Search This Blog

woensdag 18 april 2012

'The Bachelor' Bias? Lawsuit Accuses Show of Racial Discrimination

'The Bachelor' Bias? Lawsuit Accuses Show of Racial Discrimination

Two Nashville men plan to sue ABC and the creators of "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette," accusing the shows of racial bias because they have never featured a person of color in the titular positions in 23 combined seasons.

The suit addresses an issue that has long drawn the notice of the shows' fans, and was even the basis of a late-night routine last week. While people of color are often included in the pool of contestants vying for the lead's affection, no non-white person has ever been chosen to be the "Bachelor" or "Bachelorette" in the decade since the franchise began, the suit contends.

Plaintiffs Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson (an all-American football player and aspiring NFL player, respectively) are seeking class-action status for their lawsuit, which they intend to file Wednesday. Both men unsuccessfully auditioned for the show in August 2011.

The suit is expected to name ABC, as well as Warner Horizon Television, Inc. and executive producer Mike Fleiss (pictured), among other defendants.

ABC referred an inquiry to Warner Bros., which declined to comment. A representative for Fleiss did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In an interview with EW last year, Fleiss said non-white people simply "don't come forward" to take part in the show as often as white people.

"I think Ashley is 1/16th Cherokee Indian, but I cannot confirm," he said of "Bachelorette" Ashley Hebert. "But that is my suspicion! We really tried, but sometimes we feel guilty of tokenism. Oh, we have to wedge African-American chicks in there! We always want to cast for ethnic diversity, it’s just that for whatever reason, they don’t come forward. I wish they would."

The lawsuit comes as Portland-based sportscaster Lamar Hurd is campaigning to be the first African-American "Bachelor." He released an online video last month in which he and several friends and associates talk about the qualities that would make him a good candidate.

The lawsuit also lands just days after TBS' "Conan" noted the lack of African-Americans on the show. Comedian Deon Cole, one of the show's writers, appeared in a skit in which he imagined himself as the first black "Bachelor." Talk about comic timing.

'Mad Men' Season 5: So Far, So … Good?

'Mad Men' Season 5: So Far, So … Good?

I’ll admit it, I was worried. Were we going to be able to pick up where we left off? After all, a year and a half is a TV eternity.

After watching the first three episodes, I started to think that maybe things had changed. Could it be that the magic was gone and that four glorious seasons were all we were going to have together? But then I watched episodes four and five.

It’s not over. "Mad Men," I still love you.

There’s a certain pattern to Matthew Weiner’s approach – a slow, seemingly meandering build, a few tossed in surprises towards the middle and then a dramatic, almost rushed end to the season. Knowing this doesn’t make watching "Mad Men" any less frustrating. The first three episodes this season, "Zou Bisou Bisou" notwithstanding, really felt disconnected from the previous season. I felt like I was watching a slideshow from that era, unearthed from someone’s dusty basement. It’s not that I expect a blockbuster every week, but after a long and painful separation, I want my patience to be rewarded with more than a party and fat Betty.

Part of the problem is that we think we know these people already so there are moments that feel like filler. But in the grand scheme of the show, I’ve learned that there isn’t really a concept of wasted time. Weiner and Co. drop hints that take weeks, if not seasons, to materialize into something greater, though there’s almost always a payoff for the loyal longtime viewer. Still, that doesn’t always help in the week to week, especially if the storylines aren’t riveting on their own merits.     

So far this season, Don Draper is behaving himself (outside of fever dreams) and frankly, it’s a little disappointing. Last season, we watched Don try so hard to be a better man, and it turns out that all he ever needed was the love of a good woman – has the show turned into a Nicholas Sparks novel? Watching Peter, Roger and Lane implode and collapse while Don plays the righteous married man is just not the way that universe is supposed to work.  There’s only one kind of swinging that should happen in that conference room, and U.K. vs. U.S. isn’t it. 

I know my dislike of Megan gets in the way here, but happy characters are all alike in that they’re boring to watch. But loyal viewers know that no one in "Mad Men’s" world is ever really happy; they’re just in a temporary lull between disappointment and dissatisfaction. Even while Don is clinging to fidelity with Megan, he’s drawing nooses in the margin of his notepad. Chekhov would be proud.

One of my main "Mad Men" lessons has been that the season works more as a whole than as a collection of its parts. I raged at the end of season four -- only to rewatch and find it my favorite season of all. So even as I watch and analyze this season, I know that it’s the rewatch that will define my feelings about it. In the meantime, I’m just glad we’re back together.  

Gary Barlow 'X Factor' return confirmed: 'I'm thrilled to be back'

Gary Barlow 'X Factor' return confirmed: 'I'm thrilled to be back'

Gary Barlow has confirmed that he is returning for a second series on The X Factor, admitting that he is "thrilled to be back" on the ITV1 talent show.

The Take That star, who mentored Marcus Collins to the runner-up spot on last year's show, is the first judge confirmed for the 2012 series.

"I'm thrilled to be back and really looking forward to working with the X Factor team again," said Barlow.

