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woensdag 11 juli 2012

So Long, Snooki: Viacom Networks Go Dark for DirecTV Customers

Viacom networks including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon went dark for DirecTV subscribers at midnight ET as Viacom and DirecTV squabbled over fees.

The outage came as a deadline in the dispute passed without a resolution. Both sides said in statements that no deal had been reached.

Viacom said 20 million customers lost their networks. DirecTV said Viacom is seeking a 30 percent increase -- equaling more than a billion dollars -- in the fees it receives from DirecTV. Those costs would likely be passed on to customers.

Derek Chang, DirecTV executive vice president of content, strategy and development, said in the company's statement that Viacom was pushing for the fee increase "despite the fact that the ratings for many of their main networks have plummeted and much of Viacom’s programming can be seen for free online.”

He was referring especially to struggling kids' network Nickelodeon, which began registering significant ratings slides in the fall.

Viacom, meanwhile, complained in a blog post that DirecTV had "dropped the channels without giving Viacom advanced warning," and that the two sides had not been in direct contact since 11 a.m. Tuesday morning. Viacom said DirecTV dropped the channels just before the midnight deadline.

"We are deeply disappointed that DirecTV dropped Viacom’s channels before our midnight deadline this evening, severing our connection with its nearly 20 million subscribers nationwide," Viacom said. "We proposed a fair deal that amounted to an increase of only a couple pennies per day, per subscriber, and we remained willing to negotiate that deal right up to this evening’s deadline. However, DirecTV refused to engage in meaningful conversation. We are hopeful that DirecTV will work with us toward a resolution, and stop denying its subscribers access to the networks they watch most."

In the hours leading up to the blackout, DirecTV subscribers were subjected to on-screen messages from both DirecTV and Viacom, with each claiming the other was to blame.

"This is f---ing annoying," tweeted DirecTV subscriber Christopher J. Ortiz, who posted the image above. "#Viacom and #DirecTv, you guys are acting like 5th graders. Half my screen is filled."

Seventeen Viacom networks are affected: Palladia, Centric, Tr3s, CMT, Logo, NickToons, VH1 Classic, TeenNick, Nick Jr., Nick@Nite, Spike, BET, VH1, TV Land, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV.

Viacom said before the blackout that the two sides had been "negotiating for months" and that it had offered to extend its seven-year-old contract with DirecTV further past its June 30 expiration date. It also said the two sides had made recent progress in negotiations, but that "DirecTV has rejected all of our proposals to renew our agreement."

DirecTV, meanwhile, contended that Viacom "sent a letter to our executives forcing us to take the channels away in order to gain leverage against us in negotiations."

Big Brother sponsor Schwarzkopf 'could drop £2m deal'

Hair colour brand Schwarzkopf has refused to rule out dropping its £2 million deal with Channel 5's Big Brother over the show's unfurling race and abuse storm.

More than 1,200 complaints have poured into media regulator Ofcom over instances of alleged abuse and racism by participants on the show.

Ofcom is currently investigating several incidents, including housemates being called "retards" and a black contestant being branded a "gorilla".

A spokeswoman for Schwarzkopf refused to be drawn on whether the firm was reconsidering its £2m deal, which was agreed earlier in the year with the Richard Desmond-owned broadcaster, reports The Guardian.

"We are prevented by law from influencing editorial content or policy as this responsibility rests firmly with the makers of the show," she said.

"We will continue to closely monitor the situation, but it would not be appropriate to comment any further at this stage of Ofcom's investigation."

Around 1,108 complaints were submitted to Ofcom after housemate Conor McIntyre's abusive rant about Miss India UK Deana Uppal last month.

In the rant, the Northern Irishman said that Uppal (below left) was "a piece of s**t" and that he wanted to "punch" her.

He later apologised to Big Brother about his comments, and Channel 5 said that there would be no further action from their side.

However, the current series of Big Brother has also attracted complaints after contestant Caroline Wharram branded housemate Adam Kelly (above right) as a "ridiculous gorilla... with no sanitation".

More complaints were submitted after former housemate Victor Ebuwa said in spinoff show Bit on the Side that the current crop of contestants were "functioning retards".

