Thursday December 14, 2017

Artie Lange was arrested at his New Jersey home Tuesday night after failing to make a scheduled court appearance related to a drug charge.

DirecTV is coming to my house for the 7th time tomorrow to complete set up.  SEVEN times to get satellite television working in my house?  I should cut the cord. . . . 

"Disney on Thursday announced a massive deal to acquire much of 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion in stock. The buyout infuses the Mouse House with a bevy of Fox properties, including its film and TV studios and much of its non-broadcast television business, including regional sports networks and cable networks such as FX, FXX and Nat Geo. Top franchises like X-Men, Avatar, Deadpool, Fantastic Four and The Simpsons will also fall under the Disney umbrella should the merger meet regulatory approval in the next 12 to 18 months. And Disney would also pick up Fox’s stake in the European pay-TV giant Sky — and be better positioned to win regulatory approval to complete the acquisition of the 61 percent of the company it does not already own. Meanwhile, the Murdoch-run Fox will retain the Fox Broadcasting network and 28 owned-and-operated U.S. TV stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network. These will be formed into a 'new FOX' company that will be spun off to its shareholders. Here are some more particulars: Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders of 21st Century Fox will receive 0.2745 Disney shares for each 21st Century Fox share they hold. Disney will also assume approximately $13.7 billion of net debt of 21st Century Fox. The total transaction value of this mega-deal is approximately $66.1 billion."

Joe Keery is going to shave his head if David Harbour wins a Golden Globe?

This continues to be a really good season of Survivor.

The fall finale of The Big Bang Theory airs tonight.

Another season of Prison Break is NOT what this world needs.

Jeff Probst says the best is yet to come.

Comedy Central announced yesterday, that it has secured TV rights to the nine-season catalog of The Office, which it will begin airing in January.

Selma Hayek said Harvey Weinstein threatened to kill her.

Looks like I'm not the only one who shame watches Facebook's RelationShipped.

"Now that one woman has stepped forward with allegations of misconduct against NFL Network hosts and one executive, others are telling their stories. Lindsay McCormick, a host and broadcaster who has worked for ESPN and NBC, among others, wrote on Instagram Tuesday night that during an interview she had with NFL Network, she was asked an inappropriate question. 'I’ve been quiet about this for too long,' McCormick wrote. 'In my last interview with NFL Network a few years ago, the head of hiring talent said to me, "If we hire you, do you plan on getting knocked up immediately like the rest of them?”' '“Them" as in badass working women who deserve to have a family life as well? "Them" as [in] the women who work their tails off to be taken seriously in a man’s world? Or "them" who bring you a new audience and a tremendous amount of viewership?' McCormick went on to say that while she didn’t plan on 'getting knocked up,' she did plan on being like those women who are showing their future daughters that they can have it all."

ABC has pulled The Great American Baking Show from its schedule in the wake of the multiple sexual harassment allegations against one of the show's judges, Johnny Iuzzini.

"PBS has suspended late-night talk show Tavis Smiley amid misconduct allegations against its host and namesake. 'Effective today, PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of Tavis Smiley, produced by TS Media, an independent production company,” the public broadcaster said. “PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. Smiley. This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley. The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS, and the totality of this information led to today’s decision.'”

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From The New York Times: "Ask the producers and hosts of coming movie awards shows how or if they’ll be addressing the #MeToo moment, and the responses are a grab bag of no comments, dunnos, T.B.D.s and not sures.

"Ask the executive producer of the Screen Actors Guild Awards, or the Turner Broadcasting president responsible for the show, and they reply that yes, indeed, things will be different at their gala on Jan. 21: All 13 of their acting awards will be presented by women, as will be the two stunt awards, which will be handed out beforehand. (The show is to be broadcast on TNT and TBS.) The nominations, which were revealed Wednesday, were also announced by women, Olivia Munn and Niecy Nash, and the awards will have a host, their first: Kristen Bell.

“'Culturally there’s always been a conversation about equality,' said Ms. Bell, chatting Tuesday by phone. 'Now there’s some mega-spotlights on this conversation and, dare I say, some pyrotechnics in the background.'

“'I’m not the first female host,' she added. 'I’m the first host. The fact that a female was chosen to be the first one means my genitals become irrelevant.'

"The woman behind the plan to have women present all (or most) of the awards was Kathy Connell, the executive producer. She has overseen the ceremonies since the inaugural show in 1995, and said the thought came to her after she went to the Women’s March in Washington with her daughter and some friends in January. The idea gained new urgency, she said, as accusations of sexual misconduct by powerful men in the entertainment industry began bursting forth.

“'I feel pretty strongly about the women’s movement,' Ms. Connell said. 'Women stepped forward in such a huge way in this last year.'

"She went on to say, 'I want to salute women who are coming forward to speak at a very difficult time about very difficult subjects at great risk to themselves.'

