A CBS comedy from Emmy-winning writer and producer David E. Kelley is in negotiations with Robin Williams to lure the actor back to television for the first time in three decades, reports our good friend James Hibberd at EW.com's Inside TV blog.
The series is a half-hour comedy set in the advertising world, about a father/daughter workplace, the story notes. Williams would star and Kelley would write and produce with 20th Century Fox Television.
Williams' last regular TV role was on the 1978-82 hit "Mork & Mindy," which made him a household name, the story says.
Sarah Palin's "Facebook outburst complaining about Fox [News] canceling her appearance at the Republic National Convention [previously reported] reveals something deeper about Palin’s often rocky relationship with the network. Palin's contract is up in January, and according to sources, Fox News executives are now weighing what kind of deal they would sign, if they sign one at all."
That's what Gabriel Sherman writes in New York magazine.
Sherman continues, "Palin earns roughly $1 million per year from Fox, making her the highest paid contributor at the network. Fox executives have been disappointed with her ratings; Palin has been disappointed by Fox's decision to not give her top billing on bookings. According to sources, the relationship at times has gotten so bad that much communication has been conducted via Palin’s husband Todd. One thing is clear: It's risky for her to push the envelope too far. Fox has been a central pillar of Palin’s national reach since quitting the governorship, and without the network's platform, it's unclear how she could maintain even her current, much-diminished level of visibility."more »
'One Man's Vulgarity Is Another Man's Lyric': Clint Eastwood Attacks Obama in No Uncertain Terms in Rambling Monologue at the Republican Convention. Love It or Hate It, It Was Certainly Unconventional. If You Missed It We Have the Video
"It doesn't matter what stripe your politics are, or whether you thought last night was a victory or disaster, Clint Eastwood stole the night. He stole it with the expertise and facility of a veteran actor who knew exactly what he was doing - stealing a scene, and stealing it with utter conviction."
So writes our good friend Verne Gay, the veteran TV columnist at Newsday, referring to Eastwood's speech at the Republican National Convention on Thursday night, Aug. 30, 2012.
Gay continues, "There is but one thing anyone will remember from this week - one thing and one thing only: The sight of Dirty Harry addressing an empty chair. Let the big minds address whether this remarkable TV moment was good or bad for the Republican ticket and they already have: Bob Schieffer last night said it was a political disaster, shifting attention from the candidate to a loopy actor addressing an empty chair. His colleague Norah O'Donnell said this morning that it was the 'not good, the bad and the very ugly.' "
Gay adds, "Political conventions are TV shows, only TV shows, and the one from Tampa last night starred a silver-maned screen icon named Clint Eastwood who drifted wildly off-script, addressed an empty chair, put words in the mouth of an invisible “president” that were vaguely - no, very distinctly - scatological, rambled for seven minutes, drove event organizers to drink....and in the process .totally, irrevocably heisted the entire week."
For the TV viewer, Gay notes that "[W]e got Clint and it was electrifying - a glorious, bizarre, fun, wild, weird, kooky, incendiary moment that threatened to throw the entire convention into a complete tailspin - and just before the nominee spoke. Now THAT'S entertainment, friends."
As they say, let's go to the video,from the PBS NewsHour:more »
"After five years of trying to sell ads on television using the automated buying system that works so well for its signature search ads, Google has finally given up," reports Robert Hof at Forbes.com.
The article continues, "The shutdown is clearly a disappointment for Google, yet another sign that its math-driven advertising systems don’t readily translate to traditional advertising. Back in 2009, the company shut down radio and print ad efforts for lack of interest."
Hof adds, "In a blog post this afternoon [Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012] from Shishir Mehrotra, VP of YouTube and video, the ad giant said it will shunt the group’s staff to other projects: 'Video is increasingly going digital and users are now watching across numerous devices. So we’ve made the hard decision to close our TV Ads product over the next few months and move the team to other areas at Google. We’ll be doubling down on video solutions for our clients (like YouTube, AdWords for Video, and ad serving tools for web video publishers). We also see opportunities to help users access web content on their TV screens, through products like Google TV.' "more »
TVWeek has published an abbreviated TVBizWire/E-Daily e-newsletter this morning. We will also publish our Daily Viral Video e-newsletter today, but not a separate afternoon E-Daily.
We're off Monday, Memorial Day, and will return will all our products on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012.
Meanwhile, if news breaks, we'll send out a TVWeek Extra Alert.
From our family to your family we wish you a safe and fun Labor Day holiday.more »
More Sad News About Robin Roberts: Her Mom Dies. The GMA Co-Anchor, Who Is On Medical Leave Herself, Made It To Her Mom's Bedside Just Before Her Mom Passed
"These are tough days for Robin Roberts," reports E! Online. "The 'Good Morning America' anchor's mother, Lucimarian Tolliver Roberts, died Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012, at the age of 88, co-anchor George Stephanopoulos announced on the show Friday."
The story continues, "The sad news follows Roberts' announcement that she will be taking a medical leave to undergo a bone-marrow transplant after being diagnosed earlier this year with myelodysplastic syndrome, a disease of the blood and bone marrow."
The story adds, "The 51-year-old Roberts had originally planned to start her leave after today's show but announced Thursday that she'd begin it a day early so she could fly home to Mississippi to be with her ailing mother. On the show Friday, Stephanopoulos said that Robin 'wanted to get home a little early to say goodbye to her mom. She made it home just in time.' "
The story adds,
ABC is in business with an alum of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” on a multicamera comedy project, Deadline.com reports. The Alphabet Network has given a put pilot commitment to “The Housewives,” a female-centric effort from ex-“SNL”-er Casey Wilson along with June Diane Raphael, Will Gluck and Sony Pictures TV, the story reports.
The report notes: “Written and executive produced by Wilson and Raphael, ‘The Housewives’ is about three female friends in 1954. Raphael is in negotiations to play one of the three leads in the project, produced by Sony TV and Gluck’s studio-based TV production company Olive Bridge Entertainment. Richard Schwartz co-executive produces.”
It’s the second major sale of the season for Gluck’s company, the report adds, following the 22-episode order the company received from NBC for a Michael J. Fox sitcom.
“’The Housewives’ reunites the auspices behind last year’s single-camera comedy project ‘Walk Of Shame,’ which also was set up at ABC through Sony TV and Gluck’s company, with Wilson and Raphael writing,” the story adds. “Wilson has a pre-existing relationship with ABC and Sony TV -- she co-stars on the ABC/Sony comedy ‘Happy Endings.’”more »
ABC’s “Good Morning America” continues to assert its newfound dominance over its NBC rival “Today,” B&C reports.
Nielsen figures show that “GMA” beat “Today” by more than 520,000 total viewers for the week of Aug. 20, the story reports. It was “GMA’s” second-highest margin of victory in the head-to-head battle since the ABC show first topped “Today” back in April, the report notes.
“’Good Morning America’ has now won seven of the past nine weeks, with the only two wins by ‘Today’ because of NBC's Olympics coverage,” the story reports. “’GMA’ also outdrew ‘Today’ on all five days, extending its streak to nine straight days.”
“Today” did post a narrow win for the week in the key demo of adults 25-54, topping “GMA” by 5,000 viewers, the story notes.more »
A hip-hop mogul who has been the longtime manager of 50 Cent, Diddy, Ja Rule and Mariah Carey was found dead today in New York in an apparent suicide, TMZ.com reports. Chris Lighty died from what is being reported as a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to authorities.
“According to law enforcement, 44-year-old Lighty's body was found by police around 11:30 a.m. in the backyard of his Bronx apartment,” the story reports. “Lighty was pronounced dead on the scene, where a semi-automatic firearm was recovered.”
The story cites sources close to Lighty saying he had been arguing with his ex-wife shortly before shooting himself.
The report notes: “We're told the couple got divorced last year and Lighty hadn't been the same since.”
The case is under investigation as a possible suicide.
Lighty founded the record label and multimedia entertainment conglomerate Violator.more »
For the two nights of coverage of the Republican National Convention so far, Fox News Channel has been burying the competition in the ratings, Deadline.com reports.
The cable news channel averaged 7.70 million total viewers Wednesday night in the 10 p.m. (ET) hour, when Condoleezza Rice and Paul Ryan addressed the convention. In the key news demo of viewers 25-54 the figure was 2.06 million. Both numbers were up from the same hour on Tuesday -- up 12% in total viewers and up 23% in the demo.
The best any of the broadcasters could manage was NBC with 4.14 million total viewers and 1.49 million in the news demo for the 10 p.m.-11:05 p.m. coverage.
ABC settled for 2.85 million total viewers and 993,694 in 25-54 from 10-11:07 p.m., with CBS delivering 2.55 million total and 402,370 in the demo for the same period.
The other major cable news channels fell in behind the broadcasters. MSNBC settled for 1.44 million total viewers to 1.34 million for CNN. Between the two, CNN did win the 25-54 demo: CNN had 451.370 to 402,044 for MSNBC.
“In overall 8-11 PM ET prime-time coverage, FNC did better than CNN and MSNBC put together,” the story reports. “The News Corp.-owned network had 5.84 million total viewers compared to the 1.29 MSNBC had and the 1.11 million CNN drew. Among adults 25-54, FNC had 1.42 million while MSNBC had 366,743 and CNN had 341,758.”
All three cable news channels were down in total viewers Wednesday from the equivalent night of the 2008 GOP Convention -- some more than others. Fox News was down 9%, MSNBC fell 40% and CNN was off by a whopping 73% for the 8-11 p.m. period, compared with Sept. 3, 2008.more »
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin aired her complaints on Facebook after Fox News canceled her scheduled interviews, reports TVNewser.com.
In a Facebook post, Palin wrote, "I’m sorry Fox cancelled all my scheduled interviews tonight because I sure wanted to take the opportunity on the air to highlight Senator John McCain’s positive contributions to America, to honor him, and to reflect on what a biased media unfairly put him through four years ago tonight."
Fox News Executive Vice President of Programming Bill Shine responded by saying the network's plans changed after the Republican National Committee shrank its schedule of speeches from four nights to three. "We look forward to having Governor Palin back as soon as we can," he said in a statement.more »
An 8-year-old schoolboy walking on a beach in the U.K. stumbled onto what could turn out to be a fortune in whale vomit, the U.K.’s Daily Mail reports.
The boy, Charlie Naysmith, found a 1.3-pound chunk of the stuff during a walk along Hengistbury Head, near Bournemouth, the story reports. The material, which looks like a yellowish beige rock, is ambergris -- whale vomit that has solidified over decades -- which is used in perfumes.
The chunk of so-called “floating gold,” apparently from a sperm whale, could be worth more than $60,000, according to estimates.
“Decades of floating and exposure to sun and salt have turned the substance, technically called ambergris, into a smooth lump of compact rock which feels waxy and has a sweet smell,” the story reports. “As repulsive as it may sound, the substance is highly sought after with perfume makers as it helps prolong the scent of perfume.”
The boy’s father, Alex, said his son is “into nature.” Regarding the ambergris, he said: “We have discovered it is quite rare and are waiting for some more information from marine biology experts.”
Charlie is reportedly interested in using any money he receives from the find to help build a shelter for animals.more »
A veteran TV actor who played an iconic character on the early 1960s comedy series “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” has died, TheWrap.com reports. Steve Franken, best known for playing the dilettante Chatsworth Osborne Jr., was 80.
Franken died Friday after a battle with cancer.
Franken had a long career in television and also appeared regularly in feature films. He made his biggest impact during “Dobie’s” 1959-1963 run on CBS, but also played many characters on "Bewitched," such as Cousin Henry and Orvis.
Other TV appearances included “Adam-12,” “Love, American Style,” “The Patty Duke Show” and “Mission: Impossible.” He was a regular on the short-lived “Tom, Dick and Mary” in the mid-1960s.
Franklin appeared in the 2009 film "Angels & Demons," playing Cardinal Colbert. One of his more notable film appearances was in 1968's "The Party," in which he played an increasingly drunk waiter, the story notes.
Here’s a clip of Franken as Warlock Bruce on "Bewitched":more »
Shakeup at Ratings-Challenged Nickelodeon: Top Exec Behind 'Dora the Explorer' Franchise Gets the Boot
Nickelodeon, struggling to find its footing amid a persistent ratings slump, has shaken things up in the executive ranks, pushing out Brown Johnson, the network's animation chief and the executive most responsible for the channel's hit cartoon "Dora the Explorer," reports the Los Angeles Times.
The move comes after the network experienced a 25% drop in its target demo of viewers 2 to 11 this summer, compared with a year ago, the story notes.
"Wall Street has been getting impatient with Viacom, questioning whether Nickelodeon has relied too heavily on older and fading franchises, including 'SpongeBob SquarePants'," the article notes.
Johnson is leaving "to pursue her own creative endeavors," Nickelodeon said in a statement. She worked as its president of animation for four years, and was with the network for two decades, according to the piece.
She was key to some of the network's biggest hits, including "Blues Clues." Her work behind the scenes of “Dora the Explorer” helped turn that cartoon into a multibillion-dollar franchise for Nickelodeon and was a key to the network’s success over the past 10 years, the report notes.
The shakeup consolidates Nickelodeon's operations in Los Angeles, with Chief Creative Officer Russell Hicks now running its West Coast operations. He was also promoted to president of content development and production for the Nickelodeon group.
Margie Cohn, who has been in charge of live-action programming, is also affected by the personnel changes. Cohn split responsibility for West Coast operations with Johnson, according to the story.
Cohn will continue to see live-action programming development, although she no longer reports to Nickelodeon Group President Cyma Zarghami, the piece adds.
Nick is betting heavily on the new CGI “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” which bows next month, the report notes.more »
Allegations of racism are flying in a politically charged war of words between two popular singers. "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken was called a racist by former "Celebrity Apprentice" contestant John Rich, after Aiken tweeted an apparent joke aimed at the Republican convention, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Aiken, who reportedly has 41,107 followers on his Twitter account, tweeted: "Playing drinking game with my brother now. We drink every time we see a black person on screen at the RNC convention.”
Aiken ended the tweet with the hashtag #soberasamormon.
Rich, a Republican, wrote on Twitter that Aiken "should be ashamed for racist comments like THAT!," the story notes. Rich has 105,408 Twitter followers, the report notes.
Rich, who's half of the country act Big & Rich, added, "And to finish it off, @clayaiken hashtags soberasamormon? I thought your charity was for inclusion, not EXCLUSION. What happened?"
Aiken responded, "My charity is. Why isn't your party? ;-)" Aiken has been working on behalf of the charity the National Inclusion Project.
Some observers have noted that Aiken was making an comment about a perceived lack of diversity at the GOP convention -- taking the position that the observation itself is not racist and is in fact pointing out possible racism as an undercurrent at the convention.
As previously reported, the GOP convention was caught up in another racial incident earlier this week, with two people tossed out of the convention for reportedly throwing nuts at a black CNN camerawoman and saying, "This is how we feed the animals."more »
“Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts signed off from the ABC morning show today -- one day ahead of schedule -- to begin her medical leave for a bone marrow transplant procedure, TMZ.com reports.
Roberts is battling leukemia, as previously reported. She said she needed the extra day to take care of some unspecified developments at home as she prepares for her treatments. Here’s a brief clip of Roberts’ comments:
MTV has announced that the upcoming sixth season of its reality staple “Jersey Shore” will be the show’s last, MTV.com reports.
It was already known that this would be the final season with the original cast, as we reported back in June. But today’s news means the cable network will not recast the series.
The sixth and final season is set to premiere Oct. 4.
The channel is working up a lineup of programming as a farewell to the show, including a one-hour retrospective, “Gym, Tan, Look Back,” set to air Sept. 6.
"’Gym, Tan, Look Back’ will serve as the capper on a full day of ‘Jersey Shore’ nostalgia beginning at 11 a.m. ET/PT on September 6 with an awards-themed marathon of ‘Shore’ episodes, which will include the most iconic moments in the series' history,” the website reports. “And then, the cast of the ‘Jersey Shore’ will gather at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards Pre-show (airing live at 7 p.m. ET/PT) to discuss the final season from the red carpet.”more »
The watchdog group the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, in its sixth annual Network Responsibility Index, has issued failing marks to CBS, TBS and History, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed.
CBS slipped 2 percentage points from 2011, moving it from "adequate" to failing, the story notes. For a fourth consecutive year, CBS has finished in last place among broadcast nets. However, CBS this fall will debut a comedy called "Partners" that features a gay couple and comes from the creators of "Will & Grace," the piece points out.
TBS received its fourth annual failing grade, with just 5% of its prime-time shows found to be inclusive of LGBT people, the story says. The report examined five broadcasters and 10 top cable channels.
The most inclusive broadcast network was The CW, with 29% of its prime-time programming hours inclusive of LGBT people. ABC and Fox were second and third, with NBC finishing fourth. The CW also had the most racial diversity among LGBT characters, the story says.
Among cable networks, Showtime was the most inclusive (at 46% of prime-time shows), followed by ABC Family (34%) and TNT (34%). HBO was next with 33%, the story says.more »
A popular star of "Lost" has been cast in ABC's fairytale-inspired "Once Upon a Time," reports EW.com's Inside TV. Jorge Garcia will guest-star as a character called "The Giant."
No other casting details were available, the piece notes.
Garcia won’t be the first "Lost" actor to appear in "Once Upon a Time." Emilie de Ravin appeared last season as Beauty, and was promoted to series regular for the show's second season.more »
Fox 21 has signed the Emmy-nominated writer and producer Craig Wright to an overall deal, under which he will create cable projects and supervise other writers, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed.
Wright earned an Emmy nomination for his work on HBO's "Six Feet Under." The one-year pod deal has Wright joining Stephen Gaghan of "Syriana" and Chip Johannessen of "Dexter" at the studio, the story notes.
"We see ourselves as a writers' studio," said Fox 21 President Bert Salke. "We're really writer-driven in a world where there are fewer and fewer cable projects being made at a given network."more »
NBC has bought a drama based on the youth of a country music star. Deadline.com reports that the network has signed on for the project from singer Miranda Lambert, which Lambert will executive produce.
The project, based on Lambert's youth, tracks a couple who run a detective agency while parenting two teenagers, the story notes. Lambert's father became a private investigator after retiring from the police force, and her mother also worked with the business.
The deal means NBC now has a relationship with both partners in country music's top couple, as Lambert’s husband Blake Shelton co-stars on the network's hit show "The Voice," the piece points out.
Lambert's mother, Beverly June Lambert, will work as a consultant on the television project, which Chad Hodge will write.
Lambert came to national attention in 2003 as a finalist on the TV competition series “Nashville Star.”more »
Dick Clark Productions has entered exclusive negotiations with private equity firm Guggenheim Partners on a possible deal for Guggenheim to buy the company, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The agreement could be struck in the next week or two, the story says. Guggenheim may pay 10% more than the reported $350 million originally sought by Dick Clark Productions' owner Red Zone Capital, although the exact price couldn't be confirmed, according to the report.
Dick Clark Productions produces the Golden Globe Awards, the American Music Awards and other television programming.more »
Old Navy has settled a lawsuit filed by Kim Kardashian over a television ad she claimed violated her publicity rights by using a lookalike, reports the Associated Press.
The lawsuit stems from July 2011, when Kardashian filed the suit and claimed the ad could confuse consumers about her endorsements. The ad was called "Super C-U-T-E" and featured Canadian singer and model Melissa Molinaro. Old Navy claimed the ad wasn't meant to draw similarities between Molinaro and Kardashian, the story says.
Details of the settlement weren't disclosed.more »
The NBC comedy series that was refused by a Utah affiliate has received an early digital rollout, reports Deadline.com.
"The New Normal" is now available on Hulu, iTunes, Amazon, Nbc.com and Xbox, part of NBC's strategy to give new series a two-week sampling window, the story notes.
"The New Normal" debuts Sept. 11. The next new show to get an early rollout will be the drama "Revolution," with the pilot slated to air online on Sept. 4.
As previously reported, Salt Lake City station KSL-TV balked at the show, which portrays two gay men raising a baby.more »
Charlie Sheen Poised for Massive Payday After FX Picks Up 'Anger Management' for 90 More Episodes -- and Sheen's Dad Will Get a Little Something Too
FX is picking up the huge back-90 order for “Anger Management,” putting star Charlie Sheen in a position for what could turn out to be an even bigger payday than he had in store had he survived on the CBS hit “Two and a Half Men.”
The cable network committed early in the process to picking up an additional 90 episodes provided that episodes 2 through 10 met a certain ratings threshold. Deadline.com notes that the premiere, which aired June 28, turned out to be the most-watched scripted prime-time comedy series premiere in cable history.
FX says the series is the highest-rated new comedy series on cable this year, averaging 4.53 million total viewers (cumed) and 2.5 million in the key 18-49 demo, Deadline notes.
TMZ.com adds that Sheen’s arrangement for the show -- in which he receives a generous cut of the profits -- could push his cut north of $100 million.
TMZ adds: “What's interesting ... the deal was structured so Charlie will be working non-stop for the next 2 years, and Network suits wanted it that way so Charlie didn't have a lot of free time to get into trouble.”
Chuck Saftler, EVP of FX Networks, quoted in the Deadline piece, says: “We set a very high ratings bar that included some additional hurdles for ‘Anger Management’ to earn its back-90 order and the series met and exceeded those metrics. [Creator and executive producer] Bruce Helford has created a sitcom that works extremely well in our pre-10 p.m. programming lineup. Charlie Sheen and the entire cast did an amazing job in the first ten episodes, which were produced in a very tight window. I have no doubt that the producers and cast will be able to pull off the Herculean task of producing 90 episodes over the next two years.”
Deadline adds: “Sheen’s father, Martin Sheen will join the cast of ‘Anger Management’ in a recurring role for the back 90 episodes, playing Martin Goodson, Charlie’s father.”
Lionsgate, the producer of “Anger Management,” and its subsidiary Debmar-Mercury are reportedly preparing to shop the series to stations for a fall 2014 syndication rollout.more »
Two people attending the Republican National Convention in Tampa were thrown out of the convention center Tuesday after an incident involving a CNN camerawoman, The Huffington Post reports.
The attendees reportedly threw nuts at the woman, who is black, and said, “This is how we feed the animals,” according to the story.
“CNN reported that multiple witnesses saw it happen, and police immediately removed the two people from the premises,” the story reports.
CNN did not immediately mention the incident on the air, but said in a statement Tuesday: "CNN can confirm there was an incident directed at an employee inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum earlier this afternoon. CNN worked with convention officials to address this matter and will have no further comment."
The report adds: “The convention condemned the incident in a statement, saying, ‘Two attendees tonight exhibited deplorable behavior. Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated.’"more »
Fox Broadcasting Co., which has been rebuilding its top management lineup, has named a new chief operating officer, Deadline.com reports.
The company is promoting Joe Earley, currently president of marketing and communications, to the post.
The move follows the recent promotion of Peter Rice to chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group and last week’s announcement that Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly was stepping up to become chairman of Entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Co.
Deadline reports: “In the new position, Earley will be involved in scripted programming, casting, scheduling, research, audience strategy, digital, and business affairs, in addition to continuing oversight of marketing and communications. He will continue to report to Reilly, along with Mike Darnell, president of Alternative Entertainment.
Earley was behind successful launches for shows including “Glee,” “New Girl” and “The X Factor,” the report notes. He also was behind the “So Fox” branding initiative.
Said Reilly: “Joe is not only an inspired and creative marketing strategist, but he should own the patent on the concept of ‘team builder.’”more »
Where Can You Tune In This Fall to See Chippendales Dancers, a Lumberjack, a Gay Goat-Farming Couple and Married Monster Truck Drivers? You Can Probably Guess
The upcoming lineup has been unveiled for one of the most successful reality competition franchises, the Los Angeles Times reports, and as usual the show has gathered up its share of intriguing “types.”
Among the contestants for the fall 2012 edition of CBS’s “The Amazing Race”: a double amputee, Chippendales dancers, a former member of the metal band Megadeth, a lumberjack, twin sisters, a gay goat-farming couple and married monster truck drivers, the story reports.
“In order to keep things fresh (as if Chippendales dancers racing around the world wasn't fresh enough), the producers are also introducing a new twist: If the team that wins the first leg of the race also wins the final leg, they will double the cash prize, taking home $2 million instead of $1 million,” the report adds.
The series’ 21st season is set to premiere Sept. 30, with Jerry Bruckheimer executive-producing. Besides doing well in the ratings, the show is a favorite of Emmy voters -- winning outstanding reality competition program in eight of the past nine years, the story points out. “Top Chef” broke up the streak, winning the category in 2010.
Phil Keoghan hosts the program.more »
One of the most famous pianists in the world has been diagnosed with advanced bone cancer, reports the Los Angeles Times. Van Cliburn, 78, announced the diagnosis through his publicist.
“Raised in Texas and educated at Juilliard, Harvey Lavan ‘Van’ Cliburn earned global fame at age 23 when he won the first International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow in 1958, which occurred at the height of the Cold War,” the story reports.
“Cliburn performed Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 and Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1, and his later recording of the latter was the first classical recording to sell 1 million copies and eventually went triple-platinum.”
Cliburn is said to be resting comfortably at his home in Fort Worth, Texas. He said in a 2008 interview with NPR that he still practiced every day, sometimes late into the night.
In the interview, Cliburn said: "I was never really the type that needed the stage. I love music. I love listening to it. But when you just listen, you can be 100 percent; when you have to serve music, you must be thinking of others, not yourself."
Cliburn received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2001 and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammys in 2004, the story notes. He retired in 1978, but has reportedly performed for every U.S. president since Harry Truman.
Here’s a clip of Cliburn performing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Movement III, in Moscow in 1962:more »
CBS has wasted little time filling a top scheduling position. The network’s No. 2 scheduling job became available this week after Andy Kubitz announced he was jumping to ABC, as we reported earlier. Now Deadline.com reports that Noriko Gee is being promoted to senior VP, Programming, Planning and Scheduling.
“She will take over Kubitz’s responsibilities for scheduling all CBS primetime series, specials and movies, overseeing CBS’s theatrical acquisitions and contributing to the CW’s schedule, reporting to the network’s head of scheduling, Kelly Kahl, Senior EVP, CBS Primetime,” the story reports.
Said Kahl: “Noriko is one of the best scheduling minds in our business. From the placement of new series to key strategic moves of hit shows to grow nights, CBS has benefited greatly from her sharp programming acumen and instinctive analysis.”
Gee, who has been VP of Program Planning and Scheduling since April 2010, has had a hand in scheduling moves including “The Big Bang Theory’s” move to 8 p.m. Thursday and “CSI’s” move to 10 p.m. Wednesday, the story notes.more »
A firestorm has erupted over Oprah Winfrey's interview with gold medal-winning Olympic gymnast Gabrielle Douglas, who claims other girls at the gym where she first trained called her a "slave," reports Yahoo! TV.
In the interview for “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” Douglas recalled, "One of my teammates was like, 'Can you scrape the bar?' And they were like, 'Why doesn't Gabby do it, she's our slave?'" Douglas said she felt isolated by the remark.
“The 16-year-old said she finally left the gym when she was 14: ‘I was scared at my old gym to show my potential. … I was just holding back,’" the story reports.
The gym has denied the allegations of racism.
Randy Stageburg, a former elite gymnast who trained at the same gym, Excalibur Gymnastics, wrote on the website Gymnewstics, "The accusations that are being made against the gymnasts and coaches are just sickening."
"I am not saying that she never felt bullied, because when you are in a sport with a bunch of girls, it is bound to happen. However, anything that she may have felt was never about race, and I can assure you everyone at some point has felt bullied," Stageburg wrote.
Excalibur Gymnastics CEO Gustavo Maure said in a statement that the "accusation is fake," according to Yahoo! TV. "This wouldn't be the first time that the media has made up a story," Maure said.more »
NBC’s late-night sketch comedy staple “Saturday Night Live” has settled on a guest host for the fall season’s first show, the AP reports. The gig will go to Seth MacFarlane, creator of Fox’s “Family Guy.”
The season -- “SNL’s” 38th -- premieres Sept. 15, with Frank Ocean as musical guest.
Other upcoming guests will include actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Craig, the report notes.
MacFarlane recently directed “Ted,” his first feature film, also providing the voice for the title character. His work on “Family Guy” includes writing, producing and voice work.more »
Lindsay Lohan has been banned from one of the landmarks on L.A.’s Sunset Strip, according to a report on TMZ.com. The iconic Chateau Marmont Hotel, where John Belushi died of a drug overdose, reportedly ordered the actress to remove her belongings as of Aug. 1 and has banned her from the property.
The problem is an unpaid bill of more than $46,000, detailed in a letter to Lohan from the hotel’s general manager.
The letter says the hotel repeatedly asked for payment for the 47 days Lohan stayed there in June and July, the story notes.
Her charges include minibar costs of $3,145.07 and $686 for cigarettes -- 49 packs, at $14 apiece.more »
The producer of the breakout documentary “2016: Obama’s America” -- described as the highest-grossing conservative documentary of all time -- says CNN rejected an ad for the film, although the Time Warner-owned network says that isn't true, reports EW.com's Inside TV.
Film producer John Sullivan, who is also the movie's co-director, said CNN told him the movie was "too political." Ads for the movie have aired on networks including Fox News and MSNBC.
CNN said Sullivan’s claim isn’t quite right, according to the article. "We asked them to explain why they believe the ad is not subject to political advertising disclosure requirements, and we did not hear back from them with any explanation," said a representative for the network.
The report adds: “The network’s concern was a Federal Election Commission rule that states any telecast advocating for the election or defeat of a federal candidate must have its funding source revealed in a disclaimer notice (‘Paid for by …’). Such notices are standard on political ads, yet might be unprecedented for a popular theatrical film. An MSNBC spokesperson said the commercial ran without a disclaimer, like a regular movie ad. ‘The ad was approved through NBC News standards and practices before air,’ an MSNBC spokesperson said.”
Sullivan said he's submitting a second ad, which he hopes will be approved by CNN.more »
A television series based on the hit film "Beverly Hills Cop" is being pitched by star Eddie Murphy and "The Shield" creator Shawn Ryan, with the pair taking the idea to the top broadcasters, reports Deadline.com.
It's likely that all four networks hearing the pitch -- ABC, Fox, NBC and CBS -- will "make a play for the project," the story says.
The project is a sequel to the movie franchise, with the son of Axel Foley (Murphy) moving to Beverly Hills to get away from his dad. Murphy is slated to reprise his role in recurring guest spots, the story says.
Sony Pictures TV is producing, as Ryan has an overall deal there.more »
Actress Lindsay Lohan appears to be off the hook in a reported burglary earlier this month at a Hollywood Hills home where she was a houseguest, CBS News reports.
A memo from prosecutors says: "We do not have sufficient evidence to prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt," the story reports.
“Los Angeles police detectives presented a potential felony burglary case against the actress and two men after several items went missing when the three reportedly visited the Hollywood Hills home of a longtime acquaintance earlier this month,” the report notes. “The prosecution memo also noted that none of the missing items were found in Lohan's possession, nor with the two men who were believed to be at the house on the day of the burglary.”
Sam Magid, who owns the home where the incident took place, reportedly told authorities that he does not want to pursue the case. He has been described as a friend of Lohan’s. The missing items most recently have been identified as keys, cash, sunglasses and a credit card holder.
In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Lohan’s spokesman Steve Honig said: "Lindsay is glad this matter has been cleared up so she can focus on her upcoming projects."
Police indicated they are continuing their investigation into the alleged theft.
Lohan remains on probation in connection with the 2011 theft of a $2,500 necklace from a Venice, Calif., jewelry store, and faces jail time if she is charged with another crime.
She also faces potential problems in connection with another case. The report notes: “Police in Santa Monica, Calif., continue to investigate a crash involving Lohan and her assistant on the Pacific Coast Highway earlier this year. Lohan was on her way to the set of the Lifetime film ‘Liz and Dick’ when she slammed into the back of a dump truck and had to be briefly hospitalized.”more »
Joss Whedon, creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” is set to return to TV after he received a pilot order from ABC for "S.H.I.E.L.D.," a project based on the Marvel comic, reports Deadline.com.
Whedon and his project partners Jed Whedon, his brother, and Maurissa Tancharoen, his wife, will write the project, which is based on Marvel's peacekeeping group S.H.I.E.L.D. The acronym stands for Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate or Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, according to the story.
Whedon, who also created "Dollhouse," will direct the pilot. It's the first live-action television project from Marvel to receive a green light, the story says. Production on the pilot will start right away.more »
Fremantle Media North America reportedly has its new chief executive, who will succeed Cecile Frot-Coutaz. Deadline.com reports that the company will name Thom Beers to the post, after Frot-Coutaz on July 1 became CEO of the entire Fremantle Media company.
Beers sold 75% of his Original Productions in 2009 to Fremantle North America for a reported $50 million, the story notes, and remained Original CEO after the deal.
Other names were reportedly considered for the top job, including outside candidates and insider Donna Redier Linsk, currently the company's COO.
Beers has produced top unscripted shows including "Storage Wars" and "The Deadliest Catch."more »
Robert Kotlowitz, a magazine editor who joined the country's largest public television station and helped create shows such as "The MacNeil/Lehrer Report," has died, reports The New York Times. Kotlowitz, 87, died of prostate cancer.
Kotlowitz was offered a job by John Jay Iselin, then the newly named president of New York's Channel 13, WNET-TV, after quitting as managing editor of Harper's Magazine in 1971.
According to The New York Times, Kotlowitz told Iselin he had never been in a television studio, which didn't deter Iselin from appointing him editorial director.
Kotlowitz remained at the network until he retired in 1990.
He "became known as a sort of in-house minister of culture and the most ardent advocate for some of Mr. Iselin’s most ambitious decisions. He first proposed a half-hour evening news show featuring Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil in 1973, after the pair had anchored public television coverage of the Senate Watergate hearings," the story notes.
The program has aired since December 1975, but is now known as "PBS NewsHour."
In 1981, Kotlowitz convinced Iselin to spend $500,000 on an English series, "Brideshead Revisited," which was based on the novel by Evelyn Waugh. The show ended up becoming one of the biggest hits on public television.
He also was responsible for bringing "Monty Python's Flying Circus" to public television, as well as "Nature" and "Bill Moyers Journal," the piece adds.more »
The younger stars of "Modern Family" have received raises, according to Deadline.com. After month-long talks, the child actors will be making about $70,000 per episode, or about triple their current salaries, the story says.
The stars include Rico Rodriguez, 14; Nolan Gould, 13; Ariel Winter, 14; and Sarah Hyland, 21.
Hyland, who had earlier acting credits, has been making more than the younger actors, but there will likely be pay parity among the four, the piece notes.
The raises come after the most of the show's adult stars negotiated raises, with actors such as Ty Burrell now earning $170,000 per episode, up from $65,000.more »
For the first time since her on-set accident while taping CBS's "The Good Wife," actress-singer Kristin Chenoweth will appear on camera on "Live! With Kelly," reports USA Today.
Chenoweth will be on the Sept. 7 episode. She is also returning to work, although not yet acting. On Sept. 10 she will co-host with Anderson Cooper on his relaunched talk show "Anderson Live."more »
CBS Exec Departs to Head Scheduling at ABC, as Three of the Four Major Broadcast Nets Now Have New Top Schedulers
A top scheduling executive at CBS is leaving the network to take on the top scheduling job at ABC, reports Joe Flint in the Los Angeles Times.
Andy Kubitz, who has been senior VP of scheduling for CBS, will be filling the role left empty by Jeff Bader, who left ABC earlier this month to join NBC, the story notes. Bader had worked at ABC for almost 25 years.
Kubitz served as second-in-command to Kelly Kahl, CBS's highly regarded scheduler, the story adds.
"At ABC, Kubitz will have his work cut out for him,” Flint writes. “While the network has some strong shows in 'Modern Family' and 'Once Upon a Time,' it also has several new offerings premiering this fall that will need nurturing and patience.”
He adds, "With the hiring of Kubitz, three of the big four networks will go into the fall with new schedulers at the helm. Besides Bader at NBC, Fox earlier this year named Dan Harrison its new head of program planning to replace Preston Beckman, who has taken on an advisory role as he eases into retirement."more »
Katie Couric doesn’t mince words when she talks about her time at CBS in an interview released today with Good Housekeeping magazine.
Couric talked with the magazine as she readies for her new syndicated daytime talk show, “Katie,” which premieres Sept. 10. She talked about what she hopes to accomplish with the new show, but also reflected on her time on CBS’s flagship evening news broadcast.
The Huffington Post reports: “When asked about her time at CBS anchoring ‘CBS Evening News,’ Couric said that she felt ‘really proud of the work [she] did,’ but was quick to point out the challenges. ... She described feeling ‘constrained’ while she worked at CBS, and therefore ‘liberated’ when she left the network after five years.”
Couric left NBC’s “Today” show, where she had been for 15 years, to try her hand as anchor and managing editor for the CBS broadcast. During her stay, despite Emmys and other honors for her show, CBS saw rivals ABC and NBC pull further ahead in the ratings.
“During the GH interview, Couric said, ‘I had an ultimate sense of satisfaction. But I was not ambivalent about feeling this wasn't the place for me for the rest of my career. It wasn't the right environment for me. In terms of the atmosphere, it wasn't a good fit for my sensibilities and personality,’" Huffington Post reports.
The report adds: “Known for her direct and perky personality, Couric added, ‘I'm not a quitter. There were times when I thought to myself, Gee, do I need this? But I thought, You know what? I can do this job as well as anyone. If people are projecting their own issues onto me, that's not my problem.’"more »
The guest list is materializing for Katie Couric’s new syndicated daytime show “Katie,” and early episodes of the talkfest will be focused on women in transition, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The show, set to bow Sept. 10, will open with Jessica Simpson and Sheryl Crow. Other guests during the early days will include Barbra Streisand, Jennifer Lopez and Sofia Vergara, along with “50 Shades of Grey” author E L James and Aimee Copeland, a Georgia grad student who lost parts of her limbs to flesh-eating bacteria, the report notes.
“With a hefty price tag and sky-high expectations for her daytime effort, Couric is billing her guest list as a cadre of women -- many of them household names -- who are at a transitional point in their lives,” THR reports.
“In her bid to court daytime's all-important female demo with relatable fare, Couric's premiere episode will feature Simpson discussing such challenges as losing her baby weight, getting past nasty rumors and balancing a baby and a career, while Crow opens up about entering the next phases of her life and career as a 50-year-old single mother,” the report adds.
Other guests lined up for future episodes include Wendy Williams, Heidi Klum, Susan Sarandon and Chelsea Handler, the story notes.
The report adds: “Rather than make her show another stop on the celebrity promotional circuit, Couric is attempting to push the platform as a place to delve into the more substantial -- at least for now. Along those lines, Crow is expected to address her recent brain tumor diagnosis on the show, while ‘The X Factor's’ Demi Lovato will come on to discuss her past struggles with anorexia and bulimia. The show is expected to tackle one to three topics each day and is being pushed to affiliates a female-friendly option that is, as Couric has said, ‘smart with heart.’"more »
Teen pop sensation Justin Bieber has joined the Fox talent competition show “The X Factor,” E! News reports. Bieber will appear during the upcoming season as one of the show’s celebrity mentors.
Bieber will reportedly be a part of L.A. Reid’s team, giving advice to competitors after the show narrows down the top 16 acts.
The report notes: “Each judge is given a group of four contestants to oversee, and this season a celebrity mentor will be joining them during the judge's house round to help out. Rumors are flying around the Internet that Nick Jonas will join fellow Disney grad Demi Lovato as a mentor, but no official announcement has been made from Fox.”
Bieber reportedly tweeted about joining the show, writing: “long day but great day. @LA_Reid @ScooterBraun just like old times! Thanks”more »
Actress Lindsay Lohan is giving her own version of events in an alleged theft of watches and sunglasses valued at $100,000, and she’s pointing the finger at a man who says he’s the son of Death Row Records co-founder Suge Knight, TMZ.com reports.
Authorities say Lohan is formally a suspect in the theft a week ago from the Hollywood Hills home of Lohan’s friend Sam Magid, as we reported earlier today. Now the actress is alleging she’s being framed, according to TMZ.
TMZ reports: “Magid told cops Monday ... he was in touch with two of Lindsay's friends -- one of whom is Andrew Knight -- and they said the night of the theft Lindsay had handed them a bag with 2 or 3 pieces of the stolen items wrapped in her T-shirt. The two men returned the items to Magid. Other items were still missing.”
Authorities reportedly continue to focus on Lohan and are unconvinced about her implication of Knight. For his part, Knight is denying her accusations, TMZ reports.
The story adds: “Magid also said he was in touch with Lindsay, who told him she had hidden some of the other items around the house because she was afraid they would be stolen by burglars. We're told Magid told cops Lindsay confessed she was on Ambien at the time she hid the jewelry and was hazy about exactly what happened.”
Magid also reportedly told police that he was contacted recently by Lohan and she told him, "I'm sorry. Please pray for me."
In addition to watches and sunglasses, Tiffany monogrammed silverware was also stolen, according to the report.more »
Nigel Lythgoe, the executive producer of "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance," will bring a version of the feature film “Fame” to the small screen as a TV series, Deadline.com reports.
Lythgoe will serve as executive producer on the MGM Television project, which is based on the 1980 Alan Parker film and a 1982 NBC television series.
According to the producers, instead of a remake, this "Fame" will be a reimagining of the original source material, in keeping with the spirit of the earlier productions. It will be current, focusing on young people who, as part of a new world of celebrity, have plentiful access to media thanks to the Internet.
In a statement, Roma Khanna, president of Television and Digital for MGM, said, “This is a great opportunity for MGM to partner with world-class producer Nigel Lythgoe, whose unmatched experience with telling the true stories of talented people striving for success will set 'Fame' apart.”more »
Howie Mandel is moving ahead with plans for a new game show, including issuing a casting call for contestants, the New York Post reports. The show is “White Elephant,” based on a popular holiday party game of the same name.
NBC has reportedly ordered seven episodes of the show, from the producers behind “Deal or No Deal.”
In the party game, contestants choose a gift from a collection of unmarked packages.
In the television version, it will be a warehouse of unmarked boxes filled with prizes, with contestants deciding -- a la "Let's Make A Deal" -- whether to keep a prize or trade it in for one that might be better.more »
Howard Stern says he received a call from an NBC executive who made a "threatening kind of comment" after Stern called NBC late-night host Jay Leno a "spineless maggot," reports TheWrap.com.
Stern, who is a judge on NBC's "America's Got Talent," did not name the executive. Stern attacked Leno last week on his radio show, after reports that the late-night host had taken a pay cut to save jobs on his program.
Recalling the phone call from the NBC executive, Stern said on his radio show, "I was laughing my ass off. I said, 'Do not tell me to not talk about Jay Leno. I will fucking talk about Jay Leno for four hours if you tell me not to. I was done with Jay Leno, now I'm all fired up again. Fuck Jay!"
Stern added that he loves his job on "America's Got Talent," according to the story. "I love working for the people at NBC -- they've been nothing but wonderful," he said. "But please don't tell me what to say. I'd rather leave than not talk about Jay Leno."
On his radio show last week, Stern took exception to reports that Leno had taken a pay cut in an effort to save the jobs of “Tonight Show” staffers. According to Stern, it was Leno who wanted the cuts, and the late-night fixture was hiding behind NBC.
Said Stern: “It’s all horseshit. It’s bullshit. It’s a smokescreen. ... Here’s what it really means, and you can take this to the bank: Jay Leno is a scumbag. That’s what that means. He’s a spineless maggot. Jay wanted to cut staff. He’s embarrassed to do it. He didn’t want to come off as a bad guy. NBC took the hit for him, because they’re a corporation. ... My bullshit meter is going off all over the place."more »
Report: Lindsay Lohan a Suspect in Another Jewelry Theft -- and Her Latest Legal Problems Don't End There
Law enforcement authorities say actress Lindsay Lohan is formally a suspect in a recent theft of watches and sunglasses valued at $100,000, TMZ.com reports.
“Lindsay was at the Hollywood Hills home of Sam Magid a week ago when Sam called the LAPD and reported a jewelry theft. We're told Lindsay has been at the house frequently, including at an all-night house party a week ago Sunday,” TMZ reported Monday. “Law enforcement sources tell us ... Lindsay and her assistant Gavin Doyle are both suspects in the theft.”
The report notes that Magid reportedly recanted his story and is now saying that nothing was stolen. However, sources cited in the story say the police are leaving the investigation open and have independent witnesses who identify Lohan and Doyle as the culprits.
Lohan remains on probation in a widely publicized previous theft case involving a necklace from a Venice jewelry store. Authorities were reportedly trying to set up an interview with Lohan and Doyle in the latest case.
In a separate incident, TMZ reports that Lohan is the focus of a probe by another police department for possibly lying to officers about a traffic collision a couple of months ago.
The website reports: “Law enforcement sources tell us ... Santa Monica police detectives have been trying to get in touch with Lindsay to ask her questions about a car crash last June, when she slammed into a big rig on the Pacific Coast Highway. Sources say Lindsay's lawyer, Shawn Holley, called the station and complained that cops should not be calling Lindsay directly because she has an attorney.”
Authorities involved in the Santa Monica case are reportedly convinced that Lohan, who told police she was a passenger during the collision and was not driving the car, was in fact behind the wheel, the story reports.
“Sources tell us the follow-up questions relate to Lindsay's alleged lying to cops -- which is a crime punishable by one year in jail,” TMZ reports. “We're told the case will be referred to prosecutors. It will also be sent to the L.A. City Attorney for a possible probation violation in her necklace conviction.”more »
An actor who appears on AMC’s “The Walking Dead” was arrested over the weekend, reports the Atlanta-area station WSB-TV.com. Scott Wilson, a 70-year old actor known for playing Hershel Greene on the series, was arrested early Saturday on suspicion of drunken driving, the story reports.
Wilson was stopped in Peachtree City, Ga., around 2 a.m. Saturday after police received a tip about an erratic driver. The actor admitted to drinking wine and scotch, but then reportedly told the arresting officer his last name was Miller.
"He then changed the name to Wilson, which I found odd because he had originally stated Miller,” the officer said in a report.
Wilson also told the officer that his spine was out of joint because of "his role in a television series," according to the report. Wilson also asked if he could perform yoga poses rather than a walk-and-turn test, the story adds.
The actor's blood-alcohol level was reportedly put at 0.143, the piece notes.more »
A former "Saturday Night Live" comedian has scored her first role since leaving the NBC late-night show, reports EW.com's Inside TV. Abby Elliott, who announced earlier this month that she was departing from “SNL,” will appear in a multi-episode arc on CBS's "How I Met Your Mother," the story reports.
"We’re thrilled to have the hilarious Abby Elliott joining us in an arc as Janeane, the craziest girl the 'HIMYM' gang has ever encountered. And the strange, inexplicable phenomenon is: The crazier Janeane gets, the more attractive one of the gang finds her,” said “Mother” executive producer Craig Thomas. He added, "It doesn't end well."
"How I Met Your Mother" returns Sept. 24.
As previously reported, Elliott left "SNL" earlier this month after four seasons with the show. She's the daughter of the former "SNL" cast member Chris Elliott.more »
HBO's "The Newsroom" delivered a series ratings high for the show's Sunday finale, reports B&C. The season finale drew 2.3 million viewers, the story reports.
That compares with the 2.1 million viewers who tuned in for the show's June 24 debut. Combined with its midnight encore, the show earned a cumulative series high of 2.8 million viewers.
"True Blood," which also aired its finale on Sunday, drew 5 million viewers, marking a 2% decline from last season's finale. However, including all of its airings, the finale drew a season-high 6.3 million viewers.more »
Highest-Paid Celebrities: Oprah Winfrey's Earnings Take a Huge Hit, But Is It Enough to Knock Her Out of No. 1 Spot?
Oprah Winfrey's earnings took a huge hit during the past year, due to the loss of income from "The Oprah Winfrey Show," which went off the air in 2011, according to Forbes' list of the highest-paid celebrities.
Winfrey’s earnings fell by an estimated $125 million from a year earlier during the period from May 2011 to May 2012. Nevertheless, she earned about $165 million during the period, keeping her at the top of Forbes' top-earning celebrities list for the fourth year in a row.
"But her reign might not last much longer as this is the last year we’ll count any of her syndication money," the magazine points out.
Winfrey exceeded director Michael Bay's estimated earnings by only $5 million. Helped by movies such as "Transformers," Bay earned about $160 million.
Steven Spielberg is third on the list with $130 million, followed by Jerry Bruckheimer with $115 million and Dr. Dre with $110 million.
The rest of the top 10 is Tyler Perry, No. 6 with $105 million; Howard Stern, No. 7 with $95 million; writer James Patterson, No. 8 with $94 million; George Lucas, tied for No. 9 with $90 million; and Simon Cowell, tied for No. 9 with $90 million.more »
ABC has turned to a former "ER" showrunner to adapt a Dutch drama, Deadline.com reports. Adapting a show called "Overspel," about an unhappily married woman who starts an affair with a powerful attorney, will be David Zabel, the story reports.
