Dec 19, 2014
9:01 am

FCC Rules on Washington Redskins Name (Bloomberg)

The Federal Communications Commission has issued a ruling in the dispute over the name of the Washington Redskins NFL team. Bloomberg reports that the panel said the name isn’t profane or obscene.

The FCC dismissed a request to deny the license renewal of a Virginia radio station that uses the name in its broadcasts covering the team, the story says. George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf III claimed the use of the term for the NFL team is objectionable because the word “Redskins” is a “derogatory racial and ethnic slur” against Native Americans.

The ruling is “no more than round one,” Banzhaf said, adding that there are other active petitions before the FCC about the use of the term.

“Last month the team won the right to review a decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel the mark as disparaging,” the story reports. “Team owner Daniel Snyder has repeatedly said the name was intended to honor Native Americans and he won’t change it.”

Dec 19, 2014
8:47 am

She’s People Magazine’s ‘Sexiest Woman of the Year’ — It’s the First Time the Magazine Has Awarded the Title; It’s Not Beyonce, Rihanna, Sofia Vergara or J-Lo. It’s … (People)

A month after People magazine named Chris Hemsworth its “Sexiest Man Alive,” the magazine has named its first-ever “Sexiest Woman of the Year” — model and actress Kate Upton.

Upton was honored at the People Magazine Awards, broadcast live Thursday night on NBC.

Among the other honorees at the ceremony:

• TV Performance of the Year: Actress was awarded to Lisa Kudrow, while Jon Hamm received the award for TV Performance of the Year: Actor.

• Jennifer Aniston received the trophy for Movie Performance of the Year: Actress, with Michael Keaton winning Movie Performance of the Year: Actor.

• Kevin Hart was honored as Comedy Star of the Year.

• Billy Eichner was named Breakout Star of the Year.

• TV couple of the year went to Mindy Kaling and Chris Messina of “The Mindy Project.”

• Victoria’s Secret model Karlie Kloss was named Model of the Year.

• Kate Hudson received the award for Celebrity Role Model of the Year.

kate upton

Kate Upton

Dec 19, 2014
7:24 am

ABC News Replacing ‘Nightline’ Anchor (TheWrap)

One of the anchor slots on the long-running ABC News late-night program “Nightline” is changing hands. reports that Dan Abrams is out and Byron Pitts will take the spot.

Abrams has on board since June 2013 and has been co-hosting the show with Dan Harris and Juju Chang.

“On Thursday, ABC News President James Goldston announced Abrams will be returning to managing Abrams Media full time while remaining with ABC as its chief legal analyst,” the report notes.

Pitts has served as ABC’s chief national correspondent since 2013.

In a memo, Goldston wrote, “Byron joins the Nightline team in its strongest position yet in its new time period; in November they won the third consecutive sweep in Total Viewers.”

byron pitts

Byron Pitts

Dec 19, 2014
7:21 am

Today’s Must-Read, to Relieve End-of-Year Stress: ‘The Best Jokes From the World’s Top Comedians in 2014′ (

We found it down-under on a website called Here’s an excerpt from an article the Australian website audaciously titled “The best jokes from the world’s top comedians in 2014.” Be prepared to laugh — or groan — or do both …

I’ve just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I’ll tell you what, never again. — Tim Vine

I worked out that on average I sleep with a little over three people every week. You could say I’m Pi-sexual. — James Bennison

I was walking along the other day, and on the road I saw a small, dead, baby ghost. Although thinking about it, it might have been a handkerchief. — Milton Jones

I used to think an ocean of soda existed, but it was just a Fanta sea. — Bec Hill

My wife told me: “Sex is better on holiday.” That wasn’t a very nice postcard to receive. – Joe Bor

I wonder how long it will be until airlines aren’t only charging for physical baggage, but for emotional baggage too? Not that it’d bother me. I’m fine. Really. Just ask my dad. WHO’S NEVER THERE! — Tegan Higginbotham

Dec 19, 2014
7:07 am

Cable Run Ends Tonight for Show That Has Been On for 14 Years (NY Post)

A show that has been running on cable for 14 years will end that run with tonight’s installment, before the show moves to its new home. The New York Post reports that the longtime BET video countdown show “106 & Park” will sign off with an episode set to air at 6 p.m. today, Friday.

The show, which is hosted by Keshia and Bow Wow, will then shift to an online format with a move to

“It is definitely the end of an era,” Hot 97 DJ Peter Rosenberg told the Post. “It’s really crazy, because BET is known for their music programming, so without ‘106 & Park,’ what will it be now?”

BET opted to shift the show to online-only because of declining ratings. In a statement, BET president of music programming Stephen Hill said the move will “connect with the millions of people that are already engaged with ‘106 & Park’ and other BET digital and social media entities.”

106 & Park Live

Dec 19, 2014
6:57 am

Why Broadcasters Are Up in Arms Again Over Aereo (GigaOm)

The battle against Aereo isn’t over for the major broadcast networks. CBS, Fox, NBC and other broadcasters are asking a judge to block any asset sale by Aereo that would allow it to reform as a cloud-DVR service, reports GigaOm.

“According to bankruptcy court filings, the broadcasters believe that an asset sale could deprive them of the ability to collect copyright damages related to Aereo’s services,” the story reports. “Aereo allowed consumers to retransmit and record over-the-air TV signals via their mobile devices. The Supreme Court shut down the service this summer after six of the nine Justices concluded that Aereo required a license.”

