Oct 17, 2017
6:41 pm

Amazon Studios Head Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations (NY Times)

The head of Amazon Studios resigned today after being accused of sexual harassment by a producer, The New York Times reports, noting that a spokesman for Amazon confirmed the resignation of Roy Price.

“Mr. Price, who was in charge of Amazon’s efforts to create original movies and television shows, had been suspended last week,” The Times reports. “Last week, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Isa Dick Hackett, an executive producer of the popular Amazon show ‘The Man in the High Castle,’ said Mr. Price had lewdly and repeatedly propositioned her in 2015.”

The report adds: “Mr. Price, who could not be reached for comment, made no secret of his departure from Amazon. Shortly before 5 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, he updated his Facebook page to say he had left his job.”

Price had been an executive with Amazon for the past 13 years.

“Mr. Price became a bit player in the [Harvey] Weinstein story when Rose McGowan, an actress who had reached a settlement with Mr. Weinstein in 1997 after an episode at a film festival, posted a series of tweets directed at Jeff Bezos, the chief executive of Amazon,” The Times notes. “In them, Ms. McGowan said she had told the head of Amazon Studios that Mr. Weinstein had raped her. (Ms. McGowan did not mention Mr. Price by name and did not respond to a message on Twitter asking for clarification.)”

The Times adds: “Before that series of tweets, Ms. McGowan had directed a Twitter message at Mr. Price concerning Mr. Weinstein, asking, ‘Remember when I told you not to do a deal with him and why?’”

Price oversaw shows including “Transparent” and “The Man in the High Castle” while at Amazon.

Oct 17, 2017
6:29 pm

‘SNL’ Alum Recalls the ‘Embarrassing and Shameful’ Donald Trump Guest-Hosting Appearance (NPR)

One of the former regulars on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” revisited the night when then-candidate Donald Trump guest-hosted the show almost two years ago, telling NPR that the incident “only grows more embarrassing and shameful as time goes on.”

Taran Killam, who did Trump impersonations on the show before Alec Baldwin got the role, recalled that protesters gathered outside the studio during Trump’s appearance in November 2015.

“We could hear the protests during our table read,” Killam told NPR’s “It’s Been a Minute.” “As we’re reading 40 mediocre sketches, we just hear, ‘No Trump! Donald Trump!’ … I am embarrassed, upon reflection, just because of how everyone was right. Every person outside of that building protesting was absolutely right.”

Killam also said: “It was not enjoyable at the time and something that only grows more embarrassing and shameful as time goes on. I don’t necessarily put so much weight into [the idea of] Trump hosting ‘SNL’ helping him become president, but there’s definitely something where it normalizes him and it makes it OK for him to be part of the conversation.”

Killam added: “I don’t think the intention of having him on was ever politically based. … But I don’t think it was considered — the implications that it had then and could have moving forward. And I think looking back … there’s nothing good I can take from that week. Because he’s not an enjoyable person to be around — he’s from a different class; he’s from a different way of life. There was never any common ground.”

Killam also recalled: “The most heartbreaking moment at the time: We’re at the host dinner, and he brings [his wife] Melania and he brings [his daughter] Ivanka and [son-in-law] Jared [Kushner]. And he says [to SNL creator Lorne Michaels], ‘You know, Lorne, if I don’t win this thing, I’m gonna be fine. We just bought this beautiful piece of property in Scotland. If I have to be president, I’m never gonna see that thing.’ And that that was his priority in that moment, that that was even a consideration, made me sad.”


Oct 17, 2017
6:17 pm

NBA Star Suffers Horrific Injury on Opening Night — Here’s the Video (TVWeek, NBA)

An NBA player who was one of the biggest acquisitions of the off-season saw his start with his new team, the Boston Celtics, come to a gruesome end. Gordon Hayward broke his ankle early in the team’s first game of the regular season, against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Here’s the video, with disturbing footage of Hayward’s injury in the first few seconds of the clip …

Oct 17, 2017
6:09 pm

How Big Is Delayed Viewing? In Some Cases, Bigger Than Live Viewing — and In Others, Almost Nothing; Here’s How Some of the Top Shows Break Down (AP)

Delayed viewing is an increasingly important part of the picture in the current broadcast season, with a show like ABC’s new drama “The Good Doctor” ranking as “a bona fide hit” when delayed viewing is added in, the AP reports.

