UPDATE: ‘GMA’, Sam Champion Weigh In On Josh Elliott’s ‘GMA’ Departure For NBC Sports (Video)

By | Monday March 31, 2014 @ 7:03am PDT

Josh Elliott Leaves Good Morning American For NBC Sports

UPDATE, 6:40 AM: GMA gang this morning told viewers that Josh Elliott is leaving the show to go to work for NBC Sports, marking the second successful poaching of a GMA cast member by NBCU, and that he would be replaced as news anchor by Amy Robach, who was on the scene –  Elliott himself was on “vacation.” Meanwhile, over at NBC, Al Roker publicly congratulated Elliot, via Twitter, for his “conscious uncoupling” from GMA/ABC. Watch here:

ABC US News | ABC Business News
UPDATE, 6:30 AM: Josh Elliott‘s former Good Morning America colleague Sam Champion weighed in this morning on Elliott’s announced exit from the ABC morning infotainment show to go to work for NBC Sports. Champion, who was also poached by NBCU and now works at The Weather Channel, called it “a great opportunity for Josh’s heart,” adding, “I know that fans of GMA are not loving it.” Watch here:

PREVIOUS, SUNDAY PM: After an intense negotiation with ABC NewsGood Morning America news anchor Josh Elliott is leaving the network for NBC Sports. ABC News wasted no time in announcing his replacement: Amy Robach, who has been part of the GMA team for some time, including filling in for Robin Roberts at various moments when she was out for medical reasons.  Elliott, who had been making about $1.2 million salary at GMA, turned down an offer to stay with the show for $4-$5 million.  After his fellow anchor Lara Spencer nailed down a lucrative multiyear contract Thursday, Elliott raised his ask to $10 million a year. With Elliott, NBC is getting a strong sports guy — a next generation Bob Costas — who previously worked at ESPN. Per the terms of Elliott’s exit, he cannot appear on NBC’s Today for six months according to people familiar with the situation. Elliott is the second member of the ensemble team that put GMA in first place in the morning show ratings race, and to depart for an NBCUniversal property. In December, NBCU successfully poached longtime GMA weatherman Sam Champion who is now a bigwig at their Weather Channel. In much the same way they did today, ABC announced Champion’s replacement, Ginger Zee, minutes after it was reported that he was leaving. In the wake of Champion’s departure, GMA has scored some of its highest ratings ever. Read More »

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UPDATE: ‘Nightline’ Names JuJu Chang Co-Anchor Replacing NBC News-Bound Cynthia McFadden

By | Thursday March 27, 2014 @ 1:00pm PDT

UPDATE, 1 PM: That didn’t take long. ABC News has promoted special JujuChangcorrespondent and substitute anchor Juju Chang to co-anchor of Nightline joining fellow anchors Dan Harris and Dan Abrams. News division president Ben Sherwood sent a memo to staff announcing the changes today, bidding a fond farewell to McFadden. Check out the full memo below the original story.

PREVIOUS, 12:31 PM: ABC‘s Nightline co-anchor Cynthia McFadden has CynthiaMcFaddendeparted for NBC News, where she will become senior legal and investigative correspondent. McFadden spent the past 20 years at ABC News as an anchor and correspondent before being named a correspondent for the network’s late-night news broadcast. She has served as Nightline’s co-anchor for the past nine years. Based in New York, McFadden will join the NBC News investigative unit and she will contribute across all broadcasts and platforms of NBC News. “Cynthia McFadden is a rare talent — passionate about journalism, compassionate in her view of the world, truly gifted in the art of storytelling,” NBC News chief Deborah Turness  said in today’s announcement. Said McFadden: “While it is not easy leaving the Nightline anchor chair, the opportunity NBC offered to make a deep dive into the kind of reporting I am most passionate about — legal and investigative — was just too appealing to resist,” McFadden said. Read More »

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WGA Awards: ‘Captain Phillips’ & ‘Her’ Win Top Film Awards; ‘Breaking Bad’, ‘Veep’ & ‘House Of Cards’ Score On TV Side

By | Saturday February 1, 2014 @ 5:49pm PST

WGA Award WinnersUPDATED WITH FULL LIST OF WINNERS: The 66th annual WGA Awards were handed out tonight in “simultaneous” ceremonies on both coasts — the WGA West is at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE and the WGA East at the Edison Ballroom. Like last year, the NY crew announced its main awards well ahead of the LA ceremony. In the end, Billy Ray was the somewhat surprising winner of the Adapted Screenplay award for Sony’s Captain Phillips while Spike Jonze took the Original Screenplay honor for Warner Bros’ Her. If the time snafu sounds familiar it is; last year the LA event lagged NYC’s by almost an hour, meaning award winners were being announced first by WGAE and then trickled into the WGAW audience to ruin the suspense. Tonight, word began filtering into the JW Marriott of the main winners about 2 hours into the show. Ray and Jonze, who were in LA, came to the podium a good 40+ minutes after their awards were unveiled at the Edison and pretended to look surprised — all of the final big awards seemed to lose steam as most in the room new the winners.

