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UPDATE: Obama Praises ‘Scandal’ At Shonda Rhimes & Kerry Washington Fundraiser; Producer Says POTUS “Doing His Job Like A Boss”

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 6:52pm PDT

UPDATE: Obama Praises ‘Scandal’ At Shonda Rhimes & Kerry Washington Fundraiser; Producer Says POTUS “Doing His Job Like A Boss”UPDATE, 6:52PM: President Obama addressed a crowd of about 450 supporters tonight during a fundraiser hosted by Shonda Rhimes and her Scandal star Kerry Washington. According to White House pool reports, the president gave his traditional fundraising remarks but couldn’t resist citing the ABC drama about a D.C. fixer and her capital intrigue. “No offense — Scandal is a great show,” Obama said, “but it’s not something that we necessarily want to be living out day in, day out.” Earlier, Washington introduced Rhimes as “my boss,” then the prolific producer said of the president, “He’s been doing his job like a boss.” Obama later complimented Washington, saying “there were few people who worked harder” on his campaign than she did. Rhimes also was Obama-Hollywood-c__131126053020__131207184450__131212224847__131217180859__140130070536a big supporter of both of his presidential bids as a donor and a volunteer – even pitching in at a campaign phone bank. Singer Janelle Monae also was there, and the president joked about her having a video of him trying to keep up with Usher on the dance floor. ” Now, this is top secret,” he said of the video. “She has promised that this will never be released. But she can blackmail me at any time.” He joked later, “I did not drop in splits, but I did bust a move.”

Related: Obama Names ‘Scandal’ Creator Shonda Rhimes To Kennedy Center Board 

Pool reports say the commander in chief arrived at Rhimes’ Spanish-style Hancock Park home a little after 5PM. With tickets ranging from $1,000 to $32,400, the event was held in the backyard, which was adorned with white umbrellas and U.S. and California flags. Among the guests were various members of the Scandal cast such as on-air President Fitz Grant, played by Tony  Goldwyn. HBO’s Michael Lombardo, who held an event recently at his home with Michelle Obama, and ABC’s Paul Lee were also in attendance this evening. The President is staying overnight in Beverly Hills and has another fundraiser set for tomorrow at the home of Live Nation head honcho and transplanted Canadian Michael Rapino – so expected more traffic delays on Wednesday.

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Dick Cheney’s TV News Tour On Iraq Is “Unseemly,” Bill Clinton Tells NBC’s ‘Meet The Press’: Video

Dick Cheney’s TV News Tour On Iraq Is “Unseemly,” Bill Clinton Tells NBC’s ‘Meet The Press’: VideoDick Cheney‘s been much in the news of late, as he continues his Obama Botched Iraq Tour on TV (and in print).  Megyn Kelly made headlines when Cheney tried out his “Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many” line on her FNC show, to which she responded: “Now, with almost a trillion dollars spent there, with 4,500 American lives lost there, what do you say to those who say you were wrong about so much at the expense of so many?” — throwing in a, “Time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong in Iraq as well, sir” for good measure.

NBC News‘s Meet The Press hopes to pour a little more lighter fluid on the situation — and gin up ratings — with an interview airing Sunday, in which former President Bill Clinton dismisses the former VPOTUS’s comments about President Obama’s foreign policy as “unseemly.” More where that came from — watch here:

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President Obama To Introduce ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Docu On Smithsonian Channel

smithsonian-channelInto the growing list of TV programs introduced by President Obama goes tomorrow’s Smithsonian Channel one-hour special A Star-Spangled Story: Battle For America. In a video message, Obama will invite viewers to reflect on the National Anthem on its 200th anniversary, and its impact on American history and viewers’ lives. While it was not officially declared the national anthem until March 3, 1931, the lyrics were first written, as the Barack Obamapoem “Defence Of Fort M’Henry”, in 1814 — hence the timing of the docu –  by Francis Scott Key, after he’d watched the attack on Fort McHenry by British ships during the War of 1812. The lyrics were put to a popular British tune of the day, resulting in an anthem with a range of one and a half octaves that’s been successfully sung by few over the years at nearly every major U.S. televised sporting event.

