David Letterman Headed Back to Talk TV With Netflix Series

David Letterman, who said goodbye to his long-running CBS talk show two years ago, will say hello to TV again with a new show for Netflix.

Netflix announced Tuesday that the six-episode series has Letterman combining two primary interests: in-depth conversations, and in-the-field segments sparked by his curiosity and humor. In each hour-long episode, Letterman will conduct a long-form conversation with a single guest, and explore topics of his own outside the studio.

The as-yet-untitled series is set to premiere in 2018.

In 33 years on late-night television, Letterman hosted 6,028 episodes of NBC’s “Late Night” and CBS’ “Late Show,” and is the longest-running late-night broadcaster in American history. He stepped down from “Late Show” in May 2015. (AP)

Tentative Writers Deal Will be For 3 Years

The Writers Guild of America says the tentative deal reached early Tuesday will cover its television and film writers for three years if ratified by its members.

The guild released a one-sentence statement confirming the deal and its length. There were no details on the terms of the agreement, or how it addressed compensation and health care issues that had been the major sticking points of this contract’s negotiations.

The deal’s announcement came more than 90 minutes after the previous contract expired. Pickets could have started Tuesday morning, immediately sending late night talk shows into reruns and eventually impacting scripted series and feature films in development.

The previous writers’ strike occurred nearly 10 years ago and gradually took a wider toll on Hollywood TV and movie production and the California economy.  (AP)

Golden Globes Audience Grew by 1.5 Million Over Last year

The Nielsen company says Sunday’s Golden Globes show enjoyed a bump in its audience over last year’s.

The awards broadcast, aired on NBC with Jimmy Fallon hosting, was seen by 20 million viewers. That’s a boost of 1.5 million over the 18.5 million viewers who watched in January 2016. It represents an 8 percent surge year-to-year.

Last year’s show, hosted by Ricky Gervais, dropped 800,000 viewers from 2015, although that Globes telecast faced tough competition from the final 15 minutes of an NFL game on Fox.

The 2014 telecast, co-hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, drew 20.9 million viewers to score as the most-watched Globes-fest in a decade. (AP)

‘Breaking Bad’ Leads Twitter TV popularity

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AMC’s “Breaking Bad” is the champion of a new television metric: more second-screen activity on Twitter than any other TV series.

The Nielsen company, for the first time this season, is measuring how many people are reading Twitter messages about particular TV programs the night they are on the air.

Nielsen said Monday the drug-dealing drama starring Bryan Cranston had an average of 6 million people seeing tweets for each episode. The show was boosted by its finale last September, where the number shot up to 9.1 million.

Another AMC series, “The Walking Dead,” came in second with 5.17 million.

For individual events, the Super Bowl and the Oscars led the way — just as each year both events generally have the most viewers. (AP)

‘SNL’ to Air Prime-Time Election Spoofs This Fall

NBC will air two “Saturday Night Live” prime-time election specials, and it’s leaving the door open to cult-favorite comedy “Community” to return after next season’s abbreviated run.

NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt announced Tuesday that the “SNL” specials will air Sept. 20 and 27.

He says “Community,” which hovered near cancellation before being renewed for 13 weeks, could live beyond next season if it proves itself in its new Friday slot.

Greenblatt told reporters at the Television Critics Association conference that he would love nothing more than for “Community” to continue.

He also says he was proud that NBC was in third-place last season among adults 18 to 49. It’s the network’s best performance in eight years. (AP)

64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards Announced

Primetime Emmy nominations are out and “Mad Men” and “American Horror Story” are leading the pack.

“Mad Men” received 17 Emmy nominations Thursday and a chance to set a record as the most-honored drama series in TV history. Stars Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss are up for lead acting honors.

The miniseries “American Horror Story” received a matching 17 awards, including an acting nod for star Connie Britton.

Other leading nominees include drama series “Downton Abbey” and two miniseries, “Hatfields & McCoys” and “Hemingway & Gellhorn.”

Also nominated for best drama series are “Homeland,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “Breaking Bad” and “Game of Thrones.”

Emmy voters gave a thumbs-up to some breakout comedies with women at their center — which are in fashion after the box office success of “Bridesmaids.” A best-comedy nod went to the HBO series “Girls,” along with acting, writing and directing nominations for Lena Dunham.

A best-comedy-actress nomination went to Zooey Deschanel of “New Girl.” Her competitors include Melissa McCarthy of “Mike & Molly,” who won last year.

Academy voters paid tribute to the late Kathryn Joosten. She received a supporting actress bid for her role in “Desperate Housewives.” Joosten died in June of lung cancer.

The 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will air live on Sunday, September 23rd on ABC.

Jimmy Kimmel will host.

To see the entire nominations list, go to http://www.emmys.com/ (AP)

CBS Claims Victory in Round 1 of New TV Season

The Nielsen Co. says CBS averaged 12 million viewers last week, some 2 million more than runner-up ABC.

The season premiere of “Two and a Half Men” didn’t hurt CBS’ cause. Nearly 29 million viewers tuned in to see Ashton Kutcher arrive as Charlie Sheen’s replacement on the veteran sitcom. It was the most-watched show of the week.    

But CBS logged another 10 shows in the Top 20. These include the premiere of “2 Broke Girls,” and also the most-watched new dramas — “Unforgettable” and “Person of Interest.”

Fox’s much-anticipated singing competition, “The X Factor,” ranked 19th and 20th.

NBC’s “Nightly News” topped the evening newscasts with an average of 7.97 million viewers (5.4 rating, 11 share). ABC’s “World News” was second with 7.27 million (5.0 rating, 10 share) and the “CBS Evening News” had 5.82 million viewers (4.0 rating, 8 share).

A ratings point represents 1,147,000 households, or 1% of the nation’s estimated 114.7 million TV homes. The share is the percentage of in-use televisions tuned to a given show.

Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Sept. 19-25. Listings include the week’s ranking and viewership.

   1. “Two and a Half Men,” CBS, 28.74 million.

   2. NFL Football:PittsburghatIndianapolis, NBC, 20.36 million.

   3. “NCIS,” CBS, 19.96 million.

   4. “2 Broke Girls,” CBS, 19.37 million.

   5. “Dancing with the Stars,” ABC, 19.03 million.

   6. “NCIS:Los Angeles,” CBS, 16.71 million.

   7. “Sunday Night NFL Pre-Kick,” NBC, 15.98 million.

   8. “The Big Bang Theory”-Special, CBS, 14.94 million.

   9. “Dancing with the Stars”-Results, ABC, 14.79 million.

   10. “Modern Family,” ABC, 14.54 million.

   11. “Modern Family”-Special, ABC, 14.52 million.

   12. “The Big Bang Theory,” CBS, 14.30 million.

   13. “Criminal Minds,” CBS, 14.14 million.

   14. “Unforgettable,” CBS, 14.09 million.

   15. “The Mentalist,” CBS, 13.56 million.

   16. “Person of Interest,” CBS, 13.33 million.

   17. “Castle,” ABC, 13.28 million.

   18. “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” CBS, 12.74 million.

   19. “The X Factor” (Thursday), Fox, 12.52 million.

   20. “The X Factor” (Wednesday), Fox, 12.49 million.

   ——

 ABC is owned by The Walt DisneyCo.; CBS is a division of CBS Corp.; Fox is a unit of News Corp.; NBC is owned by NBC Universal.

Nielsen permits use of only the top 20 on websites.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.