"Sometime in the fall, she took her proposal to Sandra Dewey, a president at Turner who oversees the network’s interest in the show. Ms. Dewey said that in the last three years, the network has hired about 400 women as directors, writers, showrunners and set designers, among other positions, in an effort to rebalance an industry overwhelmingly dominated by men. In the summer, the network also began holding informal 'Feminist Friday' events so women could discuss obstacles they were facing in their careers, and propose solutions.

"Turner jumped at Ms. Connell’s idea, Ms. Dewey said. 'For so many years there’s been so much ground to cover in terms of trying to have women statistically catch up,' she said.

"The SAG Awards are a bellwether stop on the way to the Academy Awards. With 160,000 members, and Gabrielle Carteris as its president, SAG-Aftra is the biggest union in Hollywood, and its awards have special resonance for actors because of the unmatched size of the voting pool — Ms. Connell said 120,000 members are eligible to cast ballots — and the fact that the prizes come from peers.

"There will be at least one exception to the all-female roster at the ceremony in January: The award for outstanding performance by a cast will be introduced by men and women, though the award itself will be presented by women (SAG awards are customarily presented by a man and a woman). The names of the presenters, including the person who will hand out the Life Achievement Award, which is going to Morgan Freeman, have yet to be announced.

"The show’s changeup comes as the entertainment industry — among many others — grapples with unfolding sexual misconduct allegations that seem to know no end, with prominent figures including Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K. and Danny Masterson accused of misdeeds ranging from harassment to rape.

"Until this season, Mr. Weinstein was a ringleader and fixture on the Oscars circuit, but despite his downfall, and what has followed, there has been scant mention of the accusations at early awards shows.

"It is also unclear how or if the coming ceremonies will handle the issue, admittedly a particularly tricky one to address sensitively. Ms. Bell said she was still deciding whether to bring up the subject in her opening monologue, and wonders what would be accomplished if she did.

“'An awards show is not as serious as the conversation deserves to be,' Ms. Bell said. 'And this night will celebrate women more than any other SAG Awards has, and possibly more than any other awards show has.'”

This article has been condensed.  You're welcome.

From Deadline: "Netflix will bow two new original documentary series next month investigating corruption in two major arenas: the corporate world and global food production. Zero Point Zero Productions’ food expose Rotten debuts January 5, with Alex Gibney’s Dirty Money premiering January 26.

"From the team behind Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown and The Mind of a ChefRotten, as Netflix describes, 'gives food the true crime treatment, diving deep into the food production underworld to expose the corruption, waste and real dangers behind your everyday eating habits. In a world where huge global supply-chains are increasingly intertwined and consolidated, this series starts on your dinner plate… and follows the money to the shocking consequences—intended or not—of regulation, innovation and greed.'

"Dirty Money, from Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions, features multiple directors tackling various subjects related to scandal and corruption in the world of business. Says Netflix, 'Using first-hand accounts from perpetrators and their victims, combined with rarely-seen video footage, this addictive series keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.'

"The Dirty Money episodes include:

Hard Nox (Directed by Alex Gibney) – Gibney reveals shocking new details about VW’s corporate deceit, and exposes the unholy alliance between governments and automakers that allowed the automaker to put tens of thousands of lives at risk — all for the sake of a $500 part.

The Confidence Man (Directed by Fisher Stevens) – A rollicking profile of the rise and reign of TRUMP Inc. Weaving together a tapestry of tales in real estate booms and busts, Stevens lays out how Donald Trump’s business career transformed from epic failures into a consummate branding machine that propelled him into office.

Payday (Directed by Jesse Moss) – Targeting unsuspecting Americans, a group of payday lenders made millions off small loans with undisclosed charges, inflated interest rates and incomprehensible rules. But the way the laws are written, is that a crime or just business?

Drug Short (Directed by Erin Lee Carr) – Wall Street short-sellers expose a scam that regulators overlook: how Big Pharma gouges patients in need of life-saving drugs.

Cartel Bank (Directed by Kristi Jacobson) – For decades, HSBC, one of the world’s largest banks, laundered hundreds of millions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels. Senator Elizabeth Warren, dogged journalists and prosecutors try to hold the bankers to account. But will they be judged 'too big to jail?'

The Maple Syrup Heist (Directed by Brian McGinn) – In Canada, maple syrup is worth more than oil. When $20 million of syrup goes missing, the trail leads back to an epic battle between cartels and the little guy.

"Episodes of Rotten include:

Lawyers, Guns and Honey – Explores the new global honey business, and largest food fraud investigation and prosecution in history—a scam known as Honeygate.

The Peanut Problem – In the last twenty years, there’s been a surge of people suffering from severe food allergies. A look at the swelling body of science around this change, and the accountability of restaurateurs in caring for their most vulnerable customers.

Garlic Breath – A lucrative and controversial commerce relationship between the U.S. and China forms the backdrop for a David-and-Goliath tale of loyalty, betrayal and revenge on the American garlic scene.

