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TVBIZWIRE
Mar 27, 2017
9:19 am
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Ted Koppel Tells Sean Hannity He’s Bad for America — Here’s the Video (CBS)

A confrontation between veteran newsman Ted Koppel and Fox News host Sean Hannity, which was part of a piece on the country’s political polarization presented by “CBS Sunday Morning,” has been getting a lot of attention.

Here’s the full report, posted by CBS, with the Hannity segments at 3:30 and 5:50 …

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 27, 2017
8:30 am
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Producer of ‘Summer of ‘42’ Dead at 76 (Deadline, THR)

Richard A. Roth, who produced the 1971 coming-of-age romance “Summer of ’42” and the 1975 Gene Wilder movie “The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother,” has died. Deadline.com reports that Roth died March 17 at his home in New York City.

Roth reportedly died of natural causes. He was 76.

“According to his family, Roth had graduated from Stanford University Law School and was working for a small literary agency when he read the ‘Summer of ’42’ screenplay from a slush pile,” Deadline reports. “He borrowed $5,000 from his father, optioned the screenplay and pitched it to ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ director Robert Mulligan.”

Shot on a budget of $1 million, the movie became a hit, grossing $32 million and earning Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, winning an Academy Award for the score by Michel Legrand.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that Roth “had a bit part as an aide to Inspector Kemp (Kenneth Mars), the guy with the creaky prosthetic arm, in Wilder’s ‘Young Frankenstein’ (1974).”

Roth also worked for CBS Entertainment in the 1980s.

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 24, 2017
3:21 pm
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Emmy-Nominated Actress Dies

An actress and singer who was known as one of the most stylish actresses in Hollywood in the 1950s has died. Lola Albright died Thursday at a home in Toluca Lake, Calif., according to The Hollywood Reporter. She was 92.

Albright became a star in feature films in the late 1940s and early 1950s, then transitioned to a long career in television. She is probably best known for her run as the sultry singer Edie Hart on the detective series “Peter Gunn” from 1958-1961. She received an Emmy nomination for the role in 1959.

“While the series was on the air, Albright released the album ‘Dreamsville,’ backed by Henry Mancini’s orchestra (he, of course, composed the theme song for ‘Peter Gunn’), in 1959. She had done an album two years earlier, ‘Lola Wants You,'” THR reports.

Her other TV work included a stint on “Peyton Place,” where she filled in for Dorothy Malone in the role of Constance after Malone suffered a pulmonary embolism. Albright also had a run on “Burke’s Law” in the mid-1960s and a recurring role on “The Bob Cummings Show” in the 1950s, along with guest appearances on “Gunsmoke,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Wagon Train,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “The Beverly Hillbillies” and many other shows.

“On the big screen, the blue-eyed blonde was memorable in a leading role as an aging burlesque stripper who seduces a teenager (Scott Marlowe) in ‘A Cold Wind in August’ (1961), and she received the best actress award at the Berlin Film Festival for portraying Tuesday Weld’s suicidal mother in ‘Lord Love a Duck’ (1966),” THR reports.

Albright’s other feature film work included a memorable performance in the Kirk Douglas boxing classic “Champion” (1949) and the 1950 film “The Good Humor Man,” in which she played opposite her future husband, Jack Carson.

Here’s a clip of Albright performing “How High the Moon” on “Peter Gunn” …

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 24, 2017
3:17 pm
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Chilling Trailer Released for ‘Casting JonBenet’

Netflix has posted a chilling — one might even say disturbing — trailer for a film that blurs the line between documentary and drama in examining the death of 6-year-old beauty pageant queen JonBenet Ramsey.

“Casting JonBenet,” from director Kitty Green, arrives on the streaming service on April 28.

Here’s the trailer …

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 24, 2017
1:19 pm
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Drama Series Parts Ways With Exec Producer

A drama series that has yet to make it to the air is already undergoing a key change behind the cameras. Deadline.com reports that “Counterpart,” which has a two-season direct-to-series order at Starz, is parting ways with Amy Berg.

Production of the series is currently between the first and second 10-episode seasons, having recently wrapped shooting in Los Angeles on season one.

Created by Justin Marks, the sci-fi thriller stars J.K. Simmons, Olivia Williams, Harry Lloyd and Ulrich Thomsen. Berg’s departure is a mutual decision among all parties, according to the report.

The series comes from from MRC, Gilbert Films and Anonymous Content. Marks is showrunner on the series. Morten Tyldum is directing the first episode.

“Berg will still be credited as an executive producer on Season 1 alongside Marks, Tyldum, Gary Gilbert with Gilbert Films, Jordan Horowitz, Keith Redmon and Bard Dorros with Anonymous Content. Simmons also serves as a producer,” Deadline notes.

