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R.I.P. Jenni Rivera

9 December 2012 3:43 PM, PST

Updated: Latin singing and TV star Jenni Rivera died early today in a plane crash in Northern Mexico, Univision and AP confirmed. Univision, which has covered Rivera’s tragic death since the story broke, pre-empted its primetime lineup tonight to air Rivera-themed programming. Aqui y Ahora at 8 Pm will feature a segment about the crash, followed by a Jenni Rivera Special and a special edition of entertainment news show Sal y Pimienta entirely dedicated to Rivera. Cable TV network mun2, which airs docu reality series I Love Jenni that starred Rivera, and Telemundo Media issued a statement that said “Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Rivera family and the families of her team, as we await details”. In honor of Rivera, Telemundo will broadcast a two-hour primetime special at 7 p.m. Est, coast to coast, and mun2 will re-broadcast it at 9 p.m. Est. Mun2 will also air »

- NELLIE ANDREEVA

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Shonda Rhimes On Katherine Heigl’s Diss: Video

9 December 2012 11:31 AM, PST

On tonight’s Oprah’s Next Chapter, TV showrunner Shonda Rhimes reveals how she felt when former Grey’s Anatomy reguler Katherine Heigl said in 2008 she wanted her name taken out of Emmy consideration because she hadn’t been “given the material to warrant a nomination” in the show’s writing. Winfrey asks Rhimes, who also created Private Practice and Scandal, how that made her feel. “On some level it stung, and on some level I was not surprised,” the Grey‘s head writer, tells Oprah in a teaser for the interview (watch it below). “When people show you who they are, believe them. I carry that with me a lot. It has served me well.” »

- THE DEADLINE TEAM

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Update: Pac 12 Net Responds To Iatse Strike Action At Colleges

8 December 2012 5:12 PM, PST

Update: The Pac 12 sports network has responded to a strike action and picketing by Iatse members outside USC and other conference member schools. The network said it respects the right for workers to decide on union representation and pledged to continue maintain “an exciting and creative work environment”. Iatse said earlier today it had set up pickets at USC in Los Angeles and several other schools on the West Coast and in Arizona because Pac 12 Network is “an unfair employer” that uses non-union workers in areas covered by Iatse. Pac 12 Network has contracts with Time Warner Cable, Comcast, Dish Network, Bright House Networks, among others, to show non-pro sports out of the Western U.S. Here’s Pac 12 Net’s statement: We respect an individual’s right to decide whether to be represented by a union. Regardless of how they decide, we will remain focused on creating an environment that is inclusive, »

- DOMINIC PATTEN

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R.I.P. Reinhold Weege

8 December 2012 3:23 PM, PST

Reinhold Weege, creator of the memorably quirky 1980s sitcom Night Court, has died. Weege was 62 and died of natural causes at his home in La Jolla. Weege also worked on Barney Miller, Mash, Park Place and on Fish, a short-lived spinoff of Barney Miller. He grew up in the Chicago area and worked as a newspaper reporter before breaking into TV on Barney Miller where he got his first Emmy nomination as a member of the production team in 1979. Populated by an assortment of oddballs, Night Court became a staple of NBC’s schedule from 1984 through 1990, part of the network’s powerhouse Thursday primetime lineup that included The Cosby Show, Family Ties and Cheers. The Warner Bros series also launched the careers of Harry Anderson, John Larroquette and Richard Moll. Nominated for multiple production and acting Emmys, the show brought Larroquette four consecutive Emmys for comedy supporting actor from 1985 through »

- THE DEADLINE TEAM

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ABC’s ‘Kings Of Van Nuys’ Comedy Pilot Not Going Forward

8 December 2012 2:57 PM, PST

ABC has passed on Kings Of Van Nuys, its comedy pilot starring John Leguizamo. This was the second pilot for the multi-camera project based on the British format Only Fools And Horses, which was originally developed and picked up the pilot last season. It missed the cut but ABC chief Paul Lee, a big fan of the original series, liked it enough to order a retooling. Steven Cragg and Brian Bradley, who wrote the original pilot, penned the new version. Virtually the entire team from the first pilot, including everyone from the cast and director Ted Wass, returned for the new pilot, which was formally greenlighted in late August. After screening the second pilot, ABC brass decided not to go forward with the project. The timing is fortunate for the cast as they will now be available for pilot season. The ABC Studios-produced Kings Of Van Nuys chronicled the misadventures of two streetwise brothers, »