Schwarzkopf's sponsorship deal, agreed by parent company Henkel, makes it the official sponsor of Big Brother, along with the celebrity edition coming later in the summer and spinoff show Big Brother's Bit On the Side.

The deal is also understood to include product placement for brands such as Right Guard deodorant and Theramed toothpaste.

A source in a media buying agency told The Guardian that it is unlikely that TV advertisers will back off from the popular show until there is a firm ruling from Ofcom.

"It is a case of innocent until proven guilty," he said. "There are no rumours of anyone set to pull a campaign.

"However even though there were only a few complaints about racism if that turned out to be upheld by Ofcom then I would expect there to be a definite advertiser reaction."

In a statement last month, Channel 5 said: "Channel 5 is committed to complying with Ofcom's broadcasting code and will help to facilitate a speedy investigation into this particular episode of Big Brother and Big Brother's Bit on the Side."

NBC, Facebook Teaming Up for Olympics

Facebook and NBC will work together during the Olympics Games in London, with NBC pointing viewers toward Facebook and Facebook directing viewers toward NBC, the New York Times reported.

The partnership, to be announced Wednesday, will give viewers a second screen to comment on the games as they unfold. Features will include a “Facebook Talk Meter” shown on NBC to reflect what users are discussing.

“We know that a social conversation will surround the Olympics,” Gary Zenkel, the president of NBC Olympics, told the Times.

The newspaper noted the dramatic expansion of social media since the last Summer Olympic Games, when Facebook had 100 million users. It now has an estimated 900 million.

The plan continues Facebook's collaborations with NBC. They previously joined together for a Republican presidential debate.

Ray Charles grandson auditions for 'X Factor' USA

One of Ray Charles's grandsons has auditioned for The X Factor USA.

The currently-unidentified hopeful appeared in front of judges Simon Cowell, LA Reid, Britney Spears and Demi Lovato at the Greensboro Coliseum in North Carolina.

"This guy came on and told the judges a story about how his grandmother was in the movies and after they'd been talking for a few minutes, they finally realised that Ray Charles was his grandfather," an insider told The Hollywood Reporter. "The judges were massively surprised."

Charles had 12 children, and was grandfather to at least 21 grandchildren at the time of his death in 2004.

Kiss musician Gene Simmons was given a surprise when his daughter Sophie Simmons auditioned for The X Factor in San Francisco on Father's Day, while Jim Carrey's daughter Jane tried out for the most recent season of American Idol.

The X Factor USA's second season will debut this September on Fox.

Dianna Agron, Grant Gustin to be 'Glee Project' mentors

Dianna Agron and Grant Gustin have signed up to appear as guest mentors in The Glee Project.

Agron - who stars as series regular Quinn Fabray in the Fox comedy - will appear in the August 7 episode on Oxygen, states The Hollywood Reporter.

Recurring star Grant Gustin (Sebastian) will also make his debut on the reality series on July 17.

The Glee Project will see its champion win a seven-episode arc on Glee during its fourth season.

Lea Michele, Cory Monteith, Naya Rivera and Kevin McHale have all appeared as guest mentors in the past, while Jane Lynch will star in tonight's episode.

Amber Riley and Darren Criss will appear in upcoming episodes, while Chris Colfer will join as a mentor for the second season's finale on August 17.

The fourth season of Glee will premiere on September 13 on Fox.

'The Only Way Is Essex' Cara Kilbey: 'Mark Wright is up his own arse'

Cara Kilbey has suggested that former The Only Way Is Essex star Mark Wright is "up his own arse".

Wright quit the scripted reality programme earlier this year and recently fronted his own Mark Wright's Hollywood Nights show.

Asked how she got on with him, TOWIE's Billi Mucklow told Heat: "I've known Mark since I was little and I don't like him at all. I just don't.

"I lived down the same street as him. I think he's changed a lot."

Kilbey added: "He's up his own arse, isn't he?"

Of whether she watches his now show, Mucklow added: "Yeah, a bit. I thought it was okay. I don't really get what it's about.

"I can't stand all that, 'I'm here for you son. I will be here for you'. He's in LA, having the time of his life! I could just punch him."

CBS Orders Pilot From 'How I Met Your Mother' Producer

CBS is getting an early jump on the 2013-14 pilot season.

