Aug 29, 2016
1:13 pm

Gene Wilder, Star of ‘Blazing Saddles,’ ‘Willy Wonka,’ Dead at 83 (AP, TVWeek, YouTube)

Gene Wilder, the beloved actor who starred in a string of classic comedy films such as “Young Frankenstein” and “Blazing Saddles,” has died. The AP reports that Wilder died late Sunday in Stamford, Conn., of complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

“The frizzy-haired actor was a master at playing panicked characters caught up in schemes that only a madman such as Mel Brooks could devise, whether reviving a monster in ‘Young Frankenstein’ or bilking Broadway in ‘The Producers,'” the AP reports. “But he also knew how to keep it cool as the boozy sheriff in ‘Blazing Saddles’ and as the charming candy man in the children’s favorite ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.'”

Wilder was a two-time Oscar nominee, sharing a writing nomination with Brooks for “Young Frankenstein” in 1975 and receiving a supporting actor nod in 1969 for “The Producers.” He won a Primetime Emmy in 2003 for his guest performance on NBC’s “Will & Grace.”

He also received Golden Globe nominations for “Willy Wonka” in 1972 and “Silver Streak” in 1977.

Born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee in 1933, Wilder began his career on the stage. He moved into TV in the early 1960s with appearances on drama anthologies such as “Armstrong Circle Theatre” and “The Dupont Show of the Week.”

His first film role came in 1967 when he played Eugene Grizzard in “Bonnie and Clyde.” He later starred in four movies with Richard Pryor: “Silver Streak” (1976), “Stir Crazy” (1980), “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” (1989), and “Another You” (1991).

Here’s a memorable clip of Pryor and Wilder in “Stir Crazy” …

Here’s a brief clip of Wilder in his first film role, in “Bonnie and Clyde” …

Aug 29, 2016
12:59 pm

Prospects Just Got Better That Viacom and CBS Will Be Recombined (Bloomberg)

Viacom and CBS, which split into separate companies in 2006, could be getting back together again. Bloomberg reports that with Shari Redstone now in control at Viacom Inc., the chances of a reunion for the companies just got better.

“The daughter of 93-year-old billionaire Sumner Redstone, whose frail health ignited the power struggle in which she triumphed, is considering recombining Viacom with CBS Corp., according to people familiar with the matter.,” Bloomberg reports. “Such a move would reunite the two pillars of the Redstone family’s media empire, though CBS shareholders may blanch at the idea of taking on Viacom’s struggling cable networks and movie studio.”

The report adds: “CBS, whose Chief Executive Officer Leslie Moonves has been on good terms with the Redstones, hasn’t received any indication that a deal is imminent, according to a person familiar with the matter; its board would need to support any transaction. CBS declined to comment and Shari, who serves as vice chair of both companies, didn’t respond to a request for comment. A CBS merger is just one of many decisions the Redstones will consider, including how to boost the ratings of Viacom networks and whether its creative leaders are the right ones.”

The companies’ split in 2006 “was supposed to let the high-flying cable networks operate unencumbered by the slow, steady broadcast business,” the report notes.


Aug 29, 2016
12:47 pm

The Oakland Raiders, Spurned in Attempt to Move to L.A., Now Have Another City in Their Sights (LA Curbed)

The Oakland Raiders want out of Oakland, and with their move to L.A. dead, they now have their eye on Las Vegas. LA Curbed reports that the team has unveiled plans for “a flashy new stadium” in Vegas.

The move comes after the NFL owners cleared the way for the Rams’ return to Los Angeles, driving a nail into the coffin of a plan that would have had both the San Diego Chargers and the Raiders relocating to a new stadium in the Carson section of the L.A. metro area.

The city of Carson is now looking into building a shopping mall on the site of the planned stadium, LA Curbed reports. The Raiders, meanwhile, have proposed building a Las Vegas stadium along the lines of what had been planned for Carson.

“The stadium’s construction, of course, is far from a done deal,” the report notes. “The Raiders, who are teaming up with Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Majestic Realty to build the stadium, are still finalizing the sale of a proposed stadium site just west of the Mandalay Bay resort and casino. The team will also have to convince all 32 NFL owners to approve the move — no easy task, if the vote that sent the Rams back to LA is any indication.”


Aug 29, 2016
12:01 pm

Mexican Music Giant Dead at 66 (Rolling Stone, TVWeek, Vevo)

A singer who was Mexico’s best-selling artist of all time and one of the icons of Latin American music has died. Rolling Stone reports that Juan Gabriel died Sunday at his home in Santa Monica, Calif.

