May 4, 2016
12:11 pm

Fixture on NBC’s ‘Today’ Show May Be Headed Out (NY Post)

One of the regulars on NBC’s morning program “Today” is reportedly weighing options, including a spot on “Access Hollywood.” The New York Post reports that Natalie Morales, whose contract expires in October, appears poised to make a move.

Morales anchors news segments on “Today” and co-hosts its third hour. The report quotes a source saying, “Natalie is moving to California,” which would suggest that a move to “Access” is a done deal.

“If that happens, NBC would essentially be swapping current ‘Access Hollywood’ host Billy Bush for Morales,” the report notes. “Bush is expected to join ‘Today’ as a co-host in its third hour at 9 a.m. ahead of the Summer Olympics.”

The report notes that reps for Morales have also had early talks with ABC about a possible move to “Good Morning America.”

today show-title-cast-2014

May 4, 2016
11:27 am

Shocking Revelation by Charles Manson Disciple Who Has Been Approved for Parole (NY Post)

One of the Manson Family killers was approved for parole even after she made the shocking revelation during her April 14 parole hearing that she would have killed babies when she was participating in the group’s murder spree back in 1969.

The New York Post reports that Leslie Van Houten, now 66 years old, went into detail about her role in the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca during her seven-hour parole hearing. She was 19 at the time of the killings.

Presiding Commissioner Ali Zarrinnam reportedly asked Van Houten: “You would have done anything at this point, right? If there were babies in the home, would you have killed babies, newborns, toddlers?”

Referring to Charles Manson, Van Houten said: “I think I would have if he’d have said.”

The Post adds: “The gray-haired femme fatale never recanted or took responsibility for her shocking statement, saying instead that she had ‘surrendered completely, morally, ethically’ to Manson.”

Governor Jerry Brown will make the final decision in the next few months as to whether Van Houten is released from prison.

May 4, 2016
11:09 am

ABC’s ‘Live! with Kelly and Michael’ Names First Guest Host for Post-Strahan Spot (TVWeek)

The first guest host has been named for the “tryout” spot opposite Kelly Ripa after Michael Strahan exits ABC’s daytime show “Live! with Kelly and Michael,” but it seems unlikely that the new guy will be trying out for the job.

The show announced that Jimmy Kimmel, who has a regular gig at the other end of the schedule with his ABC late-night show “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” will fill in Monday, May 16. Kimmel’s appearance follows the Strahan sendoff scheduled for Friday, May 13.

The show did not announce how long Kimmel will be sitting in. He has been a frequent guest host on the show in the past.

Strahan will move full time to ABC’s “Good Morning America” in the fall.

jimmy kimmel live abc

May 4, 2016
10:44 am

Here’s What the TV Special Featuring Tracy Morgan, Emma Watson, Danny Trejo and Ellie Kemper Is About — and Who Else Will Be on the Program (TVWeek)

A gathering of stars from TV, movies, comedy, music and sports will be assembled for a special that will air May 26 on NBC. The occasion is Red Nose Day, a charity event run by Comic Relief to benefit children in need.

Among the celebrities on tap for NBC’s second annual “Red Nose Day Special” are Ellen DeGeneres, Jack Black, Paul Rudd, Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, Sarah Silverman, Tracy Morgan, Key & Peele, Anna Kendrick, Seth Rogen, Zac Efron and Ellie Kemper.

The comedy and music special will be hosted by Craig Ferguson.

Please click here for the rest of the celebrity lineup and additional details in the release from NBC.

red nose day-nbc-logo-2015

May 4, 2016
10:21 am

Look Who’s Going to Star in New Talk Show From Dr. Phil (THR)

A new talk show is in the works from Stage 29 Productions, the banner run by Dr. Phil and his son Jay McGraw, with entrepreneur and former model Amber Rose set to star. The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports that the weekly talk show has landed at VH1.

The show is set to debut this summer.

“The weekly series will feature Rose conducting candid interviews with celebrity friends and leading what is billed as provocative, entertaining and humorous conversations with guests on topics including pop culture, motherhood, relationships, friendships, race and entrepreneurship,” THR reports.

Amber Rose (OWN interview)Amber Rose (OWN interview)

May 4, 2016
10:01 am

History Developing Series About Notorious Drug Lord (Deadline)

A notorious drug lord is the focus of a new series in development at the cable channel History. The channel revealed it has put “#Cartel” into development, based on Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

El Chapo has been in the headlines in recent months with his capture following his meeting with actor Sean Penn. Deadline.com reports that the new series comes from “Narcos” co-creator Chris Brancato.

