Jul 29, 2015
3:01 pm

MTV Renews Drama Series (TVWeek)

MTV made a number of programming announcements today during the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills, including announcing the pickup of the drama series “Scream” for a second season.

In its announcement, MTV said: “More than 21 million viewers have tuned in to the debut season of ‘Scream’ on-air and the series has generated another 7.9 million streams across platforms. Additionally, ‘Scream’ has averaged 60% increases in L+3 over L+SD ratings week to week.

The network also announced that “Finding Carter” will return Tuesday, Oct. 6, and revealed that “Ridiculousness” will head to New York City for two episodes in August, with 50 Cent and Action Bronson as guests.

Please click here to read the full announcement.

scream-mtv“Scream” (MTV)

Jul 29, 2015
2:44 pm

Everyone’s Talking About the Horrible Cara Delevingne Interview; Here’s What Delevingne — and Others — Had to Say About It (E! Online, TVWeek)

A “trainwreck” of a TV interview with model-turned actress Cara Delevingne by news hosts at Sacramento station KMAX-TV, which we posted previously, has been all the talk after going viral this week.

You can watch the interview, in which the TV hosts quickly become irritated with the young British star of the new movie “Paper Towns,” by clicking here.

Delevingne followed up the incident with a tweet in which she said: “Some people just don’t understand sarcasm or the British sense of humour.”

Plenty of other observers have also sounded off about the incident, lining up either on the side of the hosts — who suggested that Delevingne might need a Red Bull and a nap — or on Delevingne’s side. On “The View,” where the awkward interview received plenty of discussion, both sides were aired.

E! Online reports that “The View’s” Raven-Symone was supportive of Delevingne, sympathizing with the 22-year-old for having to endure a marathon movie promotion effort.

“You know what she was mad at?,” Raven-Symone is quoted saying. “She was mad she had to sit through 13 to 300 different people getting asked the same question over and over again.”

But co-host Nicolle Wallace was less sympathetic, saying: “When you’re a famous movie star and you get to go on a local news show to promote a movie that people are paying $18 to go watch, you don’t get to act like a bitch.”

Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie Perez also pointed the blame at Delevingne, with Goldberg suggesting that the actress “suck it up.”

paper towns-movie poster

Jul 29, 2015
2:31 pm

Ellen Barkin Cast in TNT Drama Project (Variety)

Emmy winner Ellen Barkin is set to star in a new drama project for TNT. Variety reports that Barkin, who won an Emmy in 1998 for “Before Women Had Wings,” will star along with Scott Speedman in the pilot “Animal Kingdom.”

“The story follows 17-year-old Joshua ‘J’ Cody, who moves in with his wild, freewheeling relatives. As he is pulled into their life of indulgence and excess, he discovers it is being funded by criminal activities,” Variety notes.

Barkin will play Janine “Smurf” Cody. “A working-class mom with what appears to be a picket-fence lifestyle, she is actually the boot-tough matriarch of an organized crime family,” Variety reports. Speedman will play adopted family member Barry “Baz” Brown.

The project, from John Wells Productions in association with Warner Horizon Television, is based on the Australian movie of the same name, released in 2010.

Jul 29, 2015
2:01 pm

Why an Oscar-Nominated Actor Has Been Banned From Ukraine (THR)

An actor who received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role in 1991 has been banned from Ukraine.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gerard Depardieu, who was nominated for “Cyrano de Bergerac,” was banned from entering Ukraine for five years. The French actor, who is a Russian citizen, has been vocal about his support for the Kremlin’s policies toward Ukraine.

A spokesperson for SBU, the Security Service of Ukraine, was quoted by the news agency Interfax saying: “SBU has made a decision to ban French actor Gerard Depardieu from entering Ukraine for five years.”

“She added that relevant documents have been sent to the country’s border control service for including Depardieu into the database of people banned from entering Ukraine,” THR reports.

The THR report notes: “Earlier this month, Depardieu was put on a list of 500 foreign artists, actors and other creative people who have supported the annexation of Crimea by Russia or pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine, thereby ‘posing a threat to Ukraine’s territorial integrity.'”

The country’s culture ministry reportedly said it does not intend to ban Depardieu’s movies.

cyrano de bergerac-depardieu-1990-movie poster

Jul 29, 2015
10:31 am

NBC Cancels Comedy Series (AP)

NBC is pulling the plug on a prime-time sitcom after the show failed to gain traction in the ratings. The AP reports that the network has canceled “Welcome to Sweden.”

The news comes two weeks into the series’ second season, with NBC still deciding what it will do with the unaired episodes.

