Oct 28, 2016
10:36 am

Why the CEO of a Big Media Company Gave the Media the Boot From Earnings Call (NY Post)

The CEO of a media firm cut off the media from the company’s quarterly earnings call Thursday. The New York Post reports that Gannett Chief Executive Robert Dickey made the unusual move “shortly after saying he was not going to address recent ‘press speculation’ about his company’s talks to acquire Tronc.”

“It was an odd move for two reasons,” The Post reports. “First, nearly every company allows the media to listen to its quarterly with Wall Street to discuss its results. Second, Dickey runs a media company.”

The report adds: “Hours after the media got the old heave-ho from the call, a possible reason for Dickey’s testiness emerged: Several banks were withdrawing their support for Gannett’s proposed $1 billion deal, Bloomberg reported.”

The banks are said to be concerned about the health of the two companies.

“Since April, Gannett, owner of USA Today and more than 100 other papers, has been trying to buy Tronc, formerly Tribune Publishing, which owns the Chicago Tribune, LA Times, Baltimore Sun and other papers,” The Post reports, adding: “News that the deal was imperiled sent shares of both companies skidding to 52-week lows.”


Oct 28, 2016
10:24 am

Hacker Who Was Investigated Over Nude Photos of Jennifer Lawrence Is Sent to Prison (AP)

A hacker who was investigated in connection with a high-profile breach of celebrities’ accounts was sentenced to a year and a half in prison. The AP reports that Ryan Collins, 36, of Lancaster, Pa., received the sentence Wednesday in federal court as part of a plea bargain.

“Collins pleaded guilty in May to one count of gaining unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information for gaining access to more than 100 Google and Apple accounts from November 2012 to September 2014,” the AP reports. “Many of the accounts belonged to famous women, though no celebrities were identified in his plea agreement and the FBI could find no evidence that Collins posted any of the pilfered images online or shared any information he obtained with others, court records show.”

The report adds: “Collins was charged as part of an investigation into the posting of nude photos of numerous celebrities, including Jennifer Lawrence and model Kate Upton, but he is not suspected of being involved in releasing those images.”

The AP also reports: “Collins, a married father of 4-year-old twins, was a pornography addict who acknowledged getting involved in the hacking activity “for sexual gratification,” according to pre-sentencing memos filed by prosecutors and his attorney.”

The investigation into who stole and released the images of Lawrence and others is still under way.

Oct 28, 2016
9:11 am

J.Lo Signs On for High-Profile NBC Live Musical (E! News)

NBC will have Jennifer Lopez front and center when it takes on the iconic musical “Bye Bye Birdie,” which the network has lined up for broadcast in December 2017.

E! News reports that Lopez has joined “Bye Bye Birdie Live!” both as an executive producer and in the role of Rosie Alvarez, which was originated by Chita Rivera on Broadway and has featured Janet Leigh and Vanessa Williams in two feature adaptations of the production.

“‘Bye Bye Birdie’ was inspired by Elvis Presley, and tells the tale of a pop star, his manager Albert, and Albert’s girlfriend Rosie as they plan a contest to find the girl who gets to kiss the pop star before he ships off to the Army,” E! News notes. “Dick Van Dyke originated the role of Albert in both the first Broadway run and the 1963 movie.”

NBC has been doing one major live musical production per year, and the next one up is “Hairspray Live!,” scheduled for Dec. 7. Currently in rehearsals, the production stars Kristin Chenoweth, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Hudson and Sean Hayes.

nbc logo

Oct 28, 2016
8:51 am

Lifetime Unveils Series That Is Sure to Raise Eyebrows (TVWeek)

Lifetime just unveiled plans to premiere two new shows, including one with the attention-getting title “30 Something Grandma.”

Both new docuseries — the other one is titled “Knocked Up” — examine what the network calls “unexpected motherhood.”

“’30 Something Grandma’ follows the stories of three women, Patricia, Prudence and Chantel, who are all about to become grandmothers in their 30s,” A&E says in its announcement. “Having been young moms themselves, these women now face the reality that their own daughters are all about to give birth as teens.”

The show premieres Nov. 15, with “Knocked Up” scheduled to bow Dec. 6.

Please click here for details on both shows.


Oct 28, 2016
8:09 am

A&E Series Wades Into Scientology (TVWeek)

A new series premiering next month on A&E examines the Church of Scientology, focusing on the turbulent departure from the church by actress Leah Remini.

The eight-episode docuseries, “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath,” debuts Tuesday, Nov. 29. Remini, who starred on “The King of Queens” from 1998-2007, made headlines with her departure from Scientology in 2013.

Remini published the memoir “Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology” a year ago, and is an executive producer on the one-hour docuseries.

