Aug 3, 2015
3:35 am

Whoa! This is Jon Stewart’s Last Week on ‘The Daily Show.’ Some Advertisers Reportedly Paid Up to $2 Million for Ad Packages to Get a Spot on Thursday’s Finale (NY Post)

“Comedy Central is asking advertisers to plunk down more than $1 million to buy ads across the network in order to secure a spot during the Aug. 6 finale” of “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” reported our good friend Claire Atkinson in the New York Post last week.

She added, “The buy-in packages have gone as high as $2 million, according to ad buyers.”

The report also noted, “As part of those packages, the Viacom-owned network also jacked up the rate for a single 30-second ad to between $200,000 and $250,000 — a huge hike from the usual $30,000 to $40,000 the show charges.”

Aug 3, 2015
3:33 am

A Familiar Voice Who Was Part of NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’ Since the 1980s Dies from Injuries Sustained in a Car Crash (NPR; LA Times)

“A member of the ‘All Things Considered’ family has died,” begins NPR’s Susan Stamberg, who continues, “Alan Cheuse, who reviewed books on our air nearly every week since the early 1980s, passed away [Friday, July 31, 2015] after a car accident in California two weeks ago.”

Cheuse was 75, but sounded years younger. Says Stamberg, “In two minutes every week, Alan paid his respects to good writing in his soft, intense, passionate voice.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “Cheuse was injured in a car crash on July 14 on Highway 17 while on his way from the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop in Nevada City to Santa Cruz. He was hospitalized with broken ribs and vertebrae. Three days later, he suffered a subdural hematoma, after which he entered a coma.”

Says Stamberg, “Who ever read as much as Alan did? When he wasn’t reading, he was teaching — over the years at Bennington, the University of Virginia, University of Michigan, and for the last two-plus decades, at George Mason University. And when he wasn’t reading and teaching, he was writing. Five novels, novellas, short stories, textbooks.”

Here’s a podcast of one of Cheuse’s recent reviews.

Aug 3, 2015
3:30 am

She Was a Friend of the Beatles and Signed by Their Manager, Brian Epstein, as a Singer. Later, She had a Huge TV Career in the U.K. A ‘National Treasure’ in the U.K. Dies at 72 (AP; The Guardian; YouTube)

“[A] product of Beatles-era Liverpool who became a [British] national treasure over a 50-year music and television career, has died,” reports the Associated Press. Her name was Cilla Black, and she was 72.

The AP continues, “Former Beatle Paul McCartney said news of Black’s death came as a shock. ‘She had a fine distinctive voice and was always a bit of a laugh. It was a privilege to know and love her,’ McCartney said in a statement. Ringo Starr tweeted: ‘She was a good friend we will all miss her.’”

In the U.S., Black is best known for her big-voice belting of “You’re My World,” which peaked at No. 26 on the U.S. charts in 1964. It was a No. 1 song in the United Kingdom. Black was 21 when the song charted in the U.S.

Writes the U.K, newspaper The Guardian, Black “moved from [a] singing star in the vanguard of the 1960s Merseyside pop revolution to queen of Saturday night television and then subject of a much-praised TV biopic last year.

“Black, 72, …whose five-decade career was honoured last year by entertainment industry body Bafta, died at her home in Estepona near Marbella in Spain on Sunday.

“Black’s publicist Nick Fiveash said: ‘It is with deep sorrow that I confirm the passing of singer and TV personality Cilla Black. Details of her death will be announced following the coroner’s report. Her family have asked for their privacy to be respected at this time.’”

Here’s a video we found on YouTube of Black singing “You’re My World” on a TV show in 1964. As she is introduced you’ll see the Beatles leading the applause for her:

Jul 31, 2015
2:47 pm

Jon Stewart Names His Final Three Guests for ‘The Daily Show’ (USA Today)

With Jon Stewart’s final night as host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” fast approaching, the man who has been at the helm of the late-night institution for 17 years has revealed who his last three guests will be.

Leading up to the last show, Amy Schumer will appear Monday, Aug. 3, followed by Denis Leary on Tuesday, Aug. 4, and Louis C.K. on Wednesday, Aug. 5.

