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James Corden Regrets Kissing Sean Spicer at Emmys: ‘I’m Disappointed’

13 minutes ago

To say that some viewers were not pleased with former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s cameo on the Emmys Sunday evening would be an understatement. To make matters worse, a photo posted to Variety‘s Instagram account caught late night host James Corden on camera giving Spicer a peck on the cheek at the awards show, which elicited further blowback.

Corden, however, addressed the incident in his opening monologue on “The Late Late Show” Monday night, stating that he was “disappointed” in himself.

After cracking a few Donald Trump jokes, Corden went on to lambast himself. “According to some reports at the after-party, Spicer was the most popular guy in the room,” he began. “And I just wanna say, I think people are forgetting this man lied to the American people and should not be embraced. These Hollywood phonies kissing up to Spicer are disgusting, I mean, who did this, who »


- Erin Nyren

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‘Stranger Things’ Producer Justin Doble Inks Overall Deal at Amazon

1 hour ago

Stranger Things” writer and producer Justin Doble has signed an overall deal with Amazon Studios, Variety has learned.

Doble will develop genre television projects exclusively for Prime Video. In addition to his writing on both seasons of the “Stranger Things,” Doble has also written for Jason Katims’s “The Path,” and Millar and Gough’s “Into the Badlands.” He began his career as a writer on “Fringe” after taking part in the Warner Bros. Television Writer’s Program. He is a recipient of two WGA nominations for his work on “Stranger Things.”

Doble is repped by UTA and the Shuman Company.

“We have long admired Justin’s ability to create stories and characters that stoke fans’ passion,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, head of event series for Amazon Studios. “He has contributed to some of the best genre out there, and we are excited to collaborate with him as we build a slate of high-profile shows.”

Doble »


- Joe Otterson

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TV Ratings: ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Returns Down, Still Tops Monday

1 hour ago

Dancing with the Stars” opened its 25th season on Monday down in both key ratings measures from last fall’s premiere, but the ABC competition series still topped the night.

According to Nielsen data, the two-hour premiere averaged a 1.7 rating in adults 18-49 and 10.8 million viewers. Compared to the Season 23 premiere (2.1, 12.2 million), that is a drop of approximately 19% in the key demo and 11% in total viewers.

Later on ABC, “To Tell the Truth” (0.9, 5.2 million) saw a significant increase in both measures airing behind the “Dancing with the Stars” premiere.

On NBC, “American Ninja Warrior” (1.5, 5.9 million) was even, while “Midnight Texas” (0.8, 2.8 million) was up in both measures.

For Fox, back-to-back episodes of “So You Think You Can Dance” at 8 p.m. (0.6, 2.3 million) and 9 p.m. (0.6, 2.1 million) were both even.

CBS and The CW aired only repeats.

ABC won the night with a 1.4 and 9 million total viewers. NBC was second with a 1.3 and 4.9 million. CBS »


- Joe Otterson

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Bill O’Reilly Says His Firing From Fox News Was ‘Political and Financial Hit Job’

1 hour ago

In his first TV interview since being fired from Fox News in April, a defiant Bill O’Reilly called his dismissal “a political and financial hit job” and asserted that accusations of sexual harassment leveled against him were unfounded.

O’Reilly broke his silence in a lengthy interview with NBC NewsMatt Lauer that aired Tuesday on “Today.” He insisted that there was no “smoking gun” to prove the allegations of inappropriate behavior, despite the more than $13 million settlements paid to multiple women since 2006.

“In 42 years, I’ve been in this business. I’ve worked for 12 companies,” O’Reilly told Lauer. “Not any time have I had any interaction with Hr, any complaints filed against me. Nobody is a perfect person but I can go to sleep at night very well knowing that I’ve never mistreated anyone on my watch in 42 years.”

Since he was fired from Fox News, O »


- Variety Staff

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Snapchat Execs to Deliver Keynote at Mipcom; Tencent, Wme Among New Participants

2 hours ago

Snapchat is set to have a large presence at next month’s Mipcom, the international TV showcase, as the social-media network increasingly steps into scripted entertainment.

Two top content executives from Snap Inc. – Nick Bell, the VP of content, and Sean Mills, senior director of content programming – will deliver a keynote speech on how the company is diving into content creation for mobile. The pair will discuss collaborations Snap has started with TV networks, film studios and indie producers to produce scripted shows including horror, documentary and animated series. A popular app for millennials, Snapchat currently boasts more than 173 million daily active users.

Mipcom will also turn the spotlight on Facebook, another social-media leader venturing into scripted content. Ricky Van Even, the head of global creative strategy and Daniel Danker, video product director, will give a joint keynote.

