January 2013

ESPN's X Games Has First Fatality Ever as 25-Year-Old Snowmobiler Dies. ESPN Vows to Conduct Safety Review of Event

ESPN's X Games has now had its first-ever fatailty, as Caleb Moore, 25, died today, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013, after a crash a week ago, reports USA Today.

"Moore, 25, died a week after his Jan. 24 crash during the snowmobile freestyle competition in Aspen, Colo. He was initially diagnosed with a concussion, but he had emergency surgery for a heart contusion and suffered a 'brain complication' over the weekend. His death is the first in the X Games since the winter event began in 1997."

That article adds, "In a statement released on Thursday, ESPN expressed its condolences for the Moore family while promising to review safety."

caleb moore.bmp

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NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Turns TV Critic and Blasts HBO's 'Girls' for Being 'too self-conscious, too cutesy, and not that funny.' And Then There's All That Sex. Bottom Line, Though, He Says Why We Should Pay Attention to the Series

NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar writes in a blog entry at The Huffington Post that HBO's "Girls" should be watched "because the show obviously is struggling to be a voice of its generation. ... 'Girls' wants to tell us something important about twentysomething females of the 21st Century. And, as the elders of our society, we should always be listening to those new voices crying out. But what are they telling us?"

Here is what Abdul-Jabbar says "Girls" is telling us:

1) Their world is mostly white.

2) They like to talk about (and sometimes engage in) sex.

3) They're too self-conscious, too cutesy, and not that funny,

4) The guys are more interesting than the girls.

Abdul-Jabbar's comments under each of these headings are more insightful than some who write regularly about TV. For example, under "Their world is mostly white" he writes, in part, "I don't believe that people of color, sexual preference, or gender need to be shaken indiscriminately into every series like some sort of exotic seasoning. If the story calls for a black character, great. A story about a black neighborhood doesn't necessarily need white characters just to balance the racial profile. But this [season's introduction of a black character on 'Girls'] really seemed like an effort was made to add some color -- and it came across as forced."

Under the heading "They like to talk about (and sometimes engage in) sex," Abdul-Jabbar writes, in part, "It's like a checklist of being naughty: masturbation (check), sex during period (check), oral sex (check), anal sex (check), virginity (check), etc. The show is actually at its most engaging during these awkward, fumbling, and mostly embarrassing (for the characters) scenes."

Abdul-Jabbar concludes, " 'Girls' ' heart and mind is in the right place. It wants to be more than the sum of its familiar parts. And sometimes it is. Maybe this season its voice will be louder and clearer and have more to say. It's worth listening for."

We urge you to click on the link above and read all of Abdul-Jabbar's comments about "Girls."

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Wednesday Prime Time: Fox Crushes the Competition

With Fox’s “American Idol” ruling the roost, none of the other broadcast networks were able to mount a challenge in prime time Wednesday night, based on Nielsen overnights.

TVbytheNumbers.com reports that “Idol’s” 5.4 average rating in the key 18-49 demo -- about even with a week ago -- put Fox way ahead of the pack. The best anyone else could muster for prime time overall was a 1.8.

Some of the competitors didn’t try very hard -- CBS and ABC both put up a mix of repeats and originals. NBC gave it a go with a lineup of fresh episodes, but all of them were down from their previous originals.

For the night, Fox led the way with its 5.4 average in viewers 18-49, followed by CBS (1.8 average), NBC (1.6), ABC (1.5) and Univision (1.4). Total viewers was a bit more competitive but still a big win for Fox with 15.6 million to 8.1 million for CBS, 5.6 million for NBC, 4.6 million for ABC and 3.6 million for Univision.

CBS’s only fresh programming was “Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials,” which came through with a 2.1 in 18-49, improving one-tenth of a point from last year.

ABC broke out new episodes of “The Neighbors” -- down two-tenths of a point from last week to a 1.6 in viewers 18-49 -- and “Suburgatory” -- down four-tenths to a 1.8.

NBC’s grim results saw “Whitney” slipping to a 1.3 in the 18-49 demo, down one-tenth of a point from its previous original; “Guys With Kids” checking in with a 1.1, down two-tenths; “Law & Order: SVU” pulling a 1.7, down four-tenths; and “Chicago Fire” with a 2.0, down two-tenths but good enough to win the 10 p.m. hour against repeats on CBS and ABC.

