Sep 3, 2015
10:01 pm

Suspended ESPN Baseball Analyst Who Was Also a Top Major League Pitcher Now Taken Off Air For the Rest of the Season. Read Why (ESPN; USA Today's For the Win Column; Awful Announcing)

ESPN, earlier today (Thursday, Sept. 3rd, 2015) posted the following on its website:

Curt Schilling won’t appear on ESPN baseball telecasts for the rest of the season.

Schilling was removed from broadcasts on Aug. 25 after he sent a tweet equating Muslim extremists with Nazis in Germany. This week, an email exchange between Schilling and editors of the sports blog Awful Announcing regarding the tweet, and subsequent reaction, were published online.

“At all times during the course of their engagement with us, our commentators are directly linked to ESPN and are the face of our brand,” ESPN said in a statement. “We are a sports media company. Curt’s actions have not been consistent with his contractual obligations, nor have they been professionally handled; they have obviously not reflected well on the company. As a result, he will not appear on ESPN through the remainder of the regular season and our Wild Card playoff game.”

After he was taken off the Little League World Series broadcast on Aug. 25, Schilling said in a statement: “Bad choices have bad consequences and this was a bad decision in every way on my part.”

According to the USA Today sports column For the Win, Schilling wrote in an email to the sports blog Awful Announcing “that he refuses to ‘apologize for the content of the tweet.’ Schilling contends that he was comparing ‘radical’ Muslims to Nazis, not ‘peace-loving’ Muslims.

“‘The forum was about as poor a choice as I could have made in trying to elicit a potential discussion on that topic. I did not, and will not apologize for the content of the tweet. If you, or anyone else, can’t wrap your head around your native language enough to understand that omitting words, or adding them, is plain and simple lying when it comes to journalism.’”

For the Win continues, “You can read Schilling’s entire email at Awful Announcing….An ESPN spokesman told For The Win that ‘we weren’t aware of Curt’s plan to craft or send this email.’”

Interestingly, a number of reports on this story noted, as Yahoo Sports did, that before Schilling’s conversation with Awful Announcing was made public, “ESPN was reportedly giving Schilling the green light to return this week.”

Schilling,CurtCurt Schilling several years ago on ESPN

Sep 3, 2015
9:46 pm
Sep 3, 2015
2:07 pm

Why ‘Rugrats’ and Other Classic Nickelodeon Shows Are Being Readied for Revival (Variety)

Nickelodeon is ready to start bringing back shows from another era, for a simple reason: The time is right, says Russell Hicks, the network’s top programming exec, because the people who were fans of those shows now have kids of their own.

Hicks told Variety: “We are looking at our library to bring back ideas, shows that were loved, in a fresh new way.”

The report says retooled versions of “Rugrats,” “Hey Arnold!” and “You Can’t Do That on Television,” among other early Nick hits, could be in the works.

Hicks, the network’s president of content and development, declined to name specific shows that are under consideration, but said the first generation of Nickelodeon fans has been letting the channel know that it has its favorites.

Said Hicks: “We are getting ready to bring back some of the ones they’ve told us multiple times they want to have brought back.”


Sep 3, 2015
2:01 pm

Amid Stephen Colbert-Jeb Bush ‘Confusion,’ CBS Announces ‘Late-Night’ Premiere Will Run Long (Time)

As Stephen Colbert and first-night guest Jeb Bush trade barbs — and Amy Schumer dives into the fracas with a video of her own — the Sept. 8 premiere of CBS’s retooled “Late Show” has stirred up more than its share of buzz. Now CBS has announced that the show will run long, with the 11:35 p.m. broadcast to wind down at 12:44 a.m.

The scheduling move will push back the start time for “The Late Late Show with James Corden” that night.

Colbert and Bush have been going at it — apparently all in good fun — on social media, Time magazine notes. Bush sent around an email to his supporters offering them a chance to win a VIP ticket to the show’s taping in exchange for a $3 minimum donation.

