Aug 22, 2014
2:09 pm

‘MythBusters’ Parts Ways With Longtime Cast Members (Fox 411)

Three “MythBusters” cast members are off the Discovery Channel show after long runs on the series. Fox411 reports that ths show is parting ways with Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara.

Series hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman reportedly made the announcement on Thursday’s episode of the show. Byron, Belleci and Imahara have reportedly been on the series for 10 years.

“The axed trio took to Twitter saying the Discovery Channel show had decided to take a ‘new direction,’” the story reports.

In a series of tweets, Byron said: “I guess you guys are finding out the news right about now. After a decade of the MythBusters, we are no longer with the show. Thank you to all the fans who have supported us. The show is taking a new direction. It was an amazing run. I learned so much about myself and the world. I love you all @MythBusters. I am sad for an ending but there will be exciting new adventures for us.”

The report notes that a rep for “MythBusters” did not offer details about what’s coming up for the show.

In an email to Fox411, a senior publicist for Discovery wrote: “Kari, Tory and Grant have been an incredibly important part of ‘MythBusters’ for over a decade. From explosions to car crashes to even more explosions, this trio has helped shape ‘MythBusters’ into the Emmy-nominated series it is today. Everyone at Discovery wants to thank them for their tireless work busting almost 1000 myths, and we wish them all the best on their future endeavors.”

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Grant Imahara, left, Kari Byron and Tory Belleci

Aug 22, 2014
2:08 pm

HBO Boss Defends ‘Game of Thrones’ Over Sex and Violence Complaints (Guardian)

HBO programming president Michael Lombardo defended “Game of Thrones” against criticisms that it includes gratuitous scenes of sex, violence and rape, saying his job isn’t to police “how many breasts there are on a show,” reports the U.K. publication The Guardian.

Lombardo, who spoke at the Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, said the show’s writers have sought to remain authentic to the novels that they are based on.

“I personally don’t see myself as a libertine,” Lombardo said. “I don’t think [graphic scenes] have ever been without any purpose. Dan [Weiss] and Dave [Benioff] are two very sober, thoughtful men. They have books as a map. Which involve wars, violence, sex. We have certainly not given them an edict or a note that they need to tone down the sexual content in the show.”

One scene that involved Jaime Lannister raping his twin sister had drawn criticism, with complaints that it was an unneeded switch from George R.R. Martin’s books, where the pair have consensual sex, the story adds.

“I appreciate there was some controversy and it generated a conversation about what consensual sex is and isn’t,” Lombardo said. “People responsible for programming have two responsibilities. To be responsible, not to have sex and violence that’s gratuitous. That is certainly not who we are. At the same time we don’t want to be a censor that inhibits the authentic organic creative process by policing how many breasts should be on a show.”

He added that HBO “is an adult service. Our subscribers pay a fee for uncensored shows.”

game of thrones-title

Aug 22, 2014
2:07 pm

After Two and a Half Years, the NFL’s Battle Over Singer’s Middle Finger Has Been Resolved (THR)

The NFL has resolved a battle it has been waging for two and a half years over the middle finger of recording artist M.I.A., who extended the finger during her halftime performance at Super Bowl XLVI .

The Hollywood Reporter’s THR, esq., reports that the dispute, which was handled in arbitration, was settled.

“When the singer extended her middle finger during her performance on Feb. 5, 2012, the National Football League took her to arbitration with claims of breaching her contract and tarnishing the league’s goodwill and reputation. The 38-year-old M.I.A. (born Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam) put up a defense that ridiculed the football league for even claiming wholesomeness,” the story reports.

The article adds: “The NFL later asserted $16.6 million in damages for what the singer did before 167 million TV viewers. The league wanted $15.1 million of that amount for restitution as the alleged value of public exposure she received by appearing for an approximately two minute segment during Madonna’s performance. The assessment of damages was challenged in arbitration in light of the fact that the FCC had declined to take any action on the indecency front.”

Terms of the settlement have not been made public, although the settlement was confirmed by Howard King, an attorney for M.I.A.

After news of the settlement broke, M.I.A. reportedly tweeted: “@madonna ummm ….. can i borrow 16 million ?”

THR adds: “Although the dispute was handled in arbitration, which typically remains private, an investigation by the singer’s lawyer into the league’s reputation represented a potential embarrassment for the league. Or at least, a distraction. Nevertheless, the NFL pursued an apology plus money, which it said it would donate to charity.”



Aug 22, 2014
2:06 pm

Court Deals Another Blow to Aereo (CNET)

Aereo, the television streaming service, was dealt another setback when a federal court on Thursday rejected its argument that it should be considered a cable-TV service, reports CNET.

