Jan 13, 2017
3:33 pm

‘Quantico’ Star Hospitalized After Mishap on the Set (TMZ, E! News)

The star of the hit ABC drama series “Quantico” was home and “resting comfortably” after being injured on the set and taken to the hospital. E! News reports that Priyanka Chopra was expected to return to work early next week.

A rep for ABC called it a “minor incident” but offered no further details. TMZ.com reported that Chopra suffered a concussion.

“Sources on the set tell us Priyanka was rushed to the ER late Thursday night after she slipped and fell so hard on her head during a stunt, she suffered a concussion,” TMZ reports. “We’re told Priyanka was examined, treated and discharged a few hours later.”

The TMZ report notes that Chopra skipped a promotional event for the show Friday.

Jan 13, 2017
3:01 pm

More ‘Twin Peaks’ Weirdness: New Teaser Offers a Look at Kyle MacLachlan’s Agent Cooper — and Keeps Up Showtime’s Oddball Promo Campaign for the Show (TVWeek, Showtime)

Showtime appears to be waging an appropriately quirky promotional campaign for its revival of the quintessentially offbeat series “Twin Peaks.”

Earlier this week we got several seconds of David Lynch — who directed all the episodes of the new series and plays Gordon Cole on the show — eating a doughnut, a surprisingly literal nod to fans of Lynch — guilty as charged! — who might find the director so fascinating that even footage of him eating a doughnut would be interesting to watch. (Click here to see the doughnut-eating clip.)

Several months ago we got a brief clip of composer Angelo Badalamenti playing “Twin Peaks” theme music, which was also weird and appropriate in its own way. You can click here to see the Badalamenti clip.

Today we get our first ominous look at Kyle MacLachlan’s Agent Dale Cooper. The clip isn’t all that weird in its own right, but taken in combination with the rest of the material Showtime has been releasing, it does kind of add to the suspense. Check it out …

Jan 13, 2017
2:44 pm

High-Profile Movie Is Being Called 2017’s First Big Flop (LA Times, TVWeek, Paramount)

A movie that was supposed to jump-start business at one of the major Hollywood studios instead appears poised to become “the first major box-office wreck of 2017.” That’s the assessment of Paramount Pictures’ “Monster Trucks” by Ryan Faughnder, writing in The Los Angeles Times.

“The live action-computer animation hybrid, about a teenage boy who befriends a tentacled, gas-guzzling monster in his truck, is on track to gross $8 million to $10 million during its first four days in theaters this weekend — an abysmal result for a movie that cost $125 million to make,” Faughnder writes.

The report notes that “Monster Trucks” was supposed to give a boost to Paramount’s fledgling animation business. But signs of trouble ahead began surfacing months ago.

“The first trailer for ‘Monster Trucks’ released in June became the butt of widespread Internet snark, and reviews from professional critics have been mostly negative,” the report notes. “In an unusual preemptive move, Paramount’s parent company, Viacom Inc., in September disclosed it would take a $115 million write-down ‘related to the expected performance of an unreleased film,’ quickly revealed to be ‘Monster Trucks.’  Studios rarely announce such write-downs before movies are actually released.”

The report quotes Jeff Bock, a box-office analyst for Exhibitor Relations, saying of “Monster Trucks”: “You knew right after seeing the first trailer that it was going to bomb. I’m surprised ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ doesn’t already have the rights to this.”

“Monster Trucks” appears to be just the latest in a series of disappointments for Paramount. We encourage readers to click on the link above to the L.A. Times to read the full report.

Jan 13, 2017
2:41 pm

Steve Harvey Reveals What His Meeting With Trump Was About (TVWeek, Twitter)

Comedian and “Family Feud” host Steve Harvey met with Donald Trump today at Trump Tower, and after the meeting Harvey posted a message on Twitter explaining what it was about.

Harvey indicated that he was inspired by President Obama to reach out in an effort to help the country move forward. He said he found Trump “both congenial and sincere.”

Harvey also mentioned efforts to help the inner cities and the role Trump ally Dr. Ben Carson might play. Here’s Harvey’s Twitter post …

Jan 13, 2017
1:21 pm

Former NBC Producer Found Dead Among Drugs and Lots of Cash (NY Post, Bristol Herald Courier)

A former NBC producer is dead and two men were arrested in an incident involving a trove of drugs and cash. The New York Post reports that Thomas Felty, 36, was found dead Jan. 4 in an Upper East Side apartment in Manhattan.

