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TVBIZWIRE
Aug 18, 2017
10:32 am
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Fox Chief Blasts Trump (TVWeek, NY Times)

The CEO of Fox News parent company 21st Century Fox rebuked Donald Trump over his response to the deadly violence at a white nationalist rally last weekend in Charlottesville, Va.

In an email addressed to “friends” and obtained by media outlets, James Murdoch wrote: “What we watched this last week in Charlottesville and the reaction to it by the President of the United States concern all of us as Americans and free people.”

Murdoch also wrote: “The presence of hate in our society was appallingly laid bare as we watched swastikas brandished on the streets of Charlottesville and acts of brutal terrorism and violence perpetrated by a racist mob. I can’t even believe I have to write this: standing up to Nazis is essential; there are no good Nazis. Or Klansmen, or terrorists. Democrats, Republicans, and others must all agree on this, and it compromises nothing for them to do so.”

Murdoch is the son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who remains an informal adviser to Trump. The New York Times notes that the elder Murdoch, an outspoken conservative, recently dined with Trump in the White House residence.

James Murdoch’s email adds that he and his wife, Kathryn, will be donating $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League, and encourages others to donate as well.

The full text of the email can be read by clicking here.

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 18, 2017
8:19 am
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Big 4 Broadcast Networks Set Simulcast (TVWeek)

Plans are in place for a simulcast across ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox that will air Friday, Sept. 8, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. “EIF Presents: XQ Super School Live,” put on by the Entertainment Industry Foundation and XQ Institute, will air live in the Eastern time zone and on a tape-delayed basis on the West Coast.

Viola Davis and Julius Tennon will executive produce the one-hour program, aimed at inspiring people to rethink high school and exploring ways to get students prepared for the careers of the future.

In a statement, Davis and Tennon said: “We are excited to team up with EIF and XQ Institute to help bring awareness to the issue of high school education and ensure that our students are receiving an education that prepares them for the future. As executive producers of this live special, we are honored to work alongside some incredible names in the entertainment and education space.”

The program is executive produced by XQ, produced by Done + Dusted, and directed by Hamish Hamilton.

Please click here for additional details on the program and background on XQ Institute and the Entertainment Industry Foundation.

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 17, 2017
5:33 pm
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ABC’s Latest Reboot Brings Back a ’60s Favorite — With a Big Difference (Deadline, TVWeek)

A show that was a favorite in the 1960s is going to look a lot different when ABC brings it back. That’s because the planned reboot of the prime-time cartoon “The Jetsons” will be a live-action series this time around.

Deadline reports that the multicamera project received a put pilot commitment from the network, with Robert Zemeckis executive producing.

“The new version will be written by Gary Janetti, who has background in both multicamera and animated comedy series, having worked on NBC’s ‘Will & Grace’ and Fox’s ‘Family Guy,'” Deadline reports. “Warner Bros. TV, whose sibling Warner Bros. Animation absorbed Hanna-Barbera two decades ago, is the studio.”

The original series first aired on ABC back in 1962-63.

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 17, 2017
5:21 pm
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‘Judge Judy’ Clip Goes Viral (YouTube)

A video clip from “Judge Judy,” in which the judge uses a simple method to decide a dispute about who owns a dog, has become a viral hit. The clip shows what happens when the judge orders one of the litigants to put the dog down.

Here it is …

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 17, 2017
5:09 pm
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Turner to Launch Over-the-Top Sports Platform (Reuters)

Time Warner’s Turner will launch a standalone sports streaming service, the company said today, with the plan being to launch it for consumers in 2018, Reuters reports.

“The service will offer access to UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League matches as part of a three-year multiplatform rights agreement with the governing body of European football beginning with the 2018-19 season,” Reuters reports. “Turner will add other content to the service as it becomes available, executives said. Pricing has yet to be determined.”

The announcement comes amid a wave of cord cutting and follows news last week that Disney will launch a sports-themed ESPN streaming service. CBS Corp. also reportedly has plans to launch an online sports service, Reuters notes.

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 17, 2017
3:57 pm
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Freeform Gets Into the Christmas Movie Game (TVWeek)

Freeform announced plans today for its first original Christmas movie, with production starting this week in Toronto on “Angry Angel.” The movie stars Jason Biggs and Brenda Song.

The Sony Pictures Television production comes from Golden Globe-nominated director and writer Will Gluck (“Easy A”, “Friends with Benefits”). Along with Biggs and Song, it stars Ricky Mabe (“Preacher“), Andrew Bachelor (“Meet the Blacks”) and Andy Favreau (“Aquarius“).

