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TVBIZWIRE
Nov 20, 2017
5:22 am
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‘Transparent’ Star Jeffrey Tambor Says He’s Leaving Show Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations (Deadline, Vanity Fair, TVWeek)

“Facing two accusations of sexual harassment by members of the ‘Transparent’ team that he has strongly denied, Jeffrey Tambor today [Sunday, Nov. 19] has decided not to return to the Amazon series,” writes Dominic Patten at Deadline.com.

The story says that Tambor told Deadline, “I’ve already made clear my deep regret if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being aggressive, but the idea that I would deliberately harass anyone is simply and utterly untrue. Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to ‘Transparent.’”

Writes Joanna Robinson at the Vanity Fair Hollywood website, “Late last week, Tambor’s ‘Transparent’ co-star Trace Lysette added her claim of the actor’s inappropriate language and physical contact to the original accusations from Tambor’s personal assistant, Van Barnes.”

As TVWeek previously reported, Amazon started an investigation into the Van Barnes allegations, “but before the results of that investigation could be made public, Tambor resigned from the ‘Transparent’ role that won him a Golden Globe and two Emmy Awards,” Vanity Fair reports.

The Vanity Fair story adds: “Lysette claims that in Season 2, while filming a bonding scene between their characters, Tambor made lascivious remarks toward her when she emerged from wardrobe. ‘My God, Trace. I want to attack you sexually,’ Lysette recalls him saying. Alexandra Billings, the third [person] in the scene, corroborated Lysette’s account. Lysette also recounted Tambor intimidating her physically: ‘He came in close, put his bare feet on top of mine so I could not move, leaned his body against me, and began quick, discreet thrusts back and forth against my body. I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas.’

“In an earlier, private Facebook post that subsequently went viral, Barnes claimed an unnamed employer told her ‘I should be sleeping with him if I want a Hollywood industry appropriate pay.’ In addition, she said her employer would pat her on the bottom, play pornography at loud volumes, and call her ‘useless.’ Amazon launched its investigation into Tambor after the Barnes post was widely re-posted online.”

To read more about this item we urge you to click here to read the Deadline story, and to click here to read the Vanity Fair article.

Jeffrey Tambor in an interview on the “Today” show in 2015

 

 

TVBIZWIRE
Nov 20, 2017
5:15 am
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Notorious Murderer Charles Manson Dead at 83 (NY Times)

“Charles Manson, one of the most notorious murderers of the 20th century…” has died, reports The New York Times.

Manson was 83 and died of natural causes, the paper said.

The Times story adds, “Mr. Manson was a semiliterate habitual criminal and failed musician before he came to irrevocable attention in the late 1960s as the wild-eyed leader of the Manson family, a murderous band of young drifters in California. Convicted of nine murders in all, Mr. Manson was known in particular for the seven brutal killings collectively called the Tate-LaBianca murders, committed by his followers on two consecutive August nights in 1969.

“The most famous of the victims was Sharon Tate, an actress who was married to the film director Roman Polanski. Eight and a half months pregnant, she was killed with four other people at her Benedict Canyon home.”

In 1974 Vincent Bugliosi, who prosecuted the Manson case, wrote a bestseller, “Helter Skelter,” about the murders. The book was made into a TV miniseries in 1976, starring Steve Railsback in a memorably chilling performance as Manson.

TVBIZWIRE
Nov 17, 2017
5:17 pm
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Agent Fired Amid Sexual Assault Suit (Variety)

CAA has fired an agent one day after a lawsuit was filed alleging that he sexually assaulted actress Demi Mann, Variety reports. The publication reports that the agency fired film agent Cameron Mitchell, whose clients include Will Packer, Common, Terrence Howard and Gabrielle Union.

The story reports that Mann claims in her lawsuit that “Mitchell discovered her in a Coffee Bean and made multiple false promises, among them that he would secure her a role in an upcoming Marvel television project, to manipulate her into a sexual relationship. In her suit, Mann claimed that Mitchell sexually assaulted her several times over a period of six months, and that CAA’s human resources department ignored her complaints about him.”

