TVBizWire

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 2, 2015
8:09 am
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Shakeup on ‘Fashion Police’ — One of the Regulars Quits, and a Reality Star May Replace Her (Us Weekly)

A fixture on E!’s “Fashion Police” is off the show in the wake of a controversy over co-host Giuliana Rancic’s comments on Zendaya Coleman’s hair at the Oscars.

Us Weekly reports that Kelly Osbourne has quit the show, apparently in response to Rancic’s remarks. As we reported previously, Zendaya also came out strongly against Rancic’s comments, focusing on the racial subtext.

Meanwhile, rumors are swirling that Khloe Kardashian will replace Osbourne.

The trouble began when Rancic talked about Zendaya’s Oscars appearance on “Fashion Police,” saying: “I feel that she smells like patchouli oil … or weed. Yeah, maybe weed.”

Her co-host, Osbourne, later tweeted about Rancic’s comment. An edited version of the tweet reads: “I did not make the weed comment. I do not condone racism so as a result of this I’m seriously questioning staying on the show!”

Rancic later posted a video apology, which you can see here.

Meanwhile, Us Weekly reports that both Khloe Kardashian and NeNe Leakes are being considered as replacements for Osbourne.

The report adds: “E! announced Osbourne’s departure on Friday, and stated that there are no plans to replace Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne’s daughter. Kardashian and Leakes, however, have been suggested.”

fashion_police_cast“Fashion Police”

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 2, 2015
8:01 am
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New Champion of Thursday Nights on Broadcast Prime (TVWeek)

One of the big four broadcast networks has found a winning formula on Thursday night prime time, traditionally one of the most important programming blocks on TV. The network is ABC, which won its fifth consecutive Thursday prime last week in the key demo of adults 18-49.

The network announced in a press release that it averaged a 2.6 rating/8 share, topping second-place CBS by 18% (2.2/7). Fox was third (1.5/5), followed by NBC (1.1/4).

“ABC’s 2-hour season finale of ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ and ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ finished as Thursday’s Top 2 dramas in Adults 18-49,” the network announced. “‘Murder’ was also the night’s #2 TV show, behind only CBS’s ‘Big Bang Theory’ (tied w/lead-out ‘The Odd Couple’).”

ABC’s Thursday nights are up by double digits season-to-date in total viewers (up 22%) and the 18-49 demo (up 21%), hitting a five-year high in total viewers and a four-year high in 18-49, the network notes.

ABC’s new “all-Shonda Rhimes” Thursday night drama lineup has also included “Scandal,” with Rhimes involved either as creator or producer in all three series.

“Despite not having ‘Scandal’ as a lead-in, ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ was up for the 3rd week in Total Viewers (9.0 million vs. 8.9 million) and was steady with last week’s Fast Affiliate Adult 18-49 number (2.8/9), marking its most-watched telecast since its mid-season return in January — since 1/29/15,” ABC notes.

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TVBIZWIRE
Mar 2, 2015
7:47 am
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‘Downton Abbey’ Fixture to Leave the Show (Variety)

One of the most popular cast members on “Downton Abbey” is leaving the hit drama series. Variety reports that Maggie Smith, who plays the Dowager Countess of Grantham, said the next season of the BBC/PBS show will be her last.

“The season five finale just aired in the U.S., and there has been speculation that the series will stop after the sixth season, but whatever the show’s fate, Smith told the Sunday Times her part is coming to an end,” Variety reports.

The reports quotes Smith, 80, saying: “They say this is the last one, and I can’t see how it could go on. I mean, I certainly can’t keep going. To my knowledge, I must be 110 by now. We’re into the late 1920s.”

However, Smith also indicated she will continue to act.

Said Smith: “When you’re not working it’s scary, and when you are working it’s scary, because you don’t know if you’ve got the energy to get through the day. But the bleakness of not doing it, and missing out on the friendships that you make, is too much to bear.”

Downton Abbey-title

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 2, 2015
7:39 am
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Uproar Over ‘SNL’ Skit Starring ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Actress (BBC News)

A skit that aired on Saturday’s installment of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” starring “Fifty Shades of Grey” actress Dakota Johnson, triggered a flood of criticism on social media.

BBC News reports that Johnson, who hosted the show, appears in the skit as a young woman leaving home to join the Islamic terrorist group ISIS. The skit parodies the advertising cliche of young people going off to college.