- NELLIE ANDREEVA

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SAG Awards Ballots Due At Noon Dec. 10

8 December 2012 10:52 AM, PST

Voting for the 19th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations closes Monday, December 10th. The SAG Awards’ official counter Integrity Voting Systems must receive votes by Noon (Pt). SAG Awards Film and Television Nominating Committee members may either vote online or via paper ballot. Nominations will be announced at 6 Am Pacific time Wednesday, December 12th and will be telecast live on TNT and webcast live on tntdrama.com and tbs.com. Stunt ensemble nominations will be webcast at 5:50 Am Pacific on tntdrama.com and tbs.com. »

- THE DEADLINE TEAM

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘Dateline’ Up, ‘Blue Bloods’ & ‘Last Man Standing’ Down, ‘Fringe’ Steady

8 December 2012 10:09 AM, PST

With the exception of a repeat of last week’s SNL Christmas (1.5/5) special, Friday night was light on holiday fare. At 10 Pm, CBS‘ police family drama Blue Bloods (1.4/4) was down a tenth from last week but was the most watched show of the night with 11.073 million viewers. CBS also had the second and third most watched shows of the night with 9 Pm’s CSI:ny (1.5/5) pulling in 9.975 million and 8 Pm’s Undercover Boss (1.6/6) getting 7.939 million. CSI:ny was down from its November 30 1.5/4 rating. Undercover Boss slipped two tenths from last week’s 1.8/6, down 11% week to week. NBC’s Dateline NBC (1.7/5) was up 55% in the 18-49 demographic over last week’s 1.1/3. With 9.663 million watching on average, CBS won Friday night in terms of total viewers while NBC was tops in the 18-49. Over on ABC, Last Man Standing (1.4/5) was down 13% from last week.  The network’s other Friday comedy, Malibu Country (1.4/5) slipped 7% from »

- DOMINIC PATTEN

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Pre-Launch Controversy Helped ‘Jersey Shore’. Will It Do The Same For ‘Buckwild’?

7 December 2012 7:32 PM, PST

Here we go again. In December 2009, MTV’s launch of Jersey Shore, about a group of party-loving young Italian Americans, drew the ire of Italian American organizations and legislators who mounted a campaign against the show. Sen. Joseph F. Vitale, chairman of the New Jersey Italian American Legislative Caucus, and Richard Bilotti, chairman of the New Jersey Italian and Italian American Heritage Commission, sent a letter to MTV parent company Viacom asking them to cancel the show for its “offensive, inaccurate” portrayal of Italian-Americans. “Jersey Shore is a fabrication created by MTV Networks and marketed to represent reality,” the letter says. “This is a far cry from a documentary of a naturally occurring subculture existing in New Jersey.” Now history seems to be repeating itself with MTV’s upcoming reality series Buckwild, about a group of thrill-seeking twentysomethings in a small West Virginia town, which has been  dubbed “The Jersey »

- NELLIE ANDREEVA

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Former ‘X Factor’ Judge Cheryl Cole Sues Producers For $2.3M

7 December 2012 6:07 PM, PST

Short-lived The X Factor judge Cheryl Cole today sued producers Blue Orbit Productions for more than $2.3 million. Even though she was dumped from the show before it debuted Stateside, Cole claims that she is owed the money under the pay or play contract she had. The British host and singer says in her Breach of Contract suit (read it here) that while she was paid $1.8 million for season one of the U.S. X Factor, it is the money for season two that she is seeking now. Cole served as a judge on the UK version of X Factor and was imported by Simon Cowell to serve as judge for the debut season of the American version of The X Factor. That never really happened. Cole was replaced by Nicole Scherzinger before the show even went to air. “On June 5, 2011, Blue Orbit formally elected to exercise its pay or play »

- DOMINIC PATTEN

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Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman, Episode 13

7 December 2012 5:29 PM, PST

Here’s Episode 13 of our audio podcast “Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman.” This week, Deadline Executive Editor Lieberman and host David Bloom discuss the news out of the 40th annual Ubs investor conference on media and entertainment, including the escalating war of words between CEOs for pay-tv providers and owners of big cable networks; implications of the bombshell distribution deal between Disney and Netflix, including what it might mean for Liberty’s spinoff of Starz; and why share prices are jumping up for TiVo over its lawsuit against Google and new subsidiary Motorola Mobility. Deadline Big Media Episode 13 (MP3 format) Deadline Big Media Episode 13 (M4A format) The M4A version of this podcast is designed to run on any device using Apple’s iTunes software, and includes enhanced graphics and links to stories and other resources. The MP3 version of this podcast is designed to play on virtually »

- DAVID LIEBERMAN, Executive Editor

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‘How I Met Your Mother’ Renewal Deadline Looms: Will The Cast Return?

