TVBizWire

TVBIZWIRE
Nov 25, 2014
11:33 am
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Breaking: ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Lands Interview With Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, Who Shot and Killed Michael Brown (ABC News, Twitter)

Updated at 11:52 a.m. PT on 11/25/2014 to add comments from ABC News website.

Updated again at 12:06 p.m. PT on 11/25/2014 to add statements from an ABC News press release about the interview.

Within the hour ABC’s George Stephanopoulos tweeted that he “just finished a more than hourlong interview with Officer Darren Wilson. No question off limits.” Here’s the picture that accompanied the tweet:

stephanopoulos

The ABC News website says: “Wilson told ABC News that he did not execute Brown but was in fear for his life and was just doing his job.

“This is the first time Wilson has made public remarks about the August 9 shooting. The interview comes a day after the grand jury’s decision not to indict Wilson in an incident that sparked national outcry.

“Tune into ‘World News Tonight’ at 6:30 p.m. EST to see the interview.”

Later, ABC News added these statements in a press release about the interview:

“Wilson told ABC News that Brown reached into his car and grabbed his gun. He described how Brown charged toward him and he felt that he had to shoot Michael Brown.”

“Wilson did say that he was sorry for the loss of life but he would not do anything different that day. He says he has a clean conscience over his actions that day.”

Landing an interview with Wilson was the focus of fierce competition among the key TV news outlets, as we reported Monday. ABC’s Stephanopoulos had been considered to be among the frontrunners to land the interview.

TVBIZWIRE
Nov 25, 2014
8:17 am
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The Last Remaining Original Cast Member on a CBS Franchise Drama Series Is Leaving the Show (TV Guide)

A CBS series that has become an institution of the broadcast TV landscape is losing its final remaining original cast member at end of its current season.

TV Guide reports that George Eads, who has played the role of Nick Stokes on “CSI” since the series’ pilot, will make an amicable departure at the end of this season, the show’s 15th.

For those following the show’s plot, Eads will bow out in connection with the resolution of what’s known as the Gig Harbor Killer case, TV Guide says.

Eads has been off the show before, for an extended leave of absence last year and also in 2004, when he and Jorja Fox were temporarily fired in what was labeled a dispute over salary.

With Eads’ departure, Fox will become the series’ veteran, should it return for a 16th season; she appeared in the show’s second episode and is currently a cast member, after scaling back to a recurring character in Seasons 9 and 10.

george eads as nick stokes-csi

George Eads as Nick Stokes on “CSI”

TVBIZWIRE
Nov 25, 2014
8:01 am
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TV Reporters Targeted in Ferguson (Deadline)

A number of television reporters got swept up in the overnight unrest in Ferguson, Mo., that followed the announcement that a grand jury had decided not to prosecute Darren Wilson, the police officer who in August shot and killed the unarmed black teen Michael Brown.

Deadline.com reports that CNN reporter Sara Sidner got hit in the head by a rock while she was reporting live from the scene. She reportedly told studio anchor Jake Tapper, “I’m OK, I’m OK. I’ve been hit by much worse in my day.”

Earlier CNN’s Stephanie Elam was also pelted briefly, Deadline reported, and Fox News’ Steve Harrigan had to go off the air after a protester knocked his camera to the ground during a live report.

Here’s a clip posted by CNN:

TVBIZWIRE
Nov 25, 2014
7:47 am
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An NBC Star Gets His Name in Lights (NY Times)

One of NBC’s top stars now has his name in lights on the broadcast network’s landmark 30 Rockefeller Center headquarters.

A new marquee on the skyscraper’s Avenue of the Americas entrance announces that the building is home of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” The New York Times reports.

Fallon (who actually had the idea for the marquee as a promotional tool) told The Times’ Bill Carter: “This makes it exponentially harder for them to fire me.” There doesn’t seem to be any real threat of that: Fallon, ten months into his run as “Tonight” host, has racked up consistently winning ratings, The Times says.

The marquee, which is strong enough to hold a band, was lit during the opening of Fallon’s Monday show. Earlier hosts of the show did not have their names on any of the other marquees on the building; the Sixth Ave. marquee is new. But one of Fallon’s rivals, CBS’s David Letterman, has his own marquee a few blocks away.