Stewart mentioned the lineup just before he signed off Thursday night, USA Today notes.

The finale is set for Thursday, Aug. 6, but any guests who may be lined up for that night have not been revealed.

Stewart told his audience Thursday night: “We’re gonna have a ball. I can’t wait to show my appreciation for all the support and enthusiasm that you guys have given the show all these years. So next week, tune in — it’s gonna be a ball.”


Jul 31, 2015
2:39 pm

Why Actor James Woods Is Suing a Twitter User for $10 Million (ABC News)

Actor James Woods has served noticed that he’s not one to go quietly when targeted by Twitter trolls. ABC News reports that the legendary actor, known for roles in many successful movies including “Casino,” “Salvador,” “Ghosts of Mississippi,” “Nixon” and “Once Upon a Time in America,” is suing a Twitter user for at least $10 million, alleging that the anonymous user wrongly accused Woods of being a cocaine addict.

“In the lawsuit, filed Wednesday in California Superior Court in Los Angeles, the ‘White House Down’ actor also accused the user — known as ‘Abe List’ — of invasion of privacy by false light,” the story reports. “Woods, 68, says in the court papers that he is not — and never has been — a cocaine addict, adding that Abe List must pay for the ‘malicious’ online campaign and the resulting damage to the actor’s reputation which caused Woods ‘shame, mortification, hurt feelings, emotional distress, embarrassment, humiliation and injury to his peace of mind.'”

The court filing also calls the Twitter user “a cowardly individual.”

ABC News adds: “According to the lawsuit, Abe List … started harassing Woods online in December, calling him ‘clown boy’ and ‘scum,’ among other derogatory terms. It was on July 15 that Abe List tweeted ‘cocaine addict James Woods still sniffing and spouting,’ the court papers allege.”

The Twitter account has since been deleted, but Woods has indicated his intent is to go after the individual behind the account.

Jul 31, 2015
1:40 pm

Singer of One of the Biggest Hits of 1970 Dead at 67 (The Guardian)

A singer who has long been identified with a song that was one of the biggest hits of 1970 has died. Country songstress Lynn Anderson, who had a megahit with the Joe South song “Rose Garden” in 1970, died Thursday in a hospital in Nashville, the U.K. publication The Guardian reports.

Her publicist said Anderson died of cardiac arrest. She was 67.

Anderson’s recording of “Rose Garden,” also known as “(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden,” sat at No. 1 on the Billboard country charts for five weeks in 1970 while also hitting No. 1 on the Cash Box and Record World pop and country singles charts and peaking at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. The catchy tune was also an international hit, reaching No. 1 in countries including Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Ireland and Norway.

“Anderson first experienced the national spotlight as a young singer on ‘The Lawrence Welk Show’ between 1967 and 1969. Although she was signed to an independent label, the exposure helped her attain a deal with Columbia Records in Nashville,” The Guardian reports.

Anderson rode the popularity of “Rose Garden” to a Grammy and the honor of being named the Country Music Association’s female vocalist of the year in 1971. Among her many honors that followed, she was named Billboard’s Female Artist of the Decade for 1970-1980.

Anderson relished her association with the song, once saying of the hit: “This song stated that you can make something out of nothing. You take it and go ahead. It fit me well and I’ll be proud to be connected to it until I die.”

She made a number of appearances on television, working with Lucille Ball, John Wayne, Tom Jones and other stars and appearing in the 1982 TV movie “Country Gold” and on the series “Starsky and Hutch.”

Anderson, who was also an award-winning equestrian, followed “Rose Garden” with a number of smaller hits, including “You’re My Man,” “How Can I Unlove You” and “Listen to a Country Song.”

Here’s a clip of Anderson performing her signature song:

Jul 31, 2015
12:40 pm

Starz Greenlights New Season of Drama Series (TVWeek)

The pay-cable channel Starz announced today that it has greenlighted another season of the drama series “Black Sails.” The pirate saga’s 10-episode third season was already set for 2016, and the new order extends the show to a fourth season. Production on season four is set to begin this fall in South Africa.