Called "Betrayal" in the U.S. adaptation, the drama will be written and executive produced by Zabel, who recently sold a Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn drama set in New Orleans to ABC.
"Betrayal" is produced by ABC Studios, which is also adapting another Dutch format, "Penoza," or "Red Widow" in its U.S. version.more »
NBC is in talks with independent Utah station KUCW-TV to add "The New Normal," after NBC affiliate KSL-TV refused to air the comedy because of its content, reports Bill Carter in The New York Times.
As previously reported, the Mormon-owned KSL said the program was inappropriate for its audience. The show, from Ryan Murphy and Ali Adler, is about a gay couple raising a child.
Following KSL-TV's decision, NBC said in a statement, “’The New Normal’ is a contemporary look at how families are defined today, portrayed through a comedic prism. We are confident that the show will find another home in the Salt Lake City market."
As of Monday afternoon, NBC hadn't yet solidified a deal to find a new Salt Lake City home for the show, Carter writes.more »
"Pushing Daisies" writer Lisa Joy has sold a project to Fox, which is based on her mythology-inspired graphic novel "Headache," reports Deadline.com.
"Headache" is about a 23-year-old woman who realizes she's the Greek goddess Athena, and who must battle ancient Greek monsters while figuring out which Greek gods are plotting against her, the story says.
Joy will write the adaptation and will executive produce with Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope. The project, from Chernin Entertainment and 20th Century Fox TV, has received a script commitment.more »
Tyler Perry's studios in Atlanta were hit by a second fire in four months, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The authorities are investigating the cause of Monday's fire, which was limited to a roof of a building in the complex, the piece notes. The building's roof had been undergoing repairs.
The building didn't suffer structural damage and there were no reported injuries.
As previously reported, the 60-acre complex, which includes five sound stages, was hit by a massive fire in May.more »
Ivi, an online service that transmitted over-the-air television signals via the Web, lost a court bid to overturn an earlier ruling that shut down the service, reports Bloomberg.
A panel of federal appeals judges ruled Monday that a lower-court judge ruled correctly in granting a preliminary order to TV broadcasters such as Fox and NBC that shut down Ivi's service, the piece notes.
Top broadcasters sued Ivi in September 2010, arguing that capturing TV signals and retransmitting them was effectively copyright infringement. The judge who granted the preliminary injunction in early 2011 said the TV companies had demonstrated they would likely win the suit, the article adds.
A spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters said it was "gratified" with the court ruling.
“This is not the final chapter to this story,” said Ivi spokesman Hal Bringman.more »
"24" actor John Boyd, who played Arlo Glass during the show's eighth season, has been cast in a recurring role on Fox's "Touch," reuniting him with actor Kiefer Sutherland, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Boyd will play Kase, a math and algorithm researcher who is a college friend of Calvin's, played by Lukas Haas. The show has also cast Dileep Rao of "Inception" in a guest-starring role as Vikash Nayar, a wealthy shareholder in Aster Corp., the article adds.
"Touch" returns for its second season Friday, Oct. 26, at 8 p.m.more »
Two Big Names Are Now Out of the Running for 'American Idol' Judges' Jobs -- With One of Them Reportedly Turning Down $20 Million
Two big-name stars who have reportedly been in the running for spots as judges on Fox's "American Idol" have backed out, according to media reports. E! Online reports that Miley Cyrus is no longer under consideration while TMZ.com says Katy Perry rejected a $20 million offer to join the show.
Citing sources close to the production, TMZ reports: "’Idol’ pursued Perry relentlessly for weeks, eager to get her to sign on the dotted line. According to our sources, they started the offer at $18 million, but threw even more cash on the table ... $20 million for a one year contract!!!
“We're told Katy made it clear ... she was NOT interested and money wasn't the issue.”
Perry reportedly thought joining the show would be the wrong career move -- along with the fact that her busy schedule would create conflicts.
As for Cyrus, E! Online reports that the young pop star was approached by the "Idol" brain trust but talks never developed substantively and Miley never seriously wanted the gig. She has recently signed up for a guest role on CBS's "Two and a Half Men" and is working on a new CD.
What about Nicki Minaj, who was “kind of” confirmed as a judge late last week, as we reported previously. E! reports: “Sources confirm to E! News that Nicki Minaj is ‘definitely’ joining the reality competition show. Mariah Carey is also confirmed as a judge for the upcoming season.”
TMZ notes that Carey is being paid $18 million for her work on "Idol."more »
Mythical Surf Figure 'The Big Kahuna' Dies -- Turns Out He Was a Real Person; Also, He Gave an Iconic Early TV Character Her Name
A real-life surf icon who became the stuff of legends and was the model for the ubiquitous “Big Kahuna” seen in the “Gidget” movies and TV show and other productions has died. Terry “Tubesteak” Tracy, 77, died Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012, at his home in San Clemente, Calif., of complications from diabetes, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Tracy became an icon of surf lore by dropping out from the 9-to-5 life back in 1956 and building a shack in Malibu out of palm fronds and wood scraps, the story goes. He went on to become the model for "the Big Kahuna."
The Times reports: “He was, according to surfing historian Matt Warshaw, a decent surfer, but his ticket to glory wasn't what he did on a board: It was the aesthetic he embraced. Tracy, better known by the nickname ‘Tubesteak,’ was the personification of the rebellious surf subculture that emerged in California in the late 1950s. He was an anti-authoritarian sage in Wayfarer shades and Madras shorts who made bumming on the beach the essence of cool and an irresistible draw for a girl he called Gidget.”
Gidget was in reality a teenager named Kathy Kohner who stopped by Tracy's place in the hopes of borrowing a surfboard. Her small stature was reflected in a word combining “girl” and “midget,” and her screenwriter dad, Frederick Kohner, eventually turned her beach stories into a novel, “Gidget, the Little Girl With Big Ideas.” Then came the 1959 movie -- with Sandra Dee as Gidget and Cliff Robertson as the Big Kahuna -- followed by the sequels (“Gidget Goes Hawaiian,” etc.) and inevitably, the 1960s TV series, where Sally Field took over as Gidget.
Whether Tracy was in fact the person who first came up with the name Gidget is a matter of some dispute, but he stuck to the story throughout his life and the “real” Gidget, Kathy Kohner, can't remember.
Said Kohner: "I didn't write it down in my diary, so it's up for grabs." But she recalled Tracy fondly last week, noting that unlike some surfers -- who have a reputation for being territorial -- he was friendly to outsiders. "Some of the surfers would bury my surfboard or disconnect the distributor in my car," said Kohner, whose name is now Kathy Zuckerman. "But Terry was always nice to me. I wanted to hang out at Tubesteak's shack, not at the pit with the hard-core surfers."more »
Nickelodeon has pulled the plug on another series, on the heels of the cable network’s decision two weeks ago to cancel “Victorious,” as previously reported.
The latest series to fall is “How to Rock,” which will go away after just one season, Deadline.com reports.
Also ending its run on Nick this fall is “iCarly,” Deadline notes.
The story reports: “Like with ‘Victorious,’ the news of ‘How to Rock‘s’ demise was delivered by the series’ showrunner on his blog. In a post titled ‘How To Rock The Future,’ ‘How to Rock’ executive producer David Israel said that Nickelodeon had opted not to pick up a second season of the show and thanked the show’s cast, crew and fans.”
In the blog post, Israel says: “There have been rumors swirling around about the future of 'How to Rock' so I thought it time to set the record straight. Nickelodeon has decided, unfortunately, not to give ‘How to Rock’ a second season. I know this news will be very disappointing for many of you. Believe me, it’s disappointing for me, too. … Why isn’t the show coming back? There’s no one simple answer. Nickelodeon is going through a transition right now. You already know that 'iCarly' and 'Victorious' are not coming back. Nickelodeon has many new shows in production and development that they believe will better suit their audience."
The Deadline report notes that Nickelodeon, apparently in an effort to shake off a ratings slump, has been ordering a number of live-action and animated projects, including two “iCarly” spinoffs.
Nick has aired 17 of the 26 episodes making up “How to Rock’s” first season. The next original episode is set to run Sept. 22, with the series expected to wrap up with the Christmas episode, set for Dec. 8.more »
The actor known for playing Freddy Krueger in the “Nightmare on Elm Street” movies will star in an original Syfy production, the cable channel announced today.
Robert Englund will appear as a member of the Bickerman family in the latest “Lake Placid” movie, “Lake Placid: The Final Chapter,” which premieres Sept. 29.
Englund follows such notable fellow actors as Betty White, Cloris Leachman and Colin Ferguson as a Bickerman family member. He will play Jim Bickerman, “a poacher looking to score a big break on hides and eggs from those rare crocs in Black Lake,” the network reports.
Click here to see the Syfy press release.more »
ABC’s “Good Morning America” had an announcement today about the health situation involving the morning show’s anchor Robin Roberts, Entertainment Weekly reports.
Roberts, who will be having a bone marrow transplant as she battles a rare form of leukemia, announced that this Friday will be her last show for a while, the story reports. She is reportedly expected to be away from the show for months.
The report notes: “Roberts began to unravel the news this past weekend that her leave was impending when she tweeted about leaving her dog KJ with friends in Maine. This morning, Roberts told viewers that she is preparing to check into the hospital [for] treatments next Tuesday.”
Said Roberts: “It still takes about 10 days after being admitted because there are some things you have to go through before the (bone marrow) transplant actually occurs.”
The anchor’s sister Sally will reportedly provide the marrow for the procedure.
EW adds: “Throughout the week, ‘GMA’ will celebrate ‘Robin’s journey.’ Roberts, a breast cancer survivor, announced in June that she was suffering from MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome), a rare blood and bone-marrow disease. She told viewers last last month that she was anticipating a medical leave in late August, though she had not set a specific date until today’s confirmation.”more »
An NBC affiliate is refusing to air one of the network’s new sitcoms, marking the second year in a row that the station has refused to air an NBC show, reports The Salt Lake Tribune.
The station is the Mormon-owned Utah affiliate KSL-TV, which is balking at the new series "The New Normal." The show focuses on two gay men raising a baby.
"From time to time we may struggle with content that crosses the line in one area or another," said Jeff Simpson, the chief executive of Bonneville International, which owns the station. Bonneville is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or LDS.
The decision shows "how deeply out of touch [the station] is with the rest of the country," said Herndon Graddick, the president of the gay-rights group GLAAD, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The show, from Ryan Murphy and Ali Adler, tracks a single mother who acts as a surrogate for a gay couple. The comedy will debut Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 8:30 p.m.
The station was in the news last year when it refused to air "The Playboy Club," saying the brand of the station didn't match that of the Playboy identity, the Salt Lake Tribune notes.
Speaking of "The New Normal," Simpson said, "For our brand, this program feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time."
But Utah viewers will be able to view the show, as the general manager of Ogden, Utah-based CW affiliate KUCW-TV said he is looking for a time slot for the series on the weekends, according to the Tribune.more »
Apple Just Won a Billion Dollar Verdict Over Samsung in a Patent Dispute. What It Means for You and Me
"[A] jury in the landmark intellectual property case Apple v. Samsung ruled overwhelmingly in favor of Apple on Friday, Aug. 24, 2012, awarding the iPhone maker approximately $1.05 billion in damages," reports the website of Wired magazine, adding, " 'The result will likely be an increase in costs to Android users because of licensing fees to Apple,' Houston-based intellectual property lawyer Steve Mitby told Wired. In layman’s terms: expect Android phones to cost more. 'This will drive many Android consumers over to Apple. Next to Samsung, the biggest loser today is Google.' "
The article adds, " 'Android handset makers could also find themselves having a difficult time designing around some of these patent claims. But as Apple’s closing arguments showed, it’s not impossible: products like the Nokia Lumia and Xperia Arc S were cited as models of functional alternative designs to that of the iPhone. Perhaps we could even be pleasantly surprised by the influx of diversity to the smartphone space. But unfortunately, you can’t really 'force' invention."
The article concludes: "Regardless, today’s decision is a resounding win for everyone on team Apple. 'The lawsuits between Apple and Samsung were about much more than patents or money. They were about values,' Apple spokesperson Katie Cotton told The New York Times. 'At Apple, we value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. We make these products to delight our customers, not for our competitors to flagrantly copy. We applaud the court for finding Samsung’s behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right.' Unfortunately, consumers will begin inadvertently paying the bill for upholding these values at some point."more »
A project that was passed over last pilot season is getting another chance from ABC, reports The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed.
"The Kings of Van Nuys" stars John Leguizamo and Dustin Ybarra as two street-smart brothers, with Christopher Lloyd starring as their grandfather. The family works on crazy schemes to try to become millionaires, the piece adds.
The new pilot, from ABC Studios, will maintain its cast and crew, although executive producers Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley will write a new script.
The project is based on a British format, “Only Fools and Horses.”more »
"Fox NFL Sunday" has hired a "comedic prognosticator," replacing Frank Caliendo, B&C reports. The job goes to the man who recently hosted the ESPY Awards, comedian Rob Riggle.
Riggle will contribute a weekly segment in which he challenges the show's analysts over who can most accurately predict the most games, the story reports.
Riggle, who is known for his work as a correspondent on "The Daily Show" from 2006-2008, will play off of analysts Terry Bradshaw, Michael Strahan, Jimmy Johnson and Howie Long.
"I'm very excited to join the 'Fox NFL Sunday' team! Wait, what does NFL stand for again?" Riggle said.more »
With some of Viacom's cable channels shedding viewers during the past year, the media conglomerate is turning to another method of maintaining advertising sales: shoehorning more commercials into its shows, reports The Wall Street Journal. (Please note that The WSJ is a subscription-based site, and not all readers may be able to access the original article.)
Nickelodeon and Comedy Central have boosted their ad time by 9% during the first half of 2012 when compared with a year earlier, reaching a combined 1,901 hours of ad time, the story says, citing data from Nielsen. That jump came after a 7% rise in 2011 and a 4% bump in 2010.
Nickelodeon witnessed a 29% drop in viewership during the first half of the year, while Viacom's overall U.S. advertising sales slipped 7%, the story notes. Other networks, including Comedy Central, have also posted viewer losses, but at lower rates.
A Viacom representative described the increased commercial time as a "temporary situation that we will address as ratings improve."
But the strategy can backfire, turning off viewers and advertisers. Consumers don't like extra-long commercial breaks, while advertisers are resistant to "clutter," the story notes.
"This strategy seems disconnected with their clients' needs," said Jason Kanefsky, executive vice president of strategic investments at ad-buying firm MPG.
Viacom didn't say how many commercials it airs during its shows, but one ad buyer estimated Nick at Nite airs 16 minutes and eight seconds of commercial minutes per hour, compared with 12 minutes and 30 seconds at MTV. Nickelodeon has fewer ads, with an estimated 9 minutes and 26 seconds of commercial time per hour, the story said.
ESPN airs nine minutes and 27 seconds of commercials per hour, while Discovery plays 10 minutes and 59 seconds of ads, the ad buyer said, according to the story.more »
Tom Bettag, the longtime former “Nightline” executive producer, "and other 'Nightline' hands lamented what [ABC's plan to move 'Nightline' to 12:35 am. while adding an hour of 'Nightline' in prime time on Fridays] would mean to committed news viewers, and made the point that ABC’s plan would inevitably be a hurtful and possibly fatal blow."
So writes our good friend Bill Carter in The New York Times.
The article continues, " 'Don’t be under any illusions,' one longtime ABC News executive said, asking not to be identified criticizing management’s decision. 'They’re going to kill ‘Nightline’ with this move.'
"The separation from late local news viewers will undercut the show’s relevance, the executive said, and the prime-time hour smacks of NBC’s ill-fated decision in 2009 to move Mr. Leno to prime time. 'Prime-time shows get canceled -- very easily,' the executive said."
Analyzing the ratings potential of the move, Carter writes, "Mr. Kimmel’s audience -- about 1.8 million this past season -- has grown over the last five years, and he is closer to Mr. Letterman (3.2 million) and Mr. Leno (3.7 million) than he has ever been. But he is still well behind both men, even among the younger viewers most attractive to advertisers, though Mr. Kimmel has a slightly better percentage of those viewers. About 36 percent of Mr. Kimmel’s audience is in the 18 to 49 age group, while for Mr. Letterman it is about 32 percent and for Mr. Leno, about 31 percent.
"'Nightline' has regularly boasted of having the largest total late-night audience -- about 3.9 million this past season. Its numbers are not directly comparable with those of the shows it competes with, however, because ABC manipulates the commercial positions in the 25-minute 'Nightline' to limit its rating to about 17 minutes, which maximizes its numbers."more »
"The Office' spinoff "The Farm" has added two cast members: Tom Bower of "Die Hard 2" as Dwight's great-uncle with Nazi roots, and Matt Jones as Dwight’s cousin Zeke, reports Deadline.com.
The spinoff, which focuses on Dwight, played by Rainn Wilson, living at the Schrute family beet farm and bed and breakfast, will feature Bower as Great-Uncle Heinrich, a charming but manipulative man who may have spent time in Argentina after World War II because of his Nazi ties, the story says.
Jones, of "Breaking Bad," will play Zeke in a regular role, which was expanded from a guest-starring or recurring role, a separate Deadline.com story says. Jones played Badger on "Breaking Bad."more »
"Television news didn't seem to fully recognize the importance of Neil Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon, on the weekend he died," reports David Bauder of the Associated Press.
The story continues, "In the hours after Armstrong's death was announced, news networks were airing canned programming -- jailhouse documentaries, a rerun interview with Rielle Hunter, Mike Huckabee's weekend show. Menacing satellite pictures of Tropical Storm Isaac had much more air time than Armstrong's dusty hops on the lunar surface. Talk of the upcoming GOP national convention sucked up the air."
Bauder theorizes there were several reasons that Armstrong's death went underappreciated on TV. First, Armstrong died in Cincinnati on a Saturday. Bauder writes: "Not just any Saturday, when news organizations have a skeletal staff, but a late August weekend. Half the country is at the beach."
Bauder also notes that Armstrong's death came as a surprise, as opposed to someone the public has been told has been ailing for a while.
Bauder continues, "Armstrong's determined effort to live a quiet, private life after his astronaut days also left TV at a disadvantage. [There was video of his] moon walk, and not much else."
Finally, the piece concludes, "Notable deaths often give viewers the chance to reflect, to put into perspective lives of great accomplishment or great notoriety. Not so with Neil Armstrong. His death was like his life: strangely muted given the magnitude of his achievements."
Here's a clip of Armstrong's famous first steps on the moon. Over the past six years it's been viewed more than 8 million times on YouTube.more »
Consumers waiting for an Apple TV product may have a long wait on their hands, according to an article from Fortune, which bases its story on a financial analyst's report about his meeting last week with two Apple executives.
The report, issued Friday, was from Pacific Crest's Andy Hargreaves, who spoke Wednesday with Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer and Eddy Cue, senior VP for Internet services and software.
Cue told Hargreaves that Apple "will enter markets where it feels it can create great customer experiences and address key problems," according to the Pacific Crest report.
While Apple could create a better user interface, Cue pointed out that Apple faces challenges in finding a different way to deliver content from the current multichannel pay-TV structure, the story notes.
The report continues, "Unfortunately for Apple and for consumers, acquiring rights for traditional broadcast and cable network content outside of the current bundled model is virtually impossible because the content is owned by a relatively small group of companies that have little interest in alternative models for their most valuable content."
Other challenges include a lack of international scale and variations in regional broadcast, which "create significant hurdles that do not seem possible to cross at this point," Hargreaves wrote.
Cue's message seems to indicate that Apple's anticipated TV breakthrough "is likely to come later rather than sooner," Fortune points out.more »
Nike and two other top brands are sticking with Lance Armstrong despite the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's decision to ban him from competition for life and to strip him of his seven Tour de France titles, reports Michael McCarthy in Advertising Age.
Joining Nike in support of Armstrong are Anheuser-Busch's Michelob Ultra and Oakley sunglasses.
As previously reported, Armstrong last week ended his fight against charges of illegal doping, calling the USADA's process "one-sided and unfair."
Despite the sponsors sticking by Armstrong, the USADA's move "has further damaged his already weakening brand," McCarthy writes.
"Things have to be pretty far gone before Nike bails on an endorser. After the 40-year-old cancer survivor announced he was dropping his appeal to the agency's doping charges, the Swoosh stood by him the way it stood by Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant," the story points out.
One reason the brands aren't backing away from Armstrong is his cancer work through his LiveStrong campaign, which has raised almost $500 million, the story notes.
"He has inspired millions with his athletic achievement and his commitment to helping cancer survivors and their families," said Paul Chibe, Anheuser-Busch's vice president of U.S. marketing.more »
The top broadcasters will air a speech from aspiring first lady Ann Romney, after the organizers of the Republican National Convention said they would move her keynote address to Tuesday night, reports the Los Angeles Times.
As previously reported, the broadcasters had planned to skip her speech tonight, opting instead to air scripted programs -- including reruns of “Castle” (ABC), “Grimm” (NBC) and “Hawaii Five-0” (CBS).
The problem arose out of the Republicans' decision to extend the convention by one day, making the event a four-day affair, the story notes. The major networks planned to cover the GOP event and the Democratic conferences equally, giving each three days of coverage.
"Some conservatives had called the decision not to broadcast Romney’s speech -- the biggest platform yet for the candidate's wife -- a snub. But the networks' hands were tied, according to a source not authorized to speak publicly on the matter," the article points out.
Another factor in revising the convention schedule was the threat posed by Tropical Storm Isaac as it headed toward the Gulf of Mexico. Convention organizers made additional tweaks to the schedule Sunday night, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“Isaac is expected to hit between southeastern Louisiana and the Florida Panhandle either late Tuesday or early Wednesday, reports citing the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said. The storm was predicted to bypass Tampa but events were postponed due to the likelihood of strong rain and wind,” WSJ reported Sunday.
The report adds: “Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will gavel the convention open on Monday afternoon, then recess the proceedings shortly afterwards.”
Speeches by Ann Romney, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, among others, are now slated for Tuesday.more »
NBC's "Parks and Recreation" has cast a nemesis for Amy Poehler's character Leslie Knope: a town councilman played by Jon Glaser, reports TVLine.com.
Glaser, a longtime writer on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and the creator of Adult Swim's "Delocated," will play a local orthodontist who isn't charmed by Knope and "doesn’t care about her bright-eyed, bushy-tailed attitude toward making the town better. … He just doesn’t like her," said "Parks and Recreation" showrunner Mike Schur.
Glaser's character will debut in the third episode of the show's upcoming season, which premieres Sept. 20.more »
Reporting on the Death of Neil Armstrong, 82, the First Man to Walk on the Moon, NBC News on the Internet Initially Gets It Wrong. Armstrong's First Steps Captivated TV Viewers in One of the Most Famous TV Broadcasts Ever
[Headline Changed on 8-26-2012 at 10:53 p.m, PT, to reflect the fact this story is no longer breaking news. Body of story not changed. Original headline was "Neil Armstrong, 82, the First Man to Walk on the Moon, Dies. His First Steps Captivated TV Viewers in One of the Most Famous TV Broadcasts Ever. Also, on the Internet NBC News at First Reports the Wrong Person Has Died"]
Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon, has died. He was 82.
According to NBC News, which first reported the astronaut's death, "His family reported the death at 2:45 p.m. ET [on Saturday, 8-25-2012]. A statement said he died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures."
The Los Angeles Times obituary notes that "Armstrong's lunar stroll on July 20, 1969 -- watched by an estimated 600 million television viewers worldwide -- established him firmly as one of the great heroes of the 20th century."
If one clicks on the NBC News story on the Web, it now carries this update: "(Editor's note: An earlier version of this story included the wrong name in the headline.)"
The editor's note does not say what name NBC News originally wrote in its headline. Here is a screenshot TVWeek took of the original NBC News headline:
Neil Young, the famous Canadian folk-rock musician, is 66 and not dead. (The picture in the screenshot is Neil Armstrong. It was only in the headline that NBC News wrote the name of the wrong Neil.)more »
Sad Day for Anyone Who Grew Up on 'Sesame Street,' as Man Who Created Many of the Show's Beloved Characters Dies at Age 78
The man who created dozens of Muppet characters over the past 40 years has died, reports TheWrap.com.
His name was Jerry Nelson, and if you grew up with "Sesame Street," you knew his work. For one, he created Count von Count. And while he retired from being the puppeteer who operated the Count in 2004, he continued doing the Count's voice until his death.
In a statement on the "Sesame Street" website, a message from the group read, "The cast and crew of 'Sesame Street' and the staff of Sesame Workshop deeply mourn the loss of cast member and creator of dozens of Muppet characters, Jerry Nelson.
"A member of the 'Sesame Street' family for more than 40 years, he will forever be in our hearts and remembered for the artistry in his puppetry, his music, and the laughter he brought to children worldwide through his portrayal of Count von Count, Herry Monster, Fat Blue, Sherlock Hemlock, the Amazing Mumford and many other beloved characters. We will miss his extraordinary spirit and the joy he brought to our Street."
Nelson died Thursday at 78 of unspecified causes, People.com reports.
People, citing CBC Radio-Canada, adds: “Besides the non-threatening vampire, Nelson, a Tulsa native who grew up in Washington, D.C., also performed Gobo Fraggle on ‘Fraggle Rock’ and ‘The Muppet Show's’ Sgt. Floyd Pepper of the Electric Mayhem band; ‘Pigs in Space’ stalwart Dr. Julius Strangepork; Kermit the Frog's nephew Robin; and Gonzo's girlfriend Camilla the Chicken, among other roles.”more »
EW Picks the Best Cult TV Series Ever. Here's EW's Top 10. In at No. 1 Is a British Import. See if You Agree With EW's Choices
Entertainment Weekly has published its choices for the best cult TV series ever. Counting from No. 10 to No. 1, here are EW's choices. The only show that might be hard to place by some is EW's choice for the No. 9 slot, "The Comeback." It was only on one season -- 2005 -- on HBO and starred Lisa Kudrow.
Dunno if we agree with these choices. For example, we here at TVWeek would put at least these five series in our top 10 of the best cult TV series ever: "Action," the little known, bitingly funny Hollywood satire that lasted just 13 episodes on Fox in the 1999 season; the long-running HBO comedy "The Larry Sanders Show"; the outstanding ABC series from David Lynch "Twin Peaks," the sci-fi favorite "The Prisoner," with Patrick McGoohan, that ran in the 1967-'68 season; and "Kolchak: The Night Stalker," starring Darren McGavin, which was on duing the 1974-'75 season.
Here's EW's top ten cult TV series of all time:
10. "My So-Called Life."
9. "The Comeback"
8. "Star Trek: The Next Generation"
7. "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"
6. "The Wire"
5. "The X-Files"
4. "Mystery Science Theater 3000"
3. "Arrested Development"
2. "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
1. "Doctor Who"
"Star Trek: The Next Generation" only made it to No. 8 on EW's list of cult TV favoritesmore »
Showtime is putting the finishing touches on a deal to develop a new ensemble comedy that will represent a shift in the pay-cable network’s gender focus, Deadline.com reports.
“After adding testosterone to its schedule under new entertainment president David Nevins with series ‘Homeland,’ ‘House of Lies’ and ‘Ray Donovan,’ Showtime is returning to the female-centered comedy brand of ‘Weeds,’ ‘United States of Tara,’ ‘Nurse Jackie’ and ‘The Big C,’” the story reports.
The channel is close to adding “Guide to Divorce” -- a half-hour sitcom from Marti Noxon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) -- to its development slate.
The report notes: “’Guide to Divorce,’ which sounds like ‘Sex And The City 2.0,’ is about the relief, the emotional minefield, the freedom, the familial complications and the sexual exploration that all come with divorce after a long-term relationship, told from the perspective of four women in their 40s. In addition to writing, Noxon will executive produce the project with columnist Vicki Iovine, author of ‘The Girlfriends’ Guides’ series of books, who has been writing about her life following the divorce from music mogul Jimmy Iovine after 24 years of marriage.”
Also involved in the production are Dawn Olmstead and Meryl Poster.more »
Fox has super-sized its third-season order for the animated series “Bob’s Burgers,” adding another six episodes to the 13-episode order the network placed back in January, Deadline.com reports.
“The additional scripts will go towards a back order, bringing the total number of scripts for Season 3 to 19. ‘Bob’s Burgers,’ which also has 13 leftover unaired episodes from Season 2 to run this fall, is currently in production on its Season 3 order, and the 6-script pickup will keep its writers working,” the piece reports.
The series is said to be a favorite among network execs, and has been a solid ratings performer. It was also recently nominated for an Emmy for outstanding animated program.
Season three is set for a Sept. 30 premiere.
The report adds: “Upcoming guest voices include Zach Galifianakis as Chet, a former department store window dresser pining for his estranged wife, who happens to be a mannequin; and Nick Offerman and real-life wife Megan Mullally as a pair of married hippie farmers who hire the Belcher kids as ‘weed pickers.’ Also, Kevin Kline returns as Bob’s eccentric landlord ‘Mr. Fischoeder,’ who purchases an unpredictable mechanical shark as an attraction for the pier; and Jeffrey Tambor voices ‘Captain Flarty,’ a crazed cruise ship captain who shanghais Bob and his family. Other returning guest voices include Aziz Ansari, Bill Hader and Sarah and Laura Silverman.”more »
The Material Girl provided some new material this week for her ongoing feud with Elton John.
The New York Daily News reports that Madonna opened up about John at a concert Tuesday in Nice, France, saying she forgives him for his recent verbal attacks against her. But she opted to dedicate a song to him that might be meant more to provoke him: “Masterpiece,” the song that beat out John’s “Hello Hello” for a Golden Globe.
John had said before the Globes were presented, “Madonna doesn’t have a f-----g chance of winning,” the report notes.
During her recent concert, Madonna reportedly reconnected John with her winning song, saying: “I know he's a big fan of it. And I know he's a big fan of mine. And you know? I forgive him. Gotta start somewhere."
John recently sounded off again about his longtime foil, calling Madonna a “f-----g fairground stripper” during an interview on an Australian TV show.
“The source of John's most recent ire at the Material Girl seems to be her digs at fellow pop diva Lady Gaga -- who is the godmother to John and partner David Furnish's 19-month-old son Zachary,” the report notes, quoting John as saying: "She's been so horrible to Gaga."
The story adds: “Madonna had been videotaped during a May concert rehearsal seemlessly transitioning between her own 1989 hit ‘Express Yourself’ and Gaga's ‘Born This Way.’ It was widely interpreted as a thinly veiled dig at the younger singer, suggesting that Gaga was copying her act.”
But John has been targeting Madonna for at least seven or eight years, the piece notes. An early salvo took place after Madonna was named best live act at the 2004 GQ awards.
Said John, at the time: "Madonna, best f----g live act? F--k off. Since when has lip-synching been live?"more »
The next season of the revived cult comedy "Arrested Development" will premiere on Netflix in the spring, reports EW.com's Inside TV.
"Which means we’ve now narrowed down the release date from a year (2013) to a season (spring 2013!). Final third of March? April? May? First two-thirds of June? We’re coming for you next," the story notes.
Netflix has confirmed that the season, the show’s fourth, will consist of at least 10 episodes, the article notes.more »
A gunman reportedly exchanged gunfire with police in a crowded area this morning outside New York’s Empire State Building, leaving at least two people dead -- including the shooter -- and injuring at least eight others, CNN reports.
Contradictory details continued to surface today as TVWeek approached its publishing deadline, but in a press conference New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the shooting was believed to stem from a dispute between co-workers. Eyewitness accounts indicated that the shooter chased after a man and shot him in the head and that an unarmed security guard chased the gunman down 5th Avenue.
New York police said the shooter was one of the two people initially known to be dead, with witnesses saying he was shot at least three times. The man was wielding a large gun, described initially as a shotgun but later identified by authorities as a 45-calibre handgun.
“Local and federal authorities converged on the building around 9 a.m. after reports of gunfire, and have since closed several streets around 5th Avenue and 34th Street in Manhattan,” the story reports.
The shooter was identified during Mayor Bloomberg's press conference as Jeffrey Johnson, who apparently had been laid off from his job and may have returned to shoot his former boss. The man reportedly wore a business suit and carried a briefcase during the shooting.more »
ABC News is losing an executive who has been with the news division since 1983, TVNewser.com reports. The exec is Tom Nagorski, managing director for international coverage.
Nagorski, who joined ABC News as an intern on "20/20,” is leaving the company to become executive vice president of the Asia Society, the story reports.
Writing about Nagorski’s work for the network, ABC News President Ben Sherwood described a recent event in a memo to staff: "On a Sunday we all remember last May, Tom was sitting on a plane preparing to depart for an overseas trip when the news broke that Osama bin Laden had been killed. He convinced a flight attendant to open the cabin door and let him off the plane so he could come to work, proving his commitment to ABC News is only matched by his power of persuasion."
Nagorski's last day will be Sept. 13.more »
An actor known for his work on "House" has signed on for his first television job since the long-running Fox drama ended, reports Deadline.com.
Robert Sean Leonard will appear in a five-episode story arc on TNT's "Falling Skies," playing a gifted but obsessive scientist who lives underground and runs Charleston's power grid, the story says.
"Falling Skies" also tapped actress Gloria Reuben, who will play an aide to Noah Wyle's character. The casting reunites Reuben and Wyle, who both appeared in "ER."more »
One of Rupert Murdoch's children has announced no interest in succeeding the 82-year-old chief of News Corp.
"In a Q&A session this morning, Elisabeth Murdoch told the Edinburgh TV Festival, 'I really harbor no ambition for that top job,' " reports Deadline.com.
The story adds, "In today’s Q&A, she said the Murdoch family had met to talk about the future of the company, but did not disclose what was said."
The article also says, "The Shine chairman’s comment came the day after she delivered the MacTaggart Lecture at the industry gathering in the Scottish capital. ... She also came out on the side of the people when, contradicting something [her brother, James Murdoch] said in his own MacTaggart in 2009, she said she was a supporter of the BBC."more »
Real, Modern-Day Mad Men Are Real Mad About Dish Not Carrying AMC Nets, Home of TV's 'Mad Men.' And That's Just the Tip of the Iceberg
Real-life men and women who work in the advertising business on Madison Avenue are very uphappy about escalating retrans battles such as the dispute between Dish Network and AMC, which is keeping TV's "Mad Men" off that satellite supplier, reports the New York Post.
Writes our good friend Claire Atkinson at the Post: "Ad execs say that escalating programming battles -- which in the past rarely resulted in the loss of a channel -- are hurting TV ratings, disrupting scheduled commercial time and jacking up rates. The situation is bad enough that some Madison Avenue execs say it threatens to upend the entire pay-TV business model."
The story adds, "Just last week, New York station WPIX went dark in more than 3 million Cablevision homes, leaving marketers scrambling to place their back-to-school ads elsewhere.
“ 'If you’re in New York and you’re buying their news, it takes supply out of the market and pushes up prices,' said Marc Morse, a top TV buyer with RJ Palmer. 'People have said this is unacceptable, they’ve got to get their act together.' "
The story adds, "So far this year, there’s been a 35 percent uptick in programming disputes, with channel blackouts hitting 73 markets around the country, according to the American TV Alliance, which is backed by cable and satellite-TV companies.
"Advertisers are also suffering from Dish Network’s decision to dump AMC Networks, home to 'Mad Men' and 'Breaking Bad.' Satellite-TV provider Dish is in 14 million homes."
Atkinson also spoke to Rino Scanzoni, a top Madison Avenue executive: " 'I don’t think this problem is going away, it’s going to get more heated,' said Rino Scanzoni, who as GroupM’s chief investment officer oversees $25 billion in US ad spending. 'The big concern I have is that this could lead to an a la carte menu, and advertisers lose if cable channels lose distribution.' ”more »
ABC Family has picked up a drama pilot about a multi-ethnic family from Jennifer Lopez, reports Deadline.com.
The network also picked up a pilot executive produced by Gavin Polone of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," the story notes. His one-hour drama is about a teenage psychopath, with a "Dexter Jr." feel to it, the article adds. The project is called "Socio" and was written by Adam Milch of "Greek."
The Lopez project is called "The Fosters," and is a one-hour drama about foster children and biological kids who are raised by two mothers, the piece notes. Lopez will executive produce the drama, which was created by Bradley Bredeweg and Peter Paige.more »
Two months after AMC went dark on satellite broadcaster Dish, the cable network has debuted a new round of attack ads -- but it's unclear whether Dish subscribers will see the ads, reports Joe Flint in the Los Angeles Times' Company Town blog.
The new ads are only airing on AMC, IFC, We and Sundance, which aren't currently carried on Dish, the story points out.
"While AMC could try to buy advertising on other networks that are available on Dish, those networks probably would be reluctant to run spots that might offend one of their biggest distributors," Flint points out.
Nevertheless, AMC is trying to reach out to consumers who might be considering switching to Dish.
"AMC wants everyone considering Dish to know that if they sign up they can forget about 'Breaking Bad,' 'Mad Men' and 'The Walking Dead,' three of its biggest hits," Flint writes.
"Asked via email if Dish would consider running AMC's attack ads -- after all money is money -- a spokesman for the satellite broadcaster said: 'We're not selling them time,'" the story notes.more »
ABC has ordered two comedy projects from writers of ABC's "The Middle" and MTV's "Awkward," reports Deadline.com.
Vijal Patel of "The Middle" has sold a semi-autobiographical project called "Square Roots," which follows a young married couple as they deal with the husband's family of engineers, the story says.
Cassie Pappas of "Awkward" has sold "20's vs 30's," about two sisters who are separated by a decade but move in together, and which is inspired by her relationship with her sister, the article notes.
Both projects are produced by ABC Studios.more »
TLC has ordered a new series from the producers of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," according to The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed.
TLC ordered eight episodes of "Cheer Perfection," a docuseries that tracks cheerleading coach Alisha Dunlap as she trains girls for cheerleading. The show comes from Authentic Entertainment, which produces both "Honey Boo Boo" and "Toddlers & Tiaras."
“Cheer Perfection” is set to debut in December.more »
Lance Armstrong Ends His Fight Against Charges of Illegal Doping. In Response Anti-Doping Agency Says It Will Strip Armstrong of His Seven Tour de France Titles. But Does the Agency Have Jurisdiction to Do This?
"Famed cyclist Lance Armstrong faces the prospect of losing seven Tour de France titles and his fabled championship legacy after he ended his fight against charges of illegal doping," CNN reports.
The story continues, "Armstrong, who has consistently denied allegations of illegal doping, made his announcement to stop battling the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's (USADA) 'one-sided and unfair process' ... against him after losing a legal bid Monday to stop the probe."
The article adds, "But there's a question whether the USADA has authority in the case and whether international agencies might have to weigh in before Armstrong would face the prospect of losing his titles. The International Cycling Union has opposed the anti-doping actions by claiming it has jurisdiction. That position has been recently backed by USA Cycling, the official cycling organization recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee. The cycling union said Friday it won't comment until the anti-doping group issues 'a reasoned decision' explaining its stance."more »
NBC has bought a project based on one of the most popular figures in romantic fiction, Deadline.com reports. The project is based on Cyrano de Bergerac.
"Cyrano" received a script commitment with penalty. Given a contemporary spin, "Cyrano" is set amidst governmental and campaign politics, with its hero an unattractive but brilliant campaign strategist who falls for the same woman as his boss, a more attractive yet inarticulate man, the story says.
The romantic comedy is from writer Michael Oates Palmer of "Rubicon" and "The West Wing," who is writing the project as part of an overall deal with Universal TV. He will executive produce with Prospect Park's Jeff Kwatinetz and Josh Barry, the story says.more »
A change is in the works in the leadership structure at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., the parent company of Fox Broadcasting and Fox News. Deadline.com reports that Jon Miller, who has been the company’s chief digital officer since 2009, is leaving the company.
In a statement, Miller said: “While my time spent has been productive, it feels like the right time to exit. I look forward to pursuing new ventures that will lead me back into an operational role.”
The report notes: “The company announced today that Miller will leave his post at the end of September as News Corp. is about to split into two companies: one entertainment, one publishing. Miller will be an outside advisor to News Corp. on digital issues through fall 2013.”
Under Miller’s watch, the company has pursued a number of digital initiatives, without much success. “Miller was News Corp.’s key man for repeated efforts to sell Hulu but those are now on hold,” Deadline reports. “He also presided over The Daily, which has proved to be Rupert’s folly and a very public failure and embarrassment that recently slashed staff by a third. Miller also saw the steep decline of MySpace, which was the hottest social networking service online when News Corp. purchased it in 2005 for $580M. Then it was overtaken by Facebook in 2008 so staff layoffs and multiple redesigns ensued. Finally News Corp. unloaded MySpace in 2011 for just $35M.”more »
CNN took the wraps off plans for a new series, which will be produced and hosted by a documentary filmmaker who has made an impact lately with feature docs such as “Super Size Me.” The new nonfiction series from Morgan Spurlock, “Inside Man,” will run as a companion to an upcoming program from TV chef Anthony Bourdain.
The series is set to debut in April 13 and will run on weekends.
“Each week Spurlock will provide an insider’s view into rarely seen sectors of American life that include gun lovers, marijuana growers, migrant farm workers and end-of-life caregivers,” the cable channel announced.
Click here to see the full press release from CNN announcing the series.more »
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has announced who will produce the upcoming 85th Academy Awards. The academy has selected award-winning film, TV and theater producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.
Academy President Hawk Koch made the announcement, saying, “Craig and Neil are forward thinkers who bring a unique perspective to the Oscar show. Their enormous collective talent, coupled with their love of film, serves our show perfectly.”
The ceremony will air live on ABC on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013.
Click here to see the academy’s press release making the announcement.more »
Saga of Soap Opera Actress Is Becoming a Soap Opera in Its Own Right -- First She Was Off the Show, Then She Was Back On ... and Now She's Off Again -- But Not Right Away
A star of a long-running soap opera has been off the show and back on so many times -- just this week -- that her story is turning into a soap opera all its own.
We reported Tuesday that Susan Flannery, who plays Stephanie Forrester on CBS’s “The Bold and the Beautiful,” was leaving the daytime drama. Then on Wednesday news broke that she had decided to return to the show.
Now another report indicates that the deal she signed most recently with the show -- a deal that was apparently misinterpreted to mean she was rejoining the cast -- was really just an extension to enable the show to do justice to her departure.
TVLine.com reports: “Sources confirm ... that despite rumblings to the contrary, Susan Flannery is, as reported earlier this week, parting ways with ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ after 25 years -- and most amicably, at that. Flannery has signed a short-term extension of her current contract that will allow series boss Brad Bell to spin what we hear is an ‘amazing’ exit storyline.”
Flannery, who has four Daytime Emmys -- three of them for “Bold” -- will wrap up her stint sometime in December, according to the report.more »
Video: Kathie Lee Gifford Jumps Into the Controversy About Taylor Swift Crashing the Kennedy Wedding
Superstar singer Taylor Swift has been accused of crashing a recent Kennedy family wedding, and Kathie Lee Gifford waded into the controversy during a segment on NBC’s “Today” show.
Swift’s camp has denied the Grammy winner crashed the event, but Gifford says it’s true and adds that the singer was asked twice to leave.
The particulars get a bit more complicated, so if you’re interested, just watch the video and let Kathie Lee, who was apparently at the wedding, give her version of events. Here it is:more »
Comedian Dave Chappelle, the star of the popular early 2000s comedy show "Chappelle's Show," received a warning from the Toronto Public Health Department for his on-stage behavior during a three-night run at the city’s Winter Garden Theatre, reports the Toronto Star.
During a 75-minute show Monday night, Chappelle reportedly smoked five cigarettes -- in violation of a city ordinance. But it was a visit to Mayor Rob Ford's office to ask for permission to smoke that alerted health department officials about the smoking, the story adds. The mayor’s aides disclosed the visit on Twitter.
A public health official then contacted the theater to remind the establishment of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, which requires that all performers must be in compliance, the story says. The city's health department also warned the comedian that he could be fined if he continues to smoke on stage.more »
So, Is Nicki Minaj an 'American Idol' Judge or Not? Only Her Soft Drink Company Seems to Know for Sure
Finally, someone has gone on the record about whether or not Nicki Minaj is going to be a judge on "American Idol" starting this fall.
Minaj just spent the summer shilling for Pepsi, and our colleague Natalie Zmuda, at TVWeek sibling publication Advertising Age, asked the soft-drink giant whether they had a problem with Minaj becoming an "Idol" judge, given that rival Coca-Cola is one of the show's major sponsors and provides judges with cups full of Coke to drink on the show.
Said Pepsi spokesperson Andrea Foote to Ad Age, "Pepsi works with some of the hottest stars in the world of music. So it's no surprise that the producers of 'American Idol' would look to the Pepsi family to find their newest judge. Nicki remains a part of the Pepsi family on a global basis. We wish her the best as she takes on this new role."
There is no doubt that Minaj would have checked with Pepsi before signing on with 'Idol," given "Idol's" well-known continuing connection with Coke. That's because Minaj has a "multimillion-dollar deal" with Pepsi, according to Forbes.
Other published reports have credited unnamed "sources" saying either that Minaj already has the "Idol" job or that the ink isn't quite dry on a contract yet.
Fox, for its part, has declined to officially confirm whether Minaj is going to be a judge on "Idol."
By the way, Ad Age also asked Coke whether it had a problem with Minaj becoming a judge on "Idol," since the pop sensation is so closely tied to Pepsi, and a Coke spokesperson said, "We are not directly involved in the specific editorial aspects of the show. 'American Idol' has always done a great job over the past years bringing in new talent to the show to keep it exciting for viewers, and we look forward to the 2013 season."more »
"The Big Bang Theory" has promoted a character to series regular for the CBS comedy's sixth season, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed. The character is Stuart the comic book store owner, played by Kevin Sussman.
He will appear in seven to 13 episodes of the show, and joins Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik in being promoted, the story notes.
Sussman played a recurring role on the last season of Showtime's "Weeds," but will be available to "The Big Bang Theory" on an as-needed basis with the promotion, the piece adds.more »
From a very popular story on TechCrunch this morning: "A trusted Verizon employee has just confirmed to TechCrunch that the carrier is having an all-staff vacation blackout from the dates of Friday, September 21 to September 30. You know what that means, right?
"The next iPhone, whether it’s called the iPhone 5 or simply the new iPhone, will almost certainly be available in stores (with lines wrapping around the back of them) starting Friday, September 21"
The story adds: "It’s largely expected that the next-gen iPhone will be announced on September 12, in usual Apple fashion. (Though the spectacle may be a bit different this time around considering that Apple’s lead presentation executive was fired in December.)"
The article gives this timeline:
"Expected announcement: Wednesday, September 12
Expected pre-order date: Wednesday, September 12
Launch date, as confirmed by our trusted source: Friday, September 21"
The top broadcasters say they will skip Ann Romney's address at the Republican National Convention at 10:30 p.m. Monday, opting instead to air scripted programming -- including reruns in some cases, reports The New York Times.
CBS will air a repeat of "Hawaii Five-0," while NBC will broadcast a new episode of "Grimm." ABC will air "Castle."
"The networks, which reap considerable advertising dollars even from summer reruns, have told the Romney campaign that they will broadcast an hour of convention coverage on the final three nights -- but no more," The Times notes.
Mitt Romney's advisers are angry at the decision, the story adds. The campaign is considering moving Ann Romney's speech to another night, although a decision hasn't yet been made.
Part of the problem is this election cycle's conventions "seem to lack the possibility of any electrifying moments" for the networks, the article notes.
"Add to that the overwhelming sense that the country is in a funk and that the presidential campaign cannot seem to rise above petty insults and blatant distortions, and there is a feeling at many of the news networks that Americans would rather be hearing about something -- anything -- else," The Times notes.more »
The U.S. watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is asking the Federal Communications Commission to deny renewal of broadcast licenses for three Fox stations, TheWrap.com reports. The group is citing the phone-hacking scandal that has embroiled parent News Corp. in Britain, according to the report.
CREW bases its request on U.S. law that says that broadcast frequencies should only be used by those of good "character" who serve "the public interest," the story says.
"It’s unclear how effective CREW's efforts will be. For one thing, the group previously lobbied FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski to revoke 27 of News Corp.'s broadcast licenses, to no avail. For another, if broadcast licenses truly were limited to those of good character who work in the public interest, the airwaves would probably offer a pretty empty landscape," the story reports.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the stations are WTTG-TV and WDCA-TV in Washington and WUTB-TV in Baltimore. The stations’ licenses reportedly expire in October.more »
A canceled AMC drama series isn’t dead yet, with producer Fox TV Studios in discussions with Netflix and DirecTV to keep “The Killing” alive, reports TVLine.com.
A representative for Netflix declined to comment, while a DirecTV rep said, "We do take a look at everything that is available, but we haven’t made any decisions this summer in regards to new programming.”
Netflix, which is working on a revival of the cult comedy series "Arrested Development," earlier this year was considering buying the canceled shows "The River" and "Terra Nova." DirecTV has rescued at-risk shows including "Damages."more »
J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series of fantasy adventure novels, has a new book coming out, and will make only one public appearance in the United States to promote the new book, Fox News reports.
