohan. “I will miss all the badass ladies of Litchfield and the incredible crew we’ve worked with.  My heart is orange but fade to black.”

Netflix had given “Orange is the New Black” a three-season renewal back in 2016, ahead of its fourth season. The drama, which has been widely praised by critics, is based on Piper Kerman’s 2010 memoir, “Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison,” which detailed her experiences at a minimum-security federal prison.

Here is an announcement video with “OITNB” cast members thanking the fans:

Taylor Schilling starred as Piper Chapman, who was based on Kerman. The series also starred Uzo Aduba, Kate Mulgrew, Laura Prepon, Laverne Cox, Dascha Polanco, Danielle Brooks, Selenis Leyva, Taryn Manning, Yael Stone, Jackie Cruz, Lea DeLaria, Adrienne C. Moore, Elizabeth Rodriguez Michael Harney and Nick Sandow.

“During production of Season 1, everyone involved with ‘Orange Is The New Black’ felt like we knew a special secret we couldn’t wait to share with the world.  Since then, we have laughed, cried, raged, and roared with the women of Litchfield, and every moment spent with them felt like borrowed time — too good to last forever,” said Cindy Holland, Netflix’s VP of original content. “We will be sad to say goodbye but we will definitely be going out on a high. We are grateful to Jenji Kohan and her groundbreaking vision; to her supremely talented team of writers and producers; and to a once-in-a-lifetime cast and crew for creating a truly special work of art that has inspired conversations and connected audiences around the world.”

“Orange is the New Black” first premiered in 2013 and was part of Netflix’s first batch of original programming — it’s third, to be specific, after “House of Cards” and Eli Roth’s “Hemlock Grove.” When it wraps with its seventh season next year, it will hold the title of Netflix’s long-running original series, with “House of Cards” set to premiere its sixth and final season next month.

“‘Orange is the New Black’ has profoundly impacted popular culture worldwide, and has played a prominent role in building Lionsgate into a platform-defining brand,” said Lionsgate Television Group chairman Kevin Beggs. “Thanks to the brilliance of Jenji Kohan, the mastery of the creative and production team, the transcendent cast, and our tremendous partnership with Netflix, the series has surpassed our expectations year after year. With great pride, we are working together to bring this landmark series to a triumphant, satisfying close with the upcoming seventh season.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Elite' Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix

Netflix Smashes Q3 Earnings and Subscriber Projections, Stock Soars 14 Percent

Adam Sandler Promises New Jokes and New Songs in Netflix Special (Video)

‘New Fox’ Ups Mike Biard to Ops President, Steve Tomsic to CFO and Eric Shanks to Fox Sports CEO

“New Fox” has laid out its executive team for what remains after the Disney acquisition.
Here are the key bullet points:

Eric Shanks, elevated to Chief Executive Officer of Fox Sports from his current role of President, Chief Operating Off…

“New Fox” has laid out its executive team for what remains after the Disney acquisition.

Here are the key bullet points:

  • Eric Shanks, elevated to Chief Executive Officer of Fox Sports from his current role of President, Chief Operating Officer & Executive Producer, Fox Sports;
  • Mike Biard, elevated to President, Operations and Distribution for Fox from President, Distribution for Fox Networks Group;
  • Paul Cheesbrough, promoted to Chief Technology Officer and Head of Direct to Consumer Platforms for Fox; currently serves as 21CF’s CTO;
  • Marianne Gambelli, elevated to President of Ad Sales for Fox; currently serves as President of Ad Sales for FOX News Channel and Fox Business Network;
  • Steve Tomsic, promoted to Fox’s Chief Financial Officer; currently serves as 21CF’s EVP, Finance and Deputy CFO.

“We are fortunate to be able to continue working with these enormously talented executives who have helped make our businesses the incredible successes they are today,” said Lachlan Murdoch, who will run the new company as chairman and CEO. “Collectively they bring to Fox the vision, entrepreneurial spirit and proven track records to position Fox to seize future opportunities for its leading and deeply resonant brands across sports, news and entertainment.”

It was previously announced that John Nallen will be chief operating officer and Suzanne Scott will continue as chief executive officer of FOX News and FOX Business Network. Jack Abernethy will continue to be chief executive officer of Fox Television Stations, and Viet Dinh has been named Chief Legal and Policy Officer of Fox.

Shanks will take on the responsibility of setting the long-term vision and programming strategy for the company’s sports business, in addition to overseeing all entities within FOX Sports, including FS1, FS2, FOX Deportes and all digital ventures. He will report to Murdoch, with with Gambelli and Cheesbrough.

Gambelli is well versed in both sides of the ad negotiating table. Prior to joining Fox News, she was chief investment officer at Horizon Media, an independent media buying agency. Before that, she ran ad sales for NBC and NBC Sports. She arrived at Fox News in May 2017, at a time when the network was coming off multiple scandals involving sexual harassment at the company.

Joe Marchese, who has served as head of sales for Fox Networks Group, will leave the company after the sale is completed to Disney.

Marchese came to Fox in 2014 when his company, TrueX, was acquired. During his tenure as head of ad sales, he promoted many new-age ways of advertising on broadcast TV, including shorter ad breaks. Under Marchese, Fox worked also launched OpenAP with Turner and Viacom as a way to make it easier for TV companies to sell advertising based on audience demographics vs the Nielsen-standard age and gender breakdowns.

Biard will report to Nallen, and in his new role will oversee the company’s multi-platform distribution strategy as well as the operations of The Lot, while participating with leadership on content acquisition strategies. Tomsic will also report to Nallen.

The above appointments will become effective once the sale to Disney closes. Shareholders for both The Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox voted in July to approve the $71.3 billion acquisition of Fox’s film and TV entertainment assets by Disney.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Fired Fox News Contributor Calls Out Network Hosts for Cheating, Defends 'Icon' Bill Cosby

Fox News Guest Candace Owens Says Kanye West Is 'One of the Bravest Men in America' (Video)

Fox's 'Last Man Standing' Premiere Is Net's Most-Watched Comedy in 7 Years

New 'Deadpool' Movie Gets December Release at Fox

15 ‘Breaking Bad’ Characters We’ve Already Spotted in ‘Better Call Saul’ (Photos)

“Better Call Saul” inhabits the same Albuquerque underground as “Breaking Bad,” so it’s only natural that characters in the AMC shows would overlap. Ready to see how? (Spoiler warning: This gallery contains lots of details…

“Better Call Saul” inhabits the same Albuquerque underground as “Breaking Bad,” so it’s only natural that characters in the AMC shows would overlap. Ready to see how? (Spoiler warning: This gallery contains lots of details about both shows.)

A few “Better Call Saul” faces are obvious, but others are deep pulls by showrunners Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould.

Sure, you knew about Tuco Salamanca (Raymond Cruz). But what about Jim Beaver’s weapons dealer? Or Ken (Kyle Bornheimer), the ever-boasting stockbroker who annoys Walter White (Bryan Cranston), Jimmy McGill (Bob Odenkirk) and Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn) over the course of two different TV series?

Lots of people have terrible things happen to them on both shows. But honestly? We’re most worried about people who turn up on “Better Call Saul” but not “Breaking Bad.” Does that mean they went straight and avoided grim “Breaking Bad” fates? Or that they didn’t survive to interact with Walt and Jesse (Aaron Paul).

And, elephant in the room: Will Walt and Jesse somehow turn up on “Better Call Saul”? Will DEA agent Hank (Dean Norris)? Hey, Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) made it.

Warning: This gallery contains lots of spoilers for “Better Call Saul” and “Breaking Bad.”

