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TVBIZWIRE
May 22, 2015
3:29 am
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Bombshell: Magazine Story Says According to a 2006 Police Report, Josh Duggar Was Accused of Child Molestation. In Response to Story, Josh Apologizes for Acting ‘Inexcusably’ and His Parents Say Josh Made Some ‘Very Bad Mistakes and We Were Shocked.’ The Duggars Star in TLC’s Hit ’19 Kids and Counting.’ What Will TLC Do? (In Touch, Facebook, USA Today, Washington Post, Deadline, TMZ)

“Jim Bob Duggar waited more than a year after his son, Josh, confessed to sexually molesting several female minors before contacting police, In Touch Magazine is reporting exclusively, based on information contained in the official police report.”

Thus begins a story on the In Touch magazine website.

The story continues, “What’s more, Jim Bob informed the elders of his church about Joshua’s actions and they waited three months before contacting authorities. The explosive new information is contained in a Springdale, Ark., police report obtained by In Touch magazine.

“The report has been hidden since 2006 and was just obtained by the mag through a Freedom of information Act request. Jim Bob also refused to allow police to interview Josh when they opened a felony investigation in 2006. The Duggars star on TLC’s hit show ‘19 Kids and Counting.’”

In response to the magazine report, Josh, 27, his wife Anna and his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, all posted separate statements on Facebook.

Josh’s statement says, in part, “Twelve years ago, as a young teenager I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life….”

Anna’s statement says, in part, “I can imagine the shock many of you are going through reading this. I remember feeling that same shock. It was not at the point of engagement, or after we were married – it was two years before Josh asked me to marry him. When my family and I first visited the Duggar Home, Josh shared his past teenage mistakes….” Anna is currently pregnant with her and Josh’s fourth child.

The statement of Josh’s parents, Jim Bob and Michelle, reads, in part, “Back 12 years ago our family went through one of the most difficult times of our lives. When Josh was a young teenager, he made some very bad mistakes and we were shocked. We had tried to teach him right from wrong. That dark and difficult time caused us to seek God like never before. Even though we would never choose to go through something so terrible, each one of our family members drew closer to God….”

To read all three of the statements in full, please click here. None of the statements mention the words “molested,” “molestation” or “abuse” or give any indication about what Josh specifically did.

According to TMZ, Josh “was the subject of a police investigation for allegedly sexually molesting 5 girls, some of whom are his sisters.” This abuse allegedly began in 2002, TMZ notes. Josh would have been 14 or 15 years old.

The TMZ story continues, “According to the police report, Josh fondled the genitals and breasts of the girls, some of whom were sleeping, but sometimes they were interacting with him … in one case reading a book.

“There was another reported incident 9 months later. According to the police report, the police were not immediately contacted. Instead, Jim Bob, the dad, met with church elders and agreed Josh should be put in a treatment program.  The police report says Josh’s mom, Michelle, said it wasn’t really a treatment center … they simply sent Josh to a guy who was remodeling a building to do manual labor.”

Says a report on this story in USA Today, “In Touch [also] reported that [Jim Bob] took Josh to an Arkansas state trooper who was a personal friend, who took no action other than [giving Josh] a ‘very stern talk.’ That officer is now serving a 56-year term in prison for child pornography, the magazine reported, and no case was ever brought against Josh Duggar.”

“Josh Duggar was never charged with a crime,” the USA Today story notes, “and the statute of limitations has now expired.”

In light of the revelations in In Touch magazine, Josh Duggar has resigned his position as the executive director of the Family Research Council, reports the Washington Post.

The Post adds, “Duggar, his wife Anna and their three children live in Washington, where Duggar worked as executive director of FRC Action, the non-profit lobbying arm of the Family Research Council.

“The Family Research Council, a conservative Christian organization led by Tony Perkins, is known for its advocacy against same-sex marriage, ‘with the mission to champion marriage and family as the foundation of civilization, the seedbed of virtue, and the wellspring of society.’

“Perkins said in a statement Thursday [May 21, 2015] that Duggar resigned from his post ‘as a result of previously unknown information becoming public concerning events that occurred during his teenage years.’ [Perkins added that] ‘Josh believes that the situation will make it difficult for him to be effective in his current work.’”