Toby Stephens stars in the series as Captain Flint, the most feared pirate of his day. The show is created by Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine and executive produced by Michael Bay.

Starz noted that the first two seasons of “Black Sails” averaged 4.5 million viewers an episode on multiple platforms. The series won two Emmys last year, for Outstanding Sound Editing and for Outstanding Special and Visual Effects in a Supporting Role.

Please click here for more details.

black sails-starz

Jul 31, 2015
11:09 am

Selection of Host City for Olympics Sparks Outcry (Reuters)

A history-making decision announced today by the International Olympic Committee to award hosting rights for the 2022 Winter Olympics to Beijing has drawn outrage from human rights activists.

The decision, announced today, will make Beijing, where the 2008 Summer Olympics were held, the first city in history to host both the Summer and Winter Games.

“Campaigners say human rights have deteriorated markedly in China since Beijing held the 2008 Summer Games,” Reuters reports. “The last two years under President Xi Jinping’s administration have been marked by a sweeping crackdown on dissidents, activists and human rights lawyers.”

Beijing was picked over Almaty, Kazakhstan, as those two cities were the final contenders following the withdrawal of other hopefuls including Oslo, Munich and Stockholm.

Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch, was among those saying the Olympic Committee is sending the wrong message.

“The IOC’s awarding of the 2022 Olympics to China is a slap in the face to China’s besieged human rights activists,” said Richardson. “Over the next seven years, the IOC has enormous work to do in China to win the credibility on human rights that will ensure a successful Olympics.”

Reuters notes that six groups opposing the Beijing effort appealed to the IOC ahead of the announcement to try to convince the committee not to award the Games to Beijing.

international olympic committee-logo

Jul 31, 2015
11:01 am

Millennials Barely Watch Regular TV (Media Life)

A new study puts a number — a shockingly low one — on how much traditional television is still being viewed by young adults.

Citing the study by entertainment and media research firm SmithGeiger and streaming company Net2TV, Media Life reports: “A mere 18 percent of TV viewing time by adults 18-34 is done through live broadcast or cable TV.”

On the flip side, the study found that 61% of millennials’ viewing time takes place on digital devices such as tablets and smartphones.

“That’s a very high number, considering tablets have only been widely available for five years, and smartphone video quality was spotty up until a few years ago,” Media Life notes.

The report includes an in-depth interview with Seth Geiger, president and co-founder of SmithGeiger, who notes that it has been a surprise how quickly the migration to new devices has taken place.

“The explosion of video consumption on screens, and not just snackable short-form video, but pretty significant degrees of long-form television content being watched across a broad number of platforms, is pretty eye opening,” Geiger said.

Jul 31, 2015
10:57 am

What’s the No. 1 Network at 10 p.m. Weeknights? You May Be Surprised … (TVWeek)

The top network at 10 p.m. Monday-Friday in the key demo of adults 18-49 during the month of July has been Spanish-language broadcast net Telemundo, the network announced today, citing Nielsen data.

Telemundo was also No. 1 in adults 18-34.

“The third season of the network’s hit super series ‘El Senor de los Cielos’ earned an average of 1.4 million 18-49 viewers and 679,000 adults 18-34 this month, outperforming all Spanish-language and English-language broadcast networks in the coveted demo,” Telemundo said in its announcement.

The network also appears to be gaining ground on Spanish-language rival Univision, the segment’s perennial front-runner.

“Telemundo averaged 785,000 adults 18-49 in the Monday-Friday prime time in July, registering the smallest gap with Univision in its history (238,000),” the announcement notes. “In July 2013, the gap between Telemundo and Univision was nearly 1.2 million adults 18-49 in weekday prime time and in July 2014, it was further reduced to 680,000 adults 18-49.”

Telemundo reports that it topped Univision three out of five nights in prime time in adults 18-49 during the week of July 20, 2015. “The average gap between the networks was 40,000 in the day part and demo during that week, the smallest distance between the networks for any week ever in Telemundo’s history,” the network announced.

el senor de los cielos-telemundo

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