In a statement released today, CAA said: “When Ms. Mann reached out to CAA in October, we immediately launched a fair, impartial and thorough investigation. We spoke with Ms. Mann multiple times, suspended Mr. Mitchell pending the completion of the investigation, and, based upon the information we could gather, took other appropriate action.”

Mitchell is denying the allegations. The report quotes a statement from a spokesperson for Mitchell that says in part: “CAA agent Cameron Mitchell emphatically denies any wrongdoing in regards to accusations filed in a civil suit by aspiring actress Demi Mann, who had been under consideration for representation, as is a common practice, but has never been a client of CAA. In fact, Mitchell is adamant that the allegations are not only false, but egregious.”

TVBIZWIRE
Nov 17, 2017
4:30 pm
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Trump Takes Shots at Sen. Al Franken
(TVWeek, Twitter)

Donald Trump targeted Sen. Al Franken, who has been an outspoken critic of Trump, in a series of tweets after Franken was accused of groping a woman on a USO tour in 2006.

Trump called the senator “Al Frankenstien,” apparently misspelling a reference to the “Frankenstein” monster. You can see Trump’s tweet below.

Trump followed that tweet a few minutes later with another one aimed at Franken, writing: “And to think that just last week he was lecturing anyone who would listen about sexual harassment and respect for women. Lesley Stahl tape?”

TVBIZWIRE
Nov 17, 2017
4:17 pm
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CBS Expands Orders for Two Prime-Time Series (TVWeek, YouTube)

CBS has expanded its orders for two new shows, giving a full-season order to the drama series “S.W.A.T.” and picking up three additional episodes of the new comedy “9JKL.”

“‘S.W.A.T.’ is averaging 10.36 million viewers, 1.9 in adults 18-49 and 2.8 in adults 25-54,” CBS noted in today’s announcement. “Its Thursday, Nov. 2, premiere at 10 p.m. was the best performance in the time period with entertainment programming since Jan. 6, 2016, averaging 10.52 million viewers with live plus 7-day ratings. It also had the time period’s best rating among adults 18-49 since March 3, 2016, averaging 1.9.”

CBS noted that the freshman comedy “9JKL” is averaging 7.40 million viewers on Monday nights.

“S.W.A.T.” stars Shemar Moore, Stephanie Sigman, Alex Russell, Jay Harrington, Lina Esco, Kenny Johnson, Peter Onorati and David Lim. Aaron Thomas, Shawn Ryan, Justin Lin, Neal Moritz, Marney Hochman, Danielle Woodrow and Pavun Shetty are executive producers for Sony Pictures Television in association with CBS Television Studios.

“9JKL” stars Mark Feuerstein, David Walton, Elliott Gould, Linda Lavin, Liza Lapira, Matt Murray and Albert Tsai. Dana Klein, Mark Feuerstein, Aaron Kaplan, Wendi Trilling, Dana Honor and Pamela Fryman are executive producers for CBS Television Studios.

TVBIZWIRE
Nov 17, 2017
4:01 pm
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Former ‘Project Runway’ Contestant Dies (EW, Lifetime)

A fashion designer who got a career boost from her appearance on the first season of the reality competition show “Project Runway” has died. Entertainment Weekly reports that Wendy Pepper died Nov. 12. She was 53.

“She appeared during the first season of ‘Project Runway’ in 2004, making it to the finals at Fashion Week and ultimately coming in third,” EW notes. “While on the show, she won several challenges, including the opportunity to have one of her designs sold at Banana Republic and the chance to design Nancy O’Dell’s Grammy dress.”

Pepper returned to the franchise for “Project Runway All Stars,” and also appeared on shows including “Celebrity Poker Showdown” and “Battle of the Network Reality Stars.” She sold her designs out of a boutique in Middleburg, Va.

