Spike TV Pulls the Plug on Long-Running Series

Spike TV gave word last week to the people behind a long-running series that the network is ending its deal for the show. reports that Spike will stop airing “Impact Wrestling,” the flagship series for TNA Wrestling.

Executives at the television network contacted TNA Wrestling President Dixie Carter last week to inform her of the change, the story reports.

It’s not clear when “Impact Wrestling” will stop airing on Spike, but the current contract reportedly ends in October, the story notes.

“We're told there's no bad blood, and Spike gave TNA such advance notice so it would have time to shop for a new TV deal,” the piece adds. “Impact Wrestling” first aired on Spike in 2005.

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Popular ESPN Analyst Suggests Women Are at Fault in Domestic Violence -- Here's the Video

ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith is coming under fire for comments he made on-air Friday morning that seem to suggest that women are in some respects to blame when they become victims of domestic violence, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker.

Smith, who was discussing a two-game suspension for Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for an alleged altercation between him and his then-fiancee, appeared to imply that some domestic-violence victims are at fault. The incident with Rice ended with his then-fiancee unconscious in an elevator.

“Let’s make sure we don’t do anything to provoke wrong actions,” Smith said, which the report said appeared to be advice directed toward women. He said it’s not OK for a man to hurt a woman, but added, “Let’s try to do our part in making sure that doesn’t happen."

Smith noted that while Rice “probably” deserved a longer suspension, “at the same time, we also have to make sure that we learn as much as we can about elements of provocation.”

The segment was criticized by fellow ESPN host Michelle Beadle, who wrote on Twitter that she would “never feel clean again,” while an official with the National Network to End Domestic Violence said she was “outraged” by Smith's comments.

In a statement, Smith said, “I want to state very clearly. I do NOT believe a woman provokes the horrible domestic abuses that are sadly such a major problem in our society. I wasn’t trying to say that or even imply it when I was discussing my own personal upbringing and the important role the women in my family have played in my life.

Here's a clip on Smith's on-air comments Friday morning:

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Fox News Anchor Pleads Guilty

A Fox News anchor entered a plea Friday in a case involving an incident in May at an airport. The Associated Press reports that Fox News weekend anchor Gregg Jarrett, 59, pleaded guilty to charges of disorderly conduct linked to a struggle with police officers at an airport bar.

Jarrett entered his plea by petition and didn’t appear in person at the Hennepin County District Court in Minnesota.

“Airport spokesman Patrick Hogan said Jarrett's plea was put on hold for a year and will be thrown out if he doesn't commit the same or similar offenses and if he abides by certain conditions. Among them, Jarrett can have no alcohol or drug offenses and he must complete treatment,” the AP reports.

As previously reported, Jarrett was arrested at the Northern Lights Grill at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, after police received a report about an intoxicated patron. The AP notes that Jarrett had just been released from an alcohol and chemical dependency treatment facility at the time.

gregg jarrett.pngGregg Jarrett

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Time Warner CEO Unveils Moves That May Help Fend Off Murdoch Acquisition Bid

Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes revealed elements of a strategy that could make an acquisition effort by Rupert Murdoch more difficult. Bloomberg reports that Bewkes wants to boost growth at premium network HBO, part of a plan to prove to investors that the company is better off on its own.

Time Warner has rejected a $75 billion buyout offer from Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, arguing that it is better off as an independent company.

Bewkes may expand a $49-per-month trial introduced last year via Comcast, which offers Web access along with HBO and limited basic TV, the story notes.

“HBO was already developing ways to reach more consumers. The plan relies on more aggressive marketing, an upgraded HBO Go app and expanded access to the network for broadband-only customers of companies like Comcast who don’t want to buy a full cable-TV package,” Bloomberg reports.

HBO will offer additional packages in the next year as a way to draw more consumers to the premium channel, the story adds. The offers will be similar to Comcast’s Internet Plus plans. The risk of these plans, however, is that some pay-TV customers might cancel their subscriptions if Internet-only plans are widely available, the piece points out.

But HBO wants to convince its top pay-TV distributors that making the service more affordable will also benefit cable systems, Bloomberg adds.

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Comedy Central Renews Two Series

Comedy Central has renewed two series. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that the cable channel is bringing back “Drunk History” and “Nathan for You."

“Drunk History,” a former Web series on Funny or Die, features drunk people retelling historic events, with actors such as Jack Black re-enacting the events as they are told. “Nathan for You” features creator and star Nathan Fielder as he uses unconventional marketing techniques to help entrepreneurs.

The shows will return in 2015, the report notes.

The renewals come after Comedy Central gave new seasons to several other shows, including “Broad City,” “Kroll Show” and “Inside Amy Schumer.”

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Cable News Channel Sees a Surge in Viewership

One cable news channel has seen a recent surge in viewership, which is being attributed to coverage of the Gaza conflict. It's not one of the big three -- Fox News, CNN or MSNBC -- but rather a recent startup, Al Jazeera America, where viewership for total day has risen by 30% during the past two weeks, the Baltimore Sun reports.

In prime time, viewership is up 40% when compared with numbers from last month, the story notes.

“What that translates to is the channel reaching 3.0 million unique viewers for the total day, and 1.4 million in prime time, according to an Al Jazeera America spokesperson,” the piece notes. “That’s big news for the American brand of Al Jazeera that has been struggling in the ratings since its launch a year ago.”