"The fact that a superstar could just walk out on that stage is very exciting."

Show boss Simon Cowell claimed that Barlow has "earned his place" on the panel and said that was "excited" to be working alongside Barlow again.

ITV's director of television Peter Fincham said: "Gary quickly established himself as a key member of The X Factor judging panel, drawing on his years of experience in the music industry to help in the search for our undiscovered singing stars.

"I'm thrilled to welcome him back to the biggest show on British television."

Tulisa Contostavlos and Louis Walsh are also expected to be back on the Saturday night show when it returns; however, Kelly Rowland's spot on the panel appears to be hanging in the balance.

Richard Holloway from X Factor producers Thames said: "Gary brings his vast music expertise, his fabulous character and down-to-earth approach to the show and audiences adore him so we are absolutely delighted that he's coming back."

X Factor's open auditions tour around the UK has finished, although hopeful singers can still apply via Facebook until May 8.

A new twist to the show's format means that any artist or act, aged 16 or above, can apply for the show, even if they have a management deal.

The three other judges will be announced soon ahead of the spring auditions tour. The X Factor will air again in the late summer on ITV1.

Sharon Osbourne on Simon Cowell: He Has Small-Penis Syndrome

Sharon Osbourne on Simon Cowell: He Has Small-Penis Syndrome

So much for playing nice with your boss.

Sharon Osbourne unleashed her ire on her "America's Got Talent" boss Simon Cowell during her co-hosting gig on "The Talk" Tuesday, saying that the comments Cowell made about her in a new biography are proof that the "X Factor" judge has "small-penis syndrome."

"He's wealthy, he's powerful, he's creative, he's got everything … but you can't buy the goods," she continued, pointing to her crotch.

A rep for Cowell did not immediately respond to TheWrap's request for comment.

The reason for Osbourne's anti-Cowell rant: comments he supposedly made in the book "Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell," an upcoming Cowell biography by writer Tom Bower.

Though the book is unauthorized, Osbourne says Cowell became friendly with Bower and shared many details of his personal life, including an affair with his former "X Factor" U.K. co-star Dannii Minogue.

Cowell's publicist, Max Clifford, has confirmed to various members of the British press that Cowell talked to Bower for the book. He has not yet returned TheWrap's request for comment.

Osbourne claims that Cowell told Bower that she quit the British version of the singing competition series because she was upset about his affair with Minogue.

Osbourne, who declined to talk to Bower when he requested an interview with her for his book, told her "Talk" co-hosts she didn't care who Cowell was dating and that the alleged Cowell/Minogue romance was not why she ended her four-year "X Factor" gig in 2007.

"I left because I didn't like that girl (Minogue)," Osbourne said. "I didn't like working (with her), and it was a time when I was newly over my cancer, and I promised myself I would never be in a situation (where) I was not 100 percent happy. And I had to live in England six months of the year, and I was away from my family. I thought, 'When it's not fun, you go.' It wasn't fun, and I just went."

As for why Cowell talks about her in the book, Osbourne's theory is that it all goes back to Cowell's ego.

"He likes to glamorize, he loves attention, he loves all the publicity he's getting, and the thing is, nobody leaves Simon … he fires you," she said. "So when you leave of your own accord … he doesn't like that. Because he's the power, he's the big fish, so he has to fire you."

Osbourne, who added the disclaimer that her statements were "not the opinion of CBS … this is the opinion of Mrs. O," also told her daytime TV co-stars she's not worried about her primetime job on Cowell's "America's Got Talent."

"I work for him here … he'll probably fire me now, but I don't care, I can handle it. And he doesn't really like me, so why bring me into your book? I don't want to be in your book, I don't want to know about your fiddling with this one and that one."

'Game of Thrones' episode three drops below 400,000 viewers

'Game of Thrones' episode three drops below 400,000 viewers

The latest episode of Game of Thrones dropped to below 400,000 viewers, according to overnight data.

The US import starring an ensemble cast that includes Peter Dinklage attracted 398k (1.6%) in the 9pm hour.

For E4, Made in Chelsea grabbed 412k (2.6%) in the 10pm hour. On the same night, Grimm managed 370k (1.5%) on Watch.

On the terrestrials, ITV1's Scott & Bailey (4.7m/18.7%) narrowly overtook BBC One's Silent Witness (4.63m/18.4%) in the 9pm timeslot. Silent Witness was significantly down from last week's numbers, while Scott & Bailey gathered another 471k on timeshift.

Earlier in the night, Panorama had 2.24m (9.2%) on BBC One from 8.30pm, and The Dales interested 4.09m (17.6%) on ITV1 from 8pm.

BBC Two aired Chaplains: Angels of Mersey (805k/3.5%), The Little Paris Kitchen with Rachel Khoo (1.43m/5.9%) and The 70s (2.59m/10.3%).

Channel 4's Inside Nature's Giants was seen by 1.05m (4.4%) from 8pm (+1: 111k/0.4%), with Embarrassing Bodies taking 2.31m (9.2%) afterwards (+1: 544k/3.1%). Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares wrapped up primetime for the channel with 1.51m (8.9%) and 223k (2.6%) on timeshift.