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President Obama Talks Hillary Clinton With Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan: Video

President Obama made his first visit to Live with Kelly and Michael today, during which Kelly Ripa asked him about Hillary Clinton:

Ripa and Michael Strahan traveled to Washington to sit down with Obama at the White House.  Strahan also asked POTUS, during the pre-taped interview, about the VA hospital controversy, saying,  “There’s been calls for the resignations, and [VA Secretary Eric] Shinseki says he’s not going to resign. Do you think that he should, and if he doesn’t, would you be inclined to remove him?” The question was rendered out-of-date this morning when Obama held a live news conference to announce he had accepted Shinseki’s resignation.

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President Obama To Make His ‘Live WIth Kelly And Michael’ Debut On Friday

obamahollywood__120118234033-1__120615023234-1-6__121008025841-200x150__121105180912__130424210450__140430225506Just when you thought there were no more TV talk shows left on which President Obama could make his debut, Disney/ABC announced this morning he will make his first appearance on Live With Kelly And Michael this coming Friday. Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan will travel to Washington to sit down with Obama at the White House and talk about that day’s White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit. Disney’s portfolio of TV networks includes ESPN — but Friday Night Tykes, the controversial  TV docu-series about 8-to-9- year-old Rookies division of the Texas Youth Football Association, has its home on Comcast’s  Esquire Network. In its first season, one of two Tykes coaches got suspended after an episode in which he was seen telling his players to hit an opponent in the head. Despite that, and other, controversies, Tykes last month got a second-season order. Network programming chief Matt Hanna explained, “The first season of Friday Night Tykes sparked a national debate about competitive youth sports, and we think it’s important to continue that discussion with a second season of the series…At its heart [the program] is a series about parenting – and the question about hard we should push our children is an incredibly relevant one for parents across America.”

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Joel McHale Is “The Other Comic” In ‘Meet The Press’ WHCD Post-Mortem: Video

How does NBCU’s Washington show’s roundtable talk about E! and NBC star Joel McHale‘s performance at the White House Correspondents Dinner the next morning? One participant called him “the other comic,” presumably meaning President Obama was the dinner’s lead funnyman:

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White House Correspondents’ Dinner: Joel McHale Has Hard Acts To Follow

When Joel McHale entertains at tonight’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner, these are the recent previous entertainers the room will remember — and against whom McHale will be judged:

Conan O’Brien in 2013:

Jimmy Kimmel in 2012:

Seth Meyers in 2011:

And, of course, the one the White House Correspondents’ Association would rather everyone forgot –  2006, when Stephen Colbert torched the place:

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UPDATE: Dave Letterman, Bill O’Reilly Debate Obama’s ‘Between Two Ferns’ Appearance The Day After Stephen Colbert Weighs In On Obama’s ‘Ferns’ Debut: Video

UPDATE: 5:30 PM: David Letterman tonight asked FNC’s Bill O’Reilly to explain his displeasure with President Obama‘s appearance on Zach Galifianakis‘ web series Between Two Ferns. Short answer: Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Watch here:

PREVIOUS: THURSDAY, AM: President Obama’s appearance on Zach Galifianakis’ web series Between Two Ferns is now three layers of TV deep. Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report last night did a report on Fox News Channel’s disapproval of the president’s appearance on the Funny or Die series to promote the Affordable Care Act. “I am not the only one who was angry,” Colbert said of FNC’s unhappiness. “I am just the best at it.”

Up next — Reliable Sources‘ Sunday deconstruction of The Colbert Report’s segment on FNC’s anxiety over Obama’s appearance on Between Two Ferns? Watch after the jump: Read More »

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White House Enlists Hollywood Moms To Recruit For Obamacare: Video

Just days after President Obama’s “interview” with Zach Galifianakis plugging the Affordable Care Act on the Funny or Die web series Between Two Ferns,  some celebrity moms jumped in to help get people signed up, giving Obama’s on-air detractors another day’s worth of Administration’s Too-Hollywood-Cozy Obamacare Strategy talking points. Watch  here:

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President Obama’s ‘Cosmos’ Introduction On 10 Fox Networks Group Channels: Video

By | Sunday March 9, 2014 @ 6:32pm PDT

“America has always been a nation of fearless explorers who dream big and reach farther than others imagine,” President Obama said as he Cosmosintroduced the series premiere episode of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey tonight on 10 Fox Networks Group Channels, including Fox broadcast network and National Geographic Channel. “Today we’re doing everything we can to bring that same sense of possibility to a new generation, because there are new frontiers to explore and we need Americans eager to explore them,” he said in the video message leading into the premiere episode.  Yesterday the networks announced their reboot of Carl Sagan’s classic Cosmos series  was getting a White House lift-off. A preview of the series screened at the White House as part of their inaugural White House Film Festival on Friday, February 28.

