Oct 16, 2017
6:24 pm

‘Trailer Park Boys’ Actor Dead at 71 (TVWeek, Twitter)

A veteran television and film actor best known for his long-running role on the mockumentary series “Trailer Park Boys” has died. John F. Dunsworth, who played trailer park supervisor Jim Lahey on the Canadian series, died today after what his family describes as a “short and unexpected illness.” He was 71.

Dunsworth’s daughter Sarah announced his death in a Twitter post, which you can read below.

Dunsworth was a star of the stage in Halifax, and also worked in radio along with his screen roles. He was also known for his role as Dave Teagues on the U.S.-Canadian supernatural drama series “Haven.”

Oct 16, 2017
5:59 pm

Woody Allen Clarifies His Weinstein Comments After Getting Backlash (USA Today, TVWeek)

Legendary director Woody Allen walked back some of his comments on the Harvey Weinstein situation after coming under fire over the weekend.

Allen was asked about Weinstein while he was in London to promote his new movie “Wonder Wheel.” Allen worked with Weinstein on projects including “Mighty Aphrodite.”

In a report published Sunday, Allen said: “The whole Harvey Weinstein thing is very sad for everybody involved. Tragic for the poor women that were involved, sad for Harvey that [his] life is so messed up.”

But Allen’s publicist was doing damage control today after Allen’s comments were criticized. USA Today reports that the publicist said Allen was surprised by the criticism.

In a statement issued today, Allen says: “When I said I felt sad for Harvey Weinstein I thought it was clear the meaning was because he is a sad, sick man. I was surprised it was treated differently. Lest there be any ambiguity, this statement clarifies my intention and feelings.”

USA Today adds: “Allen, who was accused by his daughter, Dylan, her mother Mia Farrow and her brother Ronan Farrow of abusing Dylan when she was a child, added that he hoped the allegations against Weinstein would not lead to a ‘witch hunt atmosphere … where every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself. That’s not right either.'”

The report notes that Allen has denied ever abusing his daughter and was never charged. Ronan Farrow is the author of The New Yorker’s recent article on Weinstein’s alleged sexual assaults.

Oct 16, 2017
5:44 pm

What’s Driving Netflix’s Record Stock Prices? (Deadline)

Shares in Netflix hit a record high during the trading day Monday, with the surge driven by a rise in global subscriptions. Deadline reports that after the close of trading today the company reported a 49% increase in global subscribers over a year ago for the third quarter.

“The global tally now stands at 104 million,” Deadline reports. “In the quarter, Netflix added 850,000 new customers in the U.S., to hit 52.77 million overall, and internationally it signed up 4.45 million for a total of 56.48 million.”

The report notes that the company’s stock price rose 1.6% to hit a record high of $202.59, up $3.19, during today’s trading.

“For the quarter ended September 30, total revenue gained 30.3% to just shy of $3 billion and executives expressed confidence in surpassing $11 billion in revenue for the full year,” Deadline adds. “Net income for the quarter rose sharply over the year-ago period, hitting $130 million, or 29 cents a share, compared with $52 million, or 12 cents.”

In a letter to shareholders today, the company said: “We are growing nicely across the world. Internet entertainment is delighting consumers, and we are staying at the forefront of this once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

Oct 16, 2017
5:39 pm

Harvey Weinstein Getting Kicked Out of Producers Guild; Guild Setting Up Task Force on Sexual Harassment (USA Today, TVWeek)

The Producers Guild of America voted to expel disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein, with the guild’s National Board of Directors and Officers, consisting of 20 women and 18 men, voting unanimously today to “institute termination proceedings concerning Harvey Weinstein’s membership,” guild Presidents Gary Lucchesi and Lori McCreary said in a statement.

“Under the guild’s constitution, Weinstein now has three weeks to respond before the guild makes a final determination on November 6,” USA Today reports, noting that a spokeswoman for Weinstein declined to comment on whether he would respond to the move.

“The guild statement also announced the creation of an anti-sexual harassment task force ‘specifically charged with researching and proposing substantive and effective solutions to sexual harassment in the entertainment industry,'” USA Today reports.

The PGA said in its statement: “Sexual harassment of any type is completely unacceptable. This is a systemic and pervasive problem requiring immediate industry-wide action.

“The PGA calls on leaders throughout the entertainment community to work together to ensure that sexual abuse and harassment are eradicated from the industry.”

Weinstein was kicked out of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Saturday, after being suspended last week by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

“On Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron said he had ‘started the procedures’ to rescind Weinstein’s Legion of Honor award,” USA Today reports.

Oct 16, 2017
2:44 pm

The Weinstein Co. May Be Sold (NY Times, TVWeek)

The Weinstein Co., under pressure amid a sexual misconduct scandal surrounding its co-founder Harvey Weinstein, is in talks to be sold to Colony Capital, according to media reports.

The New York Times reports that Colony has already agreed to provide an immediate cash infusion to help the company get through its current crisis. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.

“The two sides will begin negotiations over selling some or all of the studio’s assets to Colony, which is led by Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a financier who is one of President Trump’s closest advisers,” The Times reports.

The report quotes a statement from Tarak Ben Ammar, a Weinstein Co. board member, in which he says: “We believe that Colony’s investment and sponsorship will help stabilize the company’s current operations, as well as provide comfort to our critical distribution, production and talent partners around the world.”

The company has faced a series of problems since reports surfaced in The New York Times and The New Yorker detailing decades of sexual harassment and rape allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

“Numerous content partners, from Apple to Disney to Amazon, have dropped projects that involved the Weinstein Company,” The Times reports. “Most of the studio’s board has resigned.”