Lastly, Channel 5's Police Interceptors appealed to 793k (3.3%) from 8pm. Robson's Extreme Fishing Challenge followed with 978k (3.9%) and 110k (0.6%) on +1, and 10 Things I Hate About began with 649k (3.7%).

Overall, ITV1 won primetime with 23.7% (+1: 1%) ahead of BBC One's 19.1%. BBC Two came third with 7.4%. Channel 4 had 6.3% (+1: 1%) beating Channel 5's 3.3% (+1: 0.2%).

Gillian Anderson BBC thriller 'The Fall' adds Séainín Brennan

Gillian Anderson BBC thriller 'The Fall' adds Séainín Brennan

Irish actress Séainín Brennan has joined the cast of BBC Two thriller The Fall.

The Hidden star will appear opposite Gillian Anderson in the psychological drama.

Brennan will play Liz Tyler, a young woman who becomes the target of a serial killer (Once Upon A Time's Jamie Dornan).

"I am thrilled and excited about taking on the role of Liz Tyler," she said.

"it's an emotionally-charged performance which takes the character, and the audience, on an emotional rollercoaster that will grip and enthral lovers of quality drama."

The Fall has been written by Allan Cubitt (The Runaway, Murphy's Law) and will also star Gerard McCarthy (Hollyoaks).

"Allan Cubitt is such a brilliant writer," said Brennan. "So to be given the chance to play one of his characters is a career highlight for me.

"I have had the honour of working with some amazing actors at the top of their craft so it will be a huge honour working with Gillian, Jamie and the rest of the fantastic cast on The Fall."

The Fall is currently filming on-location in Belfast and will air on BBC Two later this year.

Filming begins on Jonathan LaPaglia's 'Underbelly: Badness'

Filming begins on Jonathan LaPaglia's 'Underbelly: Badness'

Filming has begun on the new series of crime drama Underbelly in Sydney, it has been confirmed.

The latest instalment - titled Underbelly: Badness - will be set between 2001 and the present day and focuses on the story of crime boss Anthony Perish.

The Slap star Jonathan LaPaglia, who was nominated for an AACTA award earlier this year, will play Perish, with Matt Nable (East West 101) cast as Detective Inspector Gary Jubelin, head of the force who brought Perish to justice.

Aaron Jeffery and former Home and Away star Jodi Gordon will appear in supporting roles.

"Underbelly: Badness is a riveting and compelling story of a modern underworld figure that merged into the fabric of our community completely under the radar, and we are very proud to shine a light on this story and bring it to Australian audiences," Nine Network drama executives Jo Rooney and Andy Ryan said in a statement.

The previous series of Underbelly was set in the 1920s. Titled Underbelly: Razor, it starred Danielle Cormack and Chelsie Preston Crayford as rival vice queens Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine.

Preston Crayford was presented with the 'Graham Kennedy Award for Most Outstanding New Talent' at Sunday's TV Week Logie Awards.

Ratings: 'Two and a Half Men' Beats 'Voice,' But NBC Wins Slow Night

Ratings: 'Two and a Half Men' Beats 'Voice,' But NBC Wins Slow Night

On a Monday night of small declines almost across the board, "Two and a Half Men" eked out a ratings victory over "The Voice," while NBC took an overall ratings win for the night, according to preliminary numbers. Despite NBC's win in the key demographic, ABC won the night in total viewers.

CBS's Monday-night comedy block, anchored by "Men," dominated in the fall ratings. But "The Voice" has won almost every Monday for NBC since its second-season premiere in February. Monday's win was the first time "Men" has beaten "The Voice" in head-to-head competition.

NBC had an 3.1 rating/8 share in the advertiser-friendly 18-49 demographic and 8.6 million total viewers, making it the second-most-watched network overall. "The Voice" at 8 fell slightly from last week, but it still had the second-highest ratings for the night with a 3.7/10 in the demo, and 9.9 million total viewers. "Smash" at 10 also ticked down, hitting a ratings low with a 1.9/5 and 6 million total viewers.

CBS took second place in ratings and third in total viewers with an average 2.7/7 in the demo and 8 million. "How I Met Your Mother" at 8 was down 14 percent in the demo with a 3.0/9 and 7.3 million total viewers. "2 Broke Girls" at 8:30 took a slight dip in the demo for a series low of 3.3/9, with 8.4 million total viewers. "Two and a Half Men" at 9 was one of the few shows to improve Monday night, inching up from last week for a 3.8/9. It was the night's best-rated show, and had 11 million total viewers. "Mike & Molly" at 9:30 took a 3.1/8 with 9.5 million total viewers. A "Hawaii 5-0" repeat followed at 10.