“A look at newly released Nielsen data for ‘The Good Doctor’ and other programs illustrates the extent to which television viewers make their own schedules nowm” the AP reports. “An estimated 11.3 million people watched the drama’s debut on Sept. 25, but that number swelled by 69 percent — to 19.2 million — when you add in the people who saw it on a delayed basis within seven days.”

The report adds: “More people actually watched ABC’s “Designated Survivor” on a delayed basis than watched its season premiere on the first night, Nielsen said.”

Fox’s “The Orville” and ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder” each had bumps of more than 80% for their premieres with delayed viewing added in.

“Meanwhile, hardly anyone records sports events for later viewing; NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ had 16.74 million viewers that night, and 16.8 million when you add in the seven-day figures,” the AP notes. “Same thing for news programs, with CBS’ ’60 Minutes’ increasing its 12.46 million first-night viewership to 12.89 million through the full week.”

Oct 17, 2017
3:01 pm

Harvey Weinstein’s Brother Accused of Sexual Harassment (Variety, THR)

Bob Weinstein, co-founder of The Weinstein Co. and brother of disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein, now faces his own allegation of sexual harassment. Variety reports that Amanda Segel, who was an executive producer and showrunner on the Weinstein Co.’s series “The Mist,” says Bob Weinstein harassed her during production of the Spike TV series.

Variety reports that Segel said Bob Weinstein “repeatedly made romantic overtures to her and asked her to join him for private dinners. The harassment began in the summer of 2016 and continued on and off for about three months until Segel’s lawyer, David Fox of Myman Greenspan, informed TWC executives — including COO David Glasser — that she would leave the show if Bob Weinstein did not stop contacting her on personal matters.”

Segel told Variety: “‘No’ should be enough. After ‘no,’ anybody who has asked you out should just move on. Bob kept referring to me that he wanted to have a friendship. He didn’t want a friendship. He wanted more than that. My hope is that ‘no’ is enough from now on.”

A rep for Bob Weinstein denied the allegation, providing a statement to Variety saying: “Bob Weinstein had dinner with Ms. Segel in LA in June 2016. He denies any claims that he behaved inappropriately at or after the dinner. It is most unfortunate that any such claim has been made.”

The Hollywood Reporter adds: “Segel says the inappropriate behavior continued after the first dinner. Weinstein would send emails to her with questions outside the purview of her work on ‘The Mist,’ saying he wanted the two of them to be friends. She said that a non-romantic friendship was possible but that she was not open to dating.”

THR adds: “Still, another uncomfortable moment occurred when Weinstein invited Segel to a party he was having at a house he rented in Malibu — but when she learned that it was not a party but actually an invitation for the two of them to be alone together, she declined. Weinstein would keep asking Segel out to dinner up until August 2016, sometimes joking that as her boss he could fire her if she didn’t agree to it.”

Oct 17, 2017
2:47 pm

Netflix Explains ‘Binge Racing,’ Ranks the Top ‘Binge Raced’ Shows and ‘Binge Racing’ Countries — and the U.S. Is Only No. 2 (TVWeek)

Netflix unveiled some unusual viewership data today, explaining the concept of “binge racing” and revealing that its most “binge raced” show is “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.”

The streaming service ranked the Top 20 binge raced shows and the Top 20 countries for binge racing, with Canada topping the U.S. to rank No. 1.

Binge racing is essentially racing through an entire season of a show within 24 hours of its release in an effort to be among the first viewers to finish the show. Netflix counts 8.4 million binge racers worldwide.

“A new type of fan has emerged on Netflix, and they’re racing to be the first to finish shows like ‘Stranger Things,’ ‘House of Cards,’ ‘Fuller House’ and more,” the streaming service said in today’s announcement. “Turns out streaming fast is a new status symbol.”

The announcement notes that the number of “launch day finishers” increased more than 20 times over between 2013 and 2016.

Please click here to read the full announcement, which includes the Top 20 binge raced shows, the Top 20 binge racing countries, the methodology behind all this and other details about the binge racing phenomenon.

