Aug 26, 2016
12:09 pm

Character Actor Who Was a Familiar Presence on TV Dies — He Was One of Those Actors Who You Knew His Face Even If You Couldn’t Come Up With His Name (Variety, TVWeek, AMPAS)

A character actor who was a beloved part of a number of TV shows and movies — including long-running roles as Henry on “Alice” and as the voice of “Choo Choo” on “Top Cat” — has died. Variety reports that Marvin Kaplan died Wednesday at his home in Burbank, Calif.

Kaplan, 89, reportedly died of natural causes.

The Brooklyn-born Kaplan made his film debut in “Adam’s Rib” in 1949, and went on to appearances in many movies, including “Angels in the Outfield,” “The Nutty Professor,” “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” “The Great Race” and “Freaky Friday.” He also had a long run as Alfred Prinzmetal on the early TV show “Meet Millie” from 1952-1955.

Along with his regular voice work on “Top Cat” from 1961-1962, Kaplan made the rounds of many sitcoms in the ’60s, including “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,” “McHale’s Navy,” “Gidget,” “My Three Sons” and “Petticoat Junction.”

He remained a busy guest performer through the 1970s before landing the role of Henry on “Alice,” where he became a regular at Mel’s Diner from 1978-1985. He later turned up on shows including “MacGyver,” “The Fall Guy,” “Cagney & Lacey” and “ER.”

Kaplan’s career extended into the 21st century, including a run as Mr. Gordon on “Becker.”

Here’s a clip from 2012 posted by the Oscars in which Kaplan appears on a panel talking about the filming of “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” …

Aug 26, 2016
11:57 am

Richard Branson Thought He Would Die in High-Speed Bike Crash in Which He Hit ‘Sleeping Policeman’ (NY Post, TVWeek)

Adventure-loving billionaire Richard Branson was badly injured Thursday in a high-speed bicycle crash, and the founder of Virgin Group said he feared at the time he would die.

As it turned out, Branson suffered a cracked cheek and torn ligaments in the incident in the British Virgin Islands.

Branson is quoted in The New York Post describing when he hit what he called a “sleeping policeman” — a British term for what Americans call a speed bump. The crash occurred on a training ride as Branson was riding with his two adult children.

“I went cycling on Virgin Gorda with Holly and Sam as part of my training for the Virgin Strive Challenge,” Branson said. “I was heading down a hill towards Leverick Bay when it suddenly got really dark and I managed to hit a ‘sleeping policeman’ hump in the road head on.

“The next thing I knew, I was being hurled over the handlebars and my life was literally flashing before my eyes.”

The Post notes that Branson had an encounter with a deadly stingray just a few months ago.

The report quotes Branson saying of the cycling wreck: “I really thought I was going to die. I went flying head-first towards the concrete road, but fortunately my shoulder and cheek took the brunt of the impact, and I was wearing a helmet that saved my life.”

Branson noted that his bike flew off a cliff and disappeared.

“As I landed, once I realized I was alive, I began testing my movement,” he added. “I really couldn’t believe I was alive, let alone not paralyzed.”

Aug 26, 2016
11:31 am

Report: CBS’s ‘Criminal Minds’ Plans Cast Shakeup Following the Firing of Thomas Gibson (TVLine)

CBS’s long-running drama series “Criminal Minds” reportedly has some cast moves in the works following the departure of longtime star Thomas Gibson. TVLine reports that the procedural is looking to add two new series regulars.

One of the new arrivals is expected to be a successor to Gibson’s Aaron Hotchner as team leader. “Details on the other role are being kept under wraps for now,” the story reports.

Gibson was fired from the show earlier this month after a clash on the set in which he allegedly kicked a producer, as we reported previously.

“In the past, Gibson had been made to attend anger-management classes after reportedly shoving an assistant director,” TVLine notes.

The report adds: “Gibson’s ouster — and the impending new additions — come as the series was already in a state of transition following last spring’s departure of original cast member Shemar Moore. Other changes include Adam Rodriguez’s full-time arrival as Alvez, Paget Brewster’s short-term return as Prentiss and Aisha Tyler’s promotion to series regular as Dr. Tara Lewis.”

criminal minds-logo

Aug 26, 2016
11:01 am

CBS Expands Availability of Its Streaming Service (TVWeek)

CBS has widened access to the CBS All Access digital subscription service, making the $5.99 monthly service available on Microsoft’s Xbox One.

“For $5.99 a month, CBS All Access offers more than 7,500 on-demand episodes from the current season and previous seasons of classic shows, as well as the ability to stream local CBS stations live in more than 150 markets across the U.S., including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia,” the company noted in its announcement. “In addition, subscribers will be able to watch CBS All Access’s upcoming original series, including ‘Star Trek: Discovery,’ a spinoff of ‘The Good Wife’ and a new digital edition of ‘Big Brother.'”

Rob Gelick, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital Platforms for CBS Interactive Entertainment, comments in the announcement: “Overall, our subscriber base is spending more than half of their time streaming CBS All Access content on connected devices, and that increases to 75 percent when watching CBS All Access’s live local TV feeds. Expanding the service to Xbox One gives CBS Television fans even more ways to watch their favorite programming on their device of choice.”

The release notes that CBS All Access is also available on Windows 10, Android and iOS devices via the CBS App; online at CBS.com; and through Xbox 360, Chromecast, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku players and Roku TV, with additional connected devices to be added in the coming months.


