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TVBIZWIRE
Apr 24, 2018
5:21 pm
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Sinclair Selling 23 TV Stations (TVWeek)

Sinclair Broadcast Group will sell 23 stations in 18 markets, with agreements in place to sell WGN-TV in Chicago, KDAF in Dallas, KIAH in Houston, Seattle stations KCPQ and KUNS, WSFL-TV in Miami, KDVR in Denver and others.

The deals, announced today, are part of Sinclair’s effort to gain regulatory approval for its Tribune merger.

Sinclair announced that it has “entered into definitive agreements to sell television stations to Standard Media Group LLC (an affiliate of Standard General LP), Meredith Corporation, Howard Stirk and Cunningham Broadcasting Corporation and another party to be announced, upon consummation of Sinclair’s acquisition of the stock of Tribune Media Company. The sales are part of Sinclair’s larger acquisition of Tribune Media Company, in order to obtain necessary governmental approval of the Tribune transaction and for other business purposes and are expected to close at the same time as the Tribune transaction.”

The company said it anticipates closing near the end of the second quarter of this year.

Chris Ripley, president and CEO of Sinclair, commented in the announcement: “After a very robust divestiture process, with strong interest from many parties, we have achieved healthy multiples on the stations we are divesting. While we continue to believe that we had a strong and supportable rationale for not having to divest stations, we are happy to announce this significant step forward in our plan to create a leading broadcast platform with local focus and national reach. The combined company will continue to advance industry technology, including the Next Generation Broadcast Platform, and to benefit from significant revenue and expense synergies.”

Other stations the company said will be sold include WJW in Cleveland, KTXL in Sacramento, KPLR-TV in St. Louis, KSWB in San Diego, KSTU and KMYU in Salt Lake City, KOKH and KAUT-TV in Oklahoma City, WXMI in Grand Rapids, WPMT in Harrisburg, Pa., WXLV in Greensboro, N.C., WRLH in Richmond, Va., Wilkes Barre, Pa., stations WOLF, WQMY and WSWB, and KDSM in Des Moines.

TVBIZWIRE
Apr 24, 2018
5:19 pm
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CBS Unveils Season Finale Storylines Ahead of May Sweeps — Here They All Are (TVWeek)

CBS today took the wraps off what it has in store for all of its upcoming season finales, revealing storylines for finales that will take place from May 4 through May 24, when the season wraps with a two-hour finale for “Survivor.”

“MacGyver” gets the finales rolling on Friday, May 4, with an episode featuring guest star Tate Donovan.

Please click here for the full announcement, with blurbs on all of the season finales.

TVBIZWIRE
Apr 24, 2018
5:11 pm
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Drama Series Canceled (TVWeek, Hulu)

The ax has fallen on a drama series despite generally positive reviews during the show’s three-season run on Hulu. The streamer pulled the plug on “The Path,” which stars Aaron Paul, Michelle Monaghan and Hugh Dancy.

Series creator Jessica Goldberg issued a statement confirming the show’s cancellation, writing: “While it’s sad that ‘The Path’ is ending, I’m brimming with gratitude and pride. It was a gift to be able to tell challenging and emotional stories for three seasons in this very strange and unique world.”

Goldberg’s statement adds: “The caliber of talent and passion everyone who worked on this show brought — from my partners Jason Katims and Michelle Lee, the execs at Hulu, the writers, actors, directors, designers, and crew — was something to behold, and for which I’m very thankful. Thanks Hulu and Universal Television for taking a shot on this show, it was a life changing experience.”

The show, which first rolled out back in March 2016, centered on members of a fictional cult-like religion. The series wrapped its third season March 28.

TVBIZWIRE
Apr 24, 2018
5:01 pm
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‘Bachelor’ Creator Mike Fleiss Launching New Dating Series (THR)

Some of the key players behind ABC’s successful “Bachelor” franchise, including creator Mike Fleiss and former “Bachelor” star Jesse Palmer, are joining forces again for a new ABC dating series, “The Proposal.”

The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that Palmer will host the 10-episode summer competition series, which will feature “10 eligible daters competing in four pageant-style rounds to win the heart of a mystery suitor (or suitress) in hopes that they say yes to their proposal.”

The show is set to roll out this summer.

Fleiss told THR: “I couldn’t be more excited about ‘The Proposal.’ I think Bachelor Nation is going to love it. It’s also great to welcome back a member of the ‘Bachelor’ family, our host, Jesse Palmer.”

TVBIZWIRE
Apr 24, 2018
2:59 pm
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Lorne Michaels Producing New Comedy Series (THR)

A new comedy is in the works from Lorne Michaels and “Saturday Night Live” cast member Aidy Bryant, with actress Elizabeth Banks also producing. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that the team is adapting author, comedian and blogger Lindy West’s memoir “Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman” for a Hulu series.

The single-camera comedy is in development, with Bryant set to star.

“The Hulu take is described as the story of a fat young woman who wants to change her life, but not her body,” THR reports. “West, Ali Rushfield and ‘Saturday Night Live’ repertory player Bryant penned the teleplay and crafted the story. The comedy hails from Michaels’ Broadway Video banner and it is being produced outside of his longtime home at Universal Television. The company’s Andrew Singer will exec produce.”

