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TVBIZWIRE
Aug 24, 2016
4:44 pm
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Sarah Paulson Joins Ryan Murphy’s New Star-Studded Anthology Series (Variety)

Fresh off a star turn as Marcia Clark on “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” Sarah Paulson has joined Ryan Murphy’s upcoming FX anthology series “Feud.” Variety reports that Paulson will play actress Geraldine Page on the series, which begins production this fall for a scheduled 2017 premiere on FX.

The project tracks the infamous feud between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, who will be played by Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange. Catherine Zeta-Jones is also on board, as Olivia de Havilland.

“Paulson has long been a frequent collaborator with Murphy,” Variety notes. “She’s currently up for two Emmy nominations for her work in two of his series, ‘The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story’ as well as the fifth season of ‘American Horror Story.’ She’s appeared in every season of the horror anthology series, and she’s slated to star in the second season of the ‘American Crime Story’ franchise, which will revolve around Hurricane Katrina.”

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TVBIZWIRE
Aug 24, 2016
3:09 pm
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Prince’s Paisley Park Estate to Open for Public Tours (AP)

The private estate and studio complex of Prince in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen, Minn., will open for daily public tours beginning Oct. 6, the AP reports.

Bremer Trust, which is overseeing Prince’s estate, announced plans today to open the 65,000-square-foot Paisley Park complex.

In the announcement, Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson said: “Opening Paisley Park is something that Prince always wanted to do and was actively working on. Only a few hundred people have had the rare opportunity to tour the estate during his lifetime. Now, fans from around the world will be able to experience Prince’s world for the first time as we open the doors to this incredible place.”

Graceland Holdings, which has overseen Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis since 1982, will run the tours.

“The plan submitted to the city of Chanhassen says the tours will include studios where Prince recorded, produced and mixed most of his biggest hits. Also featured will be thousands of artifacts from his personal archives,” the AP reports. “Tickets go on sale online Friday at 2 p.m. Central time.”

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 24, 2016
3:01 pm
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Lifetime Greenlights Britney Spears Movie (Deadline, TVWeek)

Lifetime greenlighted a TV movie about Britney Spears, with the singer to be played by Natasha Bassett. Deadline.com reports that production on “Britney” (working title) will begin in September in Vancouver, with the movie slated to premiere in 2017.

The Australian-born Bassett is known for movies including “Hail, Caesar!” and “Mental.”

“The project details the tumultuous story of Spears’ rise to fame, her fall from grace and eventual triumphant resurrection,” Deadline notes. “It will follow Spears’ story, beginning as a young girl from Louisiana trying to make a name for herself in the music scene, her relationship with fellow pop singer Justin Timberlake, and her private life crumbling after the divorce of her parents and her tabloid breakup with Justin.”

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 24, 2016
2:44 pm
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BBC Ranks the Top 100 Films of the 21st Century — With More Than a Few Surprises (BBC, AP)

The biggest surprise on a new ranking of the 100 greatest films of the 21st century may be the movie at No. 1. The list just released by the BBC puts David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive,” released in 2001, at the top of the rankings.

No. 2 is Wong Kar-wai’s “In the Mood for Love” (2000), followed by Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood” (2007) at No. 3, “Spirited Away” by Hayao Miyazaki (2001) at No. 4 and Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” (2014) at No. 5.

The list was released despite the century being still in its youth, and movies released in the year 2000 were included even though technically that year is not part of the 21st century. (You may recall the fuss about math when the world marked the new “millennium” a year early, at the end of 1999.)

The BBC surveyed 177 film critics from around the world in putting together the list. The idea, according to the BBC, was to prove that great movies are still being made, despite the so-called “death of cinema.”

“Film-making today, whether massively expensive or made with tiny budgets, shot on celluloid or video, is thriving artistically as much as it ever has,” the BBC says in an article accompanying the list.

“No films directed by Woody Allen, nor any by Alejandro G. Inarritu, who won back-to-back directing Oscars for ‘Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)’ and ‘The Revenant,’ made the list,” the AP observed, adding: “The highest ranked film directed by a woman was Sofia Coppola’s ‘Lost in Translation’ at No. 22. Spike Lee’s ’25th Hour’ is the only movie by an African-American to make the list.”

The AP also notes: “Two Ang Lee films — ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ and ‘Brokeback Mountain’ — made the list, as did three by Christopher Nolan — ‘The Dark Knight,’ ”Memento’ and ‘Inception.’ There were also three films by Joel and Ethan Coen — ‘A Serious Man,’ ”Inside Llewyn Davis’ and ‘No Country for Old Men’ — and three by Wes Anderson: ‘The Royal Tenenbaums,’ ”The Grand Budapest Hotel’ and ‘Moonrise Kingdom.'”

Click on the link to BBC near the top of this story to see the full list.

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TVBIZWIRE
Aug 24, 2016
12:01 pm
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‘SNL’ Cast Member Targeted by Hack — Nude Photos and Personal Details Released (TMZ, NY Times)

One of the regulars on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” had her website hacked today, with the hacker releasing naked photos of her along with personal details. TMZ.com reports that Leslie Jones’ website was taken down following the hack.

The hacker reportedly posted Jones’ driver’s license and passport, along with what TMZ calls “sexually explicit nude pics.” Jones, one of the stars of the new “Ghostbusters” feature film, has been a target of racist comments and other online harassment since the movie’s release, TMZ notes.

The hacker reportedly placed at the top of Jones’ website a video of Harambe — a gorilla that was killed earlier this year after it grabbed a toddler at the Cincinnati Zoo.