The article says that Rowling, who is British, will appear at "New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center on Oct. 16. The venue can seat about 1,100 people," and that "Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis, starting Sept. 10."
Furthermore, the story notes, "Little, Brown and Company announced Wednesday that Rowling will be interviewed on stage by fellow author Ann Patchett and will take 'select' audience questions. Rowling also will sign copies of her new book for each audience member."
Rowling's new novel is titled "The Casual Vacancy," and is targeted to adults.more »
NBC has ordered a new ensemble comedy from one of the producers of the network’s veteran sitcom “The Office,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The network bought the script for the show from “Office” co-executive producer Justin Spitzer.
“The move comes a year or so after Spitzer inked an overall deal with Universal Media, which will produce the project,” the story reports. “Spitzer is set to write and executive produce, with Peter Traugott and Rachel Kaplan on board as executive producers through their Universal TV-based TBD Productions. (The pair also is behind a Southern gothic thriller project set in New Orleans, which sold to NBC in mid-August.)”
The show reportedly focuses on a group of friends who are on their way to a wedding when events intervene and change the course of their lives.
Spitzer has been with “The Office” since its third season. As reported previously, NBC announced this week that the upcoming ninth season of the show will be its last.more »
New Forbes List of the World's Most Powerful Women Includes a Number of TV Personalities -- But Not in the Top 10
Several television personalities are counted among the world's 100 most powerful women, according to a new list from Forbes.
The top female TV personality is Oprah Winfrey, listed as the world's 11th most powerful woman overall.
Other television figures ranking high on the list include Anne Sweeney, the co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC Television Group, at No. 22; and ABC anchor Diane Sawyer, close behind at No. 23, beating Queen Elizabeth II, who is ranked 26th on the list.
The list is topped by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton coming in at No. 2. Rounding out the top five are Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at No. 3, Melinda Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation at No. 4 and New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson at No. 5. First lady Michelle Obama is seventh on the list.
Also from the television business: HBO Entertainment President Sue Naegle is at No. 46, Ellen DeGeneres comes in at No. 47, Christiane Amanpour is at No. 53, NBCUniversal’s Bonnie Hammer lands at No. 73, Sofia Vergara places 75th, Greta Van Susteren makes the list at No. 94 and HSN CEO MIndy Grossman comes in at No. 96.
Other names from entertainment include Lady Gaga, No. 14; Beyonce Knowles, No. 32; Sony Pictures Entertainment Co-Chairman Amy Pascal, No. 36; Jennifer Lopez, No. 38; Shakira, No. 40; Angelina Jolie, No. 66; J.K. Rowling, No. 78; and Gisele Bundchen, No. 83.more »
The pilot for a drama that was passed over by FX as a television series will now air on the network as an original movie, Nellie Andreeva writes on Deadline.com.
The decision comes two years after FX greenlighted the pilot for "Outlaw Country," and almost a year after the network passed on the drama, the story adds.
The pilot will air Friday at 10 p.m. as an FX Original Movie, following a rebroadcast of the Oscar-winning drama "The Departed."
Andreeva writes: "I hear the pilot came in long, at about an hour and a half, making it suitable to air as a movie. This is a rare public broadcast of a busted pilot not developed as a backdoor movie, as they normally never see the light of day.”
The pilot, a crime thriller and family drama set in Nashville, stars Luke Grimes, Haley Bennett, Mary Steenburgen and John Hawkes.more »
Rosemary Rice, who played the oldest daughter, Katrin, on the 1949-1957 television show "Mama," has died, reports The New York Times. Rice, 87, later known as Rosemary Rice Merrell, died of a heart attack.
The TV show, which was broadcast from a studio in New York City's Grand Central Terminal above the Oyster Bar, was based on the Kathryn Forbes book "Mama's Bank Account," and told the story of the Hansens, a Norwegian immigrant family, in the early 20th century. The 1948 movie “I Remember Mama,” starring Irene Dunne and Barbara Bel Geddes, was based on the same book, which was also adapted as a play and a radio show.
Rice played the "wholesome but occasionally saucy Katrin" on the TV series, while Dick Van Patten played her brother Nels. Peggy Wood played Mama, Judson Laire played the father and Robin Morgan played the other daughter.
Each episode started with Katrin looking through a photo album and reminiscing about her mother, saying, "But most of all, I remember Mama," the story says.
Rice had a brief TV career outside of “Mama,” but worked regularly in radio, where her appearances included “Studio One,” “The Cavalcade of America” and, in the 1970s, “CBS Radio Mystery Theater.” She also made a number of successful children’s recordings.more »
NBC has given a put-pilot commitment to a new single-camera comedy with family bloodlines in Hollywood, Deadline.com reports. The show, “The High Life,” is from the brother-and-sister writing team of Will Reiser and Robin Reiser.
“The project, from 20th Century Fox TV, is about the trials and tribulations of a misguided young woman who’s newly sober and trying to navigate motherhood, work and marriage -- all of which makes her want to drink,” the story reports. “The Reisers are executive producing with JJ Philbin, Jake Kasdan and Thruline’s Willie Mercer, with Melvin Mar producing.”
Will and Robin Reiser are the cousins of comedian Paul Reiser, while Philbin is the daughter of Regis Philbin and Kasdan is the son of writer-director Lawrence Kasdan, the story notes.
The report adds: “This is the second comedy project at NBC this development season that is being written by siblings. ‘Saturday Night Live‘s’ Seth Meyers and his younger brother, Josh Meyers (‘Mad TV’), are co-writing a multi-camera sitcom about brothers, which is executive produced by ‘SNL’ honcho Lorne Michaels.”more »
Reality Show Star Says She Pleaded With the Network Not to Air Highly Charged Episode -- But to No Avail
One of the stars of a popular cable reality show reveals that she begged execs at the network not to air the show. US Magazine reports that Teresa Giudice, in her blog on the Bravo website, implored the cable network not to air an episode of “Real Housewives of New Jersey” in which her husband referred to her as a “c--t” and “my bitch wife.”
Bravo promoted the show anyway, airing it last Sunday.
Giudice was reportedly informed about the content of Joe Giudice’s tirade not long before the broadcast and soon asked that Bravo keep it off the air. After viewing the telecast she wrote: “Once I watched it, I was sick. I felt like I'd been kicked in the stomach."
Giudice also commented on her blog, "When you sign up for a TV show, you sign up to show everything. ... Kind of like that other promise: for better or worse. Welcome to the 'worse.'"
The report notes that Joe Giudice’s behavior is a common story line on the Bravo series.
Teresa Giudice wrote on the blog: "It hurts my feelings, and it was horrible to watch played out on national TV." She also said Joe Giudice is “a great dad and a great husband, and we still really like each other.”
She indicated that her husband was apparently drunk during his tirade; she did not address that Joe was reportedly talking to another woman when he launched into the verbal assault on his wife.more »
Actor and rapper LL Cool J reportedly took down an intruder early today after finding him in the kitchen of LL’s home in Studio City, Calif, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Police were called to the home at about 1 a.m. today and found the “NCIS: Los Angeles” actor holding the suspect, officials reported. Authorities said a “knock-down, drag-out” fight had taken place.
The suspect, who reportedly suffered a broken nose and broken jaw, was treated at a nearby hospital. He is described as a transient.
The report notes: “LL Cool J, born James Todd Smith, rose to fame with musical hits such as ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ and ‘I'm Bad.’"
Here’s a KTLA video report on the incident:more »
Pulling the plug on its development and production deal with Warner Bros. Television, the feature film production company and financier Legendary Pictures has apparently scuttled plans to expand into TV, Nellie Andreeva reports in Deadline.com.
The company, which is behind such features as “The Dark Knight,” “The Clash of the Titans” and “The Hangover,” is closing the television division it launched early last year as part of the Warner Bros. deal.
“Former AMC executive Jeremy Elice, who ran the department, handling Legendary’s day-to-day television activities, will be exiting the company,” Deadline reports. “Legendary had been quiet on the TV front, with no significant sales despite a great brand name, a strong roster of feature titles to tap from and the backing of a big TV studio.”
Company leaders apparently had reservations about the traditional television development model. Andreeva writes: “After testing it for a year, I hear they decided the template is not for Legendary, a company which tends to produce content in non-traditional ways. Legendary, which is led by founder/chairman/CEO Thomas Tull and president/chief creative officer Jon Jashni, is not shutting the door completely and still intends to enter the TV space, but is cautiously exploring how and when to make such a move.”
The company continues to maintain a busy schedule of feature releases, including the recent “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Wrath of the Titans.” It has a “Godzilla” remake in the pipeline along with the Jackie Robinson biopic “42” and a number of other projects.more »
ABC is banking on the teaming of Anthony Zuiker, the man behind "CSI," and Sara Goodman, the executive producer of "Gossip Girl," for a new prime-time soap opera called "Taboo," reports Deadline.com.
“’Taboo,’ which will be produced by ABC Studios, Brillstein and Zuiker’s Dare to Pass banner, is based on an original idea by Zuiker, who is segueing from the procedural world of ‘CSI’ to serialized drama,” the story reports. “To be written by Goodman, it is described as a sexy soap and centers on a stay-at home-mom who goes back to work as an undercover psychological profiler for the FBI, but the job isn’t nearly as dangerous as the sexual obsession she falls into with the man she’s investigating.”
Zuiker praised his partner, saying, “Sara Goodman is solid gold, and we are very lucky to have her on board to bring 'Taboo' to life." Zuiker also declared that ABC is the right network for the project: “It’s a perfect ABC show.”more »
The series still has a little ways to go, but Showtime has apparently seen enough. The pay-cable channel is pulling the plug on the current season of “The Franchise,” Yahoo Sports reports.
The show is tracking Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins, who may wish they could cancel the rest of their season too -- they're currently 10 games under .500 and mired in last place in the National League East.
The eight-episode season of “The Franchise” was scheduled to run through Aug. 29, but Showtime has decided to pull the plug after tonight’s seventh episode.more »
Veteran media executive Barry Diller filed a 12-page complaint against the website BarryDriller.com Tuesday in federal court in Los Angeles, Deadline.com reports.
The suit against the site and Alki David alleges that David is using Diller’s name to profit inappropriately.
The complaint states: ”Defendants are using Plaintiff’s name in their ‘BarryDriller.com’ business to (1) associate their service with Plaintiff, and (2) mislead the public into believing that Defendants’ service has been judicially sanctioned.”
The report adds: “Diller also alleges that David’s BarryDriller.com is designed to divert customers from Diller’s Aereo service that streams local broadcast signals to subscribers in New York. Both companies say that they are simply feeding consumers programming that they can already receive for free.”
In separate court actions, broadcasters are suing Aereo alleging copyright infringement, the story notes.
The report adds: “This isn’t David’s only court battle. Fox was the first to sue David over BarryDriller.com, then CBS, NBC and ABC followed with a joint copyright infringement claim. Diller is seeking injunctive relief and punitive damages.”more »
Jimmy Kimmel reportedly threatened to leave ABC if he wasn't given the 11:35 p.m. time slot held by "Nightline," reports TVNewser.com, citing two sources close to Kimmel.
As previously reported, ABC announced Tuesday it will move "Jimmy Kimmel Live" from its midnight slot to 11:35 p.m., when it will go head-to-head with late-night staples "Late Show with David Letterman" on CBS and "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" on NBC.
The demand was the result of a new long-term contract extension that Kimmel recently signed, the story notes. When he previously signed in late 2010, ABC cut "Nightline" by five minutes to give more time to Kimmel, the piece notes, adding: "This was the next logical step.”
"Kimmel demanded 11:35, or said he would walk, and ABC acquiesced," according to the report.
Not surprisingly, financial considerations also played into the decision, the piece points out.
"While 'Nightline' is a very successful program both editorially and financially (ABC holds it up internally as one to emulate), the network simply bet that it could make more money in the long term from Kimmel at 11:30 than it could from 'Nightline,'" the story reports.
ABC News, said to be unhappy with “Nightline’s” being bumped by an hour to 12:35 a.m., is nonetheless making the most of it, noting that the show is being expanded back to its original half-hour while also getting a “permanent” prime-time hour on Fridays at 9 p.m.more »
A cable channel is touting Sunday’s premiere of a new drama series as the highest-rated series premiere in the channel’s history. The channel is BBC America, which rolled out the new period cop drama “Copper” to record numbers.
“Copper,” from Oscar winner Barry Levinson, Emmy winner Tom Fontana, Oscar nominee Will Rokos and Cineflix Studios President Christina Wayne, delivered a total audience of 1.8 million viewers Sunday night, including 1.1 million for the 10 p.m. premiere.
Said Perry Simon, General Manager, Channels, BBC Worldwide America: “This is a great result for BBC America, as our distribution continues to grow -- now approaching 80 million homes. The response to ‘Copper’ has been tremendous and we’re off to a promising start.”
The series, set in 1864 New York City, tracks Irish-immigrant detective Kevin Corcoran, played by Tom Weston-Jones. Click here to read the BBC America press release announcing the ratings milestone.more »
Playwright David Mamet, who won a Pulitzer Prize for “Glengarry Glen Ross,” is behind a TV reboot of the late 1950s-early 1960s television series "Have Gun -- Will Travel" that’s in development at CBS, Deadline.com reports.
Mamet is writing the project for CBS TV Studios, the story reports. He will executive produce with producer Elliott Webb, with Mamet also slated to direct the potential pilot, the piece adds.
The original TV show starred Richard Boone as the gunfighter Paladin, who preferred to avoid violence when solving problems. One of its main writers was Gene Roddenberry, who went on to create "Star Trek."
The project brings Mamet back to CBS, where he created his only TV show so far, "The Unit," the piece adds. Mamet also wrote the HBO movie about Phil Spector, which has yet to air.more »
Struggling Home Entertainment Market Gets a Shot in the Arm: New Release Sells a Whopping 3.8 Million DVDs and Blu-rays in Debut Weekend
The home entertainment market has been struggling to move units, so a hot new release comes as good news for the market segment. The potential savior for the segment is “The Hunger Games,” TheWrap.com reports.
The story reports: “The dystopian action film sold a massive 3.8 million DVDs and Blu-rays in its first weekend of release, Lionsgate said Tuesday. Those numbers put ‘The Hunger Games’ in ‘Twilight’ territory.
“The most recent film in the vampire franchise, ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1,’ moved 3.2 million units when it debuted last February, and ‘Eclipse,’ the third film in the series, sold 2.7 million in its first weekend of release.”
The first “Twilight” release moved 3.8 million units, while the sequel, “New Moon,” pushed 4 million, the report notes.
“Despite that, ‘The Hunger Games’ achieved blockbuster numbers in an age when the rise of streaming services like Netflix has substantially eroded the once-thriving home entertainment industry,” the report adds.more »
Just one day after news broke that a four-time Emmy winner was exiting a long-running daytime drama, the actress has changed her mind, Soap Opera Digest reports.
The publication reports that original cast member Susan Flannery has now decided to remain with CBS's "The Bold and the Beautiful." We reported yesterday that Flannery, who plays Stephanie Forrester on the soap opera, was leaving the show.
Flannery has reportedly signed a new deal with the show. Executive producer and head writer Bradley P. Bell told the publication: "She's been through a lot personally; we know that she had her own battle with cancer and she’s had such an amazing career that she will continue to have as Stephanie Forrester, but I think it's not so much as a disagreement between her and the show, but more Susan figuring out where she is right now and what she needs. Now, Susan is going to have an incredible time with a new storyline that we've never seen before; something completely unique and interesting."
Flannery is one of four cast members who have been on "Bold" since its debut. One of those four, Ronn Moss, announced his exit from the show two weeks ago.more »
Teenage pop superstar Justin Bieber will pay a visit to a familiar TV show in an upcoming episode, appearing as himself -- in animated form -- on Fox’s Sunday staple "The Simpsons," reports EW.com's Inside TV.
"The Simpsons" executive producer Al Jean said Bieber “tries to get into a talent show that Bart is playing piano in and they won’t admit him. Draw your own conclusions.”
The episode, "The Fabulous Faker Boy," will air in 2013 as part of the show's 24th season. Other guests during the season will include Steve Carell, Natalie Portman and Zooey Deschanel.
Bieber, 18, wasn't born yet when "The Simpsons" launched in 1989, the report notes.more »
A British cult classic television show will get a reboot at Syfy, to be written by Joe Pokaski of "Heroes" and directed by film director Martin Campbell of "Casino Royale," reports Deadline.com.
The classic series is "Blake's 7," a 1978-1981 BBC space opera.
The remake has a script-to-series commitment, which means that the network will greenlight it as a 13-episode series if it likes the script, the article notes.
The original show was created by Terry Nation of "Dr. Who," and tracks a group of criminals and renegades who escape from a prison planet, the story notes.
Here's the show's original title sequence:more »
Missouri television stations stand to lose a lot of advertising dollars in the controversy over Rep. Todd Akin's remarks that women should be able to prevent pregnancy in cases of "legitimate rape," reports MediaPost.com.
Missouri stations, including stations owned by leading groups such as Gannett and Belo, were expecting a hotly contested Senate race, according to the story.
But now the Republican Party is urging Akin to end his campaign, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee has said it won't spend money on his behalf, the piece notes. The Crossroads GPS super PAC, backed by Karl Rove, plans to stop airing ads attacking incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill, according to the story.
"If Akin has little outside support and struggles to fund-raise on his own, he could be a scant presence on the air. As of July 18, the Center for Responsive Politics indicated Akin had only about $530,000 in cash on hand, while McCaskill had $3.5 million," the article notes.
"As far as politics are concerned, it's possible Missouri won't be the Show Me The Money State that was expected in 2012."
Akin has reportedly prepared a commercial addressing the controversy, in which he apologizes for his rape remarks and says he “used the wrong words in the wrong way” and he has “a compassionate heart” for victims of sexual assault.more »
A lawsuit against Viacom claims the company is paying too much to compensate Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone, as well as President and CEO Philippe Dauman and Chief Operating Officer Thomas Dooley, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Robert Freedman, a shareholder since 2005, alleges in the lawsuit that the three executives' pay was inflated due to vague bonus criteria such as "vision and leadership," the story says.
The lawsuit claims that Redstone, Dauman and Dooley were overpaid by $36.6 million from 2008 to 2011.
Dauman was the highest-paid executive in corporate America in 2010, the piece reports, working nine months and receiving a compensation package reportedly worth $84.5 million.
In a statement, Viacom said: “The plaintiff’s complaint is filled with inaccuracies, and completely fails to make a valid claim for a variety of substantive and procedural reasons. We are confident that Viacom’s compensation practices are fully compliant with the law, and consistent with our 2007 plan.”more »
"Parks and Recreation" co-creator Mike Schur and show producer Dan Goor have sold a single-camera comedy to Fox, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Fox has given a put-pilot commitment to the project, which is about a group of detectives working in a precinct on the edge of New York City, the story says.
The half-hour comedy was the subject of a bidding war, the piece adds. Schur and Goor will write and executive produce the comedy, while David Miner, an executive producer on "Parks and Rec," will join as executive producer.more »
The date has been set for the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards, with the ceremony taking place two days before nominations are announced for the Academy Awards.
The Golden Globes will take place Jan. 13, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The awards ceremony will be televised live on NBC from the Beverly Hilton Hotel -- at 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT.
Nominations for the Golden Globes will be announced Thursday, Dec. 13, at 8 a.m. ET, the story adds.
The most recent telecast of the program, which is produced by Dick Clark Productions in association with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, drew 16.9 million total viewers.more »
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are officially divorced, ending the five-year marriage that was one of Hollywood's most watched pairings, reports People.com.
The divorce, signed off by a New York judge, marked a quick end to the marriage, given that Holmes filed for divorce in June.
The pair are said to remain on friendly terms and continue to communicate given that their daughter, Suri, lives with Holmes but also spends time with Cruise, who has liberal visitation and travel rights, the piece adds.more »
Now We Know Who Will Fill Regis Philbin's Former Spot Next to Kelly Ripa -- Word Leaks Out Ahead of ABC Announcement
While ABC was trying to keep the identity of Kelly Ripa’s new co-host a secret until it could do a big reveal on “Live! with Kelly” on Sept. 4, B&C is reporting that the job is expected to go to Michael Strahan.
The publication says multiple sources with inside knowledge are indicating the former NFL player and current “Fox NFL Sunday” personality will be the morning show’s new co-host, taking over a spot held down for years by Regis Philbin.
Strahan is expected to keep his job on “Fox NFL Sunday,” which tapes in L.A. while “Live!” originates from New York.
Strahan was a defensive standout in the NFL, and starred briefly on the Fox sitcom “Brothers.”
The report notes: “The ABC morning show has been without a permanent sidekick for Ripa since Philbin left the show in late 2011. It has used a constant flow of guest hosts -- including Strahan and other finalists for the permanent job, like Seth Meyers -- since then.”
An ABC representative would not comment for the story.more »
Scott McKenzie, Who Sang the Iconic Sixties Song 'San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair),' Dead at 73
Scott McKenzie, a pop-folk singer whose biggest hit was one of the iconic songs of the Summer of Love, "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)," has died at the age of 73, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.
McKenzie had long been fighting Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disease that affects the nervous system, according to the report. He died Aug. 18.
McKenzie was part of the hippie music movement and performed at the Monterey International Pop Music Festival along with the Mamas and the Papas, Jimi Hendrix, Country Joe & the Fish and others.
His signature hit was actually written by John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas. It reached number four on the Billboard Hot 100 and went to No. 1 in the U.K. and other countries, selling more than 7 million copies worldwide.
The story notes: “Even though it became one of the most famous songs about San Francisco, many locals dismissed it as a slick pop imagining of the Haight-Ashbury scene with no real connection to the events taking place there, particularly in the lyrics: ‘For those who come to San Francisco / Summertime will be a love-in there / In the streets of San Francisco / Gentle people with flowers in their hair.’"
Said Joel Selvin, former San Francisco Chronicle pop music critic and author of the books "Monterey Pop" and "Summer of Love": "The song was created by Hollywood hippies who were not a part of what they were writing about, and they got it wrong. In San Francisco, the song was treated with a range from scorn to ridicule."
McKenzie co-wrote the 1980s song “Kokomo,” which was a No. 1 hit for the Beach Boys.
McKenzie had no surviving family members.
Here's what McKenzie's big hit looked and sounded like back in The Day:more »
The executive producer of NBC’s highest-rated scripted series, “The Office,” has taken the wraps off plans to wind down the comedy series, Deadline.com reports.
Greg Daniels revealed that the show’s upcoming ninth season will be its last. Daniels, who ran the series during its first five seasons and has returned for season nine, made the announcement during a conference call this morning, the story reports.
“It was a hard decision but this is going to be a real gangbuster season,” Daniels said. He said the main reason for ending the series at this time is to ensure creative closure.
“This year feels like the last chance” for the show to have “an artistic ending,” Daniels said, according to the report.
The report notes: “With ‘The Office’ still ranking as NBC’s highest-rated scripted series, Daniels said he feared the network might want to ‘cling to it’ when he approached NBC executives with the idea of ending the show.”
Daniels added: “It’s actually a big surprise to me that NBC was so supportive of this decision. We all had a lot of passion for it and persuaded them.”
Daniels revealed that a number of plot lines will be wrapped up -- and that the identity of the documentary camera crew will be revealed.
“Now that we know we have an end date, we can take some chances and blow things up,” he said.
The report adds: “The Emmy-winning comedy struggled to recover from the exit of its leading man Steve Carell at the end of Season 7. After his anointed successor James Spader exited this May, word was that Daniels had a plan to reboot the long-running series heading into Season 9, which premieres Sept. 20. The series was able to secure its core cast, with Ed Helms, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer all coming back, joined by Rainn Wilson, who will reprise his role with an eye toward jumping onto spinoff ‘The Farm,’ which the actor created with former ‘Office’ showrunner Paul Lieberstein.”
“The Office” has a full 22-episode order for the upcoming season, the story notes.more »
ABC News announced today that after more than 25 years with the news division, senior executive producer Jon Banner is leaving the news business.
Banner will join PepsiCo’s global communications team, the company announced.
ABC News President Ben Sherwood sent the following memo to staffers this morning:
“I’m writing with news about our good friend and one of our longest-serving and most accomplished colleagues, Jon Banner.
“Jon came to me recently with a great opportunity outside the news business that he simply could not refuse.
“After more than 25 years with ABC News -- more than half his life -- Jon will be leaving this Sunday to take a senior role at one of America’s great multinational companies.
“For nearly a decade at ABC, Jon led ‘World News’ through wars, natural disasters, terror attacks, presidential elections and everything in between. Guiding the transitions of four anchors in five years, Jon led the program to new heights and helped hold the team together in challenging times.
“Earlier this year, when I asked Jon to add ‘This Week’ to his portfolio, he took on the assignment with characteristic determination and fighting spirit. The broadcast is now in its best competitive position in years, gaining momentum as we head into the most important months of the 2012 campaign.
“Across Jon’s tenure at ABC News, he has won every award for journalistic excellence.
“On a personal level, I’ve known Jon since around the time we both started out in this business. I’ve always valued his friendship and admired his news judgment and competitive drive. For the last couple of years, he has been a wise counselor and steady hand.
“We will miss him mightily.
“Going forward, Senior Executive Producer Marc Burstein will captain our political coverage in addition to Special Events and until a new executive producer is named, Marc will assume that role on ‘This Week.’
“Please join me in thanking Jon for his leadership over the years and wishing him the very best luck in this new chapter.”more »
Fox Entertainment President Kevin Reilly, formerly a top exec at NBC, has been promoted to Chairman of Entertainment for the Fox Broadcasting Co., reports Deadline.com.
The move puts Reilly in the job formerly held by Peter Rice, who was recently promoted to Chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group.
“As part of the promotion, Reilly has signed a new, multi-year contract with the network, believed to be for three years,” the report notes. “In addition to all programming -- including reality/alternative -- and digital, Reilly also will oversee scheduling, marketing, research, and business affairs, areas that for the most part had reported to Rice.”
Said Rice: “Kevin is a uniquely gifted executive with the strong strategic vision and creative instincts to ensure that Fox continues to drive the future of our industry. We are incredibly fortunate to have him here and thrilled he will be with us for many more years.”
The report adds: “The title bump solidifies Reilly’s new position as the top executive at Fox. As entertainment president, he worked under Peter Liguori from 2007-09 and then Rice.
“Since joining Fox in 2007, Reilly has presided over the lineup of Fox, which has finished as No. 1 network among Adults 18-49 for a record eight consecutive seasons, though its reign may come to an end next season when CBS has the Super Bowl.”
Reilly has overseen the addition of series including “Glee,” “New Girl” and “The X Factor,” the story notes.
“Reilly also was the architect behind the recently launched Animation Domination HD -- an independent production subsidiary now ramping up production on alternative animation for digital channels and a late-night Saturday block on Fox,” the report notes.
While he was president of entertainment at NBC, Reilly shepherded series including “The Office,” “The Biggest Loser” and “30 Rock.”more »
ABC is shuffling its late-night lineup, moving “Jimmy Kimmel Live” from its current midnight slot to a position where it will go head-to-head with late-night talk fixtures “Late Show with David Letterman” on CBS and “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on NBC at 11:35 p.m., Nellie Andreeva reports on Deadline.com.
ABC’s long-running “Nightline” newsmagazine, which currently holds the 11:35 slot, will move to 12:35, following “Kimmel.”
The move, which is said to have been years in the making, will take place Jan. 8.
“Kimmel” started out in the 12:05 a.m. time slot in January 2011, more recently moving to a midnight start time with “Nightline” shortened to 25 minutes, the report notes.
The report adds: “ABC will add a permanent primetime edition of ‘Nightline’ in the Friday 9 p.m. slot beginning March 1. The slot had been occupied by ABC News with the successful ‘What Would You Do?’ franchise.”
Andreeva writes: “I hear ABC’s decision to pull the trigger on the long-rumored switcheroo stems from ‘JKL‘s’ ratings momentum -- ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ was the only late-night broadcast talk show to increase its viewership this past season, its most-watched in 5 years -- and it has younger audience, making it appealing to advertisers.”
Said Anne Sweeney, Disney/ABC TV Group president, “Given the passionate fan base ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ has built over the past decade, and the show’s ratings and creative momentum this season, the time is right to make this move. There is the potential for far greater upside over the long term with this shift, given increased advertiser demand for competitive entertainment programming in the timeslot.”
Paul Lee, president of ABC Entertainment Group, added: “The time is right for Kimmel to make this move. … He’s ready, and so is his audience.”
Andreeva notes: “There had long been speculation that ABC wanted to put an entertainment program at 11:35 p.m. The network brass reportedly offered the slot to David Letterman when it went after the late-night host more than a decade ago. But the storied history and ratings strength of ‘Nightline’ always got in the way, with the news division able to protect its time period.”more »
Mariah Carey is upset that "American Idol" executives are negotiating with another pop singer, TMZ.com reports. The show’s talks with Nicki Minaj reportedly have angered Carey, who apparently thought she would be the only woman on the judge's panel.
Carey reportedly hung up the phone when she was told Minaj is now the top candidate. Because it's unclear whether Randy Jackson will return, there may also be another spot to fill on the judge's panel.
Some executives think it would be a mistake for the panel to feature two women and only one man, so it's possible a fourth judge will be added to include another man, the story adds.more »
NBC made an offer that brought an end to the bidding war over a new comedy starring Michael J. Fox. NBC won the project, giving it a straight-to-series order, reports the Los Angeles Times' Show Tracker.
Fox, 51, will star in a single-camera comedy that's roughly based on his life: He will play a husband and father of three dealing with challenges including Parkinson’s, the story says.
As we reported last week, all four major broadcast networks were interested in the project and it was unclear whether any of them had an inside track. But NBC dramatically outbid its rivals for the program, reports Josef Adalian in New York Magazine.
The network also gave something that's increasingly rare, Adalian notes: a 22-episode commitment before a pilot was filmed. NBC also agreed to tape the comedy in New York City, where Fox last taped his most recent full-time TV show, "Spin City." CBS was in the bidding until the last minute, with ABC and Fox dropping out earlier, according to Adalian.
The deal means a network reunion for Fox, who started out on NBC on "Family Ties" three decades ago.
"To bring Michael J. Fox back to NBC is a supreme honor and we are thrilled that one of the great comedic television stars is coming home again,” NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt said in a statement.
Fox earned three Emmys and a Golden Globe for his work on "Family Ties," which ended in 1989 after seven seasons. He also starred in movies such as "Back to the Future." Fox has recently made guest appearances on show such as CBS's "The Good Wife."
The new comedy is expected to debut in fall 2013.more »
Can You Guess Who This Is? SAG Names 2012 Life Achievement Award Honoree. He's Got 5 Emmys, a Tony and a Grammy. And He Starred in Two Hit Shows That Aired 30 Years Apart. (Hint: A 1964 Movie He Was in Got 13 Oscar Nominations, But He was Snubbed)
The Screen Actors Guild has announced its Life Achievement Honoree, who will be honored during the ceremony featuring the presentation of the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan 27, 2013.
Dick Van Dyke, in "The Dick Van Dyke Show" (1961-1966) and in "Diagnosis Murder" (1993-2001)
Here's the announcement released by SAG:
Dick Van Dyke, beloved actor, singer, dancer, writer and comedian, will receive SAG-AFTRA’s highest honor -- the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment. Van Dyke will be presented the performers union’s most prestigious accolade, given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession,” at the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards®, which premieres live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013, at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT, 6 p.m. MT and 5 p.m. PT.
In making today’s announcement, SAG-AFTRA Co-President Ken Howard said, “Dick is the consummate entertainer -- an enormously talented performer whose work has crossed nearly every major category of entertainment. From his career-changing Broadway turn in 'Bye Bye Birdie' and his deadpan humor in the Emmy® winning 'Dick Van Dyke Show,' to his unforgettable performance as Bert in 'Mary Poppins,” he sets a high bar for actors. Stage, big screen, small screen, literally everywhere he has worked he has inspired millions of fans and has had a tremendously positive impact on the industry and the world. He is so deserving of this honor and I congratulate him."
SAG-AFTRA Co-President Roberta Reardon said: "With Dick, it's so much more than the proverbial 'triple threat.' He started his career as a radio announcer, game show host and comedian and was a spokesman for Kodak, among numerous other roles over his nearly 60-year career. His contributions to the success of the business and to his fellow performers is legendary as is his work with a number of the leading ladies of our times, including Julie Andrews and Mary Tyler Moore — both previous Life Achievement Award recipients. His infectious laugh has warmed audiences for decades and is an unforgettable facet of his fabulous personality."
Holder of five Emmys®, a Tony® Award and a Grammy®, Van Dyke at 86 still possesses the zest for life that first propelled him into the limelight more than a half-century ago with the Broadway and film versions of “Bye Bye Birdie,” the seminal ‘60s situation comedy “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and the film classic “Mary Poppins." [TVWeek note: Though that film received 13 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Director, Van Dyke did not receive a nomination.]
He was born Richard Wayne Van Dyke in West Plains, Missouri, on December 13, 1925, and raised in Danville, Illinois, hometown as well to Donald O’Connor, Gene Hackman and Bobby Short. As a youngster he taught himself music, magic and pantomime. By 16, he was appearing in school plays, running track, serving as junior class president and working part time as an announcer on a local radio station. Enlisting in the Air Force at 18, he soon was performing for the troops and hosting a radio show called “Flight Time.” After one year of duty he was back in Danville, giving advertising a try, but it was not a fit. With another Danville local, Phil Erickson, he hit the road in a record-pantomime act called “The Merry Mutes,” a perfect showcase for his physical comedy gifts. While appearing in Los Angeles, he sent for his high school sweetheart, Marjorie Willet. The two were married on “Bride and Groom,” a network radio program offering gifts and a honeymoon to newlyweds.
After a run hosting a daytime talk show in Atlanta and a morning show in New Orleans, CBS put him under contract. Van Dyke moved to New York where in 1954 he began hosting “The Morning Show” (which featured up and coming newscaster Walter Cronkite). Other hosting jobs preceded his 1957 television-acting debut on an episode of “The Phil Silvers Show.” and his Broadway debut in 1959 with Bert Lahr in the comedy revue “The Boys Against the Girls.” The following year his career soared when he was cast by director/choreographer Gower Champion opposite Chita Rivera in “Bye Bye Birdie.” His performance as rock star Conrad Birdie’s songwriter/manager Albert Peterson earned Van Dyke a Tony® Award and brought him to the attention of Sheldon Leonard and Carl Reiner, who signed him for a pilot opposite newcomer Mary Tyler Moore. The now eponymous “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” starring Van Dyke and Moore as Rob and Laura Petrie, premiered in 1961 and ran for five seasons. With a perfect ensemble cast including Rose Marie and Morey Amsterdam, the wittily written series was a showcase for Van Dyke’s genius for physical comedy, earning him three lead actor Emmy® Awards.
The tireless Van Dyke spent his series’ hiatus shooting the film version of “Bye Bye Birdie” in 1963 followed by “What a Way to Go” and Disney’s 1964 musical classic “Mary Poppins,” It won five Academy Awards® including one for star Julie Andrews (SAG’s 2006 Life Achievement Award recipient) and earned Van Dyke a Golden Globe® nomination and, with Andrews, a Grammy®. A run of films followed including “Lt. Robin Crusoe, USN,” (1966), “Divorce American Style” (1967), “Fitzwilly” (1967), the musical “Chitty Chitty Bang-Bang” (1968), Garson Kanin’s satire on conformity “Some Kind of a Nut” (1969) and Norman Lear’s anti-smoking “Cold Turkey” (1970). Van Dyke, who had delivered the eulogies for his comedy idols Stan Laurel and Buster Keaton, explored the role of a fictional silent movie star in 1969’s “The Comic,” He would return to the big screen again in Stanley Kramer’s “The Runner Stumbles” (1978), Warren Beatty’s “Dick Tracy” (1990) and more recently the Ben Stiller comedy “Night at the Museum” (2006).
After a year of filming “Chitty Chitty Bang-Bang” in England, Van Dyke moved with his family to their ranch in Carefree, Arizona where “The New Dick Van Dyke Show” was produced for CBS for three seasons. In 1974, his stunning portrayal of an alcoholic family man in David Wolper’s groundbreaking ABC Television movie “The Morning After” earned Van Dyke an Emmy nomination. A guest-star turn as a homicidal photographer opposite Peter Falk’s “Columbo” followed.
It was back to song, dance and comedy in NBC’s variety series “Van Dyke and Company,” earning him a fourth Emmy® (this time shared with his fellow producers,) followed by a national tour in “The Music Man,” which brought Van Dyke back to Broadway and a national tour in “Damn Yankees.” The 1980s brought a run of television movies including the Showtime production of “The Country Girl” opposite Faye Dunaway, ”Drop-Out Father," opposite Mariette Hartley, “Found Money” opposite Sid Caesar, “Breakfast with Les and Bess” opposite Cloris Leachman for PBS’s “American Playhouse” and the miniseries “Strong Medicine.”
In 1982, Van Dyke earned his fifth Emmy for his vocal performance as the Father in the CBS Library special “Wrong Way Kid.” His voice over talents were employed most recently in the 2006 animated feature “Curious George” and the 2010 short “The Caretaker 3D,” a tribute to the Hollywood Sign.
Van Dyke’s crime solving physician, Dr. Mark Sloan, was introduced in a 1991 episode of “Jake and the Fat Man” and became the central character in three TV movies before evolving into the CBS series “Diagnosis: Murder.” It ran from 1993 to 2001, followed by two Dr. Sloan television movies in 2002. “Diagnosis: Murder” co-starred Van Dyke’s son Barry as a police detective and during its run provided guest-star opportunities for Van Dyke’s daughter Stacy, grandchildren Carey, Shane, Wes and Taryn and brother Jerry Van Dyke. From 2006 to 2008, the father-son team reunited for a series of four Hallmark Channel “Murder 101” movies, casting Barry as a private investigator opposite Dick’s absent-minded but brilliant criminology professor, Dr. Jonathan Maxwell.
In 2003, Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore re-teamed to portray lonely seniors in D.L. Coburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “The Gin Game” on “PBS Hollywood Presents” and the following year recreated husband and wife Rob and Laura Petrie for Carl Reiner’s CBS telefilm “The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited.” They were notably reunited this past January when Van Dyke presented Moore with SAG’s 48th Life Achievement Award on the 18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Van Dyke, whose 2011 memoir “My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business” made the New York Times Best Sellers list, admits that his retirement plans have yet to work out. In 2006 he returned to Broadway receiving standing ovations in his “Bye Bye Birdie” leading lady’s “Chita Rivera: The Dancers Life.” In addition to his memoir, Van Dyke is the author of “Faith, Hope and Hilarity: The Child’s Eye View of Religion” (1970) and “Those Funny Kids” (1975), a collection of classroom humor.
Music, Van Dyke’s spiritual nourishment, became richer when he teamed twelve years ago with Eric Bradley, Bryan Chadima and Mike Mendyke to form The Vantastix. Their first major public appearance was at the Society of Singers Ella Awards honoring his “Mary Poppins” leading lady Julie Andrews. They’ve since performed the National Anthem at L.A. Lakers playoffs, mounted a musical memoir at L.A.’s Geffen Theatre, appeared at the Hollywood Bowl, Disney Hall and at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. with the President and First Lady in the front row and released an album of children’s song: “Put on A Happy Face.”
For nearly twenty years Van Dyke has been tirelessly committed to his volunteer work at The Midnight Mission, Los Angeles’ century-old downtown shelter for the troubled and homeless. He helped raise millions for their new building program and is there without fail every Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and times in between offering comfort and cheer, often with the Vantastix and members of his own family. He is passionate about raising funds for music and art programs for public schools and has performed at countless fundraisers. He became a spokesperson for the National Reye’s Syndrome Foundation in 1967 after losing a granddaughter to that disease and in 2010 was named the first spokesperson for the Cell Therapy Foundation.
Van Dyke has four children from his marriage to the late Marjorie Willet Van Dyke -- sons Christian and Barry, and daughters Stacey and Carrie Beth -- and seven grandchildren.
On February 29, 2012, he married make-up artist Arlene Silver (whom he met at the 2007 SAG Awards) and whose vocal talents now occasionally blend with those of Dick and The Vantastix. They live in Malibu, California.more »
ABC News Reposts Online Story About Tony Scott. New, Replacement Story Has Headline 'Tony Scott Brain Cancer Report Appears in Doubt.' Original Story at Same URL Had Headline: ' 'Top Gun' Director Tony Scott Had Inoperable Brain Cancer.'
[Upated on Aug. 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm (PT) to include ABC News comments in response to this article]
By Chuck Ross
ABC News has reposted a news story that was widely picked up by other news organizations and websites -- including TVWeek -- yesterday, Monday, Aug. 20, 2012.
ABC News' original posting carried the headline, " 'Top Gun' Director Tony Scott Had Inoperable Brain Cancer."
In a move that exhibited no transparancy, ABC News chose not to update that story, but, instead, using the same URL, replaced the alreadly posted and widely picked up story with a second story.
This second story has this headline, "Tony Scott Brain Cancer Report Appears in Doubt."
Oddly, however, while the headline says the report is in doubt, that is not mentioned in the story itself. The second story itself simply says:
1) The Scott family was not aware of any brain cancer that Tony Scott may have had, according to what the L.A. Assistant Coroner told ABC's L.A. O&O, KABC.
2) ABC News was unable to contact the Scott family to confirm the Assistant Coroner's statement.
3) ABC News reported earlier that Scott had inoperable brain cancer "citing a source close to Scott."
The report also says Scott was identified by the Los Angeles Coroner's Office as the individual who jumped off a bridge to his death.
This second story is also remarkable in several other ways. Did ABC News go back and re-interview the "source close to Scott" in light of what the Assistant Coroner said? If not, why not. If so, what did the source say in light of the Assistant Coroner's remarks?
Furthermore, how close to Scott was this ABC News source? Readers need some more description here. Was the person "a source who was a medical professional and was in a position to know Scott's medical condition." Or "a source who was a drinking buddy of Scott's whom Scott confided to in a bar one day last week." Or???? The reader needs a way to judge for himself or herself whether this source was in a position to know Scott's medical condition, but the reader is only given the vague description "a source close to Scott."
Furthermore, reading just the copy of the second story (and ignoring the headline, which may have been written by someone not having anything to do with the reportage of the story), it seems to us here at TVWeek that it's fair to say that ABC News has not, in fact, backed down at all from its original story. Instead, it has simply added the Assistant Coroner's remarks and noted that it hadn't been able to ask the Scott family about those remarks.
We have asked ABC News all these questions. As soon as we hear back from ABC News we will update this report.
ABC News has responded to TVWeek's questions. Here's the response, emailed to us from an ABC News spokesperson:
"ABC News continues to report the most recent facts on ABCNews.com, including our previous reporting and the conflicting statement from the coroner. ABC News is attempting to reach Scott's family to confirm the assistant chief coroner's statement. After speaking with the family or a representative of the family we will update our reporting accordingly. If it comes to light at that time that incorrect information was reported, ABC News will issue a full retraction and apology." [The link to the story at ABCNews.com in the statement was provided by ABCNews.]more »
A long-running soap opera continues to lose members of its core cast, with the second cast member in the past couple of weeks giving notice, TVLine.com reports.
The soap opera is CBS’s daytime drama "The Bold and the Beautiful." Susan Flannery, who plays Stephanie Forrester, has announced she’s leaving the series, the story notes.
The news comes less than two weeks after Ronn Moss, another longtime actor on the show, decided to leave.
Flannery, who has won four Daytime Emmys -- three for "The Bold and the Beautiful" along with one for an earlier stint on "Days of Our Lives" -- has an agreement to stay with the show long enough for the program to write her character's exit. Flannery and Moss were among those known as the show's "core four," starting with the program in its 1987 debut, the piece adds.
The other members of the core four are Katherine Kelly Lang and John McCook.more »
Rosie O'Donnell, 50, says it's a "miracle" she's alive after suffering a heart attack last week, reports People.com.
O'Donnell wrote about the experience via verse on her blog on Monday, in a post called "my heart attack."
"She is now home and resting comfortably. She is very, very lucky," her representative said.
O'Donnell wrote that the heart attack came after she helped an "enormous woman" out of her car in a Nyack, N.Y., parking lot. The actress and talk-show host said she felt sick a few hours later, then Googled "womens heart attack symptoms," according to the blog. She also took an aspirin, which she says helped save her.
She had a stent inserted after doctors found her coronary artery was 99% blocked, according to People.com.more »
A new fall NBC comedy series is off to a bumpy start. First the show became the target of anger among viewers because of a couple of incidents during NBC’s coverage of the Olympics, and now the series will see its production delayed while it installs a new showrunner, Deadline.com reports.
"Animal Practice" showrunner Gail Lerner is leaving, with Marco Pennette coming in to take over the role, the story notes. The reason may be tied to Pennette's development/overall deal at Universal TV, the story says.
"To accommodate the change and give Pennette time to get up to speed, I hear that the series’ planned hiatus has been pushed up by a week. 'Animal Practice,' which just wrapped Episode 3, was supposed to start Episode 4 right away and take a hiatus next week. It will take the week-long break now instead," the story reports.
"Pennette is a sought-after showrunner who is credited with helping get ABC’s 'Ugly Betty' off the ground and was a key writer-producer on 'Desperate Housewives,'" Deadline adds.
As previously reported, some viewers of the London Olympics were angered by NBC's decision to edit out parts of the closing ceremony to fit in a preview of "Animal Practice." The show was also involved in an incident earlier in the Olympics that bothered some viewers, in which a promo for the show -- featuring a monkey doing gymnastics -- was placed in an unfortunate spot in the women’s gymnastics competition, as we reported earlier.more »
Ryan Seacrest’s production company has added a number of key programming executives to its ranks, according to The Hollywood Reporter, as the company continues to make progress on its ambitious plans.
Ryan Seacrest Productions added Nina Wass as executive VP of scripted programming, Joseph Ferraro as VP of development -- focused mainly on unscripted programming -- and Heather Schuster as senior VP of development, the report notes.
“Our goal at RSP is to also have a balanced slate of reality and scripted shows across major broadcast and cable networks,” Seacrest said.
The story reports: “Additionally, the company has forged overall deals with veteran Original Productions producer-editor Eric Lange and actor-producer brothers Dan and Ben Newmark, who were previously in an overall deal with FremantleMedia.
“The growth spurt comes in the wake of a move in January by Thomas H. Lee (THL) and Bain Capital to make investments driven by Seacrest and his company worth up to $300 million to pursue new opportunities.”
The company also received a separate minority investment from Clear Channel, RSP CEO Adam Sher told THR. "We had an infusion of capital from Clear Channel into the production company, and we've set our sights on working with our various partners to seize on some exciting new opportunities in the entertainment landscape," said Sher. "We're investing in talent across the company to help us achieve this goal."
The story reports: “Wass will be tasked with building out RSP’s scripted projects, which already include a romantic comedy movie project with Reese Witherspoon’s Type-A Films and Universal. Wass currently is developing comedy and drama projects for Lifetime, TV Land and Showtime.”
Ferraro was recently a programming VP at OWN while Schuster was senior VP of creative affairs at Reveille/Shine.
The report notes: “Additionally, Gordon Cassidy, who has been consulting for RSP, officially joins the company as VP current programming. And Noah Oppenheim, formerly head of unscripted and digital development at Reveille and a senior producer on NBC’s Today, has signed on as a consultant to development unscripted and scripted shows.”more »
Bryan Cranston, the star of AMC's "Breaking Bad," moved behind the camera recently to direct an episode of the NBC comedy series “The Office,” reports EW.com's Inside TV.
Rainn Wilson, who stars as Dwight on “The Office,” tweeted a photo of Cranston on the set, writing, "Free meth for 'The Office'! (look who’s directing…)," the story notes. The episode directed by Cranston will air Oct. 18.
Cranston has also directed episodes of "Breaking Bad," and will direct his fourth episode of the AMC show during the second half of the drama's current and final season. He also directed an episode of "Modern Family" and many installments of his former sitcom "Malcolm in the Middle," the piece adds.more »
Apple has become the most valuable company ever after topping a record previously held by another technology firm, Microsoft, reports the New York Post.
Apple's shares hit a historic high of $665.15 on Monday, giving the company a market capitalization of $623.5 billion. The previous record was held by Microsoft, which hit $618.9 billion in December 1999.
The record doesn't add in the effect of inflation, which would make Microsoft's peak value about $850 billion today.
Apple's market cap has doubled in about a year and a half, the story adds.more »
Warner Bros. TV is close to renewing "another rich overall deal" with Chuck Lorre, the creator of "Two and a Half Men," reports Deadline.com.
Ten years ago, Lorre was toward the end of another pricey overall deal with WBTV that hadn't created a series, leading to questions about his future with the studio, the article points out. But Lorre created "Two and a Half Men" toward the end of that deal.
"No questions this time around," the story adds.
