TVBizWire

TVBIZWIRE
Oct 1, 2014
2:24 pm
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Why Alyssa Milano Is Leaving ABC’s ‘Mistresses’ (USA Today)

Actress Alyssa Milano is giving up her starring role in ABC’s drama series “Mistresses” to focus on being a mom, USA Today reports, with her decision prompted by the show’s move from L.A. to Vancouver.

Milano gave birth to a daughter, Elizabella, on Sept. 4. Milano and her husband, David Bugliari, also have a 3-year-old son, Milo.

Milano posted a message on her website that says in part: “After two wonderful seasons in Los Angeles, the studio has decided to shoot season three of ‘Mistresses’ in Vancouver, Canada for financial reasons. It’s with a heavy heart that I have decided that I can’t relocate. I have two babies under 4. Being a mother and wife comes first and I just can not uproot my children and separate the family by moving away.”

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TVBIZWIRE
Oct 1, 2014
2:23 pm
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Showtime Rolls Out Premiere Schedule for ‘House of Lies,’ ‘Episodes,’ ‘Shameless’ (Variety)

Showtime has taken the wraps off its rollout plans for new seasons of “House of Lies,” “Shameless” and “Episodes,” with all three shows set to premiere Sunday, Jan. 11, Variety reports.

“Returning for its fifth season, ‘Shameless’ will lead off the premiere night at 9 p.m., with the Gallaghers dealing with the complications of urban renewal,” the story reports. “Dermot Mulroney, Steve Kazee and Sasha Alexander are set to guest star in the upcoming season.”

“House of Lies” is set to follow at 10 p.m., and finds “Marty (Don Cheadle) alone after a double-cross by Jeannie (Kristen Bell),” Variety reports. “Larenz Tate (‘Rush’) will return as Marty’s brother Malcolm, along with new guest stars Demetri Martin (‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’) and Valorie Curry (‘The Following’).”

Matt LeBlanc’s “Episodes” caps off the pay-cable channel’s big night at 10:30 p.m.

house of lies

TVBIZWIRE
Oct 1, 2014
2:22 pm
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NBC Owns Tuesday Prime — and That’s Bad News for a Couple of New Series (TVbytheNumbers)

NBC steamrolled its way to a dominant ratings win Tuesday night, while the casualty count piled up over on ABC. Based on Nielsen overnights for the key 18-49 demo, TVbytheNumbers.com reports that NBC’s “The Voice” did most of the damage.

The two-hour singing competition chalked up a 4.0 average in 18-49 to easily rank as the top-rated show on broadcast prime even as it slipped slightly from last week’s 4.1. Leading out from “The Voice,” NBC’s “Chicago Fire” held up its end with a 2.4 average, down from a 2.6 for the premiere a week ago.

ABC’s two new sitcoms appeared to suffer from the stiff competition in the 8 p.m. hour, going up against not only “The Voice” but also week two of CBS’s “NCIS.” Leading off ABC’s Tuesday prime was the series premiere of the comedy “Selfie,” which managed only a 1.4 average in viewers 18-49 — and its lead-out, the series premiere of “Manhattan,” came in just below that mark with a 1.3.

The struggle carried over to the 9 p.m. hour for ABC, where the season’s second installment of “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” managed a 1.7 in the 18-49 demo — a series low, and a 19% falloff from the premiere a week ago. ABC’s 10 p.m. drama “Forever” fell to a 1.3 — off 28% from a week ago and third in the slot behind “Chicago Fire” and CBS’s “Person of Interest.”

CBS rode its reliable drama lineup — including the new entry “NCIS: New Orleans” — to a solid second-place finish in the demo and a sizable win in total viewers. The “NCIS” mother ship dipped 10% in 18-49 from last week’s premiere, delivering a 2.6 average, while “New Orleans” pulled a 2.3 in its second outing, slipping 8% from the premiere. “Person of Interest” ticked up 6% to a 1.8.

The more impressive numbers for CBS were in total viewers, where “NCIS” (18.64 million) and “NCIS: New Orleans” (16.44 million) both outdrew NBC’s “The Voice” (13.54 million).