WWE ‘Looking Into’ Old Accusations That Wrestler Randy Orton Would Expose Himself to Writers

WWE is “looking into” an accusation from 2012, when a former WWE writer said popular Superstar Randy Orton would regularly expose himself to new writers. A spokesperson for the pro-wrestling promotion told TheWrap the matter is now under internal investigation.

In 2012, former WWE writer Court Bauer said on a podcast that Orton would pull out his penis and touch himself in front of new writers as a form of “initiation.” The accusation got new life when a Reddit user recently reposted Bauer’s quote.

“For every new writer that would show up, he comes in the room puts his hand down his pants, pulls out his d—, touches himself, then says ‘I’m Randy Orton, shake my hand…oh you don’t want to shake my hand? You’re big leaguing me? That’s f—ed up man. Should I tell Vince and Steph you won’t shake Randy Orton’s hand?’” Bauer said back then.

When asked Friday on Twitter if his story from six years ago really happened, Bauer responded “yes.”

yes

— Court Bauer (@courtbauer) August 10, 2018

TheWrap reached out to Orton’s manager with a request for comment on this story, though we have not immediately heard back.

Also Read: Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart, Former WWE Wrestler, Dies at 63

Orton is something of WWE royalty. His father is WWE Hall of Famer “Cowboy” Bob Orton and his grandfather was the late Bob Orton Sr., known as “The Big O.” His uncle was Barry “Barro O” Orton.

In 2004, Randy Orton became the youngest World Heavyweight Champion at 24 years old. He was a member of Triple H and Ric Flair’s Evolution faction, before joining Legacy and The Authority. Orton was the first WWE World Heavyweight Champion in history after the WWE and World Heavyweight Titles were unified.

Orton is currently signed to WWE’s “SmackDown Live” brand, where he has been recently feuding with Jeff Hardy.

Related stories from TheWrap:

WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose Poised to Return to ‘Raw’ Tonight After 2017 Injury (Exclusive)

Inside That Tearful Paul Heyman Promo on ‘Raw’ – Could It Actually Win WWE an Emmy? (Video)

Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart, Former WWE Wrestler, Dies at 63

WWE is “looking into” an accusation from 2012, when a former WWE writer said popular Superstar Randy Orton would regularly expose himself to new writers. A spokesperson for the pro-wrestling promotion told TheWrap the matter is now under internal investigation.

In 2012, former WWE writer Court Bauer said on a podcast that Orton would pull out his penis and touch himself in front of new writers as a form of “initiation.” The accusation got new life when a Reddit user recently reposted Bauer’s quote.

“For every new writer that would show up, he comes in the room puts his hand down his pants, pulls out his d—, touches himself, then says ‘I’m Randy Orton, shake my hand…oh you don’t want to shake my hand? You’re big leaguing me? That’s f—ed up man. Should I tell Vince and Steph you won’t shake Randy Orton’s hand?'” Bauer said back then.

When asked Friday on Twitter if his story from six years ago really happened, Bauer responded “yes.”

TheWrap reached out to Orton’s manager with a request for comment on this story, though we have not immediately heard back.

Orton is something of WWE royalty. His father is WWE Hall of Famer “Cowboy” Bob Orton and his grandfather was the late Bob Orton Sr., known as “The Big O.” His uncle was Barry “Barro O” Orton.

In 2004, Randy Orton became the youngest World Heavyweight Champion at 24 years old. He was a member of Triple H and Ric Flair’s Evolution faction, before joining Legacy and The Authority. Orton was the first WWE World Heavyweight Champion in history after the WWE and World Heavyweight Titles were unified.

Orton is currently signed to WWE’s “SmackDown Live” brand, where he has been recently feuding with Jeff Hardy.

Related stories from TheWrap:

WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose Poised to Return to 'Raw' Tonight After 2017 Injury (Exclusive)

Inside That Tearful Paul Heyman Promo on 'Raw' – Could It Actually Win WWE an Emmy? (Video)

Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart, Former WWE Wrestler, Dies at 63

Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart, Former WWE Wrestler, Dies at 63

Former WWE wrestler Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart has died. He was 63.

“WWE is saddened to learn that Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart passed away,” the company wrote on its website. “WWE extends its condolences to Neidhart’s family, friends and fans.”

Neidhart’s daughter Natalya currently wrestles in the WWE.

Also Read: Nikolai Volkoff, WWE Hall of Famer, Dies at 70

Neidhart, a former NFL player with the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys, was the brother-in-law of Bret “Hit Man” Hart. Together, the two formed the legendary Hart Foundation tag team, winning two WWE World Tag Team Championships.

Hart paid tribute to Neidhart on his Instagram page on Monday, writing: “Stunned and saddened. I just don’t have the words right now.”

Stunned and saddened. I just don’t have the words right now.

A post shared by Bret (@brethitmanhart) on

Other WWE superstars, including Ric Flair and The Iron Sheik, also shared their condolences and memories of Neidhart.

“My Good Friend Jim Neidhart, A World Class Athlete And A Man Among Men. Rest In Peace,” wrote Ric Flair. The Iron Shiek added: “One of my oldest friends in the business Jim Neidhart. We travel together I love him forever like a brother. God bless family I never forget you Bubba.”

My Good Friend Jim Neidhart, A World Class Athlete And A Man Among Men. Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/JSmdpZ9YZ1

— Ric Flair® (@RicFlairNatrBoy) August 13, 2018

ONE OF MY OLDEST FRIENDS IN THE BUSINESS JIM NEIDHART. WE TRAVEL TOGETHER I LOVE HIM FOREVER LIKE A BROTHER. GOD BLESS FAMILY I NEVER FORGET YOU BUBBA. pic.twitter.com/lt1dE8QOvt

— The Iron Sheik (@the_ironsheik) August 13, 2018

Neidhart was trained by WWE Hall of Famer Stu Hart, the father of Bret and his younger brother and fellow WWE superstar Owen Hart, at the Hart Dungeon in Calgary. He earned his nickname, “The Anvil,” after winning an anvil throwing contest. He later married Stu’s daughter, Ellie. He, along with Bret, Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith, made the jump to the WWE when the company purchased Stu Hart’s Calgary Stampede Wrestling.

He was also tag team partners with Owen Hart for several years, in addition to doing some singles competition. The Hart Foundation re-formed for a short time in 1997 that consisted of Neidhart, Bret, Owen, Smith and Brian Pillman. The pro-Canadian group was famous for antagonizing the crowd with their anti-American sermons.

Neidhart last competed in the WWE in 1997.

Following the news of Neidhart’s death, the WWE community began to weigh in with their condolences, which you can read below:

Very sorry to hear of the passing of Jim Neidhart. A Legend of the wrestling industry. My condolences to Jim’s family & friends. #RIPAnvil pic.twitter.com/aMDQAgBTLa

— TAZ (@OfficialTAZ) August 13, 2018

Sad to hear about the passing of Jim Neidhart. Condolences to his family, friends and fans. Jim was an important part of the landscape during one of the most important periods in the industry. RIP Jim,

— Eric Bischoff (@EBischoff) August 13, 2018

Shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of Jim Neidhart. The #HartFoundation were the greatest of all time. My thoughts are with @NatbyNature @TJWilson and the rest of the Hart family. #RIPAnvil

— Sheamus (@WWESheamus) August 13, 2018

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Neidhart family

Jim Neidhart Passes Away At 63-Years-Old @Myringsidenews https://t.co/isJ2UFVdGd

— Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat (@real_steamboat) August 13, 2018

Also Read: Nikolai Volkoff, WWE Hall of Famer, Dies at 70

It is terrible I just heard Jim Neidhart passed away. I just pray for his family to get through this.Jim was a great friend and I will really miss him.

— Demolition Smash (@RealDemoSmash) August 13, 2018

Saddened To Hear Jim Neidhart Has Passed. My Prayers Are With His Families. Guess God Needed An “Anvil” Angel RIP Jim????????

