News Briefs: FCC Wants Quieter Commercials, Chris Meloni Officially Joins True Blood

By Tim Surette

Dec 14, 2011


... HEY YOU GUYS GUESS WHAT? THE FCC HAS PASSED THE COMMERCIAL ADVERTISEMENT LOUDNESS MITIGATION ACT. IN OTHER WORDS, commercials will no longer be louder than everything else on television. Finally, government gets something useful accomplished. But let's hope they keep the Education Connection blastin', because that song is the JAMZ! [LA Times]


... Fear Factor's revival is so-far-so-good for NBC. The reality competition drew more than 8.5 million viewers and a minimum of a 3.3 rating among adults over the course of its two-hour premiere last night for a second place finish. CBS's comedies were tops, and a new episode of Terra Nova pulled in a 2.1 adult rating and 6.88 million viewers, proving that people can stomach normal people doing gross things more than they can stomach seeing Terra Nova. Most everything else was in repeats. [TV By the Numbers]


... Big news out of ABC's This Week, the network's Sunday-morning news program (i.e. the show that's on while you try to remember what happened on Saturday night). Christiane Amanpour is leaving her post at the show to do more field reporting. George Stephanopolous, who also co-hosts Good Morning America, will take over her spot. Let's hope This Week has plenty of step ladders and telephone books on hand. [Deadline Hollywood]

... That scream of "noooooooooooooo" you just heard was everyone in The Daily Show's writers' room collectively expressing their dismay over Donald Trump pulling out of moderating the December 27 presidential debate, citing a conflict of interest. Could you imagine how awesome that would have been? Oh man, now I'm sad. [Time]


... Former Law & Order: SVU star Christopher Meloni has officially joined HBO's True Blood as a series regular. He'll play an "ancient, powerful vampire who holds the fate of Bill and Eric in his hands." [TV Line]

... Once Upon a Time's Anastasia Griffith (she was great on Damages as Katie Connor, too) has booked the lead on BBC America's first scripted series, Copper. It's a drama about an Irish-American cop in 19th century New York; details on her role are still under wraps. My mind just got blown that she's actually British. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Revenge has found a daddy for the Grayson clan. 24 vet William Devane will step into the shoes of family patriarch Edward Grayson. Look for him in February. [TV Line]

... Steve Carell (remember him?) will lend his voice to The Simpsons next season. He'll play Fat Tony's nervous accountant who finds himself in charge of the mob. [EW]

... Will Sasso (MADtv) is reprising his role as an ornery bartender on CBS's How I Met Your Mother. He'll appear in the series' January 2 episode as the gang tries to remember what happened on New Year's Eve. Has anyone ever thought of having an intervention with these guys? They drink A LOT. Their livers must look like water-logged Raisinets. [TV Line]

... The Killing has added former Desperate Housewives actor Mark Moses. He'll play a detective who joins the Rosie Larson murder investigation. How many seasons will it take him to crack the case? [TV Guide]

... And finally, in news that’s more appealing to me than you, The Critics' Choice Awards on VH1 will be hosted by Paul Scheer (The League) and Rob Huebel (Childrens Hospital), a.k.a. 67 percent of MTV's departed sketch show Human Giant. The ceremony will air on January 12. [EW]

Follow writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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  • AnimeMadness Dec 16, 2011


  • hakone1 Dec 15, 2011

    Meloni as a vampire? Great choice he looks vampirish:D

  • headclub Dec 15, 2011

    The FCC did something useful. Wow. Just 1 question though, what the hell are "commercials"???

    Hmmm, ok... conflict of interest my ass...that's all I'm gonna say about that.....

    I like the casting of Chris Meloni, he's a weird dude. And let's face it: True Blood is a weird-ass show.

    Who the F*** is the mother already?!?!? This show is a worse tease than a network tv stripper!

  • keramarie Dec 15, 2011

    Chris Meloni on True Blood?????????? I love this news! So excited... I am also excited to see William Devane in Revenge, although the last thing and most prominent recent role in my mind is seeing him as the crazy old detective, Peters, on a hilarious episode of Psych. Oh, and in my book, Steve Carell could lend his voice to anything and I would love it. the guy is a comic genius...

  • sduvoisin Dec 14, 2011

    So stoked that Meloni's working again. He is talented and was sad to see him leave SVU (or as my friend calls it SUV) BUT glad he's working again.

  • Geek_Queen Dec 14, 2011

    Great! Now, we need to work on getting all networks (and movies) to have good volume levels. I hate having to turn the TV volume up loud enough to hear the dialogue, only to have the action scenes (or a simple car horn or police siren) try to deafen me. (It's basically like this... *turn up the volume since the actors are whispering the important plot details* SIREN BLARES! *my ears hurt*) I'm not hard-of-hearing, but I do use captions to help me catch more of what's being said.

  • Silver_Sword_14 Dec 14, 2011

    Well, It's about time they're finally lowering the volume during commercials. Best (and most surprising) news I've heard in a while.

  • Arch_Angel88 Dec 14, 2011

    I'm not a huge fan of the new look. It kind of bombards the senses. Pictures everywhere, the same posts listed in several different places, twitter feeds, and a much more complex home page. I'm sure I'll eventually get used to it, but I prefer the simplicity of the old format. There is one good thing about it though. Bigger pictures of the writers. Not just a blurry, tiny square you can't quite make out. I think this is the first time I have ever seen Price Peterson's actual face. He's a good lookin' dude.

