Check Out Our New Look

Ricki Lake, Abby Epstein Push ‘Sweetening The Pill’ Birth Control Doc

By | Wednesday February 12, 2014 @ 4:04pm PST

Sweetening the Pill birth control EXCLUSIVE: After exploring the economics of childbirth in their 2008 documentary The Business Of Being Born, director Abby Epstein and exec producer Ricki Lake are reteaming to take a similar a look at another health issue affecting women all over the world. Docu Sweetening The Pill, which just launched production, raises questions about the safety and long-term effects of hormonal birth control and is based on Holly Grigg-Spall’s upcoming 2015 book Sweetening The Pill Or How We Became Hooked On Hormonal Birth Control. The feature-length nonfic pic will take a look at the dangers of the Pill and alternative options available in the wake of recent civil lawsuits over oral contraceptives Yaz and Yasmin, as well as health complaints over the Nuvaring which have been shown to cause fatal blood clots in some women. “In the fifty years since its release, the birth control Pill has become synonymous with women’s liberation and has been thought of as some sort of miracle drug,” said Lake and Epstein. “But now it’s making women sick and so our goal with this film is to wake women up to the unexposed side effects of these powerful medications and the unforeseen consequences of repressing women’s natural cycles.” Sweetening The Pill could follow in the footsteps of Epstein and Lake’s Business Of Being Born which premiered at Tribeca and was released theatrically in 2008, followed … Read More »

Comments 27

‘Katie’ Ties Highest-Rated Daytime Talker Debut In 10 Years, ‘Ellen’ Tops All Premieres

By | Tuesday September 11, 2012 @ 12:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE, 12 PM: The numbers for all of yesterday’s daytime syndicated talk shows are in. Not surprisingly, the 10th-season premiere of Ellen featuring guests Patrick Dempsey, Pink and the Fierce Five, came up on top with a 3.0 household rating/8 share in the metered markets, 50% time period improvement vs. last year, and a 2.2/12 in women 25-54, the highest-ever demo number for an Ellen season premiere. Kelly & Michael (2.9 HH, 1.7 W25-54) was second, followed by the fourth-season premiere of Dr. Oz (2.8, 1.6) and Katie (2.8, 1.6). Dr. Oz was No. 1 in cumed household ratings. Ricki Lake (0.8, 0.4) was dead last among all new and returning talk shows, with Jeff Probst (1.0, 0.7) doing only a little better. Yesterday’s rankings should carry an asterisk as top talk show Dr. Phil was a repeat and will launch its new season today.

PREVIOUS 8 AM: Katie Couric‘s new syndicated talk show Katie got off to a strong start yesterday with a 2.8 household rating/8 share in the 56 U.S. metered markets to lead the pack of new daytime talk shows by a large margin. It equaled the highest daytime talk show opener in the last decade, Rachael Ray, in 2006 (2.8), the best premiere since Dr. Phil‘s 5.2 rating in September 2002. Katie, which featured guest Jessica Simpson, built on its lead-in by 12% and improved its time period year-to-year by 22%. (The show replaced soap General Hospital in about half of the country, with the soap now serving as its lead-in.)

Related: ‘The Talk’ Hosts Makeup-Free Stunt: Video Read More »

Comments (17)

Syndication’s “Wild” Day: How Next Fall’s Lineup Fell Into Place Within A Few Hours

Nellie Andreeva

Who said syndication was boring? In one day this week, the usually sleepy industry offered more action that a Michael Bay movie. Wednesday started off with several shows: newbies Jeff Probst, from CBS TV Distribution, Twentieth’s Ricki Lake, Warner Bros’ Bethenny Frankel as well as Warner Bros’ rookie Anderson, vying for a slot on the NBC stations. It ended with Jeff Probst getting the NBC stations, Anderson being renewed on the Fox stations and Ricki Lake landing a key Tribune station that secures its launch. “I don’t remember it being so wild,” one veteran syndication executive said about the Wednesday flurry of activity. “It was like the Wild Wild West — everyone had their guns out and we were shooting at each other.”

After a marathon of presentations by all hopefuls, including the NBC-produced Jenny McCarthy talk-show pilot, it came down to Jeff Probst and Ricki Lake for the spot on the NBC stations. Things were so close, I hear the winner was picked by a vote. The moment the decision to go with Jeff Probst was made yesterday, “the scurrying started, and the other dominoes started to fall,” according to an industry insider. Ricki Lake needed to secure a station in the top TV market, New York City, to keep its hopes of a nationwide launch alive. Meanwhile, Tribune’s New York station WPIX had trouble integrating Anderson Cooper’s new talk show into its lineup of conflict talkers: NBCU’s Maury, Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos, and Tribune’s own Bill Cunningham. So WPIX went for Ricki Lake, Anderson moved to Fox’s New York station, and the Fox station group quickly renewed the show for a second season. Read More »

Comments (8)

Just When You Thought ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Couldn’t Get Any More Lame: It Does

This ABC show now in its 13th season is the bane of my existence (because I hate it so much) and returns on Monday, September 19th, with a fall season lineup of spandex-sporting contestants that’s as bewildering as ever. The full roster is:

– Nancy “J’accuse” Grace, TV blonde who rants about white trash murders.

– David Arquette, better known as a Howard Stern guest than an actor.

– LA Laker Ron Artest changing his name to “Metta World Peace”.

– Chaz Bono, who’s obviously there for random curiosity.

– George Clooney’s dumped girlfriend Elizabetta Canalis.

– Kristin “Drama Drama Drama” Cavallari, the unlikeable Reality TV bimbo.

– The least interesting Kardashian (which is saying a lot): Rob.

– Carson “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy” Kressley, who needs a new agent.

– Ricki Lake coming out of the Witness Protection Program.

– J.R. Martinez, a soap opera actor who helps fulfill ABC’s diversity quota.

– Singer Chynna Phillips married to the least interesting Baldwin brother.

– Soccer player Hope Solo promoting her nude spread in ESPN The Magazine.

Comments 75