May 25, 2017
4:44 pm

More Advertisers Pull Out of Hannity’s Fox News Show (THR, TVWeek)

The situation surrounding the Fox News Channel show “Hannity,” where a number of advertisers have dropped the show, is beginning to look something like the Bill O’Reilly exodus that recently brought down FNC’s ratings leader.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, more advertisers announced today that they are pulling their ads from Sean Hannity’s show. By midday today, THR was reporting that the list now includes Crowne Plaza Hotels, Cars.com, Ring.com, Leesa Mattress, USAA, Peloton and Casper.

As we reported previously, the bone of contention is Hannity’s reporting on the slaying of DNC staffer Seth Rich.

“While authorities have called the murder a robbery gone wrong, Hannity has been suggesting that the DNC worker might have been killed because he leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks,” THR reports.

The report notes that conservatives have launched a counter-boycott targeting advertisers who pull their spots from Hannity’s show.

May 25, 2017
3:57 pm

‘Get Shorty,’ the TV Series — Check It Out (TVWeek, Epix)

Based in part on the 1990 Elmore Leonard novel of the same name, “Get Shorty” is now a 10-episode original series coming to Epix in August.

The series follows Miles Daly (Chris O’Dowd), a hitman from Nevada who tries to become a movie producer in Hollywood to leave his criminal past behind and win back his estranged family. There, he meets Rick Moreweather (Ray Romano), a washed-up producer of low-quality films who is desperately hanging on to the rungs of Hollywood relevancy and begrudgingly becomes Miles’ partner and guide through the maze of show business.

The series also stars Sean Bridgers, Lidia Porto, Megan Stevenson, Carolyn Dodd, Goya Robles and Lucy Walters. Created for television by Davey Holmes (“Shameless,” “In Treatment,” “Damages”), “Get Shorty” is executive produced by Holmes and Allen Coulter (The Sopranos,” “Damages”), who also directs the first episode. Adam Arkin (“The Americans,” “Billions”) directed three episodes of the series and is also a co-executive producer.

The series is produced by MGM Television.

Here’s the trailer, released today by Epix …

May 25, 2017
3:09 pm

Series Regular to Exit ‘Silicon Valley’ (THR)

The HBO comedy series “Silicon Valley” will be missing one of its key players when season five rolls around, with The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reporting that T.J. Miller is leaving the show.

HBO confirmed the news today, saying in a statement: “The producers of ‘Silicon Valley’ and T.J. Miller have mutually agreed that T.J. will not return for season 5. In Erlich Bachman, T.J. has brought to life an unforgettable character, and while his presence on the show will be missed, we appreciate his contribution and look forward to future collaborations.”

THR adds: “News of Miller’s departure comes mere hours after HBO renewed the tech-spoofing comedy for another season and halfway through the show’s fourth season run. Created by Mike Judge and Alec Berg, the series been a critical hit since its debut in 2014, winning two Emmy Awards along the way.”

May 25, 2017
3:01 pm

Former Presidential Candidate Launching Talk Show (AP, TVWeek)

A politician who has made a couple of runs for president will try his hand at a TV talk show — something he did on the Fox News Channel from 2008-2015. This time around, Mike Huckabee will be appearing on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.

Huckabee, who ran for president in 2008 and 2016, is the former governor of Arkansas. The Republican politician is also a Christian minister, an author and a musician.

“The show will follow a format similar to the weekend show that the former Arkansas governor hosted on Fox News Channel from 2008 to 2015,” the AP reports. “TBN said on Thursday that the show will be filmed before a live audience in Nashville, Tennessee.”

Huckabee’s new weekly show is due to premiere this fall.

May 25, 2017
2:19 pm

HBO Renews Two Series (TVWeek)

HBO announced today that it has renewed two shows that have become fixtures of the pay-cable channel’s comedy lineup. The network will bring back “Veep” for a seventh season and “Silicon Valley” for a fifth season.

Both series will return in 2018.

HBO also confirmed that T.J. Miller will leave “Silicon Valley” after season four, as we reported separately. The show will wrap up its 10-episode fourth season on Sunday, June 25.

“Veep,” starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, also wraps up a 10-episode season on June 25.

May 25, 2017
1:17 pm

Fox News Wades Into the Sean Hannity Discussion as Advertisers Drop His Show
(Variety, Deadline, TVWeek)

The Fox News Channel today addressed the controversy surrounding prime-time mainstay Sean Hannity, saying he will be back on the air next week following a Memorial Day holiday vacation, Variety reports.

The channel’s statement comes amid speculation that Hannity may be on shaky ground at Fox.

“Like the rest of the country, Sean Hannity is taking a vacation for Memorial Day weekend and will be back on Tuesday,” Fox News said in today’s statement. “Those who suggest otherwise are going to look foolish.”

Variety notes: “Hannity has become embroiled in a furor over his recent promotion of a discredited story about the death last summer of Seth Rich, a DNC staffer who was murdered in Washington, D.C. last July in what local police have stated they believe is a botched robbery, Hannity has in recent days promoted an unproven theory that Rich was killed in exchange for providing internal documents to Wikileaks, prompting statements of outrage from the Rich family.”