7 December 2012 5:00 PM, PST

Exactly a year ago, David Shore, creator/executive producer of Fox’s drama House was pushing the network to make a decision on the future of the show by the end of 2011 so he can give it a proper ending if faced with cancellation. At the time, House was in its eighth season, with Shore and star Hugh Laurie’s contracts coming up. Fox and producing studio Universal TV didn’t have a license fee deal for another season. The network didn’t make a decision by end of December as Shore wished, but by the beginning of February, the verdict was in - House would end its run after eight seasons. Fast forward a year to this week. CBS‘ comedy How I Met Your Mother is in Season 8 and the last year of its current license deal with the network, with the contracts of creators Craig Thomas and Carter Bays »

- NELLIE ANDREEVA

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R.I.P. Mickey Freiberg

7 December 2012 4:58 PM, PST

Longtime Hollywood literary agent Mickey “The Cowboy” Freiberg died yesterday at his West Los Angeles home after a three-year battle with brain cancer, his family said. He was 72. Freiberg represented numerous award-winning clients throughout a 40-plus-year career, including the late Budd Schulberg who won a screenwriting Oscar for 1954′s On The Waterfront, author Homer Hickam whose book Rocket Boys became the basis for the 1999 film October Sky, and Ron Powers, who co-authored Flags Of Our Fathers, the book on which the 2006 Clint Eastwood-directed war film was based. He also represented Joe Pistone, the former FBI special agent who worked undercover as Donnie Brasco, The Bonanno Family (Mafia Marriage) and the late Bill Bonnano, co-author of The Good Guys with David Fisher. One of Freiberg’s proudest projects was the David Permut-produced film Youth In Revolt, based on the novel written by C.D. Payne and brought to Permut by »

- THE DEADLINE TEAM

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Agency Signings: Breckin Meyer To ICM, ‘Big Bang Theory’s Melissa Rauch To Wme

7 December 2012 3:52 PM, PST

Actor-writer Breckin Meyer has signed ICM Partners. Breckin stars in the TNT dramedy Franklin & Bash, which has been renewed for a third season. He also created and executive produces the TBS comedy series Men At Work, which has been renewed for a second season. Meyer, who was at Gersh, also is a writer/voice cast member of Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken. He is managed by Thruline, and his attorney is with Sloane Offer Weber and Dern. The Big Bang Theory co-star Melissa Rauch has signed with Wme. The actress, who was previously with Gersh, will continue to be managed by Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Rauch plays Bernadette Rostenkowski on hit CBS sitcom. She joined Big Bang during its third season in 2009 and became a series regular in season four as the girlfriend and later wife of Simon Helberg’s Howard Wolowitz. Rauch also appears in the upcoming romantic comedy You Are Here, »

- NELLIE ANDREEVA AND DOMINIC PATTEN

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Esquire Channel? NBCU In Talks With Hearst About G4 Partnership

7 December 2012 3:26 PM, PST

NBCUniversal may bring in a partner in the upcoming revamp of struggling cable channel G4. I hear that NBCU is in talks with Hearst about partnering on the channel. What’s more, I hear the two sides are exploring a rebranding of the channel tied to the Heast-owned men’s magazine Esquire, possibly as Esquire Channel. Associating G4 with a brand like Esquire would make sense since NBCU had been looking to keep the male-centric nature of the channel but make it more upscale and sophisticated, which is what Esquire is about. Sources stressed that talks are still ongoing. Nbu declined comment. NBCU decided to go with an upscale makeover for G4 after overtures from the likes of Ufc and WWE to take a controlling stake in the channel last year fell through. A deal for G4 would reunite NBCU and Hearst, which were co-owners of A+E Networks until »

- NELLIE ANDREEVA

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Yellow Bird Plans TV Transfer For Karin Slaughter’s ‘Will Trent’ Novel Series

7 December 2012 3:07 PM, PST

Exclusive: Yellow Bird, which turned Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy into three hit Swedish films that began with The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, is expanding its scope from Scandinavian crime films to international properties. It has acquired rights to international best-selling author Karin Slaughter’s Will Trent book series. This one takes place in Atlanta. Yellow Bird will produce three television films based on the book series. They begin with Triptych, the first novel in the series of books featuring Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agent Will Trent, his partner Faith Mitchell and their legendary boss Amanda Wagner. Slaughter will write the first script. Financing is being arranged out of Europe, and the films will shoot on location in Atlanta. Yellow Bird’s Berna Levin and Marianne Gray will produce, with Slaughter executive producing. Ole Sondberg and Anni Furbye Fernandez will also executive produce. Aside from producing the Swedish-language »

- MIKE FLEMING JR.

