May 31, 2016
9:08 am

Series That Has Been an Awards Juggernaut Gets Green Light for New Season (TVWeek)

A series that has won multiple Golden Globes and Emmy Awards has been greenlighted for season four. Amazon announced today that it is moving forward with a new season of “Transparent.”

Core cast members Jeffrey Tambor (“Arrested Development”), Judith Light (“Dallas”), Gaby Hoffmann (“Girls”), Amy Landecker (“Louie”) and Jay Duplass (“Togetherness”) are all returning. Series creator Jill Soloway will remain as showrunner, with Andrea Sperling to return as executive producer.

The show’s fourth season will bow on Amazon Prime in 2017.

Said Joe Lewis, head of half-hour TV at Amazon Studios: “As the quality of television rises to new heights, ‘Transparent’ continues to stand out for its depth of character, compassionate storytelling and its infinite creative risk-taking. We’re grateful that customers have responded so enthusiastically to the Pfefferman family and we’re excited to bring them another chapter of their story.”

Soloway added: “Amazon’s explosive freedom and revolutionary thinking has given birth to this show. It’s so much more than TV to us, it’s our version of the most ambitious streaming art we can conjure. We’re having the time of our lives sharing season two for the awards season hoopla, and editing and finishing up season three for a fall release. This news of an order for season four is so so sweet. The Pfeffermans have many more stories to tell and we can’t wait to keep making them.”

“Transparent” received 11 Primetime Emmy nominations last year and won five trophies, including Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for Tambor and Outstanding Directing for Soloway. Also in 2015, the show won Golden Globes for Tambor and for Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical.

It is nominated again this year in both Golden Globes categories, along with a nod for Light for Supporting Actress.

transparent amazon“Transparent” (Amazon)

May 31, 2016
8:49 am

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.”

star wars-logo

May 31, 2016
7:51 am

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.”

May 31, 2016
7:32 am

Poland Tries to Extradite Roman Polanski to the U.S. (NY Times)

Celebrated filmmaker Roman Polanski, who fled California after being convicted of having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977, is the focus of a renewed effort by the Polish government to extradite him to the U.S.

The announcement today is a setback for the director of “Chinatown” and “Rosemary’s Baby” after a ruling last fall appeared to put his legal problems to rest.

“On Oct. 30, a judge in Krakow, Poland, ruled that turning over Mr. Polanski would be an ‘obviously unlawful’ deprivation of liberty and that the state of California was unlikely to provide humane conditions of confinement for the filmmaker, who is 82,” The New York Times reports. “The next month, the Krakow prosecutor’s office said it would abide by the judge’s ruling.”

But Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, who is also Poland’s chief prosecutor, released a statement today saying he would appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

Polanski, who was married to actress Sharon Tate when she was murdered by members of the Manson Family in 1969, has remained out of the country since he fled the U.S. in 1977.

May 31, 2016
6:31 am

Rapper Charged With Attempted Murder (TVWeek)

A rapper was formally charged and ordered held without bail until trial in connection with a shooting at a concert last week in New York.

The New York Times reports that Troy Ave was charged Monday evening with attempted murder and criminal possession of a weapon. The shooting backstage at a T.I. concert at Irving Plaza left one person dead and three others wounded.

“Appearing in court in a wheelchair, Troy Ave, 33, whose real name is Roland Collins, asked the judge for $50,000 bail through his lawyers, who stressed that he had no criminal record,” The Times reports. “But Judge Ushir Pandit-Durant heeded a prosecutor’s recommendation and ordered him held without bail until trial.”

Ronald McPhatter, a bodyguard for Collins, died in the shooting, in which Collins was shot in his leg.

The report adds: “The criminal complaint against Mr. Collins shed little light on what happened backstage. Detective John Santiago, who swore out the complaint, charged Mr. Collins with attempted murder entirely on the strength of a security camera video that showed a man the police identified as Mr. Collins firing a weapon.”

May 27, 2016
2:53 pm

‘Glee’ Actor Indicted On Child Porn Charges, Faces 20 Years In Prison (Deadline.com)

One of the actors who appeared regularly on “Glee” faces time in prison “after he was charged today in a federal indictment for receiving and possessing child pornography on his laptop computer and a flash memory drive,” reports Deadline.com.

