TVBizWire

TVBIZWIRE
Sep 2, 2014
2:10 pm
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Joan Rivers Remains on Life Support, Her Daughter Confirms (NY Daily News, Fox 411)

Amid wide-ranging reports on the condition of comedienne Joan Rivers — with some reports hinting that she is near death while others say she’s on the road to recovery — her daughter issued a statement today confirming that her mother remains on life support, the New York Daily News reports.

The short statement from Melissa Rivers says: “On behalf of my mother and our family, we are extremely grateful for all the love and support we’re received. At this time she does remain on life support. I know my mother would be overwhelmed by the continued outpouring of kindness and I want to thank everyone for keeping us in their prayers.”

Fox 411 reported that “Rivers’ E! colleague Ken Baker insisted on Tuesday that the sharp-tongued TV host was doing better, though her family’s statement seems to contradict the claim.

” ‘I spoke to someone who is close to the situation and has been to the hospital,’ he said during a daily webcast. ‘She is still in serious condition, however, the source that I spoke to said things are progressing. She is on the road to recovery … this is not some dire, doomsday situation like you may have read.’ ”

Melissa Rivers’ statement today comes five days after Joan Rivers reportedly went into cardiac and respiratory arrest during a routine medical procedure.

As we reported earlier today, Rivers, 81, was due to be assessed by doctors today at Mount Sinai Hospital after being brought out of a medically induced coma, with a focus in particular on determining the extent of any brain damage.

“Doctors at Mount Sinai had initially placed Rivers into a medically induced coma as they began running tests on the Emmy-winning talk show host,” the Daily News story reports. “The medical team is hoping to get a read on any damage caused when Rivers stopped breathing last Thursday morning at an Upper East Side clinic. Rivers was getting her throat checked out.”

Melissa-and-Joan-RiversMelissa (left) and Joan Rivers

TVBIZWIRE
Sep 2, 2014
2:07 pm
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Not Good: Home Depot May Have Been Victim of a Credit Card and Debit Card Hack. If So, Report Says It Could ‘Dwarf’ the Target Store Hacking. It’s Our Non-TV Story of the Day (USA Today)

“A massive batch of credit and debit card information that went on sale on a criminal Internet site Tuesday [Sept. 2, 2014] may be from Home Depot stores and could be linked to hackers previously responsible for breaches at Target and P.F. Chang’s, security experts say,” reports USA Today.

The story adds: “ ‘The breach could have begun in late April or early May of this year,’ according to the website Krebsonsecurity.com,” which is where USA Today found the story.

The USA Today story notes: “If that is true, this incident could dwarf the Target [stores] breach, in which credit and debit accounts were compromised over a three-week period.”

The article also says: “Home Depot spokeswoman Paula Drake said she could only ‘confirm that we’re looking into some unusual activity and we are working with our banking partners and law enforcement to investigate.’

“The data put up for sale was labeled ‘American Sanctions.’ Brian Krebs of Krebsonsecurity.com called the naming ‘what can only be interpreted as intended retribution for U.S. and European sanctions against Russia for its aggressive actions in Ukraine.’ ”

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TVBIZWIRE
Sep 2, 2014
2:03 pm
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CeeLo Green Reality Show Canceled as Criticism Mounts Over Rape Comments (Variety)

A reality show built around rapper and actor CeeLo Green has been canceled, just as Green, a former judge on the NBC program “The Voice,” is at the center of a firestorm over controversial comments he made on Twitter about rape, Variety reports.

“The tweets, now deleted from the account, asserted that women can only be raped if they are conscious, and compared rape to a home invasion. Green faced allegations of sexual assault in 2012, and on Aug. 29 pleaded no contest in Los Angeles to a drug charge,” Variety reports. “The outrage stirred by the comments sparked calls for TBS to cancel the reality show ‘CeeLo Green’s The Good Life.’ However, a source said the show was already axed after it completed its first season run earlier this year.”

Green reportedly tweeted: “If someone is passed out they’re not even WITH you consciously! so WITH Implies consent.”

He added, according to the report: “People who have really been raped REMEMBER!!!”

The report notes: “Green had previously been accused of furnishing the drug ecstasy to a woman who alleged that he sexually assaulted her in 2012. The woman told investigators that she woke up naked in bed next to Green, though prosecutors did not pursue a rape charge on the grounds of insufficient evidence.”

Green entered a no contest plea last week to a felony count of furnishing ecstasy to the woman, the story notes. He reportedly received probation and community service.

ceelo green's the good life-title-tbs

TVBIZWIRE
Sep 2, 2014
2:00 pm
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Piers Morgan Is Officially Out at CNN (Deadline)

Piers Morgan made the announcement today that he is no longer with CNN, after the talk show host turned down a two-year deal offered by the cable network, Deadline.com reports.

Morgan broke the story in a tweet, writing: “BREAKING NEWS: I am no longer a @CNN employee.”

In follow-up tweets, Morgan added: “I was offered a new 2-year deal by @CNN boss Jeff Zucker to host 40 big interview ‘specials’. But after considerable thought, I decided not to accept it – and to try pastures new.”

