Oct 24, 2016
11:27 am

Shakeup at MTV: Network President Headed Out (Deadline)

The president of MTV is stepping down from the position, with network owner Viacom Inc. expected to announce a successor later today. In an exclusive, Nellie Andreeva reports on Deadline.com that Sean Atkins is out after a little more than a year on the job.

“I’ve learned that Atkins opted to leave when Viacom Music and Entertainment Group president Doug Herzog, to whom he reports, informed Atkins of a plan to bring in an executive over him,” Andreeva reports. “Atkins, who will stay on as a consultant through January advising on the transition, announced his surprising departure in a note to his staff this morning.”

Speculating about a possible replacement, Andreeva calls Chris McCarthy a “logical choice.”

“No one is commenting, but Chris McCarthy has been a rising star at the company with a string of promotions over the past year, most recently to president of VH1 and Logo, after orchestrating a ratings turnaround at MTV sibling VH1 in a short period of time,” the report notes.


Oct 24, 2016
11:01 am

Real Trolls Swing Shovels: ‘SNL’s’ Leslie Jones Goes Off on Her Hackers — Watch the Video (TVWeek, NBC)

“Saturday Night Live” cast member Leslie Jones, who was victimized by a vicious hack in August, took to the “Weekend Update” desk on Saturday’s installment of the NBC sketch show to respond to her hackers — a response that regular viewers have been awaiting since the season premiere.

As we reported back in August, nude photos of Jones were released in the hack, in which a hacker also posted racist images and abusive language directed at Jones. The FBI was reportedly investigating the incident.

Here’s what Jones had to say about it on Saturday’s show …

Oct 24, 2016
10:44 am

Showrunner on NBC’s ‘Tonight Show’ Is Out (Deadline)

NBC’s “Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” has had a big change behind the scenes, with producer and showrunner Josh Lieb exiting the program to move to a writing deal with Universal Television, Deadline.com reports.

“There will not be a direct replacement for Lieb,” the story reports. “Instead, the roles of three people, who had been with Fallon since the 2009 launch of his first NBC late-night show, are being expanded. Katie Hockmeyer will assume oversight of production, while writers Gerard Bradford and Mike DiCenzo, who have penned ‘Slow Jam The News featuring President Obama’ among other ‘Tonight Show’ signature skits, will assume oversight of the show creative.”

Lieb has been with the show since shortly before its launch almost three years ago.

Said Fallon: “Josh has been a tremendous asset and has played a key role in helping us successfully launch ‘The Tonight Show.’ We will miss him and wish him all the best with this great new opportunity. We are excited to have a great trio to fill his shoes. Katie, Mike, and Gerard, who have been with me since ‘Late Night,’ will be expanding their roles, and they and the rest of the team will help us continue to have fun and success.”

tonight show starring jimmy fallon-title

Oct 24, 2016
10:07 am

Drew Barrymore Talk Show Has Key Station Group Lined Up (TVNewsCheck)

Nothing has been signed yet, but a new syndicated talk show starring Drew Barrymore is reportedly close to a deal with Hearst Television to carry the show on many of its stations. The project is in the works at Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.

“Multiple sources say Hearst Television has agreed, or is close to agreeing, to carry the syndicated Drew Barrymore vehicle on ‘a large number’ of its stations,” TVNewsCheck reports. “While a syndicated weekday talk show headlined by Barrymore has been talked about for months, it has now moved closer to reality since WBDTD is out there pitching it, sources tell TVNewsCheck.”

Hearst wasn’t commenting, but the report notes: “Hearst’s interest in a Barrymore talk show could stem from her long association with Hearst as a celebrity who has been covered by — and appeared on covers of — the company’s women’s magazines, one source speculated. In addition to acting in movies, Barrymore, 41, runs her own cosmetics company, Flower Beauty.”

hearst television

Oct 24, 2016
9:57 am

Tom Hayden, Famed 1960s Anti-Vietnam War Activist and Former Husband of Jane Fonda, Dies (NY Times)

Longtime political activist and former lawmaker Tom Hayden, who rose from the counterculture movement of the late ’60s to become a California state legislator and an important player in progressive politics, has died.

The New York Times reports that Hayden, who was married to Jane Fonda from 1973-1990, died Sunday at 76. He had reportedly been dealing with heart problems, and fell ill back in July while he was at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

“During the racial unrest and antiwar protests of the ’60s and early ’70s, Mr. Hayden was one of the nation’s most visible radicals,” The Times reports. “He was a founder of Students for a Democratic Society, a defendant in the Chicago Seven trial after riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, and a peace activist who married Jane Fonda, went to Hanoi and escorted American prisoners of war home from Vietnam.”

The report adds: “As a civil rights worker, he was beaten in Mississippi and jailed in Georgia. In his cell he began writing what became the Port Huron Statement, the political manifesto of S.D.S. and the New Left that envisioned an alliance of college students in a peaceful crusade to overcome what it called repressive government, corporate greed and racism. Its aim was to create a multiracial, egalitarian society.”

Hayden and Fonda traveled across Vietnam in 1974, as the war was nearing its final stages, conducting interviews with witnesses to the war and producing a controversial documentary, “Introduction to the Enemy.”

“Later, with the war over and the idealisms of the ’60s fading, Mr. Hayden settled into a new life as a family man, writer and mainstream politician,” The Times reports. “In 1976, he ran for the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate from California, declaring, ‘The radicalism of the 1960s is fast becoming the common sense of the 1970s.’ He lost to the incumbent, Senator John V. Tunney.”