Fox’s “Utopia” continued to turn in disappointing results, equaling last week’s 0.8 average in 18-49, while “New Girl” dipped 8% to a 1.2 and “The Mindy Project” rose 10% to a 1.1.

For prime time overall, NBC distanced itself from the field with a 3.5 average rating in adults 18-49, ahead of CBS (2.2 average), ABC (1.5), Univision (1.1), Fox (1.0) and CW (0.4). CBS rolled to a win in total viewers with 15.280 million, leading NBC (12.017 million), ABC (4.907 million), Univision (2.881 million), Fox (2.177 million) and CW (995,000).

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TVBIZWIRE
Oct 1, 2014
2:22 pm
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Bethenny Frankel Returns to Show She Quit Four Years Ago (Us Weekly)

Bethenny Frankel is going back to her roots. The TV personality, author and entrepreneur is headed back to “Real Housewives of New York City” after quitting the Bravo reality show four years ago, Us Weekly reports.

“The former talk show host, whose self-titled daytime program was canceled in February, will appear in the show’s upcoming seventh season, insiders tell Us. Producers hope her return will help boost ratings, which fell to 1 million (from a record 2.6 million) during season six,” the story reports.

The story quotes a source saying: “Bringing her back is a last-ditch effort.”

The report adds: “Frankel will benefit, too, by having an outlet to promote her Skinnygirl empire, which includes a cocktail line, shapewear, and several books, including a new children’s book, ‘Cookie Meets Peanut.’ (The story was inspired by her 4-year-old daughter, Bryn, and her beloved dog, Cookie.)”

Frankel’s exit from the Bravo show back in 2010 came about after some turbulence on the show.

“At the time, she hinted to Us she’d decided to leave because of events that had transpired the previous season, when she fought with former BFF Jill Zarin and longtime rival Kelly Bensimon,” the story notes. “She added that she didn’t see ‘any reason to go back.’”

Both Zarin and Bensimon left the show in 2011, the piece notes.

bethenny frankel

Bethenny Frankel

TVBIZWIRE
Oct 1, 2014
2:01 pm
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Robin Williams’ Autopsy Results Delayed (TheWrap)

The results from the autopsy on comedian Robin Williams have been delayed. Citing the Marin County Counsel, TheWrap.com reports that the results have been delayed by a little more than a month.

“We originally estimated Sept. 30, 2014, as the date these materials would be complete,” Deputy County Counsel Renee Brewer said in a statement. “However, the Coroner’s Office is waiting for the scientific testing and analysis to be completed. The estimated date for this completion is Nov. 3, 2014.”

The coroner for Marin County had said in August that Williams’ death was suspected “to be a suicide due to asphyxia.” After his death, his widow revealed that he was in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

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Robin Williams

TVBIZWIRE
Oct 1, 2014
9:49 am
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FCC May Issue Fines for Use of the Word ‘Redskins’ (Reuters)

The Federal Communications Commission may begin fining broadcasters who use the term “Redskins” on-air, amid controversy over the name of the Washington NFL team and complaints that the term is offensive to Native Americans. Reuters reports that the agency is considering implementing the fines.

The story reports: “The FCC, which enforces broadcast indecency violations, has received a petition from legal activist John Banzhaf III, asking that regulators strip local radio station WWXX-FM of its broadcasting license when it comes up for renewal for using the name ‘Redskins.’”

The petition says the term is “akin to broadcasting obscenity.”

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told reporters that the agency will be “looking at that petition; we will be dealing with that issue on the merits and we’ll be responding accordingly.”

Wheeler added: “There are a lot of names and descriptions that were used over time that are inappropriate today. And I think the name that is attributed to the Washington football club is one of those.”

If the FCC formally considers the name to be indecent, a ban would be effectively imposed on TV and radio, the story notes.

The Reuters report notes: “Some TV football analysts, including CBS’s Phil Simms and Super Bowl-winning coach Tony Dungy, have said they will no longer use the term Redskins. On the other side, former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, a Hall of Famer, says the issue is ‘so stupid it’s appalling.’”

