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

Oct 21, 2014
8:44 am

Famed Fashion Designer Oscar de la Renta Dies (ABC News)

Oscar de la Renta, a legendary fashion designer who helped create the iconic looks of Jacqueline Kennedy and other first ladies along with a series of Hollywood icons, has died. ABC News reports that de la Renta died Monday at 82 after a battle with cancer.

“Born in the Dominican Republic in 1932, de la Renta left home at 18 to study painting in Madrid. It was there he developed a love of fashion design and began an apprenticeship with Cristóbal Balenciaga, who became his mentor, and then, landed a job with Lanvin in Paris. Soon after, he moved to New York City,” the story reports.

In an interview with Gotham magazine last year, de la Renta is quoted saying: “When I first arrived here in 1963, all the names on clothes were the name of [the store]. You made your clothes, you sold them to the store, and they quickly removed the label and put the label of the store. If it was a dress at Saks Fifth Avenue, the label was Saks Fifth Avenue. Bergdorf Goodman was Bergdorf Goodman. But it was a time of transition.”

He launched his own label in 1965 and soon began designing outfits for Jacqueline Kennedy. He went on to design clothes for first ladies Nancy Reagan and Hillary Clinton, along with Hollywood celebrities including Sandra Bullock and Jessica Biel.

Just this month, George Clooney’s bride Amal wore a de la Renta wedding gown.

De la Renta also reportedly said in the Gotham interview: “A huge mistake we make is forgetting that one day we will die. We think that we are going to live forever. I always say life is a little like a garden. There is a time to plant, then a time you have to weed. Just think about people you’ve deeply cared for. And then think of the people you wish you’d spent more time with. I always say this: Live, love and laugh.”

oscar de la renta

Oscar de la Renta

Oct 21, 2014
8:41 am

Fox Debuts Simpsons World App Today (EW)

Fox was set to debut its Simpsons World app today, Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014, enabling fans to watch all the episodes of the animated show “The Simpsons” that have aired in its 26 seasons whenever they want, reports’s Inside TV.

“In a release that went wide Monday afternoon, FX revealed that the ‘Simpsons’ smorgasbord will feature every episode of the sitcom’s first 25 seasons — 552 in total — as well as every new episode from the series’ 26th season, available the day after each one first airs on Fox,” the story adds.

Features will include a dynamic newsfeed that will feature the latest Simpsons news and social media updates, and a search function enabling fans to find their favorite characters and guest stars, the piece notes.

The Simpsons World app is available on FX’s FXNOW app, which can be found here.

FOX's 'The Simpsons" - Season Tweny Four

Oct 21, 2014
8:39 am

Sibling Cable Channels HGTV and DIY Greenlight Seven New Series (TheWrap)

Seven new TV series have been ordered by HGTV and sibling network DIY Network, reports On HGTV, terrible kitchens will be featured on “America’s Most Desperate Kitchens,” which will star “Kitchen Cousins” hosts Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri.

Also on HGTV will be “Log Cabin Living,” about couples leaving the city to find a country cabin, while “The Shalina Joy Project” will track a teacher from New Jersey as she renovates and flips a Victorian mansion. “Real Estate Riches,” meanwhile, will feature a real estate investor and his wife as they renovate homes and flip them.

On DIY, one of the new shows is “The Treehouse Guys,” which tracks experts building tree houses in exotic locations such as Hawaii. Other new programs include “Miami Rehab,” about flipping homes in that city, and “First Time Flippers,” about novices trying to buy and resell homes.

“We’re hyper-focused on developing and producing series that give viewers fresh perspectives on popular home themes,” said Allison Page, HGTV and DIY Network’s general manger.


Oct 21, 2014
8:19 am

ABC Close to Sold Out of Oscars Ad Inventory — and Prices Are Up (Variety)

ABC is close to selling out its advertising inventory for the 2015 Academy Awards ceremony, reports Brian Steinberg at Variety.

ABC is asking about $1.9 million for a 30-second ad in the broadcast, compared with about $1.8 million to $1.9 million for the most recent telecast of the event, the story adds.

The next telecast is set for Feb. 22, with Neil Patrick Harris set to host for the first time.

“The slight uptick in ad prices suggests that so-called ‘event’ programming — shows that draw outsize audiences and are only available for a limited duration — has become as important as sports broadcasts as TV-viewing behavior becomes ever more splintered with the rise of time-shifting devices, video streaming and other new technologies,” Steinberg writes.

Earlier this year, the telecast reached a 14-year ratings high, with about 43.7 million people tuning in to watch the ceremony hosted by Ellen DeGeneres.

The show typically features 9 to 10 minutes of national ad time per hour.

Steinberg adds, “Just a few years ago, the Oscars were in something of a post-recession slump. Ad prices in 2009 and 2010 fell as low as $1.3 million to $1.5 million for 30 seconds, as the nation worked itself slowly out of an economic crisis. In 2008, Oscars ads hit a previous high of $1.82 million for a half-minute berth.”


Oct 21, 2014
8:11 am

Turner Lands Rights to Upcoming Disney Movies (Deadline)

Turner Broadcasting has bought the network television premiere rights to Walt Disney Studios’ yet-to-be-released films “Cinderella” and “The Jungle Book,” which notes shows the cable company continuing its “blockbuster movie acquisition deals.”

The films “will be available to networks across Turner Broadcasting’s portfolio, including TBS, TNT and Cartoon Network, a little over two years after each film’s theatrical release,” the story notes.

Both films are slated to be released in 2015, with the network windows set for mid-2017 for “Cinderella” and early 2018 for “The Jungle Book.”

The piece adds, “Turner Broadcasting’s latest licensing agreement comes on the heels of a high-profile deal for the network television premiere windows for the next five theatrical releases from Disney subsidiary Marvel.”

walt disney studios-logo

Oct 21, 2014
6:59 am

TV Revenues Fuel Surge in Gannett Earnings (NY Times)

The Gannett Company on Monday announced a huge surge in its third-quarter profits, with revenues from television leading the gains, The New York Times reports.

Political advertising at the company’s TV stations played a big role in the gains for the company, which bought Belo Corp.’s stations last year.

“Net income was $118 million, or 51 cents a share, a 48.6 percent rise from the same quarter in 2013, when the company generated $79.7 million, or 34 cents a share. Total revenue for the quarter rose by 15.2 percent to more than $1.4 billion,” The Times reports. “Total revenue in the broadcasting division grew by 105 percent, to $416 million, including $40 million stemming from political advertising. The company’s retransmission revenue also grew, by 60.9 percent to $92 million, partly because of the Belo purchase.”

Gannett paid about $1.5 billion for Belo in June 2013, bringing 20 stations into the fold to add to Gannett’s 23 stations. The company announced in August that it will spin off its newspaper operation — including USA Today — into a separate company, the report notes.

The Times report adds: “Revenue at the company’s publishing division declined by 3.6 percent, to $858.1 million. That was driven by a 4.9 percent decline in advertising revenue, to $494.9 million, and a slight inrease of less than 1 percent in circulation revenue to $276.8 million.”


Older Articles