Aug 31, 2016
11:47 am

Wow: The Oscars Won’t Be Going Anywhere for a Long Time (TVWeek)

The Academy Awards have locked in their television home with an expansive deal that extends through 2028. ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that they’ve entered into an agreement that extends their existing deal by an additional eight years.

The agreement had been scheduled to expire in 2020.

The last year of the new contract, 2028, will mark the 100th anniversary of the Oscars.

The 89th Academy Awards are set for Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Please click here to read the full announcement.


Aug 31, 2016
11:21 am

Why Selena Gomez Has Decided to Take a Career Break (Reuters, Vevo)

Pop singer Selena Gomez, who is in the midst of a world tour, is taking some time off from her career. Reuters reports that the 24-year-old issued a statement Tuesday announcing that she will take a break to deal with panic attacks and depression.

Gomez, who’s currently on the “Revival” tour, revealed about a year ago that she has been diagnosed with lupus.

“I’ve discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges,” the former Disney Channel star said. “I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off. … I need to face this head on to ensure I am doing everything possible to be my best.”

“It was not immediately clear when she would start her break or what would happen with the rest of her tour, mostly in Europe and South America, through the end of 2016,” Reuters notes.

Aug 31, 2016
11:01 am

ABC Casts the Next ‘Bachelor,’ and It’s a Familiar Face (ABC News)

The next leading man for ABC’s dating franchise “The Bachelor” has been named, with the high-profile gig going to Nick Viall. ABC broke the news live last night on “After Paradise.”

Viall, 35, is a veteran of the network’s dating wars, finishing as the runner-up twice on “The Bachelorette.” He is currently appearing on “Bachelor in Paradise.”

Season 21 of “The Bachelor” is due to roll out on ABC in January, with Viall in the spotlight.

Here’s a clip about the network’s controversial selection of Viall, along with other showbiz news, posted by ABC News …

Aug 31, 2016
10:51 am

Sony Buying Sports Channels in India for $385 Million (Reuters)

Sony Pictures Entertainment, which is revamping its media content delivery businesses, will pay $385 million for TEN Sports, the sports broadcasting business of India’s Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., Reuters reports.

“TEN Sports holds broadcast rights to major cricket boards in South Africa, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and West Indies,” the story reports. “It also holds rights for football’s UEFA Champions League, Europa League, French League and English Football Cup among other sports.”

N.P. Singh, chief executive of Sony Pictures Networks India, said in a statement: “The acquisition of TEN Sports Network will strengthen (Sony Picture Networks’) offering for viewers of cricket, football and fight sports, complementing our existing portfolio of international and domestic sporting properties.”

Reuters adds: “Sony, which holds broadcast rights for the cash-rich Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket tournament, has also won the rights for the FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia in 2018.”

TEN Sports

Aug 31, 2016
10:29 am

Bill Nye — aka ‘the Science Guy’ — Has a New Series (AP, TVWeek)

Bill Nye, best known as the star of the educational program “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” has a new show. The AP reports that Netflix will launch a new series, “Bill Nye Saves the World.”

“Each episode will tackle a chosen topic from a scientific point of view in an effort to dispel myths and refute anti-scientific claims that may be muddling the issue,” the story reports. “Topics will include vaccinations, genetically modified foods and climate change.”

The new show will launch in the spring. In the announcement, Nye said: “We’ll do our best to enlighten and entertain our audience. And perhaps we’ll change the world a little.”

The scientist and author starred in “Bill Nye the Science Guy” for five seasons on PBS during the 1990s, with the half-hour show also syndicated to local stations.

bill nye the science guy

Aug 31, 2016
9:57 am

Standoff Ends With Chris Brown’s Arrest — R&B Singer Says He’s Being Unfairly Demonized (LA Times)

“Chris Brown and the Los Angeles Police Department spent much of Tuesday locked in a surreal standoff at the R&B performer’s Tarzana home over allegations that he threatened a woman with a gun,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “The woman said Brown pointed the gun at her and she fled in fear, then balked at signing a nondisclosure agreement before escaping from the singer’s property.”

The report adds: “For hours, LAPD officers — along with an army of reporters — stood outside the house as Brown refused to let them in. During the impasse, the 27-year-old posted a series of videos on social media in which he railed against the police and said he was being unfairly demonized.”

The Times adds: “This latest peculiar chapter in L.A.’s annals of celebrity justice ended late in the afternoon when Brown was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. He was released around 11:15 p.m. after posting $250,000 bail, according to Los Angeles County jail records.”

The standoff began around 3 a.m. Tuesday after a 911 call about a woman saying she had been threatened by Brown.

“The woman, Baylee Curran, told The Times that Brown pointed a gun at her during a violent rage before she ran outside,” the paper reports. “Curran said she and a friend went to Brown’s home with a business associate, who was invited by the musician. She wanted to talk to Brown about future projects, she said.”