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Deadline’s YouTube Channel Rankings

7 December 2012 2:43 PM, PST

Soul Pancake’s video of people given a chance to open their hearts to each other paid off in our tally of Google funded YouTube channels for the week that ended on December 5. “Street Compliments” helped the channel to rise 35 slots in the ranking, to No. 16 — the biggest jump by far. Jay Z’s Life+Times also made waves with a behind-the-scenes documentary of the rapper’s concerts opening the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The channel gained 1.1M views, for a total of 2.7M — taking it up 11 spots to No. 6. The movements took place during a relatively soft week for the channels. Total views fell about 15% to 66.3M. The top 10 channels accounted for 48.8% of the total. Jay Z was the only new entry to the top 10; Noisey dropped two to No. 11. In addition to Jay Z, the week’s top gainers in views were: Soul Pancake (+847,048 to 1.1M), Nerdist (+581,252 to »

- DAVID LIEBERMAN, Executive Editor

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Lifetime To Air Kate Middleton Pregnancy Special Next Week

7 December 2012 2:05 PM, PST

Just days after Britain’s Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William announced they’re expecting their first child, Lifetime today said it has picked up Secrets Of The Royal Nursery. The one-hour special will run on December 13, right after Project Runway All-Stars. Spun Gold TV is producing for the network. Lifetime says the behind-the-scenes special will feature interviews with “numerous friends and family of the celebrity couple and leading Royal Family experts.” Secrets Of The Royal Nursery also will look at the couple’s relationship, the state of the Royals and potential baby names for the heir-to-be. »

- DOMINIC PATTEN

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TV Trailer: Showtime’s ‘Masters Of Sex’ & ‘Ray Donovan’

7 December 2012 1:48 PM, PST

Showtime just released a first combined trailer for its two new dramas Ray Donovan and Masters Of Sex, which will premiere next year. Ray Donovan stars Liev Schreiber as fixer Ray Donovan, who does the dirty work for La’s top power players. Jon Voight plays his father. Masters Of Sex stars Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan as the real-life pioneers of the science of human sexuality, William Masters and Virginia Johnson. »

- NELLIE ANDREEVA

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News Paywalls Stage A Comeback

7 December 2012 1:44 PM, PST

Seems like everyone is jumping on this bandwagon. The Washington Post “probably” will introduce a paywall in the middle of 2013, the paper reports — after parent company Chairman Donald Graham told an investor conference this week that he’s considering one. E.W. Scripps also told the confab that it will ask readers to pay for digital access in 14 newspaper markets. And now The Daily Beast is “exploring” metered access, it told Bloomberg. These aren’t isolated cases: The number of U.S. newspapers with a paywall “has at least doubled this year,” The Economist reports adding: “More than a quarter of newspapers now have one, and most big groups that do not have plans to charge for digital access.” Papers need to generate cash to make up for the decline in ad sales. The industry generated $23.9B in 2011, the lowest it had been since 1984. In addition, companies including The New »

- DAVID LIEBERMAN, Executive Editor

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Oliver Kieran-Jones Joins ‘Glee’ Cast As Nyada Glee Club Leader

7 December 2012 1:30 PM, PST

Exclusive: Glee is bringing another new face to the mix. I’ve learned that the Fox dramedy, known for breaking fresh talent, has cast young British actor Oliver Kieran-Jones in a recurring role. (The show tends to cast newcomers as recurring and then promote those whose characters pop to regulars.) Kieran-Jones will play the leader of the glee club at Nyada, which new student Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer) is interested in joining. (With the rigorous training at Nyada, do other college glee clubs even stand a chance?!) With the addition of a glee club, the New York storyline of the show will now more closely resemble the one in Ohio where New Directions is currently picking up the pieces after their shocking loss at sectionals. Kieran-Jones’ only previous U.S. TV credit was an arc on the Showtime/BBC comedy Episodes as assistant-turned-filmmaker Andrew. He has extensive stage credits in the UK, »

- NELLIE ANDREEVA

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