Oct 23, 2018
10:43 am

MTV Launches New Award (TVWeek)

MTV just announced the launch of a new award, to be presented next month as part of the festivities surrounding the MTV EMA Awards. The first-ever “MTV EMA Generation Change Award” is aimed at honoring “fearless, original young people who are changing the world,” MTV said.

The award will be presented Nov. 4 during the red carpet pre-show ahead of the live telecast of the “2018 MTV EMA” awards from Bilbao, Spain.

The network also released the names of the five nominees, all age 26 or younger. The nominees are “five changemakers from around the globe who are tackling issues including the environment, ending child marriage, LGBTQ+ rights, mental health, children’s rights and education,” MTV said.

Here are the nominees, along with MTV’s brief blurbs on each one:

Sonita Alizadeh — 21 years old, Afghanistan

Sonita uses her rap lyrics and powerful voice to help end child marriage, support girls’ rights to choose their destiny and inspire people everywhere to dream bigger dreams.

Mohamad Aljounde — 17 years old, Lebanon

An advocate for child rights, Mohamad built a school in a refugee camp in Lebanon to give children access to an education, all while using the power of storytelling to shine a light on their realities in the wake of an ongoing war.

Ellen Jones — 20 years old, UK

An activist and content creator who focuses on LGBTQ+ rights, mental health, disability rights and feminist issues, using digital media to effect change.

Xiuhtezcatl “X” Martinez — 18 years old, USA

A climate activist, hip-hop artist, and powerful voice on the front lines of a global youth-led environmental movement.

Hauwa Ojeifo — 26 years old, Nigeria — #MTVEMA #GenerationSafe

A bold changemaker who founded a movement of love, hope and support to give mental health a voice in Nigeria.

Please click here for expanded details on each of hte nominees along with additional details on the new award and the 2018 MTV EMAs.

Oct 23, 2018
10:18 am

A Movie Star Embraces Television — in a Scandalous Way (TVWeek)

Here’s an admission from Hugh Grant, whose films over the past several decades have grossed more than $3 billion globally at the box office: Until recently, he was a snob about TV, even as his co-stars and colleagues long ago made the transition and continue to topline the small screen’s highest-quality productions.

But that’s all in the past now with his starring role in “A Very English Scandal,” a true-life tale of clandestine gay sex, secrets, lies, attempted murder and betrayal that is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

The London-based actor was in Los Angeles last week to talk about the show, its underlying scandal and other British and U.S. scandals — including a few he has been involved with personally.

Please click here for all the details in TVWeek Open Mic writer Hillary Atkin’s full report.


Oct 22, 2018
5:01 pm

NBC Developing New Cop Drama (Deadline)

NBC has a new police drama in development. Deadline reports that the new project is a female-oriented drama from “Nurse Jackie” co-creator Liz Brixius, film and TV producer Debra Martin Chase and Universal TV.

“Written by Brixius, the ‘Untitled Police Women Project’ explores the personal and professional lives of four LAPD women officers who have been best friends since the police academy,” the story reports.

Brixius and Chase are executive producing. Universal TV is producing in association with Brixius’ Delong Lumber and Chase’s Martin Chase Productions.

“The broadcast networks have been looking to launch an ensemble drama series about female cops for the last few years,” Deadline notes. “Two such projects went to pilots, ABC’s 2015 ‘Broad Squad’ and CBS’ ‘Chiefs’ this past season.”

Oct 22, 2018
4:31 pm

Oscar-Winning Director Shifts Gears, Will Take On Animated Classic (TVWeek)

The director who won the Academy Awards this year for Best Director and Best Picture is making what appears to be a sharp change in direction. Guillermo del Toro, who was honored for “The Shape of Water” at this year’s Oscars, will be tackling the animated classic “Pinocchio” for Netflix.

“Pinocchio” is del Toro’s lifelong passion project, Netflix says in today’s announcement. Del Toro’s version of the tale is set in Italy in the 1930s.

Del Toro is set to direct, write and produce the stop-motion animated musical.

Click here for additional details in today’s announcement.

Oct 22, 2018
4:17 pm

Turner Launches New Branded Content Studio (Variety)

Turner announced the launch of a new studio that will be focused on creating branded content for TBS, TNT TruTV and Adult Swim, Variety reports.

“Turner has named Greg T. Gordon as the vice president and creative director of Turner Ignite Studios, the latest operation at Turner devoted to developing so-called ‘branded content,’ or advertising made to emulate the programming and intellectual property that draws fans to the company’s cable networks in the first place,” Variety reports. “Turner already operates similar studios devoted to CNN and its Turner Sports division. Jennifer Cohen, senior vice president of content partnerships for Turner Ignite, will oversee the new studio.”

Variety adds: “The move comes as Madison Avenue shows increased interest in video advertising that echoes the programs and images to which viewers are attracted and less in the sort of ‘interruptive’ commercial breaks that have long been served up as the normal accompaniment to TV programming.”

Oct 22, 2018
4:07 pm

Too Much Information? Sarah Silverman Says Louis C.K. Used to, Um, You Know, in Front of Her, With Her Consent
(IndieWire, Deadline, Twitter)

Comedian Sarah Silverman prefaced her comment with, “I know I’m going to regret saying this,” then went on to say something she may well regret — and we may well regret hearing.

IndieWire quotes Silverman talking about her friend Louis C.K. during an appearance on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM radio show. The interview comes a year after C.K. admitted to sexual misconduct, and as he is starting to make stand-up appearances again.