A sampling of Twitter responses shows one user writing: “Wow. I found NOTHING funny about that ISIS #SNL skit. Sorry but no laughing matter. Ever.”

Wrote another Twitter user: “Make sure you send a copy to the families of the people murdered… See if they think it’s funny. SNL went to far for a laugh.”

Others came out in support of the spoof, with one Twitter user writing: “Seems this may have been controversial, but SNL does this better than anyone, & if we don’t laugh, they win.”

Johnson is the daughter of actors Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith.

Here’s the skit:

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 2, 2015
7:27 am
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’90s Girl Group Singer Dies in Freak Accident (TMZ)

A singer who was a member of a 1990s R&B girl group died Friday night in what has been described as a freak accident. TMZ.com reports that Charmayne Maxwell, who was part of the group Brownstone, died after her husband came home and found her unconscious and bleeding from a cut to the neck.

“A family member tells us Charmayne had come home from her son’s soccer game, and was home alone with him. Later in the evening … around 9 PM her husband, music producer Carsten Soulshock, came home and found her unconscious and bleeding,” TMZ reports.

She appeared to have fallen and cut herself on a broken wine glass, according to the report. After paramedics were called, Maxwell reportedly died while being transported to a hospital.

Foul play is not suspected, the report notes, citing LAPD detectives,

The report notes: “The group — which was on Michael Jackson’s MJJ Music label — had its biggest hit with 1995′s ‘If You Love Me.’ They earned a Billboard Music Award and a Grammy nomination for the song.”

Here’s the music video for “If You Love Me”:

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 2, 2015
7:20 am
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Well-Known Socialite Joins ‘Real Housewives’ (NY Post)

The Bravo channel’s “Real Housewives” reality franchise is bringing aboard a high-profile newcomer. In an exclusive, the New York Post reports that socialite and martini drinker Dorinda Medley is joining “The Real Housewives of New York City.”

“The blond socialite — long rumored to be the newest addition to the franchise — will be bringing her ‘Mad Men’-inspired drink of choice to the gaggle of polished reality stars when the new ‘Housewives’ season premieres April 7 on Bravo,” the Post reports.

The report quotes Medley saying: “Nothing is more elegant than a martini glass.” The Massachusetts-born Medley, 50, adds: “I live on the Upper East Side, and it’s a small fishbowl up here. I am not going to be that ball of yarn that came out of nowhere.”

The report notes that Medley “was hooked up with the opportunity to appear on ‘RHONY’ by her longtime friends Ramona Singer and Countess Luann De Lesseps.

Medley adds: “I know these girls. I know their world. I’ve even done a few cameos. So I thought, why not give it a try and see if it is something that suits me?”

real housewives of new york city-title

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 2, 2015
6:03 am
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‘Law & Order’ Veteran, Two-Time Emmy Nominee, Lands Key Role on ‘Walking Dead’ (THR)

In a move that will reverse the gender of one of the key characters from what it was in the source comics, AMC’s thriving zombie show “The Walking Dead” is bringing aboard a veteran TV actress.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that “Law & Order” alumna Tovah Feldshuh will play Deanna, leader of Alexandria.

“The role was originally written as a man, Douglas, in Robert Kirkman’s long-running comic series on which the AMC zombie drama is based,” THR reports. “Under showrunner Scott M. Gimple — himself a diehard fan of the source material — the series put a major spin on the character Sunday with the introduction of Deanna Monroe, played by two-time Emmy nominee Tovah Feldshuh.”

Feldshuh, 62, received her first Emmy nomination way back in 1978, for “Holocaust.” In 2003 she was nominated for an appearance on NBC’s “Law & Order.” She had a recurring role on the show from 1991 to 2007, playing Danielle Melnick.

THR offers this description of Feldshuh’s “Walking Dead” character: “Deanna is a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and takes a fair approach to running her community — and immediately has designs for Rick and company. She’s aware that her community — which has been behind walls since the outbreak and hasn’t experienced the horrors of the new world — is susceptible to outside threats and looks to Rick as the muscle, appointing him (and Michonne) as high-ranking constables.”

tovah feldshuh-law & orderTovah Feldshuh on “Law & Order”

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 2, 2015
5:49 am
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Actress Apologizes for Comments on Superhero Diversity (NY Daily News, TMZ)

An actress known for blockbuster film roles offered an apology after coming under fire for comments she made about diversity in Hollywood. The New York Daily News reports that Michelle Rodriguez, who broke out in the 2000 movie “Girlfight” and has appeared in “Avatar” and the “Fast & Furious” feature films, posted a video apology on Facebook.