2014 Writers Guild Awards L.A. Ceremony - InsideOn the TV side, Breaking Bad won both the Best Drama and Episodic Drama categories for the second time in three years and the third consecutive Best Drama trophy for the series’ final installment. House Of Cards picked up the first WGA Award for Netflix, taking the New Series honor. The streaming service led the network pack this year with six nominations as the guild amended its rules this year to allow eligibility for Netflix series that have been produced for initial exhibition in New Media. Veep won its first major series award with its Comedy Series win tonight over the likes of Modern Family, which was looking to take back the crown after losing last year to FX’s Louie.  The fellow HBO comedy Veep launched, Girls, won the New Series award last year.

Related: WGA Awards: Writers Hopeful As They Head Into Contract Negotiations With Producers

2014 Writers Guild Awards L.A. Ceremony - Inside“Every writer deserves the kind of luck I’ve had. I owe quite a debt to Captain Richard Phillips,” said Ray, who was also nominated for an Oscar. “Capt. Phillps wrote this story, I just wrote it down.” The feature film competition this year was almost as interesting for what’s not in the running vs. what is. The most notable absences were Oscar Adapted Screenplay favorite John Ridley for 12 Years A Slave and fellow nominees Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope for Philomena – the guild only includes screenplays that were produced under its signatory agreements. Ray’s win probably vaults him into the conversation with 12 Years.

2014 Writers Guild Awards L.A. Ceremony - InsideSaid Jonze, also an Oscar nominee:  ”This is a high honor coming from the Writers Guild. … It’s a high honor coming from writers. In a way this is like an award for pain. A specfic pain that writers know. The highs and lows of sitting there by yourself. I thank you guys for that.”

Related: 2014 WGA Award Nominations

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Why Harvey Weinstein’s Comments On Movie Violence Matter

t100_weinsteinCOMMENTARY: The Weinstein Company’s co-chairman Harvey Weinstein made some bold statements Friday on CNN to Piers Morgan about backing away from violent content.  He spoke about his own children and how he no longer wanted to feel like a hypocrite. “The change starts here,” the man who produced Quentin Tarantino’s violent Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs and D’jango Unchained told Morgan. “It has already. For me, I can’t do it. I can’t make one movie and say this is what I want for my kids and then just go out and be a hypocrite.” He added that he would still make a movie like Lone Survivor, which is a violent but accurate portrayal of our American military and their dedication to serving this country. “I’m not going to make some crazy action movie just to blow up people and exploit people just for the sake of making it,” he said. “I can’t do it.” Weinstein’s statements came only days after a fatal shooting of the father of a 3-year old in a Florida theater during a screening of Lone Survivor who was killed while texting his little girl by a supposed “good guy with a gun,” a 71 year-old former police captain.

“The insensitivity that the average person has now because of violence is because people have become so used to it. It’s an obsession as well as almost an addiction. It’s a cheap way of getting an audience, more people shot and more explosions, but it’s at the expense of the story,” said one entertainment marketer with 35 years of experience. “Abject violence has proven successful, and as long as it is, it will be produced because it’s profitable. It’s the accepted way of life rather than asking is this the right thing to do?”

Related: Harvey Weinstein Has Change of Heart On Violent Content In Films: “The Change Starts Here”

The question is, of course, how Harvey is going to reconcile being in business with Tarantino. The filmmaker has made a lot of money for the company with violent fare. And therein lies the conundrum that all studio heads and TV executives face. I’ve interviewed several executives over the past few weeks and many have said privately that they think the gun violence — especially in video games — has gotten out of control. However, they also say they have an obligation to their shareholders to make a profit and violence sells. There will always be violence in movies, just as there is violence in the Bible and in the plays of William Shakespeare. But, Weinstein is trying to tip the scales; to shift Hollywood from glorifying violence in films, to showing the true human cost and destructiveness of it.