He was elected to the California Legislature in 1982, serving as an assemblyman for a decade and then as a state senator from 1993 to 2000.

Oct 24, 2016
9:21 am

How Tom Hanks Helped Boost ‘SNL’ to Eight-Year Highs — Watch These Fun Clips (TVWeek, NBC)

NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” has been on a roll this season, and the latest installment appeared to get a bump from Tom Hanks — both in the ratings and creatively.

Hanks participated in numerous skits, including appearing as debate moderator Chris Wallace in a cold open parodying the third Hillary Clinton-Donald Trump debate. (You can watch the skit below.)

NBC announced that the broadcast delivered season highs in households and adults 18-49, based on Nielsen late-night metered-market data — the show’s best results for an October program in eight years.

The show, which had Lady Gaga as musical guest along with Hanks as guest host, generated a 6.1 rating, 15 share in “live plus same day” household results from the 56 local markets metered by Nielsen Media Research and a 3.0/14 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with local people meters.

“These are the show’s highest ratings so far this season, topping the previous highs set with the season premiere on Oct. 1 (5.8/15 in metered-market households, 2.7/14 in 18-49 in the local people meters),” NBC announced. “For an October edition, they’re the highest ‘Saturday Night Live’ overnights since Oct. 25, 2008 (7.1/16 in metered-market households, 4.0 rating in 18-49 in the local people meters with host Jon Hamm and musical guest Coldplay).”

Here’s the cold open …

Hanks also took part in a memorable installment of “Black Jeopardy!” Here’s the clip …

Oct 24, 2016
8:44 am

Britney Spears Almost Loses Her Top in Wardrobe Malfunction (TVWeek, YouTube)

Concert goers at a Britney Spears performance got more than they bargained for Saturday in Las Vegas when the pop diva busted her bra and had to hold her top in place by hand as her handlers scrambled to resolve the wardrobe malfunction.

One of her male dancers eventually saved the day, making the gallant gesture of providing Spears with his own shirt so she could continue performing “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “Gimme More.”

Here you go …

Oct 24, 2016
8:11 am

Robert Redford Movie Being Adapted for NBC (THR)

NBC has a new project in the works that’s an adaptation of a popular Robert Redford movie. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that the network gave a script order to a reboot of the 1992 hacker feature “Sneakers.”

Walter Parkes, who co-wrote the feature, is behind the new project.

“The feature film, a comedic caper, starred Robert Redford and Ben Kingsley as college students who hack into computer networks using university equipment in a bid to redistribute conservative funds to liberal causes,” THR notes. “The movie explores their diverging paths and ultimate reunion as one goes the organized crime route while the other works with law enforcement.”

The NBC project comes from Universal Television, with Parkes and his wife and producing partner Laurie MacDonald to executive produce and Tom Szentgyorgyi on board to write the script.


Oct 24, 2016
7:41 am

Justin Bieber Storms Off the Stage in Latest Concert Meltdown (E! News)

Pop superstar Justin Bieber had another bad moment on stage Sunday, storming off the stage in the midst of a concert because his fans were screaming too much, E! News reports.

The incident took place during a stop in Manchester, England, on Bieber’s Purpose World Tour. Bieber, 22, reportedly warned the crowd not to scream while he was trying to talk to them.

The report quotes Bieber saying: “I appreciate all the support, I appreciate love, I appreciate the kind things. But the screaming in these breaks has got to stop. Please and thank you. I don’t think it’s necessary when I’m trying to say something and you guys are screaming. I feel like I wanna connect with you.”

He added: “The point of the no-screaming thing is that when I’m looking at you in the eyes you know that we’re actually having a moment and having a connection.”

When the crowd refused to stop screaming, Bieber reportedly dropped the mic and left the stage. He returned after a few minutes and got back to performing, telling the audience: “We’re just going to do the music. Obviously Manchester just can’t handle it, so let’s do the music.”

Oct 23, 2016
8:56 pm

Must Read No. 1: Making Sense of AT&T’s $85 Billion Bid for Time Warner (NY Times)

Jeffrey Bewkes, now the chief executive of Time Warner, “once described his company’s colossal failure of a merger with AOL” this way: “You had a lot of people saying you should’ve combined a donkey with a rabbit and gotten a flying unicorn.” So writes Andrew Ross Sorkin in The New York Times. At the time Bewkes was running Time Warner’s HBO unit.

So why did Bewkes and his board, over the weekend, approve an $85 billion bid from AT&T?

Writes Sorkin, “The worry among consumer groups and rivals, of course, is that for AT&T to make the deal work strategically and financially — the company is paying a 35 percent premium to Time Warner’s stock price before news of the deal broke last week — it is going to use Time Warner’s content as a weapon against its rivals by raising the price that they pay for carriage of channels such as HBO and CNN, while integrating those same channels into new AT&T offerings at lower prices.

“Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chief executive, dismissed that notion in an interview on Sunday, calling it ‘illogical’ and saying he wants to ‘dispel’ such an idea. He insisted he has no intention to limit Time Warner’s content on rival systems and that ‘it doesn’t make business sense’ to restrict the distribution of Time Warner programming.”

To read more details about this story, including why AT&T thinks the deal does make sense, please click here, which will take you to Sorkin’s article.





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