Mipcom, whose conference theme will be “The Global Race for Creative Connections,” will »


- Elsa Keslassy

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Scripps Networks Launches ‘Genius Kitchen’ Online Food Network, Folding Food.com Recipes Into the Mix

4 hours ago

Scripps Networks Interactive, owner of Food Network and Cooking Channel, needed a new way to reach hungry millennials — many of whom have tuned out cable TV.

So the company built Genius Kitchen: a multiplatform digital-media brand aimed at young adults (ages 21-35) who are passionate about food, cooking and culture. Genius Kitchen will comprise original short-form programming, plus licensed food shows and content repurposed from Food Network and Cooking Channel.

In addition, Genius Kitchen’s videos will be integrated with a database of more than 500,000 recipes culled from Food.com, which Scripps Networks plans to phase out. When you’re watching a Genius Kitchen show and there’s a relevant recipe being featured, you can have it delivered directly to your smartphone.

“It’s a desire to create content for younger audiences, who are consuming it in different ways,” said Rich Lacy, senior VP of digital brand creative at Scripps Network Interactive.

Scripps Networks »


- Todd Spangler

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Fox News Seeks to Dismiss Controversial Rod Wheeler Suit

5 hours ago

Fox News on Tuesday moved to dismiss a controversial lawsuit levying the wild allegation that employees of the 21st Century Fox-owned cable-news network fabricated quotes in a now-retracted article about a murdered Democratic National Committee operative and helped spark a furious round of speculation about Fox News’ role in potentially spreading false information.

In filings made in United States District Court in the Southern District of New York, Fox News and  Ed Butowsky and Malia Zimmerman, who were involved in the matter, claim the allegations are “overloaded with sensationalistic allegations,” and suggest “his case is one in search of a viable legal theory.” Fox News also sought to move the matter to arbitration, claiming its agreement with Wheeler required disputes to be handled by mediation.

The filings are the latest twist in a case filled with outlandish charges and counterclaims.

In August, private detective Rod Wheeler filed suit alleging Fox News was working with the Trump administration »


- Brian Steinberg

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Paramount Channel Latin America Snags Exclusive Latinamerican Rights to Multi-Emmy Winner ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ (Exclusive)

6 hours ago

Eight Primetime Emmy Award-winner “The Handmaid’s Tale” will soon be available in Latin America, thanks to Paramount Channel Latin America, which grabbed the exclusive Pay TV and VOD rights for the show in the region.

Set to bow in early 2018 across Latin America, the 10-part series is based on Margaret Atwood’s eponymous novel, a bestseller in Argentina and Brazil in particular, which takes place in the dystopian nation of Gilead where a totalitarian and fundamentalist regime has seized control. Faced with a near zero birth rate, the authorities have subjected the country’s fertile women to sexual servitude in a last twisted attempt to repopulate the world.

“We’re thrilled to be adding the massive success that is ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ to our programming roster, reinforcing our commitment to bringing the best, high-quality entertainment to our audiences throughout the region,” said Tiago Worcman, senior vice president, Music and Paramount Brand Head, Vimn »


- Anna Marie de la Fuente

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HBO Nordic Moves Into Originals With Comedy Drama ‘Gosta’

6 hours ago

HBO Europe is moving into originals in the Nordics with “Gosta,” a comedy drama about a child psychologist who moves from the city to small-town rural Sweden. He sets out to be the kindest person in the world, with both good and bad consequences.

“I want ‘Gosta’ to be a mix of comedy and Dostoevsky: as funny as possible and as serious as possible,” said Lukas Moodysson, the Swedish filmmaker behind the series. It is his first effort in TV, and he has written all eight episodes and will direct. Memfis Film will produce the series, and Lars Jönsson, Moodysson’s long-term collaborator at Memfis, will produce.

The series shoots in Sweden next year, before a 2019 release on HBO Europe’s channels and digital services. TrustNordisk will distribute “Gosta” outside HBO Europe’s footprint.

The project is a landmark for HBO as its first commissioned drama series out of Scandinavia. It »


- Stewart Clarke

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Bryan Cranston on Bringing the Future Up to Date for Philip K. Dick Series ‘Electric Dreams’

8 hours ago

Even the future needs to be re-imagined for modern times and Philip K. Dick’s alternate realities and visions of years hence have been re-engineered by Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) and the team behind “Electric Dreams” for today’s audience, the star and producer says.

The writers of the anthology series “Electric Dreams” had free rein to completely re-imagine the sci-fi master’s work for the Channel 4 and Amazon project, said Cranston, who stars in one installment and was a producer on the series. “It was actually a mandate,” he said. “What we didn’t want to do, and we had the blessing from the Philip K. Dick estate as partners, was just do what he had already written and put it up on its feet. Anybody can do that, and it’s not fresh and it’s not new.