More than three decades after the debut of Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, Sagan’s iconic exploration of the universe as revealed by science, Seth MacFarlane has teamed with Sagan’s original creative collaborators to conceive the 13-part series to serve as a successor to the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning original series. Sagan’s original series Cosmos was first broadcast in 1980 and remains the most globally successful American public television series of all time. Seen by more than 750 million viewers, Cosmos has remained popular throughout the world.

Watch Obama’s intro here:

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Obama To Intro Fox & Nat Geo’s ‘Cosmos’ Debut

By | Saturday March 8, 2014 @ 11:00am PST

CosmosFox and Nat GEO‘s reboot of Carl Sagan’s classic Cosmos series is getting some White House lift-off. President Obama will be introducing the series premiere episode this Sunday, March 9 at 9pm ET/PT. A preview of the series screened at the White House as part of their inaugural White House Film Festival on Friday, February 28. Release is below: Read More »

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White House Backs Broadcasters In Aereo Case

By and | Monday March 3, 2014 @ 2:26pm PST

Aereo-logo__130126232434-200x206__130401161322__130529202533__130710203958The big boys came out today on the side of the broadcasters in their upcoming appearance in front of the Supreme Court in the Aereo case. The solicitor general’s office put the Obama administration solidly in the anti-Aereo camp with a 40-page amicus brief (read it here) filed with the SCOTUS today. The broadcasters say that Aereo infringes on their copyrights by streaming their over-the-air signals without licenses or compensation. Aereo says that it simply leases out antennas and technology that consumers can already use to watch broadcast TV for free.

Related:
Aereo Supreme Court Arguments Set For Late April
Would The Supreme Court Upend The TV Business If It Sides With Aereo?

“The proper resolution of this dispute is straightforward,” the brief states. “Unlike a purveyor of home antennas, or the lessor of hilltop space on which individual consumers may erect their own antennas … respondent does not simply provide access to equipment or other property that facilitates customers’ reception of broadcast signals. Rather, respondent operates an integrated system—i.e., a ‘device or process’—whose functioning depends on its customers’ shared use of common facilities. The fact that as part of that system respondent uses unique copies and many individual transmissions does not alter the conclusion that it is retransmitting broadcast content ‘to the public.’ Like its competitors, respondent therefore must obtain licenses to perform the copyrighted content on which its business relies. That conclusion, however, should not call into question the legitimacy of businesses that use the Internet to provide new ways for consumers to store, hear, and view their own lawfully acquired copies of copyrighted works.”

Related:
FilmOn X Loses Bid To Join Aereo Supreme Court Case
Cablevision Opposes Aereo And Broadcasters At Supreme Court

The high court agreed in January to hear the case, and briefs from the broadcasters were due on February 24 and today. Aereo must submit its response to the petitioner’s brief by March 26 and send in an amicus curiae brief of its own by April 2. Read More »

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Fox & Nat Geo To Preview ‘Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey’ At Inaugural White House Film Festival

CosmosSeth MacFarlane’s passion project will get an unprecedented global launch next month, but first it has a date in D.C. Fox and National Geographic Channel said today they will screen a preview of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey on Friday as part of the inaugural White House Film Festival. Writer-director-exec producer Ann Druyan will introduce the screening. The 13-part series, a sequel to Carl Sagan’s influential Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (1980), premieres March 9 on multiple Fox Network Group outlets then continues on subsequent Sundays on Fox on with expanded editions Mondays on Nat Geo. In other White House film fest news, the American Film Institute said today it will collaborate on the event, which screens winning short films created by K-12 students. President Obama will deliver the opening remarks Friday to a crowd of more than 100 students, teachers and parents in the East Room.

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Super Bowl XLVIII: The Good, The Bad, The Ads

Super Bowl 2014Super Bowl XLVIII: total bust as a game, middling year for ads –  though outrage was tearing up Twitter by the time the game sputtered to a close over a Coke commercial in which “America the Beautiful” was sung in many languages over images of people of many ethnic and religious backgrounds spending quality time with family and friends.  Rants ranged from :

Nice to see that Coke likes to sing an AMERICAN song in the terrorist’s language. Way to go Coke. You can leave America

to

Glad to see the that #boycottcoke thing. That way we can clearly spot every bigot, racist and moron in the country & keep them from our kids.

