TVBizWire

TVBIZWIRE
Jan 30, 2015
7:42 pm
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ABC Orders Four Drama Pilots (Variety; The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed blog; Deadline.com)

ABC has ordered four drama pilots, reports Variety.

They are “Boom,” “The Adversaries,” “The Advocate” and “Kingmakers”

“ ‘The Advocate,’ comes from Vendetta Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and is being written and executive produced by [Straight Outta Compton writer Sheldon Turner],” Variety says, adding, “A twist on a medical drama, it centers a business woman who leaves behind a booming career once a misdiagnosis opens her eyes to the hazards of the healthcare system.”

THR’s Live Feed blog adds, “From writers Josh Pate and Rodes Fishburne, ‘Boom’ tells the story of an unprecedented oil discovery on U.S. soil that triggers an economic explosion in North Dakota — a modern spin on the Gold Rush and the move into the American West. Pate serves as executive producer alongside Tony Krantz. Fisburne is a co-ep.”

Deadline.com says that “Kingmakers” is written and executive produced by Sallie Patrick. “[It] centers on a young man whose sister is found dead during her freshman year at an elite Ivy League university. He adopts a new identity to infiltrate the school and its century-old secret society – consisting of privileged students, ambitious faculty, and high-profile alums – in order to investigate her death.”

About “The Adversaries,” Variety says, that it is “written and exec produced by ‘ER’s’ David Zabel. The drama will follow a patriarch of a New York legal dynasty who becomes embroiled in a trial of his own, forcing his federal prosecutor daughter to decide which side she will fight on.”

To read more we urge you to click on any of the links, above, which will take you to the original articles.

TVBIZWIRE
Jan 30, 2015
6:56 pm
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‘Supergirl’ Finds Her Jimmy Olsen

The new CBS project “Supergirl” has cast one of its key characters. Set to co-star as James Olsen — loosely based on the longtime Superman character cub reporter Jimmy Olsen — is Mehcad Brooks of “Necessary Roughness” and “True Blood,” Deadline.com reports.

Brooks will appear opposite “Glee’s” Melissa Benoist, who has the title role in the pilot.

“Based on the characters from DC Comics, the project — from Warner Bros. TV and studio-based Berlanti Prods. — centers on Kara Zor-El (Benoist), who is embracing her superhuman abilities,” the story reports. “Brooks will play James Olsen, a photographer at CatCo, the media company where Kara (Benoist) works. He recently has been living and working in National City, though the reason is still a secret.”MehcadBrooks

 

 

 

 

TVBIZWIRE
Jan 30, 2015
6:44 pm
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FCC Redefines Broadband (PC Magazine)

Calling the current standard outdated, the Federal Communications Commission has changed the definition of broadband. PC Magazine reports that the agency on Thursday raised the standard from 4 Mbps downloading to 25 Mbps.

“In 2010, the commission ruled that speeds of 4 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload constitute broadband. But that benchmark ‘is dated and inadequate for evaluating whether advanced broadband is being deployed to all Americans in a timely way,’ the FCC said [Thursday],” the story reports.

The FCC is also pushing for 3 Mbps as the upload standard. The measures were reflected in the panel’s 2015 Broadband Progress Report, its annual status update on the U.S. broadband market.

“For this year’s report, the FCC used the 25 Mbps standard to examine the U.S. market, and found that 55 million Americans — 17 percent of the population — lack access to advanced broadband,” the report notes, adding that the figure is up about 3 percentage points from a year ago.

 

TVBIZWIRE
Jan 30, 2015
6:32 pm
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Cablevision Takes Verizon to Court in Skirmish Over WiFi (Reuters)

Cablevision Systems has filed a lawsuit against Verizon Communications in a battle over providing WiFi to consumers. Reuters reports that the suit, filed Thursday, [Jan. 29, 2015] accuses Verizon of false advertising with TV, radio and Internet messages that claim Verizon offers the fastest WiFi service available.

“The complaint, filed with the U.S. District Court in Central Islip, New York, accuses Verizon of basing its ‘fastest WiFi available’ claim on new network routers it has been installing for up to $199.99, despite knowing that Cablevision offers the same routers for its Optimum network, free of charge,” the story reports.

Reuters also notes: “Cablevision also called the advertising an effort to stymie its launch of a low-cost ‘Freewheel’ phone that could cut into sales by Verizon and other cellular service providers.”

Verizon is the largest U.S. wireless company.

The story adds, “Verizon rejected Cablevision’s allegations. ‘This is a boldface ploy to promote Cablevision’s latest wireless gambit,’ Verizon said in a statement. ‘A third party has tested and validated the FiOS Quantum Gateway router. It offers the fastest in-home Wi-Fi available from any provider.’

 

TVBIZWIRE
Jan 30, 2015
6:24 pm
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Confronting the Unimaginable: “Night Will Fall” Airs on HBO (TVWeek )

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel wrote in his memoir about the German death camps, “For the survivor who chooses to testify, it is clear: his duty is to bear witness for the dead and for the living. He has no right to deprive future generations of a past that belongs to our collective memory. To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”

Please click here to read the review by TVWeek Open Mic contributor Hillary Atkin of the documentary “Night Will Fall” on HBO.

 

TVBIZWIRE
Jan 30, 2015
10:16 am
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One of the Stars of ‘Breaking Bad’ Joins CBS Drama Spinoff (Variety)

CBS is planning a spinoff to its long-running hit police-procedural  “Criminal Minds’ and is bringing aboard Anna Gunn from AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” Variety reports.

