TVBizWire

TVBIZWIRE
Oct 24, 2014
7:31 am
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NBCU Agrees to Pay Millions to ‘Saturday Night Live’ Interns in Settlement (LA Times)

A group of former “Saturday Night Live” interns and NBCUniversal have settled a class-action lawsuit that alleged the interns should have been paid, reports the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town.

The $6.4 million settlement will be shared with thousands of “SNL” interns who worked in both New York and California, with the agreement still subject to court approval, the story says.

“In documents filed with New York’s Southern District Court, lawyers for the plaintiffs said Comcast-owned NBCUniversal had agreed to special bonuses for the litigants who led the class-action lawsuit, first filed in July 2013,” the piece notes.

Those litigants could receive from $5,000 to $10,000 each, while other interns may receive amounts as small as $500 each, the article says.

The lawsuit alleged that the internships included work that would have otherwise been handled by paid workers, and that the work they were asked to do was appropriate for earning wages, the piece adds.

“The ‘SNL’ interns lawsuit is one of several that have roiled the entertainment industry in New York and Los Angeles, where unpaid internships have long been a cost-saver for TV networks, movie studios, production companies, music labels and talent agencies — and also a foot-in-the-door opportunity for ambitious Hollywood hopefuls,” the report notes.

NBC declined to comment.

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TVBIZWIRE
Oct 24, 2014
7:17 am
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Why the Head of NBCU Thinks Streaming Plans From CBS and HBO Are a Bad Idea (NY Times)

NBCUniversal Chief Executive Stephen Burke said he was “surprised” at announcements by HBO and CBS that they will start subscription streaming services, noting that television groups face tough challenges with the efforts, reports The New York Times.

Burke said HBO risks “cannibalizing” its existing business, given that the premium channel would have a tough time not pulling from the base of its current customers, who get HBO through cable or satellite subscriptions.

“I don’t think distributing to consumers via the Internet is an easy thing to do,” Burke said Thursday on a conference call. “I think it’s a voyage that, if you’re successful like Netflix, can be a way to create a lot of value, but it’s not an easy thing to do.”

NBCUniversal is a unit of Comcast, the cable and entertainment giant.

The Times adds: “In recent days, questions about the health of the cable business have loomed over Comcast and its rivals after the announcements by both HBO and CBS. The introduction of these new options for watching TV has caused concerns that more people will cancel their cable subscriptions, or never subscribe at all, because they would be able to watch the shows they wanted to watch — when and how they wanted to watch them — via the Web.”

stephen burke

Stephen Burke

 

TVBIZWIRE
Oct 24, 2014
7:01 am
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CNN Developing Marijuana Series (EW)

CNN will debut a new show in 2015 that tracks two “moguls of marijuana” in Colorado, Brian Rogers and Caitlin McGuire of the Breckenridge Cannabis Club, reports EW.com’s Inside TV.

The unscripted show, “High Profits,” will focus on the pair as they follow their dream to expand their business into the first-ever marijuana franchise, the story notes. The eight-part series joins CNN’s lineup of original series, including “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown” and “This Is Life with Lisa Ling.”

CNN said of the show: “Employee issues and customers’ demands. Product growth and testing. Newfound wealth and serious safety concerns. Complicated taxes and unfriendly banks. Political games and legal hurdles. ‘High Profits’ will diary America’s first ever moguls of marijuana who have to rise above all of this and more.”

The announcement follows news last week that another large Colorado pot operation, the Medicine Man Marijuana Dispensary, is the focus of a reality project that’s in development at truTV.

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TVBIZWIRE
Oct 24, 2014
6:47 am
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AMC Buys Half of Cable Channel — What It Means for Carriage Negotiations (Bloomberg)

AMC Networks has closed a deal to acquire about half of a cable channel. The company, whose AMC channel airs the hit zombie show “The Walking Dead,” has bought 49.9% of BBC America for $200 million, reports Bloomberg.

The agreement will allow both cable network operators to strengthen their leverage with pay-TV carriers, the story notes. The pact will create a joint venture, with AMC running BBC America and maintaining the network’s editorial standards, with a joint editorial committee overseeing the effort, the piece adds.

“The deal brings BBC America series like ‘Doctor Who,’ ‘Top Gear’ and ‘Orphan Black’ under the same roof as AMC shows that include ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Mad Men.’ AMC Networks, which owns the AMC, Sundance and IFC channels, will include BBC America when it negotiates for fees, giving both players more bargaining heft against pay-TV operators that are consolidating to help restrain rising content costs,” the piece reports.

“We will be essential to distributors because we will be essential to their customers,” AMC Chief Executive Officer Josh Sapan told Bloomberg. “With that, you can get pricing power.”

The joint venture will enable BBC World News to reach more viewers in the U.S., BBC Worldwide Chief Executive Tim Davie told the publication.

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TVBIZWIRE
Oct 24, 2014
6:39 am
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Fox News Host Says Young, Attractive Women Shouldn’t Vote (NY Daily News, THR)

One of the regulars on Fox News said on the air that young, attractive women shouldn’t vote and instead should devote their time to online dating, reports the New York Daily News.

Kimberly Guilfoyle, one of the co-hosts of “The Five,” made the comments Tuesday during an episode of the show. The report notes that Guilfoyle, 45, who helped pay for law school by modeling, said young, attractive women don’t have the right “life experiences” to decide who should be in office.

“It’s the same reason why young women on juries are not a good idea. They don’t get it!” she said, according to the report.

Attractive young women should only be given the right to vote after they have earned experience through paying bills, handling a mortgage or having kids, she said. “They’re like healthy and hot and running around without a care in the world,” Guilfoyle added.

Co-host Bob Beckel commented during the exchange that young women have “every right in the world” to sit on a jury.