  • Akyriel Dec 15, 2011

    May be late for this, but I remember when was an independent site before corporate interest bought it out some years ago now. I actually preferred that. Talk about simplicity! It was easy and simple plus non-biased. It was purely a source for TV show information. Now it's too much. Less was more then.

  • headclub Dec 15, 2011

    Yeah...this (NC) powder blue motif is more fitting for the walls of an infant's bedroom, than the background of Bring back the light switch!!

  • DavidJackson8 Dec 14, 2011

    I can sorta dig the new uh, digs. But I do much prefer the previous look, and not just because I'd gotten comfortable with it. The homepage for this design is just way too crowded.

  • Taccado Dec 14, 2011

    That was my first reaction too. But I'm giving it time. People get used to changes pretty quickly, and soon you'll even forget what the old layout looked like. The navigation might seem like a mess now, but we'll adapt.

    Based on how many replies you've gotten to your comment, I suggest that should open up a separate article which introduces the site, and gives a chance to comment. I'm sure that would be appreciated.

  • Arch_Angel88 Dec 14, 2011

    They actually do have an article which introduces the new layout (titled: Notice the New Digs? Get the Lowdown). But you can only comment if you have a Facebook account. Talk about exclusionary. First the Phoenix Club, now this (Zuckerberg, you diabolical bastard).

  • Taccado Dec 14, 2011

    Yeah, I noticed that one. I was just hoping for an article with a commenting function similar to the one we are using right now. The "Notice the New Digs?" blog post had the Facebook comment section, and also a link to a support site where you can comment. But I found both options uninspiring.

  • Arch_Angel88 Dec 15, 2011

    You guys are the best.

  • jtrolio Dec 15, 2011

    Ask and ye shall receive, at least some of the time:

  • jtrolio Dec 15, 2011

    I'm readin', Arch! Will see what we can do.

  • Arch_Angel88 Dec 15, 2011

    You're right. We've kind of hijacked this News Briefs article into a discussion about the new layout. I wonder if the staff ever read any of our comments on these articles. I see them respond all the time in their review forums, but rarely for the News Briefs. Are you reading this, Tim (or jtrolio)? We want a forum to discuss the new layout. The masses have spoken.

  • TheBam711 Dec 14, 2011

    I actually like the new look of this site more then the older one but I liked the simplicity of the navigation of the old site. It's a nice simple layout..but I do agree. The navigation of the old one was better. I feel like I have to scroll a lot more now and find things. Love the color and organization but there is also too much stuff everywhere haha.

  • NeeUyank Dec 14, 2011

    and I was just gonna say otherwise.. the new look is way too crowded and the colors are too "shiny".. I really don't know how to express it better but, too much of the " blue" and white makes it hard on the eye.. before, the upper sliding section with darker tone pics and variety of colors, helped to tone down the blue and white..

    the information is here, there and everywhere, that makes it sort of tiring.. I liked the idea that news regarding shows are linked individually in every show's page and that writers' have individual sections that makes it easier to follow.. yet agree with the crowd that before it was simpler and more user friendly..

  • TheBam711 Dec 14, 2011

    I think they should give us the option to minimize/remove some of the stuff. For example; Forum Post, What's on Twitter, Trending/Most Discussed, Watch to Watch Online, Most Popular News (I don't care about the popularity..I care about New News :) ) should be given the option of removal/minimizing or w/e...I would keep writer's. I like it there. (makes it easier for me to read stuff I didn't get to read from those writers..mainly Tim and Price) Having the option to remove all those will make my scrolling life easier.

  • TheBam711 Dec 14, 2011

    For the individual pages of the shows..they should move the news to the side (above Related Shows) instead of below. They should just leave the show's page with the shows summary, latest/next episode and ratings on the same page (in that order.) Episode Guide shouldn't be part of the page. I could just click on it through the navigation bar.

  • NeeUyank Dec 14, 2011

    have you also noticed that in the "most discussed episodes" section, for the episode info, the stuff is like "season 2 episode 159" "season 1 episode 42":) and there still are information based inconsistencies between the site and the channels' original sites, in terms of airing dates or episode names, etc. I get the urge to spice things up a little but lets improve the content first and then workout on the outlooks..

  • TheBam711 Dec 14, 2011

    Haha. I didn't mean to post this much. Just giving some suggestions...Need to sleep now (have finals tomorrow)

  • Arch_Angel88 Dec 14, 2011

    Wow! You've really thought this out.

  • TheBam711 Dec 14, 2011

    Just because everything is in front of me doesn't make the site simpler. It makes my life harder by making me feel that I need to scroll to find things. Some things just don't need to be there when there is already an easy way to access those pages. Overall, I do like the look/color.

  • Akyriel Dec 14, 2011

    They now need to make it so that watching commercials on the internet are also reduced in volume. I talking about you! Lower the volume, please.

    A. Griffith is also the sister of Jamie Bamber. He doesn't use Griffith part of name, apparently. Kaboom!

  • Geek_Queen Dec 14, 2011

    I forgot about the online ads. You're right, some online ads are way too loud, too.

  • bluemorphotat Dec 14, 2011

    Hey new look for the site! Congrats! Although am not a fan of that light blue... It's almost the same as Twitters...

  • Shikady Dec 14, 2011

    I actually hate the new desing. I hate changes lol...and it seems that every website I check made a change of looks. So far I hate them all. The old one was easier to use...I'm lost with this one.

  • robinh4 Dec 14, 2011

    Yeah tell me about it, Flixster changed there design too and it looks like CRAP. I'm kind of on the fence with's new design. The front page is too overloaded with information and pictures. The old design was simple and easy to use. I like simple. I like the blue by the way ( had blue before Twitter).

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