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Surviving Marriage in NYT

 

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By JON CARAMANICA MARCH 20, 2015

Love  is  a  feeling,  to  be  sure,  but  love  is  also  a  choice  —  the  choice  to  let someone  in,  and  to  get  inside  someone  else.

In  January,  the  writer  Mandy  Len  Catron  published  a  personal  essay  in The  New  York  Times  telling  her  story  of  falling  in  love.  It  was  a  variation  on  an old  psychological  experiment  in  which  two  strangers  ask  each  other  a  series  of 36  increasingly  personal  questions.  For  Ms.  Catron,  it  worked  —  the  trust generated  by  the  pure  stream  of  honesty  demanded  by  the  exercise  opened  the door  to  love.

Romantic,  right?  That  was  the  popular  perception,  at  least.  But  is  it  any more  valid  an  approach  than  the  one  on  “Married  at  First  Sight,”  the  show about  marriages  arranged  by  a  panel  of  experts?

“Married  at  First  Sight,”  which  began  its  second  season  on  FYI  on Tuesday,  is  one  of  several  recent  reality  shows  about  finding  love  or  protecting it  under  extreme  circumstances.  (Undoubtedly,  there  must  be  a  36-­questions show  in  development  by  now.)  Next  week,  A&E  will  introduce  two  new programs  —  “Surviving  Marriage”  and  “Neighbors  With  Benefits”  —  about relationships  at  risk.  All  of  these  shows,  in  different  ways,  present relationships  and  their  rules  as  things  that  can  be  analyzed,  assessed  and, ultimately,  televised.

In  the  first  season  of  “Married  at  First  Sight”  last  year,  three  couples  were paired  together;?  two  are  still  married.  (The  third  filed  for  divorce.)  There  are three  couples  this  year,  too,  and  like  last  season,  one  of  them  has  a  chemistry problem  from  the  beginning  —  Jaclyn  doesn’t  find  Ryan  attractive,  which  also happened  with  Jamie  and  Doug  last  year.  But  Doug  had  puppy-­dog  diligence, and  Jamie  succumbed  to  his  charms.  They  recently  had  a  second  wedding, presumably  to  make  up  for  the  awkwardness  of  the  first  —  the  special  about  it will  be  shown  on  FYI  on  Tuesday.

“Married  at  First  Sight”  is  an  elaborate,  fascinating,  highest-­stakes  game show  that  proposes  that  being  open  to  love  is  as  important  or  more  so  than  the recipient  of  that  love.  It  also  suggests  that  other  people  —  maybe  even strangers  —  might  be  able  to  save  you  from  your  own  bad  instincts.  (Fear  not, old-­school  family  purists:  Next  month,  FYI  will  debut  “Arranged,”  a  docuseries about  couples  in  family-­arranged  marriages.)

It’s  too  early  in  the  season  to  know  whether  this  round  of  couples  will ultimately  accept  each  other.  One  change  from  last  year,  though,  is  that  so  far the  panel  of  experts  —  a  clinical  psychologist,  a  sociologist,  a  sexologist,  a chaplain  —  is  barely  heard  from,  a  serious  mistake.  Last  year  they  explained their  decision-­making  process  at  length.  This  year  they’re  guiding  things  from the  shadows.

If  “Married  at  First  Sight”  aims  to  depict  what  good  can  come  from following  instructions,  “Surviving  Marriage”  and  “Neighbors  With  Benefits” show  what  happens  when  couples  lose  sight  of  the  rules  and  structures  that have  kept  them  intact.

The  other  part  of  love  that’s  a  choice  is  the  choice  to  keep  working  at  it, and  that’s  at  the  core  of  “Surviving  Marriage,”  which  has  its  premiere  Tuesday on  A&E.  In  each  episode,  a  struggling  couple  is  abandoned  on  an  island  for several  days  and  put  through  a  series  of  hilariously  symbolic  exercises  — carrying  bags  full  of  rocks  that  represent  “emotional  baggage,”  and  so  on.  The first  couple  is  Cleburn,  steroidal  and  sour,  and  April,  timid  and  resentful.  Both have  been  unfaithful.  The  show  clearly  favors  April,  letting  her  tie  Cleburn  to  a tree  at  one  point  as  a  way  of  allowing  her  the  freedom  to  make  her  own decisions  (and  also  allowing  her  to  tie  Cleburn  to  a  tree).

“Surviving  Marriage”  has  a  spiritual  cousin  in  A&E’s  “Love  Prison,”  which took  couples  who  only  knew  each  other  online  and  exiled  them  to  an  island  to see  if  they  were  truly  compatible,  and  also  in  “Sex  Box,”  the  British  show whose  Americanized  version  recently  began  on  WEtv,  though  on  that  show, the  island  is  a  literal  box  and  the  shared  exercise  is  sex.

