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TVBIZWIRE
May 31, 2016
2:21 pm
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‘The Shield’ Actor Found Guilty of Wife’s Murder (KNBC)

An actor who was one of the stars of the FX drama series “The Shield” has been found guilty of second-degree murder. KNBC reports that Michael Jace was found guilty in the 2014 shooting death of his wife, April Jace.

The shooting on May 19, 2014, took place in front of the couple’s two young sons.

The jury deliberated about two hours before returning a guilty verdict against Jace, 53. He was also convicted on a special allegation charge for using a firearm.

“The actor, who portrayed a police officer in ‘The Shield,’ was upset his wife wanted a divorce and was obsessed with the belief that she was seeing someone else, prosecutors told jurors in opening statements,” the story reports.

the shield-michael jace-fx

TVBIZWIRE
May 31, 2016
1:47 pm
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Digital Media Ad Pioneer Dead at 44 (MediaPost)

A pioneering programmatic media executive who became GroupM’s first Chief Digital Investment Officer in 2012 has died. MediaPost reports that Ari Bluman died May 25 after a long illness. He was 44.

“Bluman, who spent most of his career at 24/7 Real Media and rose to the role of president-North America for its Real Media Group operations before joining GroupM, is known for helping to restructure the digital media-buying marketplace by pushing clients and the industry at large away from open exchanges and more deeply into private marketplaces where big agencies like GroupM and its clients have greater leverage, visibility and control against things like ad fraud,” the story reports.

In a memo announcing Bluman’s death, GroupM Global CEO Irwin Gotlieb wrote: “Ari’s contribution to our business survives him. His work on bringing order to chaos in digital marketing led the industry and created unique value for us all. Ari was a pioneer and innovator, brashly demanding higher standards, better performance, and accountability. He did this not to benefit himself, but to improve the industry he loved and helped to create. Ari changed the lives of literally thousands of people in our industry who attribute their success to his principles and his relentless pursuit of truth in digital advertising.”

TVBIZWIRE
May 31, 2016
1:29 pm
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Big Opening for A+E Networks’ ‘Roots’ Miniseries (Deadline)

The premiere installment of A+E Networks’ new “Roots” miniseries, which was televised Monday by History, A&E and Lifetime, delivered 5.3 million viewers for its first airing across those three cable nets, Deadline.com reports, with its three telecasts chalking up a combined 8.5 million viewers.

“The crowd marks the biggest overall crowd for a cable miniseries opening in three years, since the December 2013 opening of four-hour mini ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ delivered 9.8 million total viewers,” the story reports. “But ‘Roots’ fell short of ‘Bonnie & Clyde’s’ 4.2 million viewers among adults 25-54 viewers. ‘Roots’ logged 2.1M in that demo, as well as 1.8M 18-49-year-old viewers. ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ also had been simulcast on Lifetime, A&E and History.”

“Roots” was well off the pace of History’s huge miniseries “Hatfields & McCoys” and “The Bible,” both of which aired only on History. “Hatfields,” which opened on Memorial Day 2012, drew 13.9 million viewers, the report notes, while “The Bible” attracted 13.1 million for its March 2013 telecast.

roots history 2016

TVBIZWIRE
May 31, 2016
1:11 pm
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Viacom’s Six Outside Directors to Redstone: We Will Fight Any Attempt to Oust Us (Fortune)

“Viacom’s six independent directors vowed on Monday to fight any attempt to oust them from the board, saying they found ‘inexplicable’ the assertion that controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone was mentally competent and acted of his own free will,” Fortune reports.

Lead Independent Director Fred Salerno said in a letter to shareholders that the directors would contest any effort to remove them. The report calls the letter “the latest salvo in an increasingly public and bitter battle for control of Viacom.”

The letter followed word from Redstone that he is considering ousting Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman and the board of directors.

“Salerno made no mention of Dauman in his letter, but said the independent directors have tried to meet face-to-face with Redstone for several weeks and have been turned away,” the story reports.

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TVBIZWIRE
May 31, 2016
10:49 am
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Report: Why Disney Executives Are in a Panic Over Upcoming ‘Star Wars’ Movie (NY Post)

An upcoming “Star Wars” movie is said to be in crisis, with the New York Post’s Page Six reporting that “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” will be reshooting over the summer.

“The much-anticipated ‘Rogue One’ is due for release on Dec. 16, but we’re told bosses at Disney are not fully satisfied with the first cut from director Gareth Edwards,” the story reports.

The piece quotes an unnamed Hollywood source saying: “The execs at Disney are not happy with the movie, and ‘Rogue One’ will have to go back into four weeks of expensive reshoots in July.”

“Rogue One,” the “Star Wars” franchise’s first spinoff film, stars Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Ben Mendelsohn and Forest Whitaker. It will “take us back in time to a point between Episodes III and IV. The plot reportedly sees resistance fighters embark on a daring mission to steal the plans for the Death Star before it can be used to enforce the Emperor’s cruel rule,” the story reports.

The report notes that Edwards, who has a reputation as a risk taker, likes to keep the studio’s influence to a minimum. The source is quoted saying: “Disney won’t take a back seat, and is demanding changes, as the movie isn’t testing well.”

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TVBIZWIRE
May 31, 2016
10:01 am
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Musicians Pull Out of ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ Appearance — They Did Not Want to Be on the Same Show as a High-Profile Guest (AP)

The ABC late-night show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” had a couple of artists pull out of an appearance because they did not want to be on the same show with Donald Trump.

The AP reports that the R&B singer The Weeknd and rapper Belly, who are frequent collaborators, scrapped their scheduled performance on the show.

