Sep 22, 2017
3:42 pm

Veteran TV Executive Dead at 67 (Variety)

A longtime television executive who was one of the champions of reality TV, and who oversaw National Geographic Channels, has died. Variety reports that David Lyle died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles following a battle with cancer. He was 67.

“The Australian native most recently served as president of Pact US, an advocacy org for unscripted TV producers,” Variety reports. “After working in TV in Australia and in London, Lyle came to Los Angeles in 2001 as head of FremantleMedia North America, where he helped launch ‘American Idol’ on Fox.”

Howard Owens, the co-CEO of Propagate Content, who worked with Lyle at National Geographic, is quoted in the story saying: “David Lyle was one of the few television executives who thrived on both a creative and business level. He was one of the kindest, most fun, and caring people I’ve ever known. He always had time to mentor people and help others out in their careers.”

Sep 22, 2017
3:27 pm

Jerry Lewis Disinherited Almost All of His Children (The Blast, TVWeek, YouTube)

Comedy legend Jerry Lewis, who died in August of heart failure at age 91, made it clear in his will that he didn’t want any of the children from his first marriage to get a piece of his estate. The Blast, which obtained a copy of the Last Will and Testament executed by Lewis in 2012, reports that he excluded all six kids from that marriage from his will.

“Lewis states he intentionally excludes Gary Lewis, Ronald Lewis, Anthony Joseph Lewis, Christopher Joseph Lewis, Scott Anthony Lewis, and Joseph Cristopher Lewis from benefiting off his estate in any way.  He notes that Joseph, who died of a drug overdose in 2009, is deceased,” The Blast reports.

The report adds: “The comedian had all six of the omitted kids with ex-wife Patti Palmer; they were married from 1944-1980.”

One of the kids, Gary Lewis, is a well-known musician who fronted Gary Lewis & the Playboys. The band had a number of hits in the ’60s, including the No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 single “This Diamond Ring” in 1965.

“Lewis did leave his potentially massive estate to widow, SanDee, and states that next in line is their 25-year-old adopted daughter Danielle,” The Blast reports. “Jerry and SanDee adopted Danielle in 1992 and afterwards the comedian reportedly cut his six other kids out of his life completely.”

Sep 22, 2017
3:14 pm

Mysterious Apocalyptic Alert Interrupts TV Viewing (Orange County Register)

Residents of some parts of Southern California were shocked when their television programming was suddenly interrupted by a warning about the apocalypse. The Orange County Register reports that a man’s voice came over the air proclaiming: “Realize this, extremely violent times will come.”

The disruption predicting the end of the world lasted for about one minute on Thursday, the paper reports. Customers of the Cox and Spectrum cable systems were among those experiencing the disruption.

“The problem occurred because of one or more radio stations conducting an emergency test, Joe Camero, a spokesman for Cox, said Thursday,” The Register reports. “Cable systems pick up such alerts, and viewers should have seen just a typical emergency-broadcast test.”

The report quotes Camero saying: “With these tests, an emergency tone is sent out to initiate the test. After the tone is transmitted, another tone is sent to end the message. It appears that the radio station (or stations) did not transmit the end tone to complete the test.”

The broadcast then apparently picked up some audio that bled into the alert. “Camero said Cox technicians shut down the emergency test as soon as they became aware of the problem,” the report notes.

Cox and Spectrum were reportedly investigating who sent out the alert and attempting to determine whether it was done accidentally or on purpose.

The report quotes Dennis Johnson, a spokesman for Spectrum, saying: “We have confirmed that we were fed an incorrect audio file.”

Sep 22, 2017
2:21 pm

Wait a Minute — Was the Wheel Rigged? History Is Made on ‘The Price Is Right’ (The Price Is Right)

The venerable TV game show “The Price Is Right,” hosted by Drew Carey, announced that it made history on today’s broadcast with a record-breaking showcase showdown in which a total of $80,000 was awarded — the most money ever given out on the Wheel.