The deal will extend for four years, a length only given to top writer-producers such as J.J. Abrams and Greg Berlanti. The deal also includes a feature component with WBTV's movie studio sibling, a first for Lorre, the piece adds.more »
Comedy pioneer Phyllis Diller -- a TV fixture who blazed a trail for today’s female comedians -- has died, Reuters reports. The legendary comedian was 95.
The story reports: “Diller's agent, Fred Wostbrock, said in a statement her death was ‘a great loss today. She was a true pioneer, she was the first lady of stand-up comedy -- she paved the way for everybody. A true pioneer.’"
Her many trademarks included her wild hair and eccentric outfits, her long cigarette holder, a husband she called “Fang,” and jokes at her own expense focusing on her appearance, her age and her bad cooking.
TMZ reports that sources said Diller died this morning in her sleep at her home in Los Angeles, surrounded by family.
She had reportedly fallen recently, injuring her hip and wrist, but a rep for Diller said that fall had nothing to do with her death.
She wore a pacemaker after a heart attack in 1999, TMZ notes.
Her early career was marked by appearances in TV specials along with Bob Hope in the 1960s. In the same decade she had her own TV shows -- “The Phyllis Diller Show” and “The Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show” -- and appeared regularly on “Laugh In.”
She once posed for Playboy, TMZ notes, but those photos were never published.
TMZ reports: “Diller remained spunky to the very end, famously appearing in the 2005 movie ‘The Aristocrats,’ telling an X-rated joke ... better than comics half her age.
“Joan Rivers recently appeared on ‘Watch What Happens Live’ and said, Diller ‘broke the way for every woman comedian.’”more »
[Updated 8-21-2012, 11:23 PT. ABC News has replaced its original story about Scott having inoperable brain cancer. To see our story about this change, please click here. Our new story is entitled "ABC News Reposts Online Story About Tony Scott. New, Replacement Story Has Headline 'Tony Scott Brain Cancer Report Appears in Doubt.' Original Story at Same URL Had Headline: ' 'Top Gun' Director Tony Scott Had Inoperable Brain Cancer"]
A possible explanation has surfaced for the suicide death of film director and TV producer Tony Scott, who died Sunday in a leap from a bridge in the Los Angeles area.
ABC News is reporting that Scott, the director of “Top Gun,” “Days of Thunder” and “Crimson Tide,” had inoperable brain cancer.
Authorities found a number of notes to loved ones in the director’s car on the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, and a suicide note was later found at his office, according to media reports.
Scott, who executive produced a number of television series including the CBS dramas “Numb3rs” and “The Good Wife,” was the younger brother of director Ridley Scott. The two brothers were partners in Scott Free Productions, which released “Prometheus” this year.
Ridley Scott was reportedly seen in London boarding a plane for Los Angeles. An autopsy on Tony Scott was scheduled for today.
Ed Winter, the assistant chief coroner for Los Angeles County, told the New York Daily News: "The autopsy is scheduled for this morning. We might (see a brain issue), but we don't have anything medically confirmed at this time.”more »
CBS is marking the upcoming 25th season of its “Survivor” franchise with a number of twists, including having two celebrities join the contestants, TVLine.com reports.
Actress Lisa Whelchel, who grew up in the public eye on the long-running NBC sitcom “The Facts of Life,” where she played rich kid Blair Warner, has been announced as a participant, along with Jeff Kent, former San Francisco Giants first baseman and National League MVP.
Also on tap, the return of three former contestants -- as yet unnamed -- who were all medically evacuated from the show during previous seasons.
The report adds: “For the the first time in eight years, ‘Survivor: Philippines’ will split the contestants into three tribes, which will be named after animals in the region: Kalabaw (‘Water Buffalo’), Tandang (‘Rooster’) and Matsing (‘Monkey’), according to a CBS release. Immunity challenges will include plenty of water-based battles, in which the three tribes will battle for first and second place in order to be granted immunity, with the third-place tribe heading to Tribal Council to eliminate a team member.”
The new season bows with a 90-minute episode Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. ET.more »
One of the members of the "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" clan is set to make a TV acting debut, Access Hollywood reports. Debuting on CBS's "Hawaii Five-0" will be 16-year-old Kendall Jenner, the story reports.
Kendall is the daughter of Bruce and Kris Jenner, and half-sister to the Kardashian women, Kim, Khloe and Kourtney.
Kendall is an aspiring model and actress. On the police drama, she will appear as a sales girl who assists the stars by providing information about a crime. Scott Caan, Alex O'Loughlin and Daniel Dae Kim star in the series.
Kendall commented on her casting on her website, posting, "This is such an incredible opportunity for me and I'm excited for this new experience!!!"
The episode will air in October. The Season 3 premiere of "Hawaii Five-0" is scheduled for Sept. 24 at 10 p.m. ET.more »
It's an increasingly common gimmick in television: A character appears nude on the small screen, with his or her private bits pixelated or blurred out, reports T.L. Stanley in the Los Angeles Times.
The technique first came into use on TV news, documentaries and reality programs, to blur product placements or human faces for privacy reasons, the story notes.
"But now television writers are using the tactic as a sight gag and a way to attract attention, in much the same way that scripted programming commonly bleeps out censored language," Stanley writes.
Recent examples include Krysten Ritter of ABC's "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23," who chatted in the nude, and Ashton Kutcher of CBS's "Two and a Half Men," who greeted visitors unclothed.
The stars are almost never actually naked; instead, they are wearing bodysuits or swimsuits that can be erased with the special effect, the piece notes.
During the 2011-12 season, television shows included 64 instances of full frontal nudity on the major networks, compared with just one in the 2010-11 season, according to the article, which cites the Parents Television Council. About 74% of nudity is covered up via blurring and pixelization, rather than use of black bars.
"Though the nudity is usually phony, this use of pixelization pokes at the standards of what is considered decent and underscores a larger debate about what should be allowed on television," the story notes.
"[N]etworks, locked in a battle for viewers with more permissive basic and premium cable channels, have been pushing for more latitude to air edgy programming," it continues.
The effect is "unfortunate, unnecessary and offensive to the family audience," said PTC President Tim Winter. He noted that it was used more frequently between 7 and 9 p.m., when more children might be sitting in front of the TV, than in shows airing after 10 p.m., the article notes.
"The blur gives you a different impact visually, and the person appears to be completely nude," Winter said. "That's a huge leap from where we've ever been on broadcast TV before."more »
After Trying Out 59 Potential Co-Hosts, 'Live! with Kelly' Has Its Regis Replacement -- and Maps Plans for the Big Reveal
"Live! with Kelly" has picked who will become the new permanent co-host alongside Kelly Ripa, reports USA Today. Since Regis Philbin left the show on Nov. 21, 2011, Ripa has "auditioned" 59 different sidekicks, male and female.
But instead of announcing the new co-host now, the show will do the unveil on the air Sept. 4, when Ripa will enter the studio with her new partner. The scheduled guests for that show are "Homeland" star Claire Danes and "American Idol" champion Phillip Phillips.more »
A well-known television actor who was one of the most familiar faces on TV for decades -- and who won an Emmy in 1970 for best actor in a comedy series for his performance in the NBC show “My World and Welcome to It” -- has died, The New York Times reports. William Windom was 88.
Windom was widely recognized for his role as the leading doctor in Cabot Cove, Maine, the setting for "Murder, She Wrote." His character was a close friend of Jessica Fletcher, the main character in the series, played by Angela Lansbury. Windom appeared in more than 50 episodes of the show.
He also appeared in other top TV shows, including "The Twilight Zone" and "Star Trek," the story notes. On "Star Trek," he played Commodore Matt Decker in the episode "Doomsday Machine," in which his character, with the help of the Enterprise crew, tries to stop a destructive robot ship.
"My World and Welcome to It," which aired during the 1969-70 TV season, was a whimsical TV show based on James Thurber's humorous cartoons and essays, the piece notes.
Windom also had a role in the early 1990s series “Parenthood,” where he played Frank Buckman, and made guest appearances on many shows, including “St. Elsewhere,” “Barney Miller,” “The Streets of San Francisco” and “Mission: Impossible.”
The great-grandson of 19th century U.S. politician and former Treasury Secretary William Windom, the actor played Glen Morley, a fictional congressman based on his noted ancestor and namesake, in the 1960s ABC series “The Farmer’s Daughter.”more »
NBC Offers Its Own Spin on What Went Down in That 'Awkward Moment' Between Al Roker and Matt Lauer on 'Today'
NBC's "Today" show wants people to know that Al Roker's quip about the show throwing someone "under the bus" wasn't meant as a reference to departed co-host Ann Curry, reports the Associated Press.
As previously reported, some interpreted Al Roker's comment during an interview with members of the U.S. women's rowing team as a dig at NBC, and possibly “Today” co-host Matt Lauer, for pushing out Curry as co-host of "Today" after a year-long ratings decline.
Lauer had asked the team about the tradition of throwing the coxswain in the water, when Roker added, "Which is different than our tradition, which is you throw one of us under the bus, but that’s another story."
"Today" pointed out that Roker and Lauer have joked about throwing someone under the bus at least 27 times during the past two years, according to the AP article.
The awkwardness in the latest incident came when both Lauer and new co-host Savannah Guthrie -- Curry’s replacement -- responded to Roker’s quip with apparent disapproval, saying, “Mr. Roker!”more »
"Tonight Show" host Jay Leno took a "tremendous" pay cut to help save the jobs of employees at his show, but NBCUniversal still cut about 20 to 25 employees at the program, reports Deadline.com.
Producers on the show reportedly were forced to accept lower salaries or lose their jobs, while Leno agreed to the cut to "save as many people’s jobs as he could," the story notes.
"Jay’s foremost concern is for the wonderful people who work for 'The Tonight Show.' He did what was necessary to ensure their well-being," Leno's spokesman said.
Reports differ on how much Leno earns and how much he will make after the cuts, but the L.A. Times reports that Leno currently makes between $25 million and $30 million for "The Tonight Show," and that one source is reporting his new salary will be closer to $20 million. Deadline notes that Leno reportedly brings in another $15 million to $20 million from personal appearances.
The staff reductions surprised some, given that "The Tonight Show" is the highest-rated late-night talk show -- typically beating CBS rival “Late Show with David Letterman” by about 20% in total viewers with an average of 3.67 million, The New York Times reports.
The cuts appear to be the latest bit of cost-cutting at NBC as "the network continues to be a sore spot on Comcast’s balance sheet, with its ratings weakness again listed by Comcast as partially responsible for NBCUniversal’s soft financial performance during the most recent quarter," notes Nellie Andreeva in a separate Deadline.com article.
NBC may spend less on development this year, after last season's "aggressive bidding," which caused the network to spend $40 million on scripts, the piece adds.
The company has been hit across the board with cuts that began in January, according to Deadline. NBC's marketing and PR departments were hit by downsizing in February, and programming executives have also been cut, the story notes.more »
Warner Bros. TV and its casting service have been sued by an actress who says her role was whittled down and then cut after she complained about sexually charged comments from another employee in connection with her work on CBS’s “The Mentalist,” according to The Hollywood Reporter's Hollywood, Esq.
The suit was filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court by actress Shanelle Howard, and names WBTV, casting agency GEP Cencast and colleague Lonnie Moore. Howard, who said she was a GEP employee for more than 10 years, said she performed as a stand-in and background actress on the show.
Howard alleges Moore targeted her with a "a daily barrage of sexually based comments and unsuitable conduct," such as, "Are you wearing thongs today or nothing at all?" and, "It's just sex; stop being so uptight and give me some," the story says. The actress also claims she endured physical harassment.
Howard claims she told her superiors in October about the alleged problems. She alleges her work then was cut to two days a week from five, while a Warner Bros. attorney told her the claim had been investigated and closed. Howard claims that by late April or early May she was no longer working on the show and wasn't offered additional work by GEP.
Warner Bros. TV declined to comment, the story says.more »
Country music legend Willie Nelson, 79, was hospitalized over the weekend while in Colorado for a concert appearance, reports NBCNews.com.
Nelson, who has appeared on TV shows ranging from "The Simpsons" to "The Dukes of Hazzard," missed a concert in Castle Pines, Colo., because of the illness, with concert organizers telling the audience that Nelson suffered from "breathing problems due to the high altitude and emphysema," the story notes.
Nelson told an interviewer in July that he doesn't think he will retire, the piece adds.
"I still enjoy coming out and playing music and as long as the people enjoy it and come see us, I see no reason to quit," he said.more »
The death of famed film director and TV producer Tony Scott is under investigation by both the Los Angeles Police Department and the L.A. County Coroner’s Office, the Los Angeles Times reports.
As reported previously, Scott, the director of “Top Gun” and “Crimson Tide” and the executive producer of TV series including “The Good Wife” and “Numb3rs,” jumped to his death Sunday from a bridge in San Pedro, Calif., in an apparent suicide.
“Los Angeles police first learned of the incident after 12:30 p.m. from a 911 caller who said that an unidentified man had leaped off the suspension bridge that connects San Pedro and Terminal Island. It's a 185-foot fall from the bridge roadway to the waters of the L.A. Harbor,” the Times reports.
Scott’s body was pulled out of the water several hours later by divers from the L.A. Port Police, according to the report, which notes that an autopsy is planned. Scott was identified Sunday evening by the coroner.
Scott, the brother of film director Ridley Scott, most recently directed the 2010 feature “Unstoppable,” about a runaway freight train. The action director, a transplanted Brit living in Beverly Hills, was perhaps best known for the 1986 hit “Top Gun.”
Family spokesman Simon Halls said Scott’s family asked "that their privacy be respected at this time," the Times notes.more »
A reality TV personality who appeared on "Real World: Hollywood" and "Celebrity Rehab 3" was found dead Friday morning, reports the Chicago Tribune. Joey Kovar was 29.
The results of an autopsy conducted on Saturday were inconclusive, the story reports. Kovar’s cause of death was unknown, pending the results of toxicological tests.
Police and paramedics in Chicago Ridge were called to an apartment building at 9 a.m. on Friday and found Kovar's body, the story notes. Foul play isn't suspected.
Kovar, a former body builder and personal trainer, had told the newspaper in 2009 that his honesty about his partying and his personality got him on "Real World: Hollywood," the story says.
"People want edgy. People want attitude. People want in-your-face, and that's what Chicagoans bring. The attitude we have is what's going to draw the ratings," he said.
His family denied a report that he may have been using drugs, noting that Kovar had been sober for about six months, the piece adds.more »
An actor known for his tour-de-force performance in the Stanley Kubrick film "A Clockwork Orange" will appear on NBC’s "Community" as the college's new history professor, reports TVLine.com.
Malcolm McDowell, who remains closely identified with his iconic portrayal of Alex in the 1971 Kubrick masterpiece, will have a multi-episode arc, playing Professor Cornwallis at Greendale Community College. The comedy will return to NBC on Friday, Oct. 19.
McDowell has racked up a string of high-profile TV appearances in recent years, including playing Stanton Infeld on TNT’s “Franklin & Bash” and Ari Gold’s foil, Terrance McQuewick, on HBO’s “Entourage.” He has been seen on “CSI: Miami,” “The Mentalist” and “Heroes,” among many other TV series, while also carving out a prolific film career (“Time After Time,” “Cat People,” “Star Trek: Generations”).more »
A lawsuit filed by the polygamous family featured on the reality show "Sister Wives" can go forward after a federal judge refused to dismiss the suit, which seeks to decriminalize polygamy, reports The Salt Lake Tribune.
U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups ruled Friday that he didn't agree with the Utah state attorneys office, which had argued the suit should be dismissed after a prosecutor agreed not to charge the family with bigamy, the story notes.
The judge wrote that a new policy by the Utah County Attorney's Office of not prosecuting adult and consenting polygamists appeared to be a tactic to sidestep the lawsuit, according to the story.
The attorney for Kody Brown and his family said the ruling means "there will be no alternative to a ruling on the merits in this case."
The attorney also said he expects a ruling on "the power of the state to criminalize private relations among consenting adults." The Browns have argued that the bigamy law in Utah should be struck down because it violates individuals' right to privacy.
A spokesman for the Utah Attorney General's Office said he was "disappointed" by the ruling.more »
A contemporary take on two of American literature's most memorable characters -- Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn -- is headed for ABC, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The project comes from "Detroit 1-8-7" creator Jason Richman and executive producer David Zabel, with ABC giving a script order to the project, the story says.
The drama, called "Finn & Sawyer," will portray the two fiction icons as young men who meet up again as 20-somethings and start an investigative firm in a steampunk version of New Orleans, the piece adds.
Richman and Zabel will write and executive produce the project, which comes from ABC Studios and Temple Hill Entertainment.more »
TNT has renewed "Perception" for a second season, signaling a hit for the former star of the NBC comedy series "Will & Grace," Eric McCormack, reports the New York Post.
McCormack's first try at a new series lasted only one season, with "Trust Me," a TNT series about an advertising firm.
In "Perception," which has averaged 7 million viewers since its premiere in July, McCormack plays a college professor who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. His character works with a former student who is now an FBI agent to help solve crimes, the story adds.more »
"Apple Inc.'s vision for a new device that can be used as a set-top box includes features designed to simplify accessing and viewing programming and erase the distinction between live and on-demand content, people briefed on Apple's plans said," The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, Aug. 17, 2012. [Please note: The WSJ is behind a firewall and may charge you to read its account.]
The articles continues, "The Cupertino, Calif.-based company proposes giving viewers the ability to start any show at any time through a digital video recorder that would store TV shows on the Internet. Viewers even could start a show minutes after it has begun. Time Warner Cable offers a limited version of this feature called Start Over.
The WSJ story adds: "Another significant feature of the Apple set-top device is likely to be its user interface, which could resemble the navigation icons on Apple's iPad. While the design may change, the interface is expected to be easier for people to use than existing cable on-screen menus, widely viewed as clunky. Apple's device also may create space on the TV screen for social media features, such as sharing TV shows through services like Twitter Inc., the people said."more »
Tony Scott, 68, Director of 'Top Gun' and 'Crimson Tide' and Executive Producer of TV's 'The Good Wife' and 'Numb3rs,' Jumps to His Death From L.A. Bridge
" 'Top Gun' director Tony Scott jumped to his death from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro on Sunday afternoon," reports the Los Angeles Times.
The story continues, "Several witnesses told police they saw Scott get out of his Toyota Prius, which was parked on the bridge, about 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 19, 2012. Then he scaled an 8- to 10-foot fence and jumped off without any hesitation, law enforcement sources said.
"A source said officials looked inside the car and determined it belonged to the famed action-movie director and producer. A note listing contact information was inside. A suicide note was later found in his office. Its contents were not revealed. The coroner's office identified Scott on Sunday evening."
Scott, 68, was the brother of director Ridley Scott. Tony Scott produced "Prometheus," his brother Ridley's latest movie, the Times says.
The story also notes that Tony's "career in television included executive producing the series 'The Good Wife' and 'Numb3rs,' both on CBS."
Entertainment Weekly writes, "In the wake of Tony Scott’s tragic passing Sunday night due to an apparent suicide, ['Numb3rs' star David] Krumholtz posted a heartfelt remembrance of his former exec producer via Twitter. 'He was wild and big and crazy and uncontrollable and he gave it his all, every moment, because he believed in his crew, his cast, and the show,' Krumholtz writes. 'It saddens me that something inside him told him to take his incredible life spirit away from us, from the film making community.' "
The Times says Tony Scott "established his career as a commercial director and continued to make television spots late into his career. Before becoming a filmmaker, Scott was a painter."
"Scott was married three times and had twin sons with his third wife, actress and model Donna Wilson," the Times article notes.
Some of Tony Scott's other notable films include ‘‘The Hunger,’’ ‘‘Beverly Hills Cop II,’’ ‘‘Days of Thunder,’’ ‘‘True Romance,’’ "Crimson Tide" and the 2009 version of "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3."more »
U.S. Soccer Star Hope Solo Says She Was 'Slapped Hard' Across Her Face in Rehearsal by Her 'Dancing with the Stars' Partner. Allegations That 'DWTS' Results Were Fixed. A Mysterious 'Secret Memo'?
Hope Solo, the goalie of the gold medal-winning U.S. women's soccer team, says that when she was on "Dancing with the Stars" her partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, once "got so angry with her that 'he slapped me across the face. Hard,'" reports The Clicker on Today.com. Solo makes the accusation in her new memoir.
The article continues, "She wrote that 'he was extremely apologetic,' and that her ears rang afterward. Hope also claims that the cameras were rolling during the incident (the footage later disappeared, according to her) and that ABC had offered to take Maks off the show and give her a new partner, but she declined."
The Fox News account of this story adds that Hope said "she stayed with him so as not to 'end Maks’ career.' She was also concerned that the tabloids would make her look like a 'prima donna,' Us Weekly reports."
Fox News also writes that Solo, 31, in her memoir, says that Maks, 32, "manhandled me in rehearsals from the start, pushing me, whacking my stomach, bending my arms roughly. I thought that was just how it went -- how dancers worked with each other,” she wrote. “But it kept getting worse. One day, Maks was trying to put me in a certain position and hit my stomach so hard with his open palm that I had a red handprint there for the rest of the day.”
Solo and Chmerkovskiy were partners on "Dancing with the Stars" in 2011.
According to the Fox News account, "Chmerkovskiy has not responded to her claims, but tweeted, 'Always hated hypocrites and liars, but when someone is both and an opportunist, I just feel bad for them. Can't win at someone's expense.' He later wrote 'life’s best lessons are the ones that you smile through.' "
Furthermore, Solo hints in her memoirs that the results on "Dancing with the Stars" are fixed, the Today.com story says:
"And remember when Maks famously slammed the judges for their seemingly unfair scoring of Hope, telling head judge Len Goodman that he should retire? According to the soccer star, Maks had told her after his live blowup that 'some secret memo' had gone around earlier saying that the pair was going to be eliminated that week, and that he was creating drama so the producers would keep them around for longer. In other words, 'DWTS' fixed its own results, according to her.
"As for that 'secret memo,' a show insider told us, 'There was no memo stating who was going home -- simple as that. There's never been anything like that. No one knows who's going home before they even perform.' The insider told us that everyone who works on the show makes guesses about who'll get eliminated based on performances and fan support, and nothing more. 'But to suggest that there was an actual memo going around, detailing who would go? That is absolutely incorrect,' the show source said."
The Today.com account of the story adds, "ABC has not yet responded to requests for comment."
The Today.com story also notes, "Kirstie Alley, who was paired with Maks in season 12 and will dance with him again this fall for the 'All-Stars' edition, took to Twitter to defend the show. 'Just wanted to say..DWTS is THE most REAL show on TV..what u see is what u get.. It's tough and sparkly and 100% The REAL DEAL!!' she tweeted.
"As for the accusations against her pal and dance partner? 'I shall bite thine tongue, lest I get into a girl fight that I would surely lose without a hammer in my hand...;)... ouch! bloody tongue,' Kirstie tweeted."
Solo and Maks on "Dancing with the Stars"more »
Actor Robert Downey Jr. suffered an injury on the set during production of the latest “Iron Man” film, bringing production to a halt, Reuters reports.
Disney-owned Marvel Studios said Downey injured an ankle.
Reuters reports: “Downey, 47, who plays billionaire playboy-turned-superhero Tony Stark in the ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Avengers’ movies, hurt his ankle while performing a stunt during filming of ‘Iron Man 3’ in Wilmington, North Carolina, Marvel Studios said in a statement.”
The statement added: "There will be a short delay in the production schedule while he recuperates.”
Reuters notes: “The actor became an unexpected action hero in 2008 when the first ‘Iron Man’ film made $585 million at the worldwide box office, followed by ‘Iron Man 2’ two years later, which took $623 million globally.”
"Iron Man 3," which will also feature Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, John Favreau and Ben Kingsley, is due for release in 2013.more »
The new Matthew Perry sitcom "Go On" and the Justin Kirk comedy "Animal Practice," which were previewed by NBC during its Summer Olympics coverage, will be re-aired Tuesday, Aug. 21, at 10 p.m. ET, reports The Washington Post. They'll be shown following "America's Got Talent," and unlike the preview, this time there will be commercials.
"Go On," which stars "Friends" favorite Perry as a sports talk radio host who's forced into taking group therapy after his wife's death, was watched by 16 million viewers on a Wednesday night during the XXX Olympic Games coverage.
"Animal Practice" reached 13 million after the Sunday night closing ceremonies. In the workplace comedy, Kirk -- best known from "Weeds" -- plays a New York veterinarian who doesn't care for people, just their pets.more »
Awkward Moment on NBC's 'Today' as Al Roker Expresses How Really Pissed He Is About Co-Host Ann Curry Being Fired (Here's the Video)
An unexpected quip by “Today” weatherman Al Roker during the program earlier this week revealed just how upset he is at how NBC treated Ann Curry, who was pushed out from her job as co-host after a yearlong ratings decline, reports the New York Post.
Roker, co-hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie -- Curry’s replacement -- and Tamron Hall were conducting an interview with members of the U.S. women's rowing team when Lauer asked the team's coxswain about a tradition in which her teammates throw her in the water after a victory, the story says.
Roker's co-hosts were startled when the weatherman jumped in with the comment, “Which is different than our tradition, which is you throw one of us under the bus, but that’s another story,”
Lauer then chided him, saying, "Mr. Roker!," with Guthrie, who replaced Curry in June, saying the identical thing, the story notes.
Some observers feel the quip may have been aimed at Lauer, who has been accused by some of being behind Curry’s ouster.
Here’s the video:more »
A California court of appeal has issued its ruling in Nicollette Sheridan's lawsuit over "Desperate Housewives," siding mostly with ABC and Touchstone Television, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Hollywood, Esq.
The court decided the actress wasn't unlawfully terminated when her character was killed off by the series, the story reports. However, Sheridan can refile her lawsuit to allege a violation of the state's Labor Code, according to the story.
The ruling comes after a jury failed to reach a verdict in the case earlier this year, as reported previously. Sheridan claims she was fired from "Housewives" in retaliation for complaining that show creator Marc Cherry had struck her.
Sheridan initially sued for $20 million.
ABC/Touchstone's lead attorney called the latest ruling a victory for the studio, the story notes. Sheridan's attorney said in a statement, "We will prosecute Touchstone to the full extent of the law under Labor Code Section 6310."more »
PBS Chief Fires Back at Romney Plan to Eliminate Funding, Says Public Broadcasting Represents 'One One-Hundredth of One Percent' of U.S. Budget
PBS Chief Executive Paula Kerger fired back at Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney's plan to cut funding for the broadcaster, calling it "extremely disappointing" and potentially "devastating" to the American public, The Washington Post reports.
As previously reported, Romney told Fortune magazine in an interview earlier this month, "So first there are programs I would eliminate … Some of these things, like those endowment efforts and PBS, I very much appreciate and like what they do in many cases, but I just think they have to stand on their own rather than receiving money borrowed from other countries, as our government does on their behalf."
Kerger told The Post that Romney's targeting of PBS is disappointing given the “value the American people place on public broadcasting and the outstanding return on investment the system delivers.”
She pointed to a 2011 national survey by Hart Research and American Viewpoint, bipartisan research firms, that found 69% of voters oppose proposals to eliminate government spending on public broadcasting.
"We understand that these are challenging times,” Kerger said. “However, public broadcasting has already sustained a 13 percent cut in its federal funds over the past two years. More severe cuts would be crippling.”
"Federal investment in public broadcasting equals about one one-hundredth of one percent of the federal budget," Kerger added. “Elimination of funding would have almost no impact on the nation’s debt. Yet the loss to the American public would be devastating.”more »
An ABC series has changed showrunners, with the network and the studio reportedly dissatisfied with the original showrunner’s inexperience.
Deadline.com reports that Bobby Bowman has stepped down as executive producer and showrunner of the midseason comedy series "The Family Tools." Bowman, who adapted the show from the British comedy "White Van Man," will be replaced by Joshua Sternin and Jeffrey Ventimilia of "That '70s Show," the story notes.
ABC and ABC Studios wanted showrunners with experience, as the project marked Bowman's first series as a creator or showrunner, the story notes.more »
A judge in Moscow has sentenced three members of an all-girl Russian punk band to two years in prison each on charges of hooliganism, USA Today reports. The case against the band Pussy Riot has drawn international criticism and focused attention on what many observers see as suppression of artistic freedom by Russia.
In Moscow, hundreds of supporters of the band gathered amid heavy police presence outside the courthouse, chanting “Russia without Putin!,” the report notes. A number of leaders of the protest were reportedly detained.
The band members, described as feminist rockers, have been labeled prisoners of conscience by global rights groups, the story reports.
The report notes: “The three were arrested in March after a guerrilla performance in Moscow's main cathedral, high-kicking and dancing while singing a "punk prayer" pleading [with] the Virgin Mary to save Russia from Vladimir Putin, who was elected to a third new term as Russia's president two weeks later.
“Judge Marina Syrova said in her verdict that the three band members ‘committed hooliganism driven by religious hatred’ and offended religious believers. She rejected the women's arguments that they were protesting the Orthodox Church's support for Putin and didn't want to hurt the feelings of believers.”
The band members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, “stood in handcuffs in a glass cage in the courtroom for three hours as the judge read the verdict,” the story reports. “They smiled sadly at the testimony of prosecution witnesses accusing them of sacrilege and ‘devilish dances’ in church.”
Prosecutors had asked for a three-year sentence, although the charges carried a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.
The report adds: “Putin himself had said the band members shouldn't be judged too harshly, drawing expectations that the band members could be sentenced to the time they already have spent in custody and freed in courtroom. Skeptics had warned, however, that a mild sentence would look as if Putin was bowing to public pressure -- something he has clearly resented throughout his 12-year rule.”
Media figures including Paul McCartney, Madonna and Bjork have voiced support for the band members and urged that they be freed.
Among those rounded up by police outside the courtroom was Garry Kasparov, the former world chess champion, an activist in the opposition movement.
“Amnesty International strongly condemned the court's ruling, calling it a ‘bitter blow’ for freedom of expression in Russia,” the report notes.more »
"The Hills" star Lauren Conrad pulled an episode of her Web-based show "Crafty Creations" after an angry backlash from book lovers, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed.
The video has Conrad showing viewers how to create a "unique storage space" out of books, but some book lovers were upset because the craft involves creating a storage box by ripping off the spines of nine books to glue to a box, the piece notes.
The website Buzzfeed called it "the worst craft idea ever," while book blog GalleyCat picked up the story, creating a viral sensation on the Web.
The "dislikes" on YouTube outpaced "likes" by 8-to-1, and viewer comments were critical, the story adds. One viewer wrote, "Holy sh-t I feel like I'm watching some sort of terrible snuff film."
Four hours after Buzzfeed posted a link to the video, Conrad removed it, the piece notes.more »
Life Imitates Art, as Real-Life Walter White -- Not the 'Breaking Bad' Character -- Is Wanted on Meth Charges
In an example of life imitating art, a meth cook named Walter White is wanted by authorities, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Tuscaloosa, Ala., resident Walter Eddy White shares a name with "Breaking Bad’s” main character, Walter White. They also allegedly share a common interest: meth. The real White is 55, close in age to "Breaking Bad’s” White, who is 51 and played by Bryan Cranston.
The real-life White has been on parole since 2010 after being arrested in 2008 on charges related to meth manufacturing, the story notes.
“White was busted this January on the same charges, and after he didn’t show up for his court date in July, catapulted to the top the sheriff’s most wanted list,” the story reports.
The report notes that the Drug Enforcement Agency says the real-life White’s home state of Alabama is home to a much greater level of methamphetamine activity than is seen in New Mexico, where the AMC show is set.more »
With the Olympics over, ABC's "Good Morning America" has regained its ratings edge on NBC's "Today," reports the New York Post.
"GMA" beat "Today" for two of the first three days this week. "Today" did top "GMA" on Monday, the morning after NBC aired closing ceremonies of the London Games.
On Tuesday, "GMA" beat "Today" by 186,000 total viewers, and on Wednesday the ABC morning program surpassed "Today" by 517,000 viewers, the story says.
"Today" beat "GMA" during the final week of the Olympic Games by 1.5 million viewers.more »
The creator of "The New Adventures of Old Christine" has returned to CBS with a put pilot commitment for a multicamera comedy project, reports Deadline.com.
In a departure for show creator Kari Lizer, the main character is male -- a man who meets his dream woman, only to find out she's his cousin's fiancee, the story notes.
Warner Bros. TV is producing with Lizer's Logo Here banner, the piece adds.
"Old Christine," which starred Julia Louis-Dreyfus, ran for five seasons on CBS before being canceled in 2010. Louis-Dreyfus won an Emmy for her performance in the series in 2006.
The Deadline report notes: “For the two development cycles after the May 2010 cancellation of ‘Old Christine,’ which came down to the wire and didn’t allow Lizer to give the five-year comedy a proper ending, she opted to take her projects elsewhere. She pitched CBS, which had been courting her for while, earlier this week. In a great meeting, CBS execs bought the project in the room, bringing Lizer back to the network where she has had her biggest success to date.”more »
Television stations owned by Tribune have been dropped by cable operator Cablevision, after the sides were unable to agree to a new distribution agreement, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Cablevision suspended Tribune's stations at midnight Thursday, with the cable company saying in a statement that "Tribune and their hedge fund owners are demanding tens of millions in new fees" for stations such as WPIX-TV in New York.
Cablevision serves about 3 million customers, mostly in the New York City area. Other Tribune stations that got booted include WPHL-TV in Philadelphia and WCCT-TV in Connecticut.more »
Journalist and commentator Fareed Zakaria was reinstated at CNN and Time magazine, with a Time spokeswoman saying his copying a New Yorker article for a recent column in the magazine was an "isolated incident," The New York Times' Media Decoder reports.
As previously reported, Zakaria, 48, was suspended last Friday after he apologized for plagiarizing a New Yorker article about gun control.
"We have completed a thorough review of each of Fareed Zakaria’s columns for Time, and we are entirely satisfied that the language in question in his recent column was an unintentional error and an isolated incident for which he has apologized,” the Time spokeswoman said. Zakaria will return to Time magazine with a column in its Sept. 7 issue.
Zakaria will return to CNN Aug. 26.
Both CNN and Time are owned by Time Warner.more »
John Noble, who stars as physicist Walter Bishop on "Fringe," has returned to the show after treatment for a sleep disorder, reports EW.com's Inside TV.
While shooting the first episode of the Fox drama's fifth season, the Australian actor realized he needed treatment, the story says.
"I couldn’t even think, mate,” Noble said. “I was working and going: ‘This is really hard.’”
Noble took 10 days for treatment in Los Angeles, and is now back in Vancouver and shooting the second episode of the next season, which will be the show's final season. The drama will return Sept. 28, as previously scheduled.
“Walter probably would have just taken some LSD,” Noble added. “That really wasn’t an option for me.”more »
HBO is in business with the man behind a string of mockumentaries including “Best in Show,” “A Mighty Wind” and “Waiting for Guffman,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The network gave a straight-to-series order to Christopher Guest’s documentary-style “Family Tree,” with Chris O’Dowd of “Bridesmaids" set to star.
THR reports: “The project centers on 30-year-old Tom Chadwick (O'Dowd) who, after losing his job and his girlfriend, begins exploring his family heritage after inheriting a mysterious box from a great aunt he never met. Unsure of his identity, he uncovers a world of unusual stories and characters -- as well as a growing sense of who he and his real family are.”
The project comes from Guest and his partner Jim Piddock, with both men to exec produce and also expected to appear in the show. Casting is set to begin right away, with Guest to direct the show. The series reportedly has the same distinctive tone that characterizes Guest’s feature mockumentaries.
The report adds: “The network has ordered eight episodes of the single-camera half-hour effort, which will air simultaneously on the BBC 2 in the U.K. It is produced by NBC Universal International TV's Lucky Giant Productions' Guest, Piddock and Karen Murphy.”more »
AMC Expands Reality Lineup, Orders Series on Taxidermy and Another on Venice Beach, Also Announces Renewal
AMC unveiled a number of programming moves that add up to an expanded lineup of unscripted programming, Deadline.com reports.
The network is picking up two new series -- an untitled project focusing on taxidermy and a show with the working title “Venice Beach Freakshow.”
AMC also renewed “The Pitch,” which focuses on advertising agencies, for a second season. Unscripted shows “Comic Book Men” (from director Kevin Smith) and “Talking Dead” have also been given second seasons.
The channel also recently rolled out “Small Town Security.”more »
With the news that Kristin Chenoweth won’t be returning to "The Good Wife" following her injury in an accident on the set, the CBS drama has hired actress Miriam Shor in a role similar to the one Chenoweth played, reports TVLine.com.
Shor, seen recently on ABC's "GCB” -- which also starred Chenoweth -- will appear in a recurring role on "The Good Wife" as a reporter. Chenoweth also played a reporter on the show.
The show is not saying that Shor is a replacement for Chenoweth. A source says only that Shor’s character is a news hound with a national news background.
The season four premiere of "The Good Wife" is set for Sunday, Sept. 30, at 9 p.m. ET.more »
Back to Reality: NBC in the Same Summer Ratings Doldrums as Everyone Else After Flying High With Olympics
NBC has come back to Earth in the prime-time ratings after two weeks of supercharged Olympics numbers. On Wednesday night the Peacock Network did have the highest-rated show of the night in the key 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen overnights, but the network settled for second place for prime time overall.
TVbytheNumbers.com reports that “America’s Got Talent” earned the night’s best 18-49 number -- a 2.2 average rating, even with the previous Wednesday original. That was just good enough to top CBS’s “Big Brother,” which came in with a 2.1, up two-tenths of a ratings point from last week.
Everything else on CBS and NBC was repeat programming, with ABC airing an all-repeat lineup. That opened the door for Fox to win the night outright with its two-hour “So You Think You Can Dance,” which delivered a 1.7 average in viewers 18-49.
Fox’s overall 1.7 average in 18-49 for prime time was followed by NBC’s 1.6 average, Univision’s 1.5, CBS’s 1.4 and ABC’s 1.2. In total viewers, NBC finished on top for the night with 6.2 million, followed by CBS (5.5 million), Fox (4.7 million), ABC (3.6 million) and Univision (3.4 million).more »
The cable channel Logo has announced plans for a series of specials in connection with the presidential election, with popular comedian Wanda Sykes to host.
The two one-hour “NewNowNext Vote with Wanda Sykes” election specials are set to premiere on Sept. 10 -- following the Democratic National Convention -- and on Election Day Eve, Nov. 5.
Logo said in a statement: “Taped in front of a live studio audience in Times Square in New York City, the specials will feature a rapid-fire, roundtable format with notable panelists from both sides of the political aisle.”
Click here to see the full press release from Logo.more »
Univision Communications has tapped a new president of Advertising Sales and Marketing. The company announced that the position will be filled by Keith Turner, who replaces David Lawenda.
Turner was recently senior vice president of Media Sales and Sponsorship for the National Football League. He will be based in New York and will report to Randy Falco, president and chief executive officer of Univision Communications Inc.
In a statement, Falco said: “Keith has a sterling reputation in the media industry for being an effective and creative sales and marketing executive, and having spent many years working closely with him at NBC, I can personally attest to his unique talent. He will be making a move from one incredibly strong consumer brand -- the NFL -- to an even stronger one -- Univision, and we are excited for him to bring his skills and relationships to our organization. We are confident that Keith has what it takes to build on our relationships with our current clients as well as introduce new clients to the unrivaled power of partnering with the Univision brand.”
Said Turner: “I am honored to join such a terrific team at Univision and have always respected the company’s valuable brand and tremendous influence among its ever-growing audience. As the media landscape continues its rapid transformation, and the U.S. Hispanic community makes its indelible mark on our country and our culture, Univision’s assets across traditional and digital platforms provide unparalleled means for advertisers to interact with this desirable consumer group. I look forward to working to capitalize on the exciting opportunities that lie ahead for Univision.”
Turner’s career in the media industry spans more than 30 years. At the NFL, “he spearheaded the return of Anheuser-Busch as an NFL partner after an eight-year hiatus,” the statement notes. “He also struck new partnerships with Marriott, Bose, USAA and XBOX.”
Turner was with NBC for more than 20 years before joining the NFL, holding positions including president of Sales and Marketing, senior vice president of Olympic and Sports Sales, vice president of Olympic and Sports Sales, and vice president of Sport Sales. Previously, he was an account executive for CBS from 1982 to 1987.more »
One of the stars of CBS’s "The Big Bang Theory" suffered what was described as serious injuries in a traffic collision Wednesday, TMZ.com reports.
Deadline.com noted that production on the show was not expected to be impacted by the injuries to Mayim Bialik, who reportedly planned to return to work today.
The incident took place around noon in Hollywood, where the actress, traveling alone in a white Volvo, was struck at an intersection by a vehicle filled with Chilean tourists, reports TMZ.
Bialik injured her left hand and there were initial concerns that she might lose a finger, although the actress later tweeted she would keep all her fingers, the TMZ story adds.
Sources reported to TMZ that the scene included “tons and tons of blood everywhere” and that Bialik’s “finger was almost completely severed ... it was just hanging there.”
Emergency personnel responded to the scene and Bialik was treated at a nearby hospital, TMZ reported.
Bialik, currently up for an Emmy for her role on “Big Bang Theory,” is the former star of “Blossom.”more »
A long-running show said to have "once defined A&E" has been canceled, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed.
The show is "Gene Simmons Family Jewels," which is ending its run after seven seasons. The reality series stars Kiss bassist Simmons and his partner Shannon Tweed and their two children.
The show, which debuted in 2006, helped A&E by drawing strong ratings at a time when the network was struggling to attract viewers, the story notes.
"With Kiss on tour and with my other business commitments, we have decided to draw the final curtain on our show. It has been a wonderful, life-altering experience for our family, and after seven successful seasons, we feel it’s time to move on," Simmons' family said in a statement.
A&E is aiming to refresh its schedule with scripted shows and unscripted programs, and recently canceled another reality staple, "Dog the Bounty Hunter."
A&E ended July tied as the fourth most-watched entertainment cable network, boosted by original programs such as "Storage Wars" and "The Glades."more »
Romney Promises to Eliminate Subsidies for PBS, National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities
Deadline.com picked this up from a new interview presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney gave to Fortune magazine's Andy Serwer and David Whitford. The interview was conducted Monday, Aug, 6, 2012, and published yesterday, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012.
FORTUNE: You've promised to cap government spending at 20% of GDP. Specifically where will you cut?
MITT ROMNEY: There are three major areas I have focused on for reduction in spending. These are in many cases reductions which become larger and larger over time. So first there are programs I would eliminate. Obamacare being one of them but also various subsidy programs -- the Amtrak subsidy, the PBS subsidy, the subsidy for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities. Some of these things, like those endowment efforts and PBS, I very much appreciate and like what they do in many cases, but I just think they have to stand on their own rather than receiving money borrowed from other countries, as our government does on their behalf.more »
"Arrested Development' has tapped one of the stars of the AMC drama "Mad Men" for the cult television show's fourth season, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed. John Slattery will appear in several episodes of “Arrested,” the story reports.
Details about Slattery’s character and the number of episodes in which he will appear are not known.
The next season of the show is slated to air on Netflix in 2013, with 10 episodes planned. The show originally aired from 2003-2006 on Fox.
Ron Howard, who narrates and executive produces “Arrested Development,” talked in a recent interview with MTV news about changes that are in store for the series, including the introduction of new characters. Referring to show creator Mitch Hurwitz, Howard said: “Mitch isn't trying to re-create something. It's been away for a while, and part of the fun that Mitch has been mining and exploiting is, what's new to discover about these people? What's delightfully unchanged? He and the writing staff and the actors have a fantastic sense of that."more »
Huh? Five-Time Emmy Winner and 17-Time Nominee Kelsey Grammer Says His Republican Politics May Have Cost Him an Emmy Nod This Year -- Watch the Video
By Chuck Ross
TV stalwart Kelsey Grammer -- one of the most heavily decorated actors in Emmys history with five trophies and 17 nominations, for “Cheers,” “Frasier” and other TV projects -- says he may have been overlooked this year for his work on the Starz series “Boss” because he’s a Republican, E! News reports.
This may be news to this year's Emmy drama acting nominees Steve Buscemi of "Boardwalk Empire," Bryan Cranston of "Breaking Bad," Michael C. Hall of "Dexter," Hugh Bonneville of "Downton Abbey," Damian Lewis of "Homeland" and Jon Hamm of "Mad Men."
Here at TVWeek we wonder who Grammer would drop from this list to have himself included instead. We doubt that most Academy members know the political affiiliations of any of these nominees, or that most of them care that Grammer is a Republican -- if they even knew or remembered that.
Grammer talked about being an “out-of-the-closet Republican in Hollywood” last night on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Here’s the video -- with the political talk coming after the 3-minute mark:more »
The president and chief operating officer of Fox Networks will step down from his position, Fox owner News Corp. said in a statement. Bloomberg reports that David Haslingden will leave the job at the end of this year and will return to his homeland of Australia.
Haslingden has held the role since January 2011 and said he's leaving to spend more time with his family. His departure marks the latest management change since News Corp. said in June that it will split its entertainment businesses from its publishing companies.
"My family is by far my greatest love, and being away from them for almost two years is long enough,” Haslingden said in a statement. “I’m delighted to be on my way home.”
Haslingden has overseen business development, finance, legal ad sales and corporate functions, and has helped expand News Corp.'s international television business to more than 350 channels in 55 countries, the piece adds.more »
Conflicting reports are coming out about the future of actress Kristen Stewart in the “Snow White and the Huntsman” franchise after Stewart became embroiled in a widely publicized sex scandal involving the married director of the first film in the series.
The Hollywood Reporter says Universal has decided to shelve a sequel starring Stewart, replacing it with a planned solo Huntsman movie focused on the character played by Chris Hemsworth -- with Stewart not a part of the project.
Universal denied the report, according to ABCNews.com.
"We are extremely proud of ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ and we’re currently exploring all options to continue the franchise. Any reports that Kristen Stewart has been dropped are false,” a representative for the studio said in a statement.
THR noted that it is unclear whether “Snow White” director Rupert Sanders, 41, will return for the next “Huntsman” project.
As previously reported, the cheating scandal caused Stewart's boyfriend of three years, actor Robert Pattinson, to move out of the home they shared in Los Angeles. Stewart, 22, stars with Pattinson in the "Twilight" film franchise.
THR reports: "It is highly unusual for Hollywood studios to drop stars of franchises between the first and second installments. The original plan, according to sources, was to make two films featuring the Snow White character and a third film spinning off the Huntsman, similar to how Fox's 'X-Men' series has spun off Wolverine.”
The decision to drop Stewart might be related to money, as declining to pick her up could take millions off the budget of a second film in the franchise given Stewart's hefty salary due to the popularity of the "Twilight" films, the piece adds.more »
Another group is joining in the criticism of NBC's military-inspired "Stars Earn Stripes" reality competition show. The Los Angeles Times' Show Tracker reports that veterans have joined the cause.
As previously reported, nine Nobel Peace Prize laureates joined forces to condemn the program, with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and American anti-landmine campaigner Jody Williams among those calling for NBC to cancel the show. The laureates wrote in a letter that the show glorifies war and armed violence.
Veterans including U.S. Army veteran Jennifer Hunt, Afghanistan veteran Matt Zeller and retired U.S. Army infantry soldier Joshua Flashman criticized NBC for the program, The Huffington Post reports.
"I hope it's canceled, and I hope it's replaced with a nightly review of the casualties lost that day," Zeller said, according to The Huffington Post.more »
Lucy Lawless, known for her roles in "Xena: Warrior Princess" and "Spartacus," will guest star as a love interest for Ron Swanson, played by Nick Offerman, on NBC’s “Parks & Recreation,” EW.com's Inside TV reports.
Lawless will appear in at least two episodes, playing a single mother who brings a problem to the Parks Department, the story notes. Her first episode will air Oct. 4.
Earlier this summer, Offerman said he wanted his character to see positive development on the relationship front. "One thing Ron’s never succeeded at is maintaining a happy romantic relationship for any length of time. Maybe we’ll get to explore that a little bit," Offerman said.more »
Tony Shalhoub "has joined the cast of CBS’s now-untitled comedy pilot (formerly 'Ex-Men') from 'How I Met Your Mother' executive producer Rob Greenberg, reports TVLine in an exclusive item by our friend Michael Ausiello and Megan Masters.
Says the report, "The half-hour project centers on a charming young man (played by 'Paranormal Activity 3‘s' Chris Smith) who, after being left at the altar by his fiancee, moves into a short-term housing complex and makes unlikely friends with a group of divorced men."
Shalhoub will play one of the divorced men.
Tony Shalhoubmore »
ABC has bought a medical drama from former "Supernatural" co-showrunner Sera Gamble and Greg Berlanti, the creator of "Everwood" and "No Ordinary Family," reports Deadline.com.
The deal marks the first sale this development season for Berlanti Productions, as well as Berlanti's first project for ABC since he left ABC Studios for Warner Bros. in June 2011, the piece notes.