fruitvale-station1-e1374069048695The Weinstein Company did just that when it released Fruitvale Station last year. The film does contain gun violence, but it’s told from the point of view of the victim of gun violence. And that, in itself, is unusual and powerful. When Weinstein said, “The change starts here. It has already for me,” I thought of Fruitvale. Produced by Forest Whitaker and directed by newcomer Ryan Coogler, you come to care about this boy, see him with his little girl, understand him as a father and a son before he is murdered. It was passed over by the Academy this past week for Oscar noms, but it shouldn’t have been. It did win the Producers Guild’s Stanley Kramer Award. Stanley Kramer, of course, was the patron saint of bringing social issues to the foreground with films such as Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner. fruitvale2Fruitvale was the first film I saw in a theater (a large screening room) after the Aurora, CO shooting where my cousin’s daughter was among many murdered by a gunman at a screening of The Dark Knight Rises on July 20, 2012. During the emergency room scene, I couldn’t bear it. I closed my eyes and sobbed. The film depicts the true face of violence — a very realistic depiction of how gun violence destroys a family. It was made for under $1M and brought in $16.7M at the box office is and still bringing in money in its ancillary markets. Read More »

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The Weinstein Co., Meryl Streep To Take Down NRA In ‘The Senator’s Wife’

By | Thursday January 16, 2014 @ 10:25am PST

Palm Springs Film Fest: Harvey WeinsteinMeryl-Streep-9497266-1-402The title will be The Senator’s Wife, the star, Oscar winner Meryl Streep and the producer, The Weinstein Co. The target: the NRA. The formidable chairman of The Weinstein Co., Harvey Weinstein, confirmed to Deadline today they will be taking on the NRA gun lobby head-on with a film entitled The Senator’s Wife which will star the just-Oscar-nominated Streep (August: Osage County) and other top talent in a movie he described as “the new Mr. Smith Goes To Washington” — the beloved Frank Capra film that starred Jimmy Stewart about one man’s fight against corrupt politicians in Washington. Weinstein announced on The Howard Stern Show that “they’re (the NRA is) going to wish they weren’t alive after I’m done with them.” Weinstein, who has been one of the strongest supporters of President Barack Obama, in this film will expose the NRA for their behind-the-scenes machinations of what Obama himself called “intimidation” and “lies” that ended up defeating legislation that would have expanded background checks on gun sales. Shortly after, Obama, flanked by parents of murdered children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, held a press conference out in the Rose Garden, calling out the NRA, saying the organization led by Wayne LaPierre “willfuly lied” to the American people. “They claimed that it would create some sort of big brother gun registry even though the bill did the opposite,” said Obama of the NRA, and he added, “this pattern of spreading untruths about this legislation served a purpose. Because those lies upset an intense minority of gun owners and that in turn intimidated a lot of senators.” For the record, I took part in the We Are Better Than This campaign after my cousin’s daughter was murdered in the Aurora theater shooting, but my family members own guns and one is an NRA member. Read More »

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CNN Names Christine Romans Co-Anchor Of ‘Early Start’; Victor Blackwell And Christi Paul To Anchor ‘New Day Weekend’

By | Monday January 6, 2014 @ 6:33am PST

Chief Business Correspondent Christinechristine_romans_cnn__OocShHRb.sized Romans has been named co-anchor of CNN’s early-morning program, Early Start. She will join co-anchor John Berman on the program, which airs weekdays from 5-6 AM ET. Romans will continue in her capacity as the network’s chief business reporter and anchor of CNN’s business programs. “Given the audience’s interest in business news as the day begins, and markets across the globe have been open for hours, Christine will add a great dimension to the program that starts CNN’s programming day,” said Jeff Zucker, President, CNN Worldwide. “Plus, Christine’s fantastic rapport with John makes this a dynamic team for America to wake up to.”

cnnlogo2__131217153003In addition, Victor Blackwell and Christi Paul have been named co-anchors of the network’s weekend morning program, New Day Weekend. The program airs from 6-9:30 AM ET on Saturdays and 6–7:30 AM and 8-9 AM ET on Sundays. Blackwell will continue reporting for CNN based in Atlanta and Paul will continue anchoring for HLN during the week. Read More »

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John Miller Leaves CBS News To Rejoin NYPD Commissioner William Bratton

By | Thursday December 26, 2013 @ 3:24pm PST

CBS News correspondent John Miller just announced on WCBS-TV New York that he is going towork for incoming NYPD Commissioner William Bratton.John Miller The two worked together when Bratton was NYPD commissioner in the mid-’90s and again when Bratton was LA’s commissioner, with Miller focused on terrorism preparedness. The news comes just days after some TV-news navel lint pickers scolded Miller over his 60 Minutes report on the NSA — the New York Times cbsnewscalling it “a friendly infomercial for the agency.” Miller is a former FBI official who worked with NSA;  some critics said he should have stayed away from the story because of that. Miller responded to the criticism, to the NYT, saying, “As we constructed it, the NSA was a story about a debate, not a villain, and we added to that debate with important information. I fail to understand how a shrill argument for the sake of creating televised drama would have accomplished anything.” A CBS News rep said today in a statement: “John Miller is a remarkable journalist with deep insight into law enforcement. He has been invaluable to the CBS News family. We wish him well in his quest to help make the City of New York a safer place as part of the NYPD. John will always have a home at CBS News.” Here’s CBS News’ announcement of Miller’s new job, via WCBS:

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Fleming Q&As American Cinema-theque Honoree Jerry Bruckheimer On 40 Years Of Hits, And A Paramount Pictures Future

Mike Fleming

Jerry Bruckheimer Interview Candid ExclusiveEXCLUSIVE: Tonight, the 27th American Cinematheque Award honors Hollywood’s longest-running and most commercially successful producer in Jerry Bruckheimer. Over the past 40 years, Bruckheimer has been the most consistent generator of films that filled theaters, moved popcorn and displayed more onscreen explosions than anyone else. First with late partner Don Simpson and then as a solo act, Bruckheimer’s films have earned estimated worldwide revenues of $16 billion in ticket sales, video and recording revenues, and he once had 10 TV series on networks in a single season, a record that still stands. Bruckheimer has something to prove as he moves from Disney to Paramount in the wake of the disappointing returns on The Lone Ranger. Bruckheimer doesn’t relish looking back as he starts a new chapter in a storied career that will include more installments of franchises Pirates Of The Caribbean, National Treasure, Bad Boys, Beverly Hills Cop and Top Gun. But he invited Deadline to his spacious Santa Monica headquarters recently to spend an afternoon reflecting on how far the son of a Detroit suit salesman has come.

DEADLINE: Your long run as Disney’s signature event film producer ends with your return to Paramount, a place where you and late former partner Don Simpson made some of the seminal hits of the 1980s. Disney moved toward a branded supplier program built around Marvel, Star Wars, DreamWorks, Pixar and away from proven producers. That is emblematic of the business now as studio producer deals fall by the wayside. You raised $20 million a couple years ago through Barclays Bank for development, and had a line on over $300 million, positioning you to be in step with hybrid producer/financiers with co-fi coin. Why did you instead opt for a throwback first-look Paramount deal?
tgBRUCKHEIMER: I like the camaraderie and collaboration of developing at a studio. Brad Grey I’ve worked with in the past and enjoy. I developed Top Gun 2 with Tony Scott, Paramount executives and David Ellison, and had a good experience with them. They are aggressive about material, and how they market, advertise and distribute their films.

DEADLINE: Most producers who can are raising their own money, as studios make fewer films and downgrade traditional first-look producing deals. You had the money in place and no producer has your long track record of hits if you wanted to raise more. Why didn’t you go that route?
BRUCKHEIMER: Because you spend your time finding millions, setting up time-consuming meetings with bankers, accountants and lawyers. It sucks the energy out of you and you are not spending your time making movies. For me, it was like trying on a suit and not liking the fit. I’d rather spend my time sitting in a room with a writer or a director, working out the beats of a story, or sitting with a designer to figure out how to make this set as cool as possible. A lot of people are good at running around raising money, and I’m not saying it’s something that isn’t in my future if I have to do it. I’d just much rather work at the creative end of the business.

DEADLINE: In your first stop at Paramount, you made films like Top Gun and Beverly Hills Cop, and you are drafting new versions of each almost 30 years later. Studios all over are rebooting and sequelizing old stuff. Why is it so hard to create new franchises today?
bevBRUCKHEIMER: It’s always been hard to launch a franchise. You have to hit the mother lode on the first one, then figure out how to create longevity for each of the main characters. That’s not easy. We got very fortunate with Beverly Hills Cop because Eddie was just the greatest new comic that I’d seen. He’d made only a few movies previously and I could see he had the ability to capture the imagination of the audience. 48 Hours and Trading Places made that clear. But they thought we were nuts to have him carry a lead in a movie.

DEADLINE: Why?
BRUCKHEIMER: Because in both pictures he was a co-star.

DEADLINE: Didn’t Paramount prefer Sylvester Stallone for the Axel Foley role anyway?
BRUCKHEIMER: Originally. Here’s what happened. We went to Paramount and said, we want Eddie for this. They had the script, they loved it, they wanted to make the movie. They also had a pay or play commitment with Stallone, and they didn’t just want to pay him. So they wanted him for this movie. We said, we love Sly, but we created this script for Eddie. Even though Eddie didn’t know that we’d developed it for him. But we said, fine, you sign the checks, we’ll do what you want. We met with Sly and he said, I write my own stuff. We said OK, go ahead with your own thing. And when the project came in it had gotten way too expensive. He had written in car chases and everything. Barry Diller said, wait a minute, we’re not spending that kind of money on this movie. So he turned to us and asked who we would put in this movie if Sly couldn’t do it? We said, Eddie Murphy, but we didn’t say we’d originally given it to the studio for Eddie. Barry said, great, go make the movie! And he gave Sly his script back with all the things he wrote and Sly went off and used that to make Cobra, which was the direction he had taken Beverly Hills Cop. We went off and made it with Eddie. They still thought we were crazy because this was the first time an African-American had carried a studio movie. I think, ever. We were told we were nuts to spend that kind of money on Eddie, alone.