With the fall 2012 season still months away, the network has already placed a pilot order for a single-camera comedy from "How I Met Your Mother" producer Rob Greenberg, marking the first pilot order from CBS for the 2013-14 season.

The pilot, "Ex-Men," revolves around a young man who moves into a short-term rental complex and befriends the older, more experienced males residing there.

Greenberg is writing and directing the pilot, and also executive-producing, along with "Two and a Half Men" executive producers Eric and Kim Tannenbaum.

'EastEnders' June Brown has emotional on-screen John Bardon reunion

EastEnders legend June Brown weeps as she reunites with John Bardon for a TV show screened later this week.

The 85-year-old actress's ill-stricken former co-star, who played her character Dot's on-screen husband Jim Branning, suffered a stroke in 2007 which has left him unable to walk or speak fluently.

When Brown asks her former colleague how his condition makes him feel, 73-year-old Bardon can only respond by whispering: "Oh dear."

Bardon's wife Edna says of Bardon's current state: "He's going the wrong way now. His main pleasure in life is when his grandson Harry visits."

Brown said of her rapport with the actor: "We got on very well. We got to ­understand each other. We could give each other notes without offence.

"We had a very good rapport and good timing. We laughed a lot, which is nice. It's the best way."

Brown, currently on a six-month hiatus from EastEnders, last week revealed that she visits Bardon "regularly".

Brown's documentary Respect My Elders airs this Thursday (July 12) on BBC One at 10.35pm.