The series stars Greg Poehler, the brother of Amy Poehler, who is an executive producer on the show.

The show was filmed in Sweden with U.S. and Swedish actors, and aired in Sweden as well as in the U.S.

NBC will move “Hollywood Game Night” into the show’s time slot while it decides on a longer-term plan.

welcome to sweden-title

Jul 29, 2015
10:17 am

Legal Battle Could Change Hollywood Forever (Washington Post)

A surprise twist in a tussle over what may be the most popular song ever could have broad repercussions for the entertainment industry.

The legal battle is over the song “Happy Birthday to You,” which The Washington Post reports is “arguably the world’s most popular song.” The legal dispute has been going on for two years.

“New evidence turned over this month by the music company claiming to own the song’s copyright has thrown that very same copyright into doubt,” The Post reports. That evidence is a 1927 version of the song without a copyright.

The evidence surfaced in a case involving documentary filmmaker Jennifer Nelson, who is suing Warner/Chappell Music over the right to use the song.

Nelson’s filing calls the new evidence “a proverbial smoking-gun,” and adds: “The newly discovered evidence … proves conclusively that Happy Birthday has been in the public domain since no later than 1922.”

The stakes are high. The report says filmmakers, advertisers, stage directors and singers currently pay out more than $5,000 daily — or $2 million each year — to use the Birthday Song.

“Now Nelson’s lawsuit threatens to upset that order,” The Post reports. “If her latest motion is successful, it could liberate the ubiquitous ditty once and for all.”

The report quotes Nelson, who filed suit in 2013, saying last year: “I brought up the issue and the world basically responded. It went viral. I had no idea that this was going to happen like this. But the consensus is that this is a lawsuit with merit, and that the Happy Birthday song should belong to the public and not belong to a corporation that you have to pay to be able to use this song.”

Jul 29, 2015
10:01 am

Netflix Pulls Plug on Series (Deadline)

Netflix is pulling the plug on an original series. The streaming service confirmed that the comedic drama “Lilyhammer” won’t be back for a fourth season, Deadline.com reports.

The Norwegian-U.S. gangster show debuted in January 2012 and ran for 24 episodes — eight per season — with season three wrapping last December. The series starred “Sopranos” alum Steven Van Zandt as Frank “The Fixer” Tagliano, a former gangster living under witness protection in Lillehammer, Norway.

“The series, which originated in Norway, marked Netflix’s first foray into original programming when the streaming service joined the project early on,” Deadline notes. “But entangled ownership and rights web and escalating costs ultimately led to its cancellation.”

lilyhammer season 3-poster

Jul 29, 2015
9:57 am

Cinemax Cancels Series (THR)

Cinemax has made official what a number of observers have felt would happen, confirming that the fourth season of “Banshee” will be the show’s last.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the show’s final season will debut in January, running for eight episodes.

In a statement, HBO Programming President Michael Lombardo said: “‘Banshee’ is a unique and compelling show that helped set high standards for original programming for Cinemax.”

The show’s co-creator and executive producer Jonathan Tropper added: “While we certainly considered returning for a fifth season, I always said that when the story was told, it would be time to move on, and that time has come. I am grateful to Cinemax for making ‘Banshee’ the great success it has been and for supporting our creative decision to wrap things up.”


Jul 29, 2015
9:44 am

A-List Stars Join High-Profile NBC Production (TVWeek)

Two A-list stars have signed on for a musical production set to air live on NBC this holiday season. The network announced that Queen Latifah and Mary J. Blige are on board for “The Wiz Live!”

The live telecast is set for Thursday, Dec. 3.

Latifah will play the Wiz, who reigns over the Emerald City. Blige will appear as Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West.

Please click here to read additional details in the NBC announcement.

the wiz live-nbc-2015

Jul 29, 2015
9:37 am

truTV Breaks Out Two New Shows, Rolls Out a Fall Lineup Leaning Toward Laughs (TVWeek)

truTV is poised to ramp up the hilarity with its new fall lineup, with plans that include the rollouts of two new shows, a week of special programming and a season-four premiere.

The channel has “Road Spill” set to debut Sept. 23, with “Adam Ruins Everything,” starring CollegeHumor’s Adam Conover, due up Sept. 29.

Also on tap is the season-four premiere of “Funny or Die’s Billy on the Street,” starring Billy Eichner, with the opener set for Thursday, Oct. 8.

And “Impractical Jokers Week” kicks off Aug. 31, with a week of special “Impractical Jokers” programming leading up to the hourlong “Impractical Jokers Live Punishment Special” on Thursday, Sept. 3, hosted by Howie Mandel.

Click here for all the details in the truTV announcement.

truTV logo

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