Jan 23, 2015
10:14 am

Cable Network Thinks It’s Found Its Next Sitcom Star: Shaq (TVWeek)

Fifteen-time National Basketball Association All-Star Shaquille O’Neal will star in a sitcom pilot for TruTV, the network has announced.

The scripted show will be called “Shaq Inq,” (working title).

The announcement continues, noting that the show is “a workplace comedy loosely based on the wild and frenetic business empire of Shaquille O’Neal, who is executive-producing the show with Mike Tollin (‘Smallville,’ ‘ Arli$$’). The series is being produced for truTV by Mandalay Sports Media. Jeremy Garelick (‘The Wedding Ringer,’ ‘The Break-Up’) will write the pilot, with John Fortenberry (‘Galavant,’ ‘Instant Mom’) set to direct. Perry Rogers, Colin Smeeton and Michael Parris will render producer services.

shaquille-O'nealShaquille O’Neal in An Old Pepsi  Commercial

Jan 23, 2015
9:24 am

Television Becomes a Force at the Sundance Film Festival (NY Times)

So says The New York Times. Brooks Barnes writes that the “vast majority of the 123 movies that will play Sundance this year will end up finding an audience not in a theater but on a video-on-demand system.

“The shift leaves Sundance, longtime attendees say, on the edge of an identity crisis. The festival, fiercely proud of its heritage as America’s foremost showcase for independent cinema, is working to hold on to that identity. At the same time, it is tentatively embracing an art form, television, in which innovation and energy abound.”

We urge you to click on the link, above, that will take you to Barnes’ original article, wherein you can learn a lot more details about this story.


Jan 23, 2015
9:06 am

Report: Looks Like Sen. Mario Rubio Wants to Be the Next President of the United States. It’s Our Non-TV Story of the Day

“Sen. Marco Rubio [R-FL] has begun taking concrete steps toward launching a presidential bid, asking his top advisors to prepare for a campaign, signing on a leading Republican fundraiser, and planning extensive travel to early-voting states in the coming weeks,” ABC News reports in a scoop.

The story adds, that Rubio, 43, “has told us to proceed as if he is running for president,’ a senior Rubio advisor tells ABC News.”

The story notes, “Aides expect Rubio will make a final decision in the coming weeks, but his schedule for the next month already looks more like the schedule of a presidential candidate than a senator.”

Please click on the link, above, to read more about this story.

MariorubioSen. Mario Rubio at the 2012 GOP National Convention, Introducing Mitt Romney



Jan 23, 2015
7:53 am

She Fought to Make Kids TV a Better Experience: Peggy Charren, Founder of Action For Children’s Television (ACT), Dies at 86

“Peggy Charren, 86, whose advocacy of higher-minded television programming for children took the issue to government agencies and the halls of Congress and led to landmark legislation, died on Thursday at her home in Dedham, Mass.,”  reports The New York Times.

The exact cause of death was unknown, though the story adds that Charren “had had vascular dementia for many years, her daughter Deborah Charren said.”

Writes our good friend Brian Lowry in Variety – in his must-read obituary/tribute to Charren, “Anybody who thinks one person can’t make a difference clearly never met Peggy Charren, who has died at the age of 86.

“The founder of Action for Children’s Television, Charren lobbied for and achieved the passage of the Children’s Television Act 25 years ago. In the process, she took on and outflanked what might be called the TV-toy industrial complex, railing against the proliferation of ‘program-length commercials’ plugging products, and demanding that broadcasters put on at least some educational fare aimed at kids in exchange for their lucrative licenses.”

Peggy-CharrenPeggy Charren

Jan 23, 2015
7:08 am

CBS and Warner Bros. TV Gleeful as They Find Actress to Play Lead in ‘Supergirl’ (THR, Deadline)

As Warner Bros. TV and CBS prepare the pilot for “Supergirl,” they have found an actress to play the lead role.

She’s Melissa Benoist, who plays Marley Rose on “Glee,” reports the Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed blog. Benoist also has a small but memorable role as the girl actor Miles Teller’s character dates in “Whiplash,” which is up for a Best Picture Oscar.

Says the Reporter, “The Glee actress was one of many actresses to test for the role, edging out ‘The Vampire Diaries’/’The Originals’ Claire Holt, among others, for the part, sources tell THR.”

The article says the series has a “hefty series commitment,” but offers no other details about that commitmnet .

Deadline notes that the pilot is written by Greg Berlanti and Ali Adlerz and that Berlanti’s production company co-produces with Warner Bros. TV. Berlanti is also one of the executive producers on two series on The CW that involve DC Comics characters, “The Flash” and “Arrow.”

Melissa-BenoistMelissa Benoist in “Whiplash”


Jan 23, 2015
7:05 am



Call for Entries


The American Legion seeks entries for Fourth Estate Awards in print, broadcast and Internet media

INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 19, 2015) – The American Legion has announced its call for entries in the annual Fourth Estate Awards competition for excellence in journalism. The deadline for submissions is March 23, 2015.

The American Legion awards multiple prizes to recognize the outstanding achievements being made in print, broadcast and new media, or Online (Internet-based) media. The winner in each category will receive a $2,000 stipend to cover expenses and travel to accept the awards at the 2015 American Legion National Convention to be held in Baltimore, Maryland in August.

