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TVBIZWIRE
Aug 26, 2016
4:01 pm
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Settlement Reached in Redstone Family Drama 2.0 — Sumner Redstone vs. His Granddaughter (LA Times)

The protracted legal battle within the Redstone family, which controls Viacom and CBS Corp., appears to finally be over, but not before patriarch Sumner Redstone faced a court showdown today with his granddaughter.

“A settlement ending the bitter battle over media mogul Sumner Redstone’s mental competency and the future of Viacom Inc. received the blessing of a Massachusetts judge [today] — but only after an intervention to mend a rift within the famously fractious Redstone family,” the Los Angeles Times reports. “Rather than quickly signing off on the corporate settlement involving Viacom, Massachusetts Probate Judge George Phelan prodded lawyers in an effort to protect the interests of Keryn Redstone, a granddaughter of the ailing 93-year-old media mogul.”

The Times adds: “Keryn Redstone, 34, is one of five beneficiaries of Sumner Redstone’s trust that holds the controlling stock in two media companies, Viacom and CBS Corp. Sumner Redstone created the trust more than a decade ago with the intention of leaving his valuable shares to his five grandchildren.

“The trust was designed to treat his grandchildren equally — but a squabble broke out as to whether that would happen.”

As the family has hashed out its legal issues, Keryn Redstone has found herself on the opposite side of a series of disputes involving her powerful aunt, Shari Redstone, who will eventually oversee the trust with six other trustees, the Times notes.

“Keryn Redstone’s Los Angeles lawyer, Pierce O’Donnell, had argued that tensions within the Redstone family had already put Keryn Redstone at a disadvantage,” the story reports. “This spring, a planned gift of $6 million to Keryn Redstone was abruptly cut out of Sumner Redstone’s personal estate plan. Keryn Redstone has said that her attempts to visit her grandfather at his Beverly Park mansion were likewise rebuffed.”

Robert Klieger, a lawyer representing Sumner Redstone, proposed a resolution ensuring equal treatment for Keryn in any trust distributions. “During an afternoon recess, Klieger, O’Donnell and other attorneys hammered out a deal to clarify a section of the trust to make sure that Keryn Redstone would be on an equal footing with her sister and Shari Redstone’s children, according to Mike Lawrence, a spokesman for Sumner Redstone,” the Times reports.

Sumner Redstone also agreed to meet with his granddaughter.

“As part of Friday’s agreement, Keryn Redstone withdrew her objections to the settlement reached in the Viacom boardroom showdown,” the Times adds.

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TVBIZWIRE
Aug 26, 2016
3:44 pm
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Tim Kaine Goes Into ‘Attack Dog Mode’ on ‘Colbert’ (CBS)

Tim Kaine shrugged off his image as “America’s stepdad” and seized the opportunity of his first late-night talk show appearance — at the urging of host Stephen Colbert — to go into “attack dog mode,” albeit briefly, during his visit Thursday to CBS’s “Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

Here’s the clip …

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 26, 2016
3:17 pm
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GOP Leader Rips Into FCC’s Updated Media Ownership Rules (The Hill)

A top GOP lawmaker tore into the Federal Communications Commission over its update this week of its media ownership rules.

“The FCC’s rules, released Wednesday, dictate that entities cannot own both a newspaper and broadcast station in the same market,” The Hill reports. “The requirement isn’t new, but the FCC decided this month to keep the regulation in place after a review.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., responded harshly. “In a statement, Goodlatte said the FCC had ‘overreacted’ and that it was ‘likely to harm the objectives of smaller media outlets eager to compete,'” The Hill reports.

Goodlatte is quoted in the report saying: “Today, the FCC continues its recent tradition of advancing unnecessary and burdensome regulations on a partisan basis while ignoring new technologies and market realities, with the likely outcome of harming competition.”

The National Association of Broadcasters also expressed disappointment in a letter to the FCC, and submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the agency to obtain documents related to the ruling, the report notes.

In a statement, FCC Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn defended the decision, saying: “We are on the cusp of seeing major changes to the television landscape. There will be fewer broadcast television stations on the air post-auction. Relaxing the Commission’s media ownership rules at this time, will neither increase the number of diverse stations nor will it create additional local voices.”

fcc-federal communications commission

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 26, 2016
3:01 pm
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Special ‘Best of Steven Hill’ ‘Law & Order’ Binge Set (TVWeek)

Following the death of Steven Hill, who played District Attorney Adam Schiff on the long-running procedural “Law & Order,” WE tv announced a “Best Of” binge-a-thon spotlighting what the network describes as some of Hill’s best work on the series.

Hill, who starred on the Dick Wolf series for the first 10 seasons (1990 to 2000), making him the longest-running character from the original cast, died Tuesday at age 94.

The binge-a-thon is set for Tuesday, Aug. 30, and will feature five episodes airing back to back starting at 8 p.m. ET/PT, with the schedule below.

“In addition to the ‘Best Of” binge-a-thon, fans of the series can log onto WEtv.com to access an Adam Schiff-inspired motivational quote cards gallery featuring some of his most memorable one-liners,” WE tv noted in its announcement.

