Logo

TVBizWire

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 28, 2017
4:27 pm
Comment

Mom From ‘What’s Eating Gilbert Grape’ Dead at 69 (NY Times, TVWeek, Dallas Morning News, YouTube)

Darlene Cates, who had never acted professionally before being cast as the mother of Johnny Depp’s title character in the acclaimed 1993 film “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” has died. The New York Times reports that Cates died in her sleep Sunday at her home in Forney, Texas. She was 69.

Cates played Bonnie Grape, the morbidly obese, housebound matriarch of a troubled Iowa family. Depp played her son Gilbert, with Leonardo DiCaprio as his younger brother Arnie.

“The film’s screenwriter, Peter Hedges, had spotted her on an episode of the talk show ‘Sally Jessy Raphael’ on which she discussed her struggles with her weight. She weighed more than 500 pounds at the time,” The Times reports.

Reviewing the film for The New York Times, Janet Maslin called Cates’ performance “believable and emphatic,” and wrote, “The impossible role of Momma is ideally played by Ms. Cates.”

Cates later made appearances on a few TV series, including “Picket Fences” and “Touched by an Angel,” and played Athena the Fat Lady in the TV movie “Wolf Girl.”

The Dallas Morning News reported in 2012 that Cates had lost more than 240 pounds — down from her top weight of 575 pounds to 331. At the time she was said to be recovering from a series of health scares and had undergone four surgeries.

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 28, 2017
4:11 pm
Comment

Hulu Announces Summer Programming Slate (TVWeek, Hulu)

Hulu announced a lineup of summer programming that includes several new programs. Joining new seasons of “Casual” and “Difficult People” will be the new shows “Batman & Bill” and “Becoming Bond” along with “Dumb: The Story of Big Brother Magazine.”

Click here for details on all the programming.

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 28, 2017
3:57 pm
Comment

Bill O’Reilly Apologizes for ‘Dumb’ Comment About Rep. Maxine Waters
(The Hill, TVWeek, YouTube, Fox & Friends)

Fox News host Bill O’Reilly offered an apology to Rep. Maxine Waters after making a comment that O’Reilly called “dumb.” The Hill reports that O’Reilly issued a statement apologizing after calling the veteran congresswoman’s hair “the James Brown wig.”

“As I have said many times, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs. I said that again today on ‘Fox and Friends,’ calling her ‘old school,'” O’Reilly said in his statement. “Unfortunately, I also made a jest about her hair, which was dumb. I apologize.”

The apology followed an appearance by O’Reilly today on “Fox & Friends” in which he was shown video of Waters speaking on the House floor and then was asked to comment.

O’Reilly appears in a split screen as Waters is seen delivering a speech criticizing Donald Trump. Immediately after the clip runs, O’Reilly says: “I didn’t hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig. If we have a picture of James … it’s the same wig.”

Earlier in his “Fox & Friends” appearance, O’Reilly said of Waters: “I love her. Maxine Waters should have her own sitcom. People get angry with Maxine Waters. I want more of it.”

“Fox & Friends” co-host Ainsley Earhardt made an attempt to call out O’Reilly’s critique of Waters, saying: “You can’t go after a woman’s looks. I think she’s very attractive.”

O’Reilly responded: “I didn’t say she wasn’t attractive.”

He then doubled down on his original comment, saying: “I love James Brown, but it’s the same hair James Brown — all right, the ‘Godfather of Soul’ — had.”

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 28, 2017
3:44 pm
Comment

Daytime Talk Show Renewed (Variety)

A syndicated daytime talk strip has been renewed after getting off to a solid start this season. Variety reports that NBCUniversal Domestic Television and the Fox Television Stations renewed “Harry,” hosted by Harry Connick Jr., for a second season this fall.

In a statement, Connick said: “I love my show! To continue sharing an hour every day with my audience is a great honor and thrill — can’t wait for season 2.”

Variety adds: “’Harry’s’ viewership since its September premiere has been respectable, if not spectacular, averaging about 1.3 million viewers for the season to date in morning and early afternoon time slots. The show last week grabbed five Daytime Emmy Award nominations, including a bid for entertainment talk show host for Connick.”

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 28, 2017
1:23 pm
Comment

High-Ranking Fox Exec Headed Out (THR)

A top executive at Fox Broadcasting is exiting the company in a move that’s described as amicable. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Chief Marketing Officer Angela Courtin is headed out to pursue other opportunities.

“The CMO, who joined the network on the eve of the 2015-16 TV season, will remain in her post for several weeks to help with the transition, though there is no immediate replacement lined up,” THR notes.

Courtin was previously at Relativity.

“The network’s search for a replacement is said to already be underway, but the executive ranks of the marketing department have not been without their recent additions,” THR notes. “FBC hired Tommy Gargotta as exec vp creative marketing in February.”