In her Facebook video, Rodriguez says: “I stuck my foot in my mouth once again. I have tendency to speak without a filter, sorry about that.”

Rodriguez got flak over her response to a question about whether she would be starring as the Green Lantern. In a video that was posted Saturday by TMZ, she said: “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. I think it’s so stupid because of this whole minorities in Hollywood thing. It’s so stupid. Stop stealing all the white people’s superheroes. Make up your own. What’s up with that?”

In her apology video she says the comment was taken out of context.

“What I really meant was that ultimately at the end of the day, there’s a language. And the language that you speak in Hollywood is successful franchise,” Rodriguez says in the Facebook video, adding that there “are many cultures in Hollywood that are not white that can come up with their own mythology.”

She adds: “I’m just saying that instead of trying to turn a girl character into a guy, or instead of trying to turn a white character into a black character or Latin character, I think that people should stop being lazy and that people should actually make an effort in Hollywood to develop their own mythology.”

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 2, 2015
5:04 am
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CBS Takes Wraps Off Premiere Dates — Here’s the Network’s Summer Lineup (TVWeek)

CBS has rolled out its summer 2015 schedule, with the new drama series “Zoo” set for its premiere Tuesday, June 30, and a two-night return on tap for reality staple “Big Brother” Wednesday and Thursday, June 24 and 25.

A two-hour season premiere is set for “Under the Dome” Thursday, June 25, with season two of the Halle Berry series “Extant” due to launch Wednesday, July 1.

Here’s the full schedule:

CBS Wednesday, June 24

8:00-9:00 PM             Big Brother (Season Premiere, Night 1)

9:00-10:00 PM           Criminal Minds (Repeat)

10:00-11:00 PM         CSI: Cyber (Repeat)

CBS Thursday, June 25

8:00-9:00 PM             Big Brother (Season Premiere, Night 2)

9:00-11:00 PM           Under the Dome (Two-Hour Third Season Premiere)

CBS Sunday, Effective June 28

7:00-8:00 PM             60 Minutes (Repeat)

8:00-9:00 PM             Big Brother (Sunday Premiere)

CBS Tuesday, Effective June 30

8:00-9:00 PM             NCIS (Repeat)

9:00-10:00 PM           Zoo (Series Premiere)

10:00-11:00 PM          NCIS: New Orleans (Repeat)

CBS Wednesday, Effective July 1

8:00-9:00 PM             Big Brother

9:00-10:00 PM           Criminal Minds (Repeat)

10:00-11:00 PM         Extant (Second Season Premiere)

CBS Thursday, Effective July 2

8:00-8:30 PM              The Big Bang Theory (Repeat)

8:30-9:00 PM             The Odd Couple (Repeat)

9:00-10:00 PM           Big Brother (Regular Thursday Time Period Premiere)

10:00-11:00 PM         Under the Dome (Regular Thursday Time Period Premiere)

TVBIZWIRE
Mar 2, 2015
5:01 am
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NBC Gives High-Profile Series a Companion Show (TVWeek)

NBC has announced that it will launch its first-ever digital talk show, mapping plans for a companion piece to the network’s high-profile upcoming series “A.D. The Bible Continues.”

The talk show, “Beyond A.D.,” will be offered via streaming beginning Sunday, April 12, with the launch coming a week after the April 5 premiere of “A.D. The Bible Continues.”

“Hosted by E! News co-host Jason Kennedy, each episode of ‘Beyond A.D.’ will be taped weekly before a live audience at the Real Life Church in Southern California. The half-hour digital companion series will serve as a discussion platform for fans, cast, producers and special celebrity and musical guests,” the Network said in its announcement.

In a statement, Roma Downey and Mark Burnett, executive producers of “A.D. The Bible Continues,” said: “‘Beyond A.D.’ is a wonderful way to continue the conversation that ‘A.D.’ has started. We are excited that Jason is on board and we have many incredible guests lined up as well as cast members who all will lend their voices to what will be a lively show.”

Among the guests who are lined up, according to the network announcement, are Burnett and Downey, series star Juan Pablo Di Pace, Rick Warren, Christine Caine, Samuel Rodriguez and Bob Goff, with musical performances on tap by Christine D’Clario, All Sons & Daughters, Desperation Band and others.

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