Jul 30, 2015
1:11 pm

TV Legend Valerie Harper Hospitalized (ET Online)

Actress Valerie Harper, a television legend known for her roles as Rhoda Morgenstern on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and its spinoff “Rhoda,” was hospitalized Wednesday night after experiencing a health emergency backstage at a theater performance.

Media reports offered few details of the nature of the incident, with ET Online quoting a source close to the situation saying, “It doesn’t look good.”

The 75-year-old Harper, who has been battling terminal brain cancer, was taken away by an ambulance during a performance of “Nice Work If You Can Get It” at the Ogonquit Playhouse in Maine.

“The fire department confirms to ET that they received a call at 8:56 p.m. about an unconscious 75-year-old female backstage, and that she was taken to York Hospital,” ET reports. “According to Ron Corning, anchor and correspondent at ET’s affiliate in Dallas WFAA, around 9:40 p.m., the artistic director of the musical announced to the audience that the ambulance seen on the side of the lawn was for the 75-year-old actress, and that she had fallen ill and wouldn’t be performing.”

The director is quoted telling the audience: “She wants all of you to know after some fluids and rest she hopes to be right back here on stage later this week.”

The playhouse issued a statement today in which it said Harper is “resting comfortably” and would remain in the hospital for observation.

Harper is a Golden Globe winner and four-time Emmy winner for her performances as Rhoda, winning three consecutive Emmys during her run on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” in the early 1970s and claiming another one for the spinoff. She was nominated for a total of eight Emmys for playing Rhoda.


Jul 30, 2015
1:01 pm

Trevor Noah, Jon Stewart’s Replacement as ‘Daily Show’ Host, Opens Up About Racism, the Twitter Controversy … and How He Will Be Different From Stewart (TVWeek)

With just weeks to go before he steps into Jon Stewart’s high-profile seat as host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah received an immersive introduction to TV critics this week in two appearances at the TCA Summer Press Tour.

In a stand-up performance Tuesday night, and again at a panel presentation Wednesday, Noah talked about racism, terrorism and a Twitter controversy that erupted after he was named as Stewart’s replacement. He also talked about how “The Daily Show” will be different after the transition.

TVWeek Open Mic writer Hillary Atkin was on hand to provide in-depth coverage of Noah’s appearances — and his reception by critics. Please click here to read her full report.

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Jul 30, 2015
12:44 pm

Barbara Walters Resurfaces With New Series (TVWeek)

TV icon Barbara Walters is returning with a new series. Plans were announced today for “Barbara Walters Presents American Scandals,” set to launch Monday, Nov. 2, on Investigation Discovery.

The show will examine murder cases, political scandals and other high-profile events that have captured headlines in the U.S.

Walters will host and executive produce, along with offering her personal thoughts and insights as she revisits some of the subjects she has interviewed during her career.

Please click here for details including a rundown of some of the scandals that are scheduled to be examined.

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Jul 30, 2015
12:17 pm

First-Ever Live Televised Exorcism Set for This Halloween (TVWeek)

A live event is set for this Halloween that will be a TV first: the first live televised exorcism in U.S. history. Discovery Communications announced plans today for the event, “Exorcism: Live!,” set to air on Destination America.

The program is slotted for Oct. 30 at 9 p.m. The show “will revisit the story and the frightening house that inspired the iconic movie ‘The Exorcist’ on its 66th anniversary this October,” the network said. “The live event will take place at the original Exorcist House in the suburbs of St. Louis where the infamous ritual was performed on Roland Doe in 1949. No one has ever attempted to rid the lurking spirits and demons that inhabit this home, until now.”

Please click here to read the full announcement.


Jul 30, 2015
10:31 am

Actor Dead at 54 After Drowning Incident (Us)

A little more than a week after what has been called a “near-drowning incident” July 20 put him in a coma, actor Sean Malone is dead.

Us magazine reports that the Boston Fire Department confirmed the death of the 54-year-old, known for a handful of movies including the 2007 release “Gone Baby Gone.”

The fire department announced late Wednesday on Twitter: “Sean Malone succumbed to his injuries this evening. [He was] surrounded by his son Sean, parents and siblings at Boston Medical Center.”

The Us report adds: “The actor had been hospitalized in a coma since July 20, when he nearly drowned at a beach in South Boston. According to the Boston Globe, Malone swam too far out in the waters and was rescued by an off-duty firefighter Chris Flaherty.”

Malone, a resident of Boston, played Skinny Ray Likanski in the Ben Affleck-directed detective movie “Gone Baby Gone,” which starred Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan.

