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16 items from 2014


Earl Hayes -- Rapped About Murder-Suicide Four Years Ago

9 December 2014 2:45 PM, PST | TMZ | See recent TMZ news »

Rapper Earl Hayes had thoughts of suicide long before killing his wife and himself on Monday -- back in 2010 he recorded a song with lines like, "I could just kill us both, go out with a smash."The song was called "Suicide" and it was part of a mixtape Hayes put out called "The First 48" (which also happens to be an A&E show about murder investigations). It's pretty eerie ... in the song Hayes »

- TMZ Staff

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Writers Guild Files Unfair Labor Practice Charges Against ITV

24 November 2014 9:28 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

The Writers Guild of America East has filed unfair labor practice charges against ITV with the federal government’s National Labor Relations Board.

The guild alleges that the UK-owned TV production company has failed to bargain in good faith and has violated federal labor law. The WGA has blasted ITV several times this year for alleged mistreatment of writers and producers on its shows.

The filing alleges that ITV has reduced Guild-represented employees’ compensation by $300 a month and implemented a health insurance plan with deductibles so high that employees would never get paid any actual benefits except if they were hospitalized for long periods. Employees would also pay $130 a month in premiums for this “largely illusory coverage.”

ITV had no immediate response Monday. The ITV shows involved include Nat Geo’s “Cesar 911,” “The First 48″ on A&E and TLC’s “Four Weddings.”

“We have negotiated contracts with other employers »

- Dave McNary

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Omaha Police Officer Accidentally Kills Cops Film Crew Member During Shootout

28 August 2014 6:05 AM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

When the call came from an officer who needed help facing an armed robber at a fast-food restaurant, two members of a reality television show riding along with Omaha police hustled to record the confrontation. In the chaotic scene that unfolded, one crew member was struck by "friendly fire" from one of the officers, a bullet slipping past his bulletproof vest and killing him, Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said Wednesday. The robbery suspect was also killed. The weapon he was carrying turned out to be a pellet gun, though it looked and sounded so real that both witnesses and officers were fooled, »

- Associated Press

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Omaha Police Officer Accidentally Kills 'Cops' Film Crew Member During Shootout

28 August 2014 6:05 AM, PDT | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

When the call came from an officer who needed help facing an armed robber at a fast-food restaurant, two members of a reality television show riding along with Omaha police hustled to record the confrontation. In the chaotic scene that unfolded, one crew member was struck by "friendly fire" from one of the officers, a bullet slipping past his bulletproof vest and killing him, Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said Wednesday. The robbery suspect was also killed. The weapon he was carrying turned out to be a pellet gun, though it looked and sounded so real that both witnesses and officers were fooled, »

- Associated Press

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Writers Guild Blasts ITV Again Over Working Conditions

25 August 2014 4:52 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Using the primetime Emmys as a platform, the Writers Guild of American East has blasted ITV Studios for alleged mistreatment of writers and producers on its shows.

“As bullish as companies like ITV are on the profit potential of reality television, the fact is that the men and women who actually make the shows toil under grueling conditions,” the guild said in a statement issued Monday a few hours before the awards show began.

“Tight-fisted networks insist on impossibly tight production schedules,” the WGA East said. “Writer-producers work up to 80 hours per week without time off – and without overtime pay.  Injuries are rampant on field shoots.  No one gets health or pension benefits.”

ITV responded by issuing a statement: “ITV Studios America is in ongoing talks with the WGA East and has no further comment at this stage.”

The guild made a similar attack on ITV in February, accusing the »

- Dave McNary

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Reality TV Violations by ‘Pawn Stars’ Producer Probed by New York City Council

11 June 2014 5:46 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

A New York City Council member has asked ITV Studios and Leftfield Pictures, producer of “Pawn Stars,” to testify at the council’s “Real Reality of Reality TV” hearing on June 25.

Council member Daneek Miller asked the companies to provide written evidence as well as testimony about employees’ work schedules, overtime, health benefits, paid days off, mandatory sick days, the average length of employment for freelance employees and health and safety policies.

“It is important to the City of New York to encourage the growth of well-paying, stable jobs in the creative economy,” Miller wrote. “Nonfiction television, an expanding and lucrative industry, is important to this growth. The jobs it provides should meet certain standards that our community values, not the least of which is adherence to the law.”

A rep for ITV said, “ITV Studios America is in ongoing talks with the WGA East and has no further comment at this stage. »

- Dave McNary

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Writers Guild Topper Testifying on Stolen Overtime to New York City Council

9 June 2014 5:46 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Lowell Peterson, exec director of the Writers Guild of America East, has been tapped to testify before the New York City Council on allegations of unpaid overtime and illegal working conditions in reality TV shows.