DEADLINE: Take movies like Pacific Rim, World War Z or The Lone Ranger this past summer. Each were franchise plays, but at $200 million or more, the high costs made it like shooting at a narrow moving target and hard to turn profit. The old way was to make films like Beverly Hills Cop for low price and if they build natural momentum, hello sequel.
BRUCKHEIMER: Beverly Hills Cop wasn’t expensive at all. It’s just so hard to make a successful movie to begin with, and to figure out which can be sustained. A lot of movies I’ve done, like The Lone Ranger, could have been franchises. But the audience didn’t brace itself for what might happen next with the characters. That is just how it has always happened. The difference is that now, everything is just a lot more expensive. Back then, Top Gun cost $14 million and Beverly Hills Cop was $8 million.

DEADLINE: Why didn’t The Lone Ranger catch on with audiences?
longrBRUCKHEIMER: I don’t really know. I can’t definitively tell you why Pirates Of The Caribbean worked so well. Nobody wants to make a picture that doesn’t make its money back, especially us. I loved the movie and enjoyed making it. You make the best movie you can, you put it out and then you find out. They did a good job marketing the movie, so I can’t say anything about that. It’s just one of those films that fell between the cracks. It certainly wasn’t helped by the negative press before the movie even got made. There were a lot of discussions about a lot of things that the audience shouldn’t care about, and maybe that turned them off.

DEADLINE: The average person or a journalist like me might say, $200 million or more is too much to spend on a picture. What doesn’t the lay person understand when they make statements like that?
BRUCKHEIMER: The part that gets me is, the audience only pays between $6 and $10 bucks, and they don’t pay any more when a film costs $200 million. It shouldn’t concern them. All they should care about is, did I love it? Do I want to go see it again? Will I tell my friends to go see it? That’s all that should be important to an audience. The media feeds into the cost of the movie, rather than, is it entertaining? Have the filmmakers used every nickel they spent to best advantage, where I can see it on the screen and it gave me a better experience? That’s what’s important, the moviegoer experience. And it is also important that someone like me looks at movies done by others that are so well done, so exciting, with such big endings that I say, ‘Jeez, how do we compete with that?’ And the way you compete is to be more inventive in finding concepts, actors and directors who’ll give the audience a real thrill ride. Read More »

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PTC: Violence Levels On Broadcast And Cable “Virtually Indistinguishable”

By | Monday December 9, 2013 @ 5:19am PST

PTC_logo110916212735-150x150A few weeks after American and Dutch researchers found that violence in PG-13 films has now exceeded R-rated levels, the Parents Television Council has come up with a violence scorecard for broadcast vs cable. In a new study (read it: here), the PTC says, “The volume and degree of violent content shown on broadcast and cable television are virtually indistinguishable,” and that broadcast TV shows “consistently underrated graphically-violent content as appropriate for 14-year-old children, even though similar content on the cable networks was rated for mature audiences only.” The PTC is especially concerned with NBC’s Revolution, which, it says, contained an average 91.5 acts of violence per episode over four installments considered.

Related: Gun Violence In U.S. Movies On The Rise; PG-13 Levels Exceed R-Rated Films: Study

revolution1Among cable shows included in the study were American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, Sons Of Anarchy, Breaking Bad, Copper, Justified, and Bullet In The Face. They were compared with broadcast dramas like Criminal Minds, Revolution, The Blacklist, Supernatural, Sleepy Hollow, CSI, and Law & Order: SVU. According to the findings, 37% of all graphic violence in the study aired on broadcast.

About a year ago, the watchdog blasted ABC’s Scandal for what it termed a “brutal” torture scene during an episode that was rated TV-14. At the time, PTC president Tim Winter argued, “It is … Read More »

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‘House Of Cards’, ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Among Writers Guild’s TV Nominees

By | Thursday December 5, 2013 @ 10:20am PST

WGA AwardsLos Angeles and New York – The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) have announced nominations for outstanding achievement in television, new media, news, radio, promotional writing, and graphic animation during the 2013 season. The winners will be honored at the 2014 Writers Guild Awards on Saturday, February 1, 2014, at simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York.