An entry form with updated rules and information have been posted on The American Legion website at Send questions to anytime.

The awards recognize Internet journalism, print and broadcast achievements.

Submissions are judged on the quality of reporting that the journalist believes produced a positive effect on society.

All journalists who have made a difference for the better in their community, state or nation are invited to send their entry. There is no entry fee and no single medium is limited as to the number of entries.

Some past winners have included Newsweek Magazine, ABC News, Dateline NBC, USA Today and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The complete list can be found on The American Legion website.

Contacts: Joe March or John Raughter (317) 630-1253.


Jan 22, 2015
5:58 pm

NASCAR Superstar Who Helped Build the Sport to Unimagined Heights of Popularity Says 2015 Will Be His Last Season as a Full-Time Driver (Fox News, USA Today, Rolling Stone)

One of the superstars of NASCAR – and a four-time champion — “announced today that 2015 will be his last season as a full-time driver,” reports Fox News.

The driver is Jeff Gordon.

The story continues, “In fact, it could be the last year he drives at all, but [Gordon is] not ready to say he’ll never race again. ‘[There’s] always the possibility I’ll compete in selected events, although I currently have no plans to do that,’ he said.

“The 43-year-old won four races in 2014 and finished the season in sixth place.” In all-time wins, Gordon ranks No. 3, with 92.

Says USA Today, Gordon’s “impact on NASCAR goes far beyond the numbers. Gordon’s clean-cut, corporate image and youthful good looks helped stock car racing expand out of the Southeast in the late 1990s and 2000s, taking the sport to new heights and ushering in a wave of drivers who grew up wanting to be like him.”

Writes Matt Crossman on the website of Rolling Stone, “Stories this week about Gordon off the track will be just as prevalent as stories about him on it. The stories will say how utterly normal he is, that however rich and famous he became, he never turned into a jerk, he never treated people like trash, he never stopped being the kind of guy who might suddenly break into song.

“And that might prove to be his greatest legacy.

“At the exact time NASCAR needed a star to take the sport out of the Southeast and into the world at large, Gordon appeared. He presented himself and NASCAR to the masses, and NASCAR is immeasurably better for it. Wonder Boy, as he was derisively called back then, made every appearance, smiled through every commercial, charmed every interviewer.”


Jeff Gordon in an Interview Last Year with Larry King

Jan 22, 2015
5:50 pm

Hmmm. Seems to Us This is a Pretty Much a Tie, Though One Movie Has Claimed the U.S. Box-Office Crown in 2014 for Making the Most Money (TVWeek)

The battle for the crown as the highest-grossing domestic release of 2014 was between two movies: Disney/Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” and Liongate’s “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1.”

Like most folks who follow this category, we were under the impression that “Guardians” would take the crown.

But then yesterday Lionsgate announced the final 2014 “Mockingjay” number.

“Mockingjay’s” U.S. box-office gross was $333.18 million. “Guardians” came in at $333.17 million.

Can’t get much closer than that…And both movies will do very well on the small screen for years to come.

Jan 22, 2015
10:51 am

Another Breakthrough for Netflix in Hollywood as One of Its Executives Is Honored with A TV Award That Previously Has Gone to Such Luminaries as Les Moonves, Peter Roth, Fred Silverman, Aaron Spelling, Nina Tassler, Grant Tinker, Marcy Carsey, and Norman Lear (TVWeek)

Netflix has snared another big mainstream TV honor.

“Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos will be named the Television Showman of the Year at the 52nd Annual ICG Publicists Awards to be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel Friday, February 20,” it was announced today by the International Cinematographers Guild (IATSE Local 600).

The announcement continues:

“He has become recognized for creating new avenues of distribution for entertainment content,” said Henri Bollinger, Awards Committee Chairman. “He clearly personifies the very essence of showmanship!” 

ICG president Steven Poster ASC added, “Netflix, under Ted Sarandos’s leadership and innovation, has added a radical new dimension to the way we watch content. And it works because the quality of the production is at the highest level.” 

Past recipients of the Television Showman of the Year Award include Jerry Bruckheimer, Les Moonves, Peter Roth, Fred Silverman, Aaron Spelling, Nina Tassler, Grant Tinker, Marcy Carsey, Chris Carter, Chris McCumber, Ted Harbert, Bob Hope, David E. Kelley, Norman Lear, Steven Bochco, Caryn Mandabach, Garry Marshall, Jeff Wachtel and Tom Werner.  

More than 900 industry leaders are expected to attend the Awards Luncheon. 

tedsarandosTed Sarandos


Jan 22, 2015
10:50 am

Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Who Played Theo on ‘The Cosby Show,’ Comments Publicly for the First Time About the Accusations Against Bill Cosby (Billboard)

Malcom-Jamal Warner, who played Theo on “The Cosby Show,” has made the following comments about Bill Cosby  to Billboard:

“He’s one of my mentors, and he’s been very influential and played a big role in my life as a friend and mentor. Just as it’s painful to hear any woman talk about sexual assault, whether true or not, it’s just as painful to watch my friend and mentor go through this.

“I can’t really speak on any of the allegations because obviously, I was not there.”

Warner added, “The Bill Cosby I know has been great to me and great for a lot of people. What he’s done for comedy and television has been legendary and history-making. What he’s done for the black community and education has been invaluable. That’s the Bill Cosby I know. I can’t speak on the other stuff.”


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