Oct 9, 2015
12:01 pm

CBS Cancels Series Featuring High-Profile Star (Deadline)

CBS has pulled the plug on a series, with the show’s high-profile star moving on to another project with the network. Deadline.com reports that the network is canceling the summer sci-fi thriller “Extant,” which aired for two seasons.

The show’s star, Oscar winner Halle Berry, is moving on to a new project with CBS, developing the drama “Legalese.”

Berry commented on the decision to wrap up “Extant,” saying: “I am so proud of what we accomplished on ‘Extant.’ This season seemed such a natural place to end Molly’s journey that I, along with CBS, felt it best served the story to leave it there. ‎It was my first foray into episodic television, and I’m excited to continue my relationship with CBS, producing more compelling stories through my 606 Films production banner.”

Ratings for “Extant” were never especially strong for a network series, and the show eroded during the second season, the report notes. This summer’s finale settled for a 0.7 average rating, 30% below the season one finale.

Notes Variety, “CBS also canceled the Stephen King-based ‘Under the Dome’ after three seasons with the finale airing this September. [CBS’] [n]ew drama ‘Zoo,’ which is based on the James Patterson novel of the same name, has been renewed for Season 2, after an impressive performance ranking as the top new scripted series of the summer.”


Oct 9, 2015
11:44 am

Comedy Legends Dish on Comedy Legends (TVWeek)

Two comedy legends got the ball rolling Tuesday night on the Arts & Ideas series running this fall at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, where Mel Brooks and David Steinberg delighted the packed house with story after story as the pair dished on a string of other Hollywood legends.

To catch up on their anecdotes targeting Walter Matthau, Gene Wilder, Dom DeLuise, Burt Reynolds and others, please click here to read the full report from TVWeek Open Mic blogger Hillary Atkin.

Oct 9, 2015
11:31 am

Two Dramedies Are in the Works, One at ABC and One at NBC (Deadline)

“Former ‘The Office’ executive producer/showrunner Paul Lieberstein has sold a second broadcast project, the hourlong ‘Negotiations.’ Set up at ABC through ABC Studios, ‘Negotiations’ is a comedic drama about life, politics and romance in one of the world’s largest law firms. Lieberstein will write the script and will executive produce alongside 3 Arts’ Howard Klein.”

So writes Nellie Andreeva at Deadline.

Separately, Andreeva writes, “Wendy Davis made national headlines in 2013 for filibustering anti-abortion legislation in the Texas Senate. Now the former Democratic state senator is poised for more national attention as the inspiration for a dramedy series in development at NBC. Written by Jennifer Cecil, the untitled project centers on a female Democratic senator who, after losing the Texas governor’s race, gets her world turned upside down….”

To read more about the ABC project, please click here. To read more about the NBC project, please click here. Each one will take you to the appropriate story by Nellie at Deadline.

Oct 9, 2015
11:17 am

Landmark Building in Chicago Up for Sale. Plus a Short Video Showing What Makes This Building Different From Any Other in the World (Chicago Tribune )

In a poll of favorite architecture in America, this building ranked No. 2 among all the architecture in Chicago. A wonderful example of neo-Gothic architecture, it’s the 36-story Chicago Tribune Tower, and it’s up for sale, reports the Chicago Tribune. (No. 1 in Chicago in the poll was Wrigley Field.)

The Tribune article says that the Tower was built in 1925 and “was designed by New York architects Raymond Hood and John Mead Howells, who won a contest held by Chicago Tribune co-publishers Robert R. McCormick and Joseph Patterson to create the newspaper’s headquarters.”

The piece notes: “The building’s owner, Tribune Media, announced Thursday that it has hired real estate investment banker Eastdil Secured to explore an outright sale or partnership for redeveloping the 36-story building, which sits on 3 acres along one of Chicago’s busiest shopping districts” on Michigan Avenue.

Murray McQueen, president of Tribune Real Estate, is quoted in the story saying in a statement: “This property offers 100 linear feet more frontage on Michigan Avenue than Rockefeller Center has on Fifth Avenue in New York City. We see this as the future site of an exciting retail destination, surrounded by world-class adaptive re-use of the Tower and additional mixed use development.”

Here’s a short video that explains a feature of the Tribune Tower that makes it one of the most unusual buildings to be found anywhere:

Oct 9, 2015
8:07 am

Four People Shot at Northern Arizona University (NY Times)

Editor’s Note: In the email that went out earlier today alerting many of our readers to this story, the word “rampage” was used to describe this item. We apologize to our readers, for that word does not describe this incident and should not have been used.

Just days after a mass shooting on a college campus in Oregon, another campus has been hit by tragedy. The New York Times reports that a shooting early today at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff left one person dead and three others wounded.

The alleged shooter, an 18-year-old student at the university, was taken into custody, officials reported.

“G. T. Fowler, the chief of campus police, said that Steven Jones, a freshman, had opened fire after two groups of male students were involved in a confrontation,” The Times reports. “The police were able to take Mr. Jones into custody after he stopped firing the weapon and ‘everything calmed down for a few minutes,’ Chief Fowler said.”

Each of the three survivors had gunshot wounds, according to Fowler. They were reportedly being treated at Flagstaff Medical Center.

“A statement on the university’s website said the episode occurred just after 1 a.m. at the school, which enrolls about 20,000 students at its Flagstaff campus, 140 miles north of Phoenix,” the paper reports. “The shooting took place near Mountain View Hall. The building houses most of the school’s fraternities and sororities.”