“Written by Brancato,’#Cartel’ will explore the global drug wars through the true story of Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, called the most powerful drug lord in history,” Deadline reports. “Described as a story of power, money, sex and the human cost of the drug wars, the drama will chronicle the kingpin’s rise to power, taking a look inside the stranger-than-fiction world of drug cartels who use social media to maintain their image, recruit new members and threaten rivals.”


May 4, 2016
9:44 am

Who Replaced 50 Cent on Forbes’ List of the Top Five Richest Hip-Hop Stars? (Reuters)

The Forbes Five club, made up of the five richest hip-hop artists, saw Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson drop off the list, replaced at No. 5 by Aubrey “Drake” Graham, Reuters reports.

“Due to a mismanagement of funds, which resulted in a bankruptcy last summer, 50 Cent was superseded by Drake, who has increased his net worth through touring, music releases and business deals with Nike, Sprite and Apple,” the story notes.

The top five has been relatively stable, and the latest version has Sean “Diddy” Combs again at No. 1 with a net worth of $750 million, followed by Andre “Dr. Dre” Young in second place with $710 million, Shawn “Jay Z” Carter third with $610 million, Bryan “Birdman” Williams a distant fourth with $110 million and Drake fifth with $60 million.

May 4, 2016
9:37 am

‘Bigger and Bolder’ Hulu Steps Up Its Game After Subscriber Surge, Unveils New Beatles Doc From Famed Director, Weird Election Special, Two Series Renewals and New Ad Partner (TVWeek)

Hulu provided a wide-ranging update on its programming, subscribers and ad plans at its upfront presentation today in New York. Proclaiming that it is going “bigger and bolder,” the streaming service announced 30% growth in subscribers year over year, with the total expected to hit 12 million this month.

The service has secured exclusive U.S. streaming VOD rights to a new Beatles documentary from acclaimed director Ron Howard. The project, with the working title “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week,” features rare and exclusive footage and will roll out in theaters and on Hulu this fall. (Click here for more details.)

Hulu also announced that it has partnered with BrightLine to deliver first-to-market interactive advertising units built exclusively for the living room. Meanwhile, Hulu unveiled a new collaboration with Nielsen that will enable digital ad measurement through Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings to capture OTT viewing in the living room environment for the first time.

Hulu also ordered new seasons of its original series “The Path,” starring “Breaking Bad’s” Aaron Paul, and “The Mindy Project,” along with its second election special featuring Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog.

The service’s slate of originals also includes the drama series “Shut Eye,” “Chance” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

Please click here for additional details on all of Hulu’s latest announcements.

the path-aaron paul-hulu

May 4, 2016
9:09 am

Levon Helm, Harry Nilsson and Green Day Among Subjects as Cable Net Locks In Slate of Music Docs (TVWeek)

Details have just surfaced for a cable series that will spotlight nine music documentaries featuring artists including Levon Helm, Dave Navarro, Jason Becker and Harry Nilsson. AXS TV, which showcases music festivals and other live music events, is launching “Reel to Real,” a new series that promises to premiere an acclaimed documentary on the last Tuesday of each month.

First up is “Heart Like a Hand Grenade,” on the rock band Green Day, which premieres May 31. Others on tap include “Mourning Son,” about guitarist Dave Navarro, June 28; “This Ain’t No Mouse Music!,” July 12; “Ain’t In It for My Health: A Film About Levon Helm,” July 26; “Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everyone Talkin’ About Him)?,” Aug. 30; “Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet,” Sept. 27; “Radio Unnameable,” about the long-running Bob Fass radio show, Oct. 25; “Music From the Big House,” Nov. 29; and “Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould,” Dec. 27.

Please click here for all the details.

axs tv logo

May 3, 2016
2:51 pm

Ad Spending on Digital Media Soars — The Bad News Is Where the Money Is Coming From (MediaPost)

Ad spending on original digital content has posted staggering gains in the past couple of years. MediaPost reports that spending on desktop and mobile combined has more than doubled since 2014, with the bulk of the money coming out of television.

The report cites survey results released this week by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, based on a survey of advertiser and agency executives by Advertiser Perceptions.

The results, released as the Digital Content NewFronts get under way in New York, “suggest a significant shift is taking place in the TV/video advertising marketplace,” the story reports.

The survey “found that their average video ad spending has nearly doubled over the past three years, but their investments in the kind of ‘original’ digital video programming being showcased at the NewFronts rose 114% in two years,” the article reports.

“Asked where the digital video ad budgets were being funded from, traditional TV budgets were cited as the source for 72% of total digital video and 64% for ‘original’ digital video,” the report adds.

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