“The shuttered company, which the Supreme Court said in June was illegally retransmitting broadcast TV over the Internet, will have to take its case to a federal district court to continue its cable-TV defense, the US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. Aereo, a startup that operated in 11 US cities, used arrays of tiny, individual antennas to pick up free over-the-air television and then stream that programming to paying customers,” the story reports.

After its Supreme Court loss, Aereo changed its legal argument, switching to a statutory license model, which allows cable systems to retransmit copyrighted programming by paying royalty fees through the Licensing Division of the U.S. Copyright Office, the story notes. That would allow Aereo to pay for the programming, without requiring approval from the broadcasters, the piece adds.

Aereo had appealed to the Second Court of Appeals to rule on whether it was a cable company that could use statutory licensing, but the court denied that request on Thursday.

“We leave it to the district court to consider whether the issues are properly raised in these cases and, if so, to rule on the issues in the first instance,” the court said in its ruling.

Aereo declined to comment.


Aug 22, 2014
2:06 pm

Fox’s New Dramedy Premieres Online (Variety)

Fox has rolled out its new dramedy series ahead of its network premiere, launching the pilot of “Red Band Society” online, Variety reports. The broadcast premiere is set for Wednesday, Sept. 17.

The episode is screening on Hulu,, Fox On Demand and the Fox Now app, the report notes. It will be available online until Tuesday, Aug. 26.

“The pilot was unlocked via the efforts of fans — who also donated $100,000 to charity — by sharing ‘Red Band Society’ content on social media. The money will be distributed to five charitable organizations: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Ryan Seacrest Foundation, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Teen Cancer America and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles,” the story reports.

The show’s cast includes Octavia Spencer, Dave Annable, Griffin Gluck, Nolan Sotillo and Ciara Bravo.

“The show is a coming-of-age dramedy about a group of rule-bending friends and the adults who mentor them through the ups and downs of adolescence in Los Angeles’ Ocean Park Hospital,” the report notes.

red band society-title

Aug 22, 2014
10:17 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.

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Aug 22, 2014
10:15 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
10:13 am

Reality Star Fights Anti-Discrimination Ordinance (LA Times)

A reality personality has been involved in trying to defeat an anti-discrimination ordinance that would protect the rights of transgender men and women.

The Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker reports that Michelle Duggar, the matriarch on TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting,” recorded a robocall to urge residents of Fayetteville, Ark., to speak out against the ordinance.

The measure would appoint a civil rights administrator to handle complaints from citizens who say they have been victims of discrimination, ranging from sexual orientation to veteran status. The ordinance also bars landlords and business owners from evicting or firing anyone based on these grounds.

The ordinance passed Wednesday in a 6-2 vote, the piece notes.

While such ordinances are widespread across the country, Duggar said on the robocall she believes it would provide protection to pedophiles, and also allow men to use women’s and girls’ restrooms, showers, and other female-only areas. Fayetteville’s city attorney countered by saying transgender people “are far more likely to be the victims of harassment and violence if forced to use a bathroom that is inconsistent with their gender identity.”

TLC declined to comment on Duggar’s robocalls. The show will return for its eighth season on Sept. 2.

19 kids & counting-title

Aug 22, 2014
9:23 am

TV Series Version of Steven Spielberg Movie in Development (Deadline)

A television version of a popular Steven Spielberg movie is in the works. reports that Amblin Television is working on an adaptation of Spielberg’s 2002 movie “Minority Report,” which starred Tom Cruise as a police officer who tracked down people before they committed crimes.

The project will be written by “Godzilla” writer Max Borenstein, and is in the early states of development. The premise is similar to that of CBS’s “Person of Interest,” which focuses on the use of technology to halt crimes before they happen.

“Given how close Spielberg is to the material considering his involvement in the movie, he also might executive produce. 20th Century Fox TV, whose film studio produced the movie, and Paramount TV are producing the potential series with Amblin TV,” the piece adds.

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“Minority Report”

Aug 22, 2014
8:22 am

CBS Orders Medical Drama (THR)

CBS is moving forward with a new medical drama. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that the network gave a put-pilot commitment to an untitled project from “Parenthood” showrunner Jason Katims.

The drama is about a young tech mogul who starts his own hospital, which has an advanced approach to medicine, the story notes. The project will be written by Sarah Watson of “Parenthood,” with Michelle Lee of Katims’ True Jack company executive producing with both Watson and Katims.

“The project marks Katims’ first broadcast sale this development season. True Jack also sold a romantic comedy to Showtime earlier this year and is making a big push in cable this season,” the story reports. “The Katims-Watson entry is also an off-network buy for CBS. Off-network sales have become more commonplace in recent years. Both Katims and Watson have overall deals at Universal Television, which produces both ‘Parenthood’ and movie adaptation ‘About a Boy.”

jason katims

Jason Katims

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