Authorities said George Lopez, 50, and Patrick Walsh, 33, were arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance after they called 911 while at the apartment, according to the report.

“Walsh and Lopez met up with Felty earlier that day and the three went back to Lopez’s apartment, police said. Walsh and Lopez fell asleep and then awoke to find that Felty wasn’t breathing,” The Post reports. “Lopez called 911 and cops who responded at about 5 a.m. found a trove of drugs that included three large gallon size zip lock bags and six half gallon sized zip lock bags containing methamphetamine inside a black bag on top of a cardboard box.”

“They also found two large zip lock bags containing cocaine, 100 orange ecstasy pills, 34 Molly pills, 16 additional ‘cat shaped’ ecstasy pills, 56 unidentified additional pills and $26,985.00 in cash in a laundry basket,” The Post adds. “Police found a duffel bag that contained more drugs, including meth, hundreds of ecstasy pills, rock cocaine, marijuana and 58 green diazepam pills.”

Felty was reportedly a producer for NBC, Universal and a number of independent production companies. The Bristol (Tenn.) Herald Courier reported that he worked on television shows including “Monsters Inside Me,” “Disappeared,” “Frenemies,” and “What History Forgot.”

“An initial investigation found that Felty, who is originally from Tennessee, had an enlarged heart and had taken narcotics, police sources said,” The Post reports. “Felty’s cause of death was pending further tests, a spokeswoman with the city Medical Examiner’s office said.”

Jan 13, 2017
12:44 pm

NFL Reschedules Chiefs-Steelers Playoff Game Due to Ice Storm (Variety)

In what appears to be a lucky break for NBC, an ice storm in Kansas prompted the NFL to reschedule Sunday’s playoff game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Pittsburgh Steelers, with the switch moving the game into a prime-time slot on NBC.

Originally scheduled to kick off at 1:20 p.m. ET Sunday, the game will instead get under way at 8:20 p.m. ET.

The move to prime time should fuel strong Sunday night ratings for NBC.

“Last week, NBC drew over 26 million viewers to its Saturday night broadcast of the Seattle Seahawks-Detroit Lions Wild Card playoff game,” Variety notes. “It was the largest Saturday night audience for any television program since Jan. 16, 2016.”

Sunday’s Packers-Cowboys game in Dallas is still on at its originally scheduled time, 4:40 p.m. ET on Fox.

Jan 13, 2017
12:17 pm

Canceled Series May Be Brought Back to Life (TheWrap, Deadline, TVWeek)

A cable series that was canceled a little more than a week ago could spring back to life.

Just hours after the Disney Channel officially canceled “Girl Meets World” last week the show was nominated for a Producers Guild Award for Outstanding Children’s Program. Now media reports are suggesting that Netflix or another streamer will step in to keep the series going.

Disney Channel announced last week that it has scheduled the show’s final episode, “Girl Meets Goodbye,” for Friday, Jan. 20. The sequel to “Boy Meets World” ran for three seasons.

But “Girl Meets World” showrunner Michael Jacobs suggested to TheWrap that there may be more life left in the series. He told the website this week: “We are certainly having discussions — there are some interested platforms.”

His comment followed a strong response by the show’s fans to its cancellation, with many on social media calling for the series to be picked up by Netflix or Hulu.

TheWrap quotes Jacobs saying: “I don’t think ‘Girl’ should have been canceled. We signed to do four seasons. I thought we would be able to tell stories through four seasons. That’s the way we set it up. It was going to be a remarkable final year. But I understand, things end.”

The report quotes a statement from Disney Channel saying: “The decision to not option a fourth season of ‘Girl Meets World’ was made after careful consideration of many factors. While all good stories have an ending, we’re proud to have presented a generation of kids and families with 70+ episodes and especially the heartfelt finale with so many fan-favorite characters from ‘Boy Meets World.’”

Deadline.com notes that “Girl Meets World” has been “one of Disney Channel’s best received series, with sharp writing, strong reviews, two consecutive best children’s program Emmy nominations for the first two seasons as well as WGA and PGA nominations.” The Deadline report suggests that it might be a better demographic fit for Netflix.

Jacobs hinted that the show’s fate may be determined soon, telling TheWrap: “I don’t think this thing can go on three or four months without a decision. I think it will be sooner rather than later.”

