Feb 21, 2017
4:57 pm

‘Twin Peaks’ Actor Dies (Newsday, TVWeek, YouTube)

An actor who was a part of the original ABC series “Twin Peaks” that aired in 1990-1991 has died. Newsday reports that Warren Frost died Friday at his home in Middlebury, Vt., after a lengthy illness. He was 91.

Frost played Dr. Will Hayward on “Twin Peaks,” and reprised the role for the upcoming Showtime sequel. He had a number of TV and film roles going back to the ’50s, including playing Henry Ross, the father of George Costanza’s fiancee Susan Ross, on “Seinfeld” in the ’90s.

His many TV guest appearances included “Goodyear Playhouse,” “Death Valley Days,” “Perry Mason,” “Quantum Leap,” “L.A. Law” and “The Larry Sanders Show.”

Here’s a “Seinfeld” clip featuring Frost as Mr. Ross …

Feb 21, 2017
4:47 pm

Historian Examines Prospects for Trump’s Impeachment (AP)

“A college professor who has successfully predicted every presidential election since 1984, including Donald Trump’s upset victory last year, is working on a book based on a possible future plot twist: Trump’s removal from office,” the AP reports.

“Dey Street Books told The Associated Press on Tuesday that it had acquired Allan J. Lichtman’s ‘The Case for Impeachment’ and planned to release it April 18,” the story reports. “Lichtman teaches history at American University and has used a system of 13 ‘keys,’ from the economy to a candidate’s ‘charisma,’ to pick presidential winners.”

The report adds: “Soon after the 2106 election, Lichtman speculated that Trump could be impeached because he plays ‘fast and loose with the law,’ he told CNBC. He acknowledged that he was basing his prediction on ‘gut’ feeling, and not a scientific system.”

Feb 21, 2017
4:19 pm

Netflix Pulls Ads for Comedy Series After Receiving Complaints (Variety, Netflix)

The Netflix streaming service pulled the plug on a graphic ad campaign for its original comedy series “Santa Clarita Diet” that was running in Germany, after receiving complaints about the ads, Variety reports.

“The German marketing materials for the show feature a sliced-up finger coated in blood-colored ketchup and sprinkled with curry powder, an image evocative of the popular German sausage dish currywurst,” Variety reports. “A giant billboard of the dismembered digit was hung in Potsdamer Platz, where the Berlin Film Festival was recently held.”

The report notes that Netflix had food trucks in place around the plaza serving up currywurst.

The comedy stars Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant.

Feb 21, 2017
3:27 pm

Vandal Who Bashed Trump’s Hollywood Star Gets Light Sentence (Deadline)

A vandal who took a sledgehammer to Donald Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame avoided jail time when he was sentenced today, Deadline.com reports.

Jamie Otis, 53, faced the possibility of three years in jail and $10,000 in fines for the incident about four months ago. But after pleading no contest to a felony count of vandalism, the self-described activist received a sentence of three years of formal probation and 20 days of community work, along with payments of $3,700 to the Hollywood Historic Trust and $700 to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for the damage to the star.

Feb 21, 2017
2:31 pm

Right-Wing Firebrand Apologizes for Remarks, Quits as Editor of Breitbart (AP)

“Polarizing right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos resigned as an editor at Breitbart News on Tuesday and apologized for comments he had made about sexual relationships between boys and men,” the AP reports.

“Yiannopoulos, speaking to reporters, said that two men, including a priest, had touched him inappropriately when he was between the ages of 13 and 16,” the report notes.

Said Yiannopoulos: “My experiences as a victim led me to believe I could say anything I wanted to on this subject, no matter how outrageous. But I understand that my usual blend of British sarcasm, provocation and gallows humor might have come across as flippancy, a lack of care for other victims or, worse, advocacy. I am horrified by that impression.”

The AP notes that Yiannopoulos’ apology “followed days of criticism from fellow conservatives after the release of video clips in which Yiannopoulos appeared to defend sexual relationships between men and boys as young as 13.”

Yiannopoulos, who is gay, reportedly says in one of the clips that relationships between boys and men could “help those young boys discover who they are and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable sort of rock, where they can’t speak to their parents.”

Among the fallout from the incident, Yiannopoulos was “disinvited from the Conservative Political Action Conference,” the AP reports, and publisher Simon & Schuster announced it is canceling the publication of his upcoming book, “Dangerous.”

Feb 21, 2017
2:17 pm

Writers Guild Awards: Oscar Favorites Emerge; FX Dominates Television Awards (TVWeek)

Two Academy Awards favorites emerged at Sunday night’s Writer’s Guild Awards, while FX celebrated a big night in the television categories.

The Writers Guild awarded the trophy for Best Original Screenplay for a film to “Moonlight,” which is nominated for eight Academy Awards. Along with being a nominee for Best Picture at the Oscars, “Moonlight,” with a screenplay by Barry Jenkins and story by Tarell Alvin McCraney, is nominated in the Adapted Screenplay category at the Oscars, where it is considered a front-runner.

Another eight-time Oscar nominee, “Arrival,” with a screenplay written by Eric Heisserer, was honored with the WGA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. “Arrival” and “Moonlight” will go head to head at the Oscars in the Adapted Screenplay category, not to mention Best Picture and other categories.

