Oct 21, 2014
10:48 pm

‘The most charismatic and consequential newspaper editor of postwar America’ Dies at 93 (New Yorker, NY Times, Washington Post, Vanity Fair)

Our headline was taken from a line written by David Remnick, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and the editor of the New Yorker. Remnick, in a remembrance posted on the website of the New Yorker, is referring to the death of Ben Bradlee, who was the former executive editor of the Washington Post for more than two decades, ending in 1991. Bradlee died at his home of natural causes on Tuesday, Oct. 2014 , the Post reported.

The obituary in Post rival The New York Times says, “With full backing from his publisher, Katharine Graham, Mr. Bradlee led The Post into the first rank of American newspapers, courting controversy and giving it standing as a thorn in the side of Washington officials.

“When government officials called to complain, Mr. Bradlee acted as a buffer between them and his staff. ‘Just get it right,’ he would tell his reporters.…Mr. Bradlee — ‘this last of the lion-king newspaper editors,’ as Phil Bronstein, a former editor of The San Francisco Chronicle, described him — could be classy or profane, an energetic figure with a boxer’s nose who almost invariably dressed in a white-collared, bold-striped Turnbull & Asser shirt, the sleeves rolled up.”

The Washington Post’s obituary of its former executive editor says, “From the moment he took over The Post newsroom in 1965, Mr. Bradlee sought to create an important newspaper that would go far beyond the traditional model of a metropolitan daily. He achieved that goal by combining compelling news stories based on aggressive reporting with engaging feature pieces of a kind previously associated with the best magazines. His charm and gift for leadership helped him hire and inspire a talented staff and eventually made him the most celebrated newspaper editor of his era.

“The most compelling story of Mr. Bradlee’s tenure, almost certainly the one of greatest consequence, was Watergate, a political scandal touched off by The Post’s reporting that ended in the only resignation of a president in U.S. history.”

That president was Richard Nixon. In the movie “All the President’s Men,” which was about the scandal, Jason Robards, Jr. famously portrayed Bradlee, and Robards won an Oscar for the role.

The Bradlee obituary on the website of Vanity Fair, by Todd S. Purdum, says, “Bradlee’s self-confidence was the stuff of legend, and, as the saying goes, when the legend becomes fact, print the legend. When he walked through the newsroom of the Post that he single-handedly had made (in Post editor Meg Greenfield’s words) ‘dangerous to people in government,’ he clanked between the waist and knees (as he would have himself confessed). Lesser men, and lesser journalists, would have given their ‘left one’ (as he also would have put it), to have a tenth of his talent, fame, or wealth.

“His pedigree was Brahmin and his blood was blue. His maternal great-uncle, Frank Crowninshield, was the founding editor of Vanity Fair. He spoke grammatically perfect French with an unyielding Boston accent. He survived four years of naval service on destroyers in the Pacific during World War II and made a splash as Newsweek’s man in Paris in the golden days of the postwar 1950s. But his greatest break came through a willful bit of luck, when he found himself the Georgetown neighbor of his fellow Harvard graduate, Senator John F. Kennedy, when they and the world were both still young. They shared parties and children and drinks and danger.”

We urge you to click on any of the links in this story to read more about legendary editor Bradlee.

Ben Bradlee on CNN

  Ben Bradlee on CNN in 2006




Oct 21, 2014
1:28 pm

Two New Broadcast Series Get Full-Season Orders — One for Pumping Up the Network’s Numbers, the Other for Charming Critics (Variety)

Two of the new fall shows have made enough of an impact at their broadcast network to receive full-season orders. Variety reports that the CW upped its orders for both “The Flash” and “Jane the Virgin.”

The move takes “The Flash’s” season order to 23 episodes, with “Jane” expanding to 22 episodes.