Harvey Weinstein was fired last week by the company, which is also in the process of changing its name to avoid the association with Weinstein.

Oct 16, 2017
1:41 pm

New Late-Night Show on the Way (TVWeek)

Plans have surfaced for an addition to the late-night television landscape, with a show focusing on hot-button issues in the works for a spring 2018 debut on HBO. The satirical docuseries starring former “Daily Show” writer and correspondent Wyatt Cenac has a 10-episode order from the pay-cable channel.

Executive producers include Cenac, Ezra Edelman, John Oliver and Hallie Haglund, who will also be the head writer. Diane Fitzgerald will be co-executive producer on the show, which will be produced for HBO by Avalon Television.

Nina Rosenstein, executive vice president, HBO Programming, announced plans for the show today.

“We’re thrilled to give Wyatt this opportunity to showcase his bold take on today’s social issues,” said Rosenstein. “His ability to tackle tough topics with humor and insight makes this show a perfect addition to our late-night lineup.”

Added Cenac: “While my initial ask to play one of Molly’s love interests on ‘Insecure’ was rejected, this is a nice consolation. My thanks to Nina, Casey Bloys and everyone at HBO for finally giving me a place where I can comfortably swear on television.”

Oct 16, 2017
1:27 pm

Lawsuit Against Fox Goes Forward (THR)

A court ruled today that a lawsuit against the Fox Network can go ahead after Fox sought to have the suit dismissed. The Hollywood Reporter’s THR, Esq., reports that the case stems from the network’s use of an Illinois youth detention center in 2015 during filming of the hit drama series “Empire.”

“Several minors, through their legal guardians, are suing over the ‘Empire’ filming at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, contending that their due process rights were denied when they were ordered into ‘pod’ areas and forced to sit there for days,” THR reports. “During this time, the kids’ sick requests were allegedly ignored and their family visits were eliminated. These children couldn’t attend school and didn’t have access to the recreation yard, the library, the infirmary and the chapel.”

Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve expressed doubts about parts of the claim directed at Fox, while allowing the case to proceed against Cook County Chief Judge Timothy Evans and Superintendent Leonard Dixon.

“Now, however, after the complaint was amended and Fox took another shot at dismissal, the judge has decided to permit two claims against Fox to move forward as well,” THR reports, adding: “The judge says the lawsuit sufficiently alleges that Fox ‘colluded’ with Cook County officials by deliberately encouraging them to improperly place the youth prison on lockdown.”

Oct 16, 2017
1:11 pm

Tony Winner Who Appeared in ‘Game of Thrones’ Dies (NY Times, TVWeek, YouTube)

A stage, film and television actor who won a Tony Award and who was seen on the big screen in “Amadeus” and on television in “Game of Thrones” has died. The New York Times reports that British actor Roy Dotrice died today at his home in London. He was 94.

On the stage, Dotrice was known for his one-man shows in which he portrayed historical figures including Abraham Lincoln and the diarist John Aubrey.

“Hailed by critics for suffusing his character with fine-tuned blarney, malevolent passions and brooding gloom, Mr. Dotrice won the Tony Award for best featured actor in 2000 for his portrait of the conniving Irish father and pig farmer in an acclaimed Broadway revival of Eugene O’Neill’s ‘A Moon for the Misbegotten,’ with Gabriel Byrne and Cherry Jones,” The Times reports.

The report adds: “Mr. Dotrice appeared in more than 50 plays in London, New York and other cities, not counting some 300 more as a young British repertory stalwart. He performed for nine years with the troupe that became the Royal Shakespeare Company, took scores of roles in television and Hollywood films, and became familiar to millions on television series and miniseries broadcast on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Dotrice narrated audiobook versions of George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” fantasy books, which were adapted into the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones.” He also had a role on the HBO show as Hallyne the Pyromancer, the head alchemist in the city of King’s Landing.

Among his many film roles, he played Mozart’s father, Leopold Mozart, in the acclaimed 1984 film “Amadeus.”

Here’s some of Dotrice’s work as Hallyne on “Game of Thrones” …

Oct 16, 2017
1:07 pm

NBC Play-by-Play Man Al Michaels Apologizes for Weinstein Joke (AP, YouTube)

Veteran sportscaster Al Michaels found himself apologizing during the fourth quarter of last night’s “Sunday Night Football” game on NBC for a quip he made earlier in the broadcast.

“Michaels mused in the middle of the third quarter of the game between the New York Giants and Denver Broncos that the Giants were ‘coming off a worse week than Harvey Weinstein,'” the AP reports. “His on-air partner Cris Collinsworth replied with a laugh and told Michaels ‘only my L.A. guy comes up with that one.’”

The report adds: “The comment got a negative reaction on social media and Michaels apologized in the fourth quarter for ‘being a little flip’ with his reference to Weinstein, who faces sexual misconduct allegations. Michaels added that ‘it was not meant in that manner.’”

Oct 16, 2017
1:01 pm

Amid Lurid Headlines About Sexual Misconduct, Women Take Center Stage for a Very Different Reason (TVWeek)

Against the backdrop of the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal’s barrage of lurid headlines and mounting allegations of widespread harassment in the entertainment industry, a gathering Thursday night at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel cast an entirely different light on the status of women in the television business.

Weinstein was clearly in the conversation at “The Paley Honors: Celebrating Women in Television,” as some of the participants — including 85-year-old Rita Moreno — recounted their own experiences with harassment. But if anything, the Weinstein scandal contributed to a sense of solidarity on a night that was all about celebrating women and their rich history in television.

TVWeek Open Mic writer Hillary Atkin filed a full report on the festivities, which you can read by clicking here.

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