Morgan signed off from his prime-time show in March after enduring a ratings decline.

piers morgan

Piers Morgan

TVBIZWIRE
Sep 2, 2014
1:57 pm
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History’s ‘Houdini’ Miniseries Draws a Crowd on First Night (TVWeek)

The first installment of History’s “Houdini” miniseries, starring Oscar winner Adrien Brody as the famed escape artist, pulled in 3.7 million viewers Monday night, History announced.

That made it the highest-rated cable miniseries premiere of 2014, the channel announced.

Airing at 9 p.m., the program averaged 1.5 million viewers 25-54 and 1.2 million viewers 18-49.

The second and final installment airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

adrien brody

Adrien Brody

TVBIZWIRE
Sep 2, 2014
9:44 am
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One of Music’s Biggest Stars Signs On With NBC’s ‘The Voice’ (Us Weekly)

NBC’s singing competition “The Voice” is bringing aboard one of the biggest stars in pop music. Us Weekly reports that the show signed Taylor Swift, who will appear as an adviser on the program.

Swift, 24, will join the seventh season of the NBC singing competition, and will fulfill a role similar to that of Coldplay singer Chris Martin in the show’s sixth season. Taylor will work with new coaches Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams, as well as returning coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, the story adds.

Swift currently holds the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 with her single “Shake It Off.” The seven-time Grammy winner owns a number of Guinness World Records, including fastest-selling single in digital history and most simultaneous U.S. Hot 100 hits by a female artist, and is the first female solo artist to have two albums sell 1 million copies in the first week.

The show returns Sept. 22.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift

TVBIZWIRE
Sep 2, 2014
9:31 am
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Cable Talk Show Canceled (wilwheaton.net)

A talk show has been canceled after just a single season on cable. Announcing the cancellation of Syfy’s “The Wil Wheaton Project” on his blog was the show’s star, actor Wil Wheaton.

The cancellation comes after a 12-episode run for the program over the summer.

The show provided a look at pop culture from a geek’s viewpoint. Wheaton, known for his role as Wesley Crusher on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” wrote that he received a phone call from an unnamed Syfy executive, who broke the news.

“He assured me that it wasn’t the quality of the show. He told me again and again how much he loved it, how funny he thought it was, how much he liked me, how much he wanted to find other things to do together,” Wheaton wrote.

He added: “Ultimately, he told me, the executives in New York just didn’t think we had enough viewers to justify more episodes. I didn’t say anything about the total lack of promotion off the network, or point out that our ratings were on par with ‘The Soup,’ or that ratings are always lower in summer than the fall.”

Wheaton also wrote: “I thanked him for the call, thanked him for the opportunity to do a show that Syfy had never tried before, and sincerely thanked him for all his creative support.”

He added: “Oh, and let me just stop this before it starts: we nerds have a penchant for letter-writing campaigns and stuff to try and save shows we like. Please don’t do that here. It’s not going to happen, and we should instead put that energy into something else, like getting #butts to trend.”

wil wheaton project-title

TVBIZWIRE
Sep 2, 2014
9:23 am
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NBC News Veteran Leaves the Network (TVNewser)

A veteran of more than 20 years at NBC’s news division is exiting the network. TVNewser reports that Betsy Fischer Martin, the longtime executive producer of “Meet the Press,” announced she’s moving on.

“Exactly 23 years ago this week I walked a few blocks down Nebraska Avenue from American University to start an internship at a TV show called ‘Meet the Press,’” Fischer Martin wrote in a note to co-workers. “I soon met a lawyer and politico turned journalist named Tim Russert who convinced me to forget about my admission to law school and stick around to help cover the 1992 presidential election.”

Fischer Martin was named as the show’s executive producer in 2002, a job she held until last summer, when she became managing editor of political programming for the news division.

She didn’t disclose her plans for after her departure. She wrote that her decision to leave “comes with the same bittersweet feelings of sadness yet excitement for what’s ahead.”

betsy fischer martin

Betsy Fischer Martin

TVBIZWIRE
Sep 2, 2014
9:21 am
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More Than 50 Stations Go Dark on DirecTV (THR)

After more than three months of negotiations to resolve a carriage dispute between DirecTV and Raycom, Raycom said its 53 stations have gone dark on DirecTV’s systems, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“This is frustrating for DirecTV customers who rely on Raycom stations for information and entertainment. We share their frustration and are committed to doing everything we can to resolve this issue and have been for the last 12 weeks of discussions,” said Raycom CEO Paul McTear in a statement on the company’s website.

For its part, DirecTV said in a statement posted on its website that Raycom Media “is denying DirecTV customers and some of its own most loyal viewers access to its local broadcast stations unless they pay more than double just to receive the same broadcast shows that remain available over the air for free.”

DirecTV added that despite the blackout, football fans will be able to see “all of the first few weeks’ action uninterrupted, and the majority of ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC series won’t premiere for several more weeks.”

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TVBIZWIRE
Sep 2, 2014
9:17 am
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Behind-the-Scenes Shakeup on Fox Series (THR)

A Fox drama series has had another shakeup behind the scenes, losing its showrunner after a three-month stint. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that Jennifer Johnson has vacated her post at “The Following.”

Johnson took over the role from creator Kevin Williamson, the story notes. She will now focus on development as part of her Warner Bros. TV overall deal.

“With Johnson’s departure, a trio will take over the reins as co-showrunners: director Marcos Siega and writers Brett Mahoney and Alexi Hawley, all of whom are executive producers,” the story notes.

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