ABC was third in the demo and first in total viewers with an average 2.6/7 and 14.7 million. The most-watched win was largely due to "Dancing With the Stars" at 8, which was the most-watched program of the night with 16.3 million total viewers. In the key demo, the show dropped slightly for a 2.8/7, tying its season low for performance shows. "Castle" at 10 was up slightly, taking a 2.2/5 in the demo with 11.5 million total viewers.

Fox took fourth place in ratings and total viewers with an average 2.0/5 and 6.3 million. "Bones" at 8 drew a 2.1/6 in the demo and 7 million total viewers, while "House" at 9 posted a 2.0/5 in the demo and 5.6 million total viewers.

James Corden, Jamie Redknapp: 'A League of Their Own just gets bigger'

James Corden, Jamie Redknapp: 'A League of Their Own just gets bigger'

A League of Their Own stars James Corden and Jamie Redknapp have promised that the upcoming series will be the show's biggest yet.

The pair agreed that the Sky programme was able to improve because it celebrated sports star guests instead of mocking them.

James Corden arriving for the 2012 Brit Awards at The O2 Arena, London

"What's testament to the show is that... there are quite a lot of people who ring up to say 'I'd like to come on please'," Corden said. "I think people realised and understood this was a show where we're not bringing anyone on to make a fool of them, it's like if anyone's going to look silly it will be us.

"I think its greatest strength is this unrelenting [refusal] to rest on its laurels. We are so committed to making it bigger every time. This is already Sky's most successful comedy, they could go, 'This is great guys carry on as you are', but it's just this thing of going, 'What can we do next?'"

Asked what new panellist Jack Whitehall brought to A League of Their Own, Corden continued: "I think he was an obvious choice actually. Because I think if you're going to bring somebody in who will make an impact on the show, you're not [looking for] a like for like replacement.

"If you're bringing in another Sky Sports star, it's almost disrespectful to [outgoing panellist] Georgie Thompson."

The pair added that they would love to have Eric Cantona and Jamie's father Harry Redknapp on a future series, also admitting that they often get distracted by their illustrious guests.

Corden explained: "There are moments when you try and stop and go, 'Tell me about when you scored that goal'. 'What was going through your mind when you were about to win the US Masters?'"

"I sometimes rob that moment though," Jamie said. "Because I sit there and I'm fascinated in what makes Joe Hart tick. But when it gets serious it feels a bit funny... you know the crowd are expecting James and everyone to be cracking jokes."

A League of Their Own series five begins Friday (April 20) at 9pm on Sky1.

'Inbetweeners' creator denies fourth series reports: 'Total b*llocks'

'Inbetweeners' creator denies fourth series reports: 'Total b*llocks'

The Inbetweeners co-creator Iain Morris has denied tabloid reports that the show is set to return for a fourth series.

The Daily Star quoted James Buckley - who played Jay Cartwright in the E4 comedy show - as saying that a further series was in the works, even allegedly hinting that one of the central characters would be killed off.

"Maybe one of them dies and the other three have to join up for the funeral," he was reported to have said during a trip to the US. "But the question is - who are they gonna get rid of?"

However, Morris took to Twitter to dismiss the claims, responding to a user's call for comment: "is 'total b*llocks' succinct enough? for those that care, the last time james was in the US was my wedding last year, so the story is either a; v old or b; totally made up"

The writer, who created the show with Damon Beesley, added: "the thing about the daily star story is that people are getting excited, and now we look [like] a**eholes by just maintaining our position

"it's really unfair of them, and i'm sorry if it got you excited. I really am. i seem to have disappointed quite a lot of people today by doing nothing. i'm genuinely sorry hopes were raised, but i didn't raise them."

The Inbetweeners also starred Joe Thomas (Simon Cooper), Simon Bird (Will McKenzie) and Blake Harrison (Neil Sutherland).

The cast was last seen together in the big-screen Inbetweeners Movie, which was released in August 2011.

The show's Greg Davies (Mr Gilbert) said last year that a possible sequel to the movie would not be "driven by money".

FCC Chairman to Broadcasters: Keep Betting Big on Digital

FCC Chairman to Broadcasters: Keep Betting Big on Digital

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski on Monday urged broadcasters to -- in the parlance of Las Vegas, where the National Association of Broadcasters were meeting -- bet even bigger on digital technology.

"When I was here at NAB two years ago," Genachowski told the group, "I encouraged broadcasters to seize the benefits of broadband, to serve their audiences over a growing number of digital screens, and to leverage broadcast news and other unique content to generate revenue from every platform.

"I said the same thing last year, and I’ve praised broadcasters who’ve said they don’t want to be like the train companies that saw themselves as in the train business instead of the transportation business."

And it is working, he said.

Online ad revenues for TV stations, Genachowski reported, have crossed the $1 billion-a-year mark at $1.2 billion for 2011, up almost one-third over the last three years with more growth expected this year. (Overall TV ad revenue is up 12% since 2009, and analysts project another 14% increase in 2012, he said.)

With Wi-Fi and the next generation of mobile broadband networks, Genachowski said, "the new expectation and the new norm is quickly becoming: the content you want, where you want it, and when you want it, accompanied by the full suite of interactive services."

