TVBizWire

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 29, 2014
2:35 pm
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Time Warner Ends Talks to Buy Vice Media; A-E Networks Buys Stake in Content Company (B&C)

A+E Networks is buying a minority stake in content company Vice Media, B&C reports, citing a source close to the situation. The news comes after Time Warner pulled out of talks to buy Vice.

“The A+E deal values Vice Media at $2.5 billion,” B&C reports. “For A+E, Vice offers a source of content aimed at young men that would be very compatible with A+E’s successful History Channel. Vice and History will be able to exchange programming and engage in cross-promotional activity.”

A+E Networks did not comment on the deal.

No reason was cited for the breakdown in talks between Time Warner and Vice. “The deal being discussed would have had Vice program Time Warner’s HLN cable channel, which has been getting a makeover to appeal more to social-media active millennial viewers,” B&C notes.

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TVBIZWIRE
Aug 29, 2014
2:34 pm
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Tracy Morgan ‘Having a Tough Time’ Recovering From Crash (People)

Tracy Morgan’s attorney tells People that the actor and comedian is “really having a tough time” as he recovers from injuries sustained in a six-vehicle crash in June.

The crash left “30 Rock” star Morgan in critical condition and killed his friend, comedian James “Jimmy Mack” McNair, 62. Morgan has been “struggling,” attorney Benedict P. Morelli told the publication.

He’s been using a wheelchair, although he has been seen with a walker, and it could be months before he’s able to walk on his own, the story says. He also suffered traumatic brain injuries.

“He’s making incremental progress,” Morelli said. “But they’ll have to wait another month before they assess him cognitively.”

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Tracy Morgan

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 29, 2014
2:32 pm
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1980s Cult Favorite to Get a Reboot (Deadline)

A TV series from the 1980s that became a cult classic is being brought back in a reboot. Writing on Deadline.com, Nellie Andreeva reports exclusively that the Stephen J. Cannell series “The Greatest American Hero” is in the works for a new series at Fox.

“The network has given a put pilot commitment to ‘The Greatest American Hero,’ a new take on the 1981 sci-fi dramedy, which is being shepherded by ‘The Lego Movie’ writers-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller and 20th Century Fox TV,” Andreeva writes. “Lord and Miller will executive produce the hourlong action comedy alongside Cannell’s daughter, television director Tawnia McKiernan.”

The original series starred William Katt and Robert Culp, and aired on ABC from 1981-1983.

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The 1980s version

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 29, 2014
2:22 pm
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Chelsea Clinton Exits NBC News (Variety)

Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton has formally ended her role as a special correspondent for NBC News, Variety reports. Clinton, who is expecting a baby later this year, said she plans to focus on raising her child and on her involvement with the Clinton Foundation.

“Clinton joined NBC News in 2011, a hire that immediately raised eyebrows in journo circles given both her history of avoiding the press and the expected 2016 presidential bid by her mother, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,” Variety notes.

Clinton was a contributor to the “Today” show and to the canceled “Rock Center,” but hadn’t appeared much on the air in recent months, the report notes.

chelsea clinton

Chelsea Clinton

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 29, 2014
2:22 pm
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ABC Studios Signs Johnny Knoxville to Two-Year Deal (THR)

“Jackass” star Johnny Knoxville has signed a two-year first-look deal with ABC Studios, and is working on a semi-autobiographical comedy for ABC, The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports.

The project is described as a family comedy set in the South, taking inspiration from Knoxville’s own childhood. ABC has given the project a script plus penalty commitment. Knoxville is a native of Knoxville, Tenn., who later moved to California to develop his acting career. He most recently voiced Leonardo in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

johnny knoxville

Johnny Knoxville

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 29, 2014
9:41 am
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Report: Bryan Singer Investigated for Sexual Assault (NY Post)

“X-Men” director Bryan Singer is under investigation for allegedly sexually assaulting a man in his 20s in New York City last year, reports the New York Post’s Page Six.

“The complaint was filed with the NYPD on May 9, 2014, after Singer allegedly forced the man into a sexual act against his will on March 23, 2013, according to sources,” the story reports.

The report adds: “No charges had been filed against Singer as of Friday, but an investigation into the claim is ongoing, law enforcement sources said.”

