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TVBIZWIRE
Feb 19, 2018
5:58 pm
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Jesse Jackson Wades Into LeBron James-Laura Ingraham Clash (AP)

A high-profile war of words between Fox News host Laura Ingraham and NBA superstar LeBron James has a number of observers weighing in, with the Rev. Jesse Jackson among the latest to comment.

Ingraham recently blasted James for his comments about social issues, suggesting that the three-time NBA champion “shut up and dribble.” James, who led the winning team in Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game, countered that he would continue to “talk about what’s really important.”

The AP reports that Jackson said today he is deeply insulted by Ingraham’s “attack” on James. “Jackson said it’s important for James, Golden State Warriors teammates Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry and other NBA players to keep speaking out against injustice and the behavior of President Donald Trump,” the AP reports.

Jackson is quoted in the article saying: “No one told David to just play his harp and not stand up for his people. No one told Samson just lift weights and not challenge the Philistines. They told Jackie Robinson, ‘Just play baseball.’ He told them, ‘I’m a man with dignity first.’ They told Dr. King, ‘Go be confined to the pulpit.’ He said, ‘I must speak peace to a troubled world.’ In that tradition, King James, LeBron, his slam dunk for justice is needed. We thank him.”

Jackson reportedly added: “When Trump is attacking the FBI and covering up for the KGB, LeBron’s voice is needed.”

TVBIZWIRE
Feb 19, 2018
5:48 pm
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‘SNL’ Alum Recovering From Heart Attack (AP, TVWeek, Twitter)

A “Saturday Night Live” alum was posting humorous messages on social media to let fans know he’s OK after suffering a heart attack. The AP reports that Colin Quinn’s busy touring schedule was interrupted by the attack, which occurred on Valentine’s Day.

“The 58-year-old Quinn took to Twitter on Monday to let friends and foes alike know he’s ‘starting a list of those who didn’t “check in” yet,’ five days after his Valentine’s Day health emergency,” the AP reports. “The deep-thinking comic thanks the doctors and nurses at his New York hospital, saying they ‘realized they had a precious jewel of comedy in their hands.’”

The report adds: “Quinn announced his heart attack last week, saying on Twitter his heart broke on Valentine’s Day, ‘literally.’ He said he was doing well but if he dropped dead ‘you would see a funeral like Al Capone!’”

TVBIZWIRE
Feb 19, 2018
5:34 pm
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Humanitas Prizes Ceremony Takes On Added Resonance After School Shooting (TVWeek)

Even being presented in the midst of the winter awards season, the Humanitas Prizes tend to stand out for their emphasis on films and television programming that examine our common humanity. And this year’s ceremony, coming two days after a mass school shooting in Parkland, Fla., took on added resonance.

TVWeek Open Mic writer Hillary Atkin was on hand and filed a full report, including a list of winners. Please click here to read her report.

TVBIZWIRE
Feb 19, 2018
3:19 pm
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Sony Pictures Television Shakes Up Its International Production Team (Deadline)

A number of top executives at Sony Pictures Television have new jobs after the company implemented a series of changes in its international production division, Deadline reports.

“The London-based division has hired Brendan Fitzgerald in the new role of SVP International Co-Productions and promoted Richard Parsons to become EVP International Operations across the restructured division. He previously was SVP Corporate Business & Legal Affairs, Internatinal Production,” Deadline reports. “Elsewhere, Cheryl Lynch has been promoted to EVP International Business Affairs, while Angélica Guerra, SVP and managing director of international production for Latin America and U.S. Hispanic, will join the senior management team of Sony Pictures Television International Production.”

The moves come after SPT promoted Wayne Garvie to president of international production last year following the exit of Andrea Wong, Deadline notes.

TVBIZWIRE
Feb 19, 2018
1:59 pm
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The Latest Critic to Sound Off About Fergie’s National Anthem Is … Fergie!
(TMZ, US Weekly, TVWeek)

She may have arrived late to the party, but now even Fergie has joined the feeding frenzy sparked by her odd delivery of the national anthem before Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game.

The Internet has gone crazy bashing the pop star’s sometimes bluesy, sometimes shrieky arrangement, which you can hear by clicking here. Now Fergie herself is admitting that the performance wasn’t all she hoped it would be.

“I’ve always been honored and proud to perform the national anthem and last night I wanted to try something special for the NBA,” the singer told TMZ. “I’m a risk taker artistically, but clearly this rendition didn’t strike the intended tone. I love this country and honestly tried my best.”

But US Weekly reports that Fergie and her handlers apparently thought it was going well while she was performing.

The publication quotes a source saying: “Neither Fergie nor her team thought anything was wrong with her national anthem rendition. That’s the way she sings a lot of her songs. She loves adding a little sexiness and being different with her riffs. It was meant to be jazz-inspired. She wanted to stand out.”

The US report adds: “Viewers were quick to share their reactions to the sultry performance on Twitter, with some users calling it ‘the worst rendition ever.’ NBA players including Stephen Curry and Draymond Green visibly struggled to stifle their laughter, while celebrity attendees such as Jimmy Kimmel and Chance the Rapper also appeared to chuckle at the 42-year-old singer’s histrionics.”