The council has scheduled the hearing for June 25.

The WGA East alleged in November that writers and producers on TV’s reality shows were losing $40 million annually in unpaid overtime, based on a survey of WGA East members.  The union singled out History Channel’s “Pawn Stars,” A&E’s “The First 48,” Discovery’s “Fatal Encounters” and National Geographic’s “Doomsday Preppers” as violators.

At that point, the union called for government officials to investigate, adding, “Companies that choose to break the law and mistreat their employees should not gain unfair competitive advantage.”

The survey, sent to 1,266 nonfiction TV writers and producers, generated a 25% response rate with 315 completing the survey. The survey found that »

- Dave McNary

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ITV Blasted Over Purchase of ‘Pawn Stars’ Producer

12 May 2014 7:11 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

The Writers Guild of America East has amped up its four-year campaign against ITV Studios in the wake of last week’s $360 million purchase of “Pawn Stars” producer Leftfield Entertainment Group.

The guild staged a protest Monday at ITV’s Manhattan offices with an AFL-CIO executive and New York City Councilmember Corey Johnson delivering letters urging the British-owned corporation to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with the WGA East.

A WGA East spokesman said a delegation of about 40 protesters participated. ITV did not respond to request for comment.

The guild has accused ITV America, which produces reality series including Nat Geo’s “Cesar 911,” A&E’s “The First 48″ and TLC’s “Four Weddings,” of “stealing” an average $30,000 annually from each of its writers and producers by having them work up to 70 hours per week and refusing to provide them health benefits, paid time off and other basic protections.

The »

- Dave McNary

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Writers Guild Accuses ITV Studios of ‘Stealing’ From Employees

27 February 2014 3:54 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

The Writers Guild of America East has bitterly blasted ITV Studios following fours years without success in getting the company to sign a WGA deal for ITV writers and producers.

The WGA accused ITV America, which produces reality series including Nat Geo’s “Cesar 911,” “The First 48″ on A&E and TLC’s “Four Weddings,” of “stealing” an average $30,000 annually from each of its writers and producers.

The guild made the accusations after parent company ITV reporting a 30% increase in profits for 2013.

A rep for ITV responded by saying, “ITV Studios America is in ongoing talks with the WGA East and have no further comment at this stage.”

The WGA East said its survey showed conditions of ITV’s sets to be “grueling,” with writers and producers forced to work 10 hours per day, six and seven days per week.

“Our goal in organizing writer-producers in nonfiction TV is to enhance »

- Dave McNary

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WGA East Slams ITV Studios America For Not Paying Overtime & Stalled Contract Talks

27 February 2014 3:01 PM, PST | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

Profits may be up 20% at its UK parent company, but ITV Studios America today found its relationship with the Writers Guild of America East taking a steep fall. As contract talks between the two parties grind on, the scribe guild claims that ITV Studios America has been depriving about 150 of its writers and producers of up to $30,000 a year in deserved overtime pay on its unscripted shows including A&E’s The First 48, Nat Geo Wild’s Cesar 911 and TLC’s Four Weddings. The WGA East says that up until two weeks ago, the Sherman Oaks- and NYC-based company has been making employees put in 60- to 80-hour weeks without any of the compensation that are entitled to under federal and state laws. Under pressure from the guild, the company began giving associate producers overtime pay two weeks ago and not retroactively. That’s only a partial solution, says the WGA East. »

- DOMINIC PATTEN

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WGA Unionizes Sharp Entertainment Producers

11 February 2014 1:10 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

The Writers Guild of America East has unionized about 150 producers, coordinating producers, associate producers and writers at Sharp Entertainment.

The WGA said Tuesday that the writer-producers at Sharp’s non-fiction shows — including “Doomsday Preppers,” “Property Wars” and “Call of the Wildman” — have voted to be represented by the guild. The union said the WGA has been certified by the National Labor Relations Board to be the collective bargaining representative.

Region 2 of the Nlrb conducted a representation election by mail ballot and by in-person vote in January and ballots were counted on Feb. 3.

“We anticipate entering a collective bargaining agreement with Sharp that includes the provisions we have won for writer-producers employed by other nonfiction TV production companies,” WGA East Executive Director Lowell Peterson said.