— SGT SLAUGHTER (@_SgtSlaughter) August 13, 2018

Devastating news Jim Neidhart my friend has passed away!! I can hardly believe it. Rest In Peace Brother until we meet again !!!

— Brutus Beefcake (@brutusbeefcake_) August 13, 2018

Such a shame to learn of the passing of Jim Neidhart. Watching ‘The Anvil’ in action on WWF Superstars and Wrestling Challenge was one of the staples of my childhood. A larger-than-life character that’ll be sorely missed. #RIPAnvil

— El Ligero (@Ligero1) August 13, 2018

Jim Neidhart was a great athlete
He was the power & strength of
The Hart Foundation
I loved their finishing maneuver
Celebrate his life
Watch his matches today
My heart hurts for his daughters, wife & @TJWilson
There is only one#Anvil pic.twitter.com/pFvfDHtN8S

— Tommy Dreamer (@THETOMMYDREAMER) August 13, 2018

Related stories from TheWrap:

WWE Star Kane Elected Mayor of Knox County, Tennessee

Brian Christopher, Former WWE Wrestler, Dies at 46 in Apparent Suicide

Nikolai Volkoff, WWE Hall of Famer, Dies at 70

Former WWE wrestler Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart has died. He was 63.

“WWE is saddened to learn that Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart passed away,” the company wrote on its website. “WWE extends its condolences to Neidhart’s family, friends and fans.”

Neidhart’s daughter Natalya currently wrestles in the WWE.

Neidhart, a former NFL player with the Oakland Raiders and Dallas Cowboys, was the brother-in-law of Bret “Hit Man” Hart. Together, the two formed the legendary Hart Foundation tag team, winning two WWE World Tag Team Championships.

Hart paid tribute to Neidhart on his Instagram page on Monday, writing: “Stunned and saddened. I just don’t have the words right now.”

Stunned and saddened. I just don’t have the words right now.

A post shared by Bret (@brethitmanhart) on

Other WWE superstars, including Ric Flair and The Iron Sheik, also shared their condolences and memories of Neidhart.

“My Good Friend Jim Neidhart, A World Class Athlete And A Man Among Men. Rest In Peace,” wrote Ric Flair. The Iron Shiek added: “One of my oldest friends in the business Jim Neidhart. We travel together I love him forever like a brother. God bless family I never forget you Bubba.”

Neidhart was trained by WWE Hall of Famer Stu Hart, the father of Bret and his younger brother and fellow WWE superstar Owen Hart, at the Hart Dungeon in Calgary. He earned his nickname, “The Anvil,” after winning an anvil throwing contest. He later married Stu’s daughter, Ellie. He, along with Bret, Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith, made the jump to the WWE when the company purchased Stu Hart’s Calgary Stampede Wrestling.

He was also tag team partners with Owen Hart for several years, in addition to doing some singles competition. The Hart Foundation re-formed for a short time in 1997 that consisted of Neidhart, Bret, Owen, Smith and Brian Pillman. The pro-Canadian group was famous for antagonizing the crowd with their anti-American sermons.

Neidhart last competed in the WWE in 1997.

Following the news of Neidhart’s death, the WWE community began to weigh in with their condolences, which you can read below:

Related stories from TheWrap:

WWE Star Kane Elected Mayor of Knox County, Tennessee

Brian Christopher, Former WWE Wrestler, Dies at 46 in Apparent Suicide

Nikolai Volkoff, WWE Hall of Famer, Dies at 70

France-Croatia World Cup Final Coverage on Fox Gets Deflated Audience of Under 12 Million

France’s 4-2 victory over Croatia in the World Cup Final was as sweet as a dessert crepe, though the match didn’t exactly net Fox’s TV ratings goal in the states.

Fox drew 11.3 million TV viewers for its coverage of Sunday’s final, which was down 20 percent from the 14.1 million that watched ABC’s coverage in 2014 of Germany’s 1-0 win over Argentina. Those numbers include the pre- and post-match coverage, which can deflate the overall viewership.

On Sunday, Fox Sports brought in another 500,000 viewers via streaming, on average.

Four years ago, ABC pulled in 17.3 million during just the match time frame. Fox did not provide comparable figures.

Also Read: Pussy Riot Members Jailed, Charged for Storming Field During World Cup Final in Russia (Video)

An additional 9.2 million watched on Univision in 2014, bringing the total to 26.5 million viewers in America. Telemundo, who took over Spanish-language rights from Univision, did not have ratings for Sunday’s final at press time.

Though 11.3 million viewers is still a nice broadcast television audience haul in general — especially on a Sunday morning — none of this tournament went as well as the network would have hoped when Fox shelled out $425 million for the World Cup rights, outbidding incumbent ESPN.

Leading up to Sunday’s game, Fox had been trending nearly 40 percent lower than 2014’s average viewership, so the final closed the gap a bit.

Also Read: ‘The Mick’: Here’s What Would Have Happened to Sabrina on Season 3

Fox was already facing a tall order to come anywhere close to the record soccer TV ratings that ESPN and ABC pulled in four years ago from Brazil. Brazil was just one hour ahead of the U.S. east coast, which meant most of those matches aired around primetime, whereas Russia was seven hours ahead. And when the United States failed to qualify for the tournament, it made things even worse.

The next World Cup in 2022 will be held from Middle East country Qatar, and moved to the winter to avoid the unbearably hot summer temperatures in the Gulf. But Fox did have one major celebration and it came before the tournament even started. The 2026 tournament, the last under Fox’s TV rights deal with FIFA, will be held in North America, with most of the matches emanating from the U.S.

All of this could have been worse, of course: Fox executives could be getting treated like members of Pussy Riot right now.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Pussy Riot Claims Responsibility of On-Field Protest During World Cup Final

How Do Fox’s World Cup Ratings Stack Up Against 2014?

Michelle Wolf and Seth Meyers Complain About the World Cup and Each Other (Video)

France’s 4-2 victory over Croatia in the World Cup Final was as sweet as a dessert crepe, though the match didn’t exactly net Fox’s TV ratings goal in the states.

Fox drew 11.3 million TV viewers for its coverage of Sunday’s final, which was down 20 percent from the 14.1 million that watched ABC’s coverage in 2014 of Germany’s 1-0 win over Argentina. Those numbers include the pre- and post-match coverage, which can deflate the overall viewership.

On Sunday, Fox Sports brought in another 500,000 viewers via streaming, on average.

Four years ago, ABC pulled in 17.3 million during just the match time frame. Fox did not provide comparable figures.

An additional 9.2 million watched on Univision in 2014, bringing the total to 26.5 million viewers in America. Telemundo, who took over Spanish-language rights from Univision, did not have ratings for Sunday’s final at press time.

Though 11.3 million viewers is still a nice broadcast television audience haul in general — especially on a Sunday morning — none of this tournament went as well as the network would have hoped when Fox shelled out $425 million for the World Cup rights, outbidding incumbent ESPN.

Leading up to Sunday’s game, Fox had been trending nearly 40 percent lower than 2014’s average viewership, so the final closed the gap a bit.

Fox was already facing a tall order to come anywhere close to the record soccer TV ratings that ESPN and ABC pulled in four years ago from Brazil. Brazil was just one hour ahead of the U.S. east coast, which meant most of those matches aired around primetime, whereas Russia was seven hours ahead. And when the United States failed to qualify for the tournament, it made things even worse.

The next World Cup in 2022 will be held from Middle East country Qatar, and moved to the winter to avoid the unbearably hot summer temperatures in the Gulf. But Fox did have one major celebration and it came before the tournament even started. The 2026 tournament, the last under Fox’s TV rights deal with FIFA, will be held in North America, with most of the matches emanating from the U.S.