TELEVISION NOMINEES

DRAMA SERIES

Breaking Bad, Written by Sam Catlin, Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould, Gennifer Hutchison, George Mastras, Thomas Schnauz, Moira Walley-Beckett; AMC

The Good Wife, Written by Meredith Averill, Leonard Dick, Keith Eisner, Jacqueline Hoyt, Ted Humphrey, Michelle King, Robert King, Erica Shelton Kodish, Matthew Montoya, J.C. Nolan, Luke Schelhaas, Nichelle Tramble Spellman, Craig Turk, Julie Wolfe; CBS

Homeland, Written by Henry Bromell, William E. Bromell, Alexander Cary, Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Barbara Hall, Patrick Harbinson, Chip Johannessen, Meredith Stiehm, Charlotte Stoudt, James Yoshimura; Showtime

House Of Cards, Written by Kate Barnow, Rick Cleveland, Sam R. Forman, Gina Gionfriddo, Keith Huff, Sarah Treem, Beau Willimon; Netflix

Mad Men, Written by Lisa Albert, Semi Chellas, Jason Grote, Jonathan Igla, Andre Jacquemetton, Maria Jacquemetton, Janet Leahy, Erin Levy, Michael Saltzman, Tom Smuts, Matthew Weiner, Carly Wray; AMC

COMEDY SERIES

30 Rock, Written by Jack Burditt, Robert Carlock, Tom Ceraulo, Luke Del Tredici, Tina Fey, Lang Fisher, Matt Hubbard, Colleen McGuinness, Sam Means, Dylan Morgan, Nina Pedrad, Josh Siegal, Tracey Wigfield; NBC

Modern Family, Written by Paul Corrigan, Bianca Douglas, Megan Ganz, Abraham Higginbotham, Ben Karlin, Elaine Ko, Steven Levitan, Christopher Lloyd, Dan O’Shannon, Jeffrey Richman, Audra Sielaff, Emily Spivey, Brad Walsh, Bill Wrubel, Danny Zuker; ABC

Parks And Recreation, Written by Megan Amram, Donick Cary, Greg Daniels, Nate DiMeo, Emma Fletcher, Rachna Fruchbom, Daniel J. Goor, Norm Hiscock, Matt Hubbard, Dave King, Greg Levine, Joe Mande, Sam Means, Aisha Muharrar, Matt Murray, Amy Poehler, Alexandra Rushfield, Michael Schur, Jen Statsky, Harris Wittels, Alan Yang; NBC

Orange Is The New Black, Written by Liz Friedman, Sian Heder, Tara Herrmann, Sara Hess, Nick Jones, Jenji Kohan, Gary Lennon, Lauren Morelli, Marco Ramirez; Netflix

Veep, Written by Simon Blackwell, Roger Drew, Sean Gray, Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin, Georgia Pritchett, David Quantick, Tony Roche, Will Smith; HBO

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Fox Midseason: ‘Glee’ Returns To Tuesday, ‘Brooklyn’ Moves Behind ‘New Girl’, ‘Mindy’ Takes Hiatus, ‘Following’ Gets NFC Launch

By | Thursday November 21, 2013 @ 4:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Fox is making some scheduling changes for midseason. The underperforming two-hour Tuesday comedy block will be scaled to an hour beginning February 25, when Glee will return to the Tuesday 8 PM slot where it did pretty well during the 2011-12 season. Fox brass hope that the move would help the show regain some footing, which it has lost airing behind a very weak The X Factor this fall. The hourlong Fox comedy block will consist of New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which will move to the 9:30 slot on February 4. It will replace The Mindy Project, which will go on hiatus after a winter finale on January 28, returning on April 1 after Brooklyn Nine-Nine ends its freshman run. The move comes after the sophomore comedy starring Mindy Kaling hit a new series low (1.2 in 18-49) this week. The show’s crew already has been told of the scheduling change, and Mindy is planning a month-long production hiatus around the holidays which the writers will use to regroup and plot the show’s April re-launch.

Fox also is changing its launch plans for midseason dramas The Following and Rake. Instead of premiering new legal dramedy Rake behind the NFC Championship Game on January 19 as previously announced, Fox will launch the second season of  gritty drama The Following after the big game for a two-night season premiere on Sunday, January 19 and Monday, January 20 when the series will debut in its regular Monday 9 PM slot, following the season finale of Sleepy Hollow. The argument is that the dark, male skewing Following would be more compatible with the football game than the lighter, more female-friendly Rake. The new series starring Greg Kinnear will premiere January 23 in its regular Thursday 9 PM slot, following American Idol. As previously announced, new Fox comedy Enlisted will premiere on Friday, January 10, and original episodes of New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine will air after the Super Bowl on February 2. Remaining unclear if the spring scheduling of comedy Dads, which will air its last originals in its Tuesday February 4 and February 11 before going on hiatus to make room for Glee. It could come back later in the season, a return date is TBD. Here are Fox’s updated winter premiere dates: Read More »