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 24, 2017
1:04 pm
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Netflix Inks Four-Movie Deal With Former ‘SNL’ Star

Netflix has just signed a new deal with former “Saturday Night Live” cast member turned movie star Adam Sandler. The AP reports that the streaming service has signed on to make four more feature films with Sandler.

“As part of a previous four-movie deal, Sandler has already produced and starred in two films for Netflix,” the story reports. “While neither ‘Ridiculous 6’ nor ‘The Do-Over’ received anything close to good reviews, Netflix said Friday they are the biggest film releases for the service. Sandler’s next Netflix film, ‘Sandy Wexler,’ debuts April 14.”

The report notes: “To date, the majority of Netflix original films have been smaller dramas or documentaries. But some of its most ambitious and priciest acquisitions are due out this year, including ‘War Machine’ with Brad Pitt and ‘Bright’ with Will Smith.”

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 24, 2017
11:11 am
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Pay-Cable Series Canceled

A drama series running on pay cable has been canceled. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that Cinemax pulled the plug on the Steven Soderbergh medical series “The Knick.”

“The news is not surprising and comes 15 months after the season-two finale, which killed off star Clive Owen,” THR notes.

In a statement, HBO miniseries and Cinemax programming president Kary Antholis confirmed the move, writing: “After a critically acclaimed two-season run of ‘The Knick’ on Cinemax, we will not be going forward with additional episodes of the series. Despite our pride in and affection for the series as well as our respect for and gratitude toward Steven Soderbergh and his team, we have decided to return Cinemax to its original primetime series fare of high-octane action dramas, many of which will be internationally co-produced.”

Soderbergh directed all 20 episodes of the period drama, and executive produced with creators Jack Amiel and Michael Begler, along with Owen, Gregory Jacobs and Michael Sugar.

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 24, 2017
10:39 am
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Why Disney Is Suing the Makers of Edible Cake Frosting — ‘Unauthorized Kitsch’?

Let them eat cake — but not if the frosting is in violation of any Disney copyrights. The Hollywood Reporter’s THR, Esq. reports that Disney joined forces this week with Sanrio to file a lawsuit against Michigan resident George Wilson, who the companies say is creating cakes bearing their intellectual property.

The complaint accuses Wilson’s business of selling “unlicensed and counterfeit edible cake frosting sheets and related items, which incorporate unauthorized likenesses of animated or live-action characters or other logos.”

“The complaint isn’t particularly specific, but Disney and Sanrio note they have created such characters as Hello Kitty, Luke Skywalker, Iron Man and Captain America,” THR reports, adding that the suit is being handled by J. Andrew Coombs.

“Some intellectual property lawyers specialize in pursuing typeface font infringement while other attorneys appear to have identified graffiti infringement as the next great legal hot zone,” THR notes. “Coombs handles lots of cases in the area of unauthorized kitsch. In the past, he’s represented studios over unlicensed cellphone charms, pet paraphernalia, party goods and supplies, vinyl bracelets, and more.”

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 24, 2017
8:57 am
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New Candidate in the Running for Top Job at Sony

A veteran executive with a strong background in television is emerging as a candidate for the Sony Pictures executive job. In an exclusive, Deadline.com reports that former Fox Networks Group Chairman Tony Vinciquerra, who also worked at Hearst and CBS, is that candidate.

The report notes that Vinciquerra is the senior adviser for the technology, media and telecom sectors at TPG Capital. “He also serves as a director of STX Entertainment, Pandora, Univision Holdings and at Qualcomm; he was a previous director at both DirecTV and Motorola,” Deadline adds.

“Meetings are still going on over the next two to three weeks, and we hear that outgoing Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton is helping Sony Corp. President and CEO Kazuo Hirai in pulling in legitimate candidates,” Deadline notes.

A spokesperson for Sony declined to comment.

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 24, 2017
7:59 am
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How Cable Giant Comcast Can Now Offer Services Nationwide if It Chooses to Do So

“Comcast Corp. has acquired rights from cable network owners to offer their channels nationwide, according to people familiar with the negotiations, giving the biggest U.S. cable operator a backup plan if rival online-TV services catch on with consumers,” Bloomberg reports.

Bloomberg’s sources say the rights allow Comcast for the first time to sell video service outside its regional territories, which include Chicago, Boston and Philadelphia. The sources asked not to be identified because they are discussing private information.

“In most cases, Comcast acquired the rights through ‘most favored nation’ clauses in contracts, which let the company sell channels in the same places as new online distributors,” Bloomberg notes. “Since Comcast doesn’t sell traditional cable-TV service in markets like New York and Los Angeles, the rights mean the company could presumably offer a package of channels as an online-streaming service in those cities.”

The report adds: “In some scenarios, Comcast asked for the rights as part of broader carriage negotiations with programmers. For now at least, Comcast has no plans to offer a video service nationwide because it still sees opportunity to gain cable-TV subscribers in its footprint, according to a person close to the company.”

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