Gabriel, 66, reportedly suffered a fatal heart attack following a performance at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif.

Gabriel’s family released a statement Sunday saying: “Alberto Aguilera Valadez ‘Juan Gabriel’ passed away suddenly earlier today as has been widely reported. Juan Gabriel was a giant in the music industry and is as popular now as ever. As importantly, Juan Gabriel was a beloved father and grandfather. He is survived by his sons and grandchildren.”

Gabriel, who was on a fall U.S. tour, had been scheduled to perform in El Paso Sunday night, but that concert was canceled even before news of his death.

Gabriel had been dealing with health issues for a few years.

“Born Alberto Aguilera Valdez in Parácuaro, Michoacán in 1950, Gabriel embodied the ‘rags to riches’ story; as the youngest of 10 children, his mother left him at an orphanage at the age of four, an event Gabriel stated was his earliest memory. In his youth, Gabriel sang music he concocted in his head while selling tortillas on the street,” Rolling Stone reports.

Gabriel notched his first hit record, “No Tengo Dinero,” at age 21. His 1984 album “Recuerdos, Vol. II” has sold 8 million copies to rank as Mexico’s best-selling album of all time. The album included his huge hit “Querida,” which reportedly remained at the top of the Mexican song charts for a year.

Here’s a version of “Querida” in which Gabriel duets with Juanes …

Aug 29, 2016
11:44 am

After 45 Years at CBS – The Last 22 as Host of ‘CBS Sunday Morning’ – Charles Osgood Is Retiring (TVWeek, Variety)

“Charles Osgood today announced his retirement as anchor of ‘CBS Sunday Morning,’ ending a 22-year run at the broadcast,” CBS said Sunday.

The announcement adds: “Osgood’s award-winning 45-year career at CBS News will be celebrated during his final broadcast as anchor on Sept. 25, on the CBS Television Network.

“Osgood will continue as the anchor of ‘The Osgood File,’ his daily news commentaries broadcast on the CBS Radio Network and stations around the country. He will also make occasional appearances on ‘CBS Sunday Morning.’”

CharlesOsgoodCharles Osgood

“Osgood said this on today’s broadcast: ‘Some of you may have heard rumors lately that I won’t be hosting these “Sunday Morning” broadcasts very much longer. Well, I’m here to tell you that the rumors are true. For years now people — even friends and family — have been asking me why I keep doing this considering my age. I am pushing 84. It’s just that it’s been such a joy doing it! Who wouldn’t want to be the one who gets to introduce these terrific storytellers and the producers and writers and others who put this wonderful show together. I want to thank all of them and all of you in our still-growing audience for your support and encouragement. It’s been a great run, but after nearly 50 years at CBS, including the last 22 years here on “Sunday Morning,” the time has come. The date is set for me to do my farewell “Sunday Morning.” It’s September the 25th, after which you can still see me on the radio. “The Osgood File” continues.’”

Notes Brian Steinberg in Variety, “Jane Pauley, who joined ‘CBS Sunday Morning’ as a contributor in 2014, has been viewed for months as a leading candidate to take over hosting duties for the show.

“CBS has reason to consider any transition carefully. ‘CBS This Morning’ provides a lead-in to ‘Face The Nation,’ the Sunday-morning public-affairs program that is the network news unit’s entry in the ongoing TV-news battle to win the attention of senior government officials and influencers.”

To read the entire CBS announcement about Osgood, please click here.





Aug 29, 2016
10:47 am

Whoa! Report Says Fox News Kept a 400-Page File on Journalist Gabriel Sherman, Who Was Working on a Book About Roger Ailes (CNN)

Former Fox News boss Roger Ailes, who viewed journalist Gabriel Sherman as a “political enemy,” according to a CNN report, apparently went out of his way to keep tabs on Sherman.

The report references a lengthy memo dated Jan. 5, 2012, and headed “To: Interested Parties.” “Re: Gabriel Sherman.”

“Two full years before Sherman published a book about Roger Ailes, this book-length memo made the rounds inside Fox News,” CNN reports. “It has all the markings of ‘opposition research’ about a political enemy — which is precisely how Ailes viewed Sherman.”

The report adds: “The memo, obtained by CNNMoney from two anonymous sources, is a stunning display of Ailes’ campaign-like strategies. It includes, among other things, property records, voter registration information, and a note that the researchers could find no criminal record for Sherman.”