All of this could have been worse, of course: Fox executives could be getting treated like members of Pussy Riot right now.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Pussy Riot Claims Responsibility of On-Field Protest During World Cup Final

How Do Fox's World Cup Ratings Stack Up Against 2014?

Michelle Wolf and Seth Meyers Complain About the World Cup and Each Other (Video)

Russell Crowe Cast as Roger Ailes in Showtime Limited Series

Russell Crowe has been cast as Roger Ailes in Showtime’s untitled limited series about the late chairman and CEO of Fox News, which the network confirmed it’s picked up for eight episodes.
The project is based on New York Magazine reporter …

Russell Crowe has been cast as Roger Ailes in Showtime’s untitled limited series about the late chairman and CEO of Fox News, which the network confirmed it’s picked up for eight episodes.

The project is based on New York Magazine reporter Gabriel Sherman’s best-selling book on Ailes, “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” which details Ailes’ own rise to power and how he built Fox News into the cable news behemoth it is today.

“In many ways, the collision between the media and politics has come to define the world we live in today,” Showtime president and CEO David Nevins said in a statement. “We’ve seen this phenomenon depicted on screen as far back as the story of Charles Foster Kane, and it finds contemporary embodiment in the rise and fall of Roger Ailes. With Russell Crowe in the lead role, this limited series promises to be a defining story for this era.”

This will be Crowe’s first-ever starring role on the small screen. Previously he’s made spot appearances in international series like “Republic of Doyle,” “Police Rescue” and the Australian soap opera “Neighbours.”

The Showtime series will focus primarily on the past decade in which Ailes arguably became the Republican Party’s de facto leader, while flashing back to defining events in Ailes’ life, including an initial meeting with Richard Nixon on the set of “The Mike Douglas Show” that gave birth to Ailes’ political career.

The series will also address the sexual harassment accusations and monetary settlements that brought his Fox News reign. Ailes’ tenure at the network ended in July 2016 in disgrace following a lawsuit filed by former “Real Story” host Gretchen Carlson, who accused her erstwhile boss of sexual harassment.

More women followed Carlson with similar allegations against Ailes. He died in May 2017 at the age of 77.

Sherman co-wrote the first episode with “Spotlight” director Tom McCarthy, who will executive produce alongside Jason Blum. The project is a co-production from Showtime and Blumhouse Television, which originally optioned the rights to Sherman’s book and brought the project to Showtime, and is managing physical production.

The Showtime limited series is one of two projects based on the former head of Fox News. Annapurna Pictures is developing a feature film about the sexual misconduct allegations aimed at Ailes, casting Charlize Theron as former Fox News host Megyn Kelly.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Fox News Contributor: Black People Say Detention Centers Better Than 'the Projects That I Grew up In'

Joe Scarborough Drags Fox News: 'Swallowed the President's Lies Whole'

Fox TV vs Fox News: Seth MacFarlane and Steve Levitan Lead a Family Feud Over Immigrant Separations

‘Roseanne’ Spinoff: Can ABC’s ‘The Conners’ Carry the Torch at 8 PM?

The Conners are coming back — just, you know, minus one. But can “The Conners” carry “Roseanne’s” torch without Roseanne?

Well, it had better, because the “Roseanne” spinoff sitcom, which ABC ordered 10 episodes of sight-unseen after weeks of negotiations following its decision to fire Barr, has some big shoes to fill. The Disney broadcast network has scheduled “The Conners” in its vacated “Roseanne” time slot, Tuesdays from 8 p.m.-8:30 p.m. That spot kicks off the entire evening’s lineup, and ABC saw huge Nielsen numbers — a 5.3 rating/23 share among adults 18-49 and 18.652 million total viewers, on average — there this past season.

Those figures, which include a week’s worth of delayed viewing, are hard to come by in the modern television ecosystem, and will be difficult to replicate. But Samba TV CEO Ashwin Navin believes Dan (John Goodman), Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), Darlene (Sarah Gilbert), Becky (Lecy Goranson) and D.J. (Michael Fishman) may be up to the task.

Also Read: ‘The Conners’: ABC Orders ‘Roseanne’ Spinoff Straight-to-Series for This Fall

“There aren’t many scripted shows that cater to this audience,” Navin told TheWrap, referring to Trump supporters. That’s a group who wants to relate to its TV characters — much like its politicians, clearly.

But with Roseanne Conner — the Trump-supporter and Republican of the bunch — out of the picture (and the credits), will the loyal “Roseanne” audience revolt? Not if the “Conners” writers are smart businesspeople, Navin said.

“As long as they don’t dramatically shift the narrative [from ‘Roseanne’],” the “opportunity is there to preserve the numbers” — and perhaps even to grow them, he explained.

Also Read: Tom Arnold Teases Anti-Trump Alliance With Michael Cohen: ‘The Dude Has All the Tapes’

So how will ABC handle its post-Roseanne version of the show? Below is ABC’s official description for “The Conners.”

After a sudden turn of events, the Conners are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before. This iconic family – Dan (Goodman), Jackie (Metcalf), Darlene (Gilbert), Becky (Goranson) and D.J. (Fishman) – grapples with parenthood, dating, an unexpected pregnancy, financial pressures, aging and in-laws in working-class America. Through it all, the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns – with love, humor and perseverance, the family prevails.

That “sudden turn of events” almost surely refers to Roseanne Conner’s (Roseanne Barr) sudden exit.

Tom Werner will executive produce “The Conners,” along with Gilbert, Bruce Helford, Dave Caplan, Bruce Rasmussen and Tony Hernandez. Helford, Caplan and Rasmussen are also writers on the spinoff. The series is from Tom Werner and Werner Entertainment.

Also Read: ‘The Conners’: People Have Mixed Feelings About ‘Roseanne’ Spinoff

At least one ad buyer believes that “The Conners” could surpass “Roseanne.” “Some of the characters they’re keeping are more fun than Roseanne,” Barry Lowenthal, president of ad agency The Media Kitchen, told TheWrap. “That actually might wind up being a much better show.” He added that for ABC, bringing the show back without Barr could go a long way towards placating fans who were upset by ABC’s employment of her to begin with.

“It’s kind of a nice statement for ABC to say: ‘We believe in the cast and crew. We believe what the show stands for without someone like Roseanne,’” he continued. “Bringing it back without her is almost a political statement within itself.”

But Navin argues ABC shouldn’t all-of-a-sudden let the show swing towards the other side of the political aisle. After all, there isn’t much on TV that skews Republican beyond crime shows, sports, and Fox News, per Samba’s research. “There was something working about this show,” Navin continued, emphasizing that it would be a bad idea to alienate conservatives in a “reactionary” attempt to continue distancing the remaining group from Barr.

Also Read: ‘The Conners’: People Have Mixed Feelings About ‘Roseanne’ Spinoff

Navin thinks the rush job for this fall is a good idea — “the sooner the better,” as he put it. Otherwise, some other platform is going to try to fill that vacuum. (And they probably still are, he said.)

The situation is reminiscent of the one NBC faced in 1987, when Valerie Harper left after the first two seasons of her eponymous sitcom, “Valerie,” over a salary dispute. As ABC just did, NBC continued the show without its title character, renaming it twice: First “Valerie’s Family” and then “The Hogan Family.”

ABC could take a page out of CBS’ playbook in handling the promotion for “The Conners.” In 2011, CBS fired Charlie Sheen off its very successful sitcom, “Two and a Half Men,” and replaced him with Ashton Kutcher. The whole saga intrigued viewers who tuned in to find out just how CBS would write out Sheen’s sudden departure.