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 28, 2017
12:33 pm
Comment

Why the Movie Business Is in Big Trouble (Variety)

A new report says people in the movie business are “scared stiff” — and for good reason. The report by Variety says “there is mounting anxiety among theater owners, studio executives, filmmakers, and cinephiles that the lights may be starting to flicker.”

The report cites changes in consumer tastes and demands, noting that Hollywood is doing what it can to adapt.

“Instead of surrendering to existential dread, studio chiefs and exhibitors are showing a greater willingness to experiment, particularly when it comes to releasing movies in the home within weeks of their theatrical debut for between $30 and $50 per rental,” Variety reports, adding: “If that comes to pass, it would represent the biggest distribution and exhibition shakeup since the introduction of the DVD created a home-entertainment windfall in the late 1990s.”

The report notes that some industry watchers remain skeptical about Hollywood’s ability to adapt. “Structurally, these studios and the agencies and exhibitors that orbit them are too sprawling, too slow-moving, and too entangled in a dizzying web of antiquated business practices and associations to respond effectively to the digital era,” Variety reports.

We encourage readers to click here to read Variety’s full analysis.

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 28, 2017
10:19 am
Comment

Emmy-Winning Game Show Being Revived — The Show Was a Fixture on TV Before It Wrapped in 2012 (TVWeek)

A show that chalked up a string of awards, including three consecutive wins for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show at the Daytime Emmys from 2008-2010, is being rebooted. Discovery announced this week that it is bringing back “Cash Cab.”

Comedian David Steinberg is on board as an executive producer of the reboot along with Lion USA, with Robyn Todd as co-executive producer. The program is set to debut later this year.

The original version aired on Discovery from 2005-2012, with Ben Bailey as the main host. The reboot promises a new spin, as “unsuspecting passengers will be ambushed by America’s favorite celebrities,” Discovery says in its announcement.

“Unwitting passengers enter the Cash Cab expecting a normal taxi journey, only to discover they’re instant contestants in for a potentially lucrative ride,” the announcement says. “Dodging New York City traffic, these lucky passengers will take on classic ‘Cash Cab’ trivia en route to their destination. If they get stumped, pedestrians and friends can help them out via phone, text or social media shout outs. If these riders get three questions wrong, though, they’re out on the street.”

The announcement adds: “All-new episodes will feature some of the top names in comedy, film and TV… who will even get behind the wheel of the cab itself, picking up lucky passengers.”

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 28, 2017
10:07 am
Comment

Fox News Channel Makes Cable News History (TVWeek)

The Fox News Channel just chalked up a history-making achievement. The cable channel made the announcement today that it delivered the highest-rated quarter in cable news history during the first quarter of 2017 in 24-hour viewership.

FNC also topped all of cable in both total day and prime time. And FNC’s “The O’Reilly Factor” set a record with the highest-rated quarter for any program in cable news history.

Additionally, every hour on Fox News from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET hit a record high for the channel’s 20-year history.

The network cites data from Nielsen Media Research. Click here to read the full announcement.

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 28, 2017
10:01 am
Comment

Big Moments in Life to Be ‘Unprecedented Television Event’ (TVWeek)

An unusual four-night programming event is in the works in which production teams will go live to locations around the country to capture families’ life-altering moments as they happen. “This Is Life Live,” announced today by TLC, will air on four consecutive nights starting Sunday, April 23.

“Going live from different locations across the country, every episode will share two unique stories of families and their loved ones as they experience an epic, pivotal moment,” TLC announced. “Every hour reveals compelling and dramatic stories with the twists, turns and huge surprises that happen along the way. From seeing the miracle of a woman walk for the first time and watching a father be reunited with a long-lost family member, to witnessing a deaf parent hearing a child say ‘I love you,’ viewers will share in unforgettable, personal and life-changing moments as they happen live.”

Each telecast will be followed by a live digital aftershow in which viewers will have the opportunity to ask questions of the participants.

The project is produced for TLC by Fly on the Wall Entertainment.

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 28, 2017
9:57 am
Comment

Showtime Examines the ‘Biggest Scandal in College Basketball History’ (TVWeek, Showtime)

A new Showtime production takes on what the network calls the “biggest scandal in college basketball history.” The pay-cable network released a new clip today for the documentary “Disgraced,” which presents secret audio recordings from 2003 that “reveal former Baylor University men’s basketball coach Dave Bliss planning to create ‘reasonable doubt’ during investigation of major NCAA rule violations,” Showtime says.

“‘Disgraced’ is a comprehensive account of the murder of Baylor basketball star Patrick Dennehy and the ensuing attempted cover-up of NCAA rules violations that rocked the Baptist university in Waco, Texas,” Showtime says in today’s announcement.

Bliss is quoted in the announcement saying in the recordings: “There’s nobody right now that can say that we paid Pat Dennehy because he’s dead. … Okay. So what we have to do is create the reasonable doubt.”

The film premieres this Friday, March 31, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime. Here’s the clip released today …

Older Articles