Jul 30, 2015
10:17 am

HBO Joins Forces With One of the Top Rock Bands of All Time for Special Programming (TVWeek)

HBO is anteing up for programming from the band that became one of the biggest rock acts in the world with 1980s hits such as “With or Without You,” “Where the Streets Have No Name” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

The pay-cable channel announced plans today for two specials headlined by U2: a concert special from Paris and a behind-the-scenes documentary on U2’s current iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE world tour.

The behind-the-scenes special is set to premiere Nov. 7, followed a week later by U2’s performance at Bercy Arena in Paris, to be aired on the day of the concert, Nov. 14.

Please click here for the full announcement.

u2-innocence + experience-tour logo

Jul 30, 2015
10:01 am

Netflix Production Coming Soon to a Theater Near You — Here’s the Trailer (Boston Herald, YouTube)

Netflix unveiled the release date and a new trailer for the streaming service’s first film. The Boston Herald reports that “Beasts of No Nation” will open in theaters Oct. 16 in selected U.S. cities.

The movie, written and directed by “True Detective’s” Cary Fukunaga and starring Golden Globe winner Idris Elba, premieres the same day on Netflix.

“Netflix is partnering with Bleeker Street, the distribution company founded by Andrew Karpen last year, and Landmark to open the film at 19 markets served by Landmark Theatres,” the story reports.

The movie, about a child soldier in Africa, already has Oscar buzz after being selected for screenings at the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.

The story reports that the theatrical opening is set for New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Seattle, San Francisco and San Diego.

Here’s the trailer:

Jul 30, 2015
9:09 am

Former ‘Top Gear’ Stars Set Up Deal for New Series (WSJ)

The former presenters on the worldwide hit show “Top Gear,” who got the boot from the long-running U.K. car show amid controversy surrounding Jeremy Clarkson, are back in business.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Clarkson and co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May are headed to Amazon Prime with a new car series. The report cites unnamed sources who are familiar with the situation.

The three TV personalities parted ways with the BBC series in the wake of an incident in which Clarkson reportedly punched one of the producers of “Top Gear,” as we reported previously. BBC has since unveiled plans to continue “Top Gear” with a new on-air lineup.

Clarkson, Hammond and May, along with former “Top Gear” executive producer Andy Wilman, have formed their own banner, W. Chump & Sons Limited.

“Amazon beat out Netflix Inc. and major broadcasters in the bidding for the group’s new show,” WSJ reports, quoting one source saying: “We’ve never seen a horse race like this.”

WSJ adds: “Amazon won the global rights to the new series, meaning it will appear on Prime video in the U.S., U.K., Austria and Germany. Amazon can also license rights to the show to broadcasters or streaming services in other territories around the world where Prime video isn’t available. It also adds to Amazon’s content war chest if it does expand to new countries.”

top gear-title

Jul 30, 2015
9:07 am

New Show on E! Tracks Young Clairvoyant to the Stars (TVWeek)

E! Entertainment has announced plans for a new series that will follow a young clairvoyant as he provides readings to Hollywood celebrities.

Former small-town boy Tyler Henry, 19, has become Hollywood’s “go-to medium,” according to E!, and he will be at the center of the new series with the working title “Hollywood Teen Medium.” The show has an order for eight hour-long episodes.

Said Jeff Olde, Executive Vice President, Original Programming & Development, E!: “Tyler’s innocent charm puts celebrities instantly at ease, and viewers will see him deliver messages of hope, closure and forgiveness to some of today’s biggest stars as they open up about their lives.”

Here’s a press release from E! Entertainment about the new series.

e entertainment-logo

Jul 30, 2015
9:01 am

Time Warner Cable Comes Up Short of Quarterly Earnings Estimates (USA Today)

Time Warner Cable’s earnings report for the second quarter fell short of expectations amid rising programming costs and the continued migration of subscribers away from traditional pay television.

USA Today reports: “The company, which Charter Communications is seeking to acquire, reported earnings of $1.54 per share, falling short of analysts’ estimate of $1.81. Revenue of $5.93 billion rose 3.5%, but missed expectations of $5.94 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.”

Net income was off 7.2% from the second quarter of 2014, slipping to $463 million from $499 million.

“The cost of programming for TWC’s pay-TV service rose 8.7% to $1.4 billion as the company acquired the rights for the Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Dodgers for its SportsNet LA regional sports network, USA Today notes. “That led to a 11.6% increase in monthly programming costs for subscribers to $42.73.”

The company’s video households fell by 45,000 while it added a net 172,000 subscribers to broadband, with both numbers representing TWC’s best second-quarter performance since 2008.

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