A contributor who has been a familiar face on Fox News has been fired. Deadline.com reports that investment manager and author Tobin Smith, a regular panel member on Fox News’ "Bulls & Bears" and a contributor to both Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, was let go over "sponsored investment research" after he sent out an email and ad flier touting Petrosonic Energy.
While the campaign included a disclaimer that it was paid advertising and Smith didn't mention Petrosonic on air, the promotion became an issue because his NBT Equities Research reportedly banked $50,000 for the campaign.
"Some investors who bought into the company based on Smith’s recommendation contacted [The Wall Street Journal's] Market Watch blog, apparently not having read the disclaimer. Market Watch alerted its News Corp. sibling Fox News and was told that was the first it had heard of the matter," the story notes.
Fox Business Network has a rule that contributors aren't allowed "to accept financial consideration of any kind whatsoever to issue research, advertisements, or to otherwise promote individual stocks or securities,” the report notes.more »
An actress known for her work in the "Lord of the Rings" movies and a string of indie films has been cast in her first television role, reports Deadline.com.
Liv Tyler joins "The Leftovers," an HBO drama pilot from "Lost" co-creator Damon Lindelof based on Tom Perrotta's book. The project tells the story of the people who didn't make the cut following the Rapture.
Tyler, the daughter of Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler, will play Meg, a woman who is about to get married but ends up targeted by a cult for recruitment.
Tyler’s career has been focused on the big screen, with roles in “Stealing Beauty,” “Inventing the Abbotts” and “Cookie’s Fortune," among many other feature films.
The producer of the FX comedy series "Anger Management" revealed that Selma Blair is leaving the show, with the news coming after star Charlie Sheen started a campaign to get her fired, Nellie Andreeva reports on Deadline.com. Producer Lionsgate confirmed that Blair is off the show, the story reports.
The move comes after Blair questioned Sheen’s work ethic, as previously reported. Ugly details about Sheen's treatment of Blair emerged in the aftermath.
"I hear Charlie Sheen 'fired' her via text, in which he called the actress a 'c--t,'” Andreeva writes. “And it was not the only abusive, expletives-filled text she had received from Sheen, who also serves as an executive producer on 'Anger Management.'"
Andreeva adds: "I also hear that Blair was not the only member of the show's cast and crew that was frustrated by Sheen’s work habits as I hear they would often sit and wait for hours for him to show up for work. Although it was Blair voicing her concerns that got Sheen to flip out and get her sacked."
Her role won't be recast, the story notes. It's likely that the producers will use her departure as a launch pad for another creative makeover, given the show's sagging ratings. The program will stay in production as it retools.
"As for Blair, word is that she is being paid per her contract and no legal action is in the cards, at least not for now," Andreeva notes.
Nickelodeon is under pressure to put in place strict nutritional standards for food advertisements, but the network doesn't appear likely to give in to advocacy groups' demands or pressure from lawmakers anytime soon, The New York Times reports.
The Viacom-owned cable network says it believes nutritional standards should be set by regulators and food companies, not the entertainment industry.
"As an entertainment company, Nickelodeon’s primary mission is to make the highest quality entertainment content in the world for kids,” the company said in a written response to four senators who contacted the network last week about the issue. “That is our expertise. We believe strongly that we must leave the science of nutrition to the experts.”
As The Times points out, money is also a big factor in Nickelodeon's decision. Food advertising has fallen on Nickelodeon by 45% from 2008, but it remains the network's third-largest advertising category, after movies and toys.
Nickelodeon's food ads have declined partly because of self-regulation by food companies and because of the network’s own steps to limit some ads for fatty and sugary products.
“Things are moving in the right direction,” said Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the advocacy group the Center for Science in the Public Interest. “They’re just moving way too slowly.”more »
Disney Channel has picked up the multicamera half-hour comedy "I Didn't Do It," which stars Olivia Holt of the Disney XD show "Kickin' It," The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed reports.