The untitled drama, to be written and executive produced by Gamble and executive produced by Berlanti, tracks a neurosurgeon who suffers a traumatic brain injury. ABC has given the drama a script commitment with penalty.more »
Apple is negotiating with some top U.S. cable operators about building a set-top box for live television, reports The Wall Street Journal. (Please note that The WSJ is a subscription site and not all readers may be able to access the story.)
Cable operators might be wary of allowing Apple to gain traction in the TV business, with no apparent deals yet between the cable industry and Apple, the story notes.
Another obstacle may be the need for Apple to convince consumers to buy a set-top box that could cost hundreds, instead of renting one from cable operators for $10 to $15 per month, according to the article.
"The talks illustrate that Apple is seeking a less radical path to expand in television than it has contemplated in the past, namely teaming up with existing service providers rather than licensing content to compete with them directly," the report points out.
The article notes: "By building a set-top box that could be used with cable operators, Apple would be following a similar playbook that it used to transform the mobile-phone industry: convincing existing service providers to marry their service with Apple's hardware and software."
An Apple representative declined to comment on what he called rumors and speculation, the piece adds.more »
The past few months have been a period of attrition for NBC’s sketch staple “Saturday Night Live,” and now word has surfaced that another cast member, Abby Elliott, is leaving the show, The New York Times reports.
The news follows the exits of regulars Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg.
The Times reports: “Ms. Elliott, who joined ‘SNL’ as a featured performer during its 2008-9 season, told the Web site Splitsider.com that she would not be returning to that long-running late-night comedy series. NBC declined to comment on Wednesday but a person with direct knowledge of plans at the show confirmed the report.”
Another cast member, Jason Sudeikis, has also hinted that he might be on the way out, as previously reported. His status remains unknown, The Times points out.
The report adds: “In her four seasons at ‘Saturday Night Live,’ Ms. Elliott, a daughter of the comedian and onetime ‘SNL’ cast member Chris Elliott (and granddaughter of Bob Elliott, of the Bob and Ray comedy team), provided impersonations of famous figures like Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep, Zooey Deschanel and Rachel Maddow.”
The show, set to debut its 38th season on Sept. 15, continues to hold auditions for new cast members. Two prime-time “Weekend Update” specials are in the works, to air Sept. 20 and Sept. 27.more »
Phrases including “feeding frenzy” and “bidding war” are being thrown around after all four major broadcast network bosses have been pitched a series that would mark the return to prime-time comedy for Michael J. Fox, Josef Adalian writes in New York Magazine’s Vulture column.
“Vulture hears the iconic star of ‘Family Ties’ and the ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy has teamed with director Will Gluck (‘Easy A’) and writer Sam Laybourne (‘Cougar Town,’ ‘Arrested Development’) on a single-camera comedy project that's being developed by Sony Pictures Television for a 2013 launch.”
The show’s premise is reportedly based on Fox’s life.
Citing two industry sources, Adalian reports: “Our spies say the project will, at the very least, get an automatic pilot production commitment; there's even industry buzz about one network offering to go straight to series, something that hardly ever happens in broadcast TV anymore.”
Which network has the inside track? No telling, according to the report.
“There are compelling reasons for all four [networks],” the piece reports. “Fox has his most recent history with CBS, having appeared in (and gotten himself Emmy-nominated for) multiple episodes of ‘The Good Wife.’ But he's also done successful shows for NBC (‘Family Ties’) and ABC (‘Spin City’). As for Rupert Murdoch's broadcaster, well, c'mon: Fox on Fox practically writes itself.”more »
Lindsay Lohan and Charlie Sheen to Become 'the World's Hottest New Couple' -- a Pairing That Is Doomed From the Start
At the risk of spoiling a scene in an upcoming movie -- which probably won’t ruin it because the scene is expected to take place during the opening sequence -- Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan will reportedly become what the studio producing “Scary Movie 5” calls “the world’s hottest new couple,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
But the couple’s happy life together is destined to be short-lived, with one or both of the stars suffering a horrible fate early in the movie.
The cameo is in keeping with a “Scary Movie” tradition that has sent celebrities including Pamela Anderson, Shaquille O’Neal and Dr. Phil to over-the-top deaths, the report notes.
The movie, from Dimension Films, will start shooting in September with a target release date of April 19, 2013. Ashley Tisdale and Erica Ash star, with Malcolm Lee directing and David Zucker co-writing and producing. Terry Crews has also joined the cast.
THR notes: “Sheen is coming off a role as president of the United States in Robert Rodriguez' ‘Machete’ sequel, while Lohan next stars as Elizabeth Taylor in the Lifetime telefilm ‘Liz & Dick’ and is shooting the Los Angeles-based independent film ‘The Canyons,’ written by Bret Easton Ellis.more »
GSN Pulls Out All the Stops for New Version of 'The Pyramid' -- Cast Members From 'CSI,' 'Sopranos,' 'Glee,' 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Community' and Many Other Shows on Tap for First Season
GSN's new version of "The Pyramid" will premiere as a daily program on Monday, Sept. 3, at 6 p.m. ET, and the network has lined up a fleet of celebrities to appear during the first season, the Futon Critic reports. Here’s the list of guests released by the network:
Yvette Nicole Brown (“Community”)
Kate Flannery (“The Office”)
Samantha Harris (host, “Stars Earn Stripes” and “Dancing with the Stars”)
Dot Marie Jones (“Glee”)
Wallace Langham (“CSI”)
Joshua Malina (“Scandal”)
Lamorne Morris (“New Girl”)
Oscar Nunez (“The Office”)
Jim O'Heir (“Parks and Recreation”)
Melissa Peterman (“Baby Daddy”)
Megyn Price (“Rules of Engagement”)
Danny Pudi (“Community”)
Jai Rodriguez (“Malibu Country” and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”)
Aida Turturro (“The Sopranos”)
Nick Turturro (“Blue Bloods”)
Chandra Wilson (“Grey's Anatomy”)
Yvette Nicole Brown and Danny Pudi of “Community” will be featured during the premiere week.
Mike Richards of "Beauty and the Geek" will host the show.more »
20th Century Fox Television has signed a development deal with Cuban-born musician and music producer Emilio Estefan, who is working on his first drama series for network television, reports Deadline.com.
Estefan is meeting with writers for the Latino-themed series, which he will executive produce. The project will be pitched to networks in the fall.
"Reaching out to all audiences, including the Latino audience, is a critical priority for this studio as we look for that next big international hit,” 20th TV chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman said, according to the story.
Estefan created the Miami Sound Machine and worked with musicians including Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Ricky Martin and his wife, Gloria Estefan. He's the winner of 19 Grammy Awards and has produced the Latin Grammys on CBS, among other TV award productions, according to the report.more »
Los Angeles appears to be losing its draw for television dramas, with only two out of the 23 new fall and midseason broadcast dramas slated to be shot in L.A., reports the Los Angeles Times' Richard Verrier.
The reason? Bottom-line-minded producers are shifting to "tax-friendly production havens in New York, North Carolina, Georgia and other states," Verrier writes.
Television dramas such as "Desperate Housewives" have helped anchor the L.A. entertainment economy as moviemaking has undergone a decade-long decline, the story notes.
The only two series of the 23 new dramas that will be shot in Los Angeles are "Vegas," on CBS, and "Mistresses," a midseason entry due on ABC.
One 22-episode-a-year network series has a budget of $60 million and generates 840 direct and indirect jobs, according to the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.," the article points out.
"The loss of hourlong dramas is very significant," said Kevin Klowden, director of the California Center at the Milken Institute. "This is the heart of television production. If this continues, you're going to see a direct impact on the employment base of Los Angeles."
Los Angeles still remains home to most half-hour comedies and reality shows. But dramas have bigger budgets and employ larger crews, which in return has a larger impact on the Los Angeles economy, the article notes.more »
NBC Sports Boss: Should NBC Have Used MORE Tape Delay on Olympics? Exec Thinks It May Have Been a Mistake to Go Live With One High-Profile Event in Particular
NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus said he has been contemplating whether NBC should have tape-delayed more Olympic events, citing the men's tennis final between Andy Murray and Roger Federer, which was aired live.
“It’s undeniable we hurt our ratings by doing that,” Lazarus tells Bloomberg. “We have to balance what we’re trying to do for viewers across the country and our business model.”
As discussed in a TVWeek Open Mic blogger entry, some viewers vented their anger at the network’s use of tape delay, using the Twitter hashtag #NBCfail to express their feelings about the practice.
Despite the outcry over the tape delay, the London Olympics surpassed the 2008 Beijing Games to become the most-watched television event ever.
Because more people tuned in than expected, ad sales beat internal projections by as much as 20% and NBC may turn a profit on the Olympics, Lazarus said, according to the story. An NBC spokesman said the network won't know whether the Games were profitable for several weeks, the piece adds.more »
A popular singer who performed at the Olympics closing ceremony lashed out at critics who said his performance was too self-promotional, reports TheWrap.com.
Writing to his Twitter followers about the critics, George Michael wrote, "Please join me in telling them to fuck off ! It was my one chance on tv to thank you all for your loyalty and prayers, and I took it."
The British press has condemned Michael for using the ceremony as a way to promote his new single "White Light," rather than to perform a classic hit.more »
"Parks and Recreation" star Rashida Jones apologized for comments she made about actor John Travolta, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The apology was in response to a recent interview in which Jones urged the actor to come out.
Jones wrote on Twitter: "I sincerely apologize. Nobody's personal life is my business," according to the report.
Jones had made the comments about Travolta in an interview with the website Spinning Platters.
"It's time. ... A movie star. Like John Travolta? Come out!" she said, according to the Spinning Platters story. "Come on. How many masseurs have to come forward? Let’s do this.”
Travolta has been named in a number of lawsuits related to alleged gay encounters with masseurs, as previously reported. Two masseurs dropped their suits against the actor in May.more »
Robert Pattinson deflected questions about his relationship with Kristen Stewart during his interview this morning with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” according to The Hollywood Reporter -- even after Stephanopoulos opened with a comment about getting the “elephant in the room” out of the way.
The six-minute interview focused instead on Pattinson’s new movie “Cosmopolis,” with diversions including chatter about breakfast cereal and Pattinson's co-star Paul Giamatti. Pattinson did comment on the challenges of living in the celebrity fishbowl.
Here’s the interview:more »
NBC is gender-switching a key role in its new "Hannibal" series, casting a woman in a role that was previously portrayed by men, reports TVLine.com.
Lara Jean Chorostecki of "Camelot" has been cast as Freddie Lounds, who in previous Hannibal Lecter-related projects was portrayed by male actors, including Philip Seymour Hoffman in 2002's "Red Dragon."
Lounds, a tabloid reporter, will be more sophisticated in the new TV series than was previously portrayed, and will serve as a foil for Lecter and other characters, the story notes.
Stephen Lang played the character in 1996's "Manhunter."more »
A former star of one of NBC’s “Law & Order” series will resurface in another installment of the crime procedural franchise, TVLine.com reports.
Former "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" star Kathryn Erbe will appear in "Law & Order: SVU" this fall, the story reports.
Erbe will play the same character she portrayed on "Criminal Intent," Det. Alexandra Eames, the story notes. Now working for a joint city and federal Homeland Security task force, Eames encounters the SVU detectives when their sex ring investigation reveals a terrorist link, the story notes.
She's currently booked for one "SVU" episode, with the airdate to be determined. Additional appearances later in the season are likely, according to the report.more »
Cable network truTV has greenlighted a spinoff to an unscripted show that has been the channel’s most popular series, “Hardcore Pawn.”
The network is adding the new show “Hardcore Pawn: Chicago,” set in Chicago’s Royal Pawn Shop. The original “Hardcore Pawn” is set at American Jewelry & Loan in Detroit. Currently in its sixth season, “Hardcore Pawn” is averaging 2.5 million viewers this summer.
Click here to see the full press release from truTV announcing “Hardcore Pawn: Chicago.”more »
Leading global media investment firm GroupM has announced a number of changes to its senior-level management. Among them, Rob Norman moves to the new position of chief digital officer for GroupM Global; Kelly Clark succeeds Norman as CEO of GroupM North America; and Vikram Sakhuja, currently CEO of GroupM India and South Asia, takes over for Clark as global CEO of the GroupM agency Maxus.
Dominic Proctor, president of GroupM Global, made the announcements. Click here to see GroupM’s full press release on the management moves.more »
Spike is bringing back a series described as a fake reality show, which was one of the cable net’s highest-rated shows when it had its first run in 2003.
EW.com’s Inside TV reports that the network is reviving "The Joe Schmo Show.” The new version, "Joe Schmo: The Full Bounty," will star a contestant who believes he's on a new reality show looking for a bounty hunter. But the other people on the show are actors portraying reality TV cliches. The cast includes Lorenzo Lamas, who will play himself, the story notes.
The contestant will face a series of challenges such as learning how to interrogate a hostile witness, the piece adds. The show will debut in 2013. The 10-episode season taped last month, the report notes.
Here’s the trailer:
|Preview Joe Schmo\'s Return in The Full Bounty|
"The New York Times Company has named Mark Thompson, the departing director general of the British Broadcasting Corporation, as its new president and chief executive," reports The New York Times Media Decoder blog..
Thompson will join the company in November and will also sit on its board. In selecting Thompson, The Times "reached outside its own company, its own industry and even its own country to find a leader to guide it in an uncharted digital future," the story says.
The company hasn't had a CEO since Janet Robinson left in December 2011, with Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. seeking a candidate with experience across platforms and in the digital realm.
Thompson, who has spent almost his entire his career at the BBC, is known for expanding the British broadcaster internationally as well as digitally, the story notes. He also oversaw cost-cutting at the broadcaster.
"Mr. Thompson will be joining the Times company as it continues to face challenges posed by changing reader habits and a shifting advertising market," The Times writes. "Last month, it reported a net loss of $88 million for the second quarter of 2012. A positive sign has been the success of its digital subscription strategy, which has so far attracted 509,000 paid subscribers to the Web site, e-reader and other digital editions of The Times and The International Herald Tribune."more »
Universal Television has signed an actor known for a long run on NBC’s "L.A. Law" in the late 1980s and 1990s to a development/talent holding deal, reports Deadline.com. The actor is Blair Underwood.
Universal TV will develop a starring project for Underwood, with the actor and Tagline Television attached to produce, the story notes. If that project doesn't more forward, the deal allows Universal TV to cast Underwood in another project.
Underwood has a longtime relationship with NBC and Universal TV, going back to his TV debut on "The Cosby Show" and extending to his recent portrayal of the U.S. president on the 2011 drama "The Event," the story notes.
Underwood received a Golden Globe nomination for “L.A. Law” in 1991 and was nominated again in 2009, for HBO’s “In Treatment.”more »
A TVWeek Dog Day Program Recommendation for Tonight, Tuesday, Aug. 14 -- A Must-See Blistering Performance for These Blistering Summer Days
By Chuck Ross
We're in the post-Olympics dog days and nights of August. As I write this it's 6:00 in the evening here in L.A., and it's still close to 80 degrees in much of the country -- and even hotter here.
With the Olympics now done, I wanted to alert you to two terrific must-see movies on TV later tonight. Both are on TCM, uncut and with no commercials. And both star the great James Cagney.
First is "White Heat (1949)." For my money, Cagney's performance as Cody Jarrett might just be the most raw, blistering performance ever given in a mainstream Hollywood movie. Eighteen years after establishing himself as America's No. 1 criminal punk in "The Public Enemy" (1931) Cagney outdid himself in this gangster role. He makes the good fellas depicted in Martin Scorsese movies seem like choir boys.
"White Heat" screens tonight, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012, at 10 pm eastern time, 9 pm central time and 7 pm pacific time.
Stay tuned immediately following the movie at midnight eastern time, 11 pm central time and 9 pm pacific time for part two of a wonderful double-bill: Cagney in "Footlight Parade" (1933). Cagney always thought of himself as a song and dance man, but he didn't make many musicals. He won the Oscar for "Yankee Doodle Dandy" in 1942, but Cagney's dancing in "Footlight Parade," made in 1933, is more varied.
Released the same year as the celebrated musical "42nd Street," for my money "Footlight Parade" is a lot better and is the best backstage musical ever made. Both films have Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell, and both films have musical numbers by Busby Berkeley. But only "Footlight" has the kinetic energy of Cagney.
To see the versatility of Cagney in these two movies back-to-back is a rare privilege. What a great actor. What a sensational entertainer. If you can't watch these movies tonight be sure to put them on your DVR.more »
Actor Ron Palillo, best known as Arnold Horshack on the 1970s sitcom "Welcome Back, Kotter," has died, the Associated Press reports. Palillo, 63, died today at his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., after a heart attack.
“Palillo was forever remembered for the character he played from 1975 to 1979 on the ABC sitcom: a nasally Brooklyn teen whose hand shot skyward and who barked out a string of ‘Ooohs’ when a teacher posed a question,” the report notes.
While one of his fellow “Sweathogs” on the show, John Travolta, went on to become a big star, Palillo struggled with his acting career after his years playing Horshack. Commenting on the character in an interview, Palillo once said: "While I loved him, I really loved him, I didn't want to do him forever."
Palillo did find work, including a guest role on the sitcom “Ellen.” He concentrated on voice work in a number of TV and feature productions, and made guest appearances on “The Love Boat” and other shows. He also performed on the stage in New York.
In addition to acting, Palillo was an artist and playwright.
The Palm Beach Post quoted a friend of Palillo’s, Stacy Sacco, saying: “He just couldn’t have been more fun and intelligent or talented. He was an amazing human being."more »
A man who is described as a delusional and homeless stalker, who has reportedly threatened to attack pop singer Sheryl Crow, has also threatened to shoot film producer and studio boss Harvey Weinstein, TMZ.com reports.
Weinstein, the co-founder of Miramax Films and co-chairman of The Weinstein Company, reportedly says he fears for his life.
“Weinstein -- arguably the most powerful man in Hollywood -- obtained a temporary restraining order against Phil Sparks ... a homeless man who believes Weinstein and Crow teamed up to ruin his life,” the story reports. “In the docs, filed in L.A. County Superior Court, Weinstein claims he's never met Sparks ... but says the man believes he and Sheryl ‘robbed’ him, blacklisted him from Hollywood, spied on him and tried to cover up the murder of publicist Ronni Chasen.”
Weinstein says Sparks called the Screen Actors Guild last month and threatened to shoot both Weinstein and Crow.
“Weinstein says he believes Sparks has been tracking him ... and is ‘aware of some of my personal activities that I did not publicize’ ... including shopping trips with his wife and daughter,” the report notes. “In the docs, Weinstein says he hired a private investigator to assess Sparks and is convinced he's a serious threat.”
Weinstein reportedly said in court: "Unless the court issues the restraining order against Mr. Sparks ... I am greatly concerned that Mr. Sparks may physically harm me, my family members, close friends, agents, and representatives."
Crow has filed similar court papers pertaining to Sparks, the report notes.
The story adds: “Just like in Crow's case, the judge believes there is a real danger to Harvey's safety ... and issued a temporary restraining order against Sparks.”
A hearing was expected to take place later today to determine whether to make the restraining orders permanent.more »
After a strong opening Monday night -- the strongest opening for any new cable series so far in 2012 -- one cable channel claims the top three new series launches of the year.
TNT holds the honor after its new drama “Major Crimes” bowed to 7.2 million viewers, the network reports. The premiere of “Major Crimes” tops the June 13 debut of the network’s “Dallas” reboot, with 6.9 million viewers, and the July 9 premiere of “Perception,” with 5.6 million viewers -- the top three cable debuts of the year.
Monday’s “Major Crimes” launch led out from the high-rated final episode of “The Closer,” which delivered an audience of 9.1 million viewers in Live + Same Day -- the top-rated series telecast on cable so far this summer. “The Closer” ended its run after seven seasons.
In its announcement, TNT noted: “Since premiering in 2005, ‘The Closer’ has assembled a remarkable string of successes. The award-winning drama is the only series in cable history to rank #1 for five consecutive years, which it did from 2005 to 2009. This year, ‘The Closer’ is once again topping the charts as cable's most-watched series for the summer-to-date.”more »
The Thrill Is Gone for NBC on First Post-Olympics Night -- 'Stars Earn Stripes' Is Hardly a Substitute for the London Games in the Ratings
Two weeks of 30 million-plus viewer averages in prime time -- for NBC at least -- are clearly over, with the most any network could average on the first night after the Olympics being Fox’s 5.8 million, TVbytheNumbers.com reports.
Citing Nielsen overnights, the story reports Fox as the top broadcast net for prime time overall, both in total viewers and in the key 18-49 demo. With “Hotel Hell” premiering to a 1.9 average and “Hell’s Kitchen” delivering a 2.7 -- the best demo number of the night, Fox averaged a 2.3 rating in viewers 18-49, finishing ahead of NBC (1.8 average), CBS (1.3), Univision (1.3) and ABC (1.1).
Fox also won total viewers for the night, averaging 5.8 million to edge NBC’s 5.3 million, ahead of CBS with 4.9 million, ABC with 3.4 million and Univision with 3.4 million.
CBS went with an all-repeat lineup, while NBC and ABC aired fresh programming. NBC’s two-hour premiere of the controversial reality competition “Stars Earn Stripes” earned a 1.7 average rating in 18-49, 23% below last summer’s premiere of “Love in the Wild.” “Grimm” lifted the network to a 2.0 at 10 p.m. for its season premiere, off a tenth from the season-one premiere -- which remains the series’ highest-rated episode so far with a 2.1.
ABC didn’t get much out of its fresh reality lineup, but it did pick itself up somewhat from the Olympics-hindered lows of a week ago. A two-hour “Bachelor Pad” delivered a 1.2 in adults 18-49 -- up two-tenths of a point from a series-low 1.0 last week -- while “The Glass House” managed only a 0.7 at 10 p.m. -- an improvement from the series low of 0.6 a week ago.more »
A long-running TV show that has thrived while showcasing glamorous women is looking for one good man to join their ranks for a while. The CBS game show "The Price Is Right" -- the longest-running game show in history -- is launching a casting call for male models who think they know how to show off the merchandise, reports TVLine.com.
Traditionally, only female models have appeared on stage to showcase the prizes that game contestants are vying to win. But the search is on for one male model to join show regulars Amber Lancaster, Gwendolyn Osborne, Manuela Arbelaez and Rachel Reynolds on the showroom stage -- on a temporary basis.
“The search begins Aug. 30 with an open call in Los Angeles, where hunky hopefuls will be interviewed by ‘TPIR’ producers and the four female models,” the story reports. “There, candidates will demonstrate verbal skills as well as the ability to pose and ‘properly showcase a product.’”
The process will be documented for a Web series, the report notes.
The story reports: “As contenders move through the process and have their on-camera presence/skills further tested, the judges will make eliminations but also afford cast-offs some opportunity to jump back into the mix. On Sept. 28, as up to six finalists are announced on ‘The Price Is Right,’ the five-episode Web series will launch (at PriceIsRight.com and YouTube.com/PriceIsRight), showing the wannabes engaging in assorted challenges.”
Viewers will get to vote (until Oct. 4) on their choice for a one-week appearance on the show, which will begin Oct. 15.more »
Following news that heavy-medal swimmer Michael Phelps has landed a TV job, as we reported Monday, news broke today that one of his teammates on the U.S. swim team -- rival gold medalist Ryan Lochte -- will also be following up on his star turn at the London Olympics with another appearance on the small screen.
Lochte, whose lifetime tally of 11 Olympic medals would put almost any else’s haul -- except Phelps’ -- to shame, has slated a guest appearance on the Oct. 29 episode of the CW’s "90210," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In a statement, executive producers Patti Carr and Lara Olsen said: "When we found out Ryan Lochte was going to be in town and might appear on '90210,' we felt like we'd won a gold medal! Team USA are all-stars in our book, and we're so excited he's making an appearance on the show. We only wish the episode was a surf event so we could have gotten him in the water, but he deserves a little rest on dry land.”
In the episode, Lochte appears in a scene at a resort where the characters of Naomi (AnnaLynne McCord) and Max (Josh Zuckerman) are staying.
Lochte is a hot commodity since the London Games, and is said to be fielding offers from a variety of reality shows. He has been rumored as a future contestant on both "The Bachelor" and "Dancing with the Stars," among others.more »
Bishop Desmond Tutu and Other Nobel Peace Laureates Condemn New NBC Show, Call on Network to Cancel It
Nine Nobel Peace Prize laureates have joined forces to condemn a new NBC show, The Guardian reports. The show is the reality competition "Stars Earn Stripes."
The group wrote in an open letter that the show glorifies war and armed violence, the story reports. The laureates, who include Archbishop Desmond Tutu and American anti-landmine campaigner Jody Williams, want NBC to cancel the show.
The series matches celebrities including Olympic skiing gold medalist Picabo Street and "Lois & Clark" actor Dean Cain with U.S. military personnel in simulated military challenges. The show debuted Monday and is hosted by retired Army general Wesley Clark.
The Nobel laureates sent the letter Monday to Clark, NBC Entertainment chief Robert Greenblatt, producer Mark Burnett and others working on the show, the story notes.
The letter criticizes the show for paying "homage to no one anywhere" and condemns it for "trying to somehow sanitize war by likening it to an athletic competition," the story notes.more »
"The Good Wife" is losing the Tony Award-winning actress Kristin Chenoweth, who said she's leaving her recurring role after an injury on the set last month, reports People.com.
As previously reported, Chenoweth was hospitalized in New York after a piece of lighting equipment fell on her, knocking her out cold.
"It is with deep regret to inform everyone that due to my injuries, I am unable to return to ‘The Good Wife’ at this time," Chenoweth said in a statement. "[I'm] getting better slowly, and thank you everyone for your concern."
Chenoweth, 44, will appear on the CBS drama's fourth-season premiere, the story notes.more »
Howard Stern has vowed to confront his fellow judge Sharon Osbourne over her decision to quit "America's Got Talent," reports the New York Post.
"I am going to talk to her about it when I get on the show,” Stern said on his Sirius XM radio show last week. “I would say ‘Hey, Sharon, let’s talk about whether you are staying or going [because of] this thing with Jack.”
Stern added it would be "compelling television."
As previously reported, Osbourne quit "America's Got Talent" because she didn't agree with the way NBC treated her son Jack. Sharon Osbourne says Jack was dropped from the celebrity competition series "Stars Earn Stripes" after he made his MS diagnosis public.more »
In the wake of a series of disputes over retransmission fees that have produced blackouts on Dish Network, the satellite provider is headed for another showdown in another dispute, Deadline.com reports.
An impending blackout tonight involving Sinclair stations could affect Dish subscribers in 45 markets, the story reports. The wide-ranging blackout could affect 20 Fox affiliates, 18 MyTV stations, 11 ABC affils, 14 CW stations, nine CBS affiliates, one NBC station and one Azteca station.
Said Dish Senior VP Dave Shull: “We carry more than 1,800 local broadcast stations nationwide. Sinclair is asking for more than any other station anywhere in the country. This goes beyond pure corporate greed -- it’s profoundly insensitive to the needs of the public.”
The report notes: “Sinclair says that although it is still negotiating with Dish, there’s ‘significant doubt’ as to whether they can reach an agreement. Dish accounts for about 3.6M of the 27.2M homes that Sinclair reaches, according to SNL Kagan data.”
While one of Dish’s most recent spats with a broadcaster involved tiny Hoak Media, the report notes that all major broadcasters are up in arms about Dish’s Hopper DVR, which enables automatic skipping of commercials on programming recorded from network affiliates.
Another recent Dish confrontation led to the service’s dropping all AMC Networks cable channels.
The report adds: “Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen has vigorously attacked broadcasters’ retransmission demands, calling them a ‘government-sponsored monopoly.’”more »
“Twilight” star Robert Pattinson gave his first television interview since the cheating scandal broke involving his girlfriend Kristen Stewart, appearing Monday night on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.”
Pattinson and Stewart mostly talked “around” the scandal, sharing ice cream and joking about breakups. But it was the first public appearance by Pattinson in which he acknowledged the affair.
Here’s the interview:
NBC is tweaking "The Voice" for the singing competition's third season, TheWrap.com reports. One of the big changes will be allowing coaches to poach a contestant after another coach has decided to drop the singer.
The changes were announced by executive producer Mark Burnett, who spoke to reporters at his home, the story says.
"This year there's much more at stake," Burnett said. He was joined by the show's coaches, Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton, as well as host Carson Daly.
"When they have their battles and select one person to stay with them and one person to leave, the other coach can buzz in and steal that person that the coach has sent home,” Burnett said.
Daly said the change makes the show more like fantasy football, according to the story. Viewers will watch the season overall, instead of paying attention only to their favorite performers, he said.
"You become incentivized now to watch the league as opposed to your own team. And that's what we wanted to bring to our coaches, where you don't just look at your own team; you have to pay attention to the league. And the league is the other three coaches," Daly said.
The show is also adding a "knockout round," which will narrow teams down to five singers instead of 10 before going into the live shows, the report adds.
The show's third season debuts Sept. 10.more »
CBS has given a put pilot commitment to a new medical drama from a writer-producer known for AMC’s “Mad Men,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Dahvi Waller's 20th TV doctor drama, ‘Guinea Pigs,’ centers on a group of trailblazing doctors who run clinical trials in a Philadelphia hospital,” the story reports.
“The twist: The trials are risky, and the guinea pigs are human.”
Waller will write and exec produce the project, with Chernin Entertainment’s Peter Chernin and Katherine Pope also executive producing.
Waller worked in broadcast before moving to cable for “Mad Men,” with credits including “Eli Stone” and “Desperate Housewives.”more »
NBC has placed a script order for a legal drama with high-profile bloodlines, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The network ordered the show from frequent collaborators Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson, whose track record includes working together on HBO’s “Entourage” and “Boardwalk Empire.”
The new project focuses on a Beverly Hills law firm, including -- not surprisingly -- the attorneys’ relationships with each other, the report notes. The project will be written by Paul Davies, who previously had a project about twins separated at birth, which was in development at NBC in 2011.
The new drama comes from Universal TV, with Wahlberg and Levinson attached as exec producers, the report notes.more »
Tom Arnold reportedly had an agreement that his ex-wife Roseanne Barr wouldn't badmouth him if he appeared on her Comedy Central roast, reports the New York Post's Page Six.
He also wanted her to say something nice about him, the story says. Barr reportedly called him to assure him she didn't plan any surprises. According to the story, the pair hadn't spoken since 1994.
During the roast, Arnold ribbed her, saying, "She may not be the perfect wife, but she’s literally the worst ex-wife on the planet.” But he also added, "Roseanne, you were my Johnny Carson ... thank you for the thumbs-up and thank you for inviting me to sit on your couch for a little bit.”
Of Arnold, Barr said, "If I can bury my roiling, boiling ceaseless hatred for the likes of Tom Arnold, maybe there’s a chance we can have world peace," according to the story.more »
Responding to reports that CNN is considering replacing some of its programming with reality shows, the cable news channel offered a clarification, reports Bill Carter in The New York Times' Media Decoder. CNN said it’s looking into nonfiction original series, not reality TV, the story reports.
As previously reported, CNN was said to be talking with producers of reality shows to help boost the network's falling ratings. The report was originally published in the New York Post.
An unnamed CNN executive made the distinction to The New York Times, pointing out the difference between reality shows such as "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" and the type of nonfiction programs the network is interested in and which are common on news channels, The Times notes.
MSNBC, for one, has the prison documentary series "Lockup," while Fox News has aired the military history series "War Stories with Oliver North."
In a statement, CNN said: "CNN, which recently announced the hiring of Anthony Bourdain as a contributor, is continuing to explore other nonfiction original series for the weekend. We routinely pursue new talent and programming concepts within the news category and often shoot pilots for any number of our networks."more »
A "Scrubs" mini-reunion will take place within the next couple of weeks on a cable comedy series, TVLine.com reports. The TV Land comedy "The Exes" will feature a guest appearance by “Scrubs” alum Zach Braff, who will join former “Scrubs” castmate Donald Faison, now a regular on “The Exes.”
The Aug. 29 episode of "The Exes" will feature Braff playing a professional tennis player named Chuck Feeney, who is a new client for Faison's character, a sports agent.
The report notes: “A source tells TVLine that the on-screen reunion between the real-life pals will not disappoint, dishing that the table read for this ‘Exes’ installment was actually ‘one of the funniest all year.’”more »
Pioneer in the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s, Famed Cosmo Editor and Author Helen Gurley Brown, 90, Dies
"Helen Gurley Brown, who as the author of 'Sex and the Single Girl' shocked early-1960s America with the news that unmarried women not only had sex but also thoroughly enjoyed it -- and who as the editor of Cosmopolitan magazine spent the next three decades telling those women precisely how to enjoy it even more -- died on Monday in Manhattan. She was 90, though parts of her were considerably younger."
So begins the obituary of Brown written by Margalit Fox on the website of The New York Times this afternoon, Aug. 13, 2012.
Fox continues, "As Cosmopolitan’s editor from 1965 until 1997, Ms. Brown was widely credited with being the first to introduce frank discussions of sex into magazines for women. The look of women’s magazines on the newsstand today -- a sea of voluptuous models and titillating cover lines -- is due in no small part to her influence."
According to Smithsonian magazine, feminist writer Gloria Steinem once said of Brown that she was "a 'pioneer' for insisting that women should seek sexual parity with men, 'but she’s fooling herself if she thinks her message is a feminist one.' "
Says the Times obituary, "Ms. Brown routinely described herself as a feminist, but whether her work helped or hindered the cause of women’s liberation has been publicly debated for decades. It will doubtless be debated long after her death. What is safe to say is that she was a Janus-headed figure in women’s history, simultaneously progressive and retrogressive in her approach to women’s social roles."
The obituary adds that after 17 secretarial jobs "Helen Gurley eventually became an advertising copywriter in Los Angeles, first with Foote, Cone & Belding and later with Kenyon & Eckhardt. In 1959 she married David Brown, a former managing editor of Cosmopolitan who had become a Hollywood producer. 'I look after him like a geisha girl,' she told The New York Times in 1970.
"Mr. Brown, who produced 'Jaws' and other well-known films, died in 2010; the couple had no children. Ms. Brown’s sister, Mary Gurley Alford, died before her."
An apparent domestic battery incident over the weekend is having repercussions both in television and in the world of pro sports. The incident involving Miami Dolphins wide receiver Chad Johnson -- formerly known as Chad Ochocinco -- has led VH1 to pull the plug on a show.
The network issued the following brief statement on its decision not to go ahead with the reality series “Ev & Ocho”:
"Due to the unfortunate events over the weekend and the seriousness of the allegations, VH1 is pulling the series 'Ev and Ocho' from its schedule and has no current plans of airing it."
Also affected is the HBO program “Hard Knocks,” which will be focusing on the Dolphins this season. The Dolphins released Johnson from his contract after allegations of domestic battery arose over the weekend involving Johnson and his wife, Evelyn Lozada.
Johnson, one of the most colorful players in the NFL, was attempting to resurrect his sputtering career by joining the Miami roster, and was expected to get plenty of airtime in the HBO series.more »
Al Freeman Jr., Pioneering African-American Actor -- Emmy Winner for Soap 'One Life to Live' and Emmy Nominated for 'Roots: The Next Generations' -- Dead at 78. He Also Played Elijah Muhammad in Spike Lee's 'Malcolm X'
Al Freeman Jr., a pioneering actor and director whose career included winning a Daytime Emmy along with a number of other honors, has died, Playbill reports. He was 78 and died Aug. 9, 2012.
Freeman was known for his work in feature films including “Malcolm X,” “My Sweet Charlie” and “Finian’s Rainbow.” He also acted extensively on television, being seen in series including “One Life to Live,” “The Cosby Show,” “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “Law & Order.”
He won a Daytime Emmy in 1979 for “One Life to Live,” a show for which he was nominated a total of four times. He was the first African-American actor to receive a Daytime Emmy for lead actor. Freeman also directed episodes of the soap opera.
He was also nominated twice for Primetime Emmys -- in 1970 for “My Sweet Charlie” and in 1979 for “Roots: The Next Generations.”
He received an Image Award in 1995 for his portrayal of Elijah Muhammad in Spike Lee's 1992 feature biography "Malcolm X."
Freeman also worked extensively on the stage, with credits including “Look to the Lilies” (1970), “Medea” (1973) and “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” (1981).more »
U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps, fresh off becoming the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time with 22 medals -- including 18 gold -- will try to stay out of the water when he takes on a new sport: golf.
Businessweek reports that Phelps will star in the Golf Channel reality show "The Haney Project." On the show, Hank Haney -- the former golf coach for Tiger Woods -- will work with Phelps to improve his golf game. The show is taping in September and will air on the Golf Channel in February 2013.
In a statement, Phelps said, “I have traveled the world through swimming, but really haven’t had an opportunity to experience the world through my travels. I want to play all the world’s great golf courses, but I’d like to play them well.”
Previous stars on "The Haney Project" have been Ray Romano, Charles Barkley and singer Adam Levine.more »
NBC continues to get attention for its Olympics coverage -- and not all of the attention is good. The Los Angeles Times reports that the network had another embarrassing moment during Sunday’s high-profile gold medal men’s basketball game, apparently misidentifying someone in the audience as the founder of Facebook.
So, who was it? Actor Jesse Eisenberg, who played Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg in the Oscar-winning movie “The Social Network.” Oops!
Here’s how it went down, according to the account in the Times:
“The camera turned away from the game during the first quarter and looked at actor Jesse Eisenberg.
"’I know I'm gonna put that picture on Facebook,’ said announcer Bob Fitzgerald.
“While the remark was just a little weird, it did make some sense. Eisenberg, of course, is the actor who played Zuckerberg in 2010's ‘The Social Network.’ But then Fitzgerald went on to show his lack of knowledge for the tech world with his next comment.
"’We've got every executive of note, it seems, worldwide, attending these Games,’ he said.”
Not really a big deal, especially since Fitzgerald technically didn’t say Zuckerberg's name. But still ... it’s another minor embarrassment for a network that was already under fire for what viewers see as a series of Olympics goofs -- and more fodder for the well-used #NBCFail hashtag, the report notes.more »
Mark Your Calendar: List of Moderators, Dates and Formats for the Upcoming U.S. Presidential and VP Debates
The Commission on Presidential Debates has announced the moderators of the upcoming debates for president and vice president of the United States.
The moderators of each of the three presidential debates will be, respectively, PBS's Jim Lehrer for debate No. 1, CNN's Candy Crowley for debate No. 2 and CBS News' Bob Schieffer for debate No. 3.
In a separate announcement CNN said about the selection of Crowley, "Her selection as moderator makes her the first woman in two decades to be chosen for this prestigious role."
The moderator selected for the single vice-presidential debate will be ABC News' Martha Raddatz.
Here's the full announcement of the moderators, dates and formats, from the website of the Commission on Presidential Debates.
CPD Announces 2012 Moderators
Aug 13, 2012
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. and Michael D. McCurry, co-chairmen of the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), today announced the moderators for the 2012 general election presidential and vice presidential debates. The moderators, and the schedule and locations for the debates (as announced on October 31, 2011), are as follows:
First presidential debate:
Jim Lehrer, Executive Editor of the PBS NewsHour
Wednesday, October 3, University of Denver, Denver, CO
Vice presidential debate:
Martha Raddatz, Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent, ABC News
Thursday, October 11, Centre College, Danville, KY
Second presidential debate (town meeting):
Candy Crowley, Chief Political Correspondent, CNN and Anchor, CNN's State of the Union
Tuesday, October 16, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
Third presidential debate:
Bob Schieffer, Chief Washington Correspondent, CBS News and Moderator, Face the Nation
Monday, October 22, Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL
Fahrenkopf and McCurry said that, "The new formats chosen for this year's debates are designed to focus big time blocks on major domestic and foreign topics. These journalists bring extensive experience to the job of moderating, and understand the importance of using the expanded time periods to maximum benefit. We are grateful for their willingness to moderate, and confident that the public will learn more about the candidates and the issues as a result."
First presidential debate
The debate will focus on domestic policy and be divided into six time segments of approximately 15 minutes each on topics to be selected by the moderator and announced several weeks before the debate.
The moderator will open each segment with a question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a discussion of the topic.
Vice presidential debate
The debate will cover both foreign and domestic topics and be divided into nine time segments of approximately 10 minutes each. The moderator will ask an opening question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. The moderator will use the balance of the time in the segment for a discussion of the question.
Second presidential debate
The second presidential debate will take the form of a town meeting, in which citizens will ask questions of the candidates on foreign and domestic issues. Candidates each will have two minutes to respond, and an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate a discussion. The town meeting participants will be undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization.
Third presidential debate
The format for the debate will be identical to the first presidential debate and will focus on foreign policy.
All debates will take place from 9:00-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time. There will be no opening statements and two-minute closing statements in all the debates. In all the debates except town meeting, the CPD recommends that the candidates be seated at a table with the moderator.
The CPD is undertaking an innovative internet-based voter education program that will encourage citizens to become familiar with the issues to be discussed in the debates, and to share their input with the debate moderators in advance of the debates. The program, which will be announced later this month, will be led by a coalition of internet leaders.
The CPD has sponsored and produced all the presidential and vice presidential debates since 1987, the year it was established. For more information, please visit www.debates.org.more »
Sunday’s final night of NBC’s Olympics coverage from London was way up from Beijing four years ago, according to Nielsen overnights. TVbytheNumbers.com reports that the network’s telecast of the closing ceremony scored a 9.1 average rating in the key 18-49 demo, up 32% over the Beijing closing ceremony.
Earlier in NBC’s Sunday schedule, the 90-minute Olympics retrospective “London Gold” delivered a 5.7 average in viewers 18-49.
CBS had an overrun of its PGA golf coverage, meaning its numbers will be adjusted more than usual. According to preliminary numbers, the network’s fresh installment of “Big Brother” pulled a 1.9 average in 18-49, down from last week’s 2.1.
ABC’s fresh episode of “Secret Millionaire” managed a 1.0 in viewers 18-49, an improvement from last week’s 0.8, while a two-hour “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition” settled for a 0.9, up from a 0.8 a week ago.
For Sunday prime time overall, NBC was well out front with a 7.8 average in 18-49, followed by Fox (1.3 average), CBS (1.2) and ABC (0.9). Total viewers saw NBC on top with an average of 27.0 million, followed by CBS with 4.7 million, ABC with 3.5 million and Fox with 2.8 million.
NBC summed up its two weeks of Olympics coverage with an announcement declaring the London Games the most-watched television event in U.S. history.
More than 219 million people watched the 2012 Games, the network said, up from the 215 million who watched the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Additionally, the network said it experienced a “halo effect,” with the Olympics raising viewership across NBCUniversal platforms.
Prime-time Olympics coverage averaged 31.1 million viewers, the network said, making London the most-watched non-U.S. Summer Games in 36 years. The figure topped Beijing by 12% and Athens, in 2004, by 26%.
NBCU said it presented the London Games -- NBC’s 13th Olympics -- with an unprecedented 5,535 hours of coverage across NBC, NBC Sports Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Telemundo, NBCOlympics.com, two specialty channels and the first-ever 3D platform.more »
Google has purchased one of the best-known brands in the world of travel. The "guidebook content and digital properties" produced by Frommer's have been bought by the tech company, USA Today reports.
Says the article, "Financial terms weren't disclosed. Google has been expanding its travel assets in recent years. Last year, it bought Zagat Survey, a restaurant reviewer. Google also bought ITA Software, a developer of airfare search-and-pricing systems, in 2010."
Fifty-five years ago -- in 1957 -- Arthur Frommer published his first guide, the groundbreaking "Europe on $5 a Day." Since then the company has published more than 300 guidebooks, according to the company website. Since 2001 Frommer's has been part of John Wiley & Sons.
Says the USA Today article, "Wiley put its consumer publishing products [including Frommer's] up for sale in March in order to focus its business on professional trade and research publications."more »
A “Will & Grace” alum who is still busy working for NBC just added another gig to his list of assignments, Deadline.com reports.
Sean Hayes, the Emmy winner who played Jack on “Will & Grace,” will do a multiple-episode arc on NBC’s sophonmore drama series “Smash.”
The story reports: “He will play Terrence Falls, a comedic television and film star who is making his Broadway debut in the musical ‘Liaisons,’ based on the novel ‘Les Liaisons Dangereuses.’ Due to a series of comic circumstances, he becomes a major thorn in the side for Ivy Lynn (Megan Hilty) and other characters.”
Hayes is also executive producing the NBC drama series “Grimm,” and will be playing Ava’s (Maya Rudolph) former accompanist in a multiple-episode arc during the second season of NBC’s “Up All Night,” the report notes.
Hayes won an Emmy in 2000 for “Will & Grace” and was nominated a total of seven times for the role.more »
Monkeying Around: NBC Commits One Final Flub -- in the Eyes of Some Already Unhappy Viewers, Including 'Glee' Star Kevin McHale -- as It Bids Farewell to Olympics
NBC made more fans unhappy on its final night of Olympics coverage Sunday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Wrapping up two weeks of Olympics coverage marred by complaints over tape delay and various missteps, the network stirred up more criticism when it edited out parts of the closing ceremony to show a preview of the new comedy "Animal Practice," the story reports.
The editing meant that performances by Muse's Matt Bellamy, Ray Davies of the Kinks and a second song by George Michael weren't seen by viewers, the story says.
Before a commercial break, viewers were told by Bob Costas that the network would return to "wrap things up," but after the break he told viewers that the remainder of the closing ceremony wouldn't air until an hour later, following a preview of "Animal Practice" and local news, according to the piece.
Viewers including "Glee" star Kevin McHale were peeved by the interruption, with McHale writing on Twitter, "DEAR NBC. Interrupting the Olympic closing ceremony for an hr to air a show about a fictional animal dr. before it ends is a disgrace. Shame on you."
NBC was criticized throughout its Olympics coverage for its insistence on using tape delay, prompting viewers to create the Twitter hashtag #NBCFail, as previously reported.
At least one viewer said the closing ceremony interruption warranted another #NBCFail mention.
"I may not be a The Who fan, but cutting them off to show terrible Animal Practice is just another thing to add to the #NBCfail list," one viewer wrote, according to the story.
Another previously reported misstep by the network that incurred a flood of criticism involved the awkward choice of a promo for “Animal Practice” featuring a monkey doing gymnastics, which immediately followed comments by Costas on the significance of Gabby Douglas’ achievement in becoming the first African American woman to win the all-around gymnastics gold medal.more »
An Olympic Gold Medalist, a Sex-Tape Star and the Scion of a Republican VP Candidate Included in Lineup for 'Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars'
ABC has revealed the lineup for the upcoming “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars,” which marks the first time contestants from a previous installment of the dancing competition will gather for an all-star version.
Among the celebrities who will be returning to the show are Pamela Anderson, who's known more for her sex tape and her romantic exploits than for her work in TV and feature films; gold medal-winning speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno; and Bristol Palin, the daughter of former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
Other returning celebrity participants are Kirstie Alley, Helio Castroneves, Joey Fatone, Shawn Johnson, Drew Lachey, Gilles Marini, Kelly Monaco, Melissa Rycroft and Emmitt Smith.
Fans will determine a final all-star cast member, to be announced Aug. 27 on “Good Morning America.”
“Dancing with the Stars” is set to premiere Monday, Sept. 24, with a results show set for the following night.
Click here to see the full list of pairings and other details about the series in the press release from ABC.more »
CNN is looking at a change in its programming approach that some insiders are comparing to MTV’s move away from music programming years ago, the New York Post reports.
Among other possible changes, CNN is reportedly talking with producers of reality shows to help boost the network's ailing ratings. According to documents obtained by the Post, CNN is also working on a late-night talk show that would feature a panel, in addition to five new reality shows that would air on Saturday and Sunday nights.
The reality shows would be packaged with a new program from celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who will debut a Sunday night show on CNN in early 2013.
CNN is also looking for on-air personalities aside from TV news types, with Bourdain marking the "prototype" for the kind of star CNN wants to add to its lineup, the story notes.
The change is being compared to when MTV decided to stop airing music videos because the strategy wasn't working any longer, the story says, citing an outside producer who has met with CNN executives.
The only CNN host who appears to be safe from programming changes is Anderson Cooper, the story says, citing people who have spoken with programming executives.
A representative for CNN declined to comment.more »
Chelsea Handler is blaming the end of her relationship with NBC Broadcasting Chairman Ted Harbert on the inability to separate work and pleasure, reports the New York Post's Page Six.
According to an article that will be published in the Marie Claire September supplement @Work and is discussed by the Post, Handler said, “I would come home from work, and Ted would be like, ‘Do you want to watch your show?’ ”
“I’d be like, ‘No, I just came from my show. That’s the last thing I’d want to do,’" Handler said, according to the story. "That was the reason it didn’t work out, ultimately.”more »
A former "Friends" star who is a focus of the tabloids for her romantic disappointments has become engaged, reports People.com.
Jennifer Aniston, 43, got engaged to boyfriend Justin Theroux, 41, on Friday. "Justin Theroux had an amazing birthday on Friday, receiving an extraordinary gift when his girlfriend, Jennifer Aniston, accepted his proposal of marriage," his representative told the publication.