Perhaps  an  exhibitionist  streak  shouldn’t  be  undervalued  in  matters  of  the heart,  and  accordingly,  maybe  the  impulse  to  be  filmed  during  your  romantic travails  might  indicate  a  tendency  toward  honesty:  If  you  are  willing  to  be transparent  with  your  partner,  maybe  it  is  not  such  a  big  deal  to  also  be transparent  with  the  world.

“Neighbors  With  Benefits,”  the  excellently  titled  reality  drama  that  begins Sunday  on  A&E,  revolves  around  the  members  of  a  swinger  community  in Ohio.  The  show  strenuously  insists  that  participation  in  “the  lifestyle,”  as  it’s enigmatically  called,  is  predicated  on  following  sets  of  rules.

The  disruption  in  the  premiere  comes  when  Brittany,  who  is  married  to Cody,  sends  private,  provocative  texts  to  Mike,  who  is  married  to  Maria.  This  is a  violation  of  protocol,  and  it  earns  rebukes  from  Tony,  the  paterfamilias  of  the community,  who  doesn’t  want  his  free-­love  fief  upended.

“Neighbors  With  Benefits”  is  premised  on  the  presumed  illicitness  of swinging  but  mostly  dwells  on  the  negotiations  that  all  of  this  freedom requires.  What  these  couples  do  more  than  anything  is  talk,  and  Brittany’s  out-­ of-­bounds  actions  leave  Cody  feeling  left  out  and  disrespected.  Like  the couples  of  “Married  at  First  Sight”  and  the  36-­questions  experiment,  all  he wants  is  a  little  transparency.

New Series on A&E

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A&E to premiere reality series “Surviving Marriage” in March

U.S. cable network A&E will transplant couples in troubled marriages to an island in the South Pacific in a reality series premiering in March.

Produced by Big Fish Entertainment, Surviving Marriage challenges couples on the verge of divorcing to spend five days on an island with no modern conveniences and limited access to food and water.

Each episode in the nine x one-hour series will feature a different couple, guided through a series of physical and emotional exercises by clinical psychologist Dr. Colleen Long and family therapist Dr. Tom Kersting. On the last day the partners will decide if they want to stay together or separate.

Executive producers for Big Fish Entertainment are Dan Cesareo, George McTeague, Doug DePriest and Johnny Petillo. Shelly Tatro, Drew Tappon and Sean Gottlieb are exec producing for A&E.

Surviving Marriage will begin airing on March 24 at 10 p.m. EST/PST, two days after the network’s reality series about swingers in Ohio, Neighbors With Benefits, makes its debut.

Last fall, A&E aired another social experiment series set on an island. Love Prison followed couples who hooked up online as they met face-to-face for the first time in a house on a deserted island.

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Black Ink Crew Season 3 returns to over 2M VIEWERS

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Monday Cable Ratings: ‘Love & Hip Hop’ & ‘Monday Night RAW’ Top Night + ‘Black Ink Crew’, ‘Street Outlaws’ & More

Monday’s highest-rated cable programs were WWE Raw and Love and Hip Hop both earning a 1.5 adults 18-49ratingWWE Raw was flat with last week and Love & Hip Hop was up from last week’s 1.3 adults 18-49 rating. 

The list below is long but you can use your browsers “find on page” feature (usually CTRL+F or CMD+F) to search for specific shows.

The list below is the top 100 cable shows in adults 25-54 for the whole day. 

 Monday cable ratings: (all Live+Same Day ratings):

 