One lingering question is about the reaction to all of this by Discovery Communications’ TLC, the network that airs “19 Kids and Counting.” According to the Washington Post, TLC “declined to comment on the allegations against Josh, his apology, or the network’s future plans for the series, a spokesperson said in an email to the Washington Post on Thursday evening.”

Other media outlets also reported that TLC has remained silent thus far.

Clearly, “19 Kids and Counting” is an important show for the network. In a press release issued on Jan. 6, 2015, TLC said, “TLC wrapped up 2014 as a top 10 primetime cable network with all key women demos for yet another year. Fueled by hit series including ‘19 Kids and Counting;’ ‘The Little Couple;’ and ‘Little People, Big World,’ TLC secured the #1 Female Cable Network spot with W25-54/18-49 on Tuesday nights in 2014.”

The release added, “‘19 Kids and Counting’ also garnered TLC’s most watched telecast in four years, with 4.4M P2+ viewers tuning into the October wedding special [of Duggar daughter Jill].”

Of ‘19 Kids and Counting,’ Deadline’s Lisa de Moraes on Thursday wrote that the “most recent batch of episodes, Season 9A, debuted in February and ended this past Tuesday. TLC has not yet announced whether it is picking up the reality series for another season.”

De Moraes continued, “Also in October, TLC pulled the plug on its reality series ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ after reports that the tot’s mother again was seeing a former boyfriend convicted of child molestation. Another of Mama June’s daughters, 20-year-old Anna Cardwell (aka Chickadee), came forward saying she had been a victim of Mark McDaniel at age 8 (McDaniel got out of prison in March). TLC, which cut ties to the show after confirming details of June’s renewed relationship with McDaniel, offered counseling to Anna, issuing a statement saying, ‘Supporting the health and welfare of these remarkable children is our only priority.’”

TVBIZWIRE
May 22, 2015
3:27 am
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TVWeek Memorial Day Holiday Schedule

TVWeek is taking off Monday, May 25, for the Memorial Day holiday, and will not publish our newsletters that day. We will return with all of our newsletters on Tuesday, May 26, 2015.

Meanwhile, if news breaks, we’ll send out a TVWeek EXTRA.

From our family to your family, we wish you a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend.

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TVBIZWIRE
May 21, 2015
2:01 pm
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E! Takes Wraps Off Summer Schedule — Including Bruce Jenner Series (TVWeek)

E! Entertainment has rolled out plans for a number of new series, with premiere dates set for the summer programming.

New Series Include “Hollywood Cycle” (premiering July 7), “Sex With Brody” (July 10), “Stewarts & Hamiltons” (July 26), Bruce Jenner Documentary Series (title to be announced later) (July 26), “The Comment Section” (August 7) and “WAGS” (August 18).

Premiere dates were also announced for returning series “#RichKids of Beverly Hills” (May 24), “Botched” (June 7), “Total Divas” (July 7) and “House of DVF” (August 31).

Please click here for full details on the E! summer programming.

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TVBIZWIRE
May 21, 2015
1:47 pm
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‘Letterman’ Tops Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings (Nielsen Social)

The finale of CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman” topped the Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings for May 20, 2015, with 201,000 event-related Tweets seen by a unique audience of 4.8 million, according to Nielsen Social.

Here’s the Daily Top Five for May 20:

Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings for May 20, 2015

Daily Top Five Series and Specials

nielsen twitter tv ratings 052015

TVBIZWIRE
May 21, 2015
1:31 pm
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Epix Orders Its First Original Series — With a Familiar Face From the Movies on Board (Deadline)

The premium TV network and VOD service Epix, which is a joint venture backed by Viacom, Lionsgate and MGM, is taking the plunge into original scripted series with orders for “Graves,” starring Nick Nolte, and “Berlin Station,” from executive producer Michael Roskam, Nellie Andreeva reports on Deadline.com.

The network placed a straight-to-series order for 10 episodes of “Graves,” a half-hour sitcom in which Nolte plays a former U.S. president.