The New York Times notes: “Ms. Jones, 48, had spent much of the past month battling online trolls who sent her a stream of racist imagery, pornography and abusive language. She briefly left Twitter, but later returned to tweet about the Rio Olympics. She also stood up for the Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas, who was relentlessly criticized while competing in Brazil.”

The Times report quotes Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center and a professor of Criminology at Florida-Atlantic University, applauding Jones’ efforts in standing up to online harassment.

“She was an advocate for others that have been victimized and haven’t spoken up, and that has led to more attention, and has, perhaps indirectly, led to policy change on Twitter’s part,” he said.

The report notes that Twitter has taken action against accounts that have sent racist messages to Jones.

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TVBIZWIRE
Aug 24, 2016
11:51 am
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Drama at NBC’s ‘Today’: Is the Network Upset With Al Roker? (NY Post, NBC)

Insiders at NBC’s morning flagship “Today” are reportedly less than thrilled about an incident involving show mainstay Al Roker. The New York Post’s Page Six cites sources saying that behind the scenes, some at the show were embarrassed by the on-air confrontation between Roker and Billy Bush over the Ryan Lochte scandal.

“The lovable weatherman flipped his lid during an on-air conversation with Billy Bush about the swimmer’s shape-shifting story about being the victim of an armed robbery during the Rio Olympic Games, angrily saying, ‘He lied. He lied to you, he lied to Matt Lauer, he lied to his mom, [and] he left his teammates hanging while he skedaddled,'” the story reports.

The Post quotes a source saying: “There were several producers and talent who were left trying to explain Al’s over-the-top behavior. Several insiders found themselves wanting to distance themselves from his response.”

But an NBC executive who’s quoted anonymously in the story offered a different perspective, saying: “This is not true. No one feels this way. In fact, everyone here is happy — specifically with the ‘Today’ show’s great ratings.”

Here’s a clip of the Roker-Bush debate …

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 24, 2016
11:44 am
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Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Has a Problem With One Rumored Feature of Apple’s Upcoming iPhone 7 (BGR)

Steve Wozniak, the tech innovator who co-founded Apple with Steve Jobs, offered some unsolicited advice to the company about its upcoming iPhone 7. BGR reports that Wozniak has an issue with the phone’s rumored lack of a headphone jack.

Wozniak is quoted in the story telling The Australian Financial Review: “If it’s missing the 3.5mm earphone jack, that’s going to tick off a lot of people.”

His comments echo concerns others have raised as rumors circulated that the device would rely exclusively on Bluetooth for audio.

“I would not use Bluetooth … I don’t like wireless,” Wozniak reportedly said. “I have cars where you can plug in the music, or go through Bluetooth, and Bluetooth just sounds so flat for the same music.”

Apple has not confirmed whether the new iPhone will include the old-fashioned 3.5mm headphone jack, but it has been widely rumored that it will be eliminated.

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TVBIZWIRE
Aug 24, 2016
11:29 am
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Former Disney Star Comes Out as Bisexual (People, Vevo)

An actress and singer who is a former Disney Channel star has come out as bisexual, according to People magazine.

Bella Thorne, known for her appearances on Disney’s “Shake It Up” and on shows including “My Own Worst Enemy” and “Big Love,” was asked by a fan on Twitter whether she’s bisexual and responded, simply, “Yes,” according to the report.

“Many fans had speculated about the former Disney star’s sexuality after a photo of Thorne kissing an unidentified female emerged online this month,” People reports, adding that Thorne “received an outpouring of love and support from her fans on Twitter after making the revelation.”

Thorne, 18, reportedly split up this month with Gregg Sulkin, 24, her boyfriend of more than a year.

Here’s Thorne’s 2014 video for the song “Call It Whatever” …

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 24, 2016
11:17 am
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Michael Strahan Developing Drama for ABC (THR)

Michael Strahan is developing a drama project for ABC. In his first sale of a scripted project, The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that Strahan, a longtime co-host of Kelly Ripa on her morning show, received a script commitment for “Hobbs,” about a football player-turned-cop.

Strahan, who had a successful NFL career before taking the plunge into the entertainment business, is transitioning to a full-time gig on “Good Morning America” following his highly public departure earlier this year as co-host of “Live with Kelly and Michael.”

“The drama, which has received a script commitment, follows Tommy Hobbs, a former Heisman Trophy winner who joins the Miami police force after not being drafted by the NFL, as well as a meticulous, rule-following detective who has trained her whole life to become a police officer,” THR reports.

Michael Caleo, whose credits include “The Sopranos” and “Rescue Me,” is on board to write the script and executive produce along with Strahan and his SMAC Entertainment partner Constance Schwartz-Morini. The project comes from ABC Studios.

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TVBIZWIRE
Aug 24, 2016
10:44 am
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Executive Exits Viacom After More Than 20 Years at the Company (Deadline)

Just a few days after the ouster of CEO Philippe Dauman was completed, an executive who has been with Viacom for more than 20 years has left the company. Deadline.com reports that Carl Folta, the company’s head of corporate communications, is moving on.

The report notes that Folta joined Viacom when the company acquired Gulf+Western parent Paramount Communications in 1994.

“Folta had been at G+W for a decade before Viacom bought Paramount,” Deadline notes. “Before working for Dauman, he was the senior spokesman and adviser to Sumner Redstone.”

Tom Dooley, Viacom’s interim CEO, announced the move in a memo to staffers, writing: “My longtime friend and colleague and our head of corporate communications Carl Folta has decided to move on to the next adventure in his successful and ever-eventful career. Day in and day out, he literally had the hardest job in the company — and he handled it all with grace, skill and a smile.”

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