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TVBIZWIRE
Jul 3, 2015
12:47 pm
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NBC Cancels Drama Series (Variety)

An NBC drama series that recently wrapped its season has been canceled. Variety reports that NBC pulled the plug on “A.D.: The Bible Continues” after its one-season run.

The report notes that producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey “plan to return to the greatest story ever told on their nascent digital channel.”

“A.D.,” which picked up where the hit 2013 miniseries “The Bible” left off, averaged about 6.5 million total viewers and a 1.0 rating in adults 18-49 based on live-plus-7 Nielsen figures, Variety notes. The show’s 12-episode run on NBC wrapped June 21.

“The numbers were too soft for a renewal on NBC,” Variety notes. “But now that the ‘A.D.’ moniker is established with a devoted cadre of viewers, Burnett and Downey see it as a perfect tentpole for the launch of the OTT channel they have been working on since partnering with MGM to form United Artists Media Group last fall.”

The new channel, which will focus on faith-based content, is expected to arrive in late 2016 or early 2017.

a.d. the bible continues-nbc-title

TVBIZWIRE
Jul 3, 2015
12:39 pm
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Jon Stewart Unloads on Donald Trump — and Comes Up With a Campaign Slogan for Trump 2016; Here’s the Video (Comedy Central)

Jon Stewart got in his licks about Donald Trump on Thursday’s installment of Comedy Central’s “Daily Show,” the final episode of the program before it goes on hiatus. During the segment he highlighted one of Trump’s statements as a possible campaign slogan for the Trump presidential bid: “Somebody’s doing the raping.”

Here’s the clip:

TVBIZWIRE
Jul 3, 2015
12:21 pm
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Oscar Winner Joins Fox’s ‘Empire’ (THR)

Fox is adding an Oscar-winning actress to the lineup for season two of its hit drama series “Empire.” The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed confirms that Marisa Tomei has joined the show in a recurring role.

Tomei is a three-time Academy Award nominee, winning the Oscar in 1993 for “My Cousin Vinny.” She was also nominated for “In the Bedroom” in 2002 and for “The Wrestler” in 2009.

“Tomei will recur as Mimi Whiteman, a demanding venture capitalist who becomes involved with the Lyon family,” THR reports. “The Forbes-list billionaire is a lover of hip-hop, social trends, high-end fashion and beautiful women.”

Other high-profile personalities set for appearances on the drama series include Chris Rock, Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz and Adam Rodriguez, THR notes.

empire

TVBIZWIRE
Jul 3, 2015
12:09 pm
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Iconic Children’s Brand to Become a Movie (Deadline)

A brand that is a familiar sight to parents of small children may be about to become even more familiar. Deadline.com reports that the iconic Japanese brand Hello Kitty will be made into a feature film.

“Japanese lifestyle company Sanrio is planning to finance and produce a feature based on the character and release it globally in 2019,” Deadline reports. “The film will go through Sanrio’s recently established U.S. subsidiary. The project will have an expected budget of anywhere from $160 million-$240 million, including P&A, according to Sanrio execs.”

The U.S. subsidiary, Sanrio Media & Pictures Entertainment, was just set up last month. The subsidiary’s chief executive, Sanrio managing director Rehito Hatoyama, will oversee the Hello Kitty project, the report notes.

Hello Kitty, which first surfaced in 1975, has been the focus of a number of animated TV shows, starting with the short-lived “Hello Kitty’s Furry Tale Theater” in 1987. A live-action series, “Hello Kitty’s Paradise,” ran from 1999-2011.

The character also is a big player in video games.

hello kitty 2

TVBIZWIRE
Jul 3, 2015
9:41 am
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Two TV News Crews Robbed at Gunpoint, Cameraman Pistol-Whipped (SFGate)

Two television news crews were attacked Thursday while covering a story, with one of the attackers, who wore a ski mask, pistol-whipping a camera operator.

SFGate.com reports that the crews, from Bay Area stations KTVU-TV and KNTV, were hit while they were reporting on a fatal shooting at Pier 14 in San Francisco. They were robbed of cameras, reportedly by a group of three men.

“The mugging — the latest in the Bay Area to target television crews — happened at 6:03 a.m. at the pier along the Embarcadero and was captured in part on the air,” the story reports. “KTVU reporter Cara Liu was reporting live when someone ran up and stole camera equipment belonging to KNTV, which also had a crew on the scene. During the incident, KNTV camera operator Alan Waples was pistol-whipped.”

KTVU’s Brian Flores was about to send it to Liu live at the scene when she reportedly appeared startled, saying, “Hold on, hold on, wait,” before disappearing from the screen, SFGate reports. At the time, Waples and KNTV reporter Kris Sanchez were apparently being robbed at gunpoint.

Moments later, KTVU anchor Flores asked: “Cara, you still there?,” and she replied, “Sorry, there’s an incident out here.”

When Flores asked, “What’s going on out there, Cara, doing OK?,” no one responded, as Liu and KTVU photographer Keith Crook had gone to help the KNTV crew.

The assailant reportedly pointed a gun at Crook and made off with both stations’ cameras and tripods, fleeing in a black BMW.

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TVBIZWIRE
Jul 3, 2015
9:21 am
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CEOs of Sprint and T-Mobile in Nasty Online Exchange (USA Today)

The executives leading the country’s No. 3 and No. 4 wireless carriers fired off nasty online messages to each other this week.