TV Tonight 11th of July 2012

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

    24 Hours in A&E S02E09: "Series 2, Episode 9"
    America's Got Talent S07E17: "4 acts advance to the top 24"
    American Guns S02E09: "Lapua Sniper Rifle/Machine Gun Cache"
    Around the World In 80 Plates S01E09: "Cry for Me Argentina"
    Australia's Got Talent S06E19: "Finals - 2"
    Avondetappe, De S08E12: "Season 8, Episode 12"
    Baby Daddy S01E03: "The Nurse and the Curse"
    Baggage Battles S01E10: "NY Port Authority"
    Barter Kings S01E08: "Happy Camper"
    Barter Kings S01E07: "Dune Buddies"
    Bedlam S02E06: "Reunion"
    Best Sandwich in America S01E06: "North West"
    Bethenny S01E23: "Dating Bootcamp Returns!"
    Beverly Hills Nannies S01E01: "It's the Nanny Life for Me"
    Big Brother (UK) S14E39: "BB 13, Episode 39"
    Big Brother's Bit on the Side S04E37: "Series 4, Show 37"
    Blockbusters (2012) S01E23: "Series 1, Show 22"
    Cajun Pawn Stars S02E11: "Gone Fishin'"
    Cajun Pawn Stars S02E10: "Double-Edged Pawn"
    Chelsea Lately S06E109
    Cherry Healey: How to Get a Life S01E04: "How Prejudiced Are We?"
    Come Dine With Me S19E22: "Series 19, Episode 18"
    Coming Home (US) S02E11: "In Honor of Dad"
    Coronation Street S53E134: "Wed July 11, 2012"
    Dallas (2012) S01E06: "The Enemy of My Enemy"
    Damages S05E01: "You Want to End This Once and For All?"
    Daybreak S02E217: "July 11, 2012"
    Days of our Lives S47E172: "Ep. #11882"
    Deal Or No Deal (UK) S07E286: "Episode 1966"
    Diamond Divers S01E03: "Mutiny"
    Doctors S14E54: "Sweet Surrender"
    Dogs in the City S01E06: "You Can Teach Old Dogs New Tricks"
    Emmerdale S41E160: "July 11, 2012"
    Fast 'n' Loud S01E05: "Low Riding Lincoln"
    Fast Food Mania S01E06: "Fast Food Originals"
    Figure It Out S04E22: "Featuring Lulu Antariksa"
    Final Witness S01E03: "Fatal Devotion"
    Four In A Bed S03E48: "Series 3, Episode 48"
    Futurama S07E05: "Zapp Dingbat"
    General Hospital (US) S50E71: "#12599"
    Haunted Collector S02E05: "Haunted Rectory/grand Midway Ghosts"
    Hollyoaks S18E138: "July 11, 2012"
    Hollywood Exes S01E04: "Season 1, Episode 4"
    Hollywood Heights S01E18: "The Announcement"
    Home and Away (AU) S25E123: "Episode 5558"
    House Hunters S50E13: "Looking for a Pre-Sixties Home in Texas"
    House Hunters International S34E08: "Making Headlines in Madrid"
    Iron Man: Armored Adventures S02E24: "Dragon Seed"
    Jeopardy! S28E213: "Show #6418"
    Jimmy Kimmel Live S09E277: "Wanda Sykes, Joel Kinnaman, Serj Tankian"
    Late Night with Jimmy Fallon S02E301
    Late Show with David Letterman S19E99
    Live with Kelly S29E226
    Masterchef Australia S04E58
    Melissa & Joey S02E08: "The Donor"
    Million Dollar Listing S05E05
    Myf Warhurst's Nice S01E05: "Nice and Trendy"
    Necessary Roughness S02E05: "Mr Irrelevant"
    Neighbours S28E133: "Episode 6443"
    Offspring S03E13: "Season 3, Episode 13"
    Operation Repo S10E07: "TBA"
    Property Brothers: Supersized S04E07
    Restaurant: Impossible S04E01: "Longbranch Steak and Seafood"
    Royal Pains S04E05: "You Give Love A Bad Name"
    RPA S18E05: "Season 18, Episode 5"
    School Spirits S01E03: "Collision Curse/Deadly Dorm Games"
    Secret Dealers S03E03: "Series 3, Episode 3"
    Shaun the Sheep Championsheeps S01E15: "BMX"
    Shaun the Sheep Championsheeps S01E16: "Rings"
    So You Think You Can Dance S09E07: "Top 20 Perform, Part 1"
    The Bold and the Beautiful S26E78: "Ep. #6362"
    The Chase (2009) S05E92: "Series 5, Episode 92"
    The Culture Show S17E04: "Series 17, Episode 4"
    The Exes S02E04: "Baby Mama"
    The Franchise S02E01: "Miami Marlins (1)"
    The Jeremy Kyle Show S07E206: "July 11, 2012"
    The Listener S03E06: "She Sells Sanctuary"
    The Next Big Thing: NY S01E06: "Nobody Puts Baby T in a Corner"
    The Next Big Thing: NY S01E05: "It's a Hard Knock Life for Trapper"
    The Project S04E164: "Season 4, Episode 164"
    The Real World S27E03: "Roommates Become Bedmates"
    The Soul Man S01E04: "I Wanna Spend Time Witchoo"
    The Soup S09E28: "July 11"
    The Tonight Show with Jay Leno S20E116
    The View S15E200: "Queen Latifah, Jose Baez"
    The Young and the Restless S40E77: "Ep. #9946"
    Through the Wormhole S03E06: "Can We Resurrect The Dead?"
    Tipping Point S01E08: "Episode 8"
    Toddlers and Tiaras S05E14: "California Tropic Arizona"
    Tricky Business (AU) S01E10: "Episode 10"
    UFC on Fuel TV S01E04: "UFC on Fuel TV 4: Muñoz vs. Weidman"
    Volcano Live S01E03: "The Movement of the Earth"
    Watch What Happens: Live S07E14: "Curtis Stone and Cat Cora"
    Who The (Bleep) Did I Marry? S03E02: "Deadly Match"
    Who The (Bleep) Did I Marry? S03E01: "Scarred by Love"
    Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (UK) S30E06: "The People Play - 3"

Jaime Winstone, Lennie James join Channel 4 drama 'Run'

Jaime Winstone and Lennie James have joined the cast of upcoming Channel 4 drama Run.

The pair join the previously announced cast members Olivia Colman and Harry Potter star Katie Leung.

The gritty four-part series follows the stories of four unconnected people whose lives intertwine in a story of modern-day survival.

Winstone will play nightclub stripper Tara, whose boyfriend is murdered. She discovers the news from his secret partner.

Lennie James will star as a recovering heroin addict, who his trying to rebuild his life in order to reconnect with his daughter.

Commissioning editor Sophie Gardiner said of the series: "Channel 4 has a proud history of developing new drama talent both on and off screen and we are delighted to be continuing in that tradition with Run, a beautifully authored and original series about a strand of British life rarely seen on our screens."