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TVBIZWIRE
Oct 1, 2014
9:37 am
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Tracy Morgan Suffered Brain Injury in Crash, May Never Perform Again (NY Post)

The attorney for Tracy Morgan said the comedian and actor may never perform again, following the deadly limo crash in June that left him with a brain injury, reports the New York Post’s Page Six.

Asked when Morgan might be able to perform again, attorney Benedict Morelli said, “The jury’s still out.” He added, “The doctors don’t know the answer. I don’t know the answer.”

Morgan is undergoing daily speech, cognitive, vocational and physical therapies, according to the report.

As previously reported, Walmart has said Morgan is to blame for his own injuries in the crash, which involved a Walmart truck crashing into the limo that the comedian was riding in. The impact killed fellow comedian James McNair, known as Uncle Jimmy Mack, a friend of Morgan’s. Walmart claims Morgan wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.

“These people are despicable,” Morelli said of Walmart. He’s also representing two other passengers in Morgan’s limo, Jeffrey Millea and Ardley Fuqua.

“They knew that they changed these people’s lives forever and killed somebody,” Morelli said.

In a statement, Morgan said he did “nothing wrong.” He said, “After I heard what Walmart said in court I felt I had to speak out. I can’t believe Walmart is blaming me for an accident that they caused.”

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Tracy Morgan

TVBIZWIRE
Oct 1, 2014
9:21 am
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Cable Provider Drops Viacom Over Fee Dispute (Bloomberg)

A cable provider has dropped Viacom’s channels amid a dispute over fees. Bloomberg reports that the cable company, Suddenlink, has 1.4 million residential customers.

Suddenlink said in a statement that Viacom is demanding an almost 50% hike in programming fees. The audience for Viacom’s main networks has declined recently, the story says.

The article adds: “Viacom in a statement accused Suddenlink of rejecting its own proposal and said its networks attract the greatest share of viewing of any cable programmer. Viacom said it would accept for one year an offer Suddenlink made last week.”

A statement posted by Suddenlink, dated Sept. 30, says: “Suddenlink has had considerable success in reaching new agreements with the likes of AMC, Fox, Turner, Disney, Discovery, and many other channel owners. However, despite our repeated requests for Viacom to reconsider, Viacom rejected every offer Suddenlink made and then removed its channels.”

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TVBIZWIRE
Oct 1, 2014
9:19 am
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CBS Ordered to Pay Up Over Death of Guard (TMZ)

CBS has been hit with a multimillion-dollar judgment involving the death of a security guard on the set of “NCIS.” TMZ.com reports that the network was ordered to pay $10.4 million to the family of the guard.

A CBS production van that was carrying crew members for the show crashed into security guard Julio Villamariona, 52, after the driver lost control following a medical emergency, the story says.

The report adds: “CBS admitted during the lawsuit the driver had a medical condition it should have known about, so the trial was really about the amount of damages the family would collect.”

TVBIZWIRE
Oct 1, 2014
9:17 am
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‘Community’ Actress Leaving the Show (TVGuide.com)

An actress who has been a part of the comedy series “Community” for five seasons is leaving the show. TVGuide.com reports that Yvette Nicole Brown, who portrays Shirley Bennett, asked to be released from her contract for personal reasons.

The actress told the publication that she needs to take care of her ailing father.

“My dad needs daily care and he needs me,” Brown said. “The idea of being away 16 hours a day for five months, I couldn’t do it. It was a difficult decision for me to make, but I had to choose my dad.”

Her character won’t be part of the cast as the show moves from NBC to Yahoo for the sixth season, the story notes. It’s not clear how the character’s departure will be handled, although there’s a chance she could return in a guest appearance, the story adds.

With Brown’s departure and that of Jonathan Banks, who is committed to AMC’s “Better Call Saul,” the producers are casting two new characters. The story notes: “One is described as a woman who’s brought in as a consultant to help shape up the school. The other is a retired salesman who comes to Greendale to reinvent himself.”

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Yvette Nicole Brown

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