September 2012

Time Warner Cable SportsNet -- Home of the Los Angeles Lakers -- Debuts This Coming Monday, Oct. 1st. Also in Spanish

"Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes will debut Monday night, [Oct. 1, 2012] at 7:00 p.m. PT as the exclusive local homes of the Los Angeles Lakers, LA Galaxy and LA Sparks games, as well as CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) high school regular season and playoff contests," Time Warner Cable has announced.

Melinda Witmer, Executive Vice President and Chief Video and Content Officer for Time Warner Cable -- and TVWeek Cable Television Woman of the Year -- said in a statement,  “We’re so proud of the teams at Time Warner Cable Sports, as they have worked incredibly hard to launch these networks. From the first Spanish-language regional sports network in the country to a comprehensive viewing experience for all fans, we know that these groundbreaking networks will set a new standard for Southern California sports fans when they launch on Monday

The announcement adds, "Time Warner Cable SportsNet will debut at 7 p.m. with a two-hour live special edition of the network’s signature show 'Access SportsNet' that will feature Lakers Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Steve Nash and Galaxy superstar David Beckham as in-studio guests. This will be followed by the world premiere of 'Backstage: Lakers,' the network’s weekly behind-the-scenes documentary show, at 9 p.m. 'Backstage: Lakers' will take fans from the end of the 2011-12 season in Oklahoma City to the start of 2012-13 training camp, giving an inside look at the arrival of Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, examining fan reactions to the Lakers’ headline-making offseason and a look behind-the-scenes of Lakers media day.

"Time Warner Cable Deportes will launch at 7 p.m. with a two-hour 'Bienvenidos a Time Warner Cable Deportes' live special that features Beckham, Bryant and Nash as in-studio guests, plus Laker Pau Gasol and Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan. Next on the network will be 'Somos Lakers, La Biografía' at 9 p.m. and 'Los 16 del Galaxy' at 9:30 p.m., which profile the storied histories of the two teams. 'Encuentro Deportivo' will premiere at 10 p.m. and the half-hour live, nightly show will update viewers on the day’s most complete sports activity, in Southern California as well as internationally."

The announcement also says, "Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes can be found in HD on channel 481 and 403, respectively, on Time Warner Cable systems. Negotiations with other providers to carry the networks are ongoing but have not yet concluded."

Time Warner Cable is the primary MSO in the L.A. area.

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Video: A Shaken Shepard Smith Apologizes For Fox News Showing Suicide Live, On Air

"Fox News Channel today [Sept. 28, 2012] was showing live coverage of an Arizona police chase that ended when the suspect fled the scene, pulled out a handgun and shot himself in the head," reports. The footage was being broadcast on a delay, but aired anyway. Then Fox News went to commercial. Here'a a very shaken Shepard Smith addressing viewers after the commercial. Later, Fox News issued this statement, Deadline reports:: “We took every precaution to avoid any such live incident by putting the helicopter pictures on a five second delay. Unfortunately, this mistake was the result of a severe human error and we apologize for what viewers ultimately saw on the screen.”


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Talker 'Ricki Lake Show' Changes Executive Producers

"The Ricki Lake Show" from Twentieth Television is changing executive producers, reports

The article says, "Gail Steinberg, who was the co-creator and EP on Ricki Lake’s original talk show during the 1990s, is returning to become executive producer of the freshman talker 'The Ricki Lake Show,' effective immediately. Lisa Kridos, who was EP, is exiting to become a programming and development producer for the show’s distributor Twentieth Television."

The story adds, " 'Ricki Lake' has gotten off to a slow ratings start among the freshman pack of daytime talkers, owing partly to a Tribune-Cablevision carriage dispute that has affected 40% of New York households."

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Down Periscope: Ratings for ABC's Much-Hyped Submarine Drama Hit by Big Bang

Thursday night, Sept. 27, included two closely watched drama premieres. CBS’s “Elementary,” airing at 10 p.m., won the time slot with a 3.1 average in the 18-49 demo. 

ABC’s highly promoted drama featuring the crew of a nuclear submarine, “Last Resort,” debuting in the hotly contested 8 p.m. slot, settled for a 2.2. CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory,” also airing at 8 p.m., delivered a 4.8 for its season premiere -- the best number of the night. 

