Oct 18, 2017
5:01 pm

Polarizing Talk Show Canceled (TVWeek, Twitter)

A talk show that generated mixed reviews and polarized viewers during its two-season run has been canceled. Chelsea Handler announced on Twitter that she’s pulling the plug on her Netflix series “Chelsea.”

Handler said she will not do a third season of the show, but will instead focus her energy on political engagement.

“My goal is to be better informed, raise my voice, and participate in a more meaningful way,” she wrote. “I want to travel the country and visit areas and people I don’t know enough about, speak at colleges and listen to students, and gain a better understanding of our political divide.”

New episodes of “Chelsea” will continue to be released weekly by Netflix through the end of the year.

Here’s Handler’s Twitter post …

Oct 18, 2017
4:27 pm

Sexual Abuse Movie Scrapped; Project Was in Development at The Weinstein Co.
(TVWeek, Instagram)

A movie focusing on a boy who was dealing with the aftermath of sexual abuse is no longer in development at The Weinstein Co., with Channing Tatum announcing on Instagram that he “will no longer develop it or anything else that is property of TWC.”

The project was based on the Matthew Quick book “Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock.” Quick also wrote “Silver Linings Playbook,” which became an Oscar-winning film for The Weinstein Co.

Tatum addressed the Harvey Weinstein scandal in his post, writing: “The truth is out — let’s finish what our incredible colleagues started and eliminate abuse from our creative culture once and for all.”

Here’s Tatum’s post …

Oct 18, 2017
4:09 pm

Sinclair May Sell TV Stations for Up to $1 Billion (Bloomberg)

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. may sell off some television stations in an effort to help secure approval for its proposed merger with Tribune Media Co., according to a report by Bloomberg.

The report says Sinclair has received bids for as many as 10 television stations that could fetch up to $1 billion.

Bloomberg cites sources who are familiar with the matter saying Sinclair may sell some or all of the stations, which are all in different markets.

“The process could be delayed by uncertainty over whether President Donald Trump’s appointees will change rules limiting media ownership and how the administration will enforce antitrust laws, the people said. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has told an opponent of the Sinclair-Tribune deal that the agency may review media ownership rules before ruling on the $3.9 billion transaction,” Bloomberg reports.

Bloomberg adds: “The conservative-leaning broadcaster said in an FCC filing this month that it’s working with Moelis & Co. on potential transactions and that it hadn’t identified which stations it might sell. The FCC is one of two agencies vetting the deal that, as originally proposed, would bring Sinclair 42 more stations and a presence in top markets including New York and Los Angeles.”

Oct 18, 2017
4:01 pm

Lead Singer of Popular Rock Band Dies
(AP, TVWeek)

The lead singer and songwriter for a rock band that has been putting out records since 1987 has died. The AP reports that Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip died Tuesday night after a battle with brain cancer. He was 53.

The band was especially popular in its native Canada, but broke through with a number of U.S. hits, including ‘New Orleans Is Sinking” in 1989, “Three Pistols” in 1991, “Courage” in 1993 and “Poets” in 1998.

“An emotional Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wept in Parliament while talking about Downie on national television in a statement to reporters,” the AP reports, quoting Trudeau saying: “We are less as a country without Gord Downie in it. We all knew it was coming but we hoped it wasn’t. I thought I was going to make it through this but I’m not. It hurts.”

The report notes that Trudeau’s voice broke as he made the statement to reporters.

Trudeau also said in a written statement: “Downie uncovered and told the stories of Canada. He was the frontman of one of Canada’s most iconic bands, a rock star, artist, and poet whose evocative lyrics came to define a country.”

The AP adds: “Downie was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive and incurable brain cancer, in December 2015. When the band made the news public the following May, expressions of sorrow poured in from across the country.

“That same day, the band said it would mount a Canadian tour despite Downie’s cancer. Tickets for the 2016 summer tour sold out almost immediately, culminating in a national broadcast of the band’s final tour stop at Kingston, Ontario. Millions tuned in.”

Downie’s family released a statement on his website today, which you can see below …

Oct 18, 2017
2:11 pm

Cable Channel Pulls the Plug on Signature Show (Variety)

A series that became a fixture of the cable landscape following its launch back in 1995 is about to end its run. Variety reports in an exclusive that E! is pulling the plug on “Fashion Police,” which has been a signature franchise for the channel.

The show, which grew out of Joan Rivers’ comedic red-carpet commentaries, remained focused largely on the veteran comedian until her death in 2014. In recent years, Rivers’ daughter Melissa has carried on as the franchise’s central figure.

The show’s most recent installment was a special that aired in September, focusing on the Primetime Emmys.

Variety reports that the series will wrap with “Fashion Police: The Farewell,” a special installment set to premiere on E! on Nov. 27.

“The special will be hosted by Melissa Rivers and the current panelists, including Giuliana Rancic, Brad Goreski, NeNe Leakes and Margaret Cho,” Variety reports. “It will also feature highlights from Joan Rivers’ run on the show, as well as clips from an unaired episode featuring Joan Rivers and her co-hosts paying tribute to ’80s fashion.”

Oct 18, 2017
2:07 pm

Legendary TV Executive Linda Bloodworth-Thomason on Four Decades of Harassment in Hollywood: ‘The No. 1 casting criterion in Hollywood is that, above all else, an actress must be ‘hot and f—able’’ (THR)

Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, a veteran of decades as a Hollywood writer and TV producer best-known for creating “Designing Women” and for her long allegiance with the Clintons, tells of years of sexual impropriety and abuse of power in Hollywood in a guest column published today by The Hollywood Reporter.

While she says she warned Democratic operatives about Harvey Weinstein, she paints a picture of a more pervasive problem with misogyny in Hollywood.

