Mar 30, 2017
9:33 am

Shakeup at NBC’s ‘Tonight Show’ (THR)

“A shakeup is going on behind the scenes of NBC’s ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,'” The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports. “The late-night talk show’s longtime head writer A.D. Miles is leaving his post after eight years of working with Fallon. Sources say he’ll transition over the next few weeks.”

Miles, 45, reportedly wants to return to narrative writing and acting. “Prior to his work in late-night, Miles played various comedic roles, most notably portraying Gary in ‘Wet Hot American Summer,'” THR notes.

Miles will be moving back to Los Angeles, and reportedly has an animated feature in the works with Fallon.

In a statement released Wednesday, Miles said: “Riding Jimmy Fallon’s coattails for the past eight years has given me all the confidence I need to strike out on my own and work on a movie with Jimmy Fallon.”

Mar 30, 2017
8:47 am

NBC Reality Chief Paul Telegdy Says Netflix Isn’t a Threat to the Broadcast Nets in Reality TV — Here’s Why (THR)

Paul Telegdy, president of NBC Entertainment’s Alternative and Reality Group, talked about Netflix’s move into reality as part of a wide-ranging interview with The Hollywood Reporter, downplaying the threat posed by Netflix.

Telegdy explained that the Netflix model, which he sees as essentially a binge-watching model, doesn’t lend itself to reality programming.

“I watch a lot of Netflix,” Telegdy told the publication. “It’s a great mousetrap, and there’s some good cheese in there.”

Then he added: “But my understanding is that the majority of their viewing is done by people who sequentially watch something until it’s finished. That’s not how reality shows are consumed. They live contemporaneously. Imagine that this season of ‘The Bachelor’ was a binge show. It just wouldn’t be a thing, would it?”

Telegdy also talked during the interview about the Arnold Schwarzenegger-Donald Trump feud over NBC’s “The Apprentice,” along with a range of other topics. Click on the link near the top of this story to read the full interview.

Mar 30, 2017
8:19 am

More Turmoil on Lifetime’s ‘Dance Moms’ as Another Star Bails Out — But This Time It’s About the ‘Too Sexy’ Dancing (TMZ, YouTube)

Following the rancorous departure earlier this week of “Dance Moms” star Abby Lee Miller, who said the show’s producers were treating her “like dirt,” another one of the long-running Lifetime reality show’s dance moms has bailed out on the show. TMZ.com reports that Ashlee Allen is out, just days after Miller’s exit.

The story reports that Allen “wasn’t down with the show trying to sex things up with the kids.”

“We spoke to the now-former dance mom, and she told us — first and foremost — the Lifetime show will never be the same without Abby at the helm,” TMZ reports. “Then she lays it on us … ‘Dance Moms’ producers have apparently been pushing for sexier dance routines, which Ashlee says was too much for her and her teen daughter, Brynn.”

Footage of the dance number that apparently was the last straw for Allen was posted on YouTube. TMZ notes that the routine is “pretty racy for 14, 15 and 16-year-olds.”

Here’s the clip …

Mar 30, 2017
7:44 am

CBS’s Late-Night Roll Continues (TVWeek)

CBS is excited about its late-night numbers, including an achievement it hasn’t pulled off in seven years. The network sent out word today that ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” was the No. 1 program in late-night for the first quarter of 2017, based on Nielsen most current first quarter ratings.

It was CBS’s first win in late-night for the first quarter since 2010.

“‘The Late Show’ averaged 3.29 million viewers, out-delivering ‘The Tonight Show’ (3.03m) by +260,000 viewers after trailing by -840,000 viewers last year,” CBS announced. “Compared to the first quarter last year, ‘The Late Show’ was up +17% (from 2.82m).”

Mar 29, 2017
8:02 pm

CBS Entertainment President Glenn Geller on Leave of Absence After Mild Heart Attack (Variety)

“CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller will take a leave of absence from the network after suffering a mild heart attack,” reports our friend Daniel Holloway in Variety.

The story continues, “In a note to staff Wednesday, Geller said that he is ‘on track for a full recovery’ after resting at home. He added, ‘The bad news is that pilot season and the Upfront isn’t the best environment to achieve that recovery. After consulting with my doctors, my husband, and my family, I plan to take off a few more weeks and return at the end of May.’”

According to the Los Angeles Times, Geller is 45 years old.

Halloway adds, “In a separate memo, CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves said that company leadership is ‘fully supportive of Glenn focusing on restoring himself to 100%.’ But, he continued, ‘At the same time, it’s clear that we must now adjust ourselves to a new situation as we finish our pilots and head into the Upfront.’”

In order to accomplish that mission, Moonves wrote, “You all know what to do, and will now need to step up with the same energy, dedication and passion that you bring to your jobs every day – and just a little bit more, given the situation.”

To read more details about this item, including the memos from Geller and Moonves, please click here, which will take you to Holloway’s original story.