“In honor of Drew Carey’s 10th anniversary hosting, contestants who spun $1 on the Wheel received a $10,000 bonus instead of the usual $1,000,” the show announced in a promotional blurb posted along with the clip. “If they spun another $1, they received an additional $25,000. Today, after an amazing five $1 spins on the Wheel, a total of $80,000 was awarded.”

Roll the video …

Sep 22, 2017
12:49 pm

Studio Doing Damage Control After ‘Riverdale’ Star’s Car Crash (Variety, TVWeek)

A traffic collision involving the star of the CW series “Riverdale” has the studio defending its labor practices. Variety reports that Warner Bros. was sending out statements Thursday following a late-night crash involving K.J. Apa, who plays Archie on the series.

The studio was under scrutiny over its work schedule after reports surfaced that Apa got in the crash at the end of a 14-hour workday.

The Variety report quotes two statements issued Thursday by a studio spokesperson, who said: “The safety of the cast and crew on all of our productions is of paramount importance to the Studio. … Productions adhere to the Screen Actors Guild-mandated turnaround time of 12 hours from wrap time to next day call time for cast members.”

Apa was not significantly injured in the collision last week, although his vehicle reportedly suffered serious damage.

“Apa was treated by first responders on the scene and visited by doctors the following morning before returning to set the day after the crash,” Variety reports. “The actor had been driving a rental car after being involved in a minor accident near set a few days earlier.”

The Warner Bros. spokesperson said in a separate statement: “We have a large cast of series regulars, and our actors do not work every day. On the day of the accident, KJ worked 14.2 hours. The previous day he worked 2.5 hours, and the day before that he worked 7.7 hours. KJ has repeatedly been informed about making production aware if he is tired or feels unsafe, and if so, either a ride or hotel room will be provided for him.”

Sep 22, 2017
12:43 pm

‘SNL’ Unveils Lineup for New Season’s First Shows (TVWeek)

NBC’s venerable sketch show “Saturday Night Live” rolls out its 43rd season later this month, and the network took the wraps off the guest list for the Sept. 30 season premiere along with the Oct. 7 and Oct. 14 shows.

Ryan Gosling will host the season opener, when Jay-Z will be the musical guest. Gosling, a two-time Oscar nominee, stars in “Blade Runner 2049,” opening Oct. 6, and will be making his second appearance on “SNL.” Jay-Z, who launches a world tour Oct. 27, will be making his fourth appearance as musical guest.

On Oct. 7, “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot hosts “SNL” and the show features musical guest Sam Smith. Gadot will be making her first “SNL” appearance, while Smith, who recently dropped the single “Too Good at Goodbyes,” will be on the show for the second time.

For the Oct. 14 installment of “SNL,” Kumail Nanjiani, the “Silicon Valley” regular who recently wrote and starred in “The Big Sick,” will have his first guest-hosting appearance on the show. The musical guest that night will be Pink, whose seventh studio album, “Beautiful Trauma,” drops Oct. 13.

As we recently reported, “Saturday Night Live” will air simultaneously in all U.S. time zones this season, marking a change in its broadcast schedule. Details can be found by clicking here.

Sep 22, 2017
12:31 pm

CNN Contributor Working to Get Obamacare Repealed (THR, Politico)

A politician who has been working as a pundit at CNN remains employed by the cable channel while he is working to get Obamacare repealed. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Rick Santorum, a former U.S. senator and presidential candidate, has been working for the passage of the Graham-Cassidy bill that would overturn Obamacare.

Politico reported Thursday: “Santorum and [Sen. Bill] Cassidy worked on the policy in the Graham-Cassidy bill. Graham played the salesman, courting the White House and GOP governors — and complained jokingly but often about getting bogged down in policy minutiae.”

THR adds: “The Graham-Cassidy effort began this summer, and the bill has been gaining momentum in recent days. All the while, Santorum has maintained his position at the network, a somewhat unusual development considering that ex-politicos are generally forced to leave their contributor gigs when they get back in the game.”

THR quotes a spokeswoman for CNN, asked about Santorum’s involvement in active legislation, saying: “We mention his role in the Graham/Cassidy bill during his appearances.”