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One of the Stars of 'CSI: NY' Is Arrested

One of the stars of the long-running CBS police procedural “CSI: New York” has been arrested, according to a report on TMZ.com.

Carmine Giovinazzo, who appears as Det. Danny Messer on the drama series, was arrested last week on a DUI charge in Scottsdale, Ariz., the report says.

“According to the police report, obtained by TMZ, cops located 39-year-old Carmine swerving all over all the road around 2:40 AM on Monday, January 21,” the piece reports. “When cops approached the vehicle, Carmine was reportedly ‘immediately apologetic and told [officers] he had been driving erratic because he was lost and using the GPS.’"

Giovinazzo reportedly had two passengers in the car, a Jeep Wrangler, and told police he was not from Arizona. “Cops say Carmine stank of booze, had bloodshot eyes and was slurring his speech,” the report notes. “When asked if he had been drinking, cops say the actor fessed up to having scotch at the W Hotel.”

Police reportedly measured Giovinazzo’s blood-alcohol level at .149, almost twice the state’s legal limit.

“Carmine was eventually arrested for DUI,” the report adds. “The arresting officer says Carmine ‘repeatedly apologized to me and told me he didn't want to be an “a**hole.”'

“The cop added, ‘[Carmine] thanked me many times for not treating him like a criminal and showing him respect.’"


Carmine Giovinazzo

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NBC Inks Deal for Roseanne Barr Sitcom

A year after scrapping plans for Roseanne Barr’s comedy project “Downwardly Mobile,” NBC is back in business with the veteran TV comedian, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“The actress who starred on ABC's ‘Roseanne’ for nine seasons has inked a development deal with Universal Television to develop, star and produce a comedy for NBC, The Hollywood Reporter has learned,” the story reports. “As part of the pact, Barr will reteam with ‘Roseanne's Nuts’ producer Steven Greener, who will executive produce the series alongside the actress-comedian.”

NBC produced a pilot last season for the mobile home park comedy “Downwardly Mobile,” which reunited Barr with John Goodman, the piece notes. The project, which also had Greener attached as an executive producer, did not move forward.

“For its part, NBC will make quick use of Barr's talents and has cast the outspoken personality to play talent agent Carla Fern in a three-episode arc on ‘The Office,’ where she'll help office manager Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) realize his showbiz dream,” the report adds. “She begins filming this week on the comedy, which will wrap its run this season.”

Barr’s main project in the past few years was “Roseanne’s Nuts,” a Lifetime reality series focusing on her Hawaiian macadamia nut farm, which ran for 16 episodes.

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Sandy Hook Students to Take Part in Super Bowl Telecast

One month after the killings of 26 students and faculty members of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., 26 students from the school will take part in the festivities surrounding Sunday night’s Super Bowl XLVII, USA Today reports.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed that the group will perform "America the Beautiful" during the pregame show, to be broadcast by CBS, the piece reports.

“The league is flying the students and their families down to New Orleans later this week in advance of the performance, which will be broadcast live on CBS shortly before Alicia Keys performs the National Anthem,” the story reports. “The gesture will cap a season in which the league lent its support to the Newtown community via ‘S.H.E.S.’ stickers on helmets, personal messages on cleats and gloves, moments of silence before games and charitable donations for relief causes, as well other means of emotional support.”

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CBS to Air Special on Death of Whitney Houston on Eve of Grammys

CBS announced plans for a special program to air on the eve of the Grammy Awards, examining how the death of Whitney Houston impacted the awards a year ago, USA Today reports.

The one-hour special, “The Grammys Will Go On: A Death in the Family,” will be televised Feb. 9, the night before CBS televises the Grammy Awards.

“Last year, Grammy producers learned of Houston's death less than 24 hours before the ceremony,” the story reports. “The CBS program recounts the scramble to pay tribute to the pop star and revamp the show.”

Featured in the special will be interviews with LL Cool J, Jennifer Hudson, Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift and other artists.

The report notes: “The 48-year-old Houston was found drowned last February in a Beverly Hills hotel bathtub. Coroner's officials ruled her death accidental, with heart disease and cocaine use contributing factors.”

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'Smallville's' Clark Kent Lands Role in JFK Assassination Movie

Actor Tom Welling, best known for his 10-year run as Clark Kent on the television series "Smallville," is heading to the big screen in a film about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, reports Deadline.com.