 

TVBIZWIRE
Feb 19, 2018
1:44 pm
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Skater’s Bare Breast Goes Out Live Over the Air in Olympic Wardrobe Malfunction
(TVWeek, NY Post, AP, Twitter, Mail Online)

An ice dancer competing in the Winter Olympics suffered a nightmare wardrobe malfunction when her costume came unfastened, exposing her bare breast to an international audience watching Sunday’s competition on live TV.

Viewers immediately began posting photos of French athlete Gabriella Papadakis and her partner, Guillaume Cizeron, as they continued to compete despite the mishap. You can see shots of the incident in a Twitter post below.

“The French ice dancer’s glittering emerald costume at the Olympics had come unhooked at the neckline, and later in the routine, her left breast was exposed live on television,” the New York Post reports. “When the clasp became unhooked, the 22-year-old Papadakis was more worried about holding up her outfit than making sure her twizzles and rhumba were in sync. Her swinging short program … was threatening to go down in history alongside Janet Jackson’s infamous wardrobe malfunction during her halftime performance at the Super Bowl.”

The pair managed to complete their routine and earned a score of 81.93 points, leaving them in second place behind the Canadian pair of Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir as they continue to pursue the ice dancing gold.

NBC issued a statement to the AP saying: “Our coverage of ice dancing was live tonight. Once a competitor’s brief wardrobe issue became evident, we purposely used wider camera shots and carefully selected replays to keep the issue obscured. We have edited the video for all television encores and online replays.”

TVBIZWIRE
Feb 19, 2018
1:03 pm
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Is Investigative Reporter Ronan Farrow Banned From NBC? (NY Post)

“There is an internal war brewing after it was claimed that Ronan Farrow has been banned by NBC News’ top exec Andy Lack,” The New York Post’s Page Six reports.

The report notes that Farrow was booked to appear Friday on Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show to talk about his story on Donald Trump’s alleged affair with former Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal.

“But Farrow was bumped from the broadcast, and insiders said the decision was made by Lack, who is still fuming over claims that NBC killed Farrow’s Harvey Weinstein probe,” The Post reports, adding: “NBC reps didn’t comment, but other insiders insist Farrow was bumped because of breaking Russia indictment news.”

TVBIZWIRE
Feb 19, 2018
12:19 pm
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NBC’s Olympics Coverage Continues to Struggle to Find Viewers (Variety)

It was a less than spectacular ratings weekend for NBC’s coverage of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games.

“On Friday, NBC and NBC Sports’ combined primetime coverage averaged  13.0 rating in metered market households, matching the competition low in that measure set on Thursday night,” Variety reports. “According to total audience delivery data, 19.2 million people tuned in on NBC, NBC Sports, and on streaming platforms for the night.  That matches the viewership low set on Feb. 14.”

Saturday wasn’t much better, with Variety reporting that prime-time coverage delivered a combined 10.4 rating in metered market households, down 20 percent from the previous low. Overnight ratings indicated 13.6 million viewers watched the Olympics on NBC alone.

“The second Sunday improved slightly from the declines of Saturday, nabbing a combined 11.8 rating in metered market households and is currently averaging 15.7 million viewers,” Variety reports, adding: “As it currently stands, this Sunday was down nearly 30 percent in metered market households compared to the first Sunday (16.5 rating).”

TVBIZWIRE
Feb 19, 2018
11:33 am
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Eck! Too Much Information About Bravo’s Agreement With Its Reality Stars (NY Post)

Personalities appearing on some Bravo reality shows are required to agree not to sue the network if they get any of a long list of infections during production, The New York Post’s Page Six reports. The report says participants must sign a so-called “STD clause.”

“Network insiders … assure us that such provisions are common across all networks, especially on dating shows,” the story notes. “We hear that the contracts also officially warn stars that their fellow combatants aren’t tested for sexually transmitted diseases.”

The report adds: “By contrast, ABC has previously revealed that it tests contestants on its long-running dating shows ‘The Bachelor’ and ‘The Bachelorette’ for STDs. Those shows make the 50 finalists for spots in the competition get screened for sexual diseases.”

The Post reports that Bravo’s “Vanderpump Rules” appears to be “a particular hotbed of disease.”

TVBIZWIRE
Feb 19, 2018
11:11 am
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Case Against Charter Goes Forward (MediaPost)

A judge refused to dismiss a case against Charter Communications in which the media company is accused of duping consumers by providing broadband speeds that were slower than advertised, MediaPost reports. The suit was brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

“The cable company had argued that the Federal Communications Commission’s comprehensive broadband regulations — including a set of rules mandating ‘transparency’ about speed — blocked Schneiderman from proceeding with the case,” the story reports. “New York County Justice Peter Sherwood rejected Charter’s arguments, ruling on Friday that Congress never intended ‘to make federal law the exclusive source of law protecting consumers from broadband providers’ deceptive conduct.'”

The report adds: “Schneiderman’s complaint includes allegations that subscribers on a plan promising 300 Mbps typically received 15% of the promised speed when connecting wirelessly. Time Warner also allegedly failed to provide many customers with modems capable of enabling Web-surfing at the advertised speeds.”

Charter purchased Time Warner in 2016, later renaming the company Spectrum.

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