“Set in New York City, ‘Angry Angel’ follows a young woman turned angel, Allison Pyke (played by Song), who is stuck on Earth and can’t seem to ring the right bells in order to pass through those pearly gates into heaven,” Freeform says in today’s announcement. “When the love of her life, Patrick (played by Mabe), shows up in New York City, it complicates Pyke’s journey as well as frustrates her angel mentor Jason Biggs (played by Biggs). The not-so-merry situation also turns into an unexpected love triangle with her friend with sometimes benefits, Barker (played by Favreau).”

The movie will be a part of Freeform’s annual “Countdown to 25 Days of Christmas,” which begins on Saturday, Nov. 18. The programming event will also feature “Elf,” “Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish,” “Home Alone” and other movies, with the full lineup to be announced at a later date.

Produced by Olive Bridge Entertainment in association with Sony Pictures Television, with Will Gluck and Richard Schwartz as executive producers, “Angry Angel” will premiere in November 2017.

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 17, 2017
12:01 pm
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Cable Net Pulls the Plug on Series (Deadline)

A docuseries that is about to roll out its sixth season just got word that it won’t have a season seven. Deadline reports that WE tv is pulling the plug on “Mary Mary.”

“The series, which chronicles the lives of Erica and Tina Campbell, sisters and members of the contemporary gospel group Mary Mary, will wrap with six hourlong episodes,” Deadline reports.

The report adds: “‘Mary Mary’ is going out on a high note. The fifth season drew 12.7 million total viewers and was the No. 1 cable program in its time slot among African-American women 25-54, according to WE tv and Nielsen stats.”

“Mary Mary” (WE tv)

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 17, 2017
10:44 am
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Johnny Cash’s Family Responds to Association With Charlottesville Neo-Nazi (Facebook, TVWeek)

The children of the late Johnny Cash put the word out after a self-proclaimed neo-Nazi was interviewed wearing a Johnny Cash T-shirt during coverage of last weekend’s violent protests in Charlottesville, Va.

In a message posted on Rosanne Cash’s Facebook account and signed by Rosanne Cash along with her siblings Kathy, Cindy, Tara and John Carter Cash, the family of the country legend said they were “sickened” by the association between their father and the neo-Nazi.

The family noted that video showed the man “spewing hatred and bile,” and added: “Johnny Cash was a man whose heart beat with the rhythm of love and social justice. He received humanitarian awards from, among others, the Jewish National Fund, B’nai Brith, and the United Nations. He championed the rights of Native Americans, protested the war in Vietnam, was a voice for the poor, the struggling and the disenfranchised, and an advocate for the rights of prisoners.”

The Facebook message also says of Johnny Cash: “His pacifism and inclusive patriotism were two of his most defining characteristics. He would be horrified at even a casual use of his name or image for an idea or a cause founded in persecution and hatred. The white supremacists and neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville are poison in our society, and an insult to every American hero who wore a uniform to fight the Nazis in WWII.”

Here’s the Facebook post …

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 17, 2017
8:01 am
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Will the Latest Acquisition by Target Make It Competitive With Amazon? (LA Times)

Target Corp. has agreed to an acquisition that appears to be strategically aimed at boosting Target’s chances of competing with Amazon.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Target is acquiring the tech startup Grand Junction. The San Francisco-based transportation technology company provides software that facilitates same-day deliveries.

The Grand Junction software manages local deliveries through a network of about 700 carriers, The Times notes.

In a statement, Arthur Valdez, chief supply chain and logistics officer for Target, said: “We’ll leverage Grand Junction’s platform … to become even faster and more efficient in how we get products to our guests.”

Target said Grand Junction’s 13 employees will become Target workers after the deal closes. Target did not reveal financial details of the acquisition.

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 17, 2017
7:44 am
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Of Course: Singer to Provide Live Soundtrack for Upcoming Eclipse, Performing Her Hit Song That’s the Obvious Choice for the Occasion (AP, Vevo)

Eclipse watchers will be treated to a live performance of the song that’s the obvious choice for Monday’s solar eclipse — if they happen to be in the right place at the right time.

The AP reports that Bonnie Tyler will sing “Total Eclipse of the Heart” for passengers booked on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas cruise ship as part of a special “Total Eclipse Cruise.”

“The ship leaves from Florida on Sunday,” the report notes. “It will sail through the Caribbean toward St. Maarten on Monday when the moon passes in front of the sun. A total eclipse will be viewable in a narrow band across the sea.”

Tyler will be backed up by Joe Jonas’ band DNCE when she performs the song in an outdoor theater aboard the ship, the AP adds.

“Total Eclipse of the Heart” went to No. 1 on the Billboard charts for four weeks in 1983.

For readers who won’t be able to make the trip, you can get your “Total Eclipse” fix below …

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