On the TV side, the Writers Guild honored FX with many of the most important prizes, including Drama Series (“The Americans”), Comedy Series (“Atlanta”), New Series (“Atlanta”) and Adapted Long Form (“The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”). HBO won the award for Original Long Form for “Confirmation.”

We have the complete list of winners, along with a full report on the ceremony by TVWeek Open Mic writer Hillary Atkin — click here to get the full story.

Feb 21, 2017
2:01 pm

Fox News Anchor Dead at 55 (TVWeek, Fox News)

An anchor who has been hosting a program on the Fox News Channel died Monday after a battle with cancer. Brenda Buttner, a senior business correspondent and the host of the FNC morning show “Bulls & Bears,” was 55.

Buttner was a frequent contributor to “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” where Cavuto became choked up Monday as he paid tribute to Buttner on the show. You can watch his tribute below.

Buttner was a 1983 Harvard graduate and a Rhodes Scholar. She began her television career at NBC affiliate KCRL-TV in Reno, Nev., later moving on to CNBC, where she hosted “The Money Club” and worked as Washington correspondent and general correspondent.

She won a number of industry awards, including a Cable Ace Award in 1996 for “The Money Club.”

Here’s Neil Cavuto’s tribute to Buttner, posted by Fox News …

Feb 21, 2017
1:09 pm

‘Partridge Family’ Star Battling Dementia (People, TVWeek, YouTube)

One of the stars of the popular 1970s ABC musical comedy series “The Partridge Family” revealed that he’s battling dementia. Actor and musician David Cassidy, who starred as Keith Partridge on the show and became one of the major pop idols of the seventies, made the revelation Monday, announcing that he will retire from performing this year.

Cassidy, 66, said in an interview with People that he has come to terms with the disease.

“Cassidy, who watched his grandfather battle the disease and witnessed his mother ‘disappear’ into dementia until she died at age 89, tells People of his diagnosis: ‘I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming,’” the publication reports.

Recalling his mother’s struggle with the condition, Cassidy told the magazine: “In the end, the only way I knew she recognized me is with one single tear that would drop from her eye every time I walked into the room. … I feared I would end up that way.”

He commented on his decision to end his touring career, saying: “I want to focus on what I am, who I am and how I’ve been without any distractions. I want to love. I want to enjoy life.”

The report notes that Cassidy performed over the weekend in Agoura Hills, Calif., and “repeatedly struggled to remember lyrics to songs he had been singing for nearly 50 years.”

Cassidy had a number of solo hits in the ’70s, including “Cherish,” “How Can I Be Sure” and “Rock Me Baby,” along with his hits with the Partridge Family, notably “I Think I Love You,” a No. 1 hit on the U.S. singles charts in 1970.

Here’s a clip from “The Partridge Family” …

Feb 21, 2017
1:01 pm

Greta Van Susteren Tells Trump to ‘Back Off’ (Deadline, TVWeek, Twitter)

Greta Van Susteren issued a strong rebuke to Donald Trump on her MSNBC show after Trump sent out a tweet Friday calling a number of major news outlets “the enemy of the American People.”

Trump aimed his remark at what he called “the fake news media,” identifying The New York Times, NBC News, ABC, CBS and CNN. You can see his tweet below.

Van Susteren said, “Mr. President, back off,” while she was wrapping her program, Deadline.com reports.

“Meanwhile, over at her former network, Fox News Channel, Trump was applauded and defended for the remark by Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly,” Deadline notes. “O’Reilly went with the argument the press is aligned ‘with a political movement’ and therefore is no longer objective or free. Hannity chose an even more incendiary argument, announcing the press has ‘declared war’ on Trump, while, via graphic, he took it further, proclaiming the ‘Propaganda Media’ had declared war on ‘America.’”

The report notes that Van Susteren suggested journalists must undertake “a vigorous self-examination of how we do our jobs, because getting it wrong or exaggerating just is not an option.”

Addressing Trump, Van Susteren reportedly said: “You have a powerful platform, but it is dead wrong to rev up your loyal base with incorrect, generalized and wide-sweeping inflammatory statements about the entire media.”

Feb 21, 2017
12:44 pm

Late-Night Host Considering Retirement (Variety)

A TV host who has been a fixture of the late-night broadcast landscape is thinking about retiring when his current contract runs out. Variety reports that Jimmy Kimmel may call it a night when his deal expires in fall 2019.

Kimmel has been hosting his ABC late-night show for 14 years, the report notes — and working 70-hour weeks in the process.

Variety, which is running a cover story on Kimmel, quotes him saying: “I know I will do the show for another three years. It’s possible that will be it. My wife’s pregnant. At a certain point, I’d like to have a little more free time. I have very little free time as it is.”

Variety adds: “As the executive producer — and ‘control freak’ — of ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!,’ Kimmel arrives in his Hollywood studios at 9 a.m., shoots at around 5 p.m., and returns to his computer after dinner.”

Says Kimmel: “I think this job is a grind, and best-case scenario, a marathon. I want to go out on my own terms. If I ever feel like we’re repeating ourselves, I think it’s a good indication that it’s time.”

Kimmel, 49, has also been tapped to host this Sunday’s Oscars ceremony.

We encourage readers to click here to read Variety’s in-depth feature on Kimmel.


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