Here’s the schedule released by WE tv, along with the network’s blurbs about each episode:

Tuesday, Aug. 30

‘Law & Order’- Terminal – Airing at 8 PM ET/PT on WE tv

The cops uncover a man with a secret second life as they try to learn who opened fire on a group of people disembarking from a party cruise, but his guilt or innocence becomes almost a second thought as Adam Schiff goes toe-to-toe with the governor and the state’s Attorney General over the decision to seek the death penalty. Meanwhile Schiff learns his wife has been rushed to Cedar’s Hospital after suffering a severe stroke rendering her unconscious.

‘Law & Order’- Burned – Airing at 9PM ET/PT on WE tv

A message overheard on an answering machine leads Briscoe and Curtis to a confessed murderer and the home of wealthy Carl Anderton, an old friend of Adam Schiff, whose stubborn non-cooperation with the district attorney threatens to create a serious miscarriage of justice.

‘Law & Order’- Under the Influence – Airing at 10PM ET/PT on WE tv

After Briscoe and Curtis finally determine who was driving the car that killed three people, the legal prosecution stands in danger of becoming a kangaroo court when McCoy’s feelings over Kincaid mesh with the political agenda of Gary Feldman, an ambitious judge anxious to make an example of the defendant to boost his election chances against Adam Schiff.

‘Law & Order’- Bad Girl – Airing at 11PM ET/PT on WE tv

Schiff’s re-election may hinge on the stabbing death of a police officer; Briscoe’s daughter is arrested for dealing drugs.

‘Law & Order’- Monster – Airing at 12AM ET/PT on WE tv

A snitch offers Briscoe a chance to avenge his daughter’s death. The NYPD brass is looking to force Lieutenant Van Buren out of her job, while Ross resigns from hers to devote more time to her family life and her ongoing divorce. McCoy, meanwhile, must contend with Judge Feldman as an adversary both at trial and outside the courtroom due to an ethics complaint the judge filed against him. While all of this goes on, Schiff begins to consider the possibility that Feldman might defeat him in the election.

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TVBIZWIRE
Aug 26, 2016
12:09 pm
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Character Actor Who Was a Familiar Presence on TV Dies — He Was One of Those Actors Who You Knew His Face Even If You Couldn’t Come Up With His Name (Variety, TVWeek, AMPAS)

A character actor who was a beloved part of a number of TV shows and movies — including long-running roles as Henry on “Alice” and as the voice of “Choo Choo” on “Top Cat” — has died. Variety reports that Marvin Kaplan died Wednesday at his home in Burbank, Calif.

Kaplan, 89, reportedly died of natural causes.

The Brooklyn-born Kaplan made his film debut in “Adam’s Rib” in 1949, and went on to appearances in many movies, including “Angels in the Outfield,” “The Nutty Professor,” “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” “The Great Race” and “Freaky Friday.” He also had a long run as Alfred Prinzmetal on the early TV show “Meet Millie” from 1952-1955.

Along with his regular voice work on “Top Cat” from 1961-1962, Kaplan made the rounds of many sitcoms in the ’60s, including “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis,” “McHale’s Navy,” “Gidget,” “My Three Sons” and “Petticoat Junction.”

He remained a busy guest performer through the 1970s before landing the role of Henry on “Alice,” where he became a regular at Mel’s Diner from 1978-1985. He later turned up on shows including “MacGyver,” “The Fall Guy,” “Cagney & Lacey” and “ER.”

Kaplan’s career extended into the 21st century, including a run as Mr. Gordon on “Becker.”

Here’s a clip from 2012 posted by the Oscars in which Kaplan appears on a panel talking about the filming of “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” …

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 26, 2016
11:57 am
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Richard Branson Thought He Would Die in High-Speed Bike Crash in Which He Hit ‘Sleeping Policeman’ (NY Post, TVWeek)

Adventure-loving billionaire Richard Branson was badly injured Thursday in a high-speed bicycle crash, and the founder of Virgin Group said he feared at the time he would die.

As it turned out, Branson suffered a cracked cheek and torn ligaments in the incident in the British Virgin Islands.

Branson is quoted in The New York Post describing when he hit what he called a “sleeping policeman” — a British term for what Americans call a speed bump. The crash occurred on a training ride as Branson was riding with his two adult children.

“I went cycling on Virgin Gorda with Holly and Sam as part of my training for the Virgin Strive Challenge,” Branson said. “I was heading down a hill towards Leverick Bay when it suddenly got really dark and I managed to hit a ‘sleeping policeman’ hump in the road head on.

“The next thing I knew, I was being hurled over the handlebars and my life was literally flashing before my eyes.”

The Post notes that Branson had an encounter with a deadly stingray just a few months ago.

The report quotes Branson saying of the cycling wreck: “I really thought I was going to die. I went flying head-first towards the concrete road, but fortunately my shoulder and cheek took the brunt of the impact, and I was wearing a helmet that saved my life.”