A man was reportedly at the home showcasing jewelry, and the trouble began when Curran admired the jewelry.

The Times quotes Curran saying: “I don’t know if it was Chris’ friend or how he was related, but that’s when he told me to back away from the diamond necklace and started cussing me out and calling me names. That’s when Chris pulled his gun and told me to ‘Get out,’ he said. ‘I’m sick of you girls, get the … out!’”

Aug 31, 2016
9:31 am

Tribune Media Sells Landmark Tribune Tower in Chicago for Millions to L.A.-Based Firm (Chicago Tribune)

A Los Angeles-based company has agreed to buy the Tribune Tower in Chicago from Tribune Media. The Chicago Tribune reports that developer CIM Group will pay up to $240 million for the landmark building.

The sale marks “the end of media ownership for the historic North Michigan Avenue building and the beginning of a new chapter, likely as part of a mixed-use redevelopment,” the paper reports. “Chicago developer Golub & Co. partnered with CIM to buy the tower and adjacent property from Tribune Media. The deal, announced by Tribune Media Tuesday, is expected to close by the end of September, the company said.”

The neo-Gothic tower sits on 3 acres and has 737,000 square feet of space, but the property is zoned for as much as 2.4 million square feet.

The structure, built in 1925, “was designed by New York architects Raymond Hood and John Mead Howells, who won a contest held by Chicago Tribune co-publishers Robert R. McCormick and Joseph Patterson to create the newspaper’s headquarters. It was named a Chicago landmark in 1989,” the report notes.

tribune media-logo

Aug 31, 2016
8:44 am

Blues-Rock Legend’s Guitars Go Up for Auction (AP, TVWeek)

A guitar player who was once spoken of in the same breath as Jimi Hendrix will be the focus of an auction in Manhattan. The AP reports that the guitars, song notebooks and memorabilia of Johnny Winter are up for sale.

Winter died in July 2014 at age 70 near Zurich, two days after performing at the Cahors Blues Festival in France.

“Guernsey’s auction house says features of the sale, on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, include five uniquely shaped Gibson Firebirds. Winter got one of them from Muddy Waters,” the AP reports. “Another lot includes a simple ukulele. Family photos show Winter with the instrument at around age 10.”

The auction, being held for Winter’s family, will take place at the Gibson Brands New York Showroom, with Internet bidding to be offered.

“Organizers say fans can bid on jewelry, scarves and hats — ‘sweat stains and all.’ There’s even a clump of his beard,” the report adds.

Here’s a taste of Winter’s guitar playing from back in the ’70s …

Aug 31, 2016
8:19 am

The ‘X-Files’ Sitcom Is Out There — and Fox Is Developing It (TVLine)

A new comedy project in development at Fox is drawing comparisons to the network’s sci-fi franchise “The X-Files.” TVLine reports that the project, “Ghosted,” comes from “Parks and Recreation‘s” Adam Scott and “The Office‘s” Craig Robinson.

“The paranormal-themed project — which has received a pilot order — follows a skeptic (Robinson) and a true believer (Scott), who are hired by the Underground Investigative Service to look into the rampant ‘unexplained’ activity in Los Angeles — all while uncovering a larger mystery that could threaten the existence of the human race,” TVLine reports.

“Scott and Robinson, who previously worked together in ‘Hot Tub Time Machine 2,’ also serve as exec producers on the project alongside Scott’s producer-wife Naomi Scott and ‘That Awkward Moment‘s’ Tom Gormican (who will pen the script),” the report adds.

fox logo

Aug 31, 2016
7:59 am

Lawmakers, Obama Administration Take Sides in Apple’s Fight With EU (Reuters)

Battle lines are being drawn in the clash between Apple and the European Union after the European Commission ordered Ireland to collect up to $14.5 billion in taxes from Apple.

As we reported yesterday, Apple CEO Tim Cook went public with his argument against the commission’s order. You can click here to read his open letter to the Apple community in Europe.

Reuters is reporting that the Obama administration responded angrily to the EU order, while some lawmakers renewed calls for international tax reform.

“The U.S. Treasury Department, which enforces federal tax policy, warned that U.S.-EU economic relations could be affected by the stunning decision by the European Commission,” Reuters reports. “Critics in Congress denounced the move as a predatory money grab that would encroach on U.S. government jurisdiction and ultimately add to the federal deficit.”

U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, also responded angrily, saying in a statement: “The European Commission’s decision is a predatory and naked tax grab.”

“The Treasury had previously warned that making U.S. companies pay back taxes in Europe could hit the United States’ own coffers because tax payments overseas can be deducted against U.S. taxes,” Reuters notes. “But it was not clear what Washington could do to counter the regulatory order, which ruled that Apple had received illegal state aid under its tax agreement with Ireland and must pay back the taxes plus interest.”

apple logo

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