The move prompted a response from Colbert. Time quotes Colbert saying: “I think the contest is a great idea. But here’s the thing: No one from Jeb’s campaign asked if this was okay with me to raise money off my first show. Where’s my cut of that sweet three bucks, Governor? Huh?”

Time adds: “So Colbert launched his own contest — ‘Jeb Bush on the Stephen Colbert Late Show Raffle!': a minimum $3 donation to the Yellow Ribbon Fund gives you the chance to win two tickets to the first Late Show taping and Colbert asking Bush a ‘non-obscene question of your choice.’”

Bush then quipped in a Twitter video that he thought the host was Amy Schumer, and now that he realizes it’s Colbert, he’s lowering the entry fee for his contest to $1.

Next to get in on the act was Schumer, with a twitter video in which she spoke as Colbert and said, “I have been getting in touch with my feminine side lately.”

Click on the link above to Time to see the videos.

late show with stephen colbert-logo

Sep 3, 2015
1:47 pm

Autopsy Reveals Cause of Death of Actress (TMZ)

An actress who was found dead in her home two months ago died because of an accidental drug overdose, according to the autopsy.

TMZ.com reports that Amanda Peterson, known for her role as Cindy Mancini in the 1987 comedy “Can’t Buy Me Love,” was found to have “a variety of prescription drugs in her system, including benzodizepines (anti-anxiety meds), opiates and phenothiazines (an anti-psychotic medication). She also had marijuana in her system.”

The report cites the Weld County Coroner in Colorado. Peterson was found at her home in Greeley after her family became concerned when Peterson failed to show up for a family dinner July 3. She was 43.

“One of the drugs in her system — Gabapentin — was prescribed for pain and the medical examiner said she had 6 times the normal level in her system,” TMZ reports, adding: “The report says Peterson was ‘naive to opiates.'”

Peterson was reportedly self-medicating to control pain. The coroner’s report says she died due to a “morphine effect,” which causes respiratory failure, TMZ notes.

Please click here to watch an interview with Peterson.

Sep 3, 2015
1:39 pm

Legendary Rock Band Announces Final Tour — Here’s the Creepy Video They Just Put Out (YouTube)

A veteran rock band credited by some with originating one of the biggest genres in music is calling it quits. An ominous-sounding video posted today by Black Sabbath declares that “it’s the beginning of the end” for the band and offers details on the band’s farewell tour, “The End.”

The video credits the band with originating heavy metal almost five decades ago, saying that the group of young musicians — then barely out of their teens — created “the heaviest rock sound ever heard.” The tour will include founding members Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler.

Here’s the video:

Sep 3, 2015
1:21 pm

NBC Orders Thriller Ripped From the Headlines (Deadline)

NBC has ordered a new thriller based on a creepy story from the real-world headlines. Deadline.com reports that the network bought the project “The Watcher,” a stalker drama based on a news story that broke in June about a New Jersey family that had to abandon its home after receiving chilling letters.

The NBC project comes from former “Homeland” exec producer Alex Cary, producer Aaron Kaplan and Universal Television. Cary and Kaplan executive produce.

“Written by Cary, ‘The Watcher’ is a psychological thriller based on real events surrounding a young couple and their two children who move into their dream home in a small town, only to be terrorized by anonymous letters and sinister threats, and trapped in the web of a dangerous mystery,” the report notes.

The real-world story “came to light when a New Jersey family in June filed a lawsuit against the previous owners of a million-dollar house they had bought last summer,” Deadline notes. “The new owners claim they were scared to move in after receiving menacing anonymous letters from someone claiming to have been ‘watching’ the house for decades.”

nbc logo

Sep 3, 2015
1:17 pm

Tori Spelling Sues Benihana (TMZ)

Actress Tori Spelling has filed a lawsuit against the Benihana restaurant chain over an incident back in April in which she reportedly suffered severe burns in a Benihana restaurant. As we reported at the time, the incident took place on Easter Sunday, when the actress reportedly caught her heel and fell backward into a hot hibachi.

Spelling was treated at a hospital after the incident in Encino, Calif., and reportedly received a large burn on her right arm.