The Times report adds: “Members of a fraternity, Delta Chi, were involved in the episode, but Mr. Jones was not a member, and it was unclear whether the person who was killed was affiliated with the fraternity, Justin P. Sherman, Delta Chi’s executive director, said in a statement. ‘At this time, we can confirm that this incident had no ties to the chapter,’ he said.”

The shootings come eight days after a mass shooting on the campus of Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., left 10 people dead.

Oct 9, 2015
7:57 am

ABC O&O Shuffles News Anchors (San Jose Mercury News)

The situation is described as “musical anchor chairs” for a major-market ABC-owned TV station. The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that KGO-TV in San Francisco continues to shuffle its on-air personnel.

“Kristen Sze and Eric Thomas are reportedly being moved off the morning desk to be replaced by recent hires Natasha Zouves and Reggie Aqui,” the paper reports. “Those moves are in addition to the one made last week involving 36-year KGO veteran anchor Cheryl Jennings. She announced that she would be leaving the 5 and 11 p.m. anchor desk to devote her time to ‘long-form in-depth stories’ and continue her duties as host of KGO’s public affairs show ‘Beyond the Headlines.'”

Jennings, whose long stint at KGO is a rarity for a major-market station, said on social media that she is excited about her “new opportunity,” but the report notes that some observers have “speculated that management may have nudged her in that direction.”

The report adds: “Just last year, Carolyn Johnson, one of KGO’s most high-profile anchors, left the station after telling this publication that she was asked to take a pay cut amid budgetary trimming at KGO. Johnson had two years left on her contract but opted to move to a station in Southern California.”

Sze and Thomas have reportedly been a part of the station’s morning telecast for at least 15 years. Sze will fill co-anchor spots at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., according to the article, after Jennings shifts to her new duties, while Thomas moves to weekends.

The San Francisco area is the nation’s sixth-largest television market.

kgo-tv color logo with type CMYK

Oct 9, 2015
7:51 am

‘HBO Now’ Has Just Arrived on a Major Streaming Platform (TVWeek)

One of the major streaming platforms has announced that it is now carrying HBO Now, available for a 30-day trial period and then for $14.99 a month.

“Roku customers in the U.S. can now visit the Roku Channel Store to add the HBO NOW streaming channel to their Roku players (including the newly announced Roku 4) and Roku TV models,” says the Roku announcement.

The announcement adds: “Roku customers can purchase a subscription directly within the HBO NOW channel on their Roku device, which will also enable them to access the service at HBONOW.com and on other HBO NOW enabled devices.

Says Steve Shannon, general manager of Content and Services at Roku, in the announcement: “We applaud HBO for breaking the mold to deliver a fantastic standalone streaming service for consumers. The combination of the Roku platform and HBO NOW signifies a new era of streaming for our customers because they now have instant access to HBO and its incredible selection of entertainment, even without a traditional pay TV subscription.”

hbo now


Oct 9, 2015
7:21 am

Legendary Announcer Vin Scully to Miss Baseball’s Postseason (AP)

It’s time for Dodger baseball, but the team’s legendary announcer won’t be around. Vin Scully, who has been calling the plays for the Dodgers for 66 years, will sit out the postseason this year even though the Dodgers are in the playoffs.

The AP reports that Scully underwent a recommended procedure Thursday and was resting comfortably. The Dodgers confirmed the news but did not specify what the procedure was.

“Doctors advised Scully to skip the playoffs in order to rest up,” the AP reports. “Scully, who turns 88 in November, said in August he expects next season will be his last in the booth. His 66 years with the Dodgers are a broadcasting record for the same big league franchise.”

Scully missed some games toward the end of the regular season, sitting out the Dodgers’ trip to San Francisco for a four-game series with the Giants for what the AP reports was a “scheduled absence” and missing the final series of the season with a cold.

The Dodgers open their National League Division Series with the Mets today.

nlds 2015

Oct 9, 2015
7:09 am

Is Amazon About to Open Its First Brick and Mortar Bookstore? (Seattle Times)

“Rumors are flying,” writes the Seattle Times, “mostly sparked by a Thursday article in the online book newsletter Shelf Awareness” that Amazon may be opening its “first retail-bookstore location” in Seattle’s University Village shopping center.

The article reports: “A nearby construction worker, taking apart a cabinet for another U Village project, said workers on the corner site call the project the “mystery store” because no one knows what’s going into the former Blue C Sushi space. The one thing he knows is there are bookshelves inside.”

The story notes: “Amazon has opened a few staffed pickup locations on or near college campuses in recent months, including an upcoming location in Cincinnati uncovered Thursday. U Village’s proximity to the University of Washington has added to rumors of Amazon’s possible entrance.

“Local bookstore owners aren’t concerned yet. Rumors have flown for years that Amazon would open a physical store, and none has come to fruition.”

Amazon is based in Seattle.



Oct 9, 2015
6:59 am

Fox Greenlights Jack Black-Dwight Yoakam Comedy (THR)

A new comedy is moving forward at Fox with a high-profile lineup of players on board that includes Jack Black, Dwight Yoakam and “Eastbound and Down’s” Alex McAulay. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that the network has given a script commitment to the project, “Belles and Whistles,” created by McAulay.

The single-camera half-hour country music project is set in Nashville and is described as a family comedy. McAulay is writing the script and will co-executive produce.

The project “centers on an unfulfilled father who, after being fired from his comfortable tech job in Silicon Valley, decides to move his dysfunctional family to Nashville in order to pursue his lifelong dream of music stardom,” THR notes.

Black and Yoakam are executive producing along with Spencer Berman, who heads Black’s Electric Dynamite banner. The project is being produced by Electric Dynamite and 20th Century Fox TV.

electric dynamite-logo

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