Aug 28, 2014
2:10 pm

Joan Rivers Is Rushed to Hospital (Reuters)

Veteran comedian Joan Rivers has been rushed to a hospital after she reportedly stopped breathing. Reuters reports that the E! mainstay was undergoing surgery on her vocal chords at a New York clinic when she stopped breathing and was taken to nearby Mount Sinai Hospital.

Rivers’ daughter, Melissa Rivers, was reportedly en route to the hospital to be with her mother.

“Mount Sinai gave no details on the condition of the 81-year-old Brooklyn-born celebrity but said it would provide an update as it becomes available,” the story reports. “Ken Baker, an entertainment journalist at E! News, which features Rivers as host of its show ‘Fashion Police,’ said on his Twitter account that Rivers was in stable condition.”

A hospital spokesman issued a statement saying: “Her family wants to thank everybody for their outpouring of love and support.”

Reuters adds: “New York City Fire Department spokesman Jim Long said a patient reported to be in cardiac arrest had been taken from Yorkville Endoscopy to Mount Sinai by emergency workers responding to the call at 9:40 a.m.

“Long declined to name the patient due to privacy concerns, but the NBC television affiliate in New York said it was Rivers and that she had stopped breathing during a procedure on her vocal chords.”

joan rivers

Joan Rivers

Aug 28, 2014
2:09 pm

Deja Vu All Over Again at This Year’s Emmy Awards (TVWeek)

If you had a sense of deja vu while you were watching the Emmys ceremony Monday night, it was probably because all of the top program and acting awards were handed out to repeat winners.

TVWeek Open Mic blogger Hillary Atkin crunched the numbers and found that not just the program winners in the drama and comedy categories — “Breaking Bad” and “Modern Family” — but also all of the winners in the lead acting categories for drama and comedy were previous Emmy winners.

Please click here to read Hillary’s column recapping the latest round of repeat winners for the Primetime Emmys.


Aug 28, 2014
2:08 pm

Shakeup Behind the Camera for Showtime Series (Variety)

An acclaimed Showtime series has lost its showrunner. Variety reports that the Emmy-nominated and Golden Globe-winning “Ray Donovan” has yet to name a new showrunner following the departure of show creator Ann Biderman.

“’Ray Donovan,’ the series that stars Liev Schreiber as a Hollywood fixer who has trouble repairing his damaged home life, recently completed filming its second season and is in post production,” Variety notes. “Biderman, who has a history of developing and working on similarly gritty projects like ‘Southland’ and ‘NYPD Blue,’ is one of the few female showrunners in the industry. She will remain on ‘Ray Donovan’ as a creative consultant for its upcoming third season.”

Said Showtime Networks President David Nevins: “Ann Biderman is a uniquely gifted writer and creator. She has done great work on ‘Ray Donovan’ from her very first pitch through the first two amazing seasons. ‘Ray Donovan’ has become a signature asset for Showtime and Ann will continue as a creative consultant on the show. We look forward to continuing our relationship with her.”

Schreiber was Golden Globe nominee this year for his lead role, and Jon Voight won a Golden Globe for his work in a supporting role. Voight was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy.

ann biderman

Ann Biderman

Aug 28, 2014
2:06 pm

‘Frasier’ Star Ends TV Hiatus (Newsday)

One of the stars of the long-running NBC hit “Frasier” is heading back to series TV. The move comes after what has been a hiatus from television for David Hyde Pierce, who played Niles Crane on “Frasier.”

“Pierce, who essentially disappeared from television after the long ‘Frasier’ run (for Broadway), is returning, in a minor role, on next season’s ‘The Good Wife,’” Newsday reports.

CBS said in an announcement: “Pierce will play a highly respected cable news legal commentator who is so disgusted by the corruption and murder rate in Chicago that he decides to run for office in order to affect change. The role will mark Pierce’s first appearance in a television series since ‘Frasier’ ended its run in 2004.”

Newsday notes: “That last line? Not technically true: Commander Chiphead, ‘Sesame Street.’”

Pierce was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series an astounding 11 years in a row for “Frasier,” from 1994 through 2004, winning the Emmy four times during that run.

david hyde pierce

David Hyde Pierce

Aug 28, 2014
1:06 pm

Former ‘Modern Family’ EP Sells Project to CBS (Deadline)

Former “Modern Family” executive producer Bill Wrubel has sold a project to CBS, according to a report by Nellie Andreeva on

The project marks his first sale since he moved to Warner Bros. TV with an overall deal. CBS has given a pilot production commitment to a comedy called “The Good Life,” which focuses on a man who thinks everyone else is achieving their dreams.

He “ultimately realizes he has everything he’s ever wanted. He does that through what I hear is a journey in the vein of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life,’” Andreeva notes.

She adds: “Wrubel spent the past five seasons on the ABC/20th TV hit ‘Modern Family,’ which he joined after the pilot as a co-executive producer. He served as an executive producer for the past three seasons and shared in all five of the series’ best comedy Emmys.”

bill wrubel

Bill Wrubel

Aug 28, 2014
8:57 am

Character Actor Dead at 58 — He Appeared on ‘Seinfeld,’ ‘Nash Bridges’ and Many Other TV Shows (THR)

A character actor who became a familiar face with appearances on many TV shows has died. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Stephen Lee died Aug. 14 in his Los Angeles apartment from a heart attack. He was 58.