The allegations come after two civil lawsuits that alleged Singer had sexually abused teenage boys were recently dropped.

“An unnamed British man, known only as ‘John Doe 117,’ claimed in May that the filmmaker drugged and sexually assaulted him in a London hotel room when he was a teen, TMZ reported. The man withdrew the case on July 25,” the Post reports.

The article adds: “In April, now 31-year-old Michael Egan accused Singer of sexually abusing him during trips to Hawaii when he was 17. He dropped the case … after reportedly being unable to find a lawyer who would represent him, according to the Associated Press.”

Singer has also worked on TV projects including “Mockingbird Lane” and “Dirty Sexy Money.”

bryan singer

Bryan Singer

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 29, 2014
9:39 am
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Cable Channel Unexpectedly Cancels Its Most-Watched Original Drama Series of All Time (Deadline)

In a surprise move, a popular cable drama series has been canceled.

“ ‘Longmire,’ A&E Network’s most-watched original drama series of all time, will be ending its run on the cable network after three seasons,” writes our good friend Nellie Andreeva at Deadline.com.

The article continues, “In a surprising move, the network has opted not to renew the series for a fourth season. I hear Warner Horizon, the studio behind Longmire, will be shopping it immediately.”

So why would A&E cancel such a popular show? Most notably, the series, a Western, averaged 6 million views in season two but, Andreeva writes, with a different lead-in this season, “Longmire’s” audience “has dipped in Season 3 to [an average of] 4.6 million viewers.”

To read more details about the cancellation we urge you to click on the link above, which will take you to Andreeva’s original insightful piece.

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TVBIZWIRE
Aug 29, 2014
9:37 am
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TVWeek’s Labor Day Weekend Schedule (TVWeek)

TVWeek will be closed Monday, Sept. 1, 2014, for the Labor Day holiday. We will not publish our TVBizWire, E-Daily or Viral Video newsletters that day.

We will resume our normal publication schedule on Tuesday, Sept. 2.

As always, if news breaks we will email a TVWeek EXTRA alert.

From our family to yours, we wish you a great holiday weekend and a happy Labor Day.

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TVBIZWIRE
Aug 29, 2014
9:31 am
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Couple From Naked Dating Show Gets Married (People)

The VH1 summer reality series “Dating Naked” may be onto something with a format that ensures participants have nothing to hide — at least in terms of physical appearances — from the moment they first meet.

One couple who met on the show — where couples first meet for a blind date while naked — has tied the knot, reports People. Ashley Fonda, 27, and Alika Medeiros, 36, were married in a “Shaman-officiated, non-traditional ceremony” at a Los Angeles botanical garden on Aug. 6, the story notes.

“We really deeply connected and he taught me things,” Fonda told the publication. “We realized we both have the flower of life tattoo. I told one of the producers, ‘I’m going to marry this man.’ ”

Fonda said that after she walked down the aisle in a wedding dress, the pair undressed.

“As a little girl, I definitely didn’t picture having a naked wedding, but this was such a liberating experience,” Fonda said.

The happy news for Fonda and Medeiros is in contrast to the experiences of some contestants, with one former participant, Jessie Nizewitz, suing the show for $10 million, as we reported last week.

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VH1′s “Dating Naked”

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 29, 2014
9:29 am
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On-Air Joke Gets Producer Suspended (THR)

A TV producer has been suspended after making a joke on-air. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that Karrueche Tran was suspended by BET over a joke she made about Blue Ivy, Beyonce and Jay Z’s daughter.

The joke aired Monday during the network’s “106 & Park” show, when guest host Tran was talking about Blue Ivy’s hypothetical thoughts during MTV’s Video Music Awards on Sunday, where the child appeared with her mother onstage.

Tran said the child may have been thinking, “I really did wake up like this, because my parents never comb my hair.” She added, “Sorry, Blue! I love you!”

BET president of music programming and specials Stephen Hill publicly apologized on Twitter, writing, “Last night on 106 & Park there was a stupid, unthoughtful joke made about a young child.” He added that the network had apologized to the parents, and that it wasn’t Tran’s fault. “We also apologize to her for putting her in that position,” Hill wrote on Twitter.

On Twitter, Tran noted that she didn’t write the joke.

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Karrueche Tran

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