The couple, who have been dating for more than a year, both starred in "Wanderlust."
Aniston's previous marriage to actor Brad Pitt ended in 2005.more »
An Olympic athlete who won five medals in the London Games as part of the U.S. team says he’s considering appearing on reality television. Swimmer Ryan Lochte says he's interested in two reality shows, "Dancing with the Stars" and "The Bachelor," reports the Los Angeles Times' Ministry of Gossip.
Lochte made the comments on Friday’s "Today" show, telling Matt Lauer, "I'm definitely looking toward 'Dancing with the Stars' and 'The Bachelor,' so we'll see what happens."
Lochte won two gold medals, two silver and one bronze during the London Olympics. He has a total of 11 Olympic medals going back to the 2008 Games in Beijing.
Apolo Anton Ohno, another Olympian, won the mirror-ball trophy on "DWTS" in 2007 after he competed in the 2002 and 2006 Winter Games, the story notes.more »
CNN suspended a journalist Friday after he admitted to plagiarizing a piece in the New Yorker about gun control for an article he wrote in Time magazine, reports The New York Times' Media Decoder. The journalist is Fareed Zakaria.
The similarities in the texts were spotted by the blog NewsBusters, which wrote that it was tipped off by the NRANews.com about the two articles.
On Friday afternoon, Zakaria said in a statement, "Media reporters have pointed out that paragraphs in my Time column this week bear close similarities to paragraphs in Jill Lepore’s essay in the April 23 issue of The New Yorker. They are right. I made a terrible mistake. It is a serious lapse and one that is entirely my fault. I apologize unreservedly to her, to my editors at Time, and to my readers.”
Time said it would suspend Zakaria's column for a month, pending review, while CNN said it would also suspend him while it reviewed the matter. Both Time and CNN are owned by Time Warner.
Here is an example of the two texts:
“Adam Winkler, a professor of constitutional law at UCLA, documents the actual history in ‘Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America.’ Guns were regulated in the U.S. from the earliest years of the Republic. Laws that banned the carrying of concealed weapons were passed in Kentucky and Louisiana in 1813. Other states soon followed: Indiana in 1820, Tennessee and Virginia in 1838, Alabama in 1839 and Ohio in 1859. Similar laws were passed in Texas, Florida and Oklahoma. As the governor of Texas (Texas!) explained in 1893, the ‘mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder. To check it is the duty of every self-respecting, law-abiding man.’”
“As Adam Winkler, a constitutional-law scholar at U.C.L.A., demonstrates in a remarkably nuanced new book, ‘Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America,’ firearms have been regulated in the United States from the start. Laws banning the carrying of concealed weapons were passed in Kentucky and Louisiana in 1813, and other states soon followed: Indiana (1820), Tennessee and Virginia (1838), Alabama (1839), and Ohio (1859). Similar laws were passed in Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma. As the governor of Texas explained in 1893, the ‘mission of the concealed deadly weapon is murder. To check it is the duty of every self-respecting, law-abiding man.’”more »
A veteran studio publicist who worked as the manager for Jack Benny and later George Burns has died, reports Deadline.com. Irving Fein was 101.
Fein started in show business after graduating with a law degree and opting to work in the Warner Bros. mailroom, giving up a job in the WB legal department, the story says. He went on to work in publicity at Warner Bros., Columbia Pictures and MGM, then in 1947 started as Jack Benny's publicity and advertising director before becoming his manager.
Fein accepted an executive role at CBS in 1956, but returned to Hollywood after less than a year to work as president of J&M Productions, which produced Benny's television show and a few other programs, according to the story.
When Benny's weekly show ended in 1965, Fein continued to executive produce his annual specials on NBC.
Fein started working with George Burns toward the end of Benny's life, and became Burns' manager after Burns’ wife, Gracie Allen, died, the piece adds. Fein worked with Burns until his death in 1996.
Here’s an interview clip featuring Fein talking about the "Jack Benny Show":more »
Ryan Seacrest, CBS and Former Co-Chairman of NBC Entertainment All Interested in Buying the Company That Produces the Golden Globes Broadcast
Ryan Seacrest, CBS and the former chairman of NBC Entertainment are all interesting in buying the compay that produces the Golden Globes broadcast, reports Reuters.com.
The company up for sale is Dick Clark Productions.
Says the story, "CBS Corp is considering a bid for Dick Clark Productions and would join other bidders including "American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest, who have until August 31 to make offers, two sources familiar with the matter said on Friday [Aug. 10, 2012].
"Entertainment company CBS is in a group of four to six bidders who have moved to a second round of discussions with Dick Clark Productions chief executive Mark Shapiro, said the sources, who are not authorized to speak publicly."
According to the article, other bidders include Core Media Group, which is run by Marc Graboff, the former co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and a longtime business-side executive at the network, and Colony Capital, which owns film studio Miramax. Anotther bidder, the report notes, is private equity firm Guggenheim Partners, which helped finance the recent purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
CBS had considered bidding on the television rights for the Golden Globe Awards in 2010, the story says. CBS owns the rights to awards shows including the Grammy Awards.
Dick Clark Prods., which also produces the Miss Universe Pageant and the Fox TV show "So You Think You Can Dance," is seeking $350 million in a sale.
A CBS representative declined to comment, as did representatives for Colony and Ryan Seacrest. Reps at Dick Clark Prods. and Core Media didn't return calls and emails requesting comment, the story says.more »
A drama about ancient Egypt's famed queen Cleopatra is in development at NBC, reports EW.com's Inside TV.
NBC has ordered a put pilot from ABC Studios and Lorenzo Di Bonaventura Pictures, with writer Michael Seitzman of "North Country" writing the script.
Cleopatra was featured in the HBO series "Rome," which starred Lyndsey Marshal in the recurring role, while on film the character was famously played by Elizabeth Taylor.more »
A "Celebrity Big Brother" cast member became a real-world hero Thursday night, reports the New York Daily News. Stephen Baldwin came to the aid of a young woman suffering a seizure, according to the report.
Baldwin was at the Peninsula Hotel in Manhattan with his publicist when he heard a loud bang. "It was this girl, fallen on the floor," Baldwin said. She had gone into convulsions and was foaming at the mouth. No one came to her assistance, the story says.
Baldwin, who had grown up familiar with seizures as a symptom of epilepsy because of a family member's frequent episodes, got up to help her, the story says.
"I wanted to make sure the young lady was OK and her breathing wasn’t restricted,” he said. She came to after three minutes of the seizure, the story says.
“She started going, ‘Where am I? What happened?’” Baldwin said, according to the report. “And then I asked, ‘Do you have epilepsy?’ and she said, ‘Yes.’ Then she started crying.”more »
JC Penney will be shifting its advertising spending away from television and into print, reports Advertising Age, citing Chief Executive Ron Johnson, who spoke with analysts to discuss the company's second-quarter results.
"In many ways we were trying to build the brand ahead of its time, when we really needed to build the business," Johnson said of the retailer's colorful marketing approach designed by former president Michael Francis, who left the company in June.
Instead, the retailer will invest in "traditional traffic-driving means," such as newspaper inserts. The company plans 30 print inserts for the latter half of the year, compared with only 11 inserts in the spring.
"To free up money for those investments, the retailer is cutting back on TV," the article notes.
"The tone of its TV ads has also shifted, with a focus on brands, products and pricing, rather than lifestyle. For example, back-to-school themed ads highlight a variety of denim brands, as well as free haircuts for kids in kindergarten through sixth grade. Mr. Johnson called the effort a 'great brand deposit' and said the retailer has already given 500,000 haircuts," according to the piece.
JC Penney reported a second-quarter loss of $147 million, while sales slid 23% to $3 billion.more »
Nickelodeon Cancels 'Victorious' After Three Seasons. Show Creator Dan Schneider Says If It Was Up to Him He Would Have Loved to Continue the Series
Nickelodeon's "Victorious" will end its run after its upcoming third season - which is scheduled to air this fall - the network has announced, reports Deadline.com.
According to Deadline, this is what "Victorious" creator Dan Schneider posted on his blog about the show:
"Hey guys! If I misspell anything in this post, please forgive me – I’m in the back seat of a car, typing on my phone! Okay, first things first… There is a whole NEW season of Victorious coming your way. We just finished shooting 15 new episodes, and they’re amazing. If you love Victorious, I feel sure you will love the NEW episodes coming! By now, a lot of you have heard that Victorious will not be returning for a 4th season. That is true. This was the network’s decision – not mine. Please understand: Almost all Nickelodeon shows have a life of about 60 episodes. We made around 60 episodes of Drake & Josh… of Zoey 101… and we made 41 episodes of The Amanda Show… and all those shows were big hits. So, it’s not unusual for a Nick show to do a run of just 60 episodes. I would love to have made more than 60 of Victorious, but that’s how it usually goes. We’re extremely proud of the show, and all we’ve accomplished. Also – and it’s really important that you know this – the network’s decision about Victorious had nothing to do with 'Gibby' or 'Sam & Cat'. I promise. Even if there was no “Gibby” and no 'Sam & Cat' – the network still would have ended Victorious after its 60-episode run. I know that some of you are upset and angry – and while I feel terrible about that, I’m also flattered by it. I really appreciate that you care so much. It means you love the show, which makes me feel very proud. But I ask that you please not be angry with Victoria, or Leon, Liz, Ariana, Avan… or ANY of the Victorious cast members or staff. They all wanted Victorious to continue – so did I. But remember! Stay psyched about the 15 new episodes of Victorious coming your way!
And I hope you’ll continue to support Victoria Justice, and me, and all the stars of Victorious. I can almost guarantee you – they will make a big impact on the future of entertainment. And finally… of course… I will keep making the best, funniest TV shows I know how to make, for as long as people have fun watching them. I’ll see you online later, and I’ll try to answer some of your questions. Thanks for listening. As always, please be nice to each other. Love, –Dan
"NORFOLK — Mitt Romney has selected Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice presidential running mate, introducing the seven-term congressman and architect of Republicans’ budget-cutting plans at a spirited rally on the deck of a battleship here Saturday morning,"reports the Washington Post.
The article continues, "Bounding to the deck of the USS Wisconsin — a not-so-subtle nod to Ryan’s home state — Ryan used his introduction on the national stage to praise Romney as a 'man for this moment,' a leader capable of resetting the economy."
The story adds, "Jim Messina, campaign manager for President Obama’s reelection effort, said the pick showed that the Republican ticket shares “a commitment to the flawed theory that new budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy, while placing greater burdens on the middle class and seniors, will somehow deliver a stronger economy.”
The story notes, "Romney promised that he and Ryan would restore the American economy by cutting deficits and growing jobs. He called Ryan a man of integrity and character rooted in his middle-class Midwestern upbringing and said he had chosen a candidate with a vision for addressing the nation’s fiscal problems."more »
Writer Bret Easton Ellis Stirs Controversy With Comments About Potential 'Fifty Shades of Grey' Actor
Novelist Bret Easton Ellis stepped into a controversy this week with a series of tweets focused on what Easton Ellis sees as a problem with actor Matt Borner potentially being cast in a film version of the bestseller “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
TV Guide reports that Easton Ellis, the author of “Less Than Zero,” says Borner shouldn’t be given the role of Christian Grey in the movie because Borner is gay.
Easton Ellis was apparently responding to Internet buzz among fans who think Borner would be perfect in the role. He tweeted multiple times, saying, "Matt Bomer is totally hot and a very good actor. He is NOT right for Christian Grey and it complicates the role. … I don't care how good an actor you are but being married to another man complicates things for playing CG."
Easton Ellis asserted that he was not discriminating against Bomer's sexuality, but he was insistent that the part of Grey had to be played by "an intensely straight actor wanting absolutely to screw Ana Steele ... the most popular book on the planet having Matt Bomer -- a gay actor -- play Christian Grey is absolutely ludicrous. Why?"
Bomer had no response to TVGuide.com’s request for comment. The publication points out that currently the openly gay Neil Patrick Harris is playing a very straight character on "How I Met Your Mother." Bomer is also playing a straight man on USA Network's "White Collar."
In another tweet, Easton Ellis wrote: "I actually think it's cool that women want Matt Bomer as Christian Grey. It means that we've moved beyond stereotypes and that gay is hot ... I think Matt Bomer is incredibly handsome and a good actor but I think he comes off totally gay in White Collar. And that is why no to CG ... Look, all actors are GAY: they put on make up and pretend to be someone else. That's just a fact. Rock and roll. Deal with it.”
Wrapping up his tweets on the topic, he wrote: "Final word: there is no way in hell that the makers of Fifty Shades of Grey will hire an openly gay actor to play Christian Grey. Period."more »
NBC’s ratings for Olympics coverage were down Thursday night, with the three hours of prime-time coverage slipping to a 6.8 average rating in the key 18-49 demo in Nielsen overnights.
TVbytheNumbers.com reports that preseason NFL action in a number of local markets tweaked the numbers, which are likely to be subject to more than the usual adjustments when final figures come in later.
Using the available overnight figures, NBC’s 6.8 represented a 39% drop from the 11.2 the network drew for Thursday night of the previous week. The number was also down 6% from the comparable night four years ago in Beijing.
On the other networks, one show managed to break a 2 rating in the 18-49 demo: CBS’s “Big Brother” delivered a 2.1, up 5% from a week earlier.
ABC put up a fresh episode of “Wipeout” at 9 p.m., which delivered a 1.7 in 18-49, up 21% from last week’s series low. A new ep of “Rookie Blue” at 10 p.m. was even with its previous fresh installment with a 1.5.
Everything else on the major broadcast nets was repeat programming.
The overnights for prime time as a whole show NBC in front with its 6.8 in viewers 18-49, followed by CBS (1.7 average), ABC (1.6), Univision (1.5) and Fox (1.0). In total viewers it’s NBC on top with 22.4 million, followed by CBS (5.8 million), ABC (5.1 million), Univision (4.0 million) and Fox (2.7 million).more »
Joan Rivers apparently thought it was time to generate some headlines. After being escorted out of Costco by a police officer, as previously reported, she has been keeping herself in the news, this time with a war of words with the Anti-Defamation League.
TMZ.com reports that the ADL criticized Rivers for comparing Costco to Nazi Germany, prompting Rivers to tell ADL officials, "Shut the f--k up!"
“The ADL is pissed that Joan made the comparison to protest the fact that Costco banned her book, ‘I Hate Everything ... Starting With Me!’ because of foul language,” the story reports. “ADL officials say, ‘Such comparisons only serve to trivialize the Holocaust and are deeply offensive to Jews and other survivors.’"
But Rivers told the website, "My husband lost his entire family in the Holocaust," and added, "My comment reminds people of the Holocaust because half the people now don't even believe it ever happened."
The comedian also warned: "Germany is where banning books started, and it can start here just as quickly."more »
Spending on political TV ads soared during July, with markets in the Midwest in particular reaping the rewards, Deadline.com reports.
“Political pros took a keen interest in July in markets including Zanesville, Ohio; Sioux City and Davenport, Iowa; Charlottesville, Virginia; and Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada,” the story reports. “They saw the biggest increase in political ad spending relative to their market size in the month according to a report out this morning from Wells Fargo Securities’ Marci Ryvicker.”
Ryvicker, who closely tracks political spending, said political campaigns have spent a total of $765.6 million on television so far in 2012 (through July 29), the report notes.
“The vast majority of that -- $579.6M -- went to local stations, including $120.7M in July,” Deadline reports. “Of the local total so far in 2012, 42.5% was for presidential campaigns, 21.8% for ballot initiatives, 18.6% for Senate races, 7.6% for House contests, 5.0% for gubernatorial races, and 4.4% for other.”
The report adds: “The top markets measured by dollars spent are Cleveland ($24.8M); Los Angeles ($20.6M); Tampa ($19.4M); Washington, DC ($18.2M); and Las Vegas ($17.2M) -- with much of the cash going to outlets owned by Fox, CBS, NBC, Sinclair, and Disney.”
Ryvicker notes that a more revealing measure is spending relative to each market’s total ad sales, which factors out the size of the market. “By that measure, Wausau, Wis., is on top with election ads accounting for 16.9% of total market revenue,” Deadline reports. “It’s followed by La Crosse, Wis. (15.9%); Sioux City, Iowa (15.0%); Zanesville, Ohio (13.7%); Charlottesville, Va. (11.9%); and Great Falls, Mont. (11.9%) -- especially TV stations owned by Sinclair, Gray Television, and Gannett.”more »
In the runup to the Republican and Democratic conventions, MSNBC will present two documentaries about the presidential candidates, reports TVNewser.com. "Mitt Romney: The Making of a Candidate" will be hosted by Chuck Todd, while Chris Matthews will host "Barack Obama: Making History."
The Romney doc airs on the network on Friday, Aug. 24, at 10 p.m. ET, while the Obama production is set for Monday, Sept. 3, at 10 p.m. ET.
The Romney family will be prominently displayed in the Romney production, which will emphasize his background in business, his Mormon faith and how he interacts with his staff. The Obama documentary includes interviews with Vice President Joe Biden and campaign advisers Caroline Kennedy and David Axelrod.more »
In a reunion that was "not entirely without tension," former "Today" co-host Ann Curry appeared with her ex-colleague Matt Lauer in a live NBC broadcast Thursday from the Olympics, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Curry, who was pushed out from her job after the morning program suffered a yearlong ratings decline, was greeted with an enthusiastic "nice to see you" from Lauer, the story notes. It was the first face-to-face meeting between them since Curry left her "Today" co-hosting role last month.
Curry wasn't as effusive, replying with a curt "Good morning, Matt," before diving directly into a profile of Adam Pretty, an Olympics photographer.
After the profile, Lauer asked Curry about her experience with the photographer. "You're pretty good with the camera. Did you pick up anything?" he asked.
"No," she replied.
Then she added, "Well, I didn't take any pictures, but I learned some lessons from him." Lauer ended the segment by saying how "good" it was to see Curry, according to the story.
The report adds: “NBC initially tried to soften the blow of Curry's very public demotion by granting her a new role as ‘anchor-at-large’ for ‘Today’ and also promised her the opportunity to report from the London Olympics. But it has taken two weeks for that chance to materialize, fueling speculation that ‘Today’ had scaled back her coverage in order to spotlight her replacement, Savannah Guthrie.”more »
The 168 captives in their second decade of U.S. detention in Guantanamo Bay have a new favorite entertainment: watching episodes of the 1990s Will Smith comedy series "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," reports the Miami Herald.
A librarian for the prison said he ordered six seasons of the program, but provided no reason for the show's sudden popularity among the detainees, the story notes. The half-hour sitcom about an inner-city kid who moves in with his wealthy California cousins originally aired on NBC from 1990 to 1996.
The comedy is among the most requested items in the detention center's library of 28,000 books and videos, the story reports. Demand for J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series have dwindled, the piece notes, citing the librarian.
"Cooperative captives, who make up the majority of the prisoners, can watch the show communally in their medium security lock-ups, pretty much around the clock. They're in cell blocks of up to 20 men equipped with a flat-screen television bolted to the wall inside a plexiglass box," the story says.
"Commanders consider activities -- like TV, books, art classes and outdoor recreation like soccer -- to be key to keeping the captives distracted, and reducing friction with the guard force," the piece adds.more »
Emmy-Winning Director and Producer Dies -- Credits Included the 1971 Feature 'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory'
The director of the 1971 Gene Wilder musical "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" has died, the New York Daily News reports. Mel Stuart was 83.
According to Stuart's daughter Madeline, her father died Thursday night in his Los Angeles home. He had been diagnosed with cancer.
Stuart's background was in documentaries, including his work on the Emmy Award-winning "The Making of the President 1960." He did two sequels to that film, as well as "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich." In 1973 he made "Wattstax," about the music festival in Los Angeles in the aftermath of the 1965 Watts riots.
He received an Oscar nomination as a producer of “Four Days in November” in 1965.
Among his other TV credits were "The Triangle Factory Fire Scandal," "Ruby and Oswald" and "Bill." The latter was a Golden Globe and Peabody Award-winning movie with Mickey Rooney and Dennis Quaid. His TV productions were nominated for a total of five Emmys.
In addition to his daughter, Stuart is survived by his sons Andrew and Peter.more »
Comedy Central is making no secret about the surprise twist in its latest roast -- touting the appearance by the roastee’s estranged celebrity spouse in promos for the program.
If you want the inside scoop ahead of Sunday’s telecast, click here to read TVWeek Open Mic blogger Hillary Atkin’s eyewitness account of the live festivities at the Hollywood Palladium.more »
In an incident that will likely be a scene in an upcoming episode of WE tv's "Joan & Melissa," comedian Joan Rivers handcuffed herself to a shopping cart at a Los Angeles Costco to protest the superstore not having her new book for sale, reports the AP.
Rivers, who is the host of "Fashion Police" in addition to the reality show, appeared at the Burbank Costco to complain in person about the store not having her book "I Hate Everything … Starting With Me" in stock. The Costco manager called the police.
Burbank police escorted Rivers from the premises … along with her camera crew, which had filmed everything. A Burbank city spokesman told the AP that Rivers was not arrested or cited.more »
A U.S. athlete who won an Olympic gold medal Sunday has already signed to do a reality show, Deadline.com reports. Sanya Richards-Ross, who won the women's 400-meter race, will star in a pilot for WE tv, the story reports.
The track star, who also medaled in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, is married to Aaron Ross, an NFL star -- currently on the Jacksonville Jaguars -- who has two Super Bowl rings.
The reality show will cover how competitive the couple is and how they balance that with their home life. Also in the pilot are her mother, Sharon, who's Sanya's agent, her dad Archie -- her manager -- and her sister Shari, a business partner.
Sanya and Aaron have been featured on reality TV before, doing a segment on WE tv's "Platinum Weddings."more »
NBCUniversal has already sold $200 million in advertising for its 2014 broadcast of the Winter Olympics, which will be held in the Russian city of Sochi, reports Brian Steinberg in Advertising Age.
"The London Games created an enormous amount of credibility in the way we've programmed the event," said Seth Winter, executive vice president of sales and marketing for NBC Sports Group.
The sales process for Sochi started a few months ago, and Winter expects it to gain momentum given the ratings performance of the Summer Olympics. The first 11 nights of NBC's Olympics broadcasts have drawn average viewership of 33.1 million, the piece notes.
That would be the most of any non-U.S. Summer Games since the 1976 Montreal Olympics.
"While the notion of selling ad time for an event not slated to take place until 2014 may on the surface sound odd, the fact is most TV networks spend months building support for their marquee broadcasts," Steinberg writes.
"The Olympics sales process never goes dormant," Winter said. "There are different levels of activity and different stages."
He declined to name the advertisers who have already signed up.more »
Two new Fox comedies will get advance screenings in 10 cities on Aug. 26, followed by Q&A sessions in person and online with the shows' stars, reports EW.com's Inside TV. The shows are "Ben and Kate" and "The Mindy Project."
The casts of "New Girl" and "Raising Hope," two returning Fox comedies, will join in the Los Angeles-based panel, the story adds. The pilots and Q&A session will be broadcast online and in screening rooms in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Boston, Washington, Atlanta and Houston.
Questions can be sent to the casts via Twitter and Facebook, using the Twitter hashtag #FOXTuesdays and the shows' Facebook pages, the story notes.more »
GSN is pushing into genres outside its stable of studio game shows, picking up a reality series called "Family Trade," about a Vermont-based car dealership that barters with customers, reports B&C.
The show will focus on G Stone Motors, a GMC/Ford dealership in Middlebury, Vt., and will debut in 2013.
"With 'Family Trade,' GSN launches a new category of original series that we call Real-Life Games -- shows that take place in real settings and feature real-life risk and reward," said Amy Introcaso-Davis, GSN's executive VP of programming, according to the story.more »
CBS Television Studios has bought the Michael Koryta private eye novel "A Welcome Grave" and will develop the story for a series to be produced by the Kennedy/Marshall Company, reports Deadline.com.
The book is the third in the Lincoln Perry series, and tracks the PI as he finds himself in the middle of two police investigations after a rival is murdered, the story notes.more »
Lifetime is developing a pilot about a prosecutor who wrote the California law on stalking, based on the book, "Whisper of Fear: The True Story of the Prosecutor Who Stalks the Stalkers," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The two-hour back-door pilot is based on the Rhonda Saunders book, which was published in 2008. Reality producer Craig Piligian will executive produce the project through his Pilgrim Studios, with "Last Resort" writer David Wiener writing the pilot, the story notes.
Piligian is on board for another Lifetime project, "Abducted: The Carlina White Story," and also produced Lifetime's original movie about Amanda Knox.more »
AMC Networks and Dish Network continue to battle each other, with AMC announcing that it will provide live streams of two premieres to Dish customers, enabling them to watch the shows despite a blackout on Dish's systems, reports the New York Post.
The shows are "Hell on Wheels" and "Braxton Family Values," with the premieres airing Aug. 12 and Aug. 16, respectively, according to B&C. Dish subscribers can access the streams by registering at these links: amctv.com/hellonwheels4dish and wetv.com/bfv-for-dish
It's not the first time AMC has worked around the blackout on Dish's systems. The cable network offered a live stream of "Breaking Bad" for its fifth-season premiere last month.
“We’ve heard from many Dish subscribers who are upset about missing our programming so we are giving them an opportunity to watch these premiere episodes at the same time as the rest of the country," AMC said in a statement.more »
Famed Hollywood Publicist Dale Olson Dies -- Client List Included Rock Hudson, Clint Eastwood, Marilyn Monroe, Steve McQueen and Other Greats
One of Hollywood's most famous publicity men, Dale Olson, died today at the age of 78, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Olson, who was renown for his representation of Rock Hudson during the star's demise from AIDS, had been fighting his own long battle with a different disease -- cancer -- before succumbing this morning.
He was born in Fargo, N.D., and got his start at Boxoffice Magazine in 1956. He later worked at Daily Variety and helped found the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle. In 1967, when Olson was the publicity director for the Mirisch Corporation, his first film in Academy Award competition -- "In the Heat of the Night" -- won five Oscars. That successful campaign led to many more, including such titles as "Rocky," "Superman" and "Rambo."
In his time, Olson's client list was a who's who of Hollywood royalty, including Clint Eastwood, Laurence Olivier, Walter Matthau, Tony Curtis, Marilyn Monroe, James Whitmore, Robert Duvall, Rod Steiger, Dyan Cannon, Shirley MacLaine, Gene Kelly, Steve McQueen, Doris Roberts, Marion Ross, Peter Ustinov, Robert Blake, Diane Ladd, Jean Stapleton, James Earl Jones, Diana Rigg and Sally Kirkland.
But it was his work for Rock Hudson in the mid-'80s that garnered headlines. In 1984, the star claimed to have liver cancer, but the following year, while in Paris for treatment, Hudson revealed that he was afflicted with AIDS. Hudson was the first major celebrity victim of the disease.
Olson was by Hudson's side through the entire ordeal, and after Hudson's death on Oct. 2, 1985, Olson devoted much of his time to raising awareness of the disease and actively fundraising as an Actors Fund Trustee.
Olson is survived by publicist Eugene Harbin, who was his spouse for 30 years. A memorial service is being planned in the upcoming weeks.
The ex-husband of the late Amy Winehouse is reported to be on life support in a British hospital, in a coma after what appears to be a drinking and drug binge, according to Reuters.
“Blake Fielder-Civil, 30, who was married to Winehouse for about two years until 2009 and was widely blamed for fueling her own addiction to drugs, was found choking on his vomit last week after a drinking session and a reported dose of heroin,” the story reports, citing a story in the U.K. newspaper The Sun.
The news comes a little more than a year after the death of Winehouse, who sang “Rehab” and other hits.
Reuters reports: “His girlfriend Sarah Aspin told the newspaper that Fielder-Civil had suffered multiple organ failure and that doctors had put him in a coma.”
Aspin was quoted as saying: "I'm praying he'll survive but I'm having to prepare myself that he may never wake up.”
The report adds: “Winehouse was found dead in her London home on July 23, 2011, at the age of 27 from what officials later determined was accidental alcohol poisoning. There were no illicit drugs in her system.”
Winehouse and Fielder-Civil had what has been described as a turbulent relationship that included violence and heavy drug use, Reuters notes.more »
NBC Olympics Coverage Rolls On, Crushing CBS's 'Big Brother' in Its Path and Giving NBC's New Sitcom a Big Push
NBC’s coverage of the London Olympics continued to rack up big ratings Wednesday night, according to Nielsen overnights.
TVbytheNumbers.com reports that the three hours of prime-time coverage averaged a 9.2 rating in the key demo of viewers 18-49. the number was up from an 8.1 fast national for the equivalent night during the Beijing Olympics four years ago. However, it was off 5% from last Wednesday.
NBC reported that the preview of the new Matthew Perry sitcom “Go On,” airing in late-night following the Olympics, was a big success.
The network reported: “According to the fast official ratings, the 11:06-11:18 portion of last night’s telecast averaged a 6.1 in adults 18-49 and the 11:18-11:30 portion averaged a 5.1, meaning despite the late hour and the very large lead-in, the second half of the preview retained 84% of the first half.”
The comedy averaged 5.6 overall in the 18-49 demo, the network noted, with 16.1 million total viewers. The preview aired without commercials and won’t be a part of official Nielsen tallies, but the network noted that the preview gave a large audience a chance to sample the show.
Most of the programming on other broadcast networks was repeats, as has been the pattern throughout the Olympics. CBS did try out a fresh episode of “Big Brother,” which equaled its series low with a 1.8 average rating in 18-49.
ABC’s new episode of “Final Witness” pulled a 0.8 average in the 18-49 demo at 10 p.m., a 14% improvement from a week ago.
NBC’s 9.2 average rating for prime time in viewers 18-49 was the best by far of any broadcast net, trailed by Univision (1.4 average), CBS (1.2), ABC (0.9) and Fox (0.7). In total viewers, NBC averaged 28.7 million for the night, followed by CBS with 4.4 million, Univision with 3.7 million, ABC with 2.8 million and Fox with 1.9 million.more »
Actress Keri Russell, best known for the dramedy "Felicity," will star in a new FX drama called "The Americans," reports TVLine.com.
FX ordered 13 episodes of the show, which will co-star Matthew Rhys ("Brothers & Sisters"). The show is a period piece set in the early 1980s. Rhys and Russell play two KGB spies posing as suburban Americans in the D.C. area.
It's an arranged partnership, but eventually grows more serious and intense as they try to keep their identity secret. As the Cold War intensifies, so does the drama when a new neighbor, Stan (Noah Emmerich), moves in and turns out to be an FBI agent.
In a statement, FX President John Landgraf, said: “We’re proud to welcome 'The Americans,' a taut series that crackles with incredible performances rooted in character perspectives never explored on a U.S. television series, to FX’s lineup of quality dramas.”more »
It's early going in the development season, but the television networks are already being picky about giving commitments to A-list showrunners, reports Nellie Andreeva in Deadline.com.
"I’ve counted at least a half-dozen pitches by A-list showrunners, all under multi-million-dollar overall deals, that failed to sell over the past couple of weeks. The same thing has happened to a couple of feature writers," she writes.
The reason might be overspending last season, with NBC and ABC in particular indicating they will buy less as a result, the story notes.
Another issue might be the reluctance by TV studios to sign expensive overall deals with well-known writer-producers, the piece adds.
"The traditional overall development deals have already been overshadowed by the so-called ‘showveralls’ as TV studios opt more and more to sign overall deals with writer-producers who are tied to some of their key shows or are willing to staff," Andreeva writes.
Networks may instead be looking for fresher, less experienced show creators, she adds.
One top agent quoted in the story said: “The networks are being extra picky this year. The areas in which they choose to buy are narrower, and it feels like auspices are not as important.”
In contrast, an industry insider noted: “Last year, you’d walk in the door with a name and you’d get a commitment on the spot. It was more about being in business with those (writer-producers) than the actual idea.”more »
Randy Travis Bailed Out by a Fan After Bad Night -- Here's the Singer's Mugshot, Worthy of a Place Among the Worst Celebrity Mugs; Also an Intriguing Naked Incident in a Convenience Store
Fans reportedly came to the rescue of country singer Randy Travis after news broke Wednesday of his humiliating arrest on suspicion of DUI and other offenses, TMZ.com reports.
As previously reported, Travis was allegedly found naked at the scene where he had apparently driven off the road and crashed his Trans Am. Officers said he threatened to kill them during his arrest.
Several fans reportedly made their way to the Grayson County Jail after hearing the news, with one fan apparently putting up the $21,500 bail. Another fan, an area lawyer named Gary Corley, said he loaned Travis his Texas Longhorns cap and gave the singer a ride home.
Meanwhile, evidence of Travis’ bad night is surfacing, such as his mugshot (below) and a 911 tape.
One of the more intriguing reports comes from NBC’s Dallas-Fort Worth station, which reports on NBCDFW.com: “Country superstar Randy Travis allegedly walked naked into a North Texas convenience store to buy cigarettes, touching off a bizarre series of events that ended with him being charged with threatening to shoot a state trooper, police said.” The NBC affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth is KXAS, co-owned by NBCUniversal and LIN Media.
The report says a convenience store clerk called 911 to report the naked customer who tried to buy cigarettes. “When asked how he was going to pay for them, the man left aggravated and empty-handed,” the story reports.
Soon afterward, a second call came in to 911 from a caller who reported finding a man lying in the roadway.more »
Who's the Highest-Paid Star on Television? (You Probably Won't Get This One) -- Here Are the Top 10 Lists That Can't Easily Be Found Online
A new survey of the highest-paid stars on television has a name at the top that will probably come as a surprise to most observers. The survey by TV Guide, which lists the top earners in various categories, has a daytime syndication star well ahead of the pack.
The runaway leader is Judge Judy -- Judy Sheindlin -- with an annual salary of $45 million. Other high-profile personalities in the daytime/syndication category come in well behind her -- such as Joe Brown and Kelly Ripa in a tie with a mere $20 million apiece.
Some of the more obvious contenders from the scripted side -- such as Ashton Kutcher in the comedy category or Mark Harmon in drama -- don’t come close. “Two and a Half Men” star Kutcher leads the scripted group with a salary of $700,000 an episode. Calculating it using the standard 24-episode season yields an estimated annual salary of $16.8 million -- a little more than one-third what Judge Judy makes.
Harmon’s $500,000 an episode for “NCIS” leads the drama category, but it calculates out to an annual estimate of just $12 million.
The category king in late-night is CBS’s David Letterman at $28 million a year -- better than the $25 million earned by his NBC rival Jay Leno.
Matt Lauer of NBC’s “Today” tops the news category with $21.5 million a year, while the reality category finds “American Idol’s” Mariah Carey on top with her $17 million per season.
TV Guide published highlights of the survey online, with the full lists by category available in the magazine’s hardcopy edition, out today. Reporting for TV Guide are Stephen Battaglio and Michael Schneider.
Here are some of the survey highlights:
Drama (per episode) -- Top 10:
Mark Harmon (NCIS): $500,000
Mariska Hargita (Law & Order: SVU): $385,000
Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy): $350,000
Ellen Pompeo (Grey's Anatomy): $350,000
Sandra Oh (Grey's Anatomy): $350,000
Simon Baker (The Mentalist): $300,000
Michael C. Hall (Dexter): $295,000
Jon Hamm (Mad Men): $250,000
David Boreanaz (Bones): $225,000
Ted Danson (CSI): $225,000
Kiefer Sutherland (Touch): $225,000
Comedy (per episode) -- Top 10:
Ashton Kutcher (Two and a Half Men): $700,000
Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men): $600,000
Tina Fey (30 Rock): $350,000
Alec Baldwin (30 Rock): $300,000
Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons): $300,000
Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory): $300,000
Johnny Galecki (The Big Bang Theory): $300,000
Angus T. Jones (Two and a Half Men): $300,000
Julie Kavner (The Simpsons): $300,000
Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory): $300,000
Yeardley Smith (The Simpsons): $300,000
News (per year) -- Top 10:
Matt Lauer (Today): $21.5 million
Bill O'Reilly (The O'Reilly Factor): $15 million
Brian Williams (NBC Nightly News): $13 million
Diane Sawyer (ABC World News): $12 million
Anderson Cooper (Anderson Cooper 360 and Anderson Live): $11 million
Shepard Smith (The Fox Report) $8 million
Robin Roberts (Good Morning America) $6 million
Joe Scarborough (Morning Joe) $6 million
Scott Pelley (CBS Evening News) $4 million
Nancy Grace (Nancy Grace) $3 million
Late-Night (per year) -- Top 9:
David Letterman: $28 million
Jay Leno: $25 million
Jon Stewart: $16 million
Conan O’Brien: $12 million
Craig Ferguson: $8 million
Chelsea Handler: $8 million
Jimmy Kimmel: $8 million
Stephen Colbert: $6 million
Jimmy Fallon: $5 million
Daytime/Syndication (per year) -- highlights:
Judy Sheindlin (Judge Judy): $45 million
Joe Brown (Judge Joe Brown): $20 million
Kelly Ripa (Live! With Kelly): $20 million
Reality (per season) -- highlights:
Mariah Carey (American Idol): $17 million
Ryan Seacrest (American Idol): $15 million
Howard Stern (America's Got Talent): $15 million
Britney Spears (The X Factor): $10 million
The Kardashian Family (Keeping Up with the Kardashians, etc.): $10 million
After one high-profile cast departure for "Saturday Night Live," word has surfaced that another cast member might not return to the NBC late-night comedy program, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The latest report focuses on straight man Jason Sudeikis, who might follow former colleague Kristen Wiig out the door, the story reports.
Sudeikis, who is known for his portrayal of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, said he hasn't yet decided whether to return to the show. The reason is a growing movie career, with roles in "The Campaign," which opens Friday and stars Will Ferrell, and his taping of the comedy "We're the Millers" with Jennifer Aniston.
Nevertheless, the comedian said he would like more responsibility at "SNL" while keeping flexibility to work on other projects.
"I'd like the opportunity to use creative muscles that ... haven't been asked of me for the first nine years that I've worked there," Sudeikis told the publication. "It could be some sort of title change. The least of the concerns is anything financial."
He added, "To stay just for the juice of being in the public eye -- of being Mitt Romney -- is not enough."
Sudeikis joined "SNL" in 2003 as a sketch writer, and he first appeared on air in 2005. His movie work has meant less input on "SNL," with the actor spending only half a week at the show.
"You start at 'SNL' when you're young and hungry, but I don't want my pro years to be my 'SNL' years," he said. "This is me getting to play for K.U. or Duke or North Carolina, with pro-caliber people, but I don't want this to be it."
Shortly after Wiig’s widely publicized departure from “SNL” earlier this year, cast member Andy Samberg confirmed two months ago that he was leaving the show, as reported previously.more »
Report: 'Google is reinventing the business of pay TV and broadband. Cable operators everywhere should be very, very afraid.'
The article continues, "Frustrated with the nation's broadband providers and their usage caps, prices and globally lagging speeds, Google is taking matters into its own hands to accelerate innovation and secure its own future.
"Google Fiber is part of a grand plan to create highly connected societies, a place where 'bandwidth flows like water, where the fastest Internet in the world is available at an affordable price and [where] people can get access to basic broadband for free,' said Milo Medin, vice president of access services at Google, one of several executives who spoke at the service's July 26 launch in Kansas City. 'It's not just Internet. It's not just TV. It's Google Fiber.' "
The article contines, "Google Fiber is not your run-of-the-mill cable service," and then goes on to say, "Google only offers three plans: A broadband and TV bundle at $120 per month with a free Nexus 7 tablet and 1 terabyte of cloud storage; a 1-Gbps Internet plan for $70 a month and a terabyte of cloud storage; and free broadband at up to 5 Mbps downloading with a $300 installation fee or $25 a month for one year. There is only one channel package, not multiple tiers.
"Local content included: Google Fiber will offer content from local institutions, such as educational videos from a hospital or school. The company said the goal is to become a content-publishing platform.
"Custom equipment: Google made its own gear, boxes that are smaller and more powerful than standard equipment provided by pay TV operators.
"Google Fiber comes with a set-top box it calls a TV box, a network box or modem and a storage box or DVR. The TV box has eight tuners so viewers can record eight shows at once; it is fully integrated with online video and has a Wi-Fi access point built in so it turns every TV into a Wi-Fi router, meaning no more dead spots in the basement. The TV box also has Bluetooth, so viewers can use Bluetooth-enabled stereo headphones to watch TV without disturbing others.
"The storage box stores 2 TB of content, or up to 500 hours of HD programming. The network provides high-speed wireless connections in the home, including a firewall for data security.
"The Nexus tablet acts as a remote. Viewers can even search for shows by speaking to the device."more »
The American sprinter Lolo Jones complained on "Today" about a New York Times column that criticized her for marketing her sex appeal while failing to note her athletic achievements, raising the question of whether viewers are too focused on female athletes' looks, writes Bill Carter in The New York Times' Media Decoder.
"Ms. Jones was among a number of female athletes whose appearance became a topic of discussion during these Games," Carter writes. "After her gold-medal-winning performance last week, the gymnast Gabby Douglas was written about in blogs and in online media not because of her floor routine, but in reaction to Twitter messages -- that appeared to come largely from black women and men -- which had labeled her hair unsuitably unkempt."
A Fox News commentator criticized the gymnast for not being patriotic enough because she wore a pink leotard instead of American-themed colors.
Other female athletes were also dinged for their looks, including weightlifter Holley Mangold, with one online commentator saying, "She's a beast!" Responding to the criticism, Mangold said, "I’m not saying everyone is an athlete but I am saying an athlete can come in any size.”
Some believe the sniping may have affected Douglas, with the gymnast saying she had read about herself online and hadn't slept well. After winning the gold medal in the gymnastics all-around competition, she failed to win a medal in any individual events, the story notes.more »
Some viewers of a Chinese comedy called "Ipartment" have started pointing out similarities between the show and "Friends," with accusations surfacing that the program has ripped off the comedy and other hit U.S. shows, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In its third season, "Ipartment" focuses on a group of 20-year-olds who live in Shanghai. One character is a university lecturer, similar to Ross in "Friends," while another character is a radio show host, similar to Joey on the U.S. show, the story notes. Some jokes are also similar not only to "Friends" but also to "How I Met Your Mother" and "The Big Bang Theory," according to the piece.
According to the Chinese publication Global Times, the show's producers sent an apology to an unnamed writer for using his jokes without permission. The producers allegedly acknowledged that they used jokes from "various sources," and offered to pay 10,000 yuan, or $1,569, in compensation for every 1,000 Chinese characters of material, the story notes.
But a representative for the show allegedly told another Chinese publication that it didn't copy the American sitcom. "Comedies have stereotypes, like the handsome man, the gorgeous woman, the cheap man and so on. They have that in many comedies. Our creation is not plagiarism, but more a homage to the American sitcom," the rep said, according to The Hollywood Reporter.more »
Arsenio Hall's new late-night talk show, distributed by CBS Television Distribution, is now a "firm go," reports our friend Nellie Andreeva at Deadline.com.
The show is set to debut in the fall of 2013, and has been cleared in 85% of the country, the story notes, adding that the program has been cleared in all of the nation's top 50 markets.
Andreeva writes that besides certain CBS and Tribune stations, clearances have been obtained by stations owned by the following groups: Sinclair Broadcasting, LIN Television Stations, Belo Corp., Cox Enterprises, Media General, Post-Newsweek Stations, Newport Television, Raycom Media and The Grant Group.more »
The NBC musical drama series "Smash" has cast a new love interest for Debra Messing, whose character wrecked her marriage with an affair during the show's first season, reports EW.com's Inside TV.
Actor Daniel Sunjata will join the show's second season in a recurring role as Messing’s love interest. He was a regular in FX's "Rescue Me," and also had a story arc in ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" last year. On the big screen, he’s seen in “Dark Knight Rises.”
The show will return to NBC at midseason.
The report adds: “In other ‘Smash’ news, Karen is getting a new roommate for season two played by Krysta Rodriguez, and, of course, Jennifer Hudson is joining the cast as a Broadway star.”more »
HBO has ordered a pilot script from "Breaking Bad" executive producer Mark Johnson and Michael R. Roskam, who received an Oscar nomination for his Belgian film "Bullhead," reports Deadline.com.
The pilot script is for a drama called "Buda Bridge," a crime story set in a future Brussels that starts when a woman is found dead on Buda Bridge, the story says. Roskam is writing the script and will direct the pilot, while Michael Mann will executive produce along with Johnson.more »
"Sesame Street" is casting a new character -- but only a certain type will fit the bill: The show is looking for a Latino actress or actor who is bilingual and between 18 and 25 years old, reports the Associated Press.
The show's producers are holding an open casting call Aug. 20 in Manhattan's Roseland Ballroom to cast the recurring character.
"We hope many people show up. We know the Latino community is full of talented people," said Rocio Galarza, senior director of content planning, design and outreach for Sesame Workshop,
"Sesame Street" debuted Hispanic characters early on, with Maria, played by Sonia Manzano, and Luis, played by Emilio Delgado, debuting in 1971. Rosita, a muppet, debuted in 1993.
The show wants an actor or actress who can sing and improvise in English and Spanish, and who also has a good sense of humor, the story adds.more »
The director of "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2" is telling fans they should show respect to stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, with the pair having a tough time since a cheating scandal broke involving Stewart and Rupert Sanders, her director on "Snow White and the Huntsman," reports EW.com's Popwatch.
“Twilight” director Bill Condon, who spoke with EW, said, "Both of these actors gave heart and soul to the ‘Twilight’ movies, not only during shooting, but also by navigating so graciously the whole life-in-a-fishbowl aspect of the phenomenon. Above all they have always shown great respect for the fans who made these movies such a success. Now it’s time that some of that respect be returned to them.”
“Breaking Dawn -- Part 2” is set for a Nov. 16 release. The cheating scandal has created logistical problems for Summit, the studio releasing the movie, as it sets up promotion efforts for the final installment of the “Twilight” series.
“What happens during an international press tour and red carpet premiere when the two top-billed stars may or may not be speaking to each other?” the story asks. “Nancy Kirkpatrick, the company’s head of worldwide marketing, tells EW, ‘While it is studio policy not to comment on the personal lives of actors, Summit is moving full steam ahead.’”more »
“Today” co-host Kathie Lee Gifford is no stranger to controversy, with a habit of speaking her mind and then getting the facts afterward -- often from angry viewers.
Gifford has been receiving angry comments on her Facebook page since details of the interview surfaced, the report notes.
Gifford told the magazine, "I'm not a perfect mom, but my kids haven't been arrested, in rehab or kicked out of school, so I must be doing something right!"
That angered some parents, who drew the implication that parents of kids who have been arrested or struggled with drugs are doing something wrong, TMZ says.
Some commenters on her Facebook page wrote about losing relatives to drug addiction, such as this one: "Well Kathy, here is a pic of my little brother who we lost at the age of 33 yrs old due to a DISEASE called DRUG ADDICTION ... I find it funny we were both raised by the same woman called MOM ... I am NOT an ADDICT and NEVER was ... Poor parenting?? Gimme a break."
Another commenter wrote: "Shame on you Kathie Lee Gifford, shame on you. You are a thoughtless human being."
And one more: "Kathy do you know the first thing they teach you in family counseling for loved ones of addicts? The three C's; you DIDN'T cause it, you CAN'T cure it, and you CAN'T control it."more »
With Keith Olbermann Gone, Current Has an Even Bigger Celebrity Anchoring Its Coverage of the Political Conventions: The Former Vice President of the United States -- and Current TV Co-Founder -- Al Gore
Here's the press release just received from Current TV today, Aug. 8, 2012:
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE TO LEAD
CURRENT TV’S CONVENTION COVERAGE
ROUNDTABLE PANEL WILL ALSO INCLUDE JENNIFER GRANHOLM, ELIOT SPITZER AND CENK UYGUR
Nightly Coverage Will Air Live From 7pm – 11pm EST from
Current TV’s Convention Headquarters in New York
New York, NY, August 8, 2012 – Vice President Al Gore will be leading Current TV’s coverage of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. Coverage of the Republican National Convention (RNC) begins August 27th from 7pm – 11pm EST and will continue for all four nights, concluding on August 30th. Coverage of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) begins on September 4th from 7pm – 11pm EST and will conclude on September 6th.
Vice President Gore will be joined by former Michigan Governor and “The War Room” host, Jennifer Granholm, former New York Governor and “Viewpoint” host, Eliot Spitzer and “The Young Turks” host, Cenk Uygur. Additionally, California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom will join the panel for the RNC coverage.
Current TV will feature reporting with real-time analysis and detailed coverage of the 2012 conventions. David Shuster and Michael Shure will report from both conventions. Also contributing will be new Current TV hosts Joy Behar and John Fugelsang.
“I’m pleased to be participating in Current TV’s impressive line-up throughout the Republican and Democratic National Conventions,” said Vice President Al Gore. “Cenk, Jennifer and Eliot provide the keen insight and spot-on analysis our viewers have come to expect, combined with decades of experience in public service and a deep understanding of politics. I have no doubt that our coverage will be innovative and informative, and I look forward to working with them.”