“I know I’m going to regret saying this,” Silverman is quoted saying. “I’ve known Louis forever. I’m not making excuses for him, so please don’t take this that way. We are peers. We are equals. When we were kids, and he asked if he could masturbate in front of me, sometimes I’d go, ‘Fuck yeah I want to see that!’… It’s not analogous to the other women that are talking about what he did to them. He could offer me nothing. We were only just friends. Sometimes, yeah, I wanted to see it, it was amazing. Sometimes I would say, ‘Fucking no, gross,’ and we got pizza.”

Silverman stressed that the incidents took place when the two comedians were younger and “letting our freak flags fly.”

IndieWire adds: “The comedian shared another story in which the two would strip naked in C.K.’s apartment building and throw their clothes out the window onto the street and proceed to go down the elevator naked to retrieve them. Silverman was clear these were consensual moments between the two and were not comparable to the experiences of the women who accused C.K. of sexual harassment.”

Deadline reports that soon after Silverman made her comments, she was being called out on social media by comedian and C.K. accuser Rebecca Corry, who tweeted: “To be real clear, CK had ‘nothing to offer me’ as I too was his equal on the set the day he decided to sexually harrass me. He took away a day I worked years for and still has no remorse. He’s a predator who victimized women for decades and lied about it.”

Silverman tweeted back: “Rebecca I’m sorry. Ugh this is why I don’t like weighing in. I can’t seem to do press 4 my show w/out being asked about it.  But you’re right- you were equals and he fucked with you and it’s not ok. I’m sorry, friend. You are so talented and so kind.”

Oct 22, 2018
1:59 pm

Shakeup Behind the Cameras on NBC’s ‘Tonight Show’ (Deadline)

One producer is out and another is in talks to become the showrunner on NBC’s “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon,” Deadline reports.

“Producer Mike DiCenzo is leaving NBC’s late-night program,” Nellie Andreeva reports in the Deadline piece. “He just confirmed his departure on Twitter. I hear former ‘Today’ executive producer Jim Bell is in talks to come in as new ‘Tonight Show’ showrunner.”

Andreeva adds: “DiCenzo was part of a producing team of three ‘The Tonight Show’/’Late Night’ Jimmy Fallon veterans who were elevated to lead the show in 2016 following the departure of producer-showrunner Josh Lieb.

“DiCenzo and Gerard Bradford, who penned ‘Slow Jam The News Featuring President Obama’ among other signature ‘Tonight Show’ bits, assumed oversight of the show creative, while [Katie] Hockmeyer assumed oversight of production. All three had been with Fallon since before the 2009 launch of ‘Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,’ transitioning with him to ‘The Tonight Show.’ I hear that Bradford and Hockmeyer, both valued members of Fallon’s team, are expected to stay on.”

Oct 22, 2018
12:39 pm

Why Richard Parsons, Former CEO of Time Warner and Interim Chairman of CBS, Has Resigned From the Network (USA Today)

Veteran media executive Richard Parsons has stepped down from his position as interim chairman of CBS Corp., USA Today reports. Parsons reportedly resigned due to illness.

“Parsons became the interim chairman of CBS last month following the resignation of former Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves, who stepped down amid multiple sexual misconduct allegations,” USA Today reports. “Facing complications from cancer, Parsons said in a statement that his doctors told him ‘cutting back on my current commitments is essential to my overall recovery.'”

The report notes that Strauss Zelnick, CEO and chairman of Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., is replacing Parsons, effective immediately.

“Parsons has been a notable leader in the business world for decades. As the chairman of Citigroup, he helped bring stability to the company following the 2008 recession,” USA Today notes. “He also helped Time Warner, for which he served as chairman and CEO, navigate its way through a merger with AOL. Additionally, he served as interim CEO in 2014 of the Los Angeles Clippers.”

Oct 22, 2018
11:44 am

NBC Hires Well-Known Golfer to Replace Johnny Miller in the Booth (AP)

NBC has hired a new lead golf analyst as Johnny Miller, who has been a presence in the broadcast booth for three decades, prepares to exit the network.

The AP reports that Paul Azinger will replace Miller. Miller’s final tournament for NBC will be the Waste Management Phoenix Open in early February.

“Azinger already has a steady voice in golf from 10 years at ABC and ESPN, and the last three years at Fox Sports for its USGA events,” the AP notes. “In a unique arrangement by today’s standards, NBC Sports will allow Azinger to retain his role at Fox for the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open.”

Azinger, 58, is quoted saying: “Everyone says I’ve got big shoes to fill. I’m not trying to fill anybody’s shoes. The challenge is to be yourself. The action is the action. I don’t mind being blunt. It doesn’t have to be derogatory.”

Miller has maintained a reduced broadcast schedule in recent years, typically working only on weekends for NBC.

Oct 22, 2018
10:39 am

Julia Roberts Reveals Why She Shouldn’t Star in Romantic Comedies Anymore (ET)

Actress Julia Roberts, whose impressive list of credits as a star of romantic comedies includes “Pretty Woman,” “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “Notting Hill,” just to name a few, tells ET Online in an exclusive interview that it’s probably time for her to leave the genre behind.

In an interview with ET’s Keltie Knight, Roberts “admitted that she feels she’s had too much life experience to convincingly star in a rom-com at this point,” the story reports.

Roberts added: “Unless we [play] the parents of the people that are rom-com-ing.”

Roberts also told Knight: “There came a point in my career where people thought I had turned on romantic comedies, which — I love them, I love to be in them, I love to watch them. But sometimes, they just don’t work at a certain point of life experience.”

Roberts, who’s 50 years old, noted that age isn’t really the problem. “It’s not about age, it’s just about what people know that you know,” she said.

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