The ad, ironically, called “It’s Beautiful,” also marked the first time a gay couple had been included in a Super Bowl ad, according to GLAAD, but that kind of got drowned out in all the mud-slinging under the banners #SpeakAmerican and #BoycottCoke.

The game started strong with Joe Namath, in a fly 70′s fur coat, botching the coin toss, which we didn’t think could be done. Namath’s coat went on to bigger and better things, becoming a hashtag phenomenon on Twitter. Despite high prices paid for A-list celebrity endorsements, it was Rob Riggle who seemed to get the most career mileage out of this year’s crop of game ads — including  screen time in both a faux movie trailer, Escape to East Rutherford, and a Ford Fusion … Read More »

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UPDATE: A&E Grapples With Death Threats And Clan Ultimatum On ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Suspension

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198UPDATE, 2:45 PM: Some Washingtonians were disappointed this afternoon when no one stepped up to ask President Obama a Duck Dynasty question during his last news conference of the calendar year. The disappointed ones had a pool going, in re which reporter would ask POTUS a question about the PhilRobertson__131219004947-275x393__131219165131recently suspended Duck Dynasty star. “Moral dilemma for White House reporters: Duck Dynasty question guarantees pickup and/but..practical dilemma for @pfeiffer44:  how much prep?” tweeted Mark Halperin, senior political analyst for Time magazine, Time.com, and MSNBC. (instead, Obama got asked whether 2013 had been the “worst year of your presidency,” a couple NSA surveillance questions and what he thought was his biggest mistake of the year. Answer: ACA rollout.)

A&E has no plans to edit down, or out, show patriarch Phil Robertson’s appearances in the nine episodes that have already been completed of the show’s upcoming 10-episode fifth season, scheduled to debut on January 15. And it is hoping he will be back for Season 6. That said, the network is giving some thought to pushing back start of production on the next batch of episodes currently slated for spring, according to informed sources, as it attempts to see what it can salvage from the wreck left by this week’s GQ article and newly unearthed Phil video. In that 2010 video, Robertson is seen making an impassioned speech against the “gross sexual immorality” of “women with women” and “men with men.” The video, first uploaded by various attendees of a Wild Game Supper of the Berean Bible Church, somewhere in Pennsylvania,  shows Robertson alternately demonstrating bird calls, defining his pursuit of happiness as  “to blow a duck’s head smooth off,” and discussing the “shameful lust” going on in this country.

“Women with women. Men with men. They committed indecent acts with one another. And they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion,” Robertson said in the video. “They’re full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant God haters. They are heartless, they are faithless, they are senseless, they are ruthless, they invent ways of doing evil.”

PREVIOUS, 8:47 AM: A&E Network has had to beef up security at its New York headquarters after receiving death threats and suspicious packages from people enraged about the network’s decision to suspend Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson. No formal meetings are schedule today between A&E and the Robertson clan, who yesterday issued a statement saying they “cannot imagine” doing the show without Phil — which, loosely translated, means “No Phil – no show.” That said, the network, which has had a good working relationship with the family (as the clan noted in its statement), is “always talking to them,” as one source with knowledge of the family said. The decision to suspend A&E_logoPhil Robertson triggered a firestorm and has created some strange bedfellows; last night Jon Stewart defended Phil’s “right to say ignorant shit” — joining Phil defenders Sarah Palin, who’d tweeted “Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us,” and Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who’d  pronounced it “It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.”
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VFX “Go Green” Rally Marches To Obama’s DreamWorks Animation Address: Photo

By and | Tuesday November 26, 2013 @ 12:20pm PST

VFX Obama Mommy WhyVia @BillyBrooks

VFX artists and supporters have gathered in Glendale for today’s “Go Green” rally organized around President Obama‘s visit to DreamWorks Animation. (The President is slated to address an audience on the closed DWA campus shortly; look for coverage from Deadline’s Dominic Patten.) Security was in place around DWA as the “Go Green” rally marched down Flower Street:

Related: Obama At DreamWorks Animation For Speech On Economy (LIVE)

Inside the DWA event, new L.A. film czar Tom Sherak said of the protesters: “This situation didn’t happen overnight. We have to find a way to entice these companies to stay here.” Read More »

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Deadline’s Best Film Stories Of The Week

President Obama DreamWorksObama Set For DreamWorks Animation Visit Next Week
By Dominic Patten EXCLUSIVE: The last time President Obama was in town back in early August he had a private dinner with Jeffrey Katzenberg – now the Commander-in-Chief is heading over to his top bundler’s DreamWorks Animation Glendale campus for a very public pre-Thanksgiving visit.