The WGA East had announced in November that the Sharp employees had filed for unionization.  Around the same time, the guild also announced that writers and »

- Dave McNary

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'Downton Abbey,' puppies and zombies: Super Bowl TV alternatives

2 February 2014 9:30 AM, PST | Zap2It - From Inside the Box | See recent Zap2It - From Inside the Box news »

If recent viewing trends hold, about 100 million people -- more than a quarter of the entire population of the country -- will watch Super Bowl Xlviii on Sunday (Feb. 2) and then talk about it for days afterward.

But though it may seem that way, it's not the only thing on TV Sunday. The other broadcast networks are taking the night off, but there are marathons and stunts aplenty elsewhere on your channel guide -- and even a couple of original shows. If you're not watching the game, consider these options (all times Eastern).

The originals

PBS: "Downton Abbey" (9 p.m.) and "Sherlock" (10 p.m.). PBS has aired new episodes of "Downton" each of the past three years opposite the Super Bowl and pulled in respectable ratings each time. "Sherlock" has its Season 3 finale.

TCM: "And the Oscar Goes to ..." (10 p.m./7 p.m. Pt). A history of the Academy Awards »

- editorial@zap2it.com

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ITV Studios America Ups Patrice Andrews To COO, East Coast

22 January 2014 7:00 AM, PST | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

The 10-year company veteran is being promoted from Evp Development, Production and Operations for New York. As ITV Studios America‘s COO, East Coast, Patrice Andrews will continue to manage the company’s ops in the region. She joined the production company behind The First 48 and Four Weddings in 2004 after stints at A&E, MetroTV and Discovery Channel. Andrews will report to ITV Studios America President Orly Adelson. »

- THE DEADLINE TEAM

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Thomas Moody, Laura Fleury Tapped for Lmn, Fyi

15 January 2014 3:02 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

A+E Networks execs Thomas Moody and Laura Fleury have been appointed to key roles at Lifetime Movie Network, as well as upcoming lifestyle channel Fyi.

Moody will serve as senior vice president, programming, planning and acquisitions for Fyi and Lmn, and Fleury will be VP of programming and development at Lmn. Both will report to Fyi and Lmn head Jana Bennett, who made the announcement Wednesday.

“I am confident that these multi-talented executives, tapped from within A+E Networks, will bring a breadth of experience and enormous intelligence to these important new leadership roles at Fyi and Lmn,” Bennett said in a statement. “Both Tom and Laura bring a track record of significant accomplishment to the table. Their vision, instincts and passion will be instrumental as we build these two brands into powerful platforms.”

Moody, who has been with A+E Networks since 2001, will oversee program planning, strategy and acquisitions for Fyi and Lmn. »

- Alex Stedman

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A+E Networks Ups Two Key Execs

15 January 2014 1:35 PM, PST | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

A+E Networks has tapped Thomas Moody as Svp Programming, Planning & Acqusitions for Fyi and Lmn and Laura Fleury has been upped to VP Programming and Development, Lmn. Jana Bennett, President of Fyi and Lmn announced the new positions today which are effective immediately. Both will report to Bennett. Moody has been with A+E Networks since 2001. In his new role, he will oversee program planning, strategy and acquisitions for both Fyi and Lmn. He was previously responsible for developing and implementing the scheduling and acquisition strategies for A&E and Bio. In addition, Moody has also developed and/or served as an executive producer on A+E Networks shows including Hoarders, Private Sessions, Biography, and Celebrity Ghost Stories. As VP Programmming and Development for Lmn, Fleury will oversee all original programming for the network. She has been with A+E Networks for over 15 years. In her previous role, Fleury »

- THE DEADLINE TEAM

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Trevor Donovan Returns to “Melissa & Joey” and “Justified” Plans Its Final Season

15 January 2014 4:06 AM, PST | The Backlot | See recent The Backlot news »

News

Talking to the Television Critics Association, the team behind The Americans promised the second season begins with a threeway sex scene between Elizabeth, Phillip and… someone to be revealed later.

FX announced that the next season of Justified, will be the final season. On one hand, I have to applaud a show for knowing when to go out on a high note (and it’s getting harder to understand what holds Raylan in Harlan). On the other, it’s tough to say goodbye, especially for a show that puts Timothy Olyphant on my TV screen.

That crow looks even more ominous now.

Hilary Duff has joined the cast of Darren Star‘s TV Land pilot Younger, according to Deadline. The pilot stars Sutton Foster as a woman in her 40s who manages to reinvent herself as a 29-year-old career woman. Duff will play a co-worker who also spends a »

- Lyle Masaki

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2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

16 items from 2014


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