Sherman’s book on Ailes, “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” was published in 2014. CNN notes that the book “included on-the-record accounts of Ailes in the early 1980s telling a prospective employee, ‘If you agree to have sex with me whenever I want, I will add an extra hundred dollars a week,’ and making flirtatious and suggestive comments to another woman.”

CNN adds that the Sherman research that circulated at Fox News “totals 400 pages. Most of it is run of the mill: print-outs of Sherman’s old articles and tweets. All of it appears to be public information, though some of it would be difficult or time-consuming for the average person to find.

“The mere existence of the memo shows how Ailes’ allies went to extreme lengths to investigate the reporter.”

fox news channel-logo

Aug 29, 2016
10:17 am

Big Night at MTV’s Video Music Awards Puts One Artist Over the Top — She Now Holds the Record for the Most VMAs (Billboard)

The Queen of Pop is dead — long live the Queen. A changing of the guard took place at Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards, where Beyonce became the most decorated artist in the awards’ history.

Billboard reports that Beyonce’s six Moonman awards last night put her ahead of Madonna. Before last night’s ceremony, Madonna was No. 1 with 20 VMA to 16 for Beyonce.

Beyonce’s honors Sunday included video of the year for “Formation” and best female video for “Hold Up.”

mtv VMAs Video Music Awards

Aug 29, 2016
9:07 am

One Reviewer Cautions: ‘Beyonce Aside, a Disastrous VMAs Reveals an MTV in Crisis’ (Time)

After an MTV Video Music Awards ceremony Sunday that “felt thin, even by VMA standards,” reviewer Daniel D’Addario writes in Time magazine that it took an “electric performance” by Beyonce to eventually salvage a lackluster event.

“Prior to Beyonce’s appearance, deep into the broadcast, the show had been uncharacteristically muddled,” D’Addario writes. “Sure, the VMAs, MTV’s sassy answer to the Grammys, have long forged iconography out of an absolute refusal to set limits; that’s how we ended up with moments from Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ to Lady Gaga’s meat dress. But this year’s broadcast’s particular messiness seemed less like the raw material for potential greatness and more like a show put on by a network that has lost its touch both for spectacle and for simple appeal.”

D’Addario adds: “Just about every producing decision in the show seemed, simply, wrong.” The show, he says, suffered in particular from a shortage of star power.

“Nominees for the top award included Justin Bieber and Adele, both absent.,” D’Addario writes. “Their fellow nominee, Kanye West, had been given four minutes of airtime to do whatever he wanted — he spoke at some length along similar lines to last year’s speech, then premiered a new video in which he did not appear, one that ended with its lead female seemingly transforming into a big cat.”

D’Addario goes on to discuss the difficulty in attracting top talent in the age of social media. Please click on the link to Time near the top of this story to read his full analysis.


Aug 29, 2016
8:47 am

Anthony Weiner’s Wife Has Apparently Had Enough This Time After the Politician Gets Into Another Scandal (NY Times)

“Huma Abedin, the wife of the former Representative Anthony D. Weiner, announced on Monday that the couple were separating in the wake of a report that Mr. Weiner had been involved in another sexting scandal,” The New York Times reports.

“Mr. Weiner, who resigned in 2011 after it was revealed he had been sending lewd messages and photos to random women online, apparently deleted his Twitter account on Monday after The New York Post reported that he had exchanged sexual messages with an unidentified woman last year.”

The earlier scandal effectively ended Weiner’s political career, not to mention putting a strain on his marriage. But Abedin stuck with him at the time.

“On Monday, Ms. Abedin said in a statement: “After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband. Anthony and I remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life. During this difficult time, I ask for respect for our privacy.”

Aug 29, 2016
8:11 am

Trump Campaign Makes Biggest Ad Buy Yet (NY Post)

The presidential campaign of GOP nominee Donald Trump is making its largest ad buy of the election, with The New York Post reporting that the campaign will spend more than $10 million on television ads in the next week or so.

“The TV spots will begin airing [today] and will be viewed in nine swing states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia,” the report notes.

Trump has some catching up to do to reach the level of spending of his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

“Since clinching her party’s nomination in early June, Clinton has spent more than $77 million on television and radio advertising, largely targeting voters in battleground states, according to Kantar Media’s political ad tracker,” The Post reports. “Trump has spent only about $5 million on TV ads, which began airing only this month.”

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