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TVBIZWIRE
Aug 31, 2016
4:16 pm
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Philippe Dauman Makes Early Exit From Viacom (THR)

Former Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman, who remains non-executive chairman of the Viacom board, “has effectively left the conglomerate, waiving a deal where he would present an offer from Dalian Wanda Group to purchase a 49 percent stake in Paramount Pictures,” according to an exclusive report by The Hollywood Reporter. “At the same time, the Viacom board could be facing a potential legal standoff with the top executive at the film studio.”

The report cites sources close to the situation saying Dauman will submit a memo detailing Wanda’s bid for a portion of the film studio instead of making a presentation in person to board members.

“The newest wrinkle in a yearlong drama that pitted Dauman against Sumner and Shari Redstone, Viacom’s chairman emeritus and vice chair, respectively, comes after what sources describe as an intense meeting between Paramount head Brad Grey and the Viacom board,” THR notes, adding: “Grey met with the board, including interim CEO Thomas Dooley, six days ago to present a turnaround plan for the studio, which has released recent flops including ‘Ben-Hur,’ ‘Zoolander 2’ and ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.’ After the meeting, the board issued a statement saying it remains ‘fully supportive’ of Paramount under Grey’s leadership.”

Please click on the link to THR near the top of this story to read the full report.

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TVBIZWIRE
Aug 31, 2016
4:07 pm
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Watch a Drag Race for the Ages Between Car Guys Jay Leno and Tim Allen (CNBC)

Two TV personalities who are both way into cars faced each other in a grudge match on the drag strip when Jay Leno brought out “his wife’s Camry” for a race against Tim Allen’s 1955 Ford Club Coupe. The entertaining battle between the two “sleepers” ended in a win for … well, you can watch the clip and find out.

Here it is …

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 31, 2016
3:29 pm
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‘Game of Thrones’ Adds Oscar Winner to the Cast (Deadline, TVWeek)

HBO’s mega-hit fantasy series “Game of Thrones” is bringing aboard an Academy Award winner for season seven. Deadline.com reports that British actor Jim Broadbent is joining the show.

Broadbent won an Oscar in 2002 for “Iris,” and also has two Golden Globes — for “Iris” and for the 2006 TV production “Longford” — along with Emmy nominations for “Longford” and the 2002 production “The Gathering Storm.” He has also received acclaim for his work in “Moulin Rouge!,” “Any Human Heart” and “The Iron Lady,” among many other films.

His role on “Game of Thrones” has been confirmed to be significant, Deadline notes, although details have not been revealed, as is standard practice for the show.

“Casting descriptions sent out in recent months for season 7 have been vague,” Deadline reports. “Complicating things further, as George R.R. Martin still has not released the sixth book in the ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series, the show has now far surpassed the books on which it is based. That makes picking out which of the series’ multitudinous characters Broadbent might play difficult.”

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TVBIZWIRE
Aug 31, 2016
3:13 pm
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CBS All Access Rolls Out Ad-Free Option (TVWeek)

CBS today unveiled a new ad-free option as part of its CBS All Access digital subscription service, which is available for $9.99 a month. The regular CBS All Access service goes for $5.99 a month.

“With the commercial-free plan, subscribers will be able to watch CBS All Access’s on-demand library of more than 7,500 episodes, including full current seasons of primetime hits like ‘Big Brother,’ ‘Blue Bloods,’ ‘Madam Secretary’ and ‘The Odd Couple,’ among many others, as well as late night, daytime and news programming, all without commercials,” CBS said in its announcement. “CBS All Access’s upcoming original series, including the next chapter of the legendary ‘Star Trek’ TV franchise, ‘Star Trek: Discovery,’ a spinoff of ‘The Good Wife’ and a new digital edition of ‘Big Brother.’ will also be available commercial-free under the $9.99/month plan.”

In the announcement, Marc DeBevoise, President and Chief Operating Officer of CBS Interactive, notes: “The foundation of CBS All Access is not only about giving CBS fans access to more of the content they want, but also giving them more choice in how they watch their favorite CBS programming. The addition of a commercial-free plan gives our subscribers even more ways to customize their CBS viewing experience — from which devices to whether they watch in or out of the home, and now with commercials or without.”

The announcement notes: “Subscribers to the $5.99/month plan will continue to experience reduced commercials when watching on-demand content and be able to watch CBS Classics without commercials. Current subscribers will have the option to move to the commercial-free plan by logging on to their account through CBS.com.”

The new ad-free plan will continue to have commercials when viewers are live-streaming local CBS Television stations.

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TVBIZWIRE
Aug 31, 2016
2:41 pm
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Mel Brooks Talks About the Death of His Friend Gene Wilder (NBC)

Mel Brooks, who was a friend and frequent collaborator with Gene Wilder, talked about Wilder’s death during an appearance Tuesday on NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”

Wilder, who starred in Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” and “Blazing Saddles,” among other films, died Sunday, as we reported previously.

Here’s a clip of Brooks’ appearance on Fallon’s show …

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 31, 2016
11:47 am
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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.

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TVBIZWIRE
Aug 31, 2016
11:21 am
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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.

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 31, 2016
11:01 am
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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 …

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 31, 2016
10:44 am
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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 …

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 31, 2016
10:37 am
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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.

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