“’The Flash,’ which is a spinoff of the network’s well-received ‘Arrow,’ opened with one of the biggest audiences for a CW show in Live+3 (6.2 million), beating ABC and Fox shows in the time period — which is unusual for the network,” Variety reports. “While ‘Jane’ had more modest numbers, the show’s ratings are an improvement over CW shows in last year’s time slot (‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘The Tomorrow People’). It is also a critical darling, with Variety TV critic Brian Lowry praising the show’s charm and star Gina Rodriguez.”

The CW President Mark Pedowitz said: “We have had a fantastic start to our season this year, with ‘The Flash’ launching as our most-watched series premiere ever, and ‘Jane the Virgin’ recognized as the best new show this season by critics across the country.”

Pedowitz added: “Over the past three seasons, we have made it our mission to grow and to broaden out our audience, and to keep raising the bar with the quality and impact of our new shows, and ‘The Flash’ and ‘Jane’ have both exceeded our expectations on all counts.”

jane the virgin-title

Oct 21, 2014
1:17 pm

Star of ‘The Office’ Developing TV Project Focusing on Vine Favorites (Deadline)

A new comedy project from one of the stars of NBC’s “The Office” focuses on five social media personalities who have become celebrities through Vine. reports that the TV project from Rainn Wilson features popular Vine personalities including Curtis Lepore and Jerry Purpdrank.

Vine, a short-form video platform, has created some social media celebrities through its looped six-second clips. The project, which is produced by Wilson, will be a scripted show called “Hollywood and Vine,” tracking five social media stars who are trying to break into traditional Hollywood, the story reports.

“We believe this show is going to be the first to celebrate these amazing, talented Viners in an authentic way and bring their style of humor to a broader audience,” Wilson said. “Plus, who doesn’t love a six-second twerk?”

Vine, which debuted in 2012, is owned by Twitter. Along with Lepore and Purpdrank, the cast includes Lele Pons, Simone Shepherd and Christian DelGrosso. The five Vine stars collectively have more than 30 million followers.


Oct 21, 2014
1:01 pm

Cable Drama Series Canceled (USA Today)

A drama series that has been airing on cable has been canceled. USA Today reports that FX has opted not to order a third season of “The Bridge.”

The gritty drama series, set on the border of El Paso and Juarez, averaged a little better than 1 million viewers for its second-season finale, which aired earlier this month, the report notes.

“The series, based on a Scandinavian drama, followed the earlier program’s serial-killer template in the first season, before moving in its own direction in Season 2 as it examined drug cartels, immigration and poverty along the Texas border with Mexico,” USA Today reports.

The show starred Diane Kruger and Demian Bichir.

The Bridge-FX

“The Bridge”

Oct 21, 2014
12:47 pm

USA Network Series Is Renewed (TheWrap)

USA Network has made the decision to renew a series. reports that the cable channel will bring back the reality show “Chrisley Knows Best” for season three.

The renewal for the show about Todd Chrisley and his family came soon after the second season debuted. The season premiere drew a ratings record for the series of 7 million total viewers and 1.3 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic.

USA ordred a 12-episode third season, as well as a half-hour holiday special that will air in December.

“Viewers have embraced the Chrisleys for their witty one-liners, laugh-out-loud moments and heartfelt everyday situations,” said Chris McCumber, president of USA Network. “This family has made an indelible imprint on pop culture, and we’re excited to continue the entertaining journey with them in season three.”


Oct 21, 2014
11:17 am

Fox Greenlights Comedy-Horror Anthology Series From ‘Glee’ Creators (THR)

Fox has placed a straight-to-series order for a comedy-horror anthology from the creators of the network’s musical series “Glee.” The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that the network ordered “Scream Queens” from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk.

The series will debut in the fall of 2015. The show’s first season will focus on a college campus hit by a string of murders. New settings and plots will be introduced in later seasons, the story adds.

“We hope to create a whole new genre — comedy-horror — and the idea is for every season to revolve around two female leads,” Murphy said. “We’ve already begun a nationwide search for those women, as well as 10 other supporting roles, and we’re very grateful to [Fox TV Group chairmen and CEOs] Dana [Walden] and Gary [Newman] for their enthusiastic support.”