Big Bird – From the lowliest hen to the richest magnate, the size and scale of chicken-growing has determined the fate of every player in this expansive food chain.

Milk Money – To boost profits, some dairy farmers are switching to produce upscale organic milk, or even “raw” unpasteurized milk, but it comes with the risk of pathogens which can sicken and even kill consumers.

Cod Is Dead – In the wake of overfishing in New England, the US government stepped in to regulate and save the fisheries. The unintended result was a wave of consolidation that set the stage for massive criminal exploitation."

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Per Variety, "Lip Sync Battle will pay tribute to Michael Jackson with a one hour live special Jan. 18. The special, featuring performances of Jackson’s songs, will be the kickoff programming event for the Paramount Network.

“'The King of Pop is the most groundbreaking, theatrical superstar of all time and we are thrilled to be performing and celebrating the electrifying music of Michael Jackson on our big night,' said Casey Patterson, executive producer. 'We are taking Lip Sync Battle to new heights, LIVE at The Dolby Theater for the launch of The Paramount Network.”

Lip Sync Battle Live: A Michael Jackson Celebration, produced by Casey Patterson Entertainment in conjunction with the estate of Michael Jackson, will be filmed live at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

"In addition to launching Paramount Network — the new iteration of the Viacom-owned cable channel currently known as Spike TV — the Michael Jackson special will help kick off season four of “Lip Sync Battle,” which will air on Thursdays at 9:30pm ET/PT beginning Jan. 25. Nominated for two Emmys, “Lip Sync Battle” has been a cross-platform hit with more than 1 billion multi-platform views since launch, more than 2 million Facebook followers and more than 2 million YouTube Subscribers. The special is executive produced by Casey Patterson, Jay Peterson, James Sunderland, LL Cool J, John Krasinski, Stephen Merchant, and 8 Million Plus Productions. Glenn Weiss will direct. LL Cool J and Chrissy Tiegen will serve as hosts."

Hard hard pass.ˆ

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“Southern Charm fans can finally get styled by Bravo.

“'Kathryn [Dennis] got a job at a clothing store,' an insider told Page Six on Wednesday.

"The 25-year-old reality star is working at Gwynn’s, a 'locally owned luxury department store in the Charleston Tri-County area,' per their website.

"The insider continued, 'It’s like a Bloomingdale’s. She’s styling. Her storyline [this season] could be her getting her s–t together and getting her kids back.'

"Dennis’ previous storyline focused on her bitter breakup with co-star Thomas Ravenel and their custody battle over their children, Kensington, 3, and St. Julien, 2. Ravenel, 55, was awarded custody of their tots in June, while Dennis was granted increased visitation in correlation with maintaining her sobriety. She entered a rehab facility after the show’s third season.

“'Patricia [Altschul, another Southern Charm cast member] saw her at the store,' the insider added.

“'Kathryn is freelancing for us,' Gwynn’s owner Marshall Simon told us. 'She’s been here for a few weeks now. Bravo has filmed several times. She’s done a good job. She has a good eye for apparel and styling people, putting outfits and entire looks together.'

"Bravo declined to comment.

"A rep for Dennis did not immediately return a request for comment."

I'm not sure what's worse . . . the fact that this is newsworthy or the fact that Kathryn Dennis has a "rep."

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"Even the afghan on the back of the couch is still there!

"When viewers tune in for ABC’s much-anticipated return of Roseanne, the family sitcom that aired from 1988 to 1997, they’ll see not much has changed in the working-class home of Roseanne Conner (Roseanne Barr) and her husband, Dan (John Goodman).

“'You will feel the emotion from seeing that set again,' promises executive producer Bruce Helford, who’s returned to the sitcom after serving as its 1992–93 showrunner. 'It will be an extra-special experience.'

"That’s also because everyone from the Conner family — Becky (Alicia Goranson), Darlene (Sara Gilbert), her hubby David (Johnny Galecki), D.J. (Michael Fishman), and Aunt Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) — will appear. Even Sarah Chalke, who took over for Goranson in 1993, is coming back to play a mystery role.

“'The biggest challenge in the first episode was figuring out how to reestablish everybody and explain what they’ve been doing for the last 21 years,' says co-executive producer Bruce Rasmussen, another Roseanne vet, who’s joined in the writers’ room by newbies Whitney Cummings and Wanda Sykes.

"And yep, just like the last time the show was on the air, Barr has a big say in the yuks, since 'she understands blue-collar and middle-class people,' says Helford. The result? Roseanne and Dan are more relatable than ever: The couple are still in their same Lanford, Ill., home, and while they’re both in their mid-60s, they are still struggling to make ends meet.

“'We want everybody to see something that doesn’t really exist on TV anymore — an honest family,' Helford says. 'These people are very much the core of what’s going on in the country right now.'

"The sitcom returns to ABC in 2018."