Tag Archives: Kelsey Grammer

Greying of America Has Transforming Effect on TV Content, Ratings

Kelsey Grammer

For decades, TV executives and advertisers have based decisions about what you watch on the numbers of 18 to 49-year-olds who are looking at various shows.  The importance of the 18 to 49 bracket has been unquestioned, unassailable.  Until now.

The greying of America in general, and television viewership in particular, has already had a transforming effect on the TV landscape, with more shows fronted by stars in their fifties and up than ever before.   Kelsey Grammer is the latest, with his “Boss” dramedy heading into production for Starz and Lionsgate TV.   Gus Van Sant makes his TV directing debut on the project about a Chicago mayor with a dark secret.

There are obvious absurdities in the thinking that’s dominated demographic considerations for so long.  David Poltrack, Chief Research Officer of CBS Corp. and President of its CBS Vision business unit, points out, “The idea that a 49-year-old woman and her 18-year-old daughter are of equal potential in buying a product, and then when the mother turns 50 she ceases to be of any value, doesn’t make any sense.”

In fact, “Traditional age-based targets are less and less relevant,” according to Poltrack, with whom we spoke for an AARP.org story about current trends in TV as the audience, and stars, age up.

“We now have very large databases and analytical tools that allow us to look at audiences in much more meaningful ways — by lifestyle, family situation, technology orientation.”

He explains, “What happens now, with cable television and satellite television connections with set-top boxes that are able to monitor what is being watched in a home, you’re able to get information from hundreds of thousands, even millions of households.”  At the same time, each time consumers use shopper cards at markets and pharmacies, their purchasing data is recorded.   Combining and comparing data on shows viewed and products purchased provides information on the effectiveness of commercials.

With such a wealth of pertinent data available to mine, making ad buying decisions based on age ranges seems clunky and outmoded.  Poltrack informs that a new CBS study using these cutting-edge means debunked the notion that shows viewed by 18 to 49-year-olds generate more product sales.

Could a paradigm shift in how advertisers view audience demographics be at hand?

“That’s what we’re hoping,” he says.

‘Pair of Kings” Doc Shaw Surprised to Get White Twin

Mitchell Musso, Doc Shaw Disney XD photo

After more than eight months of hard shooting, Doc Shaw’s and Mitchell Musso’s new Disney XD show, “Pair of Kings” wrapped production of its first 21 episodes earlier this month.  Shaw admits, “It feels like we’ve really been away on an island.  Not a relaxation island – an island where I had to work hard.”

In the series, he and Musso play fraternal twin high-schoolers who head to a magical uncharted island after being told they’re rightful heirs to the throne there.  Disney XD-style complications and fun ensue.  “We did a lot of our own stunts.  We did fighting.  We got into harnesses for scenes like when we had to jump out of a bird’s nest and hang glide down to the ground.  We had to jump over, like, a nine foot wall into an imaginary ocean,” Shaw says, referring to his and Musso’s green screen action sequences.  “I’m definitely an athletic person, but I never expected to have to learn all this kind of stuff.  We learned how to shoot with a bow and arrows, we learned kung fu….Some days me and Mitchell kind of regretted having to wake up.  We were definitely tired.”

He says that he and Musso, the former “Hannah Montana” cohort, barely knew each other when they were cast as twin brothers — but fortunately, they hit it off quickly and “started hanging out together almost every day.”

How does Shaw, who is African-American, feel about having a white twin?  “I know, right?”  He laughs.  “Sometimes the crew gets confused on who’s who.”  But seriously, “I was definitely kind of surprised by it.  I didn’ t know how they would sell it.  But this is a magical island, where twins can be born in any ethnicity.  It’s magical, it’s imaginary, it’s just about having fun.”

TACKY TIME:  How distasteful, Kelsey Grammer, to appear on Wendy Williams’ show last week with your new – young – pregnant girlfriend Kayte Walsh in the audience and blithely chatter away about moving permanently to New York like a first-time groom – rather than a man who left a home with a young daughter and son behind just a couple of months ago.

“We’re talking about [moving]… We fell in love in New York, and we like living here.  We have a lot of things in our future and great happiness ahead,” he gushed.   He’s been flaunting pretty blond Kayte elsewhere, too — while soon-to-be-ex-wife of 13 years Camille Donatacci will no doubt be flaunting aplenty on “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”  The divorce was only filed in July, with reports that Camille didn’t understand why Kelsey had quit calling home from New York, where he’s appearing in “La Cage aux Folles.”  Whatever back-and-forth public spitting the splitting Grammers may feel like doing, it’s crummy behavior insofar as their children (daughter Mason is eight, son Jude, five) are concerned.

AND:  Speaking of tacky…It’s still kind of amazing that CNN is enshrining Piers Morgan as Larry King’s replacement.  Infamous as a merciless tabloid editor back in the U.K., once referred to by former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s wife, Cherie Blair, as “a man with no moral compass,” tainted by a case of faked photos purported to show British soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, loser in a lawsuit for the publication of pictures of Naomi Campbell attending a Narcotics Anonymous meeting…The man with a self-described “Grand Canyon-sized ego” sleazed his way to the top.