“The Oscar-nominated musicians were slated to record their performance Wednesday in Los Angeles for the late-night ABC show,” the story reports. “Belly said he canceled because he didn’t want to share a stage with Trump and disagrees with the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s views and beliefs.”

Belly, who is Muslim, said in a statement: “I feel like the way I was raised was to be able to see through all the titles in this world — from religion to race. I just didn’t want to feel like I was a part of a celebration for somebody who has beliefs that majority of us don’t agree with.”

Belly’s statement adds: “I’m here on a campaign of positivity and love and to contribute what I can to music. I create songs people go to sleep and wake up to, songs that they fall in love to. For me, being Muslim and being somebody that appreciates my access here in America, I love the fact that I’m able to be here. To play my part in this business is a privilege and a beautiful thing. The fact that I could lose that ability through the actions of someone such as Donald Trump isn’t right to me. At all.”

jimmy kimmel live abc

TVBIZWIRE
May 31, 2016
9:44 am
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Why History’s ‘Roots’ Remake Sent Snoop Dogg on a Profanity-Filled Rant (TVWeek, Instagram)

The new “Roots” remake, which premiered on History on Memorial Day, inspired a profanity-laced rant from Snoop Dogg.

The musician took to Instagram Monday to make it clear he would skip History’s four-part, eight-hour remake of the 1977 miniseries. Chief among his complaints appears to be that the story is out of date.

In a video posted on the social media site, Snoop said: “How the f— they gonna put ‘Roots’ on on Memorial Day? They gonna just keep beating that s— in our heads of how they did us, huh? I don’t understand America. They just want to keep showing the abuse that we took hundreds and hundreds of years ago. But, guess what? We taking the same abuse.”

He also said: “When you all going to make a motherf—ing series about the success that black folks is having? The only success we have is ‘Roots’ and ’12 Years a Slave’ and s— like that, huh? F— ya’ll. I ain’t watching that s—. … F— them television shows. Let’s create our own s— based on today, how we live, and how we inspire people today.”

roots history 2016

TVBIZWIRE
May 31, 2016
9:31 am
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Monster Ratings for Game 7 of NBA Conference Finals — NBA’s Highest-Rated Game Ever on Cable (TVWeek)

Viewers turned out in droves for a dramatic Game 7 in the NBA’s Western Conference Finals as the Golden State Warriors completed a comeback from a 3-1 series deficit to overcome the Oklahoma City Thunder and advance to the NBA Finals.

According to CNN, the game “brought in an average viewership of 15.9 million” people.

SportsBusiness Daily’s Austin Karp first reported on Twitter that Monday’s game delivered an 11.2 household rating for TNT in metered market overnights, with Turner Sports later confirming the number.

Golden State, paced by two-time MVP Stephen Curry’s 36 points, rallied to win the game 96-88 after trailing by double digits. The win set up a rematch of last year’s NBA Finals between the Warriors and LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Finals tip off Thursday night on ABC. Last year’s NBA Finals reportedly averaged more than 19.9 million total viewers.

Here are some highlights from Monday’s Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals …

TVBIZWIRE
May 31, 2016
9:27 am
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One of the Most Influential TV Executives Ever Dies at 94. The Shows Mike Dann Put On-Air Range From ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ to ‘The Mary Tyler Moore Show,’ From ‘The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour’ to ’60 Minutes’ (NY Times, TVWeek)

Michael Dann, an influential television executive who shaped the broadcast landscape of the 1950s and 1960s, has died. The New York Times reports that Dann died Friday at his home in Boca Raton, Fla. He was 94.

Dann was responsible for bringing shows including “The Defenders,” “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour,” “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “60 Minutes,” “Hee Haw” and “The Beverly Hillbillies” to television.

At CBS, Dann became associated with a string of rural comedies — “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Green Acres,” “Petticoat Junction” — that helped earn the Tiffany Network a second nickname, the Hillbilly Network. He reportedly preferred higher-brow programs such as “CBS Playhouse,” but liked the ratings that the low-brow programming delivered.

Dann is quoted in Electronic Media, which later became TVWeek, saying in 2002: “By and large I operated under a principle I was trained in, and that was that there was no such thing as a good program executive with low-rated shows or a bad program executive with high-rated shows, and I never changed my position as long as I was working in the commercial networks.”

The Times notes: “Mr. Dann began his television career at NBC, where he worked alongside Pat Weaver as he transformed the network and created such innovative programs as ‘Today’ and ‘Tonight.’ At CBS, where he rose to become head of programming in 1963, he proved an astute judge of audience appeal, a master of scheduling and a shrewd marketer.”

TVBIZWIRE
May 31, 2016
9:09 am
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Spike TV Names Its First ‘Athlete of the Decade’ (TVWeek)

Spike TV has named its first “Athlete of the Decade,” with the award going to legendary Los Angeles Lakers player Kobe Bryant. The award will be presented at the 10th annual “Guys Choice” awards.

The ceremony takes place Saturday, June 4, at Sony Pictures Studios, with the telecast to premiere Thursday, June 9, on Spike.

“By any measure, Kobe Bryant is a sports legend who exemplifies athletic excellence, world-class sportsmanship and stands as one of the greatest to have ever played the game,” said executive producer Casey Patterson. “Guys Choice is thrilled to be honoring Kobe’s remarkable and now legendary 20-year career in basketball.”

The announcement adds: “Throughout his illustrious 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers, Kobe Bryant personified the highest level of excellence. The 5-time NBA World Champion, 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team, 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist and 2008 MVP electrified a generation with his basketball brilliance.”

Bryant retired at the end of the recently concluded NBA regular season. Here are some highlights from his final game …

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