ABC’s Wipeout Renewed for Fourth Season; New Courses and New Motivator to Debut

“Wipeout,” ABC’s outrageously popular reality series, has been picked up for a fourth season. Twenty-four daring contestants of all shapes and sizes will compete in the world’s largest extreme obstacle course designed to provide the best face plants, biggest splashes and wondrous wipeouts ever seen on television. Wipeout is hosted by John Anderson (ESPN’s “SportsCenter,”), John Henson (E! Entertainment’s “Talk Soup”) and co-hosted by Jill Wagner.

“I’m excited that a fourth season will give our team the opportunity to create bigger and funnier ways to wipeout contestants and thrill families across America,” said creator and Executive Producer Matt Kunitz.

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‘Dancing with the Stars’ Teams with ‘Extreme Makeover Home Edition’ for Wisconsin Family

The “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” design team discovered there was a whole lot of shaking going on in Neenah, Wisconsin when they met Rhex Arboleda. Rhex is a hometown hero who has distinguished himself by locally leading the movement to banish the childhood obesity epidemic. In 2004 he created “Move to the Groove,” a dance program designed to get both teachers and students on their feet and in shape. Rhex’s award-winning dance program is currently being used in three elementary schools where health and wellness is a priority. Ironically Rhex’s own health and wellness, and that of his family, is compromised by the state of the 70-year-old home they live in.

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ABC Extends Agreement to Air ‘Peanuts’ Holiday Specials for Additional Five Years

ABC today announced that it has extended its relationship with popular “PEANUTS” animated specials by Charles M. Schulz in a deal signed with Peanuts Worldwide LLC and Lee Mendelson Film Productions. The beloved Emmy Award-winning specials, including the iconic “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” created by Charles M. Schulz and produced and animated by Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez, began airing on ABC in December 2001.

This fall the famed “PEANUTS” comic strip will celebrate its 60th anniversary. The first and most well known of the beloved animated holiday specials, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” first aired on television in 1965, making this year the 45th anniversary.

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ABC.COM Debuts Online Series Featuring Country’s Top Stars Building up to ‘CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock’

Fans can get a glimpse of all the behind-the-scenes action from the 2010 CMA Music Festival on ABC.com before the three-hour special “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock” premieres on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 1 (8:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.

Beginning today through September 1, ABC.com will launch over 20 online videos featuring CMA Music Festival fan favorites Trace Adkins, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, Laura Bell Bundy, Eric Church, Gloriana, Julianne Hough, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Jake Owen, Kellie Pickler, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Josh Turner and more!

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ABC News Debuts New ‘Nightlineprime’ Series August 19; Investigates the Human Mind

ABC News launches a new primetime series, “Nightlineprime,” with four installments of “Secrets of Your Mind — Why We Do What We Do.” This marks “Nightline’s” first foray into primetime series. “Secrets of Your Mind” premieres THURSDAY, AUGUST 19 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) and continues for three successive Thursdays, concluding September 9.

In this series, “Nightline” anchors and producers explore the mystery and the science of the brain through a range of extraordinary case studies. The series also features the work of world renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Julian Bailes, of West Virginia University Health Sciences Center, and his patients. Each installment of “Secrets of Your Mind” will focus on a different research area, including love’s impact on the brain, medical emergencies involving the brain, violence and the brain, and food and the brain.

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Dramatic Life Changes Chronicled in ABC News 20/20 ‘Before and After’ Edition, August 6

Among those profiled on the Before and After edition of ABC’s 20/20 on Friday, August 6:

  • David Smith, a former friendless shut-in who once weighed 630 lbs, lost an astounding 401 lbs with the help of his first true friend, a fitness trainer named Chris Powell. Not only did Powell help with the weight loss, he was instrumental in helping Smith – painfully shy and awkward around women – hit the singles scene in search of true love. Smith’s incredible transformation even led him to become a personal trainer himself. Chris Connelly reports.

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Disney/ABC Television Group Names ABC Family’s Paul Lee as New ABC Entertainment President

Anne Sweeney, Co-Chairman Disney/ABC Media Networks and President, Disney/ABC Television Group today announced today that former ABC Family President Paul Lee has been named President, ABC Entertainment Group, effective immediately.

In his new role with the ABC Entertainment Group, Lee has oversight of all creative and business operations for ABC Studios, as well as all development, programming, marketing and scheduling operations for ABC Entertainment.