Epix also placed a 10-episode order for the spy show “Berlin Station,” with a third original program also in the works. The new shows will be distributed on Epix On Demand, Epix.com and TV Everywhere platforms, the report notes.

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TVBIZWIRE
May 21, 2015
1:09 pm
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TV Station in DMA 29 Sold for $4 Million (TVNewsCheck)

A TV station in the country’s 29th-largest designated market area has been sold for $4 million. TVNewsCheck reports that Bryant Broadcasting is selling WJFB-TV in Nashville to Dove Broadcasting.

WJFB is a religious-formatted station broadcasting on Channel 44. The JFB in the call letters are the initials of station founder Joe F. Bryant.

WJFB has been on the air since 1988.

Dove also owns WGGS-TV in Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C., the report notes.

dove broadcasting

TVBIZWIRE
May 21, 2015
9:41 am
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Comcast Opens Up Access to HBO Go, Showtime Anytime on Amazon Fire TV (Digital Trends)

Comcast has ended its holdout and made HBO Go and Showtime Anytime available to Comcast Xfinity subscribers via Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Digital Trends reports.

“The new availability for subscribers of Comcast Xfinity on Amazon’s streaming video devices follows a similar deal which allowed Comcast customers to watch HBO Go and Showtime Anytime through Roku media streamers in December,” the report notes.

In a company blog post, Comcast Cable Executive Vice President Matt Strauss said: “Both the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick join platforms like Roku, AppleTV, Xbox One and Google’s Chromecast where subscribers can download the network’s app, sign in with their Xfinity TV credentials, and immediately start watching the channel’s shows and movies.”

The report adds: “It’s a long-awaited concession for Comcast, which is perpetually one of the last holdouts among pay-TV providers to allow access to popular streaming apps that require authentication from a cable or satellite subscription. As the largest cable and Internet provider in the country — one which is often the only available option for consumers in many regions — the service has been notoriously slow to allow subscribers to access content from third-party hardware.”

showtime anytime

TVBIZWIRE
May 21, 2015
9:01 am
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NBC’s Brian Williams Pulls Out of Hosting Gig (AP)

Suspended NBC News anchor Brian Williams has withdrawn from a hosting job he had scheduled. The AP reports that Williams opted out of the PBS presentation of the inaugural Lincoln Awards, which is set to air Friday.

First lady Michelle Obama will reportedly step in with a filmed introduction. The program honors those who support U.S. veterans and military families.

The event taped in January and features appearances by Nick Jonas, Gavin DeGraw and Jerry Lewis, the report notes.

“Lincoln Awards co-founder Cappy McGarr says Williams asked to be removed from the PBS broadcast because he didn’t want to be a distraction,” the AP reports.

Rocker Bruce Springsteen and Segway inventor and bionic arm creator Dean Kamen are among the honorees.

lincoln awards

TVBIZWIRE
May 21, 2015
8:57 am
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Conan O’Brien’s Emotional Sendoff to David Letterman (YouTube)

Conan O’Brien paid an emotional tribute to David Letterman on his TBS talk show “Conan” Wednesday night, the same night Letterman aired his final installment of CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman.”

Here’s Conan’s tribute:

TVBIZWIRE
May 21, 2015
8:47 am
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Letterman Hits a 10-Year Ratings High With Final Episode (Variety)

Wednesday night’s final installment of CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman” is expected to be among the long-running show’s three or four most-watched episodes ever when the final numbers are in, Variety reports.

The early figures, based on Nielsen ovenights for metered markets, have the show averaging a 9.3 household rating and 24 share, the report notes, making it the top turnout since a December 2005 appearance by Oprah Winfrey delivered a 10.1/24.

“Nielsen won’t issue total-viewer estimates until later today, but early indications are that the show drew its largest audience in more than nine years,” Variety notes.

The report adds: “Driving the strong performance last night was a big 11.8 rating/29 share in New York. The nearly 90-minute finale also did a 6.4/22 in Los Angeles and a 12.2/27 in Chicago.”

The report notes that Letterman’s 9.3 national overnight rating “is on par with the 9.2 generated for Jay Leno’s sendoff from NBC’s ‘The Tonight Show’ in February 2014. That translated into 14.64 million viewers in the nationals.”

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