Oct 21, 2014
9:47 am

Star of 1980s Children’s Show Dies (THR)

An actor who starred in a beloved 1980s children’s show has died. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gerard Parkes, who was a star of “Fraggle Rock,” died Sunday at age 90.

Parkes died in Toronto from natural causes, the story reports. On “Fraggle Rock,” he played the eccentric inventor Doc, and was the only regular human character in the live-action puppet show that aired on HBO and on the CBC in Canada.

His other credits include ABC’s “A Muppet Family Christmas” in 1987 and playing Dr. Cobourne on “The Littlest Hobo.” Parkes was born in Dublin and moved to Canada after World War II.

gerard parkes-fraggle rock

Gerard Parkes

Oct 21, 2014
9:31 am

‘Saturday Night Live’ Names New Cast Member (Deadline)

“Saturday Night Live” has added a new cast member, and as the NBC late-night sketch comedy staple likes to do, it promoted from within. reports that the show elevated actress and comedian Leslie Jones from her position as a writer on the show to a role as a featured player.

Jones, who has been a writer on “SNL” since early 2014, was one of 12 finalists who auditioned to join as a cast member back in fall 2013. That role went to Sasheer Zamata, but Jones was hired as a writer. She ended up making some on-screen appearances, with Deadline noting, “Her bit on slavery in May made a lot of noise, and she also was featured in the ‘SNL’ season premiere last month.

leslie jones on snl

Leslie Jones on “SNL”

Oct 21, 2014
9:07 am

Dish Dumps CNN, Other Turner Networks (THR, Deadline)

Dish has dropped CNN and other Turner networks from its lineup after the two companies failed to come to terms on a new deal, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Despite our best efforts, we were unable to reach an agreement with Dish Network, and they have unilaterally decided to pull CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, truTV, TCM, HLN, CNN en Espanol and Boomerang off the air upon the expiration of our current deal,” Turner said in a statement.

The networks were dropped as of 2 a.m. ET today, Oct. 21, reports

Deadline notes, “As is always the case in carriage disputes, each side blames the other. In Dish’s statement on the blackout, the satcaster said that ‘Turner Networks removed’ the seven networks ‘from the Dish programming lineup,’ stressing that ‘Turner refused to extend the overall agreement.’”

Dish has been involved in other notable carriage disputes in the past few years, including its 2012 fight with AMC Networks, which led to AMC and its sibling channels remaining unavailable to Dish customers for months.

turner networks-dish-logos

Oct 21, 2014
8:47 am

CBS TV Stations and Weigel Broadcasting to Launch the ‘Ultimate TV Time Capsule’ (B&C)

The CBS-owned television stations and Weigel Broadcasting announced a new initiative that will see the launch of a channel CBS is calling “the ultimate TV time capsule,” B&C reports. The project is Decades, which is set to roll out on the digital channels of the 16 CBS O&O’s in the second quarter of next year.

Weigel will be seeking affiliation agreements with additional stations nationwide, the piece notes.

“Decades will draw from over 100 classic series, including ‘I Love Lucy,’ ‘Star Trek,’ ‘Happy Days’ and ‘Cheers,’ as well as movies and footage of historical news events from CBS News and ‘Entertainment Tonight,’” the story reports.

Said Peter Dunn, president, CBS Television Stations: “Decades is the most ambitious and creative subchannel programming service that has ever been created. We are thrilled to partner with Weigel Broadcasting, the leaders in this space, to make smart use of our stations’ spectrums and our companies’ considerable programming assets. This service will be a tremendous new business for CBS and all of the other stations across the country that participate, regardless of their primary network affiliation.”

Weigel has been active in the subchannel space with digi-nets including Me-TV and This TV, the report notes.

“The channel will feature the daily one-hour Decades Retrospectical, which will be produced around the news events and cultural touchstones of a specific day, week or other time frame or theme,” the report adds. “The series and movies airing each day will reflect that day’s theme or event.”

weigel broadcasting-logo

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