Feb 27, 2017
1:10 am

Pandemonium at Oscar Podium as ‘La La Land’ Loses Statue in Grand Boo Boo

There was mass confusion at the end of last night’s Oscar telecast as Faye Dunaway announced the wrong movie as the winner of Best Picture.

As explained later by Warren Beatty, who was presenting the final award of the night with Dunaway, they were not given the right envelope before they went on stage. Instead they were given an envelope that said Emma Stone of “La La Land” had won Best Actress. In the confusion Dunaway announced “La La Land” as the winner of Best Picture.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have made YouTube take down almost all videos that had the entire incident, which last close to 8 minutes. However, Mediaite has the entire video, which you can watch by clicking here.

To see all the winners of last night’s Academy Award ceremony – including the nominees, please click here.



Feb 26, 2017
4:06 pm

Two Printable Oscar Ballots for You. On One, You Pick the Academy Award Winners. The Other Has our Choices Marked for You (TVWeek)

It’s Oscar time! Today, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, is the live telecast of the 89th Annual Academy Awards on ABC, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

To find a ballot that you can print out and mark, please click here.

If you would like a ballot that you can print out that is ALREADY marked (with the Oscar picks of TVWeek Open Mic blogger Chuck Ross), please click here.

No guarantees on Chuck’s picks, of course, but he usually does pretty well.

For your convenience, here are the 2017 winners Chuck is predicting today in each of the 24 Oscar categories:

Best Picture: “La La Land”

Best Director: Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”)

Best Actress in a Leading Role: Emma Stone

Best Actor in a Leading Role: Casey Affleck

Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis

Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali

Best Adapted Screenplay: “Moonlight”

Best Original Screenplay: “Manchester by the Sea”

Best Sound Mixing: “La La Land”

Best Sound Editing: “Hacksaw Ridge”

Best Makeup & Hairstyling: “Star Trek Beyond”

Best Documentary Feature: “O.J.: Made in America”

Best Documentary Short: “Joe’s Violin”

Best Original Score: “La La Land”

Best Original Song: “City of Stars”

Best Costume Design: “Jackie”

Best Cinematography: “La La Land”

Best Production Design: “La La Land”

Best Animated Feature Film: “Zootopia”

Best Animated Short Film: “Piper”

Best Foreign Film: “The Salesman”

Best Visual Effects: “The Jungle Book”

Best Live Action Short: “Ennemis Interieurs”

Best Film Editing: “La La Land”


Feb 25, 2017
3:13 am

Suggested Reading: The Most Unforgettable Character I Ever Met and Her Very Special 90th Birthday (TVWeek)

How can you ignore the invitation that is our headline for TV Week Open Mic blogger Chuck Ross’ special essay, that you can find if you click here

Feb 24, 2017
4:31 pm

ABC Exec Headed Out After 35 Years (Variety)

ABC is losing a longtime executive, with the network telling staffers today in internal memos that Marla Provencio, executive VP of marketing and chief marketing officer, is exiting after 35 years at the network.

Variety reports that Provencio and ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey sent out memos announcing the news. Provencio has been in her current position since November 2011.

“She first began her career at ABC working in on-air promiotions in 1979,” Variety notes. “She was named executive vice president of marketing for ABC Entertainment in 2007, and had led ABC’s marketing for many years prior.”

Provencio notes in her memo: “I … have been involved in some of the most extraordinary marketing campaigns which has led me to one of the greatest realizations of my life — that the creative, and more importantly, hands-on creative, has always been my greatest passion and I want it to be the focus in the next chapter of my professional life.”

Variety adds: “A search for Provencio’s replacement is set to begin in the near future. Provencio will stay on as a consultant with the network through June.”

Feb 24, 2017
4:19 pm

Nintendo Could Be Back in Gaming Big Time With Its Switch, After the Disappointment of Its Wii U (Time)

Nintendo is readying to launch its edgy, millennial-focused new home/mobile hybrid entertainment platform and game console, Switch, on March 3. With a $299 price tag, the unit could be a game changer.

“The novelty of a mainstream gaming system that goes wherever you do feels gravitationally irresistible,” Matt Peckham writes in Time magazine. “You can get why it exists by observing what it does, a feat that’s true of little else in the games industry.”

Peckham adds: “There’s certainly none of that confusing ‘Which screen do I eyeball now?’ business per Nintendo’s Wii U. Drop Switch in its cradle, count to three, and it’s on your TV. Pull it out and it’s in your hands. Decouple the Joy-Con controllers from its sides, pop the rear kickstand and it’s on a table (or seat-back tray), your hands free to roam anywhere like creatures loosed from their cages.”

Peckham also points out: “It’s important to note how durable and substantial Switch feels, an unostentatious but strangely beautiful carbon-black slate that’s like a blue collar version of an Apple product — all the same ‘magical’ design elegance, none of the pretension.”