On Thursday, Guilfoyle said her comments were made in jest.

“I made a joke,” she said. “If I wanted to excuse someone from jury service that is the language you use in the courtroom. I take the right to vote very seriously. I take the right to serve on a jury very seriously and I think you should be informed when you do both things.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, her comments attracted criticism from prominent figures, including “Star Trek” actor Leonard Nimoy, who tweeted, “Kimberly Guilfoyle on Fox telling young people not to vote? Unbelievable !!”

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Kimberly Guilfoyle

TVBIZWIRE
Oct 24, 2014
6:31 am
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Why ABC Is Supersizing Its Orders for Some Prime-Time Shows (Deadline)

ABC has bumped up the orders for some of its prime-time series, in a move that in part reflects a strong start to the fall season for one night in particular — Wednesday night.

Deadline.com reports that the order for extra episodes includes strong ratings performers “Modern Family” and “Castle.”

“For the first time in years, ABC has a Wednesday comedy block that is clicking, with tentpoles ‘Modern Family’ and ‘The Middle’ getting support from transplant ‘The Goldbergs,’ which is regularly building on its ‘Middle’ lead-in, and newbie ‘black-ish,’ which has showed solid retention behind ‘Modern Family,’” the story reports.

All of those four Wednesday comedies are receiving two additional episodes, with “black-ish” receiving the order for two new episodes after getting a back-nine pickup earlier this month, the story notes.

At the same time, ABC’s Tuesday comedies, “Selfie” and “Manhattan Love Story,” are “fighting for survival,” the story says. The new drama “Forever” is waiting on whether it may receive a full-season pickup.

Other shows receiving expanded orders are “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Castle” and “Once Upon a Time,” with the latter show receiving a ratings boost from the introduction of a “Frozen” storyline.

Several dramas did not receive additional episode orders, including “Scandal,” “How to Get Away With Murder” and “Nashville,” the story points out.

“ABC would’ve loved to get more ‘Scandal’ and ‘HTGAWM’ originals, but both are dense, serialized dramas. So ‘Scandal’ will stick to 22, while ‘HTGAWM’ is producing 15, per star Viola Davis’ contract,” the piece adds.

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TVBIZWIRE
Oct 24, 2014
6:19 am
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‘Orange Is the New Black’ Prison Getting a Real-Life Celebrity Inmate (TheWrap)

The real-life prison that serves as the setting for the Netflix series “Orange Is the New Black” is getting a high-profile inmate. TheWrap.com reports that “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice is headed to the facility.

Giudice will serve her 15-month sentence at the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Conn. The prison is the basis for the fictional Litchfield Penitentiary in New York where the TV series is set.

The Netflix show was adopted from the Piper Kerman memoir “Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison.”

Giudice will start serving her sentence on Jan. 5, 2015, after she and her husband were convicted of multiple counts of mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud, as reported previously.

danbury federal correctional institution

TVBIZWIRE
Oct 24, 2014
6:07 am
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‘7th Heaven’ Star Says Molestation Allegations Have Helped His Divorce Proceedings (TMZ)

Actor Stephen Collins, who starred in “7th Heaven,” claims in new legal documents that he’s unable to get work because of an audio tape of his confessing to child molestation, reports TMZ.com.

As previously reported, the ABC drama “Scandal” dropped Collins after the audio tape surfaced, and he was also cut from the upcoming movie “Ted 2.”

In new legal documents obtained by TMZ, Collins said his divorce proceedings with Faye Grant have become easier since there won’t be much of a dispute over future income.

“Faye’s decision to parade that recording … has resulted in Stephen having no income other than investment income and pension income,” Collins’ attorney said. The attorney added, “Stephen suffers greatly from the pillaring (sic) by the media surrounding Faye’s unlawful recording.”

Stephen-Collins

Stephen Collins

TVBIZWIRE
Oct 23, 2014
1:51 pm
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Future of TLC’s ‘Honey Boo Boo’ Hangs in Balance After Child Molester Enters the Picture (TMZ)

The future of the popular reality show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” is being reassessed by TLC after reports surfaced linking one of the show’s stars with a convicted child molester.

TMZ.com reports that the show’s Mama June — Honey Boo Boo’s mother — has begun dating a man who was released from prison this year after serving 10 years for molesting a young relative of June’s.

“The new guy is 53-year-old Mark McDaniel. He was convicted in 2004 for aggravated child molestation. Prosecutors say he molested an 8-year-old child — forcing oral sex. June was dating McDaniel at the same time he molested the child,” the story reports.

TMZ does not identify the young victim, but notes that June has contact with the youngster. McDaniel, who was released in March, reportedly is registered as a sex offender in Georgia.

“We’re told Honey Boo Boo’s mom has been seeing McDaniel for the last few months … sneaking away from production of the show and meeting up with him,” TMZ reports. “We’re told she’s also been setting him up by buying him various gifts.”

A rep for TLC said in a statement: “TLC is not currently in production on HERE COMES HONEY BOO BOO. We are very concerned about this new information and are reassessing the future of the series.”

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TVBIZWIRE
Oct 23, 2014
1:47 pm
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New Netflix Drama Series Gets a Title and an Ominous Teaser — Here It Is (TV.com)

The upcoming Netflix drama series starring Kyle Chandler of “Friday Night Lights” now has a title — “Bloodline” — a start month — March 2015 — and a new teaser, which you can watch below.

TV.com notes that the project comes from the creators of “Damages,” and adds: “Thanks to ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ Netflix has a pretty good track record when it comes to producing original dramas.”

The first season will reportedly consist of 13 episodes. The high-octane cast includes Linda Cardellini, Ben Mendelsohn, Sam Shepard and Sissy Spacek.

Here’s the new teaser:

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