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NBC & CBS Forced To Retract Name Of Navy Yard Shooter After Getting It Wrong

By | Monday September 16, 2013 @ 12:27pm PDT

In the midst of a stream of breaking news around the shootings today at the Navy Yard in Washington DC, NBC and CBS stumbled. At around 1 PM ET, both networks reported that the shooter of at least 11 people at the DC facility as Rollie Chance, a Navy officer. “NBC News I-Unit head RT @REspositoNBC: Shooter identified as a Rollie Chance #NavyYardShooting,” tweeted NBC News’ Chuck Todd just before 1 PM ET. CBS reported the shooter’s name soon afterwards too. The problem was both NBC and CBS were wrong and had to retract the information. “BREAKING. @johnmillercbs advises the initial reports identifying the suspected shooter as Rollie Chance are wrong,’ tweeted CBS producer Charlie Kaye just before 1 PM. “NBC News: we are now NOT reporting name of shooter; retracting that report. deleting those tweets,” tweeted Todd at 1:05 PM. Less than half and hour later, Todd added, “The confusion over the shooter name had to do with an I.D. card found near dead gunman; What led to bad initial reporting.” Todd didn’t stop there. “I know folks are relishing an opportunity to get out their hatred for media; I’m just trying to provide context for what we got wrong,” he added. At 2:46 PM, NBC News’ Pete Williams identified the shooter as civilian contractor Aaron Alexis based on reports from federal officials. The gunman was killed in a shootout with police today. Police officials did not confirm or deny that other shooters were involved. Shots first were reported at around 8:15 AM ET. Read More »

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KNBC, KABC Lead Los Angeles Area Emmy Award Winners

By | Saturday August 3, 2013 @ 9:15pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

KNBC-TV and KABC-TV scored the most wins, 8 and 7, respectively, at the 65th Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards held tonight at the TV Academy’s Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre. Univision’s KMEX-TV landed a major win, topping all English-language counterparts in the prestigious Daily Evening Newscast category. KNBC received an Emmy in the Daytime Newscast category for its 6 PM news, while KTLA was victorious in the Morning Newscast field for its 7 AM news program. Here’s the full list of winners: Read More »

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Al Jazeera America Taps Ehab Al Shihabi To Be Interim CEO

By | Monday July 22, 2013 @ 10:41am PDT

In addition to the news about Ehab Al Shihabi, the soon-to-launch network says that Kate O’Brian, formerly of ABC News, will be president. ABC News President Ben Sherwood lauded O’Brian’s “insights, judgment and humor.” Here’s the Al Jazeera America release, followed by Sherwood’s comments:

New York (July 22, 2013) – The Acting Director General of Al Jazeera Media Network, Dr. Mostefa Souag, announced today that Ehab Al Shihabi, executive director for international operations, has been named (till further notice) as an interim chief executive officer of Al Jazeera America, and ABC News veteran Kate O’Brian has been named its president. Dr. Souag also announced that the groundbreaking American news channel is scheduled to launch on August 20, 2013.

In addition, David Doss has been named senior vice president for news programming; Marcy McGinnis has been appointed senior vice-president, newsgathering; and Shannon High-Bassalik will serve as senior vice-president, documentaries and programs.

Al Shihabi, one of the network’s leading American senior executives, has effectively participated in and been in charge of developing Al Jazeera America. Al Jazeera America will be headquartered in New York City and have 12 bureaus in key cities around the U.S.

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Fox, ‘Glee’ Start To Grapple With Cory Monteith Death

By | Monday July 15, 2013 @ 6:29am PDT

An autopsy will be conducted on the body of Glee star Cory Monteith today, as Fox execs begin discussing how to handle the return of the series on which he was a breakout star. The show’s writers, meanwhile, will consider what to do about the first two episodes in which the return of Monteith’s character was to have played an important part. Fox network had planned to open the Glee’s fifth season early — Sept. 19 –  in order to get a batch of episodes broadcast before the network’s annual post-season baseball messing up of its primetime schedule. The first two episodes of the fifth season had been written before the traditional long summer hiatus, in order to get a jump on the new season; production had been scheduled to start next week. The return of Monteith’s character, hunky high school football star turned glee club darling Finn Hudson, was much anticipated by fans, Monteith having been absent from the final episodes of last season to check himself into a drug treatment facility late last March. The 31-year-old Monteith had been open about his substance abuse problems in the past, revealing two years earlier he’d first entered a rehab program in his late teens. Along with Lea Michele and Chris Colfer, Monteith had been prominently featured last season despite his character graduating from McKinley High at the end of the previous season as part of a show “reboot.’ When the announcement was made that he was temporarily leaving the show, Glee production house 20th Century Fox TV said in a statement, “Everyone at the show wishes him well and looks forward to his return.” Read More »