CBS was able to convert the intrigue — even incorporating that into its marketing — into record ratings. The Sept. 19, 2011 premiere, which opened on a funeral for Sheen’s character, scored a gigantic 28.7 million viewers and a colossal 10.7 rating in the advertiser-preferred demo — and that was just the “live” numbers.

Also Read: Tom Arnold Teases Anti-Trump Alliance With Michael Cohen: ‘The Dude Has All the Tapes’

But that didn’t last very long.

By the end of the season, the show drew fewer than 12 million “live” viewers for its season finale, according to Nielsen data. The following three seasons all averaged fewer viewers than when Charlie Sheen was still on the show — though it went through even more changes during those seasons, as Angus T. Jones left the show, only returning for the series finale.

But getting viewers into the store is hard enough, and Lowenthal argues that intrigue over Barr’s ouster already puts “The Conners” ahead of a lot of other new shows that premiere this fall. “Attracting an audience is a really difficult thing these days. Any show that has buzz from the get go is probably a good place to start.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘The Conners’: People Have Mixed Feelings About ‘Roseanne’ Spinoff

Roseanne Will Have No ‘Creative or Financial’ Role in Spinoff ‘The Conners’

‘The Conners’: ABC Orders ‘Roseanne’ Spinoff Straight-to-Series for This Fall

The Conners are coming back — just, you know, minus one. But can “The Conners” carry “Roseanne’s” torch without Roseanne?

Well, it had better, because the “Roseanne” spinoff sitcom, which ABC ordered 10 episodes of sight-unseen after weeks of negotiations following its decision to fire Barr, has some big shoes to fill. The Disney broadcast network has scheduled “The Conners” in its vacated “Roseanne” time slot, Tuesdays from 8 p.m.-8:30 p.m. That spot kicks off the entire evening’s lineup, and ABC saw huge Nielsen numbers — a 5.3 rating/23 share among adults 18-49 and 18.652 million total viewers, on average — there this past season.

Those figures, which include a week’s worth of delayed viewing, are hard to come by in the modern television ecosystem, and will be difficult to replicate. But Samba TV CEO Ashwin Navin believes Dan (John Goodman), Jackie (Laurie Metcalf), Darlene (Sarah Gilbert), Becky (Lecy Goranson) and D.J. (Michael Fishman) may be up to the task.

“There aren’t many scripted shows that cater to this audience,” Navin told TheWrap, referring to Trump supporters. That’s a group who wants to relate to its TV characters — much like its politicians, clearly.

But with Roseanne Conner — the Trump-supporter and Republican of the bunch — out of the picture (and the credits), will the loyal “Roseanne” audience revolt? Not if the “Conners” writers are smart businesspeople, Navin said.

“As long as they don’t dramatically shift the narrative [from ‘Roseanne’],” the “opportunity is there to preserve the numbers” — and perhaps even to grow them, he explained.

So how will ABC handle its post-Roseanne version of the show? Below is ABC’s official description for “The Conners.”

After a sudden turn of events, the Conners are forced to face the daily struggles of life in Lanford in a way they never have before. This iconic family – Dan (Goodman), Jackie (Metcalf), Darlene (Gilbert), Becky (Goranson) and D.J. (Fishman) – grapples with parenthood, dating, an unexpected pregnancy, financial pressures, aging and in-laws in working-class America. Through it all, the fights, the coupon cutting, the hand-me-downs, the breakdowns – with love, humor and perseverance, the family prevails.

That “sudden turn of events” almost surely refers to Roseanne Conner’s (Roseanne Barr) sudden exit.

Tom Werner will executive produce “The Conners,” along with Gilbert, Bruce Helford, Dave Caplan, Bruce Rasmussen and Tony Hernandez. Helford, Caplan and Rasmussen are also writers on the spinoff. The series is from Tom Werner and Werner Entertainment.

At least one ad buyer believes that “The Conners” could surpass “Roseanne.” “Some of the characters they’re keeping are more fun than Roseanne,” Barry Lowenthal, president of ad agency The Media Kitchen, told TheWrap. “That actually might wind up being a much better show.” He added that for ABC, bringing the show back without Barr could go a long way towards placating fans who were upset by ABC’s employment of her to begin with.

“It’s kind of a nice statement for ABC to say: ‘We believe in the cast and crew. We believe what the show stands for without someone like Roseanne,'” he continued. “Bringing it back without her is almost a political statement within itself.”

But Navin argues ABC shouldn’t all-of-a-sudden let the show swing towards the other side of the political aisle. After all, there isn’t much on TV that skews Republican beyond crime shows, sports, and Fox News, per Samba’s research. “There was something working about this show,” Navin continued, emphasizing that it would be a bad idea to alienate conservatives in a “reactionary” attempt to continue distancing the remaining group from Barr.

Navin thinks the rush job for this fall is a good idea — “the sooner the better,” as he put it. Otherwise, some other platform is going to try to fill that vacuum. (And they probably still are, he said.)

The situation is reminiscent of the one NBC faced in 1987, when Valerie Harper left after the first two seasons of her eponymous sitcom, “Valerie,” over a salary dispute. As ABC just did, NBC continued the show without its title character, renaming it twice: First “Valerie’s Family” and then “The Hogan Family.”

ABC could take a page out of CBS’ playbook in handling the promotion for “The Conners.” In 2011, CBS fired Charlie Sheen off its very successful sitcom, “Two and a Half Men,” and replaced him with Ashton Kutcher. The whole saga intrigued viewers who tuned in to find out just how CBS would write out Sheen’s sudden departure.

CBS was able to convert the intrigue — even incorporating that into its marketing — into record ratings. The Sept. 19, 2011 premiere, which opened on a funeral for Sheen’s character, scored a gigantic 28.7 million viewers and a colossal 10.7 rating in the advertiser-preferred demo — and that was just the “live” numbers.

But that didn’t last very long.

By the end of the season, the show drew fewer than 12 million “live” viewers for its season finale, according to Nielsen data. The following three seasons all averaged fewer viewers than when Charlie Sheen was still on the show — though it went through even more changes during those seasons, as Angus T. Jones left the show, only returning for the series finale.

But getting viewers into the store is hard enough, and Lowenthal argues that intrigue over Barr’s ouster already puts “The Conners” ahead of a lot of other new shows that premiere this fall. “Attracting an audience is a really difficult thing these days. Any show that has buzz from the get go is probably a good place to start.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

'The Conners': People Have Mixed Feelings About 'Roseanne' Spinoff

Roseanne Will Have No 'Creative or Financial' Role in Spinoff 'The Conners'

'The Conners': ABC Orders 'Roseanne' Spinoff Straight-to-Series for This Fall

Fox TV vs Fox News: Seth MacFarlane and Steve Levitan Lead a Family Feud Over Family Separations

There’s a family feud at Fox, with TV studio creatives like “Modern Family” co-creator Steve Levitan and “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane tweeting their fury at conservative commentators at Fox News over family separations at the U.S.-Mexican border.

21st Century Fox’s assets include the Los Angeles-based film studio, 20th Century Fox, and the Fox broadcast network that is the home to shows like “The Simpsons,” as well as the New York-based Fox News, home to conservative commentators like Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson.  Some of the West Coasters are loudly taking issue with the hosts’ spin on child immigration centers. 

The fight comes as 21st Century Fox executive co-chairman Rupert Murdoch is selling off Fox’s TV and film assets, so they will no longer be affiliated with Fox News. That may free Levitan, whose contract is ending and whose show airs on ABC even though it comes from Fox’s TV studio, 20th Century Fox TV. MacFarlane will remain connected because he produces shows that air on Fox.

Also Read: ‘Modern Family’ Creator Steve Levitan Joins Seth MacFarlane in Being ‘Disgusted’ to Work at Fox

The breakup may explain why Levitan and MacFarlane “probably feel a little more free” to speak out, according to Brad Adgate, an independent media consultant and former senior vice president at Horizon Media.