With Aereo now in bankruptcy, the question is whether the company can emerge with a new business model that’s based on its remote recording technology, the report adds.

“While the Supreme Court ruled that the portion of Aereo’s service that allowed consumers to watch live TV infringed copyright, it declined to rule on whether Aereo’s cloud-based recording service — which operated akin to a VCR — was legal,” GigaOm notes.

According to court filings, the broadcasters are concerned that a bankruptcy sale would allow the company to reform, forcing the broadcasters to start another copyright infringement case, the article reports.


Dec 19, 2014
6:31 am

Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert Retires His Conservative Host Character (AP)

After nine years on Comedy Central, Stephen Colbert ended “The Colbert Report” and retired the conservative character who has been hosting the show for its entire run, reports the Associated Press.

“He was last seen gliding through the clouds in the backseat of Santa’s sleigh beside Alex Trebek (don’t ask),” the story notes.

The report adds: “Before that, after offing the Grim Reaper and declaring himself immortal (don’t ask), he led a glorious singalong in the studio with a room of luminaries ranging from ‘Daily Show’ host Jon Stewart, Andy Cohen and Big Bird to George Lucas, Arianna Huffington and Henry Kissinger.”

Fans will see Colbert again next year, when he takes over CBS’s “Late Show,” although he won’t appear in character.

The AP report notes: “‘The Colbert Report’ (both t’s were always silent) premiered in October 2005 as a spoof of the show hosted by Fox News Channel personality Bill O’Reilly. But the Colbert character developed into a shrewdly satirical observer, preaching the opposite of what real-life Stephen Colbert meant to put across. For this nightly display of Opposite Day, Colbert won a devoted audience of so-called ‘heroes,’ plus critical acclaim and two Peabody Awards, which noted that ‘what started as a parody of punditry is now its own political platform.’”

colbert report-title

Dec 19, 2014
6:17 am

Meteorologist Remains in Stable Condition — Authorities Release Sketch of Shooter (KCEN-TV, ABC News)

A TV weatherman is recovering after being shot multiple times in the parking lot of the station where he works. KCEN-TV reported Thursday night that Patrick Crawford was in “stable condition” and his recovery was ahead of schedule.

Crawford was in Baylor Scott & White hospital after being shot outside the Bruceville-Eddy, Texas, TV station Wednesday morning. Authorities continued to search for the shooter, releasing a sketch provided after interviewing Crawford. (You can see the sketch below.)

Crawford was hit at least twice while he was getting into his car, which reportedly was riddled with 11 bullet holes. Doctors said he received wounds in his abdomen and shoulder, as well as the back of his head.

The shooter reportedly fled on foot as Crawford was able to drive away and seek help. The meteorologist told authorities he had never seen the shooter before, and police reportedly did not have a motive or a suspect.

Trooper D.L. Wilson told ABC News on Thursday: “We are actively looking for [the suspect]. We had troopers out overnight, but we didn’t get any calls of suspicious people. We can’t rule out that he’s … in the area, but more than likely, he’s left the area.”

sketch-patrick crawford's shooter

Sketch of the alleged shooter of Patrick Crawford

Dec 19, 2014
5:11 am

HBO Developing High-Profile Noir Drama Series From ‘L.A. Confidential’ Writer, ‘House of Cards’ Producer/Director (Deadline)

HBO will dip into film noir after reportedly closing the deals on a much talked-about drama series. Writing on, Nellie Andreeva reports that the new project, “Shakedown,” comes from “House of Cards” executive producer and director David Fincher and “L.A. Confidential” writer James Ellroy.

The project is inspired by the real life of police officer-turned-private-detective Fred Otash, Andreeva notes.

“This is an original drama project by Ellroy and not an adaptation of his 2012 novella ‘Shakedown,’ which also features a fictionalized version of Otash. The drama is based on a script Ellroy originally developed at FX with a different producing team. Fincher and Ellroy are executive producing the HBO project alongside Joshua Donen, Clark Peterson, and Steven Hoban,” Andreeva writes.

Fincher has a number of projects in the pipeline at HBO, including a half-hour program set in 1983 that focuses on the music-video industry, Deadline reports separately. That project is described as being in the vein of the pay-cable channel’s comedy series “Entourage.”

“Fincher also is collaborating with a novelist on another HBO drama project, an adaptation of British series ‘Utopia,’ now in development,” Andreeva notes. “It is being written by Gillian Flynn, on whose book Fincher’s ‘Gone Girl’ was based.”


Dec 18, 2014
1:59 pm

One Show on Broadcast Is Celebrating 26 Years in a Row at No. 1 in Its Category (TVWeek)

One of the major broadcast networks announced today that one of its shows is marking a stunning 26 consecutive years as the top-rated show in its category.

CBS announced that its long-running soap “The Young and the Restless” accomplished the feat, notching 26 years as the top daytime drama. The announcement follows Nielsen live plus same day results for the week ending Dec. 12.

“For the week, ‘The Young and the Restless’ averaged 4.76 million viewers, up +4% over last week,” CBS announced. “The program also led the week in both women 25-54 (1.8/12) and women 18-49 (1.2.09). Season-to-date, ‘The Young and the Restless’ is daytime’s #1 drama in viewers (5.04m), women 25-54 (2.1/14) and women 18-49 (1.4/10).”

The program, which is currently in its 41st season on the air, started its winning streak the week of Dec. 26, 1988.


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