Jun 30, 2015
1:29 am

He Was a Hit on TV in 1949, and He Was Still Going Strong on ‘Shameless’ Just Last Year. Comedian Jack Carter Dies at 93 (NY Times; Variety)

“Jack Carter, a motor-mouthed comedian who became one of television’s first stars in the late 1940s and continued working, as both a comic and an actor, well into the 21st century, died on Sunday at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif.,” The New York Times reports.

The story continues, “He was 93. A family spokesman, Jeff Sanderson, said the cause was respiratory failure.”

The Times adds that in the late 1940s, “The infant medium of television soon beckoned. In 1949 Mr. Carter was the host of the ABC show ‘American Minstrels’ and then of ‘Cavalcade of Stars” on the short-lived Dumont network. He had his own variety show on NBC, part of a Saturday-night package with Sid Caesar’s ‘Your Show of Shows.’”

Notes Variety, He often appeared in dramatic roles on television including ‘The Last Hurrah’ with Carroll O’Connor; ‘The Sex Symbol’ with Connie Stevens and Shelley Winters; and he received two Emmy nominations for the NBC series ‘Dr. Kildare,’ starring Richard Chamberlain, and an Emmy nomination for the ABC movie of the week ‘The Girl Who Couldn’t Lose.’”

More recently, Variety says, Carter had appeared in ‘Family Guy,’ ‘New Girl,’ ‘Rules of Engagement,’ and, most recently in 2014, several appearances on ‘Shameless.’”

Variety also says that Carter’s “work as a director included Lucille Ball’s CBS series ‘Here’s Lucy’ and plays including ‘A Thousand Clowns,’ ‘Silver Anniversary’ and ‘Mouth-Trap.’”

To read more about Carter we suggest you click on one of the links, above to the obituaries in The New York Times and Variety.

Here’s a YouTube clip of Carter and Judy Garland doing a bunch of impressions from Garland’s old TV show in the early 1960s:

Jun 30, 2015
12:31 am

The Headline on the ESPN website Itself Is Shocking, as It Involves One of the Most Popular Golfers Ever: ‘Millions from Phil Mickelson tied to money laundering, gambling case.’ Almost $3 Million Involved (ESPN's Outside the Lines; Deadspin; New York Post)

Phil Mickelson’s money was at the heart of a recently concluded federal money laundering case, according to ESPN’s ‘Outside the Lines,’ reports Deadspin.

Deadspin continues, “OTL reports on the case of Gregory Silveira, who plead guilty last week to money laundering charges for moving $2.75 million through multiple bank accounts in an illegal gambling scheme. According to OTL, that $2.75 million was wired to Silveira by Phil Mickelson.”

Writes OTL, “According to court documents, in March 2010, Silveira — a participant in ‘an illegal gambling operation which accepted and placed bets on sporting events’ — accepted a wire transfer of $2.75 million, which he knew was part of ‘illegal sports betting.’ The money, according to the documents, came from a ‘gambling client’ and had been transferred into Silveira’s Wells Fargo Bank account….”

That ‘gambling client,’ according to OTL, was Phil Mickelson.

Deadspin adds, “Mickelson was not charged in the scheme, nor is he under federal investigation related to it. ESPN legal analyst Lester Munson surmises that Mickelson wasn’t charged because ‘federal gambling laws are directed at gambling enterprises and not at individual bettors.’ Presumably the investigation found that the ‘gambling client’ only transferred the funds, and didn’t collaborate in their attempted concealment, which would’ve drawn charges.

Writes New York Post columnist George Willis, “It is well-known Mickelson doesn’t mind a good money match on the course and in past years his interest in wagering on NFL games was part of his appeal. It was and continues to be mostly good-natured stuff. But there were also unsubstantiated rumors his move from Titlelist to Callaway in 2004 was instigated by Callaway paying off Mickelson’s gambling debts, and there were crazy rumors of Mickelson losing $200,000 during a recent round with members at Augusta National.”

Willis adds, “Mickelson isn’t expected to be charged with a crime. Still, guilt by association is starting to cast a darkening cloud over Mickelson’s image. If Mickelson wants to lose $3 million gambling, it’s his American right to do so. But this association with a money launderer doesn’t feel right for someone whose endorsement deals are largely built around his wholesome image. Mickelson needs to explain why we shouldn’t think the worst.”


Jun 29, 2015
1:37 pm

NBC Severs Ties With Donald Trump — and Trump’s Angry Response (USA Today, Deadline)

For a change, Donald Trump was on the receiving end of a “You’re fired!” The sentiment behind his reality TV catchphrase ran through a statement released today by NBCUniversal in which the company announced it is ending its business relationship with Trump.