Bill Paxton, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman are producing "Parkland," which tells the story of what happened in the hours after JFK was pronounced dead at Parkland Hospital in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. Peter Landesman is directing the feature film.

Welling is the latest name to join a cast that includes Paul Giamatti, Zac Efron and Billy Bob Thornton.


Tom Welling

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Report: Football Legend and CBS Analyst Had Love Child With CBS Employee

One of the legends of the NFL, who has been a pregame analyst with CBS since 2003, had a love child with a network employee and allegedly paid her to remain quiet, reports the New York Post's Page Six.

Dan Marino, who has a strait-laced reputation, got CBS Sports production assistant Donna Savattere pregnant, according to the report. She gave birth to their daughter, Chloe, in 2005, the story says. At the time, Marino was married to his wife of 20 years, and the pair had six children.

Marino is slated to work on Sunday's "Super Bowl Today" telecast, the piece adds.

"This is a personal and private matter. I take full responsibility both personally and financially for my actions now as I did then,” Marino told the Post in a written statement. “We mutually agreed to keep our arrangement private to protect all parties involved.”

Marino said he's still married. "My wife and I have been married for almost 30 years and have six children together,” he said in the statement. "And we continue to be a strong and loving family.”

Savattere moved from New York to Texas, but became a fixture on the Hamptons society scene, the story notes. Marino, 51, has been in touch with his daughter, according to the report.

Marino set a number of NFL records as quarterback of the Miami Dolphins from 1983-1999.


Dan Marino

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Popular Comedian Rumored to Be the Next 'Millionaire' Host

A well-known comedian, actor and director is the subject of a hot rumor at NATPE that he will be named the next host of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." TVNewsCheck reports that the job looks as though it will go to Cedric the Entertainer.

Disney-ABC said it will comment when it has the successor in place for Meredith Vieira, the story says.

As previously reported, Vieira said earlier this month that she's leaving the syndicated version of the show. She has hosted the game show since its syndicated debut in 2002.


Cedric the Entertainer

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TVBizwire | January 31, 2013

CNN Acquires Nonfiction Series From Ridley Scott

TVBizwire | January 31, 2013

Veteran TV Director in Hot Demand This Pilot Season -- His Resume Includes 'Cheers,' 'Friends,' 'Frasier' ... the List Goes On

TVBizwire | January 31, 2013

MTV Names New Head of Scripted Programming

TVBizwire | January 31, 2013

Comedy Central Renews Series

TVBizwire | January 31, 2013

Freshman Talk Show Renewed for Second Season

TVBizwire | January 31, 2013

Fox Closes In on Animated Project From Rapper 50 Cent

TVBizwire | January 31, 2013

Animal Planet Orders Shows Focused on People With Animal-Related Jobs

TVBizwire | January 31, 2013

Jon Favreau to Direct NBC Pilot

TVBizwire | January 31, 2013

TLC Getting Back in Business With 'Cake Boss' Buddy Valastro

TVBizwire | January 31, 2013

ABC Orders Project From 'Mike & Molly' Producer

TVBizwire | January 30, 2013

He Couldn't Resist: Oscar Winner and Two-Time Golden Globe Winner to Host 'SNL' for First Time

TVBizwire | January 30, 2013

Taps for the Boogie Woogie Bugle Girl: Last Living Sister of the Best-Selling Female Group in Pop Music History Dies

TVBizwire | January 30, 2013

CBS Confirms Plans to Wrap 'How I Met Your Mother' -- Including the Big Reveal, Finally

TVBizwire | January 30, 2013

One of the Best-Kept Trivia Secrets in Show Biz Is Revealed: Whose Leg Is It on the Poster for 'The Graduate'?

TVBizwire | January 30, 2013

Tough Night for NBC as Two Series Sink to Season Lows -- Again

TVBizwire | January 30, 2013

Conflict Over HBO's 'Newsroom' Makes Aaron Sorkin Disappear From 'Houdini' Project

TVBizwire | January 30, 2013

British Period Drama Gets Another Season

TVBizwire | January 30, 2013

ABC Greenlights 'Bet on Your Baby'

TVBizwire | January 30, 2013

Producers Guild Honors the Year's Best Work in Film, TV

TVBizwire | January 30, 2013

More CNN Departures: On-Air Fixtures Leave Network