Hamilton’s Mom Wouldn’t Get Zellweger Casting

Debonair actor George Hamilton says he’s amazed at how well the movie “My One and Only” turned out — but

Renee Zellweger and Chris Noth  in "My one and only"

Renee Zellweger and Chris Noth in "My One and Only"

admits he’s not so sure his mother would have felt the same.

In fact, says George of the feature, which is loosely based on his colorful mom’s adventures during his childhood, “I don’t know if my mother would agree with the movie at all.  I think in some strange way she probably wouldn’t have gotten the casting.”  That’s Oscar-winning actress Renee Zellweger as Anne Deveraux, a.k.a. George’s mother.

“I think she would have loved the fanfare but she’d say, ‘I wouldn’t wear that hat and why is she wearing that dress?’  My mother was much to do about the exterior.  She divorced one husband because he wore brown shoes after 6:00,” he tells us, adding that Zellweger of course has the good looks — she just doesn’t look like his mother.  “If I had been left to it, I might have gotten someone with more similarities to my mother, but at the end of the day, they wouldn’t have had the talent that she has.  What’s amazing about this picture is Renee gave a performance that really told the truth about my mother and made my mother come alive – whereas my mother would have played it externally.”

The movie, which also stars Kevin Bacon, Chris Noth, and Nick Stahl, has a national release in select theaters starting Sept. 4.

“I’m not in it and maybe that’s one of the best things that could have happened to it,” says Hamilton with a laugh, but he and his late, longtime pal Merv Griffin produced it.

“Years ago Merv and I were talking about doing something and I told him this story about my mother deciding that she was going to find every boyfriend she ever had in order to find a father for us and a husband for her.  She was going back 30 years of her life in this odyssey across the United States trying desperately to keep our family together.  She would talk about this guy being the most attractive man at Yale and we’d go to a restaurant to meet him, and my brother and I would stay in the car, and she’d come out and say, ‘Oh, he let himself go.’  It happened one after the other.  We finally realized all we had was each other.”

WHEN HUMILIATION IS A GOOD THING: Kelsey Grammer is back with a new ABC sitcom after a short-lived stint on Fox last year, but can he get past his extremely popular Frasier Crane character?  “When you play a character for as long as he did and it’s such a beloved character, of course people have that in the back of their minds, but I think a lot of the reason that character is so beloved is Kelsey himself,” says his new “Hank” co-star Melinda McGraw.  McGraw plays Grammer’s his wife in the comedy about a Wall Street executive who loses his job and reconnects with his small-town family.  “He’s so good at playing that guy who is having to overcome humiliation, which is a lot of what comedy is.  I have no doubts people are going to be able to look beyond that and enjoy him in this character.”

Meanwhile, “Mad Men” fans, who have eagerly awaited the show’s second season, want to know if McGraw will be reprising her role as John Hamm’s steamy mistress Bobbie Barrett.  “That’s a revolving door over there so that door is always open.  They’re very secretive and we’re never allowed to talk about it, but we don’t mind because no one wants to ruin it for the fans.  It’s a show where people look forward to finding out what happens,” notes McGraw.  “I loved playing that woman.  She was unique for that time.  It wasn’t until I was playing her that I realized this was the character I’d been waiting my whole life to play.”  Hopefully that won’t be the last of her!

FROM THE INSIDE LOOKING OUT: Robert David Hall s grateful to be back to work on the 10th season of “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” yet is aware “It’s a tough time.  All my brother and sister actors are struggling.  I love working on the show, but I’d like to see other people working as well.”  At the forefront of his concerns are actors with disabilities, for whom Hall has advocated tirelessly, having served in positions including that of chairman of the Performers with Disabilities Committee of the Screen Actors Guild

Hall, a double amputee himself, was in Washington, D.C. during hiatus at the invitation of President Barack Obama., “to celebrate the 19th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.   And I was asked to speak to some disabled artists at the Kennedy Center.  I worked the night before, caught the redeye — my wife went with me – and we had the day of our lives in Washington.”

Hall reports that before the Prez gave his 20-minute speech at the anniversary event, “when he came up to the podium, he looked down at me and mouthed the words ‘C.S.I..’  I don’t know that he watches the show, but it was nice,” says Hall, who’ll see Obama again this fall when he’s honored for his civic contributions.  Hall adds that “We were seated in the first row and there were all these senators and cabinet people and it really was overwhelming and awe inspiring.”

Especially for Hall, who grew up in D.C. and remembers lots of  “mandatory field trips.”

NOT RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES: When Lifetime’s “The Honeymoon” movie turns up on the cable channel, chances are people will be reminded of the July case of murder on the high seas involving Robert McGill, who’s accused of doing away with wife Shirley while cruising off the coast of Mexico.  However, the planned telepic – which has the husband disappearing from a ship and the grieving bride eventually coming under suspicion – was in the works before the McGills set off on their ill-fated voyage.

With reports by Emiliy-Fortune Feimster