USA Today reports that the move is part of the fallout from “inflammatory comments” made by Trump during his announcement June 16 of his presidential bid.

“During that speech, the billionaire real estate magnate said, ‘When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. … They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,’” the publication reports.

USA Today adds: “In its statement, NBC cited ‘derogatory comments’ made by Trump ‘regarding immigrants,’ in announcing its decision. The network says that as a result of the end of its business relationship with Trump, NBC will no longer air the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, which were joint projects of Trump and NBC.”

Trump will also no longer be a part of NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” with the statement noting that Trump had already distanced himself from the show. NBC, however, will continue to be involved with the show, noting that it is run by United Artists Media Group and saying in the statement, “That relationship will continue.”

Trump was doing damage control over the weekend, USA Today notes. “During an interview on CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ on Sunday, Trump made some effort to clarify his remarks, saying he actually did ‘like Mexico,'” the report notes.

The article quotes Trump saying during that appearance: “I do business with the Mexican people, but you have people coming through the border that are from all over. And they’re bad. They’re really bad.”

Deadline.com reports that Trump responded to the NBC move by threatening legal action against NBC, while also bashing the network for standing “behind lying Brian Williams” and not backing Trump.

The Deadline report quotes a statement today from Trump’s office saying: “Their contract violating closure of Miss Universe/Miss USA will be determined in court. Furthermore, they will stand behind lying Brian Williams, but won’t stand behind people that tell it like it is, as unpleasant as that may be.”

As we reported previously, Univision severed ties with Trump last week, announcing it was backing out of its deal to cover the Miss USA Pageant. Trump initially responded with harsh words for the Spanish-language network, including banning Univision personnel from Trump’s Miami golf resort.

celebrity apprentice-title

Jun 29, 2015
1:31 pm

Creepy Movie From 1956 — Already Remade Once, in 1985 — to Be Revived Again for TV (THR)

A creepy project that has already had a number of go-rounds — including an iconic 1956 movie and a 1985 TV movie, not to mention the original novel — is being resurrected for another TV effort.

The project is “The Bad Seed.” The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that Lifetime has the project in the works for a TV movie. The original 1954 novel was by William March, and the story became a play that same year.

The 1956 theatrical version, directed by Mervyn LeRoy, made a powerful impression on audiences at the time. The movie starred Patty McCormack as Rhoda Penmark, the little girl who is the title character.

ABC tackled the story in 1985 as a TV movie.

THR reports on the new Lifetime version: “From Warner Horizon Television, the drama centers on Kate, described as the perfect modern woman — a successful working wife and mother, always seeking to give the best life to her daughter. She is confronted with one problem she can’t overcome: her daughter is a relentless, murdering sociopath whose viciousness is matched only by her brilliance. Will Kate be able to learn the truth before it’s too late?”

Barbara Marshall (“Exorcism Diaries”) is set to write the script, the report notes.

bad seed-novel

Jun 29, 2015
1:17 pm

New CBS Drama Series Is Target of Protest (Variety)

A new CBS drama series has been hit with a protest. The show, which is set to premiere this week, is “Zoo.”

Variety reports that the animal rights group PETA has come out against the show’s use of live animals, saying in an announcement: “PETA hopes ‘Zoo’ will be one of this summer’s first cancellations.”

The series, based on the James Patterson-Michael Ledwidge novel of the same name, is premised on a surge in violent attacks by wild animals around the world. The program, which is described as science fiction, is set to premiere Tuesday, June 30.

Brittany Peet, PETA’s foundation deputy director of captive animal law enforcement, said in a statement: “By producing a show that exploits wild animals, including lions, CBS has proved that it’s out of sync with public opinion at a time when people are shunning SeaWorld’s captive orca sideshows, states and counties are passing laws banning wild animal acts and private ownership, and Ringling Bros. is taking elephants off the road.”

Variety notes: “Star James Wolk told reporters at a Los Angeles press junket for the show in May that precautions were taken to ensure the actors felt comfortable around the wild animals during filming. ‘All the animals that we’ve had down on set — and it’s been tons of animals, because it should also be said there hasn’t been a ton of CGI, there’s been a lot of real animals on set — they all come with trainers,’ he said.”

Wolk added that “it’s been a real, as far as these things go, an efficient process with the animals.”

The animals on the set reportedly have included an 800-pound grizzly bear and a lion. PETA has indicated that it wanted CBS to use CGI animals rather than real ones.


Jun 29, 2015
1:11 pm

Turner and WB Open Pipeline for New Animation (TVWeek)

Turner Broadcasting and Warner Bros. have announced a joint strategy to bring almost 450 half-hours of new original content from Warner Bros. Animation to premiere on Boomerang.