Here’s a clip from 2012 in which Pepper talks about her experiences after “Project Runway” …

TVBIZWIRE
Nov 17, 2017
2:09 pm
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Another Major Media Company Circles 21st Century Fox (Variety)

Still another media company appears to be interested in owning a piece of 21st Century Fox, with Variety reporting that Sony Pictures Entertainment has thrown its hat in the ring.

The news follows word that Comcast and Verizon have been making overtures. Fox suddenly became an acquisition target after news broke earlier this month that Disney had held talks with the company about purchasing key assets including the film and TV production studios along with international TV platforms and the FX and Nat Geo cable assets.

As with the other suitors, Sony is thought to be focused on a select set of assets rather than the entire company, according to Variety. Reps for Fox and Sony weren’t commenting.

“The hive of activity around Fox is fueling a new round of M&A speculation for other media assets, including Viacom’s Paramount Pictures and its cable networks,” Variety notes.

TVBIZWIRE
Nov 17, 2017
1:27 pm
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Navy Apologizes for Giant Phallic Symbol in the Sky (BuzzFeed, TVWeek, Twitter)

The Navy has had some explaining to do after a giant phallic symbol appeared in the sky over Okanogan County in the state of Washington, apparently drawn by a Navy pilot. BuzzFeed reports that the crew has been grounded after photos of the display made the rounds on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites.

The report quotes Lt. Cmdr. Leslie Hubbell saying: “The Navy apologizes for this irresponsible and immature act.”

In a separate statement, the Navy said: “We hold our aircrews to the highest standards, and we do find this absolutely unacceptable.” The Navy also said: “There was zero training value in that maneuver and we’re holding the crew accountable.”

The report quotes Vice Admiral Mike Shoemaker of the Naval Air Forces saying: “The American people rightfully expect that those who wear the Wings of Gold exhibit a level of maturity commensurate with the missions and aircraft with which they’ve been entrusted. Naval aviation continually strives to foster an environment of dignity and respect. Sophomoric and immature antics of a sexual nature have no place in Naval aviation today.”

Twitter

TVBIZWIRE
Nov 17, 2017
1:21 pm
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Drama Series Canceled (TVWeek)

A drama series that began on broadcast before moving to cable last year will call it quits after one final season. CMT confirmed that the upcoming sixth season of “Nashville” will be its last.

The music-focused drama series debuted on ABC in 2012 and aired its first four seasons on the Alphabet Network. Season five ran earlier this year on CMT, where season six will premiere Jan. 4. The 16-episode season will run in two parts on CMT, with the show’s final episode to air during the summer.

Creative reasons have been cited by the show’s creators in their decision to pull the plug.

TVBIZWIRE
Nov 17, 2017
12:57 pm
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‘Grace and Frankie’ Brings Aboard a New ‘Friend’ for Upcoming Season (TVWeek, Netflix)

Jane Fonda’s “Grace” and Lily Tomlin’s “Frankie” will have a familiar TV face on board as their new “friend” in the fourth season of the Netflix comedy “Grace and Frankie.” The show is bringing aboard “Friends” alumna Lisa Kudrow to be what Netflix describes as the “third wheel” on the show.

The streaming service didn’t provide any additional details about Kudrow’s role, instead accompanying the casting announcement with the following generic blurb about the show:

“In ‘Grace and Frankie,’ Jane Fonda (‘Grace’) and Lily Tomlin (‘Frankie’) star as two women whose lives are turned upside down when their husbands reveal they are gay and leave them for each other. Both sparring partners and partners-in-crime, Grace and Frankie form an unlikely and unbreakable bond and face their uncertain futures head-on, hand-in-hand. Together with their ex-husbands and children, they discover the true definition of ‘family,’ with laughter, tears, and plenty of mood enhancers along the way.”

Season four launches globally on Jan. 19, 2018.

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