The report notes that Banks’ and Max Handelman’s Brownstone Productions banner is also on board to executive produce the project through their pod deal at Warner Bros. Television.

TVBIZWIRE
Apr 24, 2018
12:19 pm
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Musician Behind ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ Dies
(AP, YouTube)

“A musician whose songs helped teach children on ABC’s ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ has died,” the AP reports. “His son, Chris, says 94-year-old Bob Dorough died of natural causes Monday at his home in Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania.”

Born in Arkansas, Dorough was known as a bebop and cool jazz pianist, singer, composer, songwriter, arranger and producer.

“According to his biography, the jazz musician ‘set the multiplication tables to music’ as musical director for the educational cartoon series between 1973 and 1985. It was revived from 1993 to 1999,” the AP reports. “He also wrote the song ‘Devil May Care,’ which jazz great Miles Davis recorded as an instrumental version.”

Here’s a Tedx Talk in which Dorough provides insights into “Schoolhouse Rock” …

TVBIZWIRE
Apr 24, 2018
11:44 am
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Marvel’s Stan Lee Accused of Lewd Behavior (AP)

Comic book icon Stan Lee has been hit with a lawsuit, filed Monday, accusing him of inappropriate behavior during two massages in 2017. The AP reports that the suit was filed by a Chicago masseuse.

“Maria Carballo filed the lawsuit Monday seeking more than $50,000 in punitive damages and attorney fees from the 95-year-old writer and artist,” the AP reports. “The Chicago Tribune reports that Lee’s attorney, Jonathan Freund, called the lawsuit ‘a shakedown’ and says Lee denies the allegations.”

Chicago police are reportedly investigating after Carballo also filed a complaint with them.

“According to the complaint, Lee fondled himself during the first massage and moaned so much during the second that Carballo stopped the treatment,” the AP reports. “Lee stood up and angrily demanded Carballo keep massaging him.”

TVBIZWIRE
Apr 24, 2018
10:47 am
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The End Is in Sight for Sci-Fi Series (TVWeek)

Fans of a well-received science-fiction drama series now know exactly when its run will end, with the announcement from Netflix that the “Sense8” series finale will launch June 8.

“Personal lives are pushed aside as the cluster, their sidekicks, and some unexpected allies band together for a rescue mission and BPO take-down in order to protect the future of all Sensates,” Netflix says in announcing the finale today.

The finale represents the 12th and final episode of season two, following the May 5, 2017, release of the bulk of the season two episodes. Season one, which also consisted of 12 episodes, rolled out way back on June 5, 2015.

According to some sources the episode title for the finale is “Amor Vincit Omnia,” but Netflix is promoting it under the banner “Together Until the End.”

TVBIZWIRE
Apr 24, 2018
10:41 am
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The Series That Wouldn’t Die: After First Surfacing in the U.K. It Was Picked Up by PBS, Then Two Sequels Ran on Showtime — and Now Netflix Is Reviving It Yet Again (TVWeek)

A TV series that continues to find new life was just revived for yet another go-round, with Netflix revealing plans today for “Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City.”

Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis will reprise their roles as Mary Ann Singleton and Anna Madrigal, with Barbara Garrick also set to return and additional cast still to be announced. Ellen Page will join the project as Shawna.

Working Title TV and NBCUniversal International Studios will produce the 10-Part limited series adapting material from author Armistead Maupin’s nine-novel series, the first book of which came out in 1978.

The first TV adaptation, “Tales of the City,” was by the U.K.’s Channel 4 and first screened in 1993, moving to the U.S. via PBS in 1994. Channel 4 later partnered with Showtime to produce a sequel, “More Tales of the City,” which premiered in 1998. The third instalment, “Further Tales of the City,” was produced by Showtime (without Channel 4) and originally aired in May 2001.

Netflix released additional details and quotes today, which you can read by clicking here.

TVBIZWIRE
Apr 24, 2018
10:01 am
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Why Kansas Is Going After One of the Heroes of ‘Star Wars’ (AP)

The state of Kansas is getting proactive about trying to bring one of the stars of “Star Wars” to the state. The AP reports that Kansas is “rolling out the welcome mat” for Mark Hamill, who plays Jedi Luke Skywalker in many of the “Star Wars” movies.

The report notes that Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer suggested Monday in a tweet that Hamill visit the state on May 4, known among “Star Wars” fans as Star Wars Day — as in, “May the Fourth be with you.”

“The love fest began after Hamill was asked in Twitter where he’d never been but wanted to go,” the AP reports. “He responded with the one-word answer of ‘Kansas.’ One fan photo edited the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man, Scarecrow and Dorothy into the Millennium Falcon’s cockpit.”

The AP adds: “Kansas Highway Patrol Trooper Ben Gardner responded with ‘I only let Jedi Warriors drive my patrol car.’ The state touted its roads in a tweet that included a video clip of Batman’s archenemy, the Joker, whom Hamill has voiced.”

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