The show will feature Holt as one-half of a set of fraternal twins, with her brother played by newcomer Austin North, as they deal with their freshman year of high school. Each episode starts with a "What just happened?" question, and uses flashbacks to follow the twins' different versions of events.
The network is planning a 2014 debut for the show, with production to get under way in Los Angeles this summer.more »
A new CNN show bowed this week to lukewarm ratings. TheWrap.com reports that the cable news channel’s new morning show "New Day" drew 247,000 total viewers, and 95,000 in the 25-54 demographic, for its premiere Monday.
The numbers represent gains over the network's year-earlier time period, but the show still lagged in third place in total viewers against shows on rival networks, the story reports.
Hosted by Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan, the show trailed Fox News Channel’s "Fox & Friends," which drew 1.06 million viewers, and MSNBC's "Morning Joe," which was watched by 355,000. "New Day," however, did beat "Morning Express" on CNN sister network HLN in total viewers, with “Morning Express” drawing 215,000.
In the key news demo, “New Day’s” 95,000 viewers put the show in fourth place, behind “Fox & Friends’” 262,000, “Morning Joe’s” 132,000 and “Morning Express’” 121,000.more »
"Breaking Bad" star and perennial Emmy winner Bryan Cranston disclosed what his plans are following the AMC drama’s final season, which begins in August, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Cranston, who won three consecutive Emmys for outstanding lead actor from 2008-2010 for his work on “Breaking Bad,” said he plans to record a Samuel L. Jackson monologue for charity -- turning the tables on Jackson, who recently recorded one of Cranston's most memorable "Breaking Bad" monologues to raise money for charity. The speech was a scene from the fourth season in which Cranston’s character, Walter, tells his wife, "I am not in danger, Skyler. I am the danger. … I am the one who knocks!”
“I did see Sammy's monologue, and I'm going to be making one of my own from one of his monologues at some point to help with Alzheimer's research and finding the cure,” Cranston wrote. “I sympathize with him because my mother also had Alzheimer's. It's a horrible disease, but he found a very interesting way to bring attention to it.”
Cranston’s comments appear on a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” post. The actor also noted that he's sad to say goodbye to "Breaking Bad." "To me it's like retiring after winning the Super Bowl,” he wrote.
He also talked about making the switch from his comedic role on "Malcolm in the Middle" to the darkness in "Breaking Bad."
“What I discovered is that everyone has a dark side. It might be unrealized, untapped, but if the right buttons are pushed anyone can become dangerous and I just opened up to it,” he wrote.
Bryan Cranstonmore »
A new series produced by Wendy Williams has been greenlighted by Oxygen, reports Deadline.com. The reality show, "Secret Celebrity," is produced by T Group Productions, and Williams will executive produce as part of her first-look deal with Oxygen.
The project features stars in disguise who surprise unsuspecting fans, friends and family, the story adds.
The show has already taped stars including LuAnn de Lesseps, Nick Lachey and Ice-T.more »
HBO has passed on a project co-written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon and his wife, Ayelet Waldman, reports TheWrap. The project is the period drama pilot "Hobgoblin."
The project, described as "Inglourious Basterds" with magic, is set during World War II and follows a group of conmen and magicians who use their skills to help defeat Adolf Hitler, the story notes. "Black Swan" director Darren Aronofsky was originally attached to direct, which would have marked his first TV project, but he left the pilot earlier this year, the piece adds.
Nevertheless, the project isn't dead, with FX considering picking up the drama.
NBC is working with a four-time Emmy-winning actress on a documentary about her terminal brain cancer, reports the New York Post.
Valerie Harper, 73, was diagnosed in March, with doctors giving her as little as three months to live. Since then, she has given NBC full access to her life, taping her and her husband, Tony Cacciotti, and their daughter, Cristina.
While the program doesn't yet have a scheduled air date, it will be shown in prime time.
Harper won four Emmys in the 1970s -- three for "Mary Tyler Moore" and one for "Rhoda."more »