He cited several success stories that have accelerated their digital efforts.

In early 2011, he said, NBC’s 10 O&O’s completely revamped their web presence – refocusing their sites on local news and video, and infusing social media throughout. Altogether, the sites are attracting more than 16 million unique visitors a month – up 33% from the previous year.

When tornadoes came through Cincinnati a few weeks ago, shutting down electricity including TVs, Genachowski said, Scripps-owned WCPO was able to reach viewers through its mobile products, which they used to repurpose weather and other reports from their TV station and news team.

Genachowski addressed several other hot-button issues for broadcasters, including:

>> Retransmission fees: He reiterated the commission's resistance to calls for government intervention to prevent standoffs between broadcasters and cable and satellite providers, Genachowski said the panel would encourage private, market-driven agreements but continue to monitor the marketplace and see that consumers were not caught in the middle.

>> Government spectrum auctions: While his agency was busy implementing the incentive auctions authorized by Congress, "there’s no silver bullet," Genachowski said. "We need new technologies – both hardware and software." He said there would be a robust public process leading up to the auction, which would include webinars, workshops, public notices, and rulemaking proceedings.

>> The economic recovery: Broadcasters are benefiting not only from general economic recovery, he said, but from specific initiatives like the rescue of the auto industry. Across the broadcast industry, auto ad revenue has seen strong growth, now more than 20 percent of spot revenue. "Imagine the effect on broadcasters if the administration hadn’t prevented the collapse of the American auto industry," he said.

>> Public record online: Genachowski strongly backed his commission's recommendation that TV stations be required to to post online the rates they charge politicians for commercials, calling it "common sense."

'Downton Abbey' producers deny Dame Maggie Smith departure

'Downton Abbey' producers deny Dame Maggie Smith departure

It was earlier reported that the veteran actress has asked showrunner Julian Fellowes to write her fan favourite character out of the third series to free up time for her movie and stage pursuits.

The LA Times now reports that a representative from Carnival Films, which produces the Julian Fellowes-created programme, is now denying the actress's departure.

The spokesperson says: "Series three is currently filming with Maggie along with the other cast. We do not comment on future storylines. However, there is no truth in the story that Maggie is leaving the show."

It was earlier revealed by producer Kate Beaton that the third series of Downton Abbey will have a major character death, which some speculated to be Smith's character.

The third series will see Shirley MacLaine joining the cast. The actress has signed on to play the mother of Lady Grantham.

Downton Abbey will return to screens later this year on ITV1 in the UK and on PBS in the US.

'The Only Way Is Essex' return caps big night for ITV2

'The Only Way Is Essex' return caps big night for ITV2

The Only Way Is Essex showed no signs of fatigue as it returned for a fifth series on ITV2 last night, picking up 1.3m viewers.

After only a short hiatus from the schedules, the reality show was the most-watched multichannel programme in primetime with 1.16m (6%) at 10pm and 172k (0.7%) on ITV2 +1.

Before TOWIE, a repeat of a 2009 Benidorm special amused 867k (3.4%), adding 222k (1.2%) on timeshift.

BBC Three's second screening of The Voice UK was caught by 793k (3.2%), claiming another victory over Britain's Got Talent, which was repeated on ITV2 to an audience of 755k (3.3%) an hour earlier at 7pm (+1: 267k/1.1%).

However, interestingly Britain's Got More Talent pipped The Voice at 8pm with 797k (3.2%) for ITV2 (+1: 298k/1.1%).

Don't Tell The Bride USA attracted 621k (2.5%) to BBC Three at 9pm, after which 776k (5.4%) watched Family Guy at 10.30pm.

But overall, ITV2 beat BBC Three with 3.8% (+1: 1.2%) against 2.6%. ITV3 was third with 2.1% for its usual batch of drama repeats.

Elsewhere, US drama Hawaii Five-0 maintained a solid 557k (2.2%) on Sky1 at 9pm, and Desperate Housewives took 535k (2.9%) for E4 at 10pm.

A Sky Sports Super Sunday football match between Manchester United and Aston Villa was the day's most-watched multichannel broadcast, averaging a hefty 1.45m (9.7%) between 3pm and 6.30pm.

Kanye West Is Still a Jackass, President Obama Says

Kanye West Is Still a Jackass, President Obama Says

President Barack Obama has softened and shifted his stance on a number of issues. But on one topic, he stands firm: Kanye West is still a jackass.

Obama, who famously called "808s & Heartbreak" rapper West "a jackass" after West hijacked Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the Video Music Awards, re-affirmed that opinion during an Interview with the Atlantic.

Asked by the interviewer -- who will surely receive a Pulitzer for this -- whether he prefers West or his fellow rapper/recent collaborator Jay-Z, Obama answered, "Jay-Z ... [a]lthough I do like Kanye. He's a Chicago guy, Smart. He's very talented."

Remembering Obama's post-VMAs comment -- which was captured on a live mic prior to an interview -- the reporter queried further, "Even though you called him a jackass?"