As we reported previously, Cars.com pulled its ads from Hannity’s show as the controversy escalated. Deadline is reporting that Peloton is also pulling its spots from the show, while Variety notes that “a handful of small advertisers” have indicated they’re moving their ads from Hannity’s program.

The controversy has drawn comparisons to the recent ouster of FNC stalwart Bill O’Reilly after advertisers began dropping his show in response to revelations about sexual harassment cases.

For his part, Hannity has backed away from the Rich story. “Out of respect for the family’s wishes, for now, I am not discussing the matter at this time,” he said on his show Tuesday night.

May 25, 2017
12:17 pm

Why, Despite Soft Ratings, Showtime Loved the Debut of ‘Twin Peaks’ (Variety, Showtime)

On the heels of the widely reported soft viewer turnout for Showtime’s “Twin Peaks” premiere Sunday on the linear channel, the pay-cable net is celebrating record activity on its streaming service — apparently prompted by “Twin Peaks.”

“The show will most likely see the lion’s share of its viewership in delayed viewing,” Variety reports, noting that Showtime said Sunday was its single biggest signup day in history for the Showtime streaming service.

“Immediately following the premiere, Showtime offered subscribers access to the third and fourth parts across the streaming service and on-demand,” Variety notes. “Those two hours will then air back-to-back on May 28, followed by single parts in subsequent weeks.”

Viewership for the show continues to climb, with the initial total of 506,000 viewers reported by Nielsen having already risen to 1.1 million with repeat telecasts, streaming and on-demand viewing.

May 25, 2017
8:59 am

Netflix Drama Series Canceled
(Deadline, TVbytheNumbers, Netflix)

An ambitious Netflix series that was one of the streaming service’s most expensive shows has been canceled after one season. Deadline.com reports that the service won’t be moving forward with a second season of Baz Luhrmann’s musical drama “The Get Down.”

Season one was released in two parts, with the first six episodes premiering back in August followed by five new episodes that rolled out last month. TVbytheNumbers notes that the 11-episide season was scaled back from the originally planned 13 episodes.

The first season of the series, from Sony TV, cost a whopping $120 million to produce, according to Deadline.

“‘The Get Down,’ which marked Luhrmann’s first TV series, went through a lengthy and difficult pre-production and production process, with showrunner and writer changes. The production delays led to the decision to air the first season in two batches,” Deadline notes.

The series tracks the genesis of hip hop and disco in 1970s New York. Luhrmann remained enthusiastic about the show but reportedly planned to scale back his involvement during season two to focus more on movies — which may have been a factor in the show’s cancellation.

May 25, 2017
8:31 am

Trump Muscles His Way Past NATO Leader and the Internet Has a Field Day — Here’s the Video (USA Today, Twitter, AP)

Donald Trump is getting a lot of attention online for a video clip in which he appears to muscle his way to the front of a group of NATO leaders by shoving aside the prime minister of Montenegro.

The incident took place today during a tour of the new NATO headquarters in Brussels.

“In a video of the interaction, the president comes up from behind and then shoves Montenegro’s Dusko Markovic to get to the front of the group of world leaders,” USA Today reports. “Trump then adjusts his jacket.”

“Markovic appears to be taken aback at first, but after seeing that it was Trump, he smiles and pats Trump on the back,” the report adds.

Twitter was buzzing about the encounter. “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling tweeted: “You tiny, tiny, tiny little man.” Seth Abramson wrote: “Yesterday, we had the Gianforte Bodyslam. Today, we have the Trump Shove. To say Trump is unrelated to the coarsening of politics is absurd.”

USA Today quotes a Twitter user writing: “Honestly, the best part is Trump fixing his coat and doing that chin-in-the-air thing he does after the shove.”

Another Twitter user commented: “No silly. That’s just a ‘locker room’ shove. Nothing Trump does is offensive if you put ‘locker room’ in front of it.”

Here’s the footage posted by the AP …

May 25, 2017
8:11 am

Senate Votes to Name Courthouse After ‘Law & Order’ Actor (NY Post, YouTube, TVWeek)

The U.S. Senate has voted to name a new federal courthouse after one of the cast members from NBC’s drama series “Law & Order.” The New York Post’s Page Six reports that the new building in Nashville is on track to be named after the late Fred Thompson.

Thompson, a Republican from Tennessee, served in the U.S. Senate from 1994-2003 and ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008. He joined the NBC show in 2002, near the end of his final Senate term, and began filming on the show during the August 2002 Senate recess.

He went on to play conservative District Attorney Arthur Branch on the program for the next five years. Thompson, who died in 2015 at age 73, also appeared in at least 20 movies, including “The Hunt for Red October” and “Die Hard II.”

“Sen. Lamar Alexander announced the Senate vote Wednesday on a resolution already passed by the House, leaving the final decision to President Donald Trump,” The Post reports.

Here’s Thompson’s final scene as Arthur Branch on “Law & Order” …

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