Jan 13, 2017
11:07 am

Trump Team Lines Up Celebs for Inaugural Concert (AP)

Against the heavily politicized backdrop of the Trump camp’s efforts to find performers willing to appear during his inauguration events, the president-elect’s team announced that the inaugural concert has lined up country star Toby Keith, “Dreamgirls” singer Jennifer Holliday and actor Jon Voight to perform.

Also appearing at next Thursday’s event, billed as the “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration,” will be Southern rockers 3 Doors Down, The Piano Guys, Lee Greenwood, DJ RaviDrums and The Frontmen of Country, featuring Tim Rushlow, Larry Stewart and Richie McDonald.

“Trump himself also will speak at the concert at the Lincoln Memorial, which organizers said ‘will serve as a tribute to one of our greatest attributes, the peaceful transition of partisan power,'” the AP reports.

The report notes: “The celebrity wattage for Trump’s inaugural festivities doesn’t rival that of Barack Obama’s inaugurations, which attracted A-listers including Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Alicia Keys, Kelly Clarkson, Eva Longoria and Jennifer Hudson, among others. But Trump has insisted that’s how he wants it, saying the swearing-in festivities should be about the people, not the elites.”

Jan 13, 2017
10:31 am

ESPN Set to Break Up Popular On-Air Team (Philly.com, Sports Illustrated)

The turbulence continues at ESPN, where lineup changes have been in full swing for a while now. In the latest development, Philly.com is reporting that the network is ready to break up the “Mike & Mike” team of Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic.

The two Mikes have been paired on the radio for almost two decades and have been filling large chunks of the morning programming with their topical sports talk on various ESPN TV channels since 2004.

“According to Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, ESPN executives are moving forward with a long-rumored plan to remove Greenberg from the popular Mike and Mike radio program and shift him to a new morning show on the network that will combine elements of ‘SportsCenter’ with a typical morning show,” Philly.com reports.

ESPN wasn’t commenting, and the topic was not mentioned on today’s show. No timeframe is known for any possible changes.

“‘Mike & Mike’ currently airs weekdays on ESPN Radio from 6–10 a.m. and is simulcast on ESPN2,” Philly.com notes. “Greenberg recently signed a new deal with The Worldwide Leader that reportedly pays him $6.5 million a year.”

The report adds: “It would be a big move for ESPN, and carries a good deal of risk. Not only has ‘Mike & Mike’ been one of ESPN’s most successful and long-running programs (not to mention a significant source of revenue), the ratings of ESPN2’s simulcast of ‘Mike & Mike’ often top the 3-hour average ratings for ‘SportsCenter’ on ESPN from 6-10 a.m.”

ESPN recently moved another of its morning mainstays, the sports debate show “First Take,” from ESPN2 to the main network. The show, featuring Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman, currently airs on ESPN from 10 a.m.-noon ET.

Jan 13, 2017
9:01 am

Program Pulled Off the Air After Stirring Up a Frenzy Over the Casting of Michael Jackson (TVWeek, THR)

After sparking a torrent of online hate over the casting of a white actor as the late pop icon Michael Jackson, the U.K. broadcaster Sky Arts announced today that it will not air the episode at the center of the firestorm.

The episode of the British comedy program “Urban Myths” features Joseph Fiennes in the role of the pop superstar. As we reported Thursday, Jackson’s daughter Paris and other family members were among those expressing outrage over the casting of Fiennes.

A trailer that was released to promote the program has been pulled from circulation.

Sky released a statement today saying: “We have taken the decision not to broadcast Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon, a half-hour episode from the Sky Arts Urban Myths series, in light of the concerns expressed by Michael Jackson’s immediate family. We set out to take a lighthearted look at reportedly true events and never intended to cause any offense.”

The episode, which had been scheduled to air Jan. 19, focuses on the urban myth of a 2001 road trip that involved Jackson along with Elizabeth Taylor (played by Stockard Channing) and Marlon Brando (Brian Cox).

The Hollywood Reporter notes that a petition was launched to boycott the episode, and had drawn more than 20,000 signatures.

Fiennes commented on the controversy, telling THR he understood why people were “up in arms.”

The publication quotes Fiennes saying: “The decision with the casting and the producers — I wrangled with it, I was confused and shocked at what might come my way. And I knew the sensitivity, especially to Michael’s fans and to Michael’s family. It doesn’t negate who he was.”

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