Aug 22, 2014
8:22 am

‘Downton Abbey’ Implements Measures to Prevent Another Anachronistic Incident (RadioTimes)

Following a highly public gaffe in which a plastic water bottle found its way into a publicity photo for “Downton Abbey,” which is set in the decidedly plastic-bottle-free 1920s, the drama series has banned plastic bottles from the set, reports RadioTimes.

As previously reported, after PBS released the first photos promoting the fifth season of the historical drama, it prompted snickering from fans who spotted an incongruous water bottle placed on a mantelpiece. In response to the goof, cast and crew members initiated a charity effort focused on raising awareness for WaterAid.

Now, with new rules in place, the cast and crew will have to drink from plain old cups, the story notes. But the ban doesn’t only include water bottles, RadioTimes notes.

Modern watches, jewelry and underwear have also been banned, with the fear that modern-day anachronisms might slip through. However, the production has allowed prescription glasses and asthma medication, the piece adds.

downton abbey-promo still 2014 w water bottle

The original publicity photo, with plastic bottle on the mantel

Aug 22, 2014
8:11 am

GSN Renews Two Shows (THR)

GSN has given renewals to two of its shows. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the cable channel will bring back “The Chase” and “It Takes a Church.”

“The Chase” features Mark Labbett as he faces contestants in a trivia challenge, with Brooke Burns hosting the program. Its ratings have grown in total viewers, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54 since it debuted last August, the story notes.

“It Takes a Church,” meanwhile, is about a matchmaking competition involving Christian churches trying to help a member find his or her partner. Its ratings have also grown, the piece adds.

Both programs will return in 2015.

it takes a church-title

Aug 22, 2014
8:05 am

‘Red Skelton Show’ Director Dies at 83 (Variety)

Terry Kyne, who directed “The Red Skelton Show,” has died. Variety reports that Kyne died June 7 of natural causes at 83.

He produced and directed “Nightcap,” a top-rated comedy variety series in Canada, and worked on more than 500 episodes of other CBC shows, the piece reports. He came to work in the U.S. to work on “The Red Skelton Show.”

His other credits include “The Steve Allen Show,” “The Gong Show,” “The Dr. Joyce Brothers Show” and “Name That Tune.”

terry kyne

Terry Kyne

Aug 22, 2014
7:57 am

‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Divergent’ Film Franchises Find a Cable Home (TheWrap)

The “Hunger Games” and “Divergent” movie franchises have landed on a cable channel. reports that TNT has secured the TV rights to the films.

The pact includes the network premiere windows for this November’s “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1” and 2015’s “Mockingjay — Part 2,” the story reports. The first two “Hunger Games” movies will air on TNT beginning in 2015 and 2016, with the “Mockingjay” films debuting in 2017 and 2018.

“Divergent,” meanwhile, will air on TNT in 2016, with the film franchise’s additional three movies airing in the following three years.

“The ‘Hunger Games’ and ‘Divergent’ franchises fit perfectly within TNT’s brand evolution and expansion into action-packed genre programming,” said Michael Wright, president and head of programming for TNT. “Like our current hits ‘The Last Ship’ and ‘Legends’ and the upcoming series ‘The Librarians,’ the movies in these franchises are ideal for drawing young adults to the network.”

hunger games-mockingjay part 1-poster-2014

Aug 22, 2014
7:43 am

Along With New Hosts, Cosmetic Changes Coming to ‘The View’ (LA Times)

When “The View” returns next month, the show will have a cosmetic overhaul, including a new logo, set and studio, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker. Lineup changes are also in store when the show returns for a new season Sept. 15.

“The long-running ABC talk show is moving from the Manhattan studio where it’s been produced for the last 17 years into a space around the corner at the ABC Broadcast Center that most recently housed Katie Couric’s daytime talk show,” the piece reports.

The set is currently under construction, but will be “in the round” and will include an on-camera social media station, where hosts can respond to viewers in real time, the story adds.

The new logo and color scheme represent “the first time in the show’s history that it has changed significantly,” ABC said in a statement.

The changes come while the program is undergoing a creative revamp, including bringing back Rosie O’Donnell. Sherri Shepherd and Jenny McCarthy are recent departures from the on-air lineup, along with the show’s founder, Barbara Walters. Whoopi Goldberg is returning, and other seats are yet to be filled.

view-new logo-fall 2014

Aug 22, 2014
6:30 am

Report: Tension Between VH1 and Nicole Richie After Show Fizzles (NY Post)

After her new show “Candidly Nicole” drew only 550,000 viewers for its July 17 debut, tensions are rising between reality personality Nicole Richie and VH1, reports the New York Post’s Page Six.

Network executives are trying to get Richie to bring in celebrity friends and more of her family life, including father Lionel Richie, but the star is rejecting the idea, the story says.

VH1 had hoped the show would help it boost its celebrity programming, the report notes. But with the program failing to draw a big audience, executives are reportedly pressuring the star, which is causing a rift between Richie and the network.

Richie has already included as much of her family as she feels comfortable with, the story notes.