“I don’t think this would’ve happened a year ago,” Adgate told TheWrap. “Fox News has always been partisan.”

Levitan and MacFarlane’s success has also bought them some freedom.

“Someone who doesn’t have a name or just started out wouldn’t say this,” Adgate said. “These guys are so successful as TV producers that they can go anywhere else if suddenly Fox said, ‘We don’t like what you said, we’re going to drop you.’”

Also Read: Steve Levitan Will ‘Take Some Time’ to Decide Future With Fox

The showrunners aren’t the first powerful Fox broadcast icons to lash out at Fox News. “The Simpsons” has made a running gag of it. For the show’s 25th anniversary on Fox in 2012, the show ran a love note to Fox, with an asterisk that read “This doesn’t include Fox News.”

Levitan tweeted Tuesday morning that he would leave the studio after “Modern Family” finishes its run. He then backtracked slightly, saying that he would “take some time” to think about his future and see where top Fox executives end up after the company is sold. (It is expected to go to either Disney or Comcast.)

MacFarlane objected when Fox News host Tucker Carlson advised viewers not to believe other networks’ news.

“In other words, don’t think critically, don’t consult multiple news sources, and in general, don’t use your brain,” MacFarlane tweeted. “Just blindly obey Fox News. This is fringe s—, and it’s business like this that makes me embarrassed to work for this company.”

Others who spoke up include Adam Scott, star of Fox’s “Ghosted,” who said that “as a ⁦FOX employee I’m disgusted by ⁦@FoxNews⁩ and their support for & blatant lying about state-sponsored child abuse.”

“Ghostbusters” director Paul Feig tweeted that he has made two films for 20th Century Fox and loves “the people in the movie and TV divisions.”

Be he added: “I too cannot condone the support their news division promotes toward the immoral and abusive policies and actions taken by this current administration toward immigrant children.”

Fox News Channel, Fox Broadcast Channel, and 21st Century Fox corporate all declined to comment on this story. The Fox studio did not respond to requests for comment.

Also Read: David Hogg Calls for Second Boycott of Fox News’ Laura Ingraham

Robert Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television & Popular Culture at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, said Levitan and MacFarlane “feel secure enough that a punitive firing by Fox for saying that is probably not very likely… They thought they were treading on thick ice.”

Thompson pointed out “there has always been” a divide between those two sides of the business.

“Fox News has shown stuff that you would never expect the Fox Network to show,” he said.

Unlike other broadcasters, Fox doesn’t tout its news division during the spring upfront presentations to advertisers.

Also Read: Disney Pledges $2 Billion to Fund Sky News for 15 Years

Fox News is arguably the largest jewel in 21st Century Fox’s crown. That — and the fact that Disney has ABC News — is why Fox News was never even a consideration in the sale of Fox’s assets to Disney. Fox News doesn’t need the support of any other property.

It has been the most-watched cable news channel in both primetime and total-day measurements for a staggering 197 months. And across that 24-hour period, Fox News has topped all of basic cable for 23 straight months — almost two years. Last month, its mighty primetime lineup was second only to TNT.

Fox News Channel finished 2017 with near $1.2 billion in gross advertising revenue, and netted more than $1 billion, according to media research firm SNL Kagan. Fox News also hauled in $1.6 billion in affiliate fees.

Also Read: Laura Ingraham Just Said Child Immigrant Detention Centers Are ‘Essentially Summer Camps’ (Video)

Despite cord-cutting and a general downward trend in ratings, SNL Kagan expects Fox News will net about $92 million more this year than last year. By 2020, it believes FNC’s positive cash flow will be $223 million more than in 2017.

Also Read: Laura Ingraham Just Said Child Immigrant Detention Centers Are ‘Essentially Summer Camps’ (Video)

While Levitan may be able to head for the exit door from Fox soon, MacFarlane, even after the sale goes through, will still very much be in business with Fox. His long-running “Family Guy” and live-action dramedy “The Orville” will both return on Fox next fall, as will the “Cosmos” event series follow up “Possible Worlds,” which MacFarlane executive produces.

“The reason it’s happening now is that we’re now far enough into the major cultural changes that began in 2015, when the last election came,” Thompson said. “The number of things like this that Levitan and McFarlane are outraged about are accruing and building up, and the kinds of things that are being said on Fox News are reaching new plateaus.”

In other words, don’t think critically, don’t consult multiple news sources, and in general, don’t use your brain. Just blindly obey Fox News. This is fringe shit, and it’s business like this that makes me embarrassed to work for this company. https://t.co/kC7MPYxdgZ

— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) June 16, 2018

Let me officially join @SethMacFarlane in saying I’m disgusted to work at a company that has anything whatsoever to do with @FoxNews. This bullshit is the opposite of what #ModernFamily stands for. https://t.co/dnvIbgoIyA

— Steve Levitan (@SteveLevitan) June 19, 2018

I look forward to seeing #ModernFamily through to the end and then, sale or no sale, setting up shop elsewhere.

— Steve Levitan (@SteveLevitan) June 19, 2018

I have made two films for 20th Century Fox and love the people in the movie and TV divisions. But I too cannot condone the support their news division promotes toward the immoral and abusive policies and actions taken by this current administration toward immigrant children. https://t.co/6JqIQPjepV

— Paul Feig (@paulfeig) June 19, 2018

As a ⁦FOX employee I’m disgusted by ⁦@FoxNews⁩ and their support for & blatant lying about state-sponsored child abuse. https://t.co/r6gkqHQDzq

— Adam Scott (@mradamscott) June 19, 2018

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Fox & Friends’ Says ‘Cages’ at Immigration Detention Centers Are Really ‘Walls Out of Chain Link Fences’ (Video)

Fox News Exec Drags Seth MacFarlane for Trashing Network

Seth MacFarlane: Fox News ‘Makes Me Embarrassed to Work for This Company’

There’s a family feud at Fox, with TV studio creatives like “Modern Family” co-creator Steve Levitan and “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane tweeting their fury at conservative commentators at Fox News over family separations at the U.S.-Mexican border.

21st Century Fox’s assets include the Los Angeles-based film studio, 20th Century Fox, and the Fox broadcast network that is the home to shows like “The Simpsons,” as well as the New York-based Fox News, home to conservative commentators like Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson.  Some of the West Coasters are loudly taking issue with the hosts’ spin on child immigration centers. 

The fight comes as 21st Century Fox executive co-chairman Rupert Murdoch is selling off Fox’s TV and film assets, so they will no longer be affiliated with Fox News. That may free Levitan, whose contract is ending and whose show airs on ABC even though it comes from Fox’s TV studio, 20th Century Fox TV. MacFarlane will remain connected because he produces shows that air on Fox.

The breakup may explain why Levitan and MacFarlane “probably feel a little more free” to speak out, according to Brad Adgate, an independent media consultant and former senior vice president at Horizon Media.

“I don’t think this would’ve happened a year ago,” Adgate told TheWrap. “Fox News has always been partisan.”

Levitan and MacFarlane’s success has also bought them some freedom.

“Someone who doesn’t have a name or just started out wouldn’t say this,” Adgate said. “These guys are so successful as TV producers that they can go anywhere else if suddenly Fox said, ‘We don’t like what you said, we’re going to drop you.'”

The showrunners aren’t the first powerful Fox broadcast icons to lash out at Fox News. “The Simpsons” has made a running gag of it. For the show’s 25th anniversary on Fox in 2012, the show ran a love note to Fox, with an asterisk that read “This doesn’t include Fox News.”