Click on the link to Time near the top of this story to read the rest of Peckham’s piece.

Feb 24, 2017
3:47 pm

Bill Cosby Catches a Break in Criminal Case (AP)

“In a major break for Bill Cosby, a judge ruled Friday that just one of the comedian’s multitude of other accusers can testify at his trial to bolster charges he drugged and violated a woman more than a decade ago,” the AP reports.

Cosby, 79, is due to go on trial in June in a sexual assault case. He’s accused of assaulting former Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his home near Philadelphia in 2004.

“Prosecutors wanted to put 13 more women on the stand to show that his alleged conduct was part of a distinct pattern of behavior,” the AP reports. “Montgomery County Judge Steven O’Neill disallowed all but one of those women, saying in a one-page ruling that he carefully weighed the possible value of their testimony against the potential prejudice to Cosby.”

“The one witness who can testify says the comic drugged and assaulted her in 1996 at a Los Angeles hotel,” the report adds.

Feb 24, 2017
3:01 pm

J.C. Penney to Close Stores, Cut Jobs (USA Today)

J.C. Penney announced plans today to shutter stores and reduce its work force in response to a sag in the department store business. USA Today reports that the company will close between 130 and 140 stores and will offer buyouts to 6,000 employees.

“The company said Friday that it would shutter 13% to 14% of its locations and introduce new goods and services aimed at the shifting preferences of its customer base,” the story reports. “The cuts come amid mounting challenges for once-stalwart department-store chains such as Macy’s and Sears, which are also aggressively closing stores to shed costs as shoppers flock to alternatives.”

A list of the stores to be closed will be sent out in mid-March, with liquidation sales expected to take place by the second quarter, the report notes.

Speaking to investors, Penney CEO Marvin Ellison said today: “It became apparent to us that our footprint was too large.” He noted that the closures will “allow us to raise the overall brand standard of J.C. Penney” and invest in remaining stores.

Feb 24, 2017
12:57 pm

White House Blocks CNN, Other Selected News Outlets From Press Briefing (The Hill)

A number of news organizations that Donald Trump has criticized were excluded today from a press briefing where White House spokesman Sean Spicer took questions from members of the press.

The Hill reports that the White House blocked CNN, The New York Times, The Hill, Politico, BuzzFeed, the Daily Mail, BBC, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Daily News from participating in the “gaggle,” held in Spicer’s West Wing office.

“Journalists from several right-leaning outlets were allowed into Spicer’s office, including Breitbart, The Washington Times and One America News Network,” The Hill reports. “A number of major news organizations were also let in to cover the gaggle. That group included ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, Reuters, Bloomberg and McClatchy.”

The report notes that reporters from the AP and Time magazine were allowed into the gaggle but refused to attend.

Feb 24, 2017
11:44 am

Disney Cuts Jobs Amid Digital Restructure (Engadget, THR)

Disney shook things up in its digital operation, announcing layoffs at its Maker Studios and its consumer products unit’s digital publishing division. Engadget reports that the move eliminates about 80 jobs as part of a strategic shift that will drastically reduce the number of YouTube creators supported by Maker.

The move, which in part eliminates duplicated jobs, comes almost three years after Disney’s $675 million acquisition of Maker Studios, one of YouTube’s largest networks.

“The layoffs aren’t enough for the YouTube network to start making money, though, so it also plans to shed tens of thousands of creators to concentrate on a chosen few,” Engadget reports.

“The studio will no longer help most of its 60,000 creators gain visibility and sell ads,” the report adds. “It aims to work more closely with 300 of its most popular creators with the largest followings instead, as well as those most suited to work with Disney. YouTube creator Alexys Gabrielle, for instance, is making a show that’s a tie-in to the ‘Oh My Disney’ website that features games, interviews and skits promoting the company’s franchises.”

The Hollywood Reporter notes that the operation is being rebranded as the publishing and digital media group, overseen by Executive VP Andrew Sugerman. The moves, THR reports, are “part of a renewed focus within the company to create a more cohesive cross-platform programming strategy.”

In a statement Thursday, Sugerman said: “We’re building a digital media network of Disney and non-Disney content for kids and millennials on the platforms they use every day. For advertisers, this network offers mobile, video, short-form content, micro-content, and influencers, all at scale.”

Feb 24, 2017
10:51 am

Cable Drama Locks In Plans for Final Season (TVWeek, BBC America)

Plans have been locked in for a cable drama series to return in two weeks for its final season on U.S. television. BBC America announced that season five of “Ripper Street” will premiere Wednesday, March 10, after which the show will wrap.

The final season will consist of six episodes. The British series already wrapped in the U.K., where season five rolled out in October on Amazon U.K.

“Ripper Street” is a Tiger Aspect and Lookout Point production in association with Brown Bear Films for Amazon and BBC Worldwide, co-produced with BBC America.

Here’s a teaser for the show’s final season, released today by BBC America …

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