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Upfront TV: Ferrell Hosts SNL | CNBC Declines | NFL Draft Draws | “Make It” Doesn’t

Published on April 30, 2012
  • Will Ferrell will return to “Saturday Night Live” for his third time as host on Saturday, May 12. Ferrell was last seen in the telenova comedy, “Casa de Mi Padre” and can next be seen in “The Campaign,” due out August 10 with Zach Galifianakis. Usher makes his third musical guest appearance alongside Ferrell. The seven-time Grammy-award winner’s seventh studio album, “Looking for Myself,” is due out June 12th and is already enjoying massive reaction to its number one lead single “Climax” and his just released “Scream.”
  • A&E Network will premiere the new original scripted drama series, “Longmire” on Sunday, June 3 at 10 P.M. ET/PT immediately following the third season premiere of the returning hit drama “The Glades” at 9 P.M. ET/PT. “Longmire”is  a contemporary crime thriller set in Big Sky country, and is based on the Walt Longmire Mystery novels by best-selling author Craig Johnson. The series stars Australian actor Robert Taylor (The Matrix) as Walt Longmire, the charismatic, dedicated and unflappable sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming,along with Katee Sackhoff (“Battlestar Galactica”), Lou Diamond Phillips (“Numb3rs”), Bailey Chase (“Damages”), Cassidy Freeman (“Smallville“) and newcomer Adam Bartley.  The premiere season will feature ten one-hour episodes.
  • CNBC‘s ratings are way down across the board, according to Deadline Hollywood, citing Nielsen data. The network’s core business programming (airing from 6 A.M. to 8 P.M.) is down 10% in total viewers and 6% in adults 25-54 from April to April. Especially hard hit are the “marquee shows” “Squawk Box” and “Closing Bell,” each in its fourth straight quarter of declines. From April 2011 to April 2012 “Squawk Box” is down 16% in total viewers and 29% in the 25-54 demos. “‘Closing Bell” is also down 16% year over year and 11% in the 25-54 demo.
  • The NLF Draft is a ratings giant. ESPN's live telecast of the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft in primetime on Thursday took a 5.1 cable rating and nearly 6.7 million viewers, reports Multichannel News citing Nielsen data. That represents an 11% gain from last year's 6 million. That makes the opening round the second highest-rated and second most-viewed NFL Draft telecast on record, second only to the 5.3 rating with 7.29 million watchers in 2010, the first time the college selection event aired in primetime. ESPN has televised the NFL Draft every year since 1980. NFL Network’s first-round coverage reached 1.4 million viewers on average, which is a 40% jump from the 1 million who tuned in the 2010 event.
  • ABC Family has pulled the plug on “Make It Or Break It,” which will wrap up its current season on May 13 at 9 P.M., reports The Wrap. The scripted drama follows young female gymnasts training for the 2012 Olympics, and has steadily declined in ratings since it debuted in 2009, averaging 1.4 million total viewers for its current third season (down about 50% from season one).

  • NBC has pulled the plug on midseason comedy “Best Friends Forever,” The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. The half-hour sitcom premiered in early April with a modest 4 million viewers and a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49, and has declined since. The show was created by comediennes Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair, who also starred. Next week, an original episode of “Betty White's Off Their Rockers” will air in the Wednesday 8:30 P.M. No announcement yet as to when NBC will burn off BFF’s last two episodes.
  • In syndication news, Nick at Nite has added “Yes, Dear” to its nightly lineup, beginning May 1. This 122-episode family comedy stars Mike O’Malley (Glee, GUTS) and follows two couples and their wildly divergent parenting styles.  Yes, Dear will air regularly on the network Monday-Friday at 11:00 P.M. ET/PT.Originally airing from 2000-06 on CBS, Yes, Dear showcases first-time parents Greg (Anthony Clark) and Kim Warner (Jean Louisa Kelly) who aspire to be the model of parenting. Greg is a successful movie studio executive who must also keep Kim– a neurotic, stay-at-home mother – calm as she strives to be the perfect mother and wife. Meanwhile, Kim’s sister, Christine Hughes (Liza Snyder), and her layabout husband, Jimmy (O’Malley), are down-to-earth parents living in Kim and Greg’s guest house, continually reminding them that life will never be perfect.