Levitan tweeted Tuesday morning that he would leave the studio after “Modern Family” finishes its run. He then backtracked slightly, saying that he would “take some time” to think about his future and see where top Fox executives end up after the company is sold. (It is expected to go to either Disney or Comcast.)

MacFarlane objected when Fox News host Tucker Carlson advised viewers not to believe other networks’ news.

“In other words, don’t think critically, don’t consult multiple news sources, and in general, don’t use your brain,” MacFarlane tweeted. “Just blindly obey Fox News. This is fringe s—, and it’s business like this that makes me embarrassed to work for this company.”

Others who spoke up include Adam Scott, star of Fox’s “Ghosted,” who said that “as a ⁦FOX employee I’m disgusted by ⁦⁩ and their support for & blatant lying about state-sponsored child abuse.”

“Ghostbusters” director Paul Feig tweeted that he has made two films for 20th Century Fox and loves “the people in the movie and TV divisions.”

Be he added: “I too cannot condone the support their news division promotes toward the immoral and abusive policies and actions taken by this current administration toward immigrant children.”

Fox News Channel, Fox Broadcast Channel, and 21st Century Fox corporate all declined to comment on this story. The Fox studio did not respond to requests for comment.

Robert Thompson, director of the Bleier Center for Television & Popular Culture at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School, said Levitan and MacFarlane “feel secure enough that a punitive firing by Fox for saying that is probably not very likely… They thought they were treading on thick ice.”

Thompson pointed out “there has always been” a divide between those two sides of the business.

“Fox News has shown stuff that you would never expect the Fox Network to show,” he said.

Unlike other broadcasters, Fox doesn’t tout its news division during the spring upfront presentations to advertisers.

Fox News is arguably the largest jewel in 21st Century Fox’s crown. That — and the fact that Disney has ABC News — is why Fox News was never even a consideration in the sale of Fox’s assets to Disney. Fox News doesn’t need the support of any other property.

It has been the most-watched cable news channel in both primetime and total-day measurements for a staggering 197 months. And across that 24-hour period, Fox News has topped all of basic cable for 23 straight months — almost two years. Last month, its mighty primetime lineup was second only to TNT.

Fox News Channel finished 2017 with near $1.2 billion in gross advertising revenue, and netted more than $1 billion, according to media research firm SNL Kagan. Fox News also hauled in $1.6 billion in affiliate fees.

Despite cord-cutting and a general downward trend in ratings, SNL Kagan expects Fox News will net about $92 million more this year than last year. By 2020, it believes FNC’s positive cash flow will be $223 million more than in 2017.

While Levitan may be able to head for the exit door from Fox soon, MacFarlane, even after the sale goes through, will still very much be in business with Fox. His long-running “Family Guy” and live-action dramedy “The Orville” will both return on Fox next fall, as will the “Cosmos” event series follow up “Possible Worlds,” which MacFarlane executive produces.

“The reason it’s happening now is that we’re now far enough into the major cultural changes that began in 2015, when the last election came,” Thompson said. “The number of things like this that Levitan and McFarlane are outraged about are accruing and building up, and the kinds of things that are being said on Fox News are reaching new plateaus.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Fox & Friends' Says 'Cages' at Immigration Detention Centers Are Really 'Walls Out of Chain Link Fences' (Video)

Fox News Exec Drags Seth MacFarlane for Trashing Network

Seth MacFarlane: Fox News 'Makes Me Embarrassed to Work for This Company'

Why Has the Old ‘Colbert Report’ Time Slot Been Such a Black Hole for Comedy Central?

“The Colbert Report” came to a close in December 2014. Since then, nothing has stuck in Comedy Central’s 11:30 p.m. time slot.

That trend continued on Friday, when the Viacom cable channel announced it was ending Jordan Klepper’s “The Opposition” after just one season. Comedy Central isn’t sending Klepper as a talent packing, however, as he’s getting a weekly primetime series at the network.

After the finale of “The Opposition” airs on June 28, repeats of “The Office” will temporarily take over 11:30 until Comedy Central comes up with a permanent (as permanent as any of these plug-ins have been) solution for the half-hour. It’s been a familiar pattern, one that is hopefully solved by the latest round of late-night development over there.

Also Read: Comedy Central Cancels ‘The Opposition’ – But Orders New Jordan Klepper Series

Weeks after “Colbert” ended so Stephen Colbert could take his CBS gig, “The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore” debuted behind Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show.” Even that rollout didn’t go as originally planned, however, as a copyright issue forced Comedy Central to change the title of its newest late-night effort from the original (and much better) working one, “The Minority Report.”

You see, a terrible drama of the same name — an adaptation of Tom Cruise’s 2002 feature film — was in the works at Fox. And we simply couldn’t have weathered that confusion on TV. Wilmore outlasted the broadcast series, for whatever that is worth.

Even so, Wilmore lasted two just seasons, bridging his “Daily Show” lead-in from the classic Stewart era to the ongoing (and steam-gaining) Trevor Noah one. In search of better TV ratings, Comedy Central filled Wilmore’s spot with original episodes of Chris Hardwick’s “@midnight” — yes, @11:30 — until executives there settled on “The Opposition” as its new “Colbert.” And that kind of made sense.

Also Read: Keeping It 100, Here’s Why Larry Wilmore’s ‘Nightly Show’ Was Canceled

“The Opposition” was strikingly similar to “The Colbert Report” in tone. Both “Daily Show” correspondent alums Colbert and Klepper played conservative characters on their own shows, with the former personality striking a Bill O’Reilly tone vs. the latter’s Alex Jones energy.

Unfortunately, the resemblance in overall approach did not result in parity of Nielsen numbers, nor critical reception.

The fact that Comedy Central has had a tough time filling Colbert’s shoes “just points out how hard it is” to make quality late-night TV, Brad Adgate, an independent media consultant and former senior vice president at Horizon Media, told TheWrap.

Also Read: Colbert Throws the Bible Back at Jeff Sessions: Vladimir Putin Picked You, Not God (Video)

And the loss of Stewart looms larger than just how 11-11:30 performs. For years, Comedy Central had Stewart not only to provide a strong lead-in, but also to cultivate talent. Adgate compared Stewart’s role to “Saturday Night Live” head honcho Lorne Michaels.

In fact, if you look at the late-night landscape, outside of Jimmy Kimmel and James Corden, everyone that has had any success is from either Stewart’s version of “The Daily Show” or “SNL.” Even those he’s found his groove as a host, what Noah is lacking is Stewart’s ability to create a roster of talent, including Colbert, Samantha Bee and John Oliver, each of whom have experienced success on their own.

“Can [Noah] actually find talent and find a suitable companion the way Jon Stewart has been able to do it?” Adgate continued. “Is there a bullpen of talent in that show, where they can say this person can do it on his own the way Colbert did? They haven’t found that yet and they may never find it.”

Also Read: Colbert ‘Would Love a Lawsuit’ From Comedy Central Over Reprising ‘Report’ Character on CBS

So, for now, it is reruns of “The Office” at 11:30, which only bolsters Adgate’s point. After all, before he was Michael Scott, Steve Carell was screaming at Colbert for the benefit of Stewart’s audience during the trio’s shared “Daily Show” tenure.

Remember those days? We sure do — and probably *almost* as fondly as Comedy Central does.

Comedy Central declined to participate in this story.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Stephen Colbert Presses Michael Avenatti, Anthony Scaramucci on Their TV-Duo Potential: ‘What Is This?’ (Video)

Colbert Can’t Believe Kim Jong Un Got Trump to Eat a Vegetable (Video)

Colbert Clowns Trump for Ruining G7 Summit Before It Even Started (Video)

“The Colbert Report” came to a close in December 2014. Since then, nothing has stuck in Comedy Central’s 11:30 p.m. time slot.

