Aug 22, 2017
6:34 pm

Treasury Secretary’s Actress Wife Apologizes After Getting Caught Up in Firestorm (CNN, NY Times)

After sending social media into a frenzy over what some are calling her “Let them eat cake” moment, Louise Linton, the newlywed actress wife of Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, has apologized.

CNN reports that the trouble started when Linton posted a photo on Instagram of herself and Mnuchin getting off a government plane following a trip on official business. On the photo, Linton tagged the designers of her outfit, including Roland Mouret, Tom Ford and Valentino.

The now-deleted post triggered an outcry, including a comment from social media user Jennifer Miller, who wrote: “Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable.”

Linton responded with a lengthy post that has been widely criticized as condescending, including writing: “Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? … I’m pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day ‘trip’ than you did.”

Linton added: “Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours.”

She also made a series of remarks about Miller’s lifestyle, and called her “adorably out of touch.”

Today, Linton backed off, issuing a statement via a publicist in which she said: “I apologize for my post on social media yesterday as well as my response. It was inappropriate and highly insensitive.”

The New York Times notes that the apology came “too late to stop the social-media dredging of her past mistakes, including ‘In Congo’s Shadow,’ a much-criticized memoir about her spotty gap year spent in Africa.”

The Times also notes that critics defaced the Scottish actress’s Wikipedia page, which The Times adds is “usually the first sign of any true social media frenzy.”

Aug 22, 2017
6:09 pm

Amazon is Paying Robert De Niro How Much??!! Survey of TV Stars’ Salaries (Variety)

Variety’s breakdown on the estimated per-episode salaries of TV stars shows that Robert De Niro is way ahead of the pack on the drama side with his estimated paycheck of $775,000 an episode from Amazon for the still-untitled David O. Russell drama project.

The rest of the pack is relatively tight, with Mark Harmon holding down second place with his $525,000 compensation from CBS for “NCIS,” just ahead of seven actors in a tie for third at $500,000. Five of those seven actors are on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”

The comedy side is dominated by CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory,” with each of the show’s top five stars pulling down a $900,000 per-episode paycheck.

We encourage readers to click on the link above to Variety to check out not only the drama and comedy lists but also the annual salaries in the reality/news/host category.

Aug 22, 2017
5:51 pm

Netflix Series Renewed (TVWeek)

A Netflix original series that rolled out earlier this year has been picked up for a second season. The streamer announced that the comedy “Friends From College” will be back for another eight-episode run.

Created by Nicholas Stoller and Francesca Delbanco, the series focuses on a group of friends from Harvard played by Keegan-Michael Key (Ethan), Cobie Smulders (Lisa), Annie Parisse (Sam), Nat Faxon (Nick), Fred Savage (Max) and Jae Suh Park (Marianne).

“With interwoven and oftentimes complicated relationships with one another, ‘Friends From College’ is a comedic exploration of old friendships, former romantic entanglements and balancing adult life with nostalgia for the past,” Netflix says in the announcement.

The series premiered on Netflix July 14.

Aug 22, 2017
5:36 pm

Game Changer? Premium VOD Service From Apple, Amazon and Comcast Closing In on Launch Date, Price Point (THR)

A new premium video-on-demand service being developed by Apple, Amazon and Comcast is on track to launch in the first two months of 2018, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Hollywood studios appear to have settled on a plan to deliver movies for home viewing 30-45 days after the films come out in theaters, with a rental fee of $30.

“That’s less aggressive than some studios might want — there have been suggestions of making a movie available for $50 after 17 days — but the more modest $30 price point could help to soothe the frayed nerves of theater owners, as well as lure more consumers to hit the ‘buy’ button,” THR reports.

Year-end holiday movies such as “Greatest Showman on Earth” and “Pitch Perfect 3” may be among the service’s first offerings, the report notes.

“Insiders say Comcast, Apple and Amazon are actively developing the delivery system for PVOD titles, including figuring out antipiracy measures,” THR adds. “A number of platforms, including the other major cable providers and digital players, will ultimately be a part of PVOD as well, since the goal is to saturate the marketplace.”

Aug 22, 2017
2:51 pm

Jeffrey Lord, the Pro-Trump Political Commentator Recently Fired by CNN, Is in Talks With Another Media Outlet (Daily Beast)

Jeffrey Lord, who got the boot from CNN about two weeks ago after he came under fire over a “Sieg Heil!” tweet, is reportedly in talks with Breitbart News.

“With Steve Bannon taking over the conservative website, two of … Donald Trump’s best known boosters could end up teaming up,” The Daily Beast reports.

Lord, a former Reagan administration official and an outspoken conservative, was a longtime contributor at CNN, where he has most recently been one of Trump’s biggest supporters.

“The abrupt firing, officially due to Lord tweeting ‘Sieg Heil!,’ prompted a phone call of support from Steve Bannon, then President Donald Trump’s chief strategist,” the story reports. “Now Bannon has lost his job, too. And as he settles back at the conservative website Breitbart, were he once again is head honcho, he may end up bringing Lord along with him.”

The report adds: “The Daily Beast can confirm that Lord is eyeing Breitbart, one of the most influential Trump-boosting outlets in the country, as a post-CNN gig. Two sources familiar with the situation tell The Daily Beast that, post-firing, Breitbart reached out to Lord regarding writing for the site, for a contributorship or a potentially steadier job.”

The article also notes: “Last week, Lord emailed The Daily Beast that he was indeed actively exploring post-CNN media options, stating that he had ‘three possibilities already! LOL!’ and was ‘taking a week off and then back to figuring out the future.’ Lord did not respond to follow-up questions regarding the specifics of said options.”