In discussing the announcement, Sweeney stated: “Paul was hired six years ago because of his great creative instincts and his ability to identify an audience and develop programming that resonates with them, and those same strengths are why he was tapped for this new responsibility. Paul’s success at ABC Family is as amazing as it is indisputable, and I’m looking forward to his continued success on ABC.”

Lee added: “I’m proud of everything we achieved at ABC Family, and I’m looking forward to working with another great team at ABC Entertainment Group to bring even more compelling stories to viewers. ABC is a great network defined by creativity and known for delivering some of the best shows on television. I’m excited to be part of it, and deeply honored to be chosen for the unique opportunity to lead the network and the brand into the future.”

Lee arrived at ABC Family in 2004 and revitalized it with an ambitious slate of original and acquired programs. In conceiving the mission of the network, he launched a plan to target the young adult Millennial audience on multiple platforms with relatable programming like “Kyle XY,” “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” “Pretty Little Liars,” “Greek,” “Make It or Break It” and “Huge.” The network is also home to the biggest programming event on cable with “25 Days of Christmas.”

Under Lee, ABC Family had an amazing six+ years of consecutive growth. 2010-to-date, ABC Family ranks among the Top 5 cable networks in Prime in W18-49 (No. 5), W18-34 (No. 4), F12-34 (No. 2), Teens (No. 3) and Female Teens (No. 3), and among the Top 10 in Total Viewers (No. 10), A18-49 (No. 10), A18-34 (No. 8) and V12-34 (No. 7). ABC Family has also grown its Prime audience by impressive margins: +74% in Total Viewers, +70% in A18-49 and +75% in W18-49. Among the network’s core younger demo sets, the network’s Prime delivery has also more than doubled over the past six+ years: +111% in A18-34, +115% in W18-34, +111% in V12-34.

Under Lee’s leadership, ABC Family made the most of new platforms to connect viewers with content. The industry recognized this push for creativity and innovation on this front by awarding ABC Family a 2007 Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Television, as well as an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media the following year.

An announcement regarding a new ABC Family President will be made in the near future.

Prior to joining ABC Family, Lee was chief executive officer and founder of BBC America, and was responsible for the development and launch of the company in March 1998, starting as general manager and then chief operating officer. During his tenure, the hit comedy series “The Office” (British version) garnered two Golden Globes(r). Other shows under his supervision included the BBC’s “Changing Rooms,” which formatted into TLC’s signature show, “Trading Spaces,” “What Not to Wear” and the “Graham Norton Show.”

(more…)

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ABC Entertainment Group President Stephen McPherson Resigns

According to the Disney/ABC Television Group:

Steve McPherson today submitted his resignation as President, ABC Entertainment Group, and the Company accepted.  Mr. McPherson said, “I want to thank the wonderful team of individuals who have worked with me throughout my time here and wish them nothing but the best.”  A replacement for McPherson will be announced shortly.

According to his studio bio, which has been removed from the official DATG website, McPherson joined ABC Entertainment in 2004 and has been the driving force behind the network’s primetime comeback, developing quality content and then supporting it with more strategically directed marketing. The ABC Entertainment Group has delivered some of the most successful, talked-about and evolutionary series on television today, including “Desperate Housewives,” “Lost,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Brothers & Sisters,” “Dancing with the Stars” and “Modern Family.”

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Obama to Make Historical Appearance on ABC’s ‘The View’ July 29

Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie, executive producers of the ABC’s Emmy® Award-winning talk show, “The View,” announced today that President Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, will be the featured guest, THURSDAY, JULY 29 (11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, ET), marking the first time in history a sitting United States President has visited a daytime talk show. President Obama’s unprecedented appearance is part of the show’s continuing “Red, White & View” campaign, which is committed to political guests and discussions.

Barbara Walters, creator/executive producer and co-host of “The View” will, in honor of this rare occasion, make one exclusive in-studio appearance to mark this historic hour for “The View.”

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Photo Gallery: ‘LOST’ Auction Sneak Peek (Hi-Res Photos)

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We previously announced the ‘LOST’ exhibit and memorobilia auction being held by Profiles in History in Santa Monica on August 21 and 22, 2010.

Profiles in History has graciously provided us with hi-res photos of some of the items that will be going up on the auction block to some very lucky bidders. In addition, the auction preview gallery is now live on Profile in History’s website here.

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