Aug 26, 2016
10:44 am

Stockbrokers Are Following a Controversial Former Baseball Slugger on Twitter for His … Financial Advice! (WSJ, TVWeek)

A former Major Leaguer who was one of the biggest — and most controversial — stars in baseball is now attracting a following for his financial advice.

The Wall Street Journal reports that slugger Jose Canseco, who spent much of his career as an outfielder with the Oakland A’s, has become Twitter’s favorite financial analyst.

Canseco was a six-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion who led the Major Leagues in home runs in 1988 and 1991. He has also been the focal point of controversy after admitting to using anabolic steroids — and implicating other players — in his tell-all book “Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big,” published in 2005.

The Journal reports that Canseco “has now developed a cult following after some of his contrarian predictions about financial markets came true.”

The report quotes James Mark II, a San Antonio-based stock and commodities trader, saying of Canseco: “He’s been pretty much spot on with the macro picture.” Mark notes that he started paying attention to Canseco’s tweets back in February when Canseco defied the bearish landscape by correctly predicting a rally in gold.

“I read it and I was like ‘Hmm, we agree,’” said Mark, who notes that he now regularly checks Canseco’s Twitter page.

The report adds that Canseco tweeted about Britain’s “Brexit” two days before the country’s vote: “Make no mistake Brexit will crater the UK into recession and the pound will do a 25% faceplant. Capital will flee like its pants are on fire.” The Journal adds: “The pound fell by about 15% against the dollar after the vote, falling short of his prediction, but he got the gist of it.”

Juiced-Jose Canseco-book cover

Aug 26, 2016
9:44 am

Report Says Super Agent Ari Emanuel Has Had Talks to Acquire The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Dick Clark Productions (NY Post)

Super agent Ari Emanuel may be positioning to expand his Hollywood empire, according to a report in The New York Post.

The publication reports: “Emanuel’s WME/IMG has talked to former Guggenheim Partners honcho Todd Boehly about a possible acquisition of his media holdings, which include TV production company Dick Clark Productions and trade publications The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard, The Post has learned.”

The report quotes a source saying: “Todd and Ari are good friends and have talked before about doing business together.”

A second source is quoted in the report saying: “They’ve had talks … for THR, Billboard, DCP.”

WME denied that talks are in the works, while reps for Boehly’s Eldridge Industries declined to comment for the story.

“It’s unclear if the talks are ongoing or whether they will lead to a deal for any or all of the assets, which one source suggested were worth more than $500 million,” The Post adds.

wme img

Aug 26, 2016
8:17 am

Netflix Picks Up Second Season of Crime Drama (Deadline, ITV)

Netflix will bring back a crime series for a second season. The streaming service has signed on for season two of “Marcella,” Deadline.com reports.

“The eight-part drama from Hans Rosenfeldt, creator of the original Swedish/Danish co-production ‘The Bridge’ (‘Bron’), will air in the UK on ITV next year and go out worldwide via Netflix following the UK broadcast,” Deadline reports. “The streaming service acquired the Anna Friel-starring series earlier this year.”

The series, which has been described as Scandinavian noir on the streets of Britain, will again be produced by Buccaneer Media, the report notes.

“Season One delved into the psychology of the troubled detective Marcella (Friel) as she investigates a serial murder case upon returning to duty after a 10-year hiatus,” the report adds.

Aug 26, 2016
7:59 am

Flood Relief Concert Set With Randy Jackson, Harry Connick Jr. as Co-Hosts (TVWeek)

A benefit concert to help victims of Louisiana flooding is on tap for Sept. 5, with Louisiana natives Randy Jackson and Harry Connick Jr. on board as co-hosts.

Raycom Media announced plans for “Louisiana Rising: A Benefit Concert for Flood Relief,” which will air live across all Raycom Media TV stations and on Bounce TV.

“More than a dozen well-known artists will play in the concert, including New Orleans-based Better Than Ezra,” the announcement notes. “Sonny Landreth, Chris Thomas King, MacKenzie Bourg, Luther Kent and Rockin’ Dopsie have also joined the cause. A complete lineup will be available in the coming days.”

The show at Baton Rouge’s River Center Theater will be produced by Raycom Media’s Tupelo-Honey Raycom, with Johnny Palazzotto, a fixture of the Baton Rouge music scene, serving as music director. The show will benefit the American Red Cross’s Louisiana Flood Relief fund.

Pat LaPlatney, Raycom Media President and CEO, said in the announcement: “We are very proud of the coverage our employees at WAFB have provided to viewers in the Baton Rouge area, despite their personal losses. With the help of Cary Glotzer’s team at Tupelo-Honey Raycom, the rest of the country will see what a terrible and devastating event that this continues to be and how they can help.  Our goal is to raise awareness — and more importantly, money — for the tens of thousands of people who need help to get back on their feet.”

raycom media

Aug 26, 2016
7:34 am

Oops, They Did It Again: Britney Spears and James Corden Sing Her Greatest Hits in Corden’s Latest Must-See ‘Carpool Karaoke’ (CBS)

CBS “Late Late Show” host James Corden continues to hit home runs with his “Carpool Karaoke” segments, with the latest installment bringing aboard Britney Spears for a series of duets featuring the pop superstar’s catalog of hits.

Here’s the clip …

Aug 26, 2016
7:24 am

Trump Doubles Down on Hillary Clinton Being a Bigot in CNN Interview (CNN)

In an interview airing on CNN, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump talks with the cable news channel’s Anderson Cooper about Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, clarifying why he thinks Clinton is a bigot.

Here’s the clip, posted by CNN …

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