USA Today reports that Marcelo Claure of No. 3 Sprint and John Legere of No. 4 T-Mobile went off in a war of words on Twitter.

Legere got things rolling with a tweet targeting Sprint’s “All-In Plan.” The T-Mobile exec wrote: “I give credit to @sprint for swinging the bat when they do but #allin is a swing and a miss, guys!!”

Legere’s tweet prompted a flurry of tweets from the usually polite Claure, which reportedly included the message: “I am so tired of your Uncarrier bullshit when you are worse than the other two carriers together. Your cheap misleading lease imitation is a joke…. You say one thing but behave completely different. It’s all a fake show. So its really #Tmobilelikehell.”

Then came a flurry from Legere, including: “You mad bro?” “When it comes to self-destructing, Marcelo is #Allin.” “Think I hit a nerve at the end of a rough week? Maybe end of the Q is a hard day over there. @T-Mobile numbers speak for themselves. #comingsoon.”

And: “Isn’t it cute that Marcelo’s been following me on twitter since joining? Now he’s starting to sound like me to get attention-it’s working!”

The exchange came as the two companies are pushing rival low-cost plans, and follows rumors last year that the two companies were exploring a merger as they compete against the larger AT&T and Verizon.

sprint and t-mobile

TVBIZWIRE
Jul 3, 2015
9:07 am
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Golfer Who Owns ‘General Lee’ Dodge Charger From ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ Has Plans for That Confederate Battle Flag on the Roof (CBS News)

One of the top pro golfers in the world, who happens to own a 1969 Dodge Charger from “The Dukes of Hazzard,” has added his voice to the controversy over the TV show, the car and the Confederate battle flag painted on its roof.

CBS News reports that Bubba Watson, the champion of the 2012 and 2014 Masters Tournaments, came down on the side of those who don’t appreciate the flag.

Watson tweeted Thursday: “All men ARE created equal, I believe that so I will be painting the American flag over the roof of the General Lee #USA.”

Watson’s announcement comes amid an increasingly vocal outcry against the Confederate flag — and comes on the heels of a decision by TV Land to stop airing episodes of “Dukes of Hazzard.” The increased focus on the flag followed a mass shooting last month at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C.

“The man police charged with the attack, Dylann Roof, posted photos online showing him burning a U.S. flag and holding a Confederate flag, along with a manifesto laying out hatred of minorities,” CBS News reports.

The report notes that Watson planned to drive the “General Lee” as part of the festivities at a 2012 NASCAR race in Phoenix, but was banned by the sanctioning body from appearing in the car because of concerns about the image of the Confederate flag on the roof. NASCAR has been dealing with controversy about the flag for years, and has recently stepped up efforts to reduce its presence at races.

TVBIZWIRE
Jul 3, 2015
8:44 am
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NBC Series Gets Second Season (TVWeek)

NBC has signed on for a second season of a freshman series. The Peacock Network announced Thursday that it has renewed the variety show “I Can Do That.”

The network placed an order for an eight-episode season, after the show’s six-episode first season, which wrapped June 30, crowned Nicole Scherzinger as the winner of the celebrity competition.

The announcement was made by Paul Telegdy, President, Alternative and Late Night Programming, NBC Entertainment.

Said Telegdy: “This series thrust our celebrities out of their comfort zones and into exciting, unpredictable situations and they rose to the occasion each week. We are thrilled to bring new challenges and up the ante for season two.”

Season one featured Scherzinger competing against Cheryl Burke, Ciara, Jeff Dye, Joe Jonas and Alan Ritchson. The show is hosted by Marlon Wayans.

“I Can Do That” averaged a 1.7 rating, 6 share in adults 18-49 and 5.7 million total viewers in “most current” results from Nielsen Media Research, according to NBC, and topped its time period entertainment competition from ABC and CBS in 18-49.

i can do that

TVBIZWIRE
Jul 3, 2015
8:29 am
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Showtime Releases Hot Dramas for Free Early Sampling (TVWeek)

Showtime is making two hit drama series available for free sampling ahead of the shows’ season premieres on the linear channel.

Both “Ray Donovan” and “Masters of Sex” are set to premiere their third seasons July 12. But the season premieres have been rolled out early on YouTube and SHO.com.

They’re also available via a number of On Demand and subscription services, including Showtime On Demand. And they’re being made available on Showtime Anytime for desktop and on apps for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

Please click here for details.

ray-donovan-poster

TVBIZWIRE
Jul 3, 2015
8:11 am
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Series Sets Ratings Record for OWN (TVWeek)

Oprah Winfrey’s OWN cable network is celebrating a ratings record this week. The cable channel announced that Tuesday’s premiere of the prime-time soap “The Haves and the Have Nots” delivered 3.3 million total viewers, making it the most-watched season premiere in OWN history.

The program was also the highest-rated telecast in series history among the network’s core demo of women 25-54, with a 2.80 rating.

OWN announced that the episode was the highest-rated Tuesday night cable telecast in 2015 to date among women 25-54.

“Additionally, Tuesday’s premiere ranked as the night’s #1 cable telecast among W25-54 and W18-49, making OWN the night’s #1 cable network among W25-54 and W18-49,” the network noted.

the haves and the have nots-OWN“The Haves and the Have Nots”

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