Additionally, “Full Court Press: The Bill Press Show” and “Talking Liberally: The Stephanie Miller Show” will both air during their regularly scheduled times from the DNC in Charlotte. “Joy Behar: Say Anything!” which debuts on September 4th at 6pm EST will lead in to the network’s coverage of the DNC.more »
While bigger names such as Kim Kardashian and Sharon Osbourne have been bandied about as potential additions to Fox's "The X Factor" as judges, an actor from the network's musical series "Glee" is being considered to co-host the show, reports TV Guide.
Kevin McHale -- the young actor, not the former basketball player -- is said to be a contender for the job. McHale, 24, plays wheelchair-bound New Directions choir member Artie on “Glee.”
McHale recently hosted the Teen Choice Awards with "X Factor" judge Demi Lovato, and has been involved with “X Factor” before, hosting a behind-the-scenes featurette about the show. "X Factor" is looking for someone to replace Steve Jones, who was dumped after season one.
The story reports: “Simon Cowell has said he's interested in hiring a male-female duo comprised of personalities who do not have previous hosting experience. Other names up for consideration include Khloe Kardashian, Erin Andrews and Kelly Osbourne.”
"The X Factor" comes back on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 8 p.m. ET. Whether McHale gets the gig or not, he is definitely going to be on season four of "Glee."more »
In an interview with “Today’s” Matt Lauer at the London Olympics, Jimmy Fallon confirmed he will not host next year’s Oscars, TheWrap.com reports. The revelation appeared to catch Lauer off guard.
As reported previously, Fallon’s candidacy to host the ceremony met resistance from execs at ABC, and he was reportedly taken out of the running -- even though ABC officially does not have a say in the decision.
Fallon’s comments on the Oscars come at the end of the video below. The rest of the interview showcases the late-night NBC host’s riffs on London and the Olympics.more »
The producer behind “Hunger Games” has signed a first-look deal for cable with FX Productions, Deadline.com reports. Producer Nina Jacobson, along with Brad Simpson and their production banner Color Force, is in business with FX.
“Color Force will develop series projects as well as secure the rights to published material that can be adapted into series,” the story reports.
Said FX President John Landgraf: “Over the past 20 years, Nina Jacobson has amassed one of the most successful bodies of work in the film business, both as an executive and a producer.”
The deal comes after Jacobson met with a number of studios about a possible TV deal.
Jacobson commented: “We are expanding our business into television because we find it creatively irresistible. Color Force truly values story and character and there is so much great storytelling happening in TV right now, especially at FX”.
The report adds: “The pact with Color Force marks the first pod deal for FX Prods. that was not established through a prior existing relationship with the studio. It joins FX Prods.’ existing pacts with RCG Prods., the production company of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ masterminds Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton, and Floyd County Prods., the production company of ‘Archer’s’ Adam Reed and Matt Thompson.more »
NBC’s coverage of the London Olympics continued to dominate the prime-time ratings Tuesday night, averaging a 9.3 rating in the key 18-49 demo for the three hours of prime time, according to Nielsen overnights.
TVbytheNumbers.com reports that the number was up 11% over the equivalent night during the Beijing Olympics four years ago, although it was down 24% from the Tuesday night number a week ago.
Nothing on the other broadcast networks came close. NBC’s 9.3 average for the night in viewers 18-49 placed the network well ahead of Univision (1.4 average), Fox (0.9), CBS (0.9) and ABC (0.7). Total viewers was a similar story, with NBC averaging 29.6 million to CBS’s 5.5 million, Univision’s 3.7 million, ABC’s 2.5 million and Fox’s 2.4 million.
The other major broadcast nets put up all repeats, with one exception: ABC’s fresh installment of “NY Med” at 10 p.m. pulled a 0.7 in 18-49, up 17% from last week’s series low.more »
The day after ION Television added CBS's "Numbers" to its lineup of crime procedurals, the cable network announced it is also adding NBC's "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," Deadline.com reports.
ION acquired all 195 episodes of the show, which aired for 10 seasons on NBC and USA Network during its first run. The show starred Vincent D'Onofrio, Kathryn Erbe and Jamey Sheridan on and off through the years, following its debut on Sept. 30, 2001.
As previously reported, ION has just closed a deal for all six seasons of “Numbers.” The channel also airs “Flashpoint,” “Criminal Minds,” “Cold Case” and “Leverage.”more »
Liberty Media Corp., controlled by cable czar John Malone, said today it will spin off its Starz cable group into its own company, the Los Angeles Times reports. The move is part of a series of recent financial moves by Liberty.
The story reports: “The move will give investors a better view of how Starz is doing, improve its capital structure and create two ‘currencies’ in the form of shares that can be used for acquisitions, said Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei.
“The move will also free up cash at Liberty Media, Maffei said. It has been buying shares of satellite radio broadcaster Sirius XM Radio Inc. and concert arranger Live Nation Entertainment Inc.”
The Starz spinoff is expected to be completed in late 2012, according to the company.more »
A superstar country singer was arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of driving under the influence after what has been described as a single-car collision in Texas, TMZ.com reports.
Randy Travis -- who had an arrest for alleged public intoxication earlier this year -- reportedly was naked when officers arrived at the scene of the crash. He was arrested just before midnight and had minor cuts and bruises, according to the story.
Travis reportedly threatened to shoot and kill the officers working the case, leading to his being booked on the additional charge of “retaliation and obstruction,” a felony, the website says. He reportedly refused to take a breathalyzer test and instead had blood taken to determine his blood alcohol level.
The incident was handled by the Grayson County Sheriff's Office. TMZ reported separately: "The GCSO tells us ... officers received a call at 11:18 PM from a person who stated there was a man lying in the roadway. When cops arrived to the scene, they noticed Travis' 1998 Pontiac Trans Am had driven off the road and slammed into several barricades in a construction zone."
The singer was released from custody this morning after posting $21,500 bail, the story reports.
The website notes: “It's the singer's 2nd arrest this year -- back in February, Randy was busted for public intoxication for allegedly boozing in front of a Baptist church. According to the police report, Randy said he had just gotten into a fight with his girlfriend.”more »
An Academy Award-nominated actor revealed that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and announced his retirement from acting. The U.K.’s Daily Mail reports that Bob Hoskins, known for “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” “The Long Good Friday” and a string of successful Hollywood movies, received the diagnosis back in the fall and has decided to end his career to focus on spending time with his family.
The British-born Hoskins, 69, received an Oscar nomination for “Mona Lisa” in 1987, also winning a Golden Globe for the role. He appeared recently as a dwarf in the Kristen Stewart movie “Snow White and the Huntsman.”
A statement released on behalf of the actor said: “Bob Hoskins wishes to announce that he will be retiring from acting, following his diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease last autumn.
“He wishes to thank all the great and brilliant people he has worked with over the years, and all of his fans who have supported him during a wonderful career.
“Bob is now looking forward to his retirement with his family, and would greatly appreciate that his privacy be respected at this time.”
Parkinson's, a neurological condition, has no known cure, the story reports, adding: “It is often known for the tremors which it causes but other effects include slow movements and depression.”
Among the more than 70 movies in which Hoskins has appeared are “Hook” and “Neverland.” He also appears in “Pink Floyd The Wall,” “Nixon” and “Mermaids.”more »
Jimmy Fallon is no longer in discussions to host the Oscars in 2013, with talks stalling because of concerns from ABC executives and Disney Chief Robert Iger, reports the Los Angeles Times' Show Tracker.
Iger and other ABC executives didn't like the idea of giving NBC's Fallon the platform of the Oscars, even through ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel is already tied up with hosting the Emmys, the piece notes.
While Fallon apparently isn't in the running, Lorne Michaels -- the executive producer of NBC's "Saturday Night Live" -- may still be in consideration to produce the Oscars telecast, according to the story.
"Though Iger does not hold veto power over the academy's selection of an Oscar host, he does carry a lot of clout inside the organization. In December, the academy named him chairman of its $250 million capital campaign to raise money for a new museum in a former May Co. building on the Los Angeles County Museum of Art campus," the article points out.
The Oscars have tapped hosts from rival networks in previous years. In the 1970s and 1980s, Johnny Carson hosted the ABC telecast, even though he worked for NBC; Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's "Daily Show" hosted the show in 2006 and 2008.
Nevertheless, Fallon was more sensitive because his show competes directly with Kimmel's program, the piece notes.
Fallon hosted the 2010 Emmys, as previously noted, receiving good reviews for his performance.more »
For the second time in recent weeks, CNN has issued an apology for playing a musical selection at the wrong time. The cable news channel said it's sorry it aired the song "Only the Good Die Young" after a segment on the deadly shooting at the Wisconsin temple, reports TVNewser.com.
"We aired a song from our guest’s playlist on the morning show, which aired following a three-minute commercial break and before a segment on presidential politics, unrelated to the Wisconsin shooting. Given the news of the day, this was regrettable and we apologize to our viewers," CNN said in a statement.
It's the second song-related apology from CNN in recent weeks. As previously reported, CNN issued an apology after playing the Pink song "Stupid Girls" to introduce a segment on Sarah Palin.more »
Sherman Hemsley, known for his role as George Jefferson on the classic television sitcom "The Jeffersons," died from lung cancer, reports TMZ.com, citing the El Paso County Texas Medical Examiner.
A postmortem report said the primary cause of death was a "superior vena cava syndrome," a complication from a cancerous mass on his lung, the story notes. The report said Hemsley had been advised to receive chemo and radiation therapy. It's not known whether he was a smoker, the story adds.
As previously reported, Hemsley died at his home in El Paso last month at the age of 74.
"The Jeffersons" ran on CBS from 1975 to 1985.more »
Lindsay Lohan has lined up her next acting role, and it's with one of pop music's biggest names, reports the New York Post's Page Six.
Lohan will star in a new music video with Lady Gaga from the singer's album "ARTPOP," the story reports. It’s a potentially more mainstream role than the actress' recent comeback roles, the report notes. Lohan is working on the Lifetime movie "Liz & Dick" and in Bret Easton Ellis' "The Canyons."
Lady Gaga and Lohan have been friends and have been spending time together at the Chateau Marmont in L.A., with Gaga posting pictures of their get-togethers on her website, Little Monsters, the piece adds. Representatives for Lohan and Gaga declined to comment.more »
Jennifer Lopez has sued her former chauffeur Hakob Manoukian for at least $20 million, claiming Manoukian tried to extort and defame her, reports E! Online.
Lopez is alleging Manoukian threatened to reveal "disruptive and potentially damaging" information about her unless she paid him $2.8 million, the story notes.
She claims that an attorney representing the driver, who sued Lopez, her manager Benny Medina and Marc Anthony for breach of contract in April, demanded the money or Manoukian would disclose information he allegedly overheard while working for her, the piece notes.more »
'Daily Show' Scoops 'GMA,' Books Interview With Robert Pattinson Ahead of His Appearance on ABC Morning Show
"The Daily Show" has scored an interview with "Twilight" star Robert Pattinson before he’s set to appear on ABC’s "Good Morning America," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
In what will now be his first televised interview since news broke of the cheating scandal involving his girlfriend and “Twilight” co-star Kristen Stewart, Pattinson is scheduled to appear Monday night, Aug. 13, on the Comedy Central show.
As previously reported, Pattinson had set what was expected to be his first TV interview since the scandal broke for Wednesday, Aug. 15, on "Good Morning America."
While he deals with his romantic problems stemming from Stewart’s affair with Rupert Sanders, her director on “Snow White and the Huntsman,” Pattinson is beginning to make the rounds to promote his new movie "Cosmopolis."
He previously appeared on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" in March 2010 to promote his movie "Remember Me."more »
NBC Chairman Robert Greenblatt isn't talking with former "America's Got Talent" judge Sharon Osbourne any longer, after she quit the show and alleged NBC had discriminated against her son, reports the New York Post.
"I have no reason to talk to her," Greenblatt wrote in an email to Osbourne's representatives on Tuesday, the story says.
As previously reported, Greenblatt said the network hadn't discriminated against her son, Jack, and had offered him two "substantial alternative roles" on the show "Stars Earn Stripes" after he went public with his MS diagnosis.
Sharon Osbourne said NBC offered Jack a role as an "online correspondent" or a job where he would interview military families on camera. "But he really only wanted to compete," Osbourne said.more »
Kelsey Grammer has sold a drama project to NBC that's based on the economic theory made popular by the bestseller "Freakonomics," reports Deadline.com.
The project, called "Pariah," tracks an academic hired by the mayor of San Diego to run a task force using "Freakonomics"-inspired methods, the story notes. The task force causes division in the police department as the academic solves crimes by playing out his theories on the city's residents, the piece adds.
From Lionsgate Television and Grammer's Grammnet Productions, the project will be executive produced by Grammer, Stella Stolper and Brian Sher. Kevin Fox of "Law & Order: SVU" will write the procedural.more »
TV Writer and Producer Mary Hanes Dies -- Credits Included 'Make It or Break It,' 'Hope Island,' 'Doc'
Mary Hanes, a writer and producer who worked on ABC Family's "Make It or Break It," has died, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She was 59 and died after a long battle with ovarian cancer.
Working with husband Ken Hanes, she executive produced five episodes and wrote one episode of "Make It or Break it," a recently canceled series focused on Olympic gymnastics, the story notes.
Her credits include co-developing and executive producing the 1999-2000 series "Hope Island" for Pax TV and working as writer-producer on The WB's 2001 series "Dead Last."
She also worked on the 2011 USA drama pilot “Eden” and the Billy Ray Cyrus series “Doc.”more »
Despite a recent tweet by a member of the Kardashian family about attending law school at the University of Southern California, the USC Gould School of Law said it never received an application from Rob Kardashian, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Going to Law School very soon and so excited and can’t wait!” tweeted Kardashian, who finished in second place in the 13th season of "Dancing with the Stars." “School just never ends for me! #UnivesityofSouthernCal #Trojans #FightOn.”
Kardashian did previously attend USC's Marshall School of Business, graduating with an undergrad degree in 2009, the story notes.
Gould School of Law stated in a tweet, reportedly aimed at gossip outlets: “Rob Kardashian is not coming here, but we wish him luck at law school.”
A representative for Kardashian didn't immediately return a request for comment, the article adds.more »
A veteran TV reporter who recently left her longtime job with New York station WNBC-TV will try her hand at acting, the New York Post reports.
Sue Simmons, who signed off from WNBC after three decades at the station, will guest-star in the season opener of NBC's "Law & Order: SVU," the story reports.
Simmons plays a character by the same name who is seen reporting from the scene of a scandal involving the NYPD, the DA's office and two escort agencies, the story notes.
"Sue opens the episode doing a news stand-up from outside 1 Police Plaza. We’ll bring her back for the second episode of the two-parter," said "SVU" executive producer Warren Leight.
The season premiere resolves the finale of "SVU’s” finale from last season, "Rhodium Nights," in which Capt. Cragen discovers a dead prostitute in his bed, the story notes.
As previously reported, Simmons exited WNBC in June after the station opted not to renew her contract.more »
Cast members from "Dawson's Creek" will be holding a reunion of sorts, but it will take place on another show, TVGuide.com reports. Actors from The WB show will reunite on the ABC series "Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23," the story reports.
Actress Busy Philipps will play herself on the second-season premiere of the ABC comedy, which features "Dawson's Creek" star James Van Der Beek as himself, the story notes.
Van Der Beek will be trying to reunite his "Dawson's Creek" co-stars in the show's season premiere, the story says. Creator Nahnatchka Khan said the show wants other "Dawson's Creek" co-stars to appear on the program, including Michelle Williams, Joshua Jackson and Katie Holmes.
"Dawson's Creek" aired on The WB from 1998 to 2003.more »
One of the most famous American movie critics, who was a trailblazer as a writer for a major newspaper and also appeared regularly on television, has died. The New York Times reports that Judith Crist died today at her home in Manhattan. She was 90.
As the critic for the New York Herald Tribune, “she was the first woman to be made a full-time critic for a major American newspaper,” the story reports. She also was the founding film critic for New York magazine and a longtime writer for TV Guide, with her review appearing in the magazine for 22 years. She had a regular gig as a reviewer on the “Today” show from 1963 to 1973.
“Ms. Crist came to prominence at a time when film was breaking with the conventions of the Hollywood studio era while experiencing a resurgence in popularity, much of it fueled by baby boomers,” the story reports. “She championed a new generation of American directors like Steven Spielberg, Sydney Pollack and Woody Allen and new actors like Robert De Niro and Faye Dunaway.”
Crist wrote for many publications, including Saturday Review, Gourmet and Ladies’ Home Journal.
The report adds: “A Harris Poll of moviegoers in the 1960s cited her as their favorite critic. In 1968, Film Quarterly called her ‘the American critic with the widest impact on the mass audience.’ When TV Guide decided to dismiss her in 1983 to replace her column with a computerized movie summary, executives told her they might come crawling back to her in six months to beg her to return. The magazine was deluged with letters, and asked her back three weeks later. She was given a raise and stayed until 1988.”more »
NBC’s prime-time Olympics coverage saw its numbers decline significantly Monday night, based on Nielsen overnights. TVbytheNumbers.com reports that the three hours of prime time averaged an 8.1 rating in the key 18-49 demo for Monday’s 10th night of the London Games, down 24% from a week earlier and down 2% from the equivalent night of the Beijing Olympics four years ago.
The numbers had been running well ahead of Beijing until Monday.
Even so, NBC was the only broadcast network to attract much of an audience Monday night. Fox and CBS put up all repeats, while ABC made a go of it with a two-hour “Bachelor Pad” followed by the summer reality dud “The Glass House.” Both shows had series lows -- “Bachelor Pad’s” 1.0 average in 18-49 was down 9% from a week ago, while “Glass” matched last week’s series low with a 0.6 average.
For prime time overall, NBC’s 8.1 average in viewers 18-49 easily led the pack, with the scraps picked up by Univision (1.5 average), Fox (1.1), CBS (1.0) and ABC (0.9). In total viewers it was NBC well out front with 26.0 million, followed by Univision with 3.8 million, CBS with 3.6 million, ABC with 2.8 million and Fox with 2.7 million.more »
"Primetime is not good news for CNN lately," writes Dominick Patten at Deadline.com. "Amidst having its least watched month in primetime in two decades in May and the lowest-rated month in total viewers in 10 years in April, CNN has now hit a 20-year all-time primetime weekly low. The latest fall came during the week of July 30 to August 5, 2012."
The story adds, "The decline was among total viewers and the key 25-54 demo. During the week of July 30 to August 5, 'Piers Morgan Tonight' at 9 PM averaged 314,000 viewers overall, with a mere 81,000 in the 25-54 demo, according to Nielsen. That average is the lowest week Morgan has had since he took over Larry King’s spot on January 17, 2011."
The story adds that both Morgan and Anderson Cooper were hosting their respective prime-time shows on CNN the week of July 30.
The article also notes that "Cooper’s 'Anderson Cooper 360' 10 PM repeat had 97,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo, the sixth-lowest the network has had in two decades, but a slight 259,000 average total viewers for the week. That average total viewership was the lowest 10 PM weekday hour CNN has had in 20 years."more »
Fox will adapt a Leonardo DiCaprio film into a television series, Deadline.com reports. The movie is the 2000 release “The Beach,” directed by Danny Boyle and adapted from a novel by Alex Garland.
The TV project is being penned by Andrew Miller, who wrote the CW's "The Secret Circle" and ran the show with Kevin Williamson.
Miller said of "The Beach": “It’s about a group of young people feeling disconnected and disenchanted from society who try to start over in paradise but discover that while creating the perfect world is hard, protecting it is even harder.”
Fox’s sister studio 20th Century Fox TV will produce the TV series project.more »
A new study shows that just drinking a common citrus juice along with taking cancer medication increases the efffectiveness of the cancer medication significantly.
Writes Fox News, "A new study from the University of Chicago Medicine revealed patients taking sirolimus receive more of its anti-cancer benefits if they drink a glass of grapefruit juice every day along with the drug. The drug-juice combination was so effective that patients who drank grapefruit juice obtained three times as many benefits than those who took the drug alone."
The story also explains that sirolimus is "a drug typically used by transplant patients to prevent rejection [and] has been found in previous studies to have anti-cancer properties as well."
Notes the article, "Ultimately, the results showed drinking eight ounces of grapefruit juice per day helped increase sirolimus levels by 350 percent."more »
Mark O’Donnell, a Tony Award-winning writer who was involved in the Broadway success "Hairspray," died Monday in New York at 58, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“He was a huge talent, and a warm, witty and wonderful man who marched to his own drummer,” said Jack Tantleff, O’Donnell’s agent, quoted by Entertainment Weekly.
O’Donnell shared the 2003 Tony for best book of a musical for "Hairspray" with Thomas Meehan. “Hairspray” played on Broadway for almost seven years. The writers were nominated again in 2008 for "Cry-Baby."
O'Donnell's other plays include "That’s It, Folks!", "Fables for Friends," "The Nice and the Nasty," "Strangers on Earth," "Vertigo Park" and the musical "Tots in Tinseltown."more »
A crime procedural that ran for six seasons on CBS has landed a deal for cable distribution, Deadline.com reports. CBS Television Distribution closed a deal to put “Numbers” on ION Television.
ION gets off-network rights to all 118 episodes, with a premiere date set for the 2012/2013 season.
In a statement, Brandon Burgess, CEO, ION Media Networks, said: “'Numbers' aligns perfectly with our general entertainment schedule and is a natural next step in our syndicated series expansion strategy."
ION's current lineup includes the off-network series "Flashpoint," "Criminal Minds," "Cold Case" and "Leverage."
"Numbers" stars Rob Morrow and David Krumholtz, and was created by Nicolas Falacci and Cheryl Heuton. Feature directors Ridley Scott and Tony Scott executive produced the series along with Heuton and Falacci.more »
The James Bond movie franchise is getting its own TV channel. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the satellite broadcaster BSkyB in the U.K. will launch a dedicated movie channel for the franchise on Oct. 5.
The launch is timed to coincide with 50th anniversary celebrations marking the 1962 release of the very 007 movie, "Dr No.”
The newest James Bond film, Sam Mendes' "Skyfall," opens later that month in the U.K. and in early November in the U.S.
BSkyB's Sky Movies will present the entire James Bond film catalog, as well as the 1967 "Casino Royale" spoof of the Bond franchise with Peter Sellers and Woody Allen, and Sean Connery's "Never Say Never Again," which was his only non-Cubby Broccoli-produced 007 movie.
The satellite channel, Sky Movies 007, will show everything without commercials and in high definition for the first time ever in England.
"The Bond movies are a very special franchise and we want to ensure that our customers will be able to experience it in a way they've never been able to before, and so we're going to create a dedicated channel Sky Movies 007 HD devoted entirely to James Bond showing the entire catalogue of films and loads of extra material," said Ian Lewis, the director of Sky Movies, in a statement.more »
In his first televised interview since news broke that girlfriend Kristen Stewart had cheated on him, actor Robert Pattinson will appear on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Wednesday, Aug. 15, reports USMagazine.com.
Pattinson will be promoting his new film "Cosmopolis" in the live interview.
As noted previously, Pattinson has been reported to be hiding out at Reese Witherspoon's Ojai, Calif., ranch since the sex scandal, and is said to be devastated by news of Stewart's affair with Rupert Sanders, her director on "Snow White and the Huntsman."
Pattinson and Stewart, stars of the “Twilight” movies, have been a couple for about three years.more »
Hollywood Shocker: Beloved Composer Marvin Hamlisch, 68, Collapses and Dies. We Sang Along to His Songs, From 'The Way We Were' to the Music From 'A Chorus Line.' He Educated Many of Us to the Music of Scott Joplin When He Adapted It for 'The Sting'
"Marvin Hamlisch, the singularly productive and sensationally decorated composer of musicals like 'A Chorus Line' and songs like 'The Way We Were,' has died, his family said Tuesday through a representative. He was 68," The New York Times reports..
Though the story adds that he died after a "brief illness," no cause of death was released. Said the Los Angeles Times, Hamlisch's "sudden death took many by surprise. On his own Facebook page, he was looking forward to a return stint conducting the Pasadena Symphony and Pops: 'Love you Pasadena symphony ! ... Wow ! Can't do it without you ! See you in September!' He was also scheduled to conduct the New York Philharmonic on New's Year Eve.
"Pasadena Symphony and Pops President Melinda Shea said Hamlisch's death was unexpected and that she knew of no serious health problems."
Said The New York Times obituary, "In a career that spanned film, television, theater and recorded music, Mr. Hamlisch won seemingly every award available in each medium. He was a 12-time Academy Award nominee, for his score and song contributions to films as varied as 'The Spy Who Loved Me' and 'Sophie’s Choice' and a three-time Oscar winner for the score of 'The Sting' as well as the score from 'The Way We Were”' and its title song (with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman). He won four Emmy Awards, four Grammy Awards and a Tony Award for his score to the musical 'A Chorus Line.' That musical, which blended bouncy, brassy songs like 'One' and 'Dance: Ten; Looks: Three' with melancholy numbers like 'At the Ballet,' also won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1976."
NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt responded to an accusation by "America's Got Talent" judge Sharon Osbourne that her son was discriminated against by the network, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed.
As previously reported, Osbourne said she's quitting "America's Got Talent" after NBC's "Stars Earn Stripes" told her son Jack he couldn't work on the program after he went public with his MS.
Greenblatt said NBC offered Jack "two substantial alternative roles on the show, both of which he declined," according to the story. "This network does not discriminate on any basis," the executive added.
NBC couldn't comment specifically about Jack because of personal medical information, but Greenblatt noted that "Stars Earn Stripes" "requires dangerous water stunts, strenuous physical activity, and uses live ammunition -- we required all potential participants to undergo medical vetting to ensure that they could safely participate."more »
Critics of HBO’s controversial drama series “The Newsroom” -- and there are plenty of them around -- got a chance to go toe to toe with the man behind the show, Aaron Sorkin, during the recent Television Critics Association press tour.
TVWeek Open Mic blogger Hillary Atkin took it all in as Sorkin offered his own take on the show and revealed whether any changes might be in store as a result of the uproar. Click here for her in-depth report on this revealing encounter between Sorkin and his critics.more »
A long-running television show unveiled a slate of guest stars for its upcoming 43rd season, with appearances on tap by "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm, Oscar winner Halle Berry and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, among others, reports TheWrap.com.
The show is "Sesame Street," which will debut its new season Sept. 24 on PBS Kids.
Other guest stars set for the season include Maya Rudolph, Don Cheadle, Amy Ryan, Casey Affleck, Melissa McCarthy, Steve Carell, David Hyde Pierce, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard, Zac Efron, Ed Helms, Kristen Bell and Paula Patton, the story notes.
Rapper Common will make a musical appearance, as will singer Colbie Caillat and rock band Train, the piece adds.
The muppet Elmo will be getting a new segment, called "Elmo! The Musical!," which will replace the current "Elmo's World" segment. The new Elmo segment will focus on "a math-filled adventure inviting kids to sing, dance, play and imagine along with Elmo," according to Sesame Workshop.
The show will also spoof the TV shows "The Voice" and "Downton Abbey." In “Sesame Street's” world, the former spoof will feature judges who mistake sounds made by other parts of the body for "the voice," and the latter will be spoofed as "Upside Downton Abbey," a look at gravity.more »
An actor known for his role as a regular on "That '70s Show" is joining Fox's "Raising Hope" as the love interest for Melanie Griffith, reports EW.com's Inside TV blog.
Wilmer Valderrama will be featured in at least three episodes in the show's upcoming season. Valderrama played Fez on Fox’s “That ‘70s Show.”
His character will be the love interest for Tamara, who is the mother of Sabrina and will be played by Griffith. The show returns to Fox Oct. 2.more »
Despite the popularity of the Twitter hashtag #NBCFail and the media spotlight on other criticisms of NBC’s coverage of the London Olympics, most viewers are rating the network’s coverage as "good" or "excellent," reports B&C, citing a Pew Research Center report.
According to the report, 76% of viewers said the coverage is excellent or good, with 18% describing it as fair to poor, the story notes.
More than three-quarters of the people polled said they have watched or followed the coverage on TV, online or through a social network.
Television remains the most popular choice, with 73% noting they've watched events on TV, followed by 17% of those polled noting they've watched online. Just 12% said they've followed the Olympics on a social network such as Facebook or Twitter.
Prime-time coverage leads the way, with 68% indicating they are watching during prime time, while 23% say they watch in the afternoon.more »
Former New Yorker editor Tina Brown is executive producing a telefilm for HBO about the literary icon Norman Mailer, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The untitled project will look at Mailer's relationship with convicted killer Jack Abbott, who helped Mailer with "The Executioner's Song," for which Mailer won the Pulitzer Prize.
Stephen Schiff, who wrote "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," will write the screenplay, the story notes. Brown is executive producing with Mailer's son Michael Mailer and Lydia Pilcher.
Brown is a founder of the Norman Mailer Center and worked with Mailer during her time editing the New Yorker, the story notes.more »
The man who has been described as "the most famous art critic in the world" has died at 74 after a long illness.
Robert Hughes, the longtime art critic for Time magazine and the creator of the television documentary "The Shock of the New," died Monday at a hospital in the Bronx, reports The New York Times.
Hughes was often involved in television, both in front of and behind the camera. More than 25 million viewers watched the eight-part "The Shock of the New" when it aired on BBC and then on PBS, the story notes. Hughes was described as "the most famous art critic in the world" in 1997 by the writer Robert S. Boynton.
"It was decidedly not Mr. Hughes’s method to take prisoners,” The Times reports. “He was as damning about artists who fell short of his expectations as he was elegiac about those who [lived up to them], and his prose seemed to reach only loftier heights when he was angry. As early as 1993, he described the work of Jeff Koons as 'so overexposed that it loses nothing in reproduction and gains nothing in the original.’”
Hughes' history of his native country, Australia, became a best-seller with "The Fatal Shore," which was published in 1987. He continued to write after a car crash that nearly killed him in Australia in 1999. Last year, he published "Rome," a history that The New York Times describes as "highly personal."
His history in television included a short-lived stint on "20/20," the article notes. Hughes was recruited in 1978 to anchor the new ABC program, but he received sharply negative reviews and the network quickly tapped Hugh Downs to replace him, according to the piece.more »
Production starts today on new episodes of "Arrested Development," with the entire cast of the cult Fox comedy in final negotiations to join the project, reports Deadline.com. The revival of the show is being produced by Netflix.
The actors -- Jason Bateman, Jeffrey Tambor, Portia de Rossi, David Cross, Jessica Walter, Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Alia Shawkat and Tony Hale -- are all expected to return to the show, the story adds.
Each new episode will track one member of the Bluth family, with some episodes featuring multiple characters. The show will be in production through the fall, the piece adds.
The initial plan calls for production of 10 new episodes, which will be available sometime in 2013. However, it's possible creator Mitch Hurwitz might be open to an additional season if the new episodes are a hit, the story notes.more »
Apple said it will drop YouTube with the next version of its operating system for the popular iPhone and iPad devices, a move that spotlights the competition between Apple and Google, the owner of YouTube, reports Bloomberg.
Apple has included YouTube as a core application since the computer company debuted the iPhone in 2007, but the relationship between Apple and Google has worn thin as Google's Android software has made inroads into the smartphone market, the piece points out.
Said Yankee Group analyst Carl Howe: “Their two ecosystems are pulling away from each other. This is two companies agreeing they just don’t want to work together anymore.”
Google's maps application will also be replaced with Apple's own program in the next iOS release, the story adds.
The new version of Apple's mobile software, iOS 6, will be available later this year. Consumers who want to watch YouTube on their Apple devices will need to either download the app or watch it through Apple's Safari Web browser, the article notes.more »
One of the regulars from the long-running NBC sitcom "Frasier" has been cast in the second season of TBS's "Men at Work," reports TVLine.com.
Peri Gilpin will have a recurring role in the comedy, playing Alex, a new boss at Full Steam magazine. The publication employs the show's four male characters.
Sarah Wright, who plays Millicent Gergich on "Parks and Recreation," will guest star in the show's second-season debut as a "missed connection" for one of the men, the story notes. The show will return to TBS in 2013.more »
Another sport will be getting its own channel within the next few weeks. From the founder of the Tennis Channel and the Ski Channel, next up is the Surf Channel, TheWrap.com reports.
The channel is the brainchild of Steve Bellamy, and is his third sports channel. The Surf Channel is set to launch in mid-September, opening with the iconic 1966 surfing documentary “The Endless Summer,” by filmmaker Bruce Brown.
Says the article, "The channel will launch to 20 million households via distribution deals with Comcast, Cox Communications, DirecTV, Dish, Filmon.com and YouTube, with which it has a preferred channel partnership. Further distribution deals will be announced in the near future."
In a statement, Bellamy said: “Surf, its lifestyle and environment, create an unparalleled canvas for a television network. The Surf Channel will be a sports channel, travel channel and lifestyle channel all in one. Viewers will go on the most expensive vacation of their lives, to the most remote and exotic destinations the planet has to offer. They will get to see some of the most incredible athletes pushing the human spirit and the boundaries of human capability to the furthest of limits.”
Brown also commented on the new channel, saying, "Giving tens of millions of people living room access to the sport and culture of surfing is something we have never had before. I stand with the rest of the surf ambassadors to do everything to help this channel be successful!"more »
The fiancee of Rosie O'Donnell, Michelle Rounds, has a serious medical condition, and it has resulted in the postponement of their planned wedding, reports Entertainment Tonight.
The condition is desmoid tumors, a painful condition that is similar to cancer, the story reports.
O’Donnell went online via Twitter and a blog post to let people know the news before word got out to the media.
The story reports: “In her blog message written in poetic style, Rosie explains how Michelle's condition began. ‘On mothers day... morning pain… that won't let up.’ She reveals that Michelle was eventually diagnosed with extremely rare desmoid tumors, which she describes as ‘odd and curious beasts’ that are non-cancerous but spread in the same way.”
O’Donnell said Rounds had surgery in June and is “getting stronger every day.” She indicated she will fight to raise awareness about the disease, and said the wedding will take place next summer.more »
Scott Baio and Erin Moran may have played sweethearts on the “Happy Days” spinoff “Joanie Loves Chachi,” but apparently there’s no love lost between the two actors these days.
While promoting his new Nick at Nite show "See Dad Run," Baio said he has no plans to invite Moran, his financially strapped former co-star, to guest on the show, reports the New York Post.
Asked about Moran, who was evicted from her Hollywood home and is currently living in an Indiana trailer park, Baio said, "I feel bad, but sometimes you make your bed and you have to sleep in it. That is unfortunate. I have extended myself a couple of times and at a certain point you have to say, ‘You know what? I have got my own life to live. I am not going to worry about this.’”
Moran was recently part of a successful lawsuit that included "Happy Days" stars Donnie Most, Anson Williams and Marion Ross, along with Tom Bosley's estate. Each of the stars were awarded $65,000 in royalties based on the use of their images in merchandising. Baio chose not to participate in that action. "I don't like lawyers very much,” he told the Post. "That show was very good to me. Paramount was very good to me.”
Baio hinted that the tone of “See Dad Run, which bows Oct. 6, will be similar to that of his old sitcom “Charles in Charge.”more »
NBC’s Olympics coverage continued to rack up huge ratings in prime time Sunday night, leading to historic lows elsewhere on the dial.
TVbytheNumbers.com reports that NBC averaged a 9.1 rating in the key 18-49 demo for the four hours of prime time, according to Nielsen overnights. Figuring in to that number was the 7 p.m. special “Michael Phelps: America’s Golden Champion,” which pulled a 5.9 average.
The heart of NBC’s coverage on the ninth night of the London Games was the 8-11 p.m. stretch, which averaged a 10.5 in viewers 18-49 -- up 14% from the 7:30-11:30 p.m. coverage on the same night from Beijing four years ago.
Most of the other networks avoided trying to compete directly, with Fox airing all repeats and CBS settling for just a fresh hour of “Big Brother.” That effort produced the night’s best non-Olympics number, a 2.1 average rating in 18-49.
ABC bravely put up three hours of fresh programming, and got swatted down for it. “Secret Millionaire” at 8 p.m. sank to a series-low 0.8 in viewers 18-49, off a hefty 47% from the show’s previous fresh episode. The network’s two-hour “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition” at 9 p.m. could manage only a 0.7, down 50% from the previous new episode and a series low.
For prime time overall, NBC led by a wide margin with its 9.1 average rating in the 18-49 demo, followed by Fox (1.2 average), CBS (1.0), Univision (0.9) and ABC (0.8). Total viewers saw another large gap, with NBC averaging 29.2 million to CBS’s 4.6 million, ABC’s 3.2 million, Fox’s 2.7 million and Univision’s 2.7 million.more »
Feature film director McG ("Charlie's Angels") has received a put pilot commitment from ABC for a drama, Deadline.com reports. McG, who produced "The O.C." for Fox, is producing the project, a prime-time soap to be written by Byron Balasco ("Detroit 1-8-7").
The still-untitled drama is a modern version of "Romeo and Juliet" set in California's Venice. Two families are involved -- one well-off, the other struggling -- and they fight for power in the community. Amid the conflict, a romance blossoms.
If it goes to series, it would be McG's first ABC series. In addition to "The O.C.", his credits include CW's "Supernatural" and "Nikita," as well as NBC's "Chuck" and Fox's "Human Target" and "Fastlane."more »
An actor who has a special connection to the “Dr. Who” franchise will be part of the BBC’s "Dr. Who" Christmas special, reports Deadline.com. The actor is Richard E. Grant -- he and fellow actor Tom Ward have been added to the holiday special, which is being shot this week in Wales.
Grant played Dr. Who in the BBC online series "Scream of the Shalka" in 2003. Ward is a BBC star, having just left the network's "Silent Witness" after being on that show since 2002.
"Who" fans are especially keen on the Christmas show because it will introduce the Doctor's new companion, Jenna-Louise Coleman. Steven Moffat, the executive producer, wrote the holiday edition and Saul Metzstein is directing.more »
Music mogul Dr. Dre has sealed a script development deal with the FX network for a one-hour drama, reports Deadline.com. The show, penned by Sidney Quashie, is set in the contemporary Los Angeles music scene in the places where it intersects with the criminal element.
Dr. Dre will executive produce with Quashie. Daniel Schnider of Dre's Crucial TV will co-executive produce with Brad Bertner.more »
Sharon Osbourne made good on threats to walk away from her job as a judge on NBC's "America's Got Talent," and she made clear that she has a beef with the network over its treatment of her son Jack Osbourne, the New York Post reports.
Sharon Osbourne was reportedly incensed that NBC dropped Jack from the show “Stars Earn Stripes” soon after learning that Jack has MS.
Reports the Post, "Jack was first contacted by NBC in April. After coming to what he considered a binding agreement to participate, he received an e-mail May 18 from Chuck LaBella, the network’s vice president of Talent Relations.
" 'We are looking forward to working with you,' it said. 'I am happy you are going to be in the NBC family.'
"A month later, Jack went public with his condition.
"Sharon Osbourne provided The Post with an e-mail she said she got from NBC soon after, just two days before Jack was due to report to work in June. 'Regretfully, we cannot move forward with Jack’s participation,' it said."
Osbourne revealed that she has decided not to return to "AGT" for its seventh season, saying, "It's time to move on." Regarding her contract status, she commented, "All they can do is stop me from being a judge on another network for five years."
Sharon Osbourne, one of the hosts of CBS's "The Talk," said of the decision to drop Jack from the reality show: “It’s discrimination, and it was badly handled.”
"Stars Earn Stripes" producer David Hurwitz had a different take, saying, "The rigors of the show were too intense for him."more »
Producer for '60 Minutes' Dies. She Was With the Show for More Than 20 Years, Producing Dozens of Segments -- and Became Part of the News Herself With One Story in Particular
A producer on CBS’s "60 Minutes" who was on the show for more than two decades and was at CBS for more than 40 years has died, The New York Times reports. Esther Kartiganer, 74, died Wednesday of a heart attack in Aspen, Colo. She was stricken while riding her bicycle.
Kartiganer started out at CBS as a temporary assistant and worked her way up to senior producer at "60 Minutes," a job she held from 1982 until 2005, the story notes.
The story that brought her into the public eye was about President George W. Bush. She was in charge of vetting content on the news program, and came to the public's attention for her role in a 2004 segment on President Bush's military service in the Vietnam War, The Times notes.
The segment raised questions about whether Bush had been given special treatment as the son of George H.W. Bush, who was then a congressman from Texas, to avoid service in Vietnam, although the authenticity of the documents that raised the issue couldn't be verified, according to the story.
After an independent panel decided the segment was unfair and misleading, Kartiganer was then reassigned to another job within CBS. She sued the network for defamation, claiming she had fulfilled her responsibilities on the report, and a confidential settlement was later reached, The Times notes.
Kartiganer helped produce dozens of "60 Minutes" reports, including some of the earliest television coverage of shaken baby syndrome and coverage of the food preservatives sulfites, which can lead to health problems, according to the article.
Kartiganer won 13 Emmys during her career. A close friend of Kartiganer's, Grace Lichtenstein, told the Aspen Daily News that Kartiganer was most proud of her work supporting young women entering journalism.more »
A well-known television and film actress is accused of her third hit-and-run traffic incident in the past few months, TMZ.com reports.
“A Los Angeles woman filed a police report yesterday afternoon claiming Amanda Bynes rear-ended her and then, after a brief conversation, drove off without exchanging insurance information,” the story reports.
Bynes, known for the TV shows “All That” and “The Amanda Show” along with a number of film roles, was also accused of two hit-and-runs back in May, the report notes. Additionally, she was reportedly arrested on suspicion of DUI on April 6, pleading not guilty in that case.
The website reports: “Kisa (last name withheld) tells TMZ she was driving her Toyota Corolla on Ventura Blvd. in the San Fernando Valley when she was struck by a woman in a black BMW. Kisa tells TMZ she didn't recognize the woman at first -- because she ‘looked like a hot mess’ -- but once they began talking, she realized it was Amanda Bynes.
“Kisa says she got out her insurance card to exchange information, but says Bynes ‘seemed nervous about that.’ She says Bynes told her the damage to the Corolla didn't look that bad and proceeded to push her bumper back into place.”
After Bynes reportedly took off in her car, Kisa called police, who filled out a hit-and-run report, according to the story. Kisa noted that Bynes car had “significant” damage, saying the actress downplayed the damage to both cars.
The report notes: “Kisa says when she told the officer who hit her, the officer replied, ‘Didn't she just get a DUI?’"
Reps for Bynes, who has also appeared in the features "What a Girl Wants," "She's the Man" and "Hairspray," did not respond to requests for comment, the story reports.more »
Elton John didn’t pull his punches in a TV interview when the subject of Madonna came up, the U.K. paper The Sun reports.
Elton called the Material Girl a “f---ing fairground stripper” and worse in the interview, adding that her “career is over.” The comments reignited a long-running feud between the two singers.
The report notes: “The sharp-tongued Rocket Man blasted his chart foe on Australian TV and is furious that she keeps laying into his pal Lady Gaga -- who is godmother to his son Zachary.”
Madonna has been highly public about her disapproval of Gaga’s “Born This Way,” which Madonna thinks copies her 1989 hit “Express Yourself.”
Commenting on “Born This Way,” Madonna recently said: "I thought, ‘What a wonderful way to redo my song.’ I mean, I recognized the chord changes. I thought it was ... interesting.”
Elton’s take is that Madonna has lost her credibility and has no business criticizing other artists. Said Elton: “Why is she such a nightmare? Sorry, her career is over. Her tour has been a disaster and it couldn't happen to a bigger c---.”
Elton is also quoted as saying: “If Madonna had any common sense she would have made a record like ‘Ray of Light’ and stayed away from the dance stuff and just been a great pop singer and make great pop records, which she does brilliantly.
“But no, she had to go and prove ... she looks like a f---ing fairground stripper. She's been horrible to Gaga.”more »
Recent news events were in the spotlight at “The Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne,” and in some cases it may have been too soon. NBC News reports that a couple of bits involving roast regular Jeffrey Ross raised a few eyebrows.
Ross reportedly admitted he “crossed a line” with a joke about the recent mass shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., during the taping Saturday.
“Taking pot shots at members on the dais -- which included stars Katy Sagal, Ellen Barkin and Carrie Fisher -- Ross suggested that red-haired actor Seth Green looked a lot like the alleged gunman,” the story reports.
“Seth, congratulations,” said Ross. “This is actually a great night for you. You haven’t gotten this much attention since you shot all those people in Aurora. ... I’m kidding. You are not like James Holmes. At least he did something in a movie theater that people remember!”
“There was an audible gasp, followed by awkward applause inside the Hollywood Palladium, where more than 600 invited guests were gathered,” the report says. “After the show, Ross defended his routine, telling NBC News: ‘Yes, I crossed a line, and that is what the roasts are about. That’s what Roseanne is about -- unapologetic comedy. If I had held back, I would have done her a disservice.’”
The roast is set to be aired Aug. 12 on Comedy Central, and producer Jonas Larsen said the Aurora material will not be included in the telecast. Ross reportedly said he doesn’t care whether the Aurora bit airs, but he defended the material.
“I think that this particular roast -- in these particular times we are in -- it is important to exercise freedom of speech,” Ross said. “Comedians are apologizing a lot. I am not saying that is right or wrong. But it scares me when I start second-guessing myself. So I wanted to put it out there and remind people what America is about -- and on some level, what the roasts are about.”
Ross appeared at the event dressed as longtime Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, the report notes, invoking another touchy subject -- the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal.
Ross, whose new Comedy Central show “The Burn” is set to premiere Aug. 14, noted: “I feel like bad taste is not a crime. There should be a place in this country for comedians to say whatever comes to their heads.”more »
NBC scrapped plans to air a preview of its new fall drama "Revolution" on Saturday night, instead opting to air a shorter preview tonight, Monday, reports Deadline.com.
The network originally planned to air the six-minute preview of the J.J. Abrams and Eric Kripke drama at 10:54 p.m. on Saturday, after Michael Phelps competed in a swimming race, the story notes.
Instead, a preview clocking in at 2:40 will air tonight during the Games, when NBC hopes the clip will get a bigger audience, the piece adds.
The report notes that Saturday’s prime-time coverage of the Olympics on NBC drew an average of 28 million total viewers, the lowest number so far during the London Games.more »
MTV has placed an order for a second season of a reality show that is a spinoff of the network’s franchise show “Jersey Shore,” B&C reports.
The show is "Snooki & JWoww," starring Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Jenni “JWoww” Farley. The spinoff averaged 1.6 million total viewers and a 1.2 rating in the 12-34 demo in its most recent Thursday episode, the story notes.
MTV also said the sixth season of "Jersey Shore" will debut Oct. 4 at 10 p.m., while the new scripted series "Underemployed" will premiere on Oct. 16. The docu-series "Catfish" will bow Nov. 12 and will air with the second season of "World of Jenks," the piece adds.more »
Citing the Lifetime reality show "Life's a Tripp," Bristol Palin's former fiance, Levi Johnston, plans to seek full custody of their son, Tripp, claiming that the program shows the boy is receiving "no real parenting" and is on a "downward spiral," reports TMZ.com.
In one recent episode, Tripp called his aunt Willow the "f-word," the report notes. In the same episode, Bristol admits, "I’m doing a terrible job disciplining Tripp."
Johnston is alarmed by Tripp’s language and wild behavior, saying the boy "deserves a better family," the piece reports. He plans to file paperwork soon to seek full custody of the boy, according to the report. Bristol didn't respond to calls seeking comment, the story adds.
Johnston added: "I love my son more than anything ... and I will do whatever it takes to make sure he is raised the right way."
Here’s a clip of Tripp behaving badly in the show:more »
"The Wire" star Dominic West said he turned down a role on HBO's "Game of Thrones" because taping the show would have required living in Reykjavik, Iceland, for six months, reports The Huffington Post.
"My problem is, I've got four kids, and at the moment, I'm reluctant to be away from home for a long time,” West said. “I can get a lot of work in London and still be at home. That's one of the many brilliant things about 'The Hour.’”
"The Hour" is a BBC America period drama in which he plays newscaster Hector Madden.
West, who said he hasn't read the "Game of Thrones" books, said he couldn't remember which role he was offered. "It was a lovely part, a good part. I'm going to regret it," he said, according to the story.more »
While NBC's prime-time coverage of the London Games is receiving the highest-ever ratings for an Olympics, the network's online coverage is also scoring well among viewers, reports the Los Angeles Times' Show Tracker.
During the Games' first week, 75 million total videos were streamed from NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Olympics app, representing a gain of 182% from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the story reports.
"The network also reports that there have been 34 million live streams (which is already more live streams than during the entire Beijing Olympics), 744 million page views and 31.5 million unique users on the website alone," according to the piece.
The most popular online event has been the gold-medal-winning performance of the U.S. women's gymnastics team. That event drew more than 1.4 million live streams.more »
Nick Jonas Says He's Being Considered for 'Idol' -- If He Gets the Job, the Three Jonas Brothers Will Be on Three Different Networks
Nick Jonas tweeted on Saturday that he's being considered as a judge for "American Idol," according to The Hollywood Reporter. Jonas would join Mariah Carey at the judges' table for the 12th season of the Fox talent show.