The actor, Mark Salling, “best known for his role as Noah Puckerman on the Fox show, was named in a two-count indictment returned today by a federal grand jury,” the story says.

The article also says, “The charge of receiving child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison and a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years. The possession charge also carries a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years.”

The story adds that “The images and videos in both instances depicted young girls.”

To read more about this story, please click here, which will take you to the Deadline article

May 27, 2016
7:29 am

Broadcast Group to Sell 5 TV Stations (TVNewsCheck)

Five TV stations in four markets will be sold to comply with the Federal Communications Commission’s station ownership cap rules, reports TVNewsCheck.

“Nexstar is selling WCWJ, the CW affiliate in Jacksonville, Fla. (DMA 47), and WSLS, the NBC affiliate in Roanoke-Lynchburg, Va. (DMA 69), to Graham Media Group for $120 million,” the story says.

The article continues, “In addition, Nexstar will sell KADN (Fox) and KLAF-LD (NBC) Lafayette, La. (DMA 121), to Bayou City Broadcasting Lafayette for $40 million in cash. BCBL is a minority-led broadcaster owned by affiliates of Bain Capital Credit and Bayou City Broadcasting, the latter of which is owned by DuJuan McCoy, who serves as BCBL’s president-CEO. Nexstar also is selling KREG Denver (DMA 17) to Marquee Broadcasting.”

The reason for the station sell-offs is because Nexstar, as previously announced, is buying Media  General.

To read more details about this story, please click here, which will take you to the TVNewsCheck story.



May 27, 2016
7:27 am

Report: With Viacom on the Verge of Disarray, Could Tom Freston Return as CEO? (Variety)

“Amid growing evidence that Sumner Redstone is planning sweeping changes at Viacom, speculation in the industry has turned to who might be recruited as the successor to CEO Philippe Dauman,” reports our friend, Variety’s authoritative managing editor for television, Cynthia Littleton.

The story continues, “Much of the focus, sources have told Variety, is centering on Tom Freston, the former MTV Networks boss and Viacom CEO who was ousted by Redstone in 2006 and replaced by Dauman. Judy McGrath, Freston’s former top lieutenant at MTV Networks, has also been mentioned as a possibility.”

Littleton adds, “It’s understood that there has been some communication in recent weeks between Freston and Shari Redstone, Redstone’s daughter, vice chairman of Viacom and CBS Corp., who has become an influential figure in her father’s affairs in the past few months.”

To read more about this story, please click here, which will take you to the original Variety article.

TomFrestonTom Freston in a TV Academy interview on YouTube

May 27, 2016
7:21 am

Amber Heard Gets Restraining Order Against Johnny Depp, Claims Domestic Violence (USA Today)

“A judge has granted Amber Heard a temporary restraining order against Johnny Depp,” reports USA Today.

The story continues, “Heard filed a domestic violence restraining order against Depp on Friday, arriving at court in Los Angeles with her lawyer, Samantha Spector, ‘with photos showing various bruises … she claims Depp inflicted various times during their marriage,’ according to TMZ and The Associated Press.”

The USA Today article adds, “Heard said in a sworn declaration that Depp threw her cellphone at her during a fight Saturday, striking her cheek and eye. She also wrote that the actor pulled her hair, screamed at her and repeatedly hit her and violently grabbed her face. She said the actor was high and drunk when the incident occurred.

“The Los Angeles Police Department could not confirm any such domestic violence occurred after officers visited the couple’s downtown L.A. home on Saturday.”

To read more about this story please click here, which will take you to the USA Today article.

May 27, 2016
7:17 am

Donald Trump Changes Mind, Now Says He Won’t Debate Bernie Sanders (Time magazine)

Minutes after the Bernie Sanders campaign said it was about to accept offers from two broadcast networks to host a debate between Sanders and Donald Trump, Trump said he had changed his mind and would not debate Sanders.

According to the website of Time magazine, Trump issued a statement earlier today that said, ““Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. Likewise, the networks want to make a killing on these events and are not proving to be too generous to charitable causes, in this case, women’s health issues. Therefore, as much as I want to debate Bernie Sanders – and it would be an easy payday – I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”

The Time article continues, “In a statement just minutes earlier, Sanders’ campaign manager said he was ready to accept offers by two broadcast networks to host the debate. Sanders suggested the debate after Clinton declined to face him before the California primary on June 7.”



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