The project features former high-level Scientology executives and church members, and “delves deep into shocking stories of abuse, heartbreak and harassment experienced by those who have left the church and spoken publicly about their experiences,” A&E says in a press release.

Please click here to read the full announcement.


Oct 27, 2016
4:41 pm

NBC Working on Bringing Back One of Its Most Successful Sitcoms (THR, TVWeek)

NBC has reportedly gotten serious about putting a beloved sitcom back together for a return to the airwaves. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that “Will & Grace” is in early talks at the network.

“The network is in talks to reboot the Emmy-winning comedy starring Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. The goal, sources say, is to do a 10-episode limited series revival,” THR reports.

The news follows a reunion in September, when an election-themed “Will & Grace” special came together. NBC and Universal TV weren’t commenting, and insiders cautioned that the talks are still in the preliminary stages.

“No deals are in place with the four key stars or with creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, the latter of whom had the idea to do the September election-themed TV revival,” THR notes. “Universal Television, which produced the original series, would have to secure the stars as well as the creators. It’s unclear if NBC would air the revival or if the network could get outbid for what is sure to be a pricey series by a streaming giant like deep-pocketed Netflix.”

The original series was wildly successful, running for eight seasons from 1998-2006 and becoming a perennial honoree at the Primetime Emmys with 16 trophies and 83 nominations.


Oct 27, 2016
4:33 pm

Mel Gibson Opens Up About His Infamous 2006 Arrest, Anti-Semitic Remarks (Variety)

Mel Gibson has made it clear that the incident in 2006 in which he was arrested on a DUI and was taped spouting anti-Semitic remarks isn’t one of his favorite topics of conversation. But the actor and filmmaker got to talking about it in an interview with Variety that’s on the publication’s “Playback” podcast.

Gibson told Variety: “It was an unfortunate incident. I was loaded and angry and arrested. I was recorded illegally by an unscrupulous police officer who was never prosecuted for that crime. And then it was made public by him for profit, and by members of — we’ll call it the press. So, not fair. I guess as who I am, I’m not allowed to have a nervous breakdown, ever.”

Gibson wants people to move past the incident, suggesting that his words during that encounter don’t accurately reflect who he is. “For one episode in the back of a police car on eight double tequilas to sort of dictate all the work, life’s work and beliefs and everything else that I have and maintain for my life is really unfair,” he said.

We encourage readers to click here to go to Variety to listen to the full “Playback” podcast.

Oct 27, 2016
4:19 pm

Endgame Set for ‘Bones’ (Variety)

Fox has locked in details for what will be the final season of its long-running drama series “Bones.” Variety reports that the 12th and final season will premiere Tuesday, Jan. 3.

The season will consist of 12 epiosodes. The series stars Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz.

In a statement announcing plans for the final season, showrunners Jonathan Collier and Michael Peterson said: “We’ve loved working on ‘Bones’ and are so excited to bring our fans this final season. After 12 years on the air, it’s an honor to be able to write the exciting and meaningful ending, which the show deserves.”


Oct 27, 2016
3:21 pm

‘Live With Kelly’ Unveils Co-Hosts for Week of Nov. 7 — Including the Return of a New Fan Favorite (TVWeek)

“Live with Kelly” is bringing back a guest co-host who has won the hearts of many of the show’s viewers — Richard Curtis, who recently won of the show’s “Live with Kelly and You” viewer guest host search.

Curtis has already had the one appearance as co-host that was his prize for winning the search contest, but he received such a positive response that the show is bringing him back.

Curtis will guest host alongside Kelly Ripa on Monday, Nov. 7.

Here’s the schedule for the week:

Monday, November 7 – “LIVE with Kelly and You” Winner RICHARD CURTIS

Tuesday, November 8 – Actor TONY GOLDWYN

Wednesday, November 9 – Journalist MEGYN KELLY

Thursday, November 10 – Major League Baseball MVP and Broadcaster ALEX RODRIGUEZ

Friday, November 11 – TV Host CHRIS HARDWICK

kelly-ripa-and-richard-curtis-abcKelly Ripa with “Live with Kelly and You” winner Richard Curtis

Oct 27, 2016
12:57 pm

One of the Regulars on ‘The View’ Is Leaving the Show — and Doing a Spinoff of Her Old Show (TVWeek, ABC)

More turnover is in the works at the ABC talk staple “The View,” where show regular Raven-Symone revealed this morning that she will be leaving the program before the end of this year.

She also announced her new project, which is a spinoff from her show “That’s So Raven.” The new program is in the works at Disney.

Raven-Simone, 30, played a teenage girl when the original supernatural-themed sitcom aired on Disney Channel and ABC Kids from 2003-2007. This time around, she will play a single mom with two kids.

Here’s a clip of Raven-Simone’s announcement this morning …

Older Articles