Oct 17, 2017
1:59 pm

New Cable News Program to Debut Friday (AP)

A new prime-time cable news program bows later this week that promises to focus on challenging material such as the opioid crisis, illegal immigration and the sex trade. The AP reports that “Inside with Chris Cuomo,” with the CNN regular moonlighting on sister network HLN, premieres Friday at 9 p.m.

The report notes that Cuomo will be keeping his day job as co-host of CNN’s “New Day” morning show.

The report quotes Cuomo, who joined CNN in 2013 after a stint on ABC’s “20/20,” saying of the new show: “This is the kind of work we all want to do most often, which is a deep dive into a subject that matters.”

The newsmagazine is part of a push by HLN toward more crime and investigative programming, the report notes.

“On Friday’s first episode, ‘SOS New Hampshire,’ Cuomo looks at the drug problem in the state, focusing on addicts and people trying to save them,” the AP reports. “While the heroin epidemic has become a popular topic for news investigations, it’s clear from the scope and growth of the problem that more focus is needed, Cuomo said.”

The program is set to air on five consecutive Friday nights, with production under way for a second season.

Other upcoming topics include illegal immigration, child custody battles involving a polygamous sect, the illegal sex trade in Los Angeles and the growing population of women in prison.

Oct 17, 2017
1:44 pm

Scripted Series Executive Produced by Lorne Michaels Gets Green Light (TVWeek)

A new prime-time series from “Saturday Night Live” mastermind Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video just got a green light from Comedy Central.

The series is “The Other Two,” a half-hour scripted show created, written and executive produced by Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider. The series stars Drew Tarver, Helene York, Molly Shannon and Ken Marino, with Michaels on board as an executive producer.

Kelly and Schneider recently exited “Saturday Night Live” after serving as co-head writers.

Please click here for details in today’s announcement from Comedy Central.

Oct 17, 2017
9:44 am

Children’s Halloween Costume Pulled After Prompting a Social Media Uproar (NY Post, Twitter)

The latest Halloween costume to be pulled from the market after generating backlash on social media is a children’s Anne Frank costume. The New York Post reports that the costume featured “a beret, navy shirtwaist-style dress with buttons, a felt bag and ‘felt destination tag sewn to the dress collar.’”

A description of the costume on online retailer halloweencostumes.com said: “Now, your child can play the role of a World War II hero with this girls World War II costume. It comes with a blue button up dress, reminiscent of the kind of clothing that might be worn by a young girl during WWII.”

The Post adds: “The site also described Frank — the German-born girl who penned a diary of her harrowing experience during the Holocaust — as an ‘inspiration to us all,’ adding that ‘we can always learn from the struggles of history.’”

Twitter users soon noticed the costume and went into a frenzy.

One user tweeted: “Those who thought up or greenlit the selling of an #annefrank costume on @funcostumes should receive some basic training in humanity.”

Carlos Galindo Elvira, a regional director for Arizona’s Anti-Defamation League, tweeted: “We should not trivialize her memory as a costume.”

A spokesman for the company that runs the website apologized and noted: “We sell costumes not only for Halloween but for many uses outside of the Halloween season, such as school projects and plays. We offer several types of historically accurate costumes — from prominent figures to political figures to television characters.”

Anne Frank costume (Twitter)

Oct 17, 2017
9:31 am

Facebook Renews Four Shows as Its Original Programming Strategy Becomes More Clear (THR, YouTube)

Facebook provided clues to the direction of its fledgling original programming strategy, issuing renewals to four programs, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The programs air on the social media site’s Watch video platform, which has been up and running for several weeks in the U.S.

“The tech giant is handing out second seasons to Mike Rowe’s unscripted series ‘Returning the Favor,’ Bunim/Murray-produced reality series ‘Ball in the Family’ and scripted comedy ‘Strangers,'” THR reports. “Facebook is also confirming an earlier THR report that it will revive Nicole Byer’s MTV comedy, ‘Loosely Exactly Nicole,’ for a 10-episode second season.”

The report notes that Facebook’s approach has differed from those of Amazon, Google and Apple, with Facebook “combining highly produced (and fully funded) originals with lower budget shortform video series.”

THR adds: “Though a clear strategy hasn’t fully emerged, these early pickups signal that Facebook is looking for shows that take advantage of the interactive nature of the platform and resonate with its 138 million daily active U.S. users.”

We encourage readers to click on the link above to THR to read the publication’s exclusive report.

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