That trend continued on Friday, when the Viacom cable channel announced it was ending Jordan Klepper’s “The Opposition” after just one season. Comedy Central isn’t sending Klepper as a talent packing, however, as he’s getting a weekly primetime series at the network.

After the finale of “The Opposition” airs on June 28, repeats of “The Office” will temporarily take over 11:30 until Comedy Central comes up with a permanent (as permanent as any of these plug-ins have been) solution for the half-hour. It’s been a familiar pattern, one that is hopefully solved by the latest round of late-night development over there.

Weeks after “Colbert” ended so Stephen Colbert could take his CBS gig, “The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore” debuted behind Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show.” Even that rollout didn’t go as originally planned, however, as a copyright issue forced Comedy Central to change the title of its newest late-night effort from the original (and much better) working one, “The Minority Report.”

You see, a terrible drama of the same name — an adaptation of Tom Cruise’s 2002 feature film — was in the works at Fox. And we simply couldn’t have weathered that confusion on TV. Wilmore outlasted the broadcast series, for whatever that is worth.

Even so, Wilmore lasted two just seasons, bridging his “Daily Show” lead-in from the classic Stewart era to the ongoing (and steam-gaining) Trevor Noah one. In search of better TV ratings, Comedy Central filled Wilmore’s spot with original episodes of Chris Hardwick’s “@midnight” — yes, @11:30 — until executives there settled on “The Opposition” as its new “Colbert.” And that kind of made sense.

“The Opposition” was strikingly similar to “The Colbert Report” in tone. Both “Daily Show” correspondent alums Colbert and Klepper played conservative characters on their own shows, with the former personality striking a Bill O’Reilly tone vs. the latter’s Alex Jones energy.

Unfortunately, the resemblance in overall approach did not result in parity of Nielsen numbers, nor critical reception.

The fact that Comedy Central has had a tough time filling Colbert’s shoes “just points out how hard it is” to make quality late-night TV, Brad Adgate, an independent media consultant and former senior vice president at Horizon Media, told TheWrap.

And the loss of Stewart looms larger than just how 11-11:30 performs. For years, Comedy Central had Stewart not only to provide a strong lead-in, but also to cultivate talent. Adgate compared Stewart’s role to “Saturday Night Live” head honcho Lorne Michaels.

In fact, if you look at the late-night landscape, outside of Jimmy Kimmel and James Corden, everyone that has had any success is from either Stewart’s version of “The Daily Show” or “SNL.” Even those he’s found his groove as a host, what Noah is lacking is Stewart’s ability to create a roster of talent, including Colbert, Samantha Bee and John Oliver, each of whom have experienced success on their own.

“Can [Noah] actually find talent and find a suitable companion the way Jon Stewart has been able to do it?” Adgate continued. “Is there a bullpen of talent in that show, where they can say this person can do it on his own the way Colbert did? They haven’t found that yet and they may never find it.”

So, for now, it is reruns of “The Office” at 11:30, which only bolsters Adgate’s point. After all, before he was Michael Scott, Steve Carell was screaming at Colbert for the benefit of Stewart’s audience during the trio’s shared “Daily Show” tenure.

Remember those days? We sure do — and probably *almost* as fondly as Comedy Central does.

Comedy Central declined to participate in this story.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Stephen Colbert Presses Michael Avenatti, Anthony Scaramucci on Their TV-Duo Potential: 'What Is This?' (Video)

Colbert Can't Believe Kim Jong Un Got Trump to Eat a Vegetable (Video)

Colbert Clowns Trump for Ruining G7 Summit Before It Even Started (Video)

TBS ‘Never Even Had a Chance’ to Nab ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine,’ Kevin Reilly Says

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” fans rejoiced last week when NBC saved the Fox-canceled sitcom, picking up Season 6 for a midseason start. Among the extended “squad” members doing a happy dance was TBS president Kevin Reilly, who many thought would have a shot at bringing the critically acclaimed comedy to TBS since he developed the show during his time at Fox.

“I never even had the chance” to bid on the Universal Television series, Reilly told a group of reporters on Wednesday after Turner’s upfront event. Fox canceled “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” on Thursday, and fans erupted over the unpopular decision. By Friday, NBC announced it was bringing to show to its own airwaves.

With “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” only in the TV graveyard for one day, it would’ve been a quick call for Reilly. “I did get some incoming calls. I would’ve considered it, but I wasn’t going to do it overnight,” he added.

Also Read: ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Save: ‘We Jumped on It Really Quickly,’ NBC Chief Bob Greenblatt Says

The Turner Entertainment Networks chief operating officer further stated that “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” belongs on NBC since the show literally belongs to NBCUniversal. “Good for NBC, they stepped up,” he continued. “It’s their show and their studio.”

Nevertheless, Reilly was “very excited” that the show will come back for at least one more season. “It’s great people and great talent.”

Reilly elaborated a bit more on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” stating that they do own syndication rights to the cop comedy. “I’m not sure that there would be that much more value to have the originals,” he told TheWrap. While Turner’s TBS network has rescued canceled sitcoms in the past including “Cougar Town” and “American Dad,” Reilly said they’re more focused now on their own development pipeline.

Also Read: TNT’s ‘The Last Ship’ to End After Season 5

“TBS was a network that was about acquired product. We have taken huge steps to make it place that is about original product,” he continued. “It’s hard to then go back.”

However, he admitted that if he had an opportunity to rescue an animated series like Turner did with “American Dad” — which he actually canceled while he was the entertainment chief at Fox —  Reilly would “pick that up in a heartbeat.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Seth Meyers’ Best NBC Upfront Jokes Skewer ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Pickup, Matt Lauer Scandal

‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Saved? Other Networks and Platforms Have Already Expressed Interest

Why Fox Canceled ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine,’ ‘The Mick’ and ‘The Last Man on Earth’

“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” fans rejoiced last week when NBC saved the Fox-canceled sitcom, picking up Season 6 for a midseason start. Among the extended “squad” members doing a happy dance was TBS president Kevin Reilly, who many thought would have a shot at bringing the critically acclaimed comedy to TBS since he developed the show during his time at Fox.

“I never even had the chance” to bid on the Universal Television series, Reilly told a group of reporters on Wednesday after Turner’s upfront event. Fox canceled “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” on Thursday, and fans erupted over the unpopular decision. By Friday, NBC announced it was bringing to show to its own airwaves.

With “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” only in the TV graveyard for one day, it would’ve been a quick call for Reilly. “I did get some incoming calls. I would’ve considered it, but I wasn’t going to do it overnight,” he added.

The Turner Entertainment Networks chief operating officer further stated that “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” belongs on NBC since the show literally belongs to NBCUniversal. “Good for NBC, they stepped up,” he continued. “It’s their show and their studio.”

Nevertheless, Reilly was “very excited” that the show will come back for at least one more season. “It’s great people and great talent.”

Reilly elaborated a bit more on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” stating that they do own syndication rights to the cop comedy. “I’m not sure that there would be that much more value to have the originals,” he told TheWrap. While Turner’s TBS network has rescued canceled sitcoms in the past including “Cougar Town” and “American Dad,” Reilly said they’re more focused now on their own development pipeline.

“TBS was a network that was about acquired product. We have taken huge steps to make it place that is about original product,” he continued. “It’s hard to then go back.”

However, he admitted that if he had an opportunity to rescue an animated series like Turner did with “American Dad” — which he actually canceled while he was the entertainment chief at Fox —  Reilly would “pick that up in a heartbeat.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Seth Meyers' Best NBC Upfront Jokes Skewer 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Pickup, Matt Lauer Scandal

'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' Saved? Other Networks and Platforms Have Already Expressed Interest

Why Fox Canceled 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine,' 'The Mick' and 'The Last Man on Earth'