"The rumors are true," Jonas wrote to his 4.6 million Twitter followers. "It would be a dream come true if it happens."
If he joins the show, all three Jonas brothers would have TV jobs on different networks: Kevin Jonas will be starring in "Married to Jonas," an E! reality show, while Joe Jonas will be a mentor on the CW's new music competition show "The Next: Fame Is at Your Doorstep."more »
NBC Sports, which recently suffered a setback when it lost its TV deal for Wimbledon, has signed a contract with the French Tennis Federation to keep the French Open tennis tournament on the network through 2024, reports the Los Angeles Times' Company Town.
By the end of the new agreement, NBC will have aired the tournament for 42 consecutive years, the piece notes.
The article reports: "The victory was a comeback of sorts for NBC, which last year lost the rights to the most coveted event of the tennis year -- Wimbledon, hosted by the All England Club on the outskirts of London. ESPN triumphed over NBC, in large part, because tennis fans were increasingly frustrated by NBC's coverage of late tournament matches. The network refused to pre-empt its lucrative morning program ‘Today’ to provide live coverage of Wimbledon semifinals, spoiling the thrill for hard-core tennis fans."more »
"Fox has made a premium script deal for a character-driven cop drama from Chernin Entertainment and 20th Century Fox TV," reports our friend Nellie Andreeva at Deadline.com.
The untitled project is from veteran writer Chris Levinson ("Dawson's Creek," "Charmed" and "Touch," among many others).
The article says, "The untitled project centers on a major crimes detective who starts slowly losing his memory. Faced with the prospect of losing his career and family, the cop ends up putting his entire life under surveillance. What begins as an effort to restore missing pieces of his waking hours becomes a 24/7 window into a world where nothing is ever as it appears."more »
VH1 has announced a number of programming moves, including greenlighting two new series, Deadline.com reports. The cable network is also bringing back a show after a three-year hiatus.
“VH1 has given the green light to new series ‘Grand River Singers Project,’ which focuses on a show choir of young adults blindly reaching for glory in their home state of Wisconsin, and ‘Black Ink,’ centered on a successful Harlem tattoo shop staffed by a tight crew of male and female adult employees who draw in hip hop stars, athletes and celebrities,” the story reports.
The new programs join the previously announced pop culture show “Miss You Much” in the channel’s lineup, the story notes.
VH1 is also bringing back “Best Week Ever,” which has been on hiatus for three years. The show will anchor Friday nights.
The report adds: “The channel also has acquired Ice-T’s feature-length documentary ‘Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap’ for its Rock Doc franchise."more »
NBC has had to endure plenty of criticism over its Olympics coverage, and the floodgates opened again after an unfortunately timed promo for a new series aired Thursday night.
According to The Hollywood Reporter: “Immediately after NBC finished its broadcast of American gymnast Gabby Douglas' gold medal-winning performance on Thursday, the network cut to a promo spot for one of its new prime-time shows, ‘Animal Practice.’
“The promo featured the show's star monkey, Crystal, competing on gymnastics rings -- which has drawn criticism on Twitter, as broadcaster Bob Costas had just been speaking of the historical significance of Douglas becoming the first African American woman to win the event.”
The promo was also criticized in the media, the report notes, with Tod Robberson, writing in the Dallas Morning News, calling it "supremely thoughtless and undoubtedly insulting to lots of viewers."
NBC gave a statement to THR on the matter today, denying that the incident carried any racial significance.
The network said in the statement: "Gabby Douglas' gold medal performance last night was an historic and inspiring achievement. This spot promoting Animal Practice, which has run three times previously, is one in a series with an Olympic theme which have been scheduled for maximum exposure. Certainly no offense was intended."
The network reportedly also explained that it chose to promote “Animal Practice,” a family-friendly show, in that spot because gymnastics, along with the swimming aired Thursday night, was expected to deliver a family audience.
As reported previously, NBC has drawn criticism for other Olympics-related blunders, often involving tape delay and revealing results before events air.more »
ABC Reality Show Is Latest to Be Crushed by London Games -- NBC's Numbers Continue to Outpace Beijing
NBC’s Olympics coverage from London continues to crush the competition in prime time, with Thursday’s coverage -- highlighted by a historic gold medal in the all-around competition for U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas -- pulling in an 11.2 average rating in the key 18-49 demo and a whopping 35.7 million total viewers, TVbytheNumbers.com reports.
The 11.2 average was up 8% from the equivalent night of the Beijing Olympics four years ago. Through seven nights, the London Games are up 7% over Beijing in the 18-49 demo and up 14% in total viewers.
The latest competitor’s show to feel the pain was ABC’s “Wipeout,” which sank to a series-low 1.3 average in 18-49 -- down almost a full ratings point from the 2.2 it delivered a week ago.
CBS tried a fresh episode of “Big Brother,” which managed a 1.9 in the 18-49 demo, down three-tenths of a point from a week earlier.
The rest of the CBS and ABC lineups consisted of repeat programming, with Fox putting up all repeats.
NBC’s 11.2 average rating for prime time in viewers 18-49 put it well ahead of CBS (1.4 average), Univision (1.3), ABC (1.0) and Fox (0.6). In total viewers, NBC’s 35.7 million had plenty of distance between itself and CBS (4.8 million), Univision (3.5 million), ABC (3.1 million) and Fox (1.6 million).more »
A popular reality show star confirms that she has auditioned for one of the judges’ jobs on Fox's "The X Factor" and she hopes she gets the job, reports E! Online.
Said Khloe Kardashian: "I've always wanted to do hosting or talk show hosting, so it's definitely something that I would love to do and would be honored to do. To be on such a huge show like that with those judges, I would have so much fun doing that."
As for working beside Simon Cowell, Kardashian said, "I love Simon. I think he's amazing. I love personalities like that because I'm someone who is very straightforward and I tell it like it is. That's what he's doing. He just doesn't want to blow smoke up people's asses."
Kardashian is a regular on the E!' reality show "Keeping Up with the Kardashians."more »
Comedian Will Ferrell was apparently more deeply affected by the Kristen Stewart cheating scandal than anyone would have guessed. He aired his feelings on “Conan” -- see for yourself:more »
Even though ABC's summer reality series "The Glass House" has been a bust in the ratings, CBS remains focused on the show and on allegations that it violates CBS copyrights and trade secrets, the Associated Press reports.
CBS alleges that "The Glass House" copies the format of "Big Brother." The network has amended legal documents and returned to court this week to object to several alleged similarities it has spotted since ABC has been airing the program.
“The network says ABC ‘stole every aspect’ of the show's ‘tangible creative expression.’” the story reports. “Both shows employ dozens of cameras to monitor a houseful of contestants vying for a cash prize.”
As of this week, ABC had aired seven episodes of "The Glass House." CBS’s "Big Brother," in its 14th season, runs three nights a week.more »
A Relatively Obscure Olympic Sport Has Been Outdrawing All the Others in Cable Coverage -- and Two Hit Movies May Be the Reason
One Olympic sport has been outdrawing any other sport NBC has covered on its cable channels during the London Games -- even basketball, reports our friend Bill Carter at The New York Times' Media Decoder. The sport is archery, and its popularity with viewers has been a surprise to NBC executives.
"The numbers for archery have been nothing less than huge," Alan Wurtzel, NBC's top research executive, told Carter, adding, "Maybe it’s the ‘Hunger Games’ phenomenon.”
The story continues, "It’s as good a guess as any, one seemingly supported by how well NBC’s archery coverage has been doing with younger female viewers, presumably the fans of the young-adult novels (and movie), whose main character, Katniss Everdeen, is an expert archer."
TVWeek would add that another strong female character in another hit movie now in theaters is also into archery: Princess Merida in Pixar's "Brave."
"The Hunger Games" is the No. 2 movie at the U.S. box office this year, with a little over $400 million gross. "Brave" is No. 5, with about a $220 million gross.
“Wurtzel called archery ‘the new curling,’ citing the oddball winter sport that developed a following in the Vancouver games two years ago,” The Times story adds.
Archery has averaged 1.5 million viewers in the daytime, the story says, "higher than any other sport NBC has covered on its cable channels, including basketball. (To be fair, if only the games of the United States teams are measured, basketball would beat the bow-and-arrow experts.)"more »
Story With Our Favorite Headline of the Week (It's by ABC News): 'Lindsay Lohan Films Topless Scene With Pants-Less Crew'
The ABC News story begins, "Before Lindsay Lohan went topless, the crew of her new movie, 'The Canyons,' dropped their pants."
The article continues, "They were down to their underwear,” a source told ABCNews.com. “It’s a common thing for a crew to do to make actors feel less self-conscious.”
The story adds, "The practice has precedent. 'Love and Other Drugs' director Edward Zwick got naked when his stars, Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, balked about the 2010 film’s many nude scenes. “I said, ‘What do you want me to do?’ Zwick told New York Magazine. 'And they said, "You take your clothes off." And I said, "Fine!" ’ "more »
Syfy has given a put-pilot commitment to filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" producer Marti Noxon, with a deal that marks Shyamalan's first scripted TV venture, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed.
The project, "Proof," would be directed by Shyamalan, who is known for films such as "The Sixth Sense."
"Proof" tracks the son of a deceased billionaire technology guru who offers a large reward to anyone who can prove there's life after death, the story says. Noxon will co-write the project with Shyamalan, with both serving as executive producers.
Syfy has a history with Shyamalan. In 2004, when the network was called the Sci Fi Channel, the network aired a special called "The Buried Secret of M. Night Shyamalan," which the story says "ended up being a marketing ploy for his film 'The Village.'"more »
Report: NBC Late-Night Host Fallon in Talks to Host Oscars -- But ABC Is Squirming About Bringing Aboard a Personality From a Rival Network
NBC late-night host Jimmy Fallon is in discussions to host the Oscars in early 2013, although ABC is reportedly objecting to the comedian from a rival network acting as master of ceremonies, reports the Los Angeles Times.
ABC doesn't have the authority to veto the choice of emcee, the story notes. "Saturday Night Live" producer Lorne Michaels will be producing the program.
Under outgoing Motion Picture Academy President Tom Sherak, the group started the discussions with Fallon before his term ended on Tuesday, the story notes. The Academy president usually picks the producer of the Oscars telecast, with the producer then picking the host, the article adds.
While the academy puts on the show, Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger is said to be displeased with the idea of a personality from a rival network hosting the show. Fallon's late-night program is in a close race with ABC's late-night show featuring Jimmy Kimmel.
Fallon hosted the 2010 Emmys, receiving positive reviews. Kimmel is hosting this year's Emmy Awards, which means he's not able to host the Oscars, the piece adds.more »
Despite the Freeze Between Stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, Promotional Effort for Next 'Twilight' Film Moving 'Full Steam Ahead'
Despite the romantic travails of stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson -- who reportedly had his "heart ripped out" by a cheating scandal involving his girlfriend Stewart -- promotion for the latest "Twilight" film is moving forward, reports EW.com's Inside Movies.
As previously reported, Pattinson left his and Stewart's house after news broke of Stewart's affair with her "Snow White and the Huntsman" director, Rupert Sanders.
Pattinson and Stewart star in the "Twilight" film franchise, with its last installment slated to open in November.
Even though the two stars are reportedly not speaking to each other, Summit Entertainment says it is "moving full steam ahead" on marketing plans for "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2," the story notes, citing a statement from Summit’s president of worldwide marketing, Nancy Kirkpatrick.
“While it is studio policy not to comment on the personal lives of actors, Summit is moving full steam ahead and looking forward to this November’s opening of The 'Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 2.' We are confident that the film delivers amazing entertainment for our passionate fans and general audience alike," Kirkpatrick said in statement.more »
Facebook disclosed in a regulatory filing that 83 million of its users are fakes, such as duplicates, pages for pets or spam, raising concerns about the company's advertising effectiveness, reports the New York Post.
The fake users make up almost 9% of the company's 955 million total users, the story adds. The number marks an increase since the company's initial public offering in May, when Facebook estimated that false profiles accounted for about 5% to 6% of its users, the piece points out.
Facebook didn't return a request for comment, according to the article.
"The spike is a major cause for concern, with advertisers and investors questioning Facebook’s effectiveness in reaching consumers. In particular, Facebook has been under scrutiny for slowing ad sales growth," the piece notes.more »
A project based on a classic sci-fi book has received a pilot order, reports Deadline.com. The project, ordered by Syfy, is based on the 1969 book "The Lotus Caves."
Called "High Moon," the adaptation will be executive produced by Robert Halmi Sr. and "Pushing Daisies" creator Bryan Fuller, the story notes.
The 90-minute pilot will start production in Vancouver this fall. The project has been in development at Syfy for two years.
The story focuses on a future where the countries of Earth have started colonies to mine the Moon, but find a new life form.more »
NBC has made one of its first buys of the season, committing to a geopolitical drama based on the United Nations, Deadline.com reports. The project, which has received a script commitment from the network, is described as “West Wing” at the U.N.
The drama will track an interpreter who works with diplomats from different countries as they encounter crises, the story notes. The project grew out of the first-look deal at NBCUniversal for Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald of Parkes/MacDonald, the piece adds. The deal has also yielded the series “Crossbones.”
“The U.N. has long been a dramatic backdrop for film and TV,” the story notes. “Cary Grant was filmed approaching [the] exterior of the actual building in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 ‘North by Northwest,’ though all interior scenes were shot on a soundstage. The 2005 thriller ‘The Interpreter,’ with Sean Penn and Nicole Kidman, was actually the first film to shoot inside the U.N. itself. In 2008’s ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ remake, the aliens communicate with world leaders gathered at the U.N.”
The U.N. was also a backdrop for much of the final season of Fox’s “24,” the piece notes.more »
With its hit show "iCarly" going off the air later this year, Nickelodeon has ordered two spinoff pilots featuring popular characters from the program, reports EW.com's Inside TV.
"Sam & Cat" will feature “iCarly’s” Sam, played by Jennette McCurdy, paired with Cat, a character from another Nickelodeon comedy, "Victorious," played by Ariana Grande. Both "iCarly" and "Victorious" are created and executive produced by Dan Schneider, who is also behind the spinoffs.
In "Sam & Cat," the young women will pair up as roommates and start a babysitting business, the piece notes.
Another “iCarly” spinoff, with the working title "Gibby," tracks the character Gibby Gibson, played by Noah Munck, as he gets a job at a recreation center and mentors four middle school students, the piece notes.
"iCarly" ends its fifth season in November, while "Victorious," which will start its third season in the fall, is waiting to hear about a fourth-season order, according to the article.more »
The Cinemax series "Strike Back" will debut two new Bob Dylan songs, reports the Los Angeles Times' Show Tracker.
The new season of the show, which is about a counterterrorism unit, will feature the songs "Early Roman Kings" and "Scarlet Town." The second song will play over the end credits of the show's first two episodes, which will air the same day, the story says.
The songs are from Dylan's next album, "Tempest," which is his 35th studio album, the piece adds.
The second season of the show debuts Aug. 17. The album is due out Sept. 11.
Here’s a clip released by Cinemax featuring “Early Roman Kings”:more »
Disney/ABC Television Group has created a new position in its financial leadership structure, tapping Peter Seymour, executive vice president of strategy and research for Disney Media Networks, to fill the position, reports B&C.
The new role is executive VP and CFO, a position created to consolidate financial leadership for Disney's entertainment assets, the story notes.
Seymour will continue to have oversight of strategy development for Disney's worldwide broadcasting and cable programming businesses, the piece adds.
"The consolidation of these important functions into one role allows us to streamline decision making and align our strategic goals to better serve the evolving needs of our Group," said Anne Sweeney, co-chair, media networks, and president, Disney/ABC Television Group.more »
NBC has given a script order to a multicamera comedy from "Saturday Night Live" head writer Seth Meyers and his younger brother, Josh Meyers, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed.
"SNL" producer Lorne Michaels is slated to executive produce the project, along with the Meyers brothers and "The Colbert Report’s” Peter Grosz, the story notes.
NBC also gave a script order to a project called "Hotel California," which is about a Los Angeles hotel and its general manager, who wants to maintain the place as a top hotel in the city, the story notes. The project will be written by Ol Parker, the screenwriter of the movie "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."more »
Nielsen overnights for Wednesday night reflect what has been the pattern since the Olympics opened: huge ratings for NBC, with not much to shout about on the other broadcast networks.
The London Olympics continue to pace ahead of the Beijing Games four years ago, reportedly up 7% in viewers 18-49 and up 13% in total viewers through the first six nights, including the opening ceremony.
Among the casualties last night: CBS’s “Big Brother” hit a season low with a 1.9 average rating in the key 18-49 demo, off one-tenth from a week earlier, TVbytheNumbers.com reports.
Other than that, CBS didn’t really try, putting up reruns of “Criminal Minds” and “CSI.”
ABC gave it a go at 10 p.m. with a fresh episode of “Final Witness,” which managed only a 0.8 in 18-49, down two-tenths from last week.
ABC filled out its prime-time schedule with repeats of “The Middle,” “Suburgatory” and “Modern Family,” while Fox put up a two-hour repeat of “So You Think You Can Dance.”
For prime time overall, it was NBC way out front with a 9.7 average rating in the 18-49 demo; the closest anyone else came was Univision with a 1.4 average, followed by CBS (1.3), ABC (0.8) and Fox (0.7). In total viewers, NBC averaged 30.6 million, followed by CBS with 4.6 million, Univision with 3.6 million, ABC with 2.8 million and Fox with 2.1 million.more »
A character actor who built an extensive resume of appearances on TV and in feature films has died, according to The Hollywood Reporter. John Finnegan, known for his appearances on TV in a dozen “Columbo” episodes and for film appearances including “The Natural,” was 85.
In "The Natural," Finnegan played Sam Simpson, the Chicago Cubs scout who was a big booster of Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford). Simpson was the person on the train who bet sportswriter Max Mercy (Robert Duvall) that Hobbs could strike out The Whammer in only three pitches.
Finnegan befriended Peter Falk and John Cassavetes while studying acting in New York, and went on to perform in five of Cassavetes’ movies along with his work with Falk in “Columbo.” He died Sunday at his home in Palm Desert, Calif., of various health complications.
Finnegan appeared in the Cassavetes movies “A Woman Under the Influence,” “Gloria” and “Big Trouble,” among others. He also provided the voice of Warren T. Rat in “An American Tail.”
Other film roles included “JFK,” “Mars Attacks!” and “Last Action Hero.” On TV, his long list of credits included the series “Maude,” “McMillan & Wife,” “McCloud” and “ER.”more »
A key decision came down today in the ongoing Jackson family dispute centered on the children of the late Michael Jackson. E! News reports that a judge in Los Angeles reinstated the children’s grandmother, Katherine Jackson, as their guardian.
The decision by Judge Mitchell Beckloff appeared to bring a sense of resolution to the matter, although the judge opted to keep T.J. Jackson, Katherine’s grandson, as a temporary guardian until the issue of permanent guardianship is aired at an Aug. 22 hearing.
Other family members have requested co-guardianship, and that request could still be granted at the upcoming hearing.
“Katherine's attorney, Perry Sanders, filed paperwork this morning regarding that joint custody motion, following through on what he told E! News last week after the judge appointed T.J. temporary guardian,” the story reports. “Beckloff, meanwhile, said during today's proceeding that he had conducted an investigation and his report showed that he was ‘very pleased the children are well cared for by Ms. Jackson and they love her very much.’"
Judge Beckloff said: "It's clear to me they have a significant relationship with T.J. Jackson and they love him very much. He has a past the kids can relate to. The kids seem to be doing very, very well. Based on my report, Katherine Jackson has done a wonderful job. I think the kids are in terrific hands."
The joint custody arrangement with Katherine Jackson and T.J. Jackson means Michael Jackson’s mom can “continue to draw from the family allowance, per her late son's will,” the story says.more »
'GMA' Gives NBC an Unhappy Sendoff to Olympics, Overtaking 'Today's' Last Remaining Ratings Stronghold -- and Snapping a 17-Year Streak
ABC’s “Good Morning America” gave NBC an unhappy sendoff in the week going into the Olympics, notching a ratings win in the last remaining category that NBC’s “Today” show still owned.
“GMA” won the ratings across the board for the week of July 23-27 -- including the key news demo of viewers 25-54, The New York Times reports.
ABC’s win in the 25-54 demo broke a streak of 879 weeks -- 17 years -- for the NBC morning show.
“GMA” topped “Today” in total viewers by 542,000, and won viewers 25-54 by 12,000.
The report notes that the trend has been steadily shifting in favor of the ABC show, especially since NBC’s recent highly public scramble to replace Ann Curry with Savannah Guthrie as a co-host.
The report notes: “The win for ‘GMA’ will almost certainly be short lived because NBC’s Olympics coverage is pushing ‘Today’ back in front in preliminary ratings. ‘Today’ has been about 1.3 million viewers ahead of ‘GMA’ for the first two days this week, and 732,000 viewers ahead in the 25-54 group.
“Those numbers may increase when Wednesday morning is factored in because NBC had its biggest night yet Tuesday and there is usually a carryover in the morning.”more »
Oprah Winfrey’s OWN cable network has taken the wraps off a number of big programming moves, rolling out its fall lineup along with an ambitous slate of new programs for 2013.
New programs for this fall are “Iyanla, Fix My Life,” premiering Sept. 15; “Lovetown, USA,” premiering Aug. 19; “TV Guide Magazine’s Top 25 Best Oprah Show Moments,” set for Aug. 28; and “Oprah: Where Are They Now,” bowing Oct. 2 with a two-hour special.
The network has ordered three new series for 2013: “Life with La Toya,” “The Customer Is Always Right” and “Neighborvention.”
Also among the announcements, the network’s flagship series “Oprah’s Next Chapter” will feature a number of high-profile guests in the new season, including Jennifer Hudson, Kelsey Grammer, Stephen Colbert and Bette Midler.
Other returning shows for fall are “Oprah’s Lifeclass,” “Super Soul Sunday” and “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s.”
The full lineup, along with details on new programs for fall 2012 and for 2013, can be found here.more »
Fox's "Glee" last season previewed a Christmas episode that included a scene in which Blaine (Darren Criss) had a special boxed gift for Kurt (Chris Colfer), but it was never aired and the Gleeks went crazy, reports AfterElton.com.
An online campaign called the Box Scene Project was launched to raise money for charity -- and to plead with Ryan Murphy, "Glee's" co-creator, to release the scene.
Murphy eventually declared that if he reached 500,000 Twitter followers, he would make the scene available online. Now, he has relented, satisfied with 100,000 followers instead.
The scene, which is pure Christmas kitsch, was tweeted by Murphy to the fans. Here it is:more »
Another potential issue has surfaced for NBC's Olympics coverage, with the network accidentally broadcasting a female water polo player's breast, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"Although there has been no public fallout as of yet, accidental network nudity has caused major controversy in the past," the article notes, pointing to the 2004 "wardrobe malfunction" that exposed Janet Jackson's breast during the Super Bowl halftime show.
"The pulling of swimsuits is considered fairly common practice in water polo, since it is a quite physical sport. Nevertheless, the incident only exacerbates the potential for criticisms of NBC for their coverage of the 2012 Olympic Games," the story adds.more »
Oprah Attacks Major Media Outlet for Kowtowing to Her Several Years Ago and Then Gleefully Attacking Her This Past March, During the 'Worst Week' of Her Life. Oprah Is Wrong on Both Counts
Oprah Winfrey made the startling accusations in her recent program "Oprah Builds a Network." It's all explained if you click here and read the latest entry by TVWeek Open Mic blogger Chuck Ross.more »
NBC has poached a leading executive from the ABC lineup, Deadline.com reports. The Peacock Network snatched up ABC's head of scheduling, Jeff Bader, who will become NBC's president, program planning, strategy and research, the story says.
Bader will report to NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt.
Bader will be in charge of scheduling NBC's prime-time, daytime and late-night programming, with NBC Entertainment's scheduling and research departments reporting to him.
Since Mitch Metcalf left NBC in March 2011, the network hasn't had a top scheduling executive.
"The network’s most recent fall schedule raised eyebrows with some decisions, like putting comedy blocks on four nights and slating 'Rock Center With Brian Williams' Thursdays at 10 PM," the piece points out.
Bader's role, a newly created position, comes with a "significant salary bump" for the executive, the story notes. ABC doesn't have a replacement yet for Bader, since his departure was sudden, the piece adds.more »
Diggity Dave, the star of MTV's "Pimp My Ride," said he believes the suspected Aurora theater shooter called him twice before the massacre, reports CBSLocal.com.
Diggity Dave told KNX 1070's Charles Feldman that a young man called him in June and identified himself as "James Holmes," the story says. The man wanted to talk about Dave’s movie, "The Suffocator of Sins," which the story says is a takeoff on the Batman movie.
The caller claimed to have watched the trailer more than 100 times and was upset that the movie's character didn't use larger guns, Dave said. Holmes is accused of fatally shooting 12 people and wounding 58 others during a showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" on July 20.
“He would tell me what he really liked about the trailer. He kept pressing if I could give him more information on the story. He wanted to know how many people Batman kills,” Dave said, according to the article. “He wanted to know if it was selective killing. Does he make a list of people he wants to kill or is it a mass body count?”more »
The 1941 Orson Welles classic “Citizen Kane” lost its spot atop an influential list of the all-time best movies after 50 years at No. 1.
The new No. 1 on the Sight & Sound magazine poll is Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo,” NBC News reports. “Kane” slipped to No. 2 in the poll of 846 critics, programmers, academics and distributors.
“Vertigo” has risen steadily in the poll, which is conducted every 10 years. The San Francisco-based suspense movie, released in 1958, was seventh on the list in 1982, rising to fourth in 1992 and second in 2002.
The report notes: “While Americans may not know the magazine, a monthly published by the British Film Institute, Roger Ebert has called its best-film poll ‘the only one most serious movie people take seriously.’ Movies are voted for by an international group of film experts.”
Other high-ranking movies on the list may be less familiar to American viewers. Coming in at No. 3 was Ozu Yasujiro’s “Tokyo Story” (1953), followed by “La Regle du jeu (The Rules of the Game)” (Jean Renoir, 1939) and “Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans” (FW Murnau, 1927).
Here’s the Top 10:
1. “Vertigo” (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
2. “Citizen Kane” (Orson Welles, 1941)
3. “Tokyo Story” (Ozu Yasujiro, 1953)
4. “La Regle du jeu (The Rules of the Game)” (Jean Renoir, 1939)
5. “Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans” (FW Murnau, 1927).
6. “2001: A Space Odyssey” (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
7. “The Searchers” (John Ford, 1956)
8. “Man With a Movie Camera” (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
9. “The Passion of Joan of Arc” (Carl Dreyer, 1927)
10. “8-1/2” (Federico Fellini, 1963)
The Top 50 can be found here.more »
Aaron Sorkin, speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour, defended "The Newsroom" from criticism that the women on the show are less intellectual than the men, and also denied that he fired the show's writing staff, reports TheWrap.com.
The high-profile drama series has polarized fans and critics alike, with some of its harshest critics in attendance at the TCA event.
Sorkin said all of the show's characters are flawed, including Emily Mortimer's Mackenzie MacHale, who is extremely qualified yet makes mistakes such as sending a personal email to the staff, according to the piece.
He also said he wanted to refute an "unsourced and untrue story on the Internet" that the show was firing most of its writing staff.
"The writing staff is not fired. And just seeing that in print is scaring the hell out of the writing staff. They're acting very strange. They're coming to work early, they're being polite to me. ... I love the writing staff," he said.
A couple of staff changes were made, including promoting two writers' assistants to story editors, he said. He also denied that Corinne Kingsbury, one of the show’s writers, is his ex-girlfriend, as has been reported in the media.
"I think she's at the beginning of a very exciting career and I would hate for this rumor or implication that she somehow got where she was for any reason other than merit to have to follow her around for the rest of her life," he said, according to the story.more »
Several "Mad Men" stars are nearing new contracts to remain on the AMC show, with January Jones, Elisabeth Moss and Vincent Kartheiser slated to receive significant salary increases, reports Deadline.com. Two of the three deals may already be done, the story reports.
Jones, Moss and Kartheiser will receive "well into six figures per episode," with the three actors close to agreements that would keep them on the show for two more season, the show's sixth and seventh, the story notes.
Christina Hendricks may also receive a similar raise, although her deal is still being worked out, according to the article.
Lionsgate TV is preparing to start production on the show's sixth season in October. Jon Hamm, who plays Don Draper, last year signed a three-year, eight-figure deal that will keep him on the show through the seventh and most likely final season of the drama, the story adds.more »
Vicky Gutierrez, who worked at the Los Angeles-area Telemundo station KVEA-TV from 2003 until March 2012, is suing Telemundo and parent company NBCUniversal for age discrimination, alleging she was kicked off the air when she turned 50, according to The Hollywood Reporter's Hollywood, Esq.
She also claims the network replaced her with a younger woman, according to the complaint.
"Defendants claim to have 'laid off' Ms. Gutierrez, age 50, but they actually terminated her, without cause and in breach of the employment contract between the parties, and promptly replaced her with a substantially younger woman to 'look' younger and 'better' to attract better ratings and at a lower cost to the employer," the complaint alleges.
The suit accuses the defendants of wrongful termination, retaliation and age discrimination, the report notes.more »
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" star Larry David is working on a movie for HBO, reports B&C, citing HBO Co-President Richard Plepler, who spoke at the Television Critics Association press tour.
The movie, which David is writing and will star in, isn't a version of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," and David won't play himself, according to the story. The movie is David's focus right now, Plepler said.
"It means whatever Larry wants it to mean for future seasons of 'Curb,'" Plepler said, according to the story. HBO President of Programming Michael Lombardo added, "I don't think he's closed the door to another season."
The report adds: “HBO also announced a documentary on the Rolling Stones as part of the band's 50th anniversary. The docu will be directed by Brett Morgan and has the involvement of all four current band members -- Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood.”
HBO also announced that the comedies “Enlightened” and “Girls” will return in January 2013 for their second seasons.more »
Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes, speaking on the company's quarterly earnings conference call, was critical of CNN’s recent ratings, reassuring analysts that the company has made CNN a high priority, TVNewser.com reports.
“To be clear, we are not satisfied with CNN’s ratings performance, and we are focused on fixing it,” Bewkes said. He singled out CNN as the exception to Turner Broadcasting's growth. Citing strong results from TNT, TBS and Cartoon Network, Bewkes added, “The exception this quarter was CNN."
Asked how he will raise CNN's ratings, Bewkes answered, "We are going to do a better job putting on programming that will hold viewers. We believe there is very strong demand for objective, comprehensive, non-partisan coverage, but we need to do it in a very compelling, more engaging way than we have been doing of late. That is what we are going to focus on next.”
As previously reported, CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton will step down from his role at the end of this year.
Bewkes trumpeted CNN’s domestic cume numbers, which lead cable news, along with its performance internationally and its digital results.
“I think as we all know, it is a great brand,” he said, adding, “I think there is tremendous upside on the news side.”more »
Cuba Gooding Jr.’s brush with the law in New Orleans appears to be winding down, with the bartender who accused him of shoving her around now indicating she won’t press charges.
Managers at the New Orleans restaurant where the alleged incident took place said Wednesday that the bartender does not intend to pursue criminal charges, Fox News reports.
The report notes: “On Tuesday, police issued an arrest warrant on a misdemeanor charge of municipal battery for the 44-year-old Gooding. Police say the bartender at the century-old Old Absinthe House told them that Gooding became upset after patrons started asking him to pose for photos with them at about 3 a.m. that morning. The bartender told investigators that Gooding pushed her after she asked him to calm down and again after she told him he should leave and that police had been called.”
Gooding reportedly met with police Wednesday morning and received a court summons.
A spokeswoman for the restaurant issued a statement later Wednesday, saying: "It is our understanding the employee involved in the alleged altercation has chosen to drop all charges against Mr. Cuba Gooding Jr. While we continue to investigate this matter internally, we are hopeful that this will put an end to the matter."
A spokesman for the city said: "The witness indeed has indicated that she is likely to drop the charges. If she does, and after prosecutors review the evidence, a determination will be made as to whether to dismiss the charges."
Gooding reportedly has an arraignment set for Friday.more »
LAPD Responds in Force to Home of Miley Cyrus -- for What Turns Out to Be a False Alarm, and Apparently a Troubling Prank
A 911 call reporting a possible home invasion brought Los Angeles police to the home of Miley Cyrus Wednesday night, TMZ.com reports. The call turned out to be a false alarm, and authorities suspect a disturbing prank known as “Swatting.”
“Law enforcement sources confirm ... the LAPD received a 911 call at 6:50 PM to report a possible home invasion, possible shots fired,” the story reports. “The LAPD responded immediately ... sending a chopper, and officers with high powered weapons, who immediately set up a perimeter around the home ... with guns drawn.”
The responders found the house quiet with nobody home, and no sign of trouble, the report adds.
“Law enforcement tells TMZ ... officials now believe the caller is a ‘911 abuser,’" the story reports. “The call seems to fall in line with a prank called ‘Swatting’ -- in which a caller tries to trick emergency responders into dispatching law enforcement (like the SWAT team) to a home by making up a serious crime.”
Authorities indicated they were looking into the call and if it does turn out to be a prank the caller could face serious criminal charges.more »
NBC and Comcast expected to lose money on the Olympics, but in an earnings call today NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke said it’s now looking like the company will break even on the venture, Deadline.com reports.
“We are way ahead of where we thought we would be,” Burke said. Not only will the company break even on the London Games, he added, but “given the trends, we stand to make money on future Olympics. … All of the numbers are significantly better than we projected in our deal [to purchase NBCU].”
Burke declared the London Games “a ratings success pretty much across the board,” adding: “For the first time we have a strategy that embraces broadcast, digital, and cable.”
The report adds: “The company’s efforts to showcase its news properties and NBC Sports Channel mean ‘it’s clearly something that’s going to benefit our company very broadly. ... Long term we’re delighted to have the asset.'”
Comcast wasn’t so sure about it when it was considering the purchase of NBCU. Burke noted that the company saw that “every 2 years NBCU was losing a lot of money on the Olympics.” The 2008 Beijing Games did well, but Burke said the company saw that as an anomaly attributable to the gold medal heroics of swimmer Michael Phelps.
For the London Games, he said, “we budgeted closer to (the 2004 Summer Olympics in) Athens than to Beijing,” anticipating a $200 million loss.
“But instead of seeing the first five days’ ratings down 20% vs Beijing the numbers from London are running 9% ahead,” the story notes.more »
Chuck Lorre’s vanity cards, which he tends to run during the closing credits of his vast resume of TV shows (“Two and a Half Men,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Mike & Molly”), will now have a life of their own, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Lorre has signed a book deal with Simon & Schuster for a coffee table book -- “What Doesn’t Kill Us, Makes Us Bitter” -- that will feature the vanity cards. Proceeds will go to charity.
“The book, which will retail for $100, marks the first time Lorre's vanity cards will be published in a collected edition with the often philosophical musings enhanced with illustrations,” the story reports.
Lorre said of the vanity cards: "It's just amazing to me that that's gone on this long."
The often funny, occasionally poignant messages have included, in one case, an apology to his father, the story notes. Said Lorre: "It's probably way too intimate to have used as a vanity card. It was an apology for being an idiot teenager."
The report adds: “Proceeds from the coffee table book will benefit the Dharma-Grace Foundation -- which Lorre established in 1999 to support the Venice Family Clinic, the largest free medical facility in the country.”
Lorre’s vanity cards were in the spotlight last year during a rancorous split between Lorre and his former “Two and a Half Men” star, Charlie Sheen -- with Lorre at times using the cards to take digs at Sheen.
The message from one card during that period, which we reported on back in April 2011, can be found here.
Click here to read about another card, from September 2011.more »
NBC is working on some changes to one of its sitcoms for the upcoming season, including the addition of a veteran of the network’s long-running hit “Will & Grace.”
The Huffington Post reports that "Up All Night" will look like a new show in season two with the addition of "Will & Grace's" Sean Hayes in a recurring role and the elimination of the show-within-a-show format.
Stars Christina Applegate, Will Arnett and Maya Rudolph are all coming back, but Rudolph's character of Ava will no longer have the "Ava" talk show. According to A.V. Club's Todd VanDerWerff, the show will emphasize "smaller, lower-key home stories."
Emmy winner Hayes will appear as Ava's former accompanist, with the notion that Ava might revive her music career.
The Huffington Post’s Maureen Ryan reports on one reason behind the change: "Ava is supposed to be both a powerful chat-show magnate and Reagan's regular-gal best friend, and it's not clear that 'Up All Night' knows how to modulate between those two extremes. For Ava to be funny, she has to be selfish and clueless; for her to be Reagan's friend, she can't be all that clueless or excessively mean to her underlings."
"Up All Night" will have its second-season premiere on Thursday, Sept. 20, at 8:30 p.m. ET.more »
NBC’s Olympics coverage hasn’t helped the network’s troubled “Today” show as much as NBC had hoped, the New York Daily News reports.
Examining Monday’s preliminary numbers, ratings are way up from last week, but down 14% from the show’s results on the equivalent day during the Beijing Olympics four years ago.
“Monday’s numbers are based on preliminary info that will be finalized next week and come as ‘Today’ is under pressure with new co-anchor Savannah Guthrie to halt the advance of its ABC rival, ‘Good Morning America,’” the story reports.
Megan Kopf, a spokeswoman for “Today,” pointed out in a statement that the show did get a significant bump, writing: “‘Today’ beat ‘GMA’ by 1.5 million viewers Monday -- that’s up 47% from last Monday. Anyone would argue that Monday’s win is a very significant win.”
Monday’s “Today” averaged 5.57 million total viewers, compared with 6.5 million four years ago. Back then, Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira anchored the show.
“GMA,” meanwhile, was up 6% from four years ago.
The report notes: “Insiders set the higher expectations weeks ago when Guthrie replaced anchor Ann Curry, who some blamed for the ‘Today’ show’s ratings slide. For years it was the dominant morning show. No longer. Up until the Olympics started -- and since Curry was booted -- ‘GMA’ has come out on top virtually every day.”more »
Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. met with authorities today regarding an arrest warrant that had been issued for him in New Orleans, and he’s no longer a wanted man, TMZ.com reports.
A rep for Gooding told the website: "There is no warrant. Mr. Gooding, his representative and the New Orleans authorities met this morning and are moving swiftly to resolve this misunderstanding."
The report adds: “A rep for the NOPD tells TMZ, Cuba met with police officials this morning and was served with a summons to appear in court to answer to the allegations against him. There is no longer an outstanding warrant out for his arrest. So far, the court date has not been released.”
As reported previously, the problem grew out of an alleged confrontation between Gooding and a female bartender in New Orleans’ French Quarter.more »
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has named a new president, the Los Angeles Times reports. The organization on Tuesday named Hawk Koch to the post.
Koch, a longtime producer and the current co-president of the Producers Guild of America, replaces Tom Sherak, who is exiting after completing his three-year term.
Koch has been on the Motion Picture Academy’s Board of Governors for the past eight years.
“Koch, whose father, Howard W. Koch, served as academy president in the 1970s, had been quietly but actively campaigning for the president’s post after serving as the organization’s first vice president and chairing the general membership committee,” the story notes.
Koch will serve only one year because he will run up against a nine-year term limit for members of the Board of Governors in 2013.
The Producers Guild of America issued a statement noting that Koch will take a leave of absence from his office with the PGA, leaving Mark Gordon as the sole president of that group.more »
One of the co-anchors of ABC’s "Good Morning America" made an announcement in the middle of the show Tuesday morning that she wasn’t feeling well and was leaving the show, the New York Post reports.
Robin Roberts, who is undergoing chemotherapy to prepare for a bone marrow transplant this fall, made the announcement around 8:10 a.m. Roberts told viewers, "A full disclosure here, I’m not feeling too well. I’m going to leave and let you do the rest of the program on your own."
Roberts added: “I’m going to take a little time off to get some vacay.”
As previously reported, Roberts was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, and will receive a bone-marrow donation from her sister.
"GMA" will use substitute co-hosts during her absence while she gets the transplant, including Barbara Walters and Katie Couric.more »
CBS has seen enough of a new show that has got off to a rough start, pulling it from the schedule after just two low-rated episodes, according to The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed. The show is the dating program “3.”
In its place, CBS will air drama repeats Sundays at 9 p.m. starting next week until "The Good Wife" returns Sept. 30 to the time period.
"3" tracked three women searching for love, and debuted Thursday, July 26, with a special preview, which drew 2.4 million viewers. When it moved to Sunday, it fell to 1.8 million viewers, the story notes.more »
After NBC revealed the results of an Olympic event in a "Today' promo before the event aired on the network, NBC Sports apologized and vowed not to let it happen again, reports TheWrap.com.
As previously reported, the promo for "Today" told viewers that Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin had won her first gold, but the event hadn't yet aired on the network. It later was televised on tape delay.
“Clearly that promo should not have aired at that time. We have a process in place and this will not happen again," an NBC representative said in a statement. "We apologize to viewers who were watching and didn’t know the result of the race."more »
After suspending a British newspaper reporter for posting complaints about NBC's Olympics coverage and giving out the email address of the head of NBC Olympics, Twitter backpedaled and apologized for "the oversight," reports The New York Times' Media Decoder.
NBC also apologized for having Guy Adams' account suspended, and Twitter reactivated his account, the story notes.
As previously reported, Adams, a correspondent for the British newspaper The Independent, was suspended for what Twitter said was posting an individual's private information. Adams had published the corporate email account for Gary Zenkel, the president of NBC Olympics, urging followers to tell him what they thought of NBC's tape delay.
“Our interest was in protecting our executive, not suspending the user from Twitter,” NBC said in a statement, according to The Times. “We didn’t initially understand the repercussions of our complaint, but now that we do, we have rescinded it.”
Many Twitter users were irked by the suspension, with some posting Zenkel's email address to show solidarity with Adams, the story notes. They also paired the hashtags #guyadams with #NBCFail, which has become the code for criticisms of NBC's Olympics coverage. Some Twitter users also threatened to boycott NBC's Olympics coverage.
More than 14,000 mentions of @guyadams were posted on Twitter during a 24-hour period, the story adds.more »
Actor Robert Pattinson, having had his “heart ripped out” by a sex scandal involving his girlfriend of three years, Kristen Stewart, has been hiding out at the ranch of actress Reese Witherspoon, according to media reports.
Pattinson and Witherspoon co-starred in the 2011 feature “Water for Elephants.”
Pattinson “ditched his former love nest in Los Angeles for new digs -- a stunning $7 million ranch where he can mend his broken heart,” the New York Daily News reports. The story adds: “The Ojai, Calif., ranch is Witherspoon’s vacation home and where she married talent agent Jim Toth last year.”
People magazine cites a source close to Pattinson who said the actor was devastated by news of Stewart’s affair with her “Snow White and the Huntsman” director, Rupert Sanders.
Said the source: "There was no sign that either of them was unhappy. He would have done anything for her."
The source said Pattinson had his "heart ripped out" by the news.
Stewart, too, is reportedly heartbroken. A source close to the actress told People: "Telling Robert was the worst thing she's ever had to do.”
Media reports indicated Stewart has been calling and sending texts to Pattinson since her public apology last week and is trying to revive their relationship.
Pattinson appears to have landed in a comfortable setting. The Daily News piece gave this description of Witherspoon’s spread: “The ranch was recently featured in Elle Decor magazine, and gives Witherspoon, her husband, and her two kids with ex-hubby Ryan Phillippe a ‘serene setting.’ She's currently expecting her first child with Toth. The property, meanwhile, is also home to donkeys, goats, pigs and chickens.”more »
One of television's most beloved classic comedies -- which has spawned spinoffs, TV movie reunions, a musical and a movie parody -- has a TV reboot in development at CBS from producer and actor Vince Vaughn, reports Deadline.com.
The classic television show is "The Brady Bunch."
The original show, which aired on ABC from 1969 to 1974, tracked Mike Brady and his three sons after Mike marries Carol Ann Martin, a single mom with three daughters.
The reboot of the show, which is co-developed and executive produced by Vaughn, has received a script order and will be produced by CBS TV Studios.
The new version follows a divorced Bobby Brady, who has children, remarried to a woman who also has children, while the pair also share a child.
The reboot also includes the pair's ex-spouses, reflecting the changing family dynamics since the original show first aired, the story notes. In the original program, creator Sherwood Schwartz wanted Carol to be divorced, but the network refused and the end of her first marriage wasn't addressed, the piece adds.
The new project will be written by Mike Mariano of "Raising Hope" and "My Name Is Earl." Mariano and Lloyd Schwartz, the son of the late Sherwood Schwartz, will executive produce along with Vaughn through his Wild West Picture Show Prods. Also executive producing are Victoria Vaughn and Peter Billingsley.
If the show returns, it's likely that CBS will also use an updated version of the classic theme song, similar to the way CBS used a modern version of the classic "Hawaii Five-0" theme song for its reboot.
Here’s a clip of the original “Brady Bunch” openings and closings as they evolved over the seasons:more »
The next version of Apple's iPhone will debut next month and will include a design overhaul, reports Bloomberg. The new iPhone, set for release Sept. 12, will have a thinner body and larger screen, the story reports.
The device will also work with faster wireless networks introduced by carriers such as AT&T and Verizon Wireless, the piece notes.
It will mark the first design change for the iPhone since 2010, when Apple introduced the iPhone 4. The last update, the 4S, used the same look as the previous version, the story adds.more »
CBS has signed "Community" creator Dan Harmon to a blind script deal for a multicamera comedy project to be produced by CBS TV Studios, reports Deadline.com.
It's the second recent TV deal for Harmon, who was ousted earlier this year as showrunner of the acclaimed NBC sticom "Community." As previously reported, Harmon signed a deal with Fox for a new comedy project, also a multicamera comedy.
"The deals with CBS and Fox signal a change in direction for the writer-producer after creating/co-creating two consecutive single-camera comedies that have developed cult followings but have been branded as having narrow appeal: Comedy Central’s 'Sarah Silverman Program' and NBC’s 'Community,'" the story notes.more »
Details are coming together for Joy Behar’s upcoming show, which will premiere next month, TVNewser.com reports.
The Current TV show, to be called "Joy Behar: Say Anything," will debut Sept. 4, the story reports.
The show will have "no agenda other than to entertain, inform and make sure my hair always looks great," Behar said at the Television Critics Association press tour.
“Current is like the G-Spot of television -- it may be hard to find but once you find it, there’s nothing better,” Behar added.
She previously hosted a nightly talk show on HLN, which was canceled in November.more »
The co-owner of The Hollywood Reporter is one of two final bidders for Variety, reports the New York Post.
Jimmy Finkelstein, through his role as chairman of Prometheus Global Media, is one of the suitors for the entertainment trade publication, with the second bidder being billionaire Ron Burkle, the story notes.
Prometheus, formed by Guggenheim Partners and Finkelstein's Pluribus Capital Management, bought The Hollywood Reporter in 2009, and afterwards scrapped its daily version and focused on its weekly edition and website, the story notes.
It's possible that Prometheus, if it succeeds in its bid for Variety, could do the opposite: keep Variety's daily publication and merge its weekly with The Hollywood Reporter, the piece adds.
Variety's daily circulation was 23,655 in September 2011, while its weekly was 21,594. The Hollywood Reporter's weekly publication had a circulation of 72,007 in March 2011.more »
"Anderson," the daytime talk show starring CNN fixture Anderson Cooper, will be overhauled by Warner Bros. for the show's second season, including a new name and new features, reports B&C.
The new name will be "Anderson Live," reflecting that the show will be taped in front of a live studio audience, and the show will move to a new permanent set at the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City. The show previously taped at the Time Warner Center.
The show will also feature different co-hosts each day, an experiment that the show tried successfully during the May sweeps, the piece notes. It's also possible the show will tap a permanent co-host to be featured along with Cooper.
Additionally, the show's website, AndersonCooper.com, is introducing several new features, such as "Stump Anderson," which encourages fans to send Cooper trivia questions that he will answer during live webcasts, the story adds.more »
Cuba Gooding Jr. has responded to a New Orleans arrest warrant that was issued for the Oscar-winning actor, the Los Angeles Times reports.
As we reported yesterday, a warrant for municipal battery was issued in response to an alleged incident early Tuesday in the French Quarter in which Gooding is accused of shoving a bartender.
“Gooding's attorney in New York, Peter Toumbekis, contacted New Orleans police on behalf of his client Tuesday afternoon, authorities said,” the Times reports.
The report adds: “Police issued the battery arrest warrant after a female bartender told officers the actor entered a Bourbon Street bar with a group and became ‘very aggravated’ after other customers recognized him and asked for photos, officials said in a statement.
“But when the bartender approached Gooding and asked him to calm down, the actor pushed her away with an open hand, she told police.”
After a call was placed to 911 the bartender asked Gooding to leave, according to reports, and the actor did -- allegedly shoving her again on the way out.more »