Show Net Time Viewership (000s, Live+SD) Adults 18-49 rating (Live+SD)
Love and Hip Hop 5- VH1 8:00 PM 2.820 1.5
WWE Entertainment- USA 9:00 PM 4.657 1.5
WWE Entertainment- USA 8:00 PM 4.468 1.4
WWE Entertainment- USA 10:00 PM 4.135 1.4
BLACK INK CREW 3- VH1 9:00 PM 2.124 1.1
STREET OUTLAWS- DISC 9:00 PM 2.540 1.0
Family Guy- ADSM 11:00 PM 2.342 1.0
Family Guy- ADSM 11:30 PM 2.166 1.0
VANDERPUMP RULES- BRVO 9:00 PM 1.576 0.8
American Dad- ADSM 10:30 PM 2.010 0.8
Big Bang Theory, THE- TBSC 10:30 PM 2.139 0.8
Big Bang Theory, THE- TBSC 10:00 PM 1.964 0.8
Love and Hip Hop 5- VH1 10:00 PM 1.494 0.8
SONS OF LIBERTY- HIST 9:00 PM 2.825 0.7
American Dad- ADSM 10:00 PM 1.854 0.7
Robot Chicken- ADSM 12:00 AM 1.576 0.7
COLLEGE BKBL REG SSN    L- ESPN 7:00 PM 1.848 0.7
Family Guy- TBSC 8:30 PM 1.280 0.7
Daily Show- CMDY 11:00 PM 1.441 0.7
American Dad- TBSC 9:00 PM 1.086 0.7
American Dad- TBSC 9:30 PM 0.999 0.6
Robot Chicken- ADSM 12:15 AM 1.298 0.6
SEINFELD- TBSC 7:30 PM 1.470 0.6
Cleveland Show, THE- ADSM 9:30 PM 1.509 0.6
BLACK INK CREW 3- VH1 11:00 PM 1.059 0.5
Family Guy- TBSC 8:00 PM 1.077 0.5
FAT N FURIOUS- DISC 10:00 PM 1.534 0.5
MR. PICKLES- ADSM 12:30 AM 1.146 0.5
SpongeBob- NICK 4:00 PM 1.893 0.5
NIGHTLY SHOW- CMDY 11:31 PM 1.114 0.5
NCIS- USA 7:00 PM 2.115 0.5
SpongeBob- NICK 3:30 PM 1.746 0.5
STREET OUTLAWS- DISC 8:00 PM 1.304 0.5
SUPERJAIL- ADSM 12:45 AM 1.076 0.5
Pardon The Interruption- ESPN 5:30 PM 1.125 0.5
FOSTERS, THE- FAM 8:00 PM 1.203 0.5
SEINFELD- TBSC 7:00 PM 1.200 0.5
AQUA TEEN HUNGERFORCE- ADSM 1:00 AM 1.007 0.5
COLLEGE BKBL REG SSN    L- ESPN 9:03 PM 1.232 0.5
AROUND THE HORN- ESPN 5:00 PM 0.848 0.4
Castle- TNT 8:00 PM 2.113 0.4
DINERS, DRIVE INS & DIVES- FOOD 8:00 PM 1.249 0.4
FRIENDS- NAN 11:00 PM 1.048 0.4
COPS- SPIKE 10:00 PM 0.921 0.4
FRIENDS- NAN 11:36 PM 1.026 0.4
DINERS, DRIVE INS & DIVES- FOOD 8:30 PM 1.202 0.4
ELLENS DESIGN CHALLENGE- HGTV 9:00 PM 1.844 0.4
FRIENDS- TBSC 5:30 PM 0.856 0.4
SEINFELD- TBSC 6:30 PM 1.117 0.4
DINERS, DRIVE INS & DIVES- FOOD 9:00 PM 1.245 0.4
DINERS, DRIVE INS & DIVES- FOOD 7:30 PM 0.993 0.4
BEST. EVER.- FOOD 10:00 PM 1.171 0.4
SPORTSCENTER LATE       L- ESPN 11:12 PM 0.809 0.4
FX MOVIE PRIME- FX 6:00 PM 0.974 0.4
NCIS- USA 6:00 PM 1.771 0.4
HOUSE HUNTERS INTL- HGTV 8:30 PM 1.385 0.4
FRIENDS- TBSC 5:01 PM 0.793 0.4
HOUSE HUNTERS- HGTV 8:00 PM 1.489 0.4
DINERS, DRIVE INS & DIVES- FOOD 11:00 PM 0.905 0.4
SEINFELD- TBSC 6:00 PM 0.868 0.4
HOUSE HUNTERS- HGTV 7:30 PM 1.144 0.4
MY 600-LB LIFE: SUPER SIZ- TLC 9:00 PM 0.780 0.3
PROPERTY BROTHERS (1 HR)- HGTV 2:00 PM 1.008 0.3
Conan- TBSC 11:00 PM 0.760 0.3
HOUSE HUNTERS INTL- HGTV 10:30 PM 1.413 0.3
Castle- TNT 7:00 PM 1.488 0.3
MICKEY MOUSE CLUBHOUSE- DSNY 8:00 AM 1.221 0.3
SPORTSCENTER 1AM        L- ESPN 1:00 AM 0.646 0.3
Castle- TNT 9:00 PM 1.806 0.3
MURDER COMES TO TOWN- ID 10:00 PM 1.239 0.3
MIKE AND MOLLY- FX 10:00 PM 0.776 0.3
MURDER COMES TO TOWN- ID 11:00 PM 1.149 0.3
HOUSE HUNTERS- HGTV 11:00 PM 1.263 0.3
MIKE AND MOLLY- FX 9:30 PM 0.892 0.3
The First 48- AEN 9:00 PM 0.866 0.3
MIKE AND MOLLY- FX 9:00 PM 0.776 0.3
VANITY FAIR CONFIDENTIAL- ID 12:00 AM 1.022 0.3
NCIS- USA 4:00 PM 1.730 0.3
SPORTSCENTER 12AM  L- ESPN 12:00 AM 0.621 0.3
SIRENS- USA 11:12 PM 0.962 0.3
HOUSE HUNTERS- HGTV 10:00 PM 1.483 0.3
HOUSE HUNTERS INTL- HGTV 11:30 PM 1.133 0.3
KING OF QUEENS- TVL 11:30 PM 0.742 0.3
Castle- TNT 6:00 PM 1.318 0.3
PROPERTY BROTHERS (1 HR)- HGTV 1:00 PM 0.778 0.3
YUKON MEN- APL 9:00 PM 1.414 0.3
Watch What Happens Live- BRVO 11:01 PM 0.624 0.3
PROPERTY BROTHERS (1 HR)- HGTV 3:00 PM 0.946 0.3
MURDER COMES TO TOWN- ID 8:00 PM 0.893 0.3
MIKE AND MOLLY- FX 10:30 PM 0.695 0.3
The First 48- AEN 8:00 PM 0.797 0.3
VANITY FAIR CONFIDENTIAL- ID 9:00 PM 0.961 0.3
DISAPPEARED- ID 9:00 AM 0.822 0.3
THE OREILLY FACTOR- FOXNC 8:00 PM 3.173 0.3
KELLY FILE, THE- FOXNC 9:00 PM 2.606 0.2
MURDER COMES TO TOWN- ID 1:00 AM 0.942 0.2
YUKON MEN- APL 8:00 PM 1.261 0.2
ON THE CASE WITH PZ- ID 8:00 AM 0.823 0.2
SONS OF LIBERTY- HIST 8:00 PM 1.147 0.2
ON THE RECORD W/GRETA- FOXNC 7:00 PM 2.201 0.2