As a part of the arrangement, the new Warner Bros. Animation series “Bunnicula,” “Wabbit — A Looney Tunes Production” and “Be Cool Scooby-Doo!” are set for a global rollout this fall.

“The agreement, which represents the first-ever original content being developed exclusively for Boomerang, includes nearly 450 half-hours of programming from Warner Bros. Animation,” the companies said in their announcement. “The content will premiere on all Boomerang channels worldwide and on some Cartoon Network channels internationally, along with potential crossover with Turner Broadcasting’s Pogo, Boing, Toonami and Cartoon Network (U.S.).”

Please click here for details.

be cool scooby-doo

Jun 29, 2015
9:51 am

CBS Pulls Plug on Pioneering Program After More Than 30 Years (Newsday)

A show that began more than 30 years ago has quietly been canceled by CBS News. The show is the overnight news program “Up to the Minute,” which began as “CBS News Nightwatch.”

“The program will end mid-September, but CBS News is expected to supply some other form of programming in the overnight hours,” Newsday reports. A spokesperson for the network declined to comment.

“A hard news program with its own staff and editorial content, ‘Up to the Minute’s’ end signals the end of an era — back to a time when networks saw the overnight hours as a growth opportunity, or at least an opportunity to build audiences where none had been before,” Newsday reports.

The program is anchored by Anne-Marie Green, who also anchors “CBS Early Morning News.”

While the show began using the name “Up to the Minute” in 1992, it debuted as “CBS News Nightwatch” back in 1982. Newsday notes that the original program was important in helping to launch the career of Charlie Rose.

“It’s unclear what will air in its place, although CBS News has been producing streaming news content for CBSN, the live-streaming website that launched in November,” the report notes.

up to the minute-cbs news

Jun 29, 2015
9:37 am

Kevin Costner Eyes His First Series Regular Role (THR)

Two-time Oscar winner Kevin Costner is reportedly in talks for a high-profile project that would mark his first regular role on a TV series.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that Costner is negotiating for the Amazon legal drama “The Trial,” from David E. Kelley. The report cites sources saying that if the deal comes together, the project would receive a straight-to-series order.

“‘The Trial’ centers on Billy McBride (Costner), a once respectable lawyer who was ousted from the high-profile firm he co-founded,” THR reports. “Billy now spends his days getting drunk, with the occasional case tossed his way by his ex-wife. However, Billy is reinvigorated professionally when a young lawyer who has just been fired from his old firm brings him a wrongful death case that pits him against the head of his former firm.”

Besides playing the lead role, Costner would executive produce. Costner won two Oscars for “Dances With Wolves” in 1991, as Best Director and as a producer on the Best Picture winner. He was also nominated for Best Actor for the movie.

Jun 29, 2015
9:29 am

Amy Schumer Fires Back Over Accusations of Racism (The Guardian, CBS News)

Comedy Central star Amy Schumer is firing back at critics who have accused her of racism. After a piece in the U.K. publication The Guardian accused Schumer of having “a shockingly large blind spot around race,” CBS News reports that Schumer wrote on Twitter Sunday, “I am not a racist.”

Schumer, 34, wrote in her Twitter post: “I am a comic. I am so glad more people are laughing at me and with me all of a sudden. I will joke about things you like, and I will joke about things you aren’t comfortable with. … I go in and out of playing an irreverent idiot. That includes making dumb jokes about race.”

Her message followed a Guardian piece by Monica Heisey that was especially critical of Schumer’s recent stint as host of the MTV Movie Awards. Heisey wrote that the hosting gig was “lackluster,” adding that it “featured lazy jokes about Latina women being ‘crazy’ that left Jennifer Lopez as unimpressed as the online commentariat.”

Schumer wasn’t backing down after receiving the criticism. She wrote on Twitter: “I am not going to start joking about safe material. And don’t ask that of me. I love what I do and won’t let anyone take that away. I ask you to resist the urge to pick me apart. Trust me. I am not racist.”

Jun 29, 2015
9:09 am

First Broadcast Net Wraps Upfront Sales — and Sales Are Strong (Deadline)

The first broadcast TV network to wrap its upfront ad sales period posted significant gains over a year ago. Writing on Deadline.com, David Lieberman reports that CW completed its upfront sales with unit prices up about 4% and volume up in the neighborhood of 12% to 15%.

CW, co-owned by CBS and Warner Bros., added 30 new clients, Lieberman reports, with automakers, financial firms and retail companies on that list.

“This is an improvement from last year when RBC Capital Markets’ David Bank estimated it generated about $400 million in upfront sales. The network’s volume fell 5% in 2014, while unit pricing increased between 3% and 4%,” Lieberman notes.

The report says the just-ended season was CW’s best since 2008, with “The Flash” being the channel’s most-watched series of all time.

the flash-cw

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