“Gunn [who played Skyler White on 'Breaking Bad'] will co-star opposite Gary Sinise as the female lead in the potential series, which will follow an FBI division that helps American citizens in trouble abroad,” the story reports. “The pilot episode, which will be penned by Erica Messer, is set to shoot this February and will air later this year during the current season of the flagship ‘Criminal Minds,’ as a planted spinoff.”

 

TVBIZWIRE
Jan 30, 2015
7:55 am
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Krabby Patty Special: Nickelodeon Streaming Channel Coming in February (Variety; Reuters)

“Children’s entertainment giant Nickelodeon intends to follow the example of HBO and unveil a direct-to-consumer subscription service in February, the chief executive of Nickelodeon’s parent, Viacom said during a call with investors Thursday,” reports our good friend Brian Steinberg, Variety’s senior TV editor.

We’ll get more details after the Nickelodeon folks meet with their advertisers next month during the kids upfront, the story notes.

No word on pricing yet, but, as a comparison, “Sesame Street Go” offers games and library video product online for $3.99 a month or $29.99 a year (which brings the price down to about $2.50 per month).

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman had this to say about Nickelodeon’s upcoming over-the-top service, according to Reuters:

“We believe this innovative service, which will have a distinct brand and will target the fast-growing mobile market, will be very attractive for parents and children.”

The announcement follows similar moves into over-the-top streaming last fall by CBS and Time Warner-owned HBO.

“These offerings underscore a shifting landscape in the television ecosystem as more people ditch pricey cable subscriptions in favor of video streaming products offered by Netflix, Amazon and Hulu,” Reuters notes.

The announcement was made during Viacom’s quarterly earnings call, in which Viacom reported lower-than-expected revenues.

Citing soft U.S. ad spending and ratings drops for MTV and VH1, the company said ad revenue dipped 6% in the quarter.

 

TVBIZWIRE
Jan 30, 2015
7:50 am
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Update: Rap Mogul Suge Knight Arrested on Suspicion of Murder (LA Times)

“Notorious former rap music mogul Marion ‘Suge’ Knight has been arrested on suspicion or murder after he allegedly ran over two men in his truck following an argument on a film set in Compton,” the Los Angeles Times reported this morning, citing a source close to the investigation.

One of the men who was run over died.

As we reported previously, Knight, the founder of Death Row Records, was believed to be involved in the incident Thursday afternoon in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant.

“Knight, 49, arrived at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department West Hollywood station with his attorney around 12:30 a.m. to be interviewed by homicide detectives as a person of interest, according to authorities and his lawyer,” The Times reports. “The interview concluded around 3:30 a.m., Knight’s attorney, James E. Blatt, told The Times.”

The truck incident reportedly followed an argument on the set of “Straight Outta Compton,” a biopic about the rap group N.W.A.

“About 20 minutes after the alleged argument, the victims were at Tam’s Burgers near Central and East Rosecrans avenues, authorities said. Knight is believed to have followed the men in his truck and run them over in the parking lot,” The Times reports, citing Capt. John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department detectives unit.

 

 

TVBIZWIRE
Jan 30, 2015
7:46 am
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Roseanne Barr Talks About the Allegations Against Bill Cosby and How He Should Respond (Access Hollywood)

The following is from our good friends at “Access Hollywood.” Here’s part of an interview they did with Roseanne Barr about Bill Cosby that aired yesterday, Jan. 29, 2015. To read more of the interview at the Access Hollywood website, please click here.

Roseanne was asked if the allegations surprised her.

Roseanne: “No, because like everybody else — now I’m really [going to get] in trouble – but, you know, like every woman in Hollywood — there’s hardly any hairdressers or waitresses or working women who don’t know somebody. We’ve all heard it for a long time, and it surprises nobody.”

Asked why the allegations against Cosby are finally gaining traction now, Roseanne said it was because a man—comic Hannibal Buress—finally called out Cosby on them.

Saying that Cosby has “a billion bucks” she said, “I have hopes that he would just make it clean, and make it, you know, make it right, and I do think he could do that.”

Asked if Cosby’s legacy has been damaged by the allegations, Roseanne said, “”I think it’s damaged, but, I mean, there’s none of us alive who can’t go, ‘I made a mistake. I had a really bad problem and I’m fessing up to it. And here’s a scholarship.’ … You know, there’s a million ways around it to go. But there’s nothing more powerful than, ‘I am sorry.’”

TVBIZWIRE
Jan 30, 2015
7:45 am
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How Do You Follow Being Sheldon? By Playing God on Broadway, Of Course (People)

The star of one of the most popular comedy series of recent years is headed to Broadway to play God. “The Big Bang Theory’s” Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper) will star in the comedy production “An Act of God,” with previews set to begin May 5 and the show’s official opening May 28, People magazine reports.

“Parsons, 41, will play God in the play written by @TheTweetOfGod curator David Javerbaum, who is also an Emmy-winning head writer and executive producer on ‘The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,’” the article reports.

A press release on the show promises it will “reveal the mysteries of the Bible and answer some of the greatest existential questions that plague mankind.”

The report notes: “Director Joe Mantello previously starred with Parsons in the award-winning 2011 production of ‘The Normal Heart.’ Both men also appeared in Ryan Murphy’s Golden Globe-nominated HBO adaptation.”

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