"He is a jackass," the leader of the free world replied. "But he's talented."

One Direction Lawsuit: U.S. Band Wants Its Name Back - and $1M+

One Direction Lawsuit: U.S. Band Wants Its Name Back - and $1M+

One Direction, two bands, and a whole lot of confusion.

The music industry was rocked this week by a lawsuit from a band claiming that it was working under the name One Direction well before the U.K. boy band (photo, left) of the same moniker came on the scene.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in California on Monday by a "California-based, pop-rock band" that claims it has been using the name One Direction since fall 2009 -- a year before the U.K. group began to use the name, and more than two years before the U.K. group "made its first entry into the United States market" with the One Direction title.

The complaint names the individual members of the U.K. group, as well as Simon Cowell's Syco Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment and Sony Music Holdings.

The U.K. group, which was spawned from the British version of "The X Factor," has seen considerable success in the U.S. with its debut album "Up All Night," entering the Billboard 200 album chart in the Number 1 position in March -- a first for a U.K. act.

Nonetheless, according to the lawsuit, the California group filed an application to register the trademark One Direction with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Feb. 2011 -- the same month that its debut album, "The Light," was released -- and has sold its music through iTunes and other media, and posted "several music videos" since first adopting the name.

A spokesman for the U.K band told TheWrap that his group had tried to reach an agreement with the other One Direction, to no avail.

“One Direction’s management tried to resolve the situation amicably when the matter first came to light, but the Californian group has now filed a law suit claiming they own the name," the spokesman said. "One Direction’s lawyers now have no choice but to defend the lawsuit and the band’s right to use their name.”

The suit claims that the U.K. One Direction -- which plans to tour in the United States in May -- is "likely to cause confusion, mistake and/or deception among consumers" by using the name. The complaint further alleges that the California group "has been damaged and deprived of the value of its mark as a commercial asset, in amounts to be established according to proof."

The California band is asking the court to issue a permanent injunction restraining the group from using the One Direction name on product, promotional material and advertising. The suit is also asking for an order that all such material from the UK group bearing the One Direction name be destroyed.

The suit also seeks damages in excess of $1 million, plus interest and attorneys' fees.

This isn't the first time that such a dispute has arisen. Often, a minor variation of a name is used when a group chooses a moniker already in use, such as was the case with Wham! UK and the English Beat.

TV Tonight 18th of April 2012

TV Tonight 18th of April 2012

The daily list in alphabetical order, of all the new episodes airing.