Fallon told The Times, “I was just jealous of Letterman.”

tonight show starring jimmy fallon-marquee

TVBIZWIRE
Nov 25, 2014
7:39 am
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HBO ‘Lawyering Up’ on Expectation That New Doc Will Stir Up Controversy (THR)

In a new documentary, HBO will take on a subject that has been controversial in Hollywood. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that the pay-cable network is turning Lawrence Wright’s book “Going Clear,” about the Church of Scientology, into a documentary.

The film comes from Oscar winner Alex Gibney and was quietly commissioned in early 2013, when the book was published. HBO is aiming for a 2015 debut, THR said, and could submit the film to Sundance if it’s ready in time.

Sheila Nevins, HBO Documentary Films president, told THR that the network has “probably 160 lawyers” looking at the film, no doubt in anticipation of legal pushback from the church, which did not look kindly on the book, which carries the subtitle “Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief.”

going clear-book cover

TVBIZWIRE
Nov 25, 2014
7:27 am
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Will There Be Life After Cancellation for Long-Running CBS Series? (EW)

A long-running CBS drama series that is about to begin what has been billed as its final season may get a reprieve. “The Mentalist” is scheduled to premiere its seventh and final season Sunday, but creator Bruno Heller is hinting that the season may not be the show’s last, after all.

In an interview with EW, Heller said the series will have a true ending this season, with “the coda, the happily-ever-after chapter.” (For those into spoilers, Heller added a few more details.)

But he added, “There’s no reason why it couldn’t continue” if another network expressed interest. “It’s possible,” he said.

mentalist-title

TVBIZWIRE
Nov 25, 2014
7:11 am
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Unaired Episodes of Canceled Sitcom Will See the Light of Day (Variety)

The unseen episodes of a broadcast comedy series that was canceled this month will be seen after all. Variety reports that the seven episodes of “Selfie” that never made it to air on ABC appear to be headed to Hulu.

The report cites a tweet that the show’s creator, Emily Kapnek, sent last week.

Warner Bros. TV and Hulu hadn’t confirmed by late Monday. Kapnek’s tweet said only that the deal was unofficial, but she added “Hugs to Peter Roth” of Warner Bros. TV.

selfie-abc-title

TVBIZWIRE
Nov 25, 2014
7:09 am
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Geraldo Rivera Clashes With His Followers on Facebook (Politico)

Fox News’ Geraldo Rivera doesn’t seem to think much of his Facebook followers. Some of Rivera’s followers were critical of his recent posts praising President Barack Obama’s immigration action and they let him know it in not-so-nice language. That caused Rivera to lash out Monday, Politico reported.

Rivera complained that some of the comments left on the page were “hateful, ignorant and racist, even mentioning my family.”

He added: “That is something I cannot abide. I’m turning your posts over to Fox News and Facebook authorities because you little pieces of sh– hiding in the shadows of your mother’s basement deserve no less.”

geraldo rivera

Geraldo Rivera

TVBIZWIRE
Nov 25, 2014
7:01 am
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USA Sets Return Dates for Two Series (Deadline)

USA Network has set the return date for one of its top dramas, along with the premiere date for the second season of a comedy series.

The cable network announced that the drama “Suits” will pick up the remainder of its fourth season starting Jan. 28, Deadline.com reports.

Meanwhile, “Sirens,” a comedy about Chicago EMTs from executive producers Denis Leary and Bob Fisher, will start its second season the previous day, on Jan. 27, the story reports. Two back-to-back episodes will kick off the season.

suits-usa-title

TVBIZWIRE
Nov 24, 2014
1:57 pm
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Media Giant Hit by Large-Scale Hacker Attack (Deadline)

One of the major media companies has been the target of what appears to be a major hacking attack. In a story running under the headline “Sony Paralyzed by Computer Hacker Attack With Ominous Message,” Deadline.com’s Mike Fleming Jr. reports that the attack on Sony “has basically brought the whole global corporation to an electronic standstill.”

The report notes that company computers in New York and around the world were hit by the attacker. “As a precaution, computers in Los Angeles were shut down while the corporation deals with the breach,” the report adds.

Images have been posted on a number of media sites that show what is appearing on computer screens that are impacted by the hacking. (See image below.)

A Sony spokesperson reportedly said only: “We are investigating an IT matter.”

“It gets more bizarre as the message claims this is just the beginning and then threatens to release documents by 11 PM this evening,” Fleming’s Deadline piece adds. “There is no reason given why this is happening, and no specific demands. Mentioned are websites in places around the world, some of which don’t even function.”

sony-hacked by GOP-2014

Screen image from a hacked Sony computer

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