Universal, Malcolm D. Lee In Talks To Make ‘The Best Man Holiday’ Sequel After Monster Opening
By Mike Fleming Jr. EXCLUSIVE: After a rousing opening weekend that saw his sequel The Best Man Holiday gross over $30 million domestically, Malcolm D. Lee is negotiating a deal with Universal to write, direct and produce another installment of the hit ensemble romantic comedy.

OSCARS: Why A Documentary Nomination Could Be Game-Changer For Gay Love Story ‘Bridegroom’
By Pete Hammond – The steady, emotional journey of award-winning documentary Bridegroom continues with its availability for sale beginning today on iTunes and Amazon. But it is an Academy Award nomination — or even just making that shortlist – that filmmakers Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and husband Harry Thomason really want in order to carry their message of love and tolerance for gay couples worldwide.

Hunger Games Catching Fire Box OfficeBox Office Top 10: ‘Catching Fire’s Global Opening Gross Will Hit $307.7 Million
By Mike Fleming Jr. – International numbers for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire are pouring in now, and they are as good as the domestic numbers. The film has grossed $146.6 million in 63 territories, which puts its global opening weekend gross at $307.7 in 65 territories. Read More »

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Deadline’s Best TV Stories Of The Week

By | Saturday October 12, 2013 @ 2:26pm PDT

Miss some of Deadline’s Top TV stories this week? Check them out here:

‘Boardwalk Empire’ At NY PaleyFest: Tony Soprano As Nucky Thompson? “One Of The First People We Talked About”, Creator Says
By Ray Richmond – James Gandolfini as Boardwalk Empire kingpin Nucky Thompson? It might have happened had the stars aligned differently, the HBO drama’s creator and showrunner Terence Winter said today during the concluding panel of the PaleyFest: Made in NY event at New York’s Paley Center for Media.

‘Wizard Of Oz’-Themed Drama ‘Red Brick Road’ In The Works At Lifetime
By Nellie Andreeva – EXCLUSIVE: The year of Wizard Of Oz continues with the sale of another high-profile Oz-themed drama project.

Young ‘Ellen’ Stars Sophia Grace & Rosie To Topline NBC Comedy & Feature Produced By Ellen DeGeneres
By Nellie Andreeva – EXCLUSIVE: Are these the next Olsen twins? Ellen standouts Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland, are getting their own primetime show, which will be executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres.

Open Letter To Kathy Bates: Congrats On Skewing-Up NBC
By Lisa De Moraes – Dear Kathy Bates: Remember how NBC cancelled your Harry’s Law drama series in spring 2012, at the end of its second season, even though it was then the network’s most-watched drama series — because NBC suits felt its audience skewed too old and Warner Bros, not NBCU, owned the show? Read More »

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CNN’s New ‘Crossfire’ To End With Kumbaya Moment

By | Monday September 9, 2013 @ 3:17pm PDT

CNN’s resuscitated Crossfire unveils tonight with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter debating with Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., as to whether Congress should approve a military air strike on Syria. The show will premiere as the commercial broadcast networks are airing their interviews with President Obama on the same subject — and CBS airs yet more footage of Charlie Rose’s interview with Syrian President Bashar Assad, in which Assad warns the U.S. to “expect everything” in retaliation if an air strike occurs.

Related: CNN’s ‘Crossfire’ Offers Viewer Voting Using Poptip Technology

And yet, Crossfire’s Van Jones told reporters on the eve of the show’s return to CNN that Syria is exactly why the U.S. needs Crossfire, “so people can have these debates and we can hear the best from both sides,” he said modestly in a conference call. Jones, a former special adviser to President Obama, gave reporters a taste of his Crossfire style on the phone call, when he was asked why Obama is seeking congressional approval for an air strike on Syria in response to White House claims that Assad used chemical weapons on civilians last month.
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