“We told all of our writers to use the original material as a springboard to your »


- Stewart Clarke

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CBS Wins Bid For Australia’s Ten Network, Defeats Lachlan Murdoch

12 hours ago

Shareholders at Australia’s Ten Network on Tuesday voted to accept a revised takeover offer from the U.S.’s CBS Corporation.

The decision is a defeat for a counter-proposal from Lachlan Murdoch and Bruce Gordon. It follows a court decision on Monday that rejected a plea from Murdoch and Gordon to delay the creditors’ meeting.

Mark Korda, partner at the accountancy firm that is currently Ten’s administrator, called it an “overwhelming vote in favor of CBS.” “What they decided was to vote – more than 50% of value [in votes] and more than 50% in number [of individual votes] – to accept the CBS deed of company arrangement,” Korda said.

CBS had originally offered A$32 million (Us$25.6 million) to creditors. Murdoch and Gordon proposed A$35 million (Us$28 million) and increased that to A$55 million (Us$43.9 million), promising to leave some equity for creditors, but their offer document also appeared to imply substantial cutbacks and studio closures. CBS is understood to have increased its offer »


- Patrick Frater

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Tucker Carlson Slams Issa Rae for Saying ‘I’m Rooting for Everybody Black’ at Emmys

15 hours ago

Diversity may have scored several big wins at Sunday night’s Emmys, but Issa Rae’s comment ahead of the show that she’s “rooting for everybody black” is raising some eyebrows — at least, those of Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

Rae made the comment to Variety on the red carpet Sunday night. Carlson, on his Fox News show “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” began a segment lambasting the politics of the Emmys by taking aim at the “Insecure” star’s comments.

.@IssaRae at the #Emmys: "I’m Rooting for Everybody Black" (Watch) https://t.co/YYfzvUXIpK pic.twitter.com/A7ZnmFxkmD

— Variety (@Variety) September 18, 2017

After showing the clip of Rae, followed by a video of “Atlanta” mastermind Donald Glover jokingly thanking President Donald Trump for “making black people number one on the most-oppressed list” while accepting the Emmy for comedy actor, Carlson criticized both of them. “Those comments didn’t seem to raise an eyebrow, but »


- Alex Stedman

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Inside Emmy Parties With Nicole Kidman, Donald Glover, Elisabeth Moss and More

15 hours ago

TV’s top talent and executives celebrated this year’s Emmy nominees far after the ceremony ended. Emmy darling Sterling K. Brown was caught dashing from party to party with wife and “This Is Us” co-star Ryan Michelle Bathe on his arm. Another popular guy about town was none other than Alex Skarsgard, who brought his mom (all the way from Sweden) as his date to HBO’s popular fete. His onscreen wife, however, was not coy with her date. Nicole Kidman packed on the Pda with her real-life better half Keith Urban before going inside the Pacific Design Center. To much surprise, Sean Spicer received a fair amount of love while spending Emmy night in Hollywood, rubbing elbows with the stars (even after many of them participated, or at least, found joy in his weekly roasting on “Saturday Night Live” this past year). But he wasn’t the only surprise guest during Emmy week.

Keep »


- Variety Staff

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‘Kid Nation’ Boss Reflects on ‘Controversial and Groundbreaking’ Reality Series

17 hours ago

When “Kid Nation” premiered on CBS 10 years ago, it was amidst a firestorm of controversy. Ever since the reality series was first picked up, critics and viewers alike were raising questions about the wisdom of putting 40 children — between the ages of 8 and 15 — in a makeshift town and having them fend for themselves without adult supervision.

Addressing the Television Critics Assn. a few months before the premiere, then-cbs entertainment president Nina Tassler took the controversy in stride, saying that in order for a reality show to “change the landscape of television, you have to stir public debate.” CBS’ goal, said Tassler, was to “do something different, and try and reach out and have people talk about the show.” And in that, they certainly succeeded. Here, executive producer Tom Forman talks with Variety about the genesis of the show, his take on the controversy, and whether he’d ever revisit the idea.

Forman »


- Danielle Turchiano

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Charles Payne Accused of Rape in New Lawsuit Against Fox News

18 hours ago

Charles Payne, the Fox Business Network host who was recently reinstated after facing allegations of sexual harassment, now faces even stronger accusations, as the woman who made the claims filed suit against him as well as Fox News now alleges she was raped and subsequently defamed.

Scottie Nell Hughes may be best known as a Trump surrogate who regularly appeared on Time Warner’s CNN during the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. But she has also been a familiar face on Fox News Channel. In a complaint filed Monday in United States District Court in the Southern District of New York, Hughes claims Payne raped her in 2013 and alleges she was retaliated against after she came forward with charges a few years after the initial incident is said to have occurred.

