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TV News Roundup: Penn Jillette to Host Inaugural Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards

In today’s TV news roundup, jack-of-all-trades Penn Jillette will host the Inaugural Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, Animal Planet greenlights a grizzly project, and more.

CASTING

Magician Penn Jillette will host the inaugural Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards held on Thursday, Nov. 3 in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to his work in stage magic, Jillette is known for his work as producer on the documentaries “The Aristocrats” and “Tim’s Verneer.” The Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards are produced by Bob Bain Productions.

DATES

Animal Planet’s newest series “Project Grizzly” premieres Saturday, Nov. 12 at 10 p.m. The series follows bear trainer Jeff Watson as he releases his two grizzly bears from captivity and teaches them how to survive in the wild. The project is produced for Animal Planet by This is Just a Test, with Aengus James, Colin King Miller, Myles Reiff and Keith Hoffman serving as executive producers.

DEALS

Wilshire Studios, the sister studio of Universal Cable Productions (UCP), has signed a deal with Emmy-nominated producer Aliyah Silverstein. Under the new pact, Silverstein will expand her relationship with the studio to create, develop and produce original content. Her previous credits include NBC’s “Hollywood Game Night” and Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America.”

RATINGS

NFL ratings in primetime have taken a beating — Sunday night’s Colts-Texans game drew the second-lowest audience “Sunday Night Football” has seen in 11 years — but Fox’s late afternoon national game on Sunday, a thorough beating of the Green Bay Packers by the Dallas Cowboys, drew an average audience of 28 million. That’s the most-watched NFL game of the season, and an indicator that who‘s playing is perhaps even more important to ratings than how they’re playing.

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