Branson noted that his bike flew off a cliff and disappeared.

“As I landed, once I realized I was alive, I began testing my movement,” he added. “I really couldn’t believe I was alive, let alone not paralyzed.”

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 26, 2016
11:31 am
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Report: CBS’s ‘Criminal Minds’ Plans Cast Shakeup Following the Firing of Thomas Gibson (TVLine)

CBS’s long-running drama series “Criminal Minds” reportedly has some cast moves in the works following the departure of longtime star Thomas Gibson. TVLine reports that the procedural is looking to add two new series regulars.

One of the new arrivals is expected to be a successor to Gibson’s Aaron Hotchner as team leader. “Details on the other role are being kept under wraps for now,” the story reports.

Gibson was fired from the show earlier this month after a clash on the set in which he allegedly kicked a producer, as we reported previously.

“In the past, Gibson had been made to attend anger-management classes after reportedly shoving an assistant director,” TVLine notes.

The report adds: “Gibson’s ouster — and the impending new additions — come as the series was already in a state of transition following last spring’s departure of original cast member Shemar Moore. Other changes include Adam Rodriguez’s full-time arrival as Alvez, Paget Brewster’s short-term return as Prentiss and Aisha Tyler’s promotion to series regular as Dr. Tara Lewis.”

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TVBIZWIRE
Aug 26, 2016
11:01 am
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CBS Expands Availability of Its Streaming Service (TVWeek)

CBS has widened access to the CBS All Access digital subscription service, making the $5.99 monthly service available on Microsoft’s Xbox One.

“For $5.99 a month, CBS All Access offers more than 7,500 on-demand episodes from the current season and previous seasons of classic shows, as well as the ability to stream local CBS stations live in more than 150 markets across the U.S., including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia,” the company noted in its announcement. “In addition, subscribers will be able to watch CBS All Access’s upcoming original series, including ‘Star Trek: Discovery,’ a spinoff of ‘The Good Wife’ and a new digital edition of ‘Big Brother.'”

Rob Gelick, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Digital Platforms for CBS Interactive Entertainment, comments in the announcement: “Overall, our subscriber base is spending more than half of their time streaming CBS All Access content on connected devices, and that increases to 75 percent when watching CBS All Access’s live local TV feeds. Expanding the service to Xbox One gives CBS Television fans even more ways to watch their favorite programming on their device of choice.”

The release notes that CBS All Access is also available on Windows 10, Android and iOS devices via the CBS App; online at CBS.com; and through Xbox 360, Chromecast, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, Roku players and Roku TV, with additional connected devices to be added in the coming months.

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TVBIZWIRE
Aug 26, 2016
10:44 am
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Stockbrokers Are Following a Controversial Former Baseball Slugger on Twitter for His … Financial Advice! (WSJ, TVWeek)

A former Major Leaguer who was one of the biggest — and most controversial — stars in baseball is now attracting a following for his financial advice.

The Wall Street Journal reports that slugger Jose Canseco, who spent much of his career as an outfielder with the Oakland A’s, has become Twitter’s favorite financial analyst.

Canseco was a six-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion who led the Major Leagues in home runs in 1988 and 1991. He has also been the focal point of controversy after admitting to using anabolic steroids — and implicating other players — in his tell-all book “Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big,” published in 2005.

The Journal reports that Canseco “has now developed a cult following after some of his contrarian predictions about financial markets came true.”

The report quotes James Mark II, a San Antonio-based stock and commodities trader, saying of Canseco: “He’s been pretty much spot on with the macro picture.” Mark notes that he started paying attention to Canseco’s tweets back in February when Canseco defied the bearish landscape by correctly predicting a rally in gold.

“I read it and I was like ‘Hmm, we agree,’” said Mark, who notes that he now regularly checks Canseco’s Twitter page.

The report adds that Canseco tweeted about Britain’s “Brexit” two days before the country’s vote: “Make no mistake Brexit will crater the UK into recession and the pound will do a 25% faceplant. Capital will flee like its pants are on fire.” The Journal adds: “The pound fell by about 15% against the dollar after the vote, falling short of his prediction, but he got the gist of it.”

Juiced-Jose Canseco-book cover

TVBIZWIRE
Aug 26, 2016
8:17 am
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Netflix Picks Up Second Season of Crime Drama (Deadline, ITV)

Netflix will bring back a crime series for a second season. The streaming service has signed on for season two of “Marcella,” Deadline.com reports.

“The eight-part drama from Hans Rosenfeldt, creator of the original Swedish/Danish co-production ‘The Bridge’ (‘Bron’), will air in the UK on ITV next year and go out worldwide via Netflix following the UK broadcast,” Deadline reports. “The streaming service acquired the Anna Friel-starring series earlier this year.”

The series, which has been described as Scandinavian noir on the streets of Britain, will again be produced by Buccaneer Media, the report notes.

“Season One delved into the psychology of the troubled detective Marcella (Friel) as she investigates a serial murder case upon returning to duty after a 10-year hiatus,” the report adds.

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