Glenn Geller in a CBS photo

Mar 29, 2017
7:40 pm

Biographical TV Series About the Grateful Dead in the Works for Amazon (Deadline)

A biographical TV series about the Grateful Dead is being developed by Amazon, reports Mike Fleming Jr. for Deadline.

It will be “written by Jonathan Herman, who was nominated for an Academy Award for his ‘Straight Outta Compton’ script about the formation of seminal hip-hop group N.W.A.,” Fleming writes.

The story continues, “Herman will adapt the untitled series based on ‘Home Before Daylight: My Life On The Road With The Grateful Dead,’ the memoir by longtime Grateful Dead roadie Steve Parish.”

Fleming adds that the band “toured almost non-stop for three decades, and became one of the most legendary American bands in rock history. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and continue to jam for their fans, even though their frontman Jerry Garcia died in 1995.

“Grateful Dead co-founder  Bob Weir will executive produce the project alongside Parish, and Weir will also oversee all music for the series. Bernie Cahill and ROAR will also serve as executive producers, and Stephen Emery is a co-EP.”

Mar 29, 2017
4:44 pm

Fox News Is Sued for Alleged Racial Discrimination (AP)

The Fox News Channel has been hit with a lawsuit alleging that two black women who work at the channel have been subjected to “relentless” racial hostility over a period of years. The AP reports that the alleged hostility came from a top financial executive, Judith Slater, who has since been fired.

“Tichaona Brown and Tabrese Wright, who sued this week in New York State Supreme Court in the Bronx, said their boss talked about her physical fear of black people, humiliated them by making them repeat words she believes blacks pronounce incorrectly and mocked the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement,” the AP reports.

The suit also reportedly alleges that Slater asked Wright, who is a mother of three, whether her children all had the same father.

“Fox said it fired Slater on Feb. 28. She was the network’s controller and senior vice president of accounting,” the AP reports.

In a statement, Fox News said: “There is no place for inappropriate verbal remarks like this at Fox News. We are disappointed that this needless litigation has been filed.”

Mar 29, 2017
4:37 pm

The Latest Group Not Attending the White House Correspondents’ Dinner: The White House Staff (USA Today)

The White House staff won’t be attending the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner, explaining that the move is a gesture of “solidarity” with Donald Trump, USA Today reports. The White House Correspondents’ Association announced the decision Tuesday.

“WHCA president Jeff Mason, a White House correspondent for Reuters, said that the group has worked to build a ‘constructive relationship’ with the president and his staff, something that is possible even with tensions between the administration and the press,” the story reports.

Said Mason: “We made clear in our meeting tonight that President Trump, Vice President Pence and White House staff continue to be welcome to join us at this dinner. Only the White House can speak to the signal it wants to send with this decision.”

Trump announced in February that he would not be attending. “The last president to miss the dinner was Ronald Reagan in 1981, when he was recovering from an assassination attempt,” the report notes. “Other presidents to miss the event include Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon.”

Mar 29, 2017
4:25 pm

New Rules: No Cellphones Backstage at Oscars for PwC Accountants (AP)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences implemented new rules in the wake of the big mixup with the presentation of the Best Picture Oscar at the recent awards ceremony.

The AP reports that academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs sent an email today to academy members detailing the new protocols.

Among the changes, PwC accountants will no longer be allowed to have their cellphones while they’re backstage.The bulk of the blame for the recent screwup has fallen on PwC partner Brian Cullinan, who tweeted a photo of Emma Stone backstage moments before he handed out the wrong envelope.

“Besides banning cellphones, the academy is adding a third balloting partner to the telecast, and bringing in PwC’s U.S. chairman to provide oversight,” the AP reports. “PwC, which has handled Oscar balloting and other academy business for 83 years, has claimed responsibility for the biggest mistake in Oscar history.”

The report adds: “Boone Isaacs said in her email Wednesday that a third balloting partner with knowledge of the winners will sit with the telecast director going forward. Balloting partners will also be required to participate in Oscar rehearsals, she said.”

Mar 29, 2017
4:11 pm

TV Station Group Launches National Investigative News Unit (B&C, TVWeek)

One of the largest privately owned television station groups in the country is launching a national investigative unit. B&C reports that Raycom Media launched the unit Tuesday.

It will be led by veteran investigative reporter Lee Zurik from WVUE-TV in New Orleans, a Fox affiliate run by Raycom for Louisiana Media Company.

“The unit will produce investigative reports focusing on the local impact of national issues,” B&C reports. “They will be produced in partnership with Raycom’s local I-teams.”

The report quotes Zurik saying: “We will be taking subjects outside of the ‘beltway of Washington’ mentality of the national news networks and answering the viewers’ biggest concern: How does this affect me and my family here in Cleveland, Baton Rouge, Cape Girardeau or Charleston?”

Raycom Media is an employee-owned company that owns or provides services for 63 television stations and two radio stations in 42 markets spanning 20 states.

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