THR adds: “A CNN source said Santorum is not the only contributor to be politically active, though his involvement goes beyond partisan strategy to actual legislative activity.”

Sep 22, 2017
9:21 am

Not Many Takers on the Sean Hannity Boycott — With One High-End Exception (AP)

“More than a month after a liberal advocacy group publicly called on advertisers to boycott Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News Channel, luxury carmaker Cadillac has been the only new company to publicly back away from the program,” the AP reports.

“Meanwhile, Hannity is ascendant at Fox,” the report adds. “His show, which averaged nearly 2.7 million viewers in August, was the second-most-popular program in cable news behind MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, according to the Nielsen company. Starting Monday, Hannity moves back to the 9 p.m. Eastern time slot he previously occupied, taking Maddow on directly.”

Fox wasn’t commenting on Hannity’s advertisers, but Cadillac pulled its spots from his show because of  commentary on the show in the wake of violence at white supremacist demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va.

Andrew Lipman, a spokesman for Cadillac, said: “In the strongest possible terms, we at Cadillac condemn any form of racism or discrimination. We have a zero tolerance policy as it pertains to any of our employees and business partners.”

The media watchdog group Media Matters for America called for the boycott, and its president, Angelo Carusone, says Land Rover and Mercedes Benz have also bailed out on Hannity. But a Land Rover spokesman, Stuart Schorr, offered a different spin, noting that while Land Rover is not currently running ads on “Hannity,” the company is not taking part in a boycott — its advertising strategy simply “evolves and changes.” Mercedes representatives did not return queries about the company’s plans.

The AP report adds: “Media Matters said some dozen advertisers have told the organization they will not purchase commercials in Hannity’s show in the future; some have current contracts and are staying put until those commitments are completed.”

Sep 22, 2017
8:44 am

How Showtime Landed the Sought-After Clinton-Patterson Thriller (AP, TVWeek)

“Showtime has won a bidding war to develop former President Bill Clinton and powerhouse author James Patterson’s upcoming thriller, ‘The President Is Missing,’ into a television series,” the AP reports, noting that corporate connections had something to do with where the heavily pursued project landed.

“Showtime’s affiliation with CBS, and the corporation’s boss Leslie Moonves, helped seal the deal,” the AP reports. “Moonves knows Clinton, and Patterson helps with the production of the CBS series ‘Zoo’ and ‘Instinct.’”

Showtime announced the deal today, ahead of the book’s publication next June.

“In the collaboration with Patterson, Clinton provides an insider’s perspective of having been in the White House,” the AP reports, adding: “It’s the first time that Clinton has helped write fiction.”

That last sentence strikes us as the setup line for potential one-liners from the Clinton bashers — please bring your “A” material to the comments section …

Sep 22, 2017
8:41 am

Marilyn Manson Says Death Threats Interfered With His Drug Use (The Guardian)

Rock weirdo Marilyn Manson just gave an interview that was weird even for him, with just a couple of the unusual moments being his blaming the Columbine school shooting for destroying his career and his revelation that the period after Columbine — when he was regularly receiving death threats — made it harder for him to do drugs.

The interview in the U.K. publication The Guardian can be read in its entirety by clicking here. The author, Alexis Petridis, notes in the piece that Manson became a focal point for anger in the wake of the Columbine tragedy in 1999 after a rumor — later proved to be false — surfaced that the two young shooters were Marilyn Manson fans.

In the new interview, Manson says of the Columbine killers: “Give them the money and let them make their own choice: guns or records. If [they] had just bought my records, they would be better off.” He adds: “Honestly, the Columbine era destroyed my entire career at the time.”

Manson goes on to discuss the death threats he received after Columbine — especially in Colorado: “My dad gave me the best advice: ‘If people are going to kill you, son, they wouldn’t tell you in advance.’ No.”

He adds: “I don’t miss that at all. It made everyone around me upset. And I discovered that police bomb dogs are also drug dogs. So when there were bomb threats, I had a very difficult time hiding my narcotics.”

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