    60 Minute Makeover S09E16: "Series 9, Episode 16"
    America Revealed S01E02: "Nation on the Move"
    America's Next Top Model S18E07: "Estelle"
    American Digger S01E06: "TBA"
    American Idol S11E29: "Top 7 Finalists Compete"
    American Restoration S02E15: "King of Signs"
    American Restoration S02E16: "Hot & Salty"
    American Weed S01E09: "Mile High Showdown: 4/20 or Bust"
    Arga snickaren S07E03: "Linda och Magnus"
    Auction Hunters S03E05: "High Flying Ton"
    Australia's Got Talent S06E03: "Auditions 3"
    Baggage Battles S01E03: "Indianapolis"
    Behind The Music S13E06: "Nas"
    Best Friends Forever S01E03: "Put A Pin In It"
    Betty White's Off Their Rockers S01E04: "Season 1, Episode 4"
    Big Brother Sverige S08E52: "Del 52"
    Bitchin’ Kitchen S02E17: "Bitchin' Party Guide"
    Car Warriors S02E09: "GM Truck"
    Chelsea Lately S06E66
    Come Dine With Me S18E81: "Series 18, Episode 68"
    Conan S02E81: "Paul F. Tompkins, Girls"
    Couples Therapy S01E05: "TBA"
    Cowboy Traders S01E03: "Episode 3"
    Dance Academy S02E23: "Love It Or Fight It"
    Days of our Lives S47E113: "Ep. #11823"
    Deal Or No Deal (UK) S07E214: "Episode 1894"
    Dickinson's Real Deal S08E91: "Series 8, Episode 91"
    Divine Women S01E02: "The Lost Era of the Priestess"
    Doctors S14E11: "A Good Boy"
    Dog the Bounty Hunter S08E20: "A Higher Power"
    Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 S01E02: "Daddy's Girl…"
    Duck Dynasty S01E09: "Sauvignon Beard"
    Éden Hotel S02E27: "Season 2, Episode 27"
    Emmerdale S41E92: "April 18, 2012"
    FBI: Criminal Pursuit S03E07: "Do You Want to Die?"
    Four In A Bed S03E28: "Orme Court Hotel"
    Four Rooms S02E05: "Series 2, Episode 5"
    General Hospital (US) S50E13: "#12541"
    Ghost Hunters S08E08: "TBA"
    Goede Tijden, Slechte Tijden S22E163: "Season 22, Episode 163"
    Great British Menu S07E08: "The Olympic Feast - 8"
    Happily Divorced S02E06: "Newman vs. Newman"
    Heir Hunters (UK) S06E03: "Series 6, Episode 3"
    Hollyoaks S18E78: "April 18, 2012"
    Home and Away (AU) S25E63: "Episode 5498"
    Homes Under the Hammer S15E04: "Series 15, Show 4"
    Hot In Cleveland S03E18: "Cruel Shoes"
    Hotel cæsar S28E184: "Season 28, Episode 184"
    House Hunters S48E77
    House Hunters International S25E80
    I Almost Got Away with It S05E02: "Got to Murder My Own Family"
    Interior Therapy with Jeff Lewis S01E06: "All That Glitters"
    Jeopardy! S28E153: "Show #6358"
    Jimmy Kimmel Live S09E240
    Krew z krwi S01E02: "Season 1, Episode 2"
    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit S13E18: "Valentine’s Day"
    Live with Regis and Kelly S29E166
    Million Dollar Listing: NY S01E07
    Modern Family S03E20: "The Last Walt"
    Monster Man S01E06: "Devoman Vs. Clevezilla"
    Nature S30E11: "River of No Return"
    NAV S01E06: "Season 1, Episode 6"
    Neighbours S28E73: "Episode 6383"
    NOVA S39E18: "Why Ships Sink"
    Offspring S03E01: "Episode 301"
    On The Spot: Törzsek S01E03: "Bizsagó"
    Our Food S01E03: "Kent"
    Peter Andre: My Life S02E02: "Series 2, Episode 2"
    Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is S06E18: "Series 6, Episode 18"
    Randy Jackson Presents: America's Best Dance Crew S07E02
    Recorder to Randoseru S02E03: "Atsushi and Dreams"
    Restaurant Stakeout S01E06: "From the Top Down"
    Revenge S01E17: "Doubt"
    Rock Center with Brian Williams S01E24: "Season 1, Episode 24"
    Sold! S01E04: "Dukes of Auction"
    Sold! S01E03: "Duck and Hover"
    Sons of Guns S03E08: "Zombie Gun!"
    South Park S16E06: "I Should Have Never Gone Ziplining"
    Suburgatory S01E19: "Entering Eden"
    Survivor S24E10: "Season 24, Episode 10"
    The Almighty Johnsons S02E08: "TBA"
    The Amazing Race Norway S01E03: "Season 1, Episode 3"
    The Apprentice (UK) S08E05: "Keep Fit"
    The Apprentice: You're Fired! S07E05: "Series 7, Episode 5"
    The Biggest Loser (AU) S07E59: "Season 7, Episode 59"
    The Block S05E03: "Elimination Night 3"
    The Bold and the Beautiful S26E19: "Ep. #6303"
    The Celebrity Apprentice (AU) S03E01
    The Colbert Report S08E54: "Arianna Huffington"
    The Daily Show S17E90: "Robert Reich"
    The Ellen DeGeneres Show S09E141
    The Jeremy Kyle Show S07E151
    The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson S08E64
    The Only Way Is Essex S05E02: "Series 5, Episode 2"
    The Penguins of Madagascar S02E71: "The Otter Woman"
    The Project S04E92: "Season 4, Episode 92"
    The Real Housewives of Vancouver S01E04: "Pass the Peace Pipe"
    The Soup S09E16: "April 18"
    The Talk S02E148: "Season 2, Episode 148"
    The Tonight Show with Jay Leno S19E282
    The View S15E141: "Jaleel White"
    The Young and the Restless S40E18: "Ep. #9887"
    Thuis S17E168: "Season 17, Episode 168"
    Toddlers and Tiaras S05E07: "Beautiful Me Disco Pageant"
    Top Guns S01E10: "SWAT Team Tech"
    UEFA Champions League S09E28: "Chelsea v Barcelona"
    UEFA Champions League S09E29: "Extra Time - Semi Finals"
    Ugly Americans S02E16: "The Dork Knight"
    Voltron Force S01E25: "Deceive and Conquer"
    Watch What Happens: Live S06E67: "Rachel Maddow and Jenni Pulos"
    Waterloo Road S07E29: "Series 7, Episode 29"
    Интерны S06E15: "Ресторан"
    Светофор S04E03: "Сезон 4, Эпизод 3"

Axl Rose to Rock Hall of Fame: Don't Induct Me!

Axl Rose to Rock Hall of Fame: Don't Induct Me!

Don't expect to see Axl Rose at the 27th annual induction ceremony at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday. In fact, if the famously temperamental Guns N' Roses frontman has his way, he won't even be mentioned at the event.

Rose fired off a scathing letter to the hall -- which he posted on the group's Facebook page Wednesday -- announcing that 1) he won't be in attendance at the ceremony, 2) he doesn't want to be inducted during the ceremony, even in absentia, and 3) no, there will not be a reunion of the classic lineup of the group anytime soon.

Though Rose said in the letter that he initially had "mixed emotions" about the prospect of being inducted, the letter goes on to say that, after receiving fans' feedback, holding discussions with members of the Hall of Fame board, and reading press on the topic, he has no interest at all in taking part in any way.