“Harvey Weinstein may have been at the top of the sexual predator food chain, but these kinds of atrocities against women routinely go unreported and unpunished in the entertainment industry,” Bloodworth-Thomason writes. “The No. 1 casting criterion in Hollywood is that, above all else, an actress must be ‘hot and fuckable.’ The late blockbuster movie producer Don Simpson had his own way of measuring hotness when he bragged about which actresses’ butts he was able to bounce a dime off of.”

The column pulls back the curtain on incidents involving network executives, producers, stars and others who Bloodworth-Thomason says are part of a culture of gender inequity and sexual misconduct that runs rampant in Hollywood. The writer even gives a shout-out to Donald Trump as “the only sexual predator, to date, who’s told the truth.”

We encourage readers to click on the link above to The Hollywood Reporter to read the column.

Oct 18, 2017
2:01 pm

Creator of Hit Children’s Show Suspended Amid Accusations of Sexual Harassment (Cartoon Brew, TVWeek)

A TV producer and animator who is the creator and executive producer of the popular children’s show “The Loud House” has been suspended from the hit Nickelodeon program amid allegations of sexual harassment. Cartoon Brew reports that Chris Savino was put on “an immediate leave of absence last week.”

“The suspension follows extensive allegations of sexual harassment from employees at Nickelodeon against the 46-year-old animation industry veteran,” the story reports. “According to people within the studio, as many as a dozen women have come forward to accuse Savino of inappropriate behavior, ranging from unwanted sexual advances to threats of industry blacklisting after the end of consensual relationships with co-workers.”

Nickelodeon parent company Viacom would not confirm Savino’s suspension, issuing a statement that says: “Viacom is committed to the safety and well-being of our employees, and to fostering a workplace free from harassment. As a matter of policy, we do not comment on specific employee matters, but we take all allegations of this nature very seriously, investigate them thoroughly and take any necessary actions as a result.”

Cartoon Brew adds: “Rumors of Savino’s behavior date back at least a decade, and have followed him through multiple productions that he has worked on over the years.”

Savino’s many credits include “Rocko’s Modern Life” and “The Powerpuff Girls.”

“The Loud House” (Nickelodeon)

Oct 18, 2017
1:51 pm

Series Revived Five Years After It Was Canceled (TVWeek, AP)

A TV series that was canceled in 2012 is being brought back. After running in various incarnations on Discovery Channel and TLC from 2003 to 2012, “American Chopper” was canceled five years ago. Now Discovery is reviving the show, according to media reports.

The show is built around father-son custom motorcycle builders Paul Teutul Sr. and Paul Teutul Jr., whose constant bickering at their shop, Newburgh, New York-based Orange County Choppers, was a mainstay of the original program.

By the end of the show’s run, the two men had split, with Paul Jr. launching his own business, Paul Jr. Designs. The final two years of the series that wrapped in 2012 were dubbed “American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior,” and focused on the rivalry between the Teutuls’ individual businesses.

Discovery, which says “American Chopper” is one of its most popular shows of all time, says the show will return in May 2018.

The AP notes: “Discovery says the revived series will focus on the Teutuls’ struggle to reinvigorate their businesses and reconcile their fractured relationship.”

Oct 18, 2017
1:01 pm

NBC Announces the Fourth Coach for ‘The Voice’ (TVWeek)

NBC announced today who will occupy the fourth and final spot on the coaches’ panel for “The Voice.” Alicia Keys will return for her third stint on the panel.

The show made the official announcement with a video clip posted today, which you can watch by clicking here.

Keys, a 15-time Grammy winner, joins veterans Adam Levine and Blake Shelton along with newcomer Kelly Clarkson as coaches. Keys returns to the show as a champion, having coached Chris Blue to the title when she last appeared as a coach in season 12.

Please click here for full details in today’s announcement, along with the video clip posted today.

Oct 18, 2017
12:49 pm

Netflix Says Nielsen Measurement Is ‘Not Even Close’ (USA Today, Variety)

Netflix and Nielsen are having what might be politely described as a misunderstanding about Nielsen’s newest effort to measure Netflix viewing. USA Today reports that Nielsen “is offering its first data on how many people actually watch the streaming giant’s original series in the first week following their release,” but the data isn’t coming from Netflix.

“Instead, Nielsen uses the same ‘people-meter’ technology it employs for traditional TV ratings to measure Netflix’s movies, original series and reruns of older series,” the story reports, adding: “What Nielsen found for new seasons of three original series — ‘House of Cards,’ ‘Fuller House’ and ‘Marvel’s The Defenders’ — was a big crowd for a service that reaches only 59% of U.S. TV homes.”

Nielsen determined that “The Defenders” had an average audience of 6.1 million viewers in the week following its Aug. 18 release, while “House of Cards,” which premiered May 30, and “Fuller House,” which bowed Sept. 22, each averaged 4.6 million viewers for their season premieres in the week following their season premieres, according to the USA Today report.

While the numbers are pretty good, Netflix apparently isn’t buying them. Variety quotes a statement from Netflix in which the company says: “The data that Nielsen is reporting is not accurate, not even close, and does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix.”

For its part, Nielsen seems to want the effort to work out. Variety quotes Megan Clarken, the Nielsen executive who oversees measurement products related to video, saying: “Measurement of SVOD content has been a big blind spot for the industry.”

Clarken confirms that the latest efforts by Nielsen are focused on Netflix. “It is clearly the largest in the industry, and the one in which most of our clients said they don’t have transparency,” Clarken says in the Variety report. “There are about 12,000 shows that appear on Netflix that have not been measured in the past. This provides measurement across some 12,000 of those assets, and we will extend it to the SVOD services that are not measured today.”

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