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‘Glee’s New Class Upped To Series Regulars

By | Saturday June 29, 2013 @ 11:20am PDT

A day after downgrading Glee veterans Heather Morris (Brittany), Mark Salling (Puck), Amber Riley (Mercedes) and Harry Shum Jr (Mike), Fox has promoted New Directions’ latest recruits. Melissa Benoist (Marley), Jacob Artist (Jake), Becca Tobin (Kitty), and Blake Jenner (Ryder), and Alex Newell (Wade AKA “Unique”) will anchor the musical dramedy as series regulars. Glee returns for its fifth season in September.

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NBC News Hires Former NYPD, LAPD, And Boston PD Police Topper Bill Bratton

By | Thursday June 27, 2013 @ 9:59am PDT

NBC News has hired high-profile former NYPD and LAPD topper Bill Bratton as an analyst. It’s part of a trend by news outlets to secure on-air talent with strong law enforcement backgrounds to spearhead coverage of high-profile stories such as the killings in the elementary school in Newtown, the movie theater in Aurora, and at the Boston Marathon. Bratton, the only person to have led four of the country’s largest police forces, was a frequent on-air contributor at various news operations during coverage of the marathon bombing. Bratton will help NBC News catch up to CBS News, which has been getting a lot of attention in this field since hiring John Miller in 2011. Miller has straddled journalism and law enforcement his entire career, beginning as a reporter before migrating to the NYPD (at the request of then-commissioner Bratton),and also working for the LAPD and FBI. On September 11, 2001 he sat by Peter Jennings at ABC News, where he was working at the time. Miller is credited with reporting ahead of others the magnitude of the death toll at Newton, and with waving CBS News off the erroneous report an arrest had been made in the Boston bombing, among other things. Read More »

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Opinion: Jim Carrey’s Refusal To Promote ‘Kick-Ass 2′ Is A Cop-Out, Even If It Has Elevated Interest In An Underdog Sequel

By | Tuesday June 25, 2013 @ 8:34am PDT
Mike Fleming

Jim Carrey‘s shocking refusal to promote Kick-Ass 2 might the greatest possible favor he could have done for that movie in the short term. Right after Carrey made his pronouncement on Twitter, the volume of young potential ticket buyers who clicked on the trailer experienced an EKG-level spike between Sunday and yesterday. Carrey’s Colonel character is all over that trailer and his performance looks bizarre and funny. Additionally, attention to Carrey’s Twitter was at or near the top of Twitter trending following his Kick-Ass 2 post. “He probably did more to raise awareness for this movie by refusing to promote it than if he’d done a round of talk shows,” said a knowledgeable observer. Despite this, I feel the need to call bullshit on his moralistic stance, the idea he cannot support Kick-Ass 2 because he can’t condone its violence in the wake of the massacre of children in Newtown, CT by a deranged kid who killed his mother and used her arsenal of legally obtained semi-automatic weapons to perpetrate a horrifying murder spree. I’ve been a big Jim Carrey fan since even before a new superstar comedy career was born with Ace Ventura, Pet Detective. But I think he’s flat-out wrong here, and short-sighted.

You might recall that Carrey unexpectedly sought out this sequel because he was such a big fan of the original. He even wore the Kick-Ass costume in this duet with Conan O’Brien. That film he liked so much was just as cartoon violent as this sequel. Carrey has not only turned his back on his cohorts, he completely blows an opportunity to use this movie as a platform to discuss his opinions on: the availability of guns; an NRA lobby that has so co-opted federal lawmakers that that they would not in the wake of Newtown enact measures to simply require better background checks in gun sales; the depiction of gun violence in movies (The New York Times astutely notes that nearly every star in every summer movie poster is holding a gun); and how this toxic stew leaves the country just waiting for the next massacre by a troubled person with easy access to semi-automatic weapons. Read More »

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Los Angeles-Area Emmy Nominations: NBC4 Leads Stations With 18, KMEX Second

By | Thursday June 20, 2013 @ 3:00am PDT

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has released its annual list of local Emmy nominations. NBCUniversal’s NBC4 is tops with 18 noms, followed by Univision’s Spanish-language outlet KMEX with 15. CW-affiliated KTLA5 is next with 13; ABC’s ABC7 and indie for PBS channel KCET landed 12 each. Univision’s multiplatform education initiative Educate, Es El Momento (Educate Yourself, The Moment is Now) will receive the 2013 Governors Award. Winners of the 65th Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards will be announced August 3 at ATAS’ Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood. See all the nominees and a breakdown of noms by station after the jump: Read More »

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