An attorney for Payne, Jonathan Halpern, said his client would prevail against “outrageous” charges. Payne  “vehemently denies any wrongdoing and will defend himself vigorously against this »


- Brian Steinberg

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‘The Voice’ Coaches on the ‘Chair-Turning’ Moments That Launched Their Careers (Watch)

18 hours ago

Although most fans know Jennifer Hudson from “American Idol,” the newest coach to join “The Voice” doesn’t consider performing on the Fox show the show to be her biggest “chair turning moment.”

“I was seventh place,” Hudson says in a video tease ahead of the show’s Sept. 25 premiere on NBC. “I consider that not a big break, but a great opportunity.” But going home, she confesses, wasn’t easy. “When you are eliminated you think it’s over,” adds Hudson. Not surprisingly, she considers her breakthrough moment to have come two years later when she was cast as Effie in the movie, “Dreamgirls.” She would go on to win an Academy Award for the role. “If that’s not the biggest break, I don’t know what is honey,” Hudson cracks.

With “The Voice” fresh off of an Emmy win for Best Reality Competition, season 13’s current coaches, Blake Shelton »


- Michele Amabile Angermiller

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Emmys Social Media Data: Donald Glover, Sean Spicer Drive Most Conversation

19 hours ago

The 69th Emmy Awards had some definite highlights and lowlights, with social media data pointing to Donald Glover’s multiple wins and Sean Spicer’s unexpected cameo as big drivers of conversation.

According to information provided by Twitter, Glover was the most-tweeted about nominee, followed by Nicole Kidman, Stephen Colbert, Lena Waithe, and Sterling K. Brown. But Glover’s show, FX comedy “Atlanta,” was not among the five most-tweeted about series for the night. That honor belongs to, in order: “Black Mirror: San Junipero,” “Big Little Lies,” “Stranger Things,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and “Saturday Night Live.”

Glover picked up Emmys for outstanding directing for a comedy series and outstanding lead actor in a comedy series for “Atlanta’s” freshman season. His victroy for directing made him the first African-American to win in the category.

Influencer tech company Influential, which analyzed almost one million social mentions, including the keywords @televisionacad, #emmys »


- Joe Otterson

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Sean Spicer’s Emmy Cameo: Why Not Everyone Is Laughing

19 hours ago

Washington — In a surprise appearance on the Emmys, Sean Spicer did what a lot of celebrities, politicians, and other controversial figures do when they are trying to reset their image: They turn to comedy.

So why aren’t people laughing?

On Monday, Dan Rather wrote that “It is not funny that the American people were lied to. It is not funny that the press was attacked for doing its job. It is not funny that the norms of our democracy have been trampled.”

NPR’s Eric Deggans: “Isn’t it funny! Sean Spicer comes out @ Emmys to lampoon moment he tried intimidating White House press corps over inauguration crowd. Sigh.”

After an evening in which he was hounded for selfies at post-Emmy parties, Spicer told the New York Times on Monday that he now has regrets chiding reporters over their reporting on the inaugural crowd size.

Kellyanne Conway, in an appearance on “Fox & Friends,” credited »


- Ted Johnson

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Showtime to Air Documentary on George Michael

20 hours ago

A new documentary chronicling the life and career of George Michael will air on Showtime this fall.

George Michael: Freedom” centers on the formative period in the musician’s life, leading up to and following the making of his album “Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1.” The film also follows his subsequent, infamous High Court battle with his record label that followed, while also getting personal about the death of his partner, Anselmo Feleppa. Filmed before Michael’s death in 2016, the documentary is narrated by the singer, who was heavily involved in making the film that serves as his final work.

The feature also includes the original five supermodels from his “Freedom! ’90” video — Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Tatjana Patitz, and Linda Evangelista — who discuss their experiences on making the music video. Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Ricky Gervais, Nile Rodgers, Mark Ronson, Tracey Emin, Liam Gallagher, Mary J. Blige, Jean Paul Gaultier, James Corden »


- Rebecca Rubin

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Pablo Escobar’s Brother Calls for Netflix to Increase Security Protocols After ‘Narcos’ Location Manager’s Death

20 hours ago

Pablo Escobar’s brother, Roberto De Jesus Escobar Gaviria, is calling for Netflix to increase its security protocols in the wake of the death of Carlos Muñoz Portal, a location scout for the Netflix series “Narcos” who was found shot to death last week in the violent region of Hidalgo, Mexico, while scouting for the show’s fourth season.

Gaviria was the lead accountant and chief of hitmen for the Colombian Medellin cartel before his arrest and later release. Since then, he has authored several articles, books, and patents and is a co-founder of Escobar Inc., a private holding company.

Olof K. Gustafsson, CEO of Escobar Inc., said in a release that Portal’s death indicates that it is “clearly not safe to film shows about drug lords.” “People are dying,” he said.

“We tried to contact Netflix after the news of Carlos Muñoz Portal passing last week to speak about their security issues with no response »


- Matt Fernandez

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