Interestingly, in a poll of readers by, conducted before "Last Resort" aired, 65% of the respondents said the show would pull at least a 2.7 in the 18-49 demo.

Leading out of "The Big Bang Theory" on CBS, the season premiere of “Two and a Half Men” scored a 3.5.

NBC saw its Thursday night woes continue -- even as its numbers were generally higher than last week’s.

Nielsen overnight figures cited by show NBC in a distant fourth place in the key 18-49 demo. CBS, which premiered its new Sherlock Holmes drama “Elementary,” won the night with a 3.4 average rating in the demo for prime time overall, followed by ABC with a 2.9, Fox with a 2.8, NBC with a 1.7 and Spanish-language Univision with a 1.4. In total viewers it was CBS well out front with 13.8 million for prime time, followed by ABC (9.2 million), Fox (7.6 million), NBC (4.7 million) and Univision (3.6 million).

It could get worse for NBC. “The Thursday night NFL Network Cleveland/Baltimore game was simulcast on the NBC affiliates in both markets,” TVbytheNumbers reports. “As a result the numbers for NBC are probably inflated and subject to more than typical adjustments in the final numbers.”

According to the preliminary numbers, NBC’s best performance was by “The Office,” which delivered a 2.4 in viewers 18-49. That was better than last week’s 2.1, with the rest of the lineup also up from a week ago: “Up All Night” surged to a 1.8, up from a 1.3; “Parks & Recreation” was all the way up to a 2.1, from a 1.7 last week; “Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update” ticked up to a 1.7, from a 1.6; and “Rock Center” managed a 1.2, rising from a 1.1.

Fox’s “The X Factor” was also strong at 8 p.m., delivering a 3.2 in 18-49 -- down from a 3.5 a week ago.

ABC owned the 9 p.m. hour with the season premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy,” which pulled a 4.3 average in the 18-49 demo. CBS’s “Person of Interest” settled for a 2.9 for its season premiere, while Fox’s “Glee” had a 2.5.

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'Innocence of Muslims' Filmmaker Could Get Three-Year Prison Sentence

The filmmaker responsible for an anti-Muslim video that triggered violence in the Islamic world is being held on alleged probation violations and could be sentenced to as much as three years in federal prison, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Probation authorities are seeking a 24-month sentence for Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, whose clip “Innocence of Muslims” sparked protests that may have led to the deaths of U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other people in a rocket attack in Libya. It was unclear whether the attack, which took place Sept. 11, was related to the movie although it took place amid protests against the film.

Nakoula was arrested Thursday and ordered to be returned to jail. “The hearing occurred amid high security, with the public only allowed to watch through a video feed in a separate courthouse blocks away,” the story reports. “Before his arrest Thursday, Nakoula and his family had been in hiding, and his attorney said he had received threats to his safety.”

His detainment was ordered by Magistrate Judge Suzanne H. Segal, who cited a “lengthy pattern of deception” by Nakoula and said he poses “some danger to the community.”

“Nakoula, who was on supervised release from a 2010 conviction for bank fraud, faces eight charges of probation violation including making false statements to authorities about the film,” the story reports. “When probation officials questioned him about the video, Nakoula allegedly claimed his role was limited to writing the script, and denied ever using the name ‘Sam Bacile’ in connection to the film, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Robert Dugdale.”

The report adds: “Dugdale said there is evidence Nakoula’s role in making ‘Innocence of Muslims’ was ‘much more expansive’ than penning the script. Prosecutors said Nakoula could face new criminal charges for lying to federal officials.

Dugdale said none of the violations Nakoula is accused of relate to use of the Internet, even though his probation terms specify he was not permitted to possess or use a device with access to the Internet without permission from his supervisor.”

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Video: Jerry Seinfeld Reunites With Michael Richards -- or Is It Kramer?

“Seinfeld” alums Jerry Seinfeld and Michael Richards got back together for an episode of Seinfeld’s new Web series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” -- an episode that brought out the “Kramer” in Richards, along with plenty of reminiscing and even some serious talk about Richards’ widely publicized controversial stand-up routine several years ago.