Al Jazeera America’s coverage of the Gaza conflict has been “outstanding,” the newspaper notes. Its correspondents have covered events in Gaza and Jerusalem, as well as protests around the world.

“When Al Jazeera America first debuted and was getting very weak ratings, my sense was that they needed a story they could own, that people would have to come to them for,” Philip Seib, author of “The Al Jazeera Effect” and journalism professor at the University of Southern California, told the publication. “Maybe this is going to be it.”

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Star of Canceled Nickelodeon Show Talks About Bailing Out After Fracas Over 'Sultry Photo'

One of the stars of a recently canceled Nickelodeon show says she's “not apologizing” for needing to move on with her life. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that Jennette McCurdy, who stars alongside Ariana Grande on the canceled show “Sam & Cat,” defended her actions in a piece she posted on Reddit.

McCurdy's comments came after co-star Grande issued “thoughts of gratitude to the cast (without mentioning McCurdy directly), crew and fans, and her explanation for how she looked up to her onscreen character as a role model,” the story notes.

The show was canceled after it was put on a production hiatus in April, with McCurdy reportedly having salary issues. She also failed to show up at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, where the show won the TV comedy prize, the piece notes.

In her Reddit statement, McCurdy wrote, "I am not a role model. I don't claim to be, I don't try to be, and I don't want to be."

Asked by a Reddit user whether she would appear on Nickelodeon again, she wrote, “I left Nickelodeon recently because I needed to move forward with my life."

She added, "I'm not apologizing. Don't need to.”

The THR report notes: "And while Reddit users bashed her for sharing the defensive reflection after racy photos of the actress leaked on the web in March, as well as recent selfies posted to her Instagram account, she said, 'I post to social media when I want to and how I want to and I would whether I was in the entertainment industry or not. I don't believe people should attack me because their image of me is destroyed after I post a harmless, sultry photo. I don't believe an actor/actress should lose the rights to be themselves in an attempt to cater to the image that was created by a character they played. that's all.'"

McCurdy reportedly also wrote: "nothing about an adult woman taking a sultry picture and being proud of a body she worked hard for should equal 'Miley Cyrus,' imo. I'm not riding giant inflatable dicks. (And if she wants to, so be it!) ... Moreover, I'm literally wearing more than most bathing suits nowadays in any 'nekkid and provocative' picture that has been seen of me."

jennette mccurdy-instagram selfie.pngJennette McCurdy selfie posted on Instagram

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Why Author George R.R. Martin Will Steer Clear of the Set of HBO's 'Game of Thrones' During Season Five

Writer George R.R. Martin had some news for fans of his fantasy series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” which forms the basis of HBO’s hit “Game of Thrones,” according to New York Magazine.

Martin has contributed one script per season to the HBO series, but that won’t be happening in the upcoming fifth season because he plans to spend the time working on the sixth book in the saga, which is titled “The Winds of Winter.”

Asked whether he would visit the HBO set this year, he noted, “I’ve got to finish the book ‘The Winds of Winter.’ So I’m making the trips I’m already obligated to make, but I’m not adding any new trips at this time. So I don’t think I’m going to do a set visit this year, sadly.”

In reply to a question about whether he would write a script for the fifth season, he noted, “Not this year, no -- once again because I have this book to finish.”

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Remember Eva Green's Sheer White Robe, Which Was Rejected by the MPAA in a Sexy Poster for the 'Sin City' Sequel? Now the Same Robe Is Causing Problems Again, This Time in a Trailer for the Movie

ABC has objected to a slinky movie trailer that also incited a problem with the Motion Picture Association of America, reports the New York Post’s Page Six.

As previously reported, the MPAA rejected a poster for the film “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For,” which featured actress Eva Green in a sheer dress, citing nudity as a problem.

ABC said the same outfit -- a sheer white robe -- made Green “appear to be naked” in two scenes, the Post reports. Distributor Dimension Films is appealing the decision. The movie opens Aug. 22.

Below are two images the Post published of the poster for the "Sin City" sequel -- the version on the left being rejected by the MPAA, with the one on the right being approved.

sin city sequel posters-rejected, left, and approved.pngPosters for "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" -- The MPAA rejected the original, on the left

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Popular TV Sci-Fi Series Coming Soon to a Theater Near You? (With a Nod to David Letterman, We Just Hope to God Your Country Has Been Selected)

A popular science-fiction series is ready to hit the movie theaters to get its upcoming television season off to a flashy start. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that the premiere episode of the eighth season of BBC's “Doctor Who,” which introduces Peter Capaldi as the new Time Lord, will air in some theaters.

Viewers who attend the movie theater showings will also see “additional content,” although details of that content haven’t been released. It also hasn’t yet been announced which countries will air the premiere episode in theaters. The show airs on BBC America on U.S. television, where it has been slated to premiere Aug. 23. The movie theater premiere is set for the same date.

The strategy is similar to one the series used for the rollout last fall of its 50th anniversary special. The 50th anniversary special drew $10.2 million in a three-day movie theater release, the piece notes.

“Last November the Doctor didn't just conquer the world on television, he did it in the cinemas too. And like the show-off he is, he can't resist another go -- one taste of the silver screen is never enough," showrunner Steven Moffat said in a statement.

peter-capaldi.pngPeter Capaldi

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