 

BFE Brings Dean Cain to RealScreen Summit

Dean-dean-cain-6191051-826-1020Big Fish Dev is hard at work.  2015 is shaping up to be a killer year.  Black Ink S3 is up first on January 27th.  Surviving Marriage premieres March 24th on A&E.  The current development slate includes projects with: Discovery, TLC, Esquire, VH1, MTV, E!, and Centric.  

Our next round of development which we are showcasing next week at Real Screen in DC includes a tent pole project with Clark Kent himself- Dean Cain.  

BLACK INK CREW 2 BIG RATINGS IN RETURN

WWE Raw Monday’s top cable program with a 1.6 adults 18-49 rating up from last week’s 1.5 adults 18-49 rating. T.I. & Tiny  and Black Ink Crew tied for second with a 1.2 f adults 18-49 rating. 

 

Black Ink Crew is BACK. MONDAY+ MARCH 31 + 930EST + VH1

 
Celebrities are always dropping by Black Ink, and the new season of Black Ink Crew is even more star-studded than ever. Monday night’s season premiere kicks off in a big way,thanks to a surprise appearance from Mama Jones. Fans of Jim Jones will recognize his ever-hustling mother, who has a tendency to do and say the unpredictable. Because as Ceaser explains, “when you’re hip-hop royalty, you do whatever the f–k you want to do.” And judging by her head-to-toe fur, Mama Jones is definitely doing exactly that.

Mama Jones visits the shop to reveal her upcoming book, My Guide To Love, and get some fresh ink. To see more of her antics at the shop, and who she’s looking for — ahem,Dutchess?– tune in to the season premiere of Black Ink Crew on Monday Monday at 9:30 PM ET/PT.

 



							

Over 2M Watch Black Ink Crew

Black Ink is off the hook and the audience is responding. The truth is in the #’s.

STURGIS RAW Coming to Travel Channel

 

STURGIS RAW is coming to Travel Channel.  Keep your eyes peeled.  Sturgis is back baby.  Starting in December on Travel Channel Big Fish will bring you 8 ridiculous hours of mayhem at the largest motorcycle rally in the world.  We’ll post the dates and a taster as soon as we have them.

DC Cupcakes the perfect Holiday Gift

Cupcakes, books, DVD’s and the latest and greatest cupcake gear from America’s sweetest sisters!

http://store.discovery.com/dvd-books/index.php?v=tlc_shows_dc-cupcakes_dvds-books

Bomb Patrol nominated for IDA Award