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
10:11 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

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
9:44 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
9:31 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
9:17 am

Multicast Network Adds Affiliates (TVNewsCheck)

An NBC-owned digital network is bringing aboard new affiliates. TVNewsCheck.com reports that the multicast network Cozi TV has added three stations.

The new affils are KCVU-TV in Chico-Redding, Calif.; WHCQ-LD in Greenwood-Greenville, Miss.; and KBVU-TV in Eureka, Calif. The new stations will come aboard this fall, bringing the total to 82 Cozi TV affiliates serving 74% of the country.

Said Meredith McGinn, Cozi TV SVP: “We welcome our three new affiliate stations to Cozi TV. This summer, Cozi TV brought back some favorites like ‘Baywatch’ and ‘Quantum Leap’ and we are very excited to introduce such a fantastic lineup to an even broader audience.”

The diginet offers a slate of classic TV programming.

cozi tv-logo

Jul 28, 2015
9:19 pm
Jul 28, 2015
9:11 pm

‘Empire’ Star Sued for Assault, Defamation (THR)

In a civil complaint filed in Los Angeles on Tuesday, the ex-wife of one of the stars of the Fox hit “Empire” –Terrence Howard – alleges that she was assaulted “while they were staying in a rental house in Costa Rica” in 2013, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

Terrence Howard plays Lucious Lyon on “Empire.”

THR adds the complaint, by Michelle Howard, “describes that on the evening of July 29, 2013, [Terrence] Howard “followed Plaintiff into the restroom of the rental house and punched her on the left side of her face. Defendant also grabbed Plaintiff by her neck and pushed her against the bathroom wall and strangled her for several seconds,” states the complaint. The filing continues, [saying] he “grabbed her neck again and pinned her against the shower glass and her head hit the wall” when she tried to flee the room, leading the actor’s son-in-law Billy to intervene.”

THR also notes that “In the same complaint, she claims he defamed her by “mak[ing] false accusations disseminated to the public through the media that Plaintiff had made death threats and other threats against Defendant and his family through various social media accounts.”

To read more details about this story we urge you to click here, which will take you to the original THR article.

Jul 28, 2015
1:29 pm

Cable Comedy Series to Wrap (TVWeek)

The endgame was announced for a comedy series that has had a good run on TV Land after spinning off from the network’s hit “Hot in Cleveland.” The cable network announced that it has greenlighted season five of “The Soul Man,” which will be the show’s final season.

Created by Suzanne Martin and Cedric the Entertainer, the show stars Cedric along with Niecy Nash, Wesley Jonathan and Jazz Raycole. TV Land ordered a 12-episode fifth season.

“The sitcom, which follows Cedric as R&B super-star-turned minister Reverend Boyce ‘The Voice’ Ballentine, is the network’s highest-rated original series among African Americans P25-54 and African American Women 25-54,” TV Land noted in its announcement. “Over the course of four seasons, the series averaged a 2.20 AA P25-54 rating and a 2.65 rating among AA W25-54. Last season, ‘The Soul Man’ averaged a 1.07 rating among African American P25-54 viewers, up +365% compared to the TV Land prime average among the demo and among AA W25-54, Season 4 averaged a 1.32 rating, up +340% compared to the TV Land prime average.”

Keith Cox, Executive Vice President of Development and Original Programming for TV Land, said: “It has been amazing working with Cedric, Niecy, Wesley and the rest of the cast and crew on what has truly been a memorable and fun experience. We appreciate the fans and all the love the show has received over the years, and we plan to give the viewers something very special this season.”

The announcement adds: “Since the series launch in 2012, ‘The Soul Man’ has followed Boyce after he relocated with his wife, hairdresser Lolli (the recently Primetime Emmy-nominated Niecy Nash) from Las Vegas to St. Louis, where they’re constantly caught between the pull of the glam celebrity life and the simple life of a reverend’s family. They’ve always had plenty of obstacles in their way, including Boyce’s brother Stamps (Jonathan), who is still trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life, and their unruly cousin Nikki (recurring guest star Sherri Shepherd), who always finds a way to make trouble. ‘The Soul Man’ has continued to evolve and become a fan-favorite, especially on social media, where memes from the show often see thousands of shares and have gone viral.”

the soul man-tv land

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