Here’s the episode:

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Whoa! Mea Culpa and a Half: Apple CEO Apologizes for Apple Maps Fiasco, Suggests Users Use Arch-Rival Google Maps Until Apple Maps Improves

In a letter posted on Apple's website and addressed to its customers, Apple CEO Tim Cook apologizes for the new Apple Maps that comes with the new operating system for the iPhone, and even goes so far as to suggest that iPhone users use Google Maps until Apple Maps improves.

It's a startlingly frank apology and suggestion since Apple Maps is basically intended to replace Google Maps on the iPhone.

Cook writes: "At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers. With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better."

Apple Maps comes with the operating sytem, iOS 6, installed on the new iPhone 5. In addition, when current owners of Apple devices download iOS 6, the new operating system automatically deletes Google Maps on any of those older devices, replacing it with Apple Maps.

Cook wrote: "While we’re improving [Apple] Maps, you can try alternatives by downloading map apps from the App Store like Bing, MapQuest and Waze, or use Google or Nokia maps by going to their websites and creating an icon on your home screen to their web app."


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John Travolta Cleared in Defamation Suit

A Superior Court judge in Los Angeles has dismissed a defamation suit that was brought against John Travolta and his attorney, Entertainment Weekly reports.

“Writer Robert Randolph -- who’d written a book that detailed Travolta’s alleged sexual habits -- had filed a lawsuit after a public letter from Travolta’s lawyer Marty Singer responded to those claims because the author claimed Singer’s comments had damaged his reputation,” the story reports. “On Thursday, Judge Malcolm Mackey ruled that the letter was a legal expression of free speech.”

Lynda Goldman, a lawyer representing Travolta and Singer, said: “Robert Randolph’s ridiculous lawsuit against John Travolta and his attorney Marty Singer never should have been filed. Notwithstanding inane tabloid fodder, two individuals who sued Mr. Travolta voluntarily dismissed their cases, and Randolph’s case was dismissed by the court. Anyone else who thinks about suing Mr. Travolta should expect a similar result.”

The report notes: “The lawsuit stemmed from tangential accusations by two male massage therapists who separately accused Travolta of sexual battery. One was dismissed by a court, and the other was dropped in May.”

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Report: Matt Lauer Orchestrated the 'Yom Kippur Attack' by 'Today' Producer Jim Bell

"Today" co-host Matt Lauer reportedly was the driving force behind an interview between the show's producer, Jim Bell, and the New York Times' Bill Carter, which included Bell's defense of Lauer, reports the New York Post's Page Six.

The interview, which included an attack on “Today” rival “Good Morning America,” got so much attention that it has earned a nickname among TV insiders: the “Yom Kippur attack,” the story reports.

As previously reported, Bell denied that it was Lauer's idea to remove co-host Ann Curry and denied that Lauer had been berating staff and had taken on some directional control of the show. The report received a number of comments after we posted it on the TVWeek website, with the consensus among early commenters being that no one was buying into Bell’s argument.

Now the Post cites sources saying that Bell reached out to journalists because Lauer was tired of the negative publicity. Said one source, according to the report: “Matt wanted Jim to do it. Matt was sick of being the punching bag.”

The report cites rumors that Bell could be out of his post at “Today” within a month, with talk that he could be moving on to a role at NBC Sports, the story adds.

Asked for comment, Bell said, "This is exactly the kind of false story that led me to do these interviews in the first place," according to the story.

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Report: 'Sons of Anarchy' Actor Was 'Out of Control'; Also: His Scientology Connections

Details continue to emerge about how “Sons of Anarchy” actor Johnny Lewis spun out of control before killing his 81-year-old landlady this week and then falling to his own death.

The New York Daily News reports that Lewis had struggled with drugs and mental health problems, spending time in jail and in a Scientology rehab program before the gruesome events of early Wednesday, in which the 28-year-old actor also killed and dismembered the cat belonging to Catherine Davis, his landlady.

“Lewis went through the Church of Scientology’s drug program, Narconon, in 2004, and spoke publicly about the method. A photo of Lewis at a Narconon event was posted on the programs website until late Thursday, when it was removed,” the story reports. “Lewis’ parents are active members of the controversial church, and his father co-wrote a movie with founder L. Ron Hubbard, according to IMDb.”

