Aug 20, 2014
10:26 pm

Emmy Winner Joining Popular Cable Series (THR)

An Emmy-winning actor who most recently was nominated for a Tony Award on Broadway is joining a popular cable TV series.

“Tony Shalhoub is returning to cable,” reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed, adding, “The Emmy-winning ‘Monk’ alum has booked a recurring role on season seven of Showtime’s ‘Nurse Jackie,’ the cabler announced Wednesday.”

The story reports: “Shalhoub, whose last TV role was on CBS’s short-lived comedy ‘We Are Men,’ will play Dr. Bernard Prince, a new ER doctor with a great bedside manner and a special touch with the always prickly Gloria Akalitus (Anna Deavere Smith), and a friend to Edie Falco’s titular Jackie.”

Shalhoub is a three-time Emmy-winner for “Monk,” the story notes. This past season on Broadway he was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in the play “Act One.”

tony shalhoub-act onePlaywright George S. Kaufman was one of the roles Tony Shalhoub, left, played in his Tony-nominated performance in “Act One”

Aug 20, 2014
1:59 pm

Veteran Comedian Set to Lead Tribute to Robin Williams at Emmys (THR)

A veteran comedian and longtime friend of Robin Williams has agreed to lead the Emmys’ tribute to the late comedian. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Billy Crystal will do the honors.

The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards will air live Monday, Aug. 25, on NBC, starting at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET. Williams died Aug. 11 at 63 in an apparent suicide.

Crystal co-starred with Williams in “Father’s Day” in 1997, and Crystal, Williams and Whoopi Goldberg were the longtime co-hosts of the “Comic Relief” benefit shows.

“Following Williams’ death, Crystal wrote a brief message on Twitter. His Emmy tribute would be the first time he’d be speaking at length about his friend since his passing,” THR reports. “Sara Bareilles will be the performer during the In Memoriam segment.”

Emmys executive producer Don Mischer announced the plans today during the rollout for the Emmys in L.A.

“Previously announced presenters include Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, Halle Berry, Bryan Cranston, Viola Davis, Gwen Stefani, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Woody Harrelson, Julianna Margulies, Matthew McConaughey, Jim Parsons, Amy Poehler, Julia Roberts and Kerry Washington,” THR adds.

billy crystal

Billy Crystal

Aug 20, 2014
1:58 pm

Former ‘Desperate Housewife’ Heads to ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ (Deadline)

The Fox comedy series “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” will be joined by a former “Desperate Housewives” star. reports that Eva Longoria is on her way to “Brooklyn” for a three-episode arc.

Longoria will portray a defense attorney named Sofia who draws the attention of Jake, played by Andy Samberg. The second season of the comedy will return with the New York Police Department facing administrative changes, pitting Captain Ray Holt, played by Andre Braugher, against his nemesis, played by Kyra Sedgwick.

The second season will premiere Sept. 28.

eva longoria

Eva Longoria

Aug 20, 2014
1:57 pm

Director and Actor Dies — His Films Starred Clint Eastwood, Elizabeth Taylor … and He Appeared on ‘Gunsmoke,’ ‘Perry Mason’ and Many Other Shows (Variety)

A veteran film director whose movies starred screen icons including Clint Eastwood and Elizabeth Taylor has died. Variety reports that Brian G. Hutton is dead at 79.

Hutton directed Eastwood in two popular World War II movies, “Where Eagles Dare” (1968) and “Kelly’s Heroes” (1970). He also directed a pair of Elizabeth Taylor films, “X, Y and Zee” (1972) and “Night Watch” (1973).

After “Night Watch,” “Hutton did not direct again until 1980’s Lawrence Sanders adaptation ‘The First Deadly Sin,’ starring Frank Sinatra as a New York police detectice and Faye Dunaway as his dying wife,” the report notes. “His final directorial effort was the 1983 adventure romance ‘High Road to China,’ starring Tom Selleck and Bess Armstrong.”

Hutton also racked up a long string of appearances as a TV actor, mainly in the 1950s and early 1960s. He made the rounds of the TV Westerns — “Gunsmoke,” “The Rifleman,” “Rawhide,” “Wagon Train” and others — and also appeared on “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” “Perry Mason,” “The Detectives” and other series.

His last acting appearance was on the TV show “Archer” in 1975. Hutton left show business in the 1980s and went into real estate.

brian g hutton-rifleman

Brian G. Hutton on “The Rifleman”

Aug 20, 2014
1:56 pm

Sony Denies Ratings-Challenged ‘Queen Latifah’ Is Losing Its Time Slot, as CBS Readies a Potential Replacement Show Featuring Well-Known Actor (THR, NY Post)

Sony Pictures Television issued what it called a “categorical denial” of a report that claims “The Queen Latifah Show” is getting bumped out of its time slot on New York City’s WCBS-TV, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The producer was responding to a report in the New York Post that Queen Latifah’s ratings-challenged show might not return this fall, or that it could lose its 9 a.m. time slot.