"I won't be attending The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame 2012 Induction Ceremony and I respectfully decline my induction as a member of Guns N' Roses to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame," Rose wrote. "I strongly request that I not be inducted in absentia and please know that no one is authorized nor may anyone be permitted to accept any induction for me or speak on my behalf. Neither former members, label representatives nor the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame should imply whether directly, indirectly or by omission that I am included in any purported induction of "Guns N' Roses.'"

Rose did note, however, that he doesn't care if his former bandmates step up and accept their accolades.

"I would not begrudge anyone from Guns their accomplishments or recognition for such," Rose said. "Neither I or anyone in my camp has made any requests or demands of the Hall Of Fame. It's their show not mine."

But as far as Rose getting back together with the old gang -- for the induction ceremony or otherwise -- the singer is adamant.

"In regard to a reunion of any kind of either the 'Appetite' or 'Illusion' lineups, I've publicly made myself more than clear. Nothing's changed," Rose asserted. "There's a seemingly endless amount of revisionism and fantasies out there for the sake of self-promotion and business opportunities masking the actual realities. Until every single one of those generating from or originating with the earlier lineups has been brought out in the light, there isn't room to consider a conversation let alone a reunion."

Rose split from the classic Guns lineup in the late '90s after rising to prominence in the hard-rock world with tracks like "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Sweet Child o' Mine," as well as the albums "Appetite for Destruction" and the two-part "Use Your Illusion" collection.

He has since performed with a different iteration of the group, which currently includes Dizzy Reed, Tommy Stinson, Frank Ferrer, Richard Fortus, Chris Pitman, Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal and DJ Ashba.

Guns N' Roses is scheduled to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday along with Beastie Boys, Donovan, Laura Nyro, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Small Faces/The Faces.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has not yet responded to TheWrap's request for comment.

Whitney Houston Death Investigation: Case Closed, No Foul Play

Whitney Houston Death Investigation: Case Closed, No Foul Play

Whitney Houston's death is no longer a topic of interest for the Beverly Hills Police Department.

The BHPD has closed its investigation into Houston's Feb. 11 demise, determining that there was no foul play in the singer's death.

Houston, 48, was found face-down in the bathtub of her suite at the Beverly Hilton hotel by a member of her personal staff. The Los Angeles Coroner's Office later determined that Houston died of accidental drowning, and that heart disease and cocaine use also contributed to her death.

"Based on the findings of our investigation and our review of the Coroner’s Report we have determined that this is not a criminal matter," the department said in a statement obtained by TheWrap. "The BHPD investigation has been officially closed."

The department added, "Our condolences go out to her family, friends and fans who mourn her untimely passing."

According to Houston's final autopsy report, "a small spoon with a white crystal-like substance" was found in the bathroom of Houston's hotel suite. The spoon was found sitting next to a "rolled up piece of white paper" on the bathroom counter. A "ripped open small plastic bag" and a bottle of prescription pills were also found on the counter. (Though Houston had a number of substances, including marijuana, in her system at the time of her death, the Los Angeles coroner determined that only the cocaine had played a part.)

Authorities also found "remnants of a white powdery substance" in the top drawer beneath the counter, along with a mirror on a base, which also bore remnants of a white, powdery substance.

Houston had struggled with substance abuse throughout her life.

The Beverly Hills Police Department opened its investigation on the day of the singer's death, and waited to determine what path to take pending the coroner's findings, which were released in a final autopsy report, which was released April 4.

Music Industry Trade Groups Agree on New Royalty Rates for Digital

Music Industry Trade Groups Agree on New Royalty Rates for Digital

Several of the music industry’s largest trade groups on Wednesday reached an agreement on royalty rates for licensing music to online music services like iTunes Match.

Ever since the dawn of digital music, the industry has not only had to grapple with how to control the illegal spread of its content – curbing piracy -- but also how to properly charge for its distribution on legal services. It is of growing importance now that more than 50 percent of the music market's value comes from digital sales.

That is what this agreement tries to resolve. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) and Digital Media Association (DiMA) will submit a proposal to the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) suggesting the establishment of royalties for five different kinds of new digital music business models.

““From the advent of internet radio services, to online music stores, on-demand streaming and more recently, cloud-based music services, digital media providers thrive on creating new ways for fans to enjoy more music whenever and wherever they want,” Lee Knife, Executive Director of the Digital Media Association (DiMA) said in a statement. “Today’s agreement paves the way for our members to continue developing exciting new business models that satisfy consumers, create greater revenue opportunities for music creators and effectively fight piracy, the music industry’s greatest threat.”

One such business model is a paid locker service, like iTunes Match, but some of the other examples are models that the music industry sees as the future, such as subscription streaming services that “offer more than radio but less than full catalog,” according to Steve Marks, executive counsel for the RIAA.

The current royalty rates for CDs and downloads would stay the same.

“This is a historic agreement that reflects our mission to make it easier for digital music services to launch cutting-edge business models and streamline the licensing process,” Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO of the RIAA, said in a statement.