Aug 22, 2017
2:44 pm

The Average Age of an Amazon Customer Is the Same as the Average Age of the U.S. Population — Guess What It Is (NY Post)

The average age of an Amazon customer, revealed in a Goldman Sachs analyst report, is 37 years, as of June.

The New York Post reports that the analysis is based on ComScore data, and closely matches the median age of the U.S. population, which is 37.8 years, based on the Census Bureau’s 2015 Census.

“The bulk of Amazon users, 53 percent, are 19 to 44 years old, Goldman says. That compares with 37 percent of the population,” The Post reports. “A healthy 33 percent of Amazon users are 45 to 64 years old, also greater than the overall 22 percent of the US population in that age group.”

Aug 22, 2017
1:59 pm

One of TV’s Biggest — and Richest — Stars Is the First Guest on Harvey Levin’s (‘TMZ’) New Show (NY Post, TVWeek)

A fixture of the current television landscape who’s doing about as well financially as anyone in the medium will be the first guest to join “TMZ” guru Harvey Levin on his new show, “OBJECTified.”

The New York Post’s Page Six reports that the show’s first guest will be Judge Judy Sheindlin. As we reported earlier this month, Sheindlin has been raking in millions from “Judge Judy,” and recently supplemented her income with a massive sale of material from her 10,400-show archive to CBS.

Sheindlin already makes about $45 million a year for her work on “Judge Judy,” and the latest transaction is said to be worth another $200 million — more than twice the $95 million it was estimated to be when it was first reported.

Levin’s new one-hour show will launch next month on Fox News Channel, where it will air on Sundays.

“’OBJECTified’ means interviewing world VIPs about some object, token, toy, memento or tchotchke, some important-to- them keepsake retained over the years because, when brought forth and objectified, it evokes some meaningful — often forgotten — point in their lives,” The Post reports.

Sheindlin will reportedly tell the story of some $500 black Robert Clergerie shoes she desperately wanted years ago but couldn’t afford.

Aug 22, 2017
1:27 pm

The NFL Has Its First White National Anthem Protester (NY Post, TVWeek)

National Anthem protests among NFL players appear to be spreading, with one key barrier falling Monday when Seth DeValve, a second-year tight end for the Cleveland Browns, took a knee during “The Star Spangled Banner” before a preseason game in Cleveland against the Giants.

The New York Post reports that DeValve was “part of a circle of more than a dozen players who bowed their heads in silent protest. They were flanked by several more teammates who stood and put their hands on the kneelers’ shoulders.”

The report adds: “DeValve is the first white player to join the movement started by Colin Kaepernick, who’s currently not in the league. The Eagles’ Chris Long stood with his hand on a teammate’s kneeling shoulder last week.”

The report notes that Michael Bennett, a defensive end for the Seattle Seahawks, said last week that it would take the involvement of a white player in the protests “to really get things changed.” The protests are focused on the treatment of African Americans by police across the U.S.

“For DeValve, a fourth-round pick last year out of Princeton, protesting treatment of minorities is personal: He’s married to an African-American woman, and he expressed hope that his future children would grow up in a better world,” The Post notes.

DeValve, 24, is quoted in the report saying: “The United States is the greatest country in the world. It is because it provides opportunities to its citizens that no other country does. The issue is that it doesn’t provide equal opportunity to everybody.” He added: “I wanted to support my African-American teammates today who wanted to take a knee. We wanted to draw attention to the fact that there’s things in this country that still need to change.”

Aug 22, 2017
1:11 pm

Jerry Seinfeld Reportedly Has Legal Pads Containing Every Joke He Has Written Since 1975 — Here’s a Look (TVWeek, Netflix, Instagram)

A new TV show centered on Jerry Seinfeld will reportedly include something remarkable and a little bit hard to believe: legal pads containing every joke Seinfeld has written since 1975.

Netflix noted the legal pads in an announcement for the show, “Jerry Before Seinfeld,” an hour-long special that rolls out on Netflix Sept. 19. The show presents a stand-up appearance by Seinfeld at The Comic Strip, a club that helped launch his career.

“Interspersed with never-before-seen material — including a library of legal pads with every joke he’s written since 1975, childhood videos, and more — Jerry performs the jokes that put him on the comedy map in an hour-long stand-up special, only on Netflix,” the streaming service says in an announcement for the special.

Here’s one of a number of photos put up on the Netflix Comedy Instagram page — a shot of Seinfeld pretending to sort through the old jokes …

Aug 22, 2017
12:33 pm

Court Ruling May Make It Easier to Sue Media and Entertainment Companies (THR)

Media companies just got some bad news, The Hollywood Reporter’s THR, Esq., reports, and it’s all part of the fallout from that Gawker case in which Hulk Hogan won a $140 million verdict over a sex tape back in March 2016.

In the latest development, a judge in New York has ruled that California’s free speech statute conflicts with federal rules, THR reports.

Back when Hogan won the big verdict, some legal observers suggested the decision didn’t create much in the way of legal precedent, THR notes, adding: “On Monday, that might have changed with a new opinion from a New York bankruptcy judge that touches on a hot legal topic. It’s a decision that could have the effect of making it easier to sue media and entertainment companies.”

Gawker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy following the Hogan verdict. The latest ruling pertains to a separate case in which alt-right journalist Chuck Johnson has objected to the Gawker liquidation plan and is pursuing claims against Gawker. THR provides a detailed breakdown of the issues decided this week, which involve personal injury torts and anti-SLAPP laws.

The takeaway is that Johnson — and potentially, others who follow in his footsteps — may have a lower standard of proof to meet as his case moves forward.

We encourage readers to click on the link above to THR for the full explanation.

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