Sony said Queen Latifah has a contract that guarantees a second season on CBS stations, with her show also guaranteed the same time slots.

“Every element of the show will be elevated for the second season, giving Queen Latifah an even broader platform to showcase her many talents,” a Sony representative said.

Still, the show might not last beyond its second season if ratings don’t pick up, the story adds. A decision will probably be made this fall. A new talk show starring actor Jerry O’Connell is in development at CBS TV Distribution and could target the same female-focused audience, the piece adds.

“The show, which will have co-hosts and guest stars, is taping at least three test shows Tuesday and Wednesday at Sunset Bronson Studios in Los Angeles,” THR notes. “If the tests go well and the slots open up, O’Connell would be perfectly positioned in a CBS-produced show to be featured on the CBS-owned stations starting in September 2015.”

O’Connell is known for movies including “Stand by Me” and “Scream 2,” along with the TV series “Sliders,” “Crossing Jordan” and CBS’s short-lived “The Defenders.”

jerry o'connell

Jerry O’Connell

Aug 20, 2014
10:21 am

Netflix Inks Pact With Time Warner Cable for Faster Streams (GigaOM)

Netflix has signed a direct interconnection deal with Time Warner Cable, marking the fourth deal between one of the big Internet service providers and the streaming service, reports GigaOM.

“Presumably, this agreement should improve the Netflix viewing experience of Time Warner Cable’s broadband subscribers who also like to tune into Netflix fare,” the story notes.

The deal, secured in June, is being implemented this month, the story notes. Netflix has also signed deals with Comcast, Verizon and AT&T, after fighting with the Internet providers directly over streaming speeds, the piece adds.

“That fighting unfortunately left consumers caught in the middle between Netflix and ISPs as the quality of their video streams suffered and both Netflix and ISPs blamed each other,” the article reports. “While Netflix has signed these paid peering agreements with ISPs, it is still arguing before the FCC and in the court of public opinion that these agreements violate the spirit of network neutrality.”


Aug 20, 2014
9:21 am

Turner CEO Warns Staff That Layoffs Are Coming (Capital NY)

Turner Broadcasting Chief Executive John Martin wrote in a memo to staff that they should expect layoffs as the company creates a new corporate structure in the next two months, reports Capital New York.

Martin wrote that the new structure is part of the company’s “Turner 2020” plan, and suggested layoffs could impact the entire organization, which includes networks such as CNN, TNT and TBS.

“A core team of our colleagues has looked at the purpose, structure and fit of literally every department in the company — more than 700 in all,” Martin wrote. “Division leaders now are reviewing the working groups’ reports on their respective areas of oversight. Over the coming weeks, they will work with me to finalize the organizational changes we will implement.”

He added, “We’ll start 2015 a more streamlined, nimble and efficient company focused on driving programming, monetization and innovation, in a culture that emphasizes and rewards continuous improvement.”

john martin-turner CEO

John Martin

Aug 20, 2014
9:09 am
Aug 20, 2014
8:53 am

Star of Medical Show ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Tries Her Hand at Another Popular Genre (Deadline)

Ellen Pompeo, who stars as Meredith Grey on the ABC medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” is taking the plunge into another genre. reports that Pompeo is producing a crime drama for the network.

The female-focused project, from Pompeo’s Calamity Jane banner at ABC Studios, is about a Boston-area police officer named Keira Burke, who becomes a police psychologist after getting wounded in the line of duty. She comes back as an outsider, but with knowledge of police and dealing with crime, the story adds.

ellen pompeo

Ellen Pompeo

Aug 20, 2014
8:47 am

Battle of the XX’s: Exxon Wins First Round Against FXX Network (THR)

A federal judge in Texas is allowing ExxonMobil to move forward with its claim that FXX Network’s logo — which features two interlocking X’s — is diluting its trademark, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Hollywood, Esq.

“The multinational oil and gas corporation brought the lawsuit last October, alleging that it has a design mark over a stylized Exxon and has continuously used it since 1971. The logo of the FXX Network, it says, ‘is likely to cause confusion, to cause mistake, or to deceive customers and potential customers of the parties … as to some affiliation, connection, or association of Defendants’ business with ExxonMobil,’” the story reports.

At the time, a network representative said FXX was “confident that viewers won’t tune in to FXX looking for gas or motor oil, and drivers won’t pull up to an Exxon pump station expecting to get ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.’”

fxx and exxon logos

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