His appearances included roles on “Seinfeld” and “Nash Bridges.” On “Seinfeld,” Lee played a contractor who installed new cabinets in Jerry’s kitchen during a 1997 episode, while on “Nash Bridges,” he portrayed mobster Tony B.

In 1994, he played Tom Arnold in NBC’s telefilm “Roseanne and Tom: Behind the Scenes.”

His other TV appearances included “Quantum Leap,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Bones,” among many others. He also appeared in feature films, including 1983’s “WarGames” and 1990’s “RoboCop 2.”

stephen lee

Stephen Lee

Aug 28, 2014
8:49 am

Reality Show Canceled After Arrest of Star on Child Rape Charges (Deadline, Fox411, CNN)

A reality series has been canceled following the arrest of its star. reports that Discovery pulled the plug on “Sons of Guns” after its star, Will Hayden, was arrested on what the network calls “serious and horrific” charges of child rape.

In a statement, the network said: “Given the serious and horrific nature of the charges against William Hayden, we have decided to halt further production of ‘Sons Of Guns’ and cancel the series.”

Hayden was arrested Tuesday and charged with aggravated rape and victimizing his daughter since March 2013, when she was 11 years old, the story adds.

Fox411 reports that Hayden was first arrested Aug. 9 on charges of molestation of a child and aggravated crimes against nature, but was subsequently released after posting a $150,000 bond.

The Deadline story notes: “According to local media reports, East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office rep Casey Hicks said that during its investigation around the first arrest, ‘we received more information that these rapes allegedly occurred from March 2013 to July 2014 of our victim, who was 11 and then later 12 years old at the time,’ and the victim told police the alleged acts occurred almost daily, but she did not report them because of threats Hayden made.”

The show, which followed Hayden and his custom weapons company Red Jacket Firearms, ended its fifth season in May, CNN notes.

The gun company said Wednesday that it had “initiated and received full legal separation as an entity” from Hayden.

An attorney for Hayden did not immediately return a request for comment, CNN notes.

will hayden

Will Hayden

Aug 28, 2014
8:47 am

Who’s the Highest-Paid Late-Night TV Host? The Answer Might Surprise You (Chicago Tribune)

The highest-paid host on late-night television may not be who you think it is. It’s Jon Stewart of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” The Chicago Tribune reports, citing a new survey by TV Guide Magazine.

Stewart is pulling in between $25 million and $30 million per year, more than CBS’s David Letterman’s $20 million salary in his final year as host of “Late Show,” the story says.

The data comes from TV Guide’s 6th annual “TV’s Highest Paid Stars” issue, the piece adds.

Other top earners on TV include Judy Sheindlin of “Judge Judy,” who earns $47 million per year, and “Today” host Matt Lauer, who makes as much as $25 million.

Here’s a clip of Stewart’s report earlier this week on events in Ferguson, Mo., and how the story has been covered in the media:

Aug 28, 2014
8:43 am

Diane Sawyer Signs Off as Anchor of ABC’s ‘World News’ — Here Are Her Parting Comments (AP)

ABC’s “World News” anchor Diane Sawyer signed off from her role at the evening newscast on Wednesday, the Associated Press reports.

Sawyer, who will be replaced next week by David Muir, had held the post since December 2009. While her impending departure was in the works for some time, it wasn’t clear until this week that she wouldn’t anchor the program tonight or Friday.

“It has been wonderful to be the home port for the brave and brilliant forces of ABC News around the world and to feel, every single night, you and I were in a conversation about the day together,” Sawyer told viewers Wednesday.

Even though the 68-year-old is stepping down from her “World News” role, she isn’t retiring, the AP notes. Instead, she will take on a reporting role, including seeking big interviews for ABC, the story adds.

“‘World News’ has been a steady No. 2 in the ratings to NBC’s ‘Nightly News,’ anchored by Brian Williams, for most of Sawyer’s tenure, although in recent months it has made inroads among some younger viewers. CBS, with Scott Pelley as anchor, is the third-place network,” the piece notes.

The ABC program has come out on top in the key news demo of viewers 25-54 for seven of the past eight weeks, as we reported earlier this week.

Here’s the clip of Sawyer’s parting comments Wednesday night:

Aug 28, 2014
8:42 am

Why NBC Turned Down a Suicide PSA That Would Have Aired After Emmys’ Robin Williams Tribute

NBC declined to air a public service announcement from the National Suicide Prevention Network, which requested the network air the spot after its tribute to the late Robin Williams during the Emmy Awards, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Collectively we decided to celebrate the life of Robin Williams, not his death or, more to the point, the way he died,” said a network spokesperson. “The Emmys telecast is a celebration, and the ‘In Memoriam’ section of our show is an important one. We believe we honored Robin in the right away. Suicide is a serious issue, but we decided not to dwell on that — or its prevention — in this particular forum.”

The tribute was delivered by Billy Crystal, a close friend of Williams. The comedian and actor committed suicide earlier this month at his home, as previously reported. His wife later revealed that he had been suffering from the early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

Robin Williams and Billy Crystal

Robin Williams and Billy Crystal

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