Lewis was known for his role as Kip “Half Sack” Epps on the FX biker drama “Sons of Anarchy,” and also appeared on “The O.C.” and a number of other shows. But “his life had steadily unraveled over the past 10 months as he struggled with drug and mental-health issues, according to court documents and Los Angeles probation officers,” the story reports.

Things came to a head Wednesday at Lewis’ home in Los Feliz, Calif., when he apparently beat Davis to death and tangled with neighbors before falling to his death, as reported previously.

“The former paramour of singer Katy Perry had been arrested three times in 2012 and was only five days out of jail before the bizarre and violent rampage in Los Angeles on Wednesday,” the Daily News reports.

"Probation officials had warned Lewis’ behavior was growing increasingly erratic in recent months, even as the actor continued to land movie roles," the report adds.

Authorities reportedly suspect Lewis may have been on a new synthetic drug known as Smiles.

“Lewis was renting a room from Davis, who owned a sprawling hillside home that she advertised as a ‘villa’ for actors and writers. On Wednesday morning the troubled actor smashed into Davis’ living quarters, ransacking furniture and bludgeoning the elderly woman to death, police said. She was also strangled and her cat dismembered,” the story reports.

“Lewis then attacked a neighbor and a house painter -- bashing them with a two-by-four and a paint roller -- before climbing to the roof and falling to his death.”

The cause of death has yet to be determined, with authorities awaiting the results of toxicology tests, according to the L.A. County Coroner’s Office.

Thumbnail image for johnny-lewis.jpgJohnny Lewis

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TVBizwire | September 28, 2012

Victim of Actor's Deadly Attack Was Landlady to TV Stars

TVBizwire | September 28, 2012

Simon Cowell Project Scrapped Amid Reports of Hassle With Celebrity Couple

TVBizwire | September 28, 2012

Farewell to NBC's 'Golden Age of Weird' on Thursday Nights

TVBizwire | September 28, 2012

FCC Backing Down on Most of Its Indecency Complaints

TVBizwire | September 28, 2012

Video: Lifetime's New 'Liz & Dick' Clip Draws Parallels Between Lindsay Lohan and Elizabeth Taylor

TVBizwire | September 28, 2012

Selena Gomez, 20, Returns to Her Disney Channel Roots -- as Producer and Star of New Project

TVBizwire | September 28, 2012

White Males Still Direct Most Prime-Time Shows, DGA Report Says -- In Fact, the Ratio Has Gone Up

TVBizwire | September 28, 2012

'Downton Abbey' Prequel? Show's Creator Lays Out the Idea

TVBizwire | September 28, 2012

California Enacts Measure to Protect Child Actors From Sex Offenders

TVBizwire | September 28, 2012

NBC Buys CIA Drama From 'The Walking Dead' Producer

TVBizwire | September 27, 2012

Details Emerge in Incident That Left 'Sons of Anarchy' Actor and Elderly Woman Dead

TVBizwire | September 27, 2012

Five-Time Emmy Winner Returns to Television With Role on NBC Drama

TVBizwire | September 27, 2012

Tough Night in the Ratings for NBC; ABC's Blockbuster 'Modern Family' Premieres Well Below Last Year

TVBizwire | September 27, 2012

MTV2 Renews Its Highest-Rated Original Series

TVBizwire | September 27, 2012

NBC Taps Into a Massive Database of Digital Info From the Olympics to Get a Picture of the Future of TV

TVBizwire | September 27, 2012

'Sons of Anarchy' Actor Found Dead -- Suspected of Killing 81-Year-Old L.A. Woman

TVBizwire | September 27, 2012

'Today' Producer Jim Bell Defends Matt Lauer, Says 'GMA' Is a Tabloid

TVBizwire | September 27, 2012

McDonald's Is Creating Its Own TV Channel

TVBizwire | September 27, 2012

'Honey Boo Boo' Star Leaves Hospital After Accident

TVBizwire | September 27, 2012

Piers Morgan Bans Kelsey Grammer From His CNN Show