The new show features staged situations, such as Richie visiting a gay chicken farm and learning how to parallel park.

candidly nicole-title

Aug 22, 2014
6:12 am

It’s Called ‘Dating Naked,’ But One Contestant Is Suing for $10 Million — Claiming the Program Showed Too Much (Deadline)

VH1’s dating show “Dating Naked” teases the idea of showing potential mates meeting and dating while completely naked, but one contestant is suing the show for allegedly showing too much, reports

Jessie Nizewitz, 28, is suing VH1 owner Viacom, along with show producers Lighthearted Entertainment and Firelight Entertainment, for $10 million, as well as unspecified damages related to her loss of income related to the show’s revealing shots. While she signed up for the show’s premise, Nizewitz alleges she didn’t realize that would mean she would be shown naked below the waist, given that the show is supposed to blur out contestants’ private parts, the story reports.

In a beach scene in the July 31 episode, Nizewitz claims the program “as broadcast, shows Plaintiff’s wrestling takedown of her date, but Defendants did not blur out her vagina and anus, which were fully exposed to all viewers,” according to the complaint.

The suit adds: “Plaintiff, who was watching the initial showing, was shocked, horrified, and outraged to observe this intrusion into her privacy to all to see.”

Nizewitz claims she was told while filming the series that her genitals would be blurred or cropped out, and that producers gave her additional assurances about blurring before she agreed to the wrestling scene.

“Since the initial airing of the third episode of ‘Dating Naked,’ Plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer severe extreme emotional distress, mental anguish, humiliation and embarrassment, as the uncensored episode and uncensored pictures therefrom have been uploaded to various Internet websites including YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr,” the complaint alleges.

dating naked

Aug 21, 2014
2:38 pm

NFL Taking Heat for Pay-for-Play Super Bowl Halftime Plan (B&C)

The NFL is under fire for asking potential performers for its Super Bowl halftime show to kick back a share of their earnings to the league. B&C reports that the American Federation of Musicians has added its voice to the chorus of complaints.

The report quotes AFM International President Ray Hair saying:“It’s not like the NFL and its Super Bowl organizers don’t have any money and can’t afford to pay for halftime show performances; it’s about the insatiable thirst for profits at the expense of great musical entertainment and those who create it. You can find kickback schemes like this coming from unscrupulous bar and nightclub owners, but for the NFL to descend to such depths would be unconscionable.”

The article adds: “The league has reportedly narrowed down its list of potential acts to Rihanna, Katy Perry and Coldplay, asking for a portion of post-show tour earnings to secure the booking.”

The AFM noted that the halftime artists are not paid for their appearances, while the Super Bowl receives huge revenues from advertising during the game and has an annual revenue topping $9 billion.

The report adds: “The AFM said it would bring the matter up for discussion with the AFL-CIO’s Department of Professional Employees, which includes representatives from all U.S. art and entertainment unions, including the NFL Players Association.”



Aug 21, 2014
2:37 pm

Hallmark Channel Creates Its Own Football League — Sort Of (LA Times)

Hallmark Channel has rolled out plans to launch a new football league. The Los Angeles Times reports that the cable channel is making arrangements for Kitten Bowl II as counterprogramming to the Super Bowl, and during the runup Hallmark will run something called the Feline Football League.

The league will build on the success last January of the first Kitten Bowl, which was an answer to Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl.

“The first Kitten Bowl was hosted by Beth Stern and saw the furry sports stars leaping, pouncing, snuggling and cleaning around a miniature football field,” the story reports. “We saw such sports stars as Mr. Whiskers, Crazy Legs (an all-pro out of ‘Neuter Dame’), Midnight and Hairy Rice strut their stuff to glory. Final score saw the North Shore Bengals top the Cedar Cove Cougars 24-20.”

The new league will expand on the Kitten Bowl concept with a draft, an unknown number of teams and an online presence. “Beginning in November, animal-based-sports junkies will be able to follow along with the league’s latest games through Hallmark Channel’s website and social media as the teams march on toward Su-Purr Bowl Sunday on Feb. 1,” the story reports.

kitten bowl

Aug 21, 2014
2:36 pm

Former ‘Scandal’ Star Arrested (TMZ)

An actor who was a regular on the ABC political thriller “Scandal” has been arrested. reports that Columbus Short, who has had a series of run-ins with the law lately, was taken into custody today in a Van Nuys, Calif., courtroom.

“Short has been a wanted man since last month when he failed to appear in his criminal domestic violence case. Short chose to go to Barbados instead. The judge issued an arrest warrant and set bail at $40K,” the story reports. “That same judge became enraged earlier this week when Short skipped another hearing … he was still vacationing in Barbados. The judge upped the bail to $500K.”

When Short appeared in court today to deal with the situation, he was immediately arrested, TMZ reports.

The report adds: “Now get this … Short had another hearing today in a criminal case involving a bar fight, but he didn’t show because he was in custody. So the judge in the bar fight case issued a SECOND arrest warrant and set bail at $250K.”

Short left “Scandal” in April, reportedly to deal with his personal issues.

columbus short

Columbus Short

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