News Nuggets: Why is ‘The Big Bang Theory’ the most popular TV comedy since ‘Friends’?

Why is “The Big Bang Theory” the most popular TV comedy since “Friends” signed off the air in 2004? Adam K. Raymond says that today’s programs “are not supposed to be this popular, not in the age of DVRs, Netflix, and cord-cutting.” With 24 million viewers each week, the next closest comedy is “Modern Family,” which brings in 10 million less on average (14.5 million). One of the biggest reasons for the overwhelming success is creator  Chuck Lorre‘s eye for casting perfectly with Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco, and the rest. Other reasons include the Thursday time slot on CBS, the storylines, pacing, apartment setting, and classic relationships. Vulture.

While “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is tops at the box office this weekend, the news isn’t all that great. With a gross of $92 million in the U.S., the Andrew Garfield film was much lower than “Iron Man 3” at this same time last year and on par with the “Captain America” sequel last month. “The Other Woman” with Cameron Diaz fell to second place with $14.2 million. “Heaven is for Real” holds steady in the third spot with $8.7 million. Thompson on Hollywood.

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Kiefer Sutherland previews the return of his character Jack Bauer for “24: Live Another Day.” the 12-episode limited series debuts Monday on Fox and is set in London. He says that Jack truly came back while shooting the second hour: “He comes in really hot … and then kind of goes down to really kind of almost a whispering tone, and that triggered something for me. It kind of made me feel really comfortable and at ease, and then we kind of took off from there.” In this new version, he is a fugitive from the U.S. government. TV Line.

The GLAAD Awards on Saturday honor the Netflix program “Orange is the New Black” as the best TV comedy series. Other winners included films “Philomena” and “Concussion” plus George Takei (“Star Treek”) with the Vito Russo Award, presented each year for promoting equality. New York Daily News.

Brian Scott Lipton praises the inclusivity for the LGBT community with this year’s Tony nominees. Harvey Weinstein‘s play “Casa Valentina” is about a group of straight male cross-dressers on a weekend retreat. Terrence McNally‘s “Mothers and Sons” is about a happily married gay couple. “Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” is from Steven Lutvak, while “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” stars Neil Patrick Harris and is directed by Michael Mayer. Cherry Jones is nodded for the classic play “The Glass Menagerie.” Edge on the Net.

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Veteran actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. dies Friday in California at age 95. He was best known in the 1960s and 1970s as the star of ABC dramas “77 Sunset Strip” and “The F.B.I.” The real FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover was a big fan and supporter. In 2009, they saluted Zimbalist by making him an honorary agent, the highest honor the bureau can give to a civilian. His daughter Stephanie Zimbalist starred on “Remington Steele.” Variety.

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Watch an afternoon of tea, scones, and conversation from Saturday’s “Downton Abbey” panel event at the TV Academy. The full session is available to view with cast members Joanne Froggatt, Rob James-Collier, Sophie McShera, and Phyllis Logan, plus producers Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame. Television Academy.

The first ever iHeartRadio Music Awards are presented on NBC Thursday night. Rihanna was the top winner with prizes as artist of the year, song, hip-hop/R&B song, and best fan army. Miley Cyrus (lyrics), Lorde (new artist), and Pharrell Williams (innovator) were other winners. ABC News.

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