TMZ.com reports that Spelling is alleging she had “deep second and third degree burn injuries.”

“In the lawsuit Spelling says she racked up medical expenses, ‘general damage’ and wage loss … although there’s no mention of where she was employed,” TMZ reports. “She’s suing the Benihana corporation — not just the Encino location.”

benihana logo

Sep 3, 2015
9:44 am

Actor Known for Classic Family Films Dies — He Became a Household Name in ‘The Love Bug,’ ‘That Darn Cat!’ and Other Roles (AP)

A well-known film and TV actor whose “boyish good looks and all-American manner made him Disney’s favorite young actor for such lighthearted films as ‘That Darn Cat!’ and ‘The Love Bug'” has died, the AP reports. Dean Jones died Tuesday of Parkinson’s disease in Los Angeles at age 84.

“Jones’ long association with The Walt Disney Co. began after he received an unexpected call from Walt Disney himself, who praised his work on the TV show ‘Ensign O’Toole,’ noting it had ‘some good closing sequences.’ Jones, himself a former Navy man, played the title role in the 1962 sitcom,” the AP story notes.

Jones cut his teeth in television with guest roles on Westerns including “Stagecoach West,” “Bonanza” and “Wagon Train” before landing the lead in NBC’s “Ensign O’Toole,” which ran one season, from 1962-1963. A 12-year run with Disney followed, with “That Darn Cat!” followed by “The Ugly Dachshund,” “Blackbeard’s Ghost” and “Snowball Express.”

Jones appeared in his signature role as race car driver Jim Douglas in two “Love Bug” movies — “The Love Bug” in 1969 and “Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo” in 1977 — along with the short-lived 1982 TV series “Herbie, the Love Bug” and a 1997 TV movie, “The Love Bug.”

His other film appearances included “The Shaggy D.A.” (1976) and “Clear and Present Danger” (1994). He was nominated for a Golden Globe in 1972 for “The Million Dollar Duck.”

dean jones-the love bugDean Jones in “The Love Bug”

Sep 3, 2015
9:31 am

Telecom War of Words: Verizon Takes the Wraps Off New Logo — and a Bitter Adversary Immediately Attacks (RCR Wireless)

Seizing on the moment when telecom leader Verizon unveiled its new logo, an old rival, T-Mobile CEO John Legere, launched a bitter attack incorporating the new Verizon logo into a critique of the company.

RCR Wireless reports that Legere has been waging an “ongoing public relations battle against the nation’s number one carrier. Within hours of the new logo’s launch, Legere took to Twitter to ‘check the box’ by lambasting Verizon. He used Verizon’s checkmark theme to list ways that he thinks Verizon overcharges customers.”

Prompting the attack was today’s rollout of the new Verizon logo, seen here:

verizon-new logo-2015In announcing the redesign, Verizon said: “The new brand identity takes the best elements of Verizon’s heritage, represented by its colors and the Verizon ‘checkmark,’ and transforms them for a new era. At its most basic level, the new logo is a visual statement that honors our history and reflects an identity that stands for simplicity, honesty and joy in a category rife with confusion, disclaimers and frustration. It’s a cleaner, more human design and the checkmark, the universal symbol for getting things done, uniquely expresses the reliability of Verizon.”

But Legere had a different take. RCR Wireless reports: “Legere listed four Verizon policies that he sees as anti-consumer: data overage penalties, a lack of early upgrade options, no rollover data, and international roaming fees. He sandwiched this list between two subjective bullet points in his caustic tweet, which started and ended with: Screws over customers.”

Legere received a stamp of approval from another competitor in the telecom space — with whom Legere has clashed in the past.

RCR reports: “Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure jumped on Legere’s bandwagon, tweeting that ‘Finally, @JohnLegere wrote something that makes sense.’ The remark may have been an olive branch of sorts, as the CEOs were engaged in a bitter war of words this summer on social media.”

Legere said in today’s tweet: “@VerizonNews’s new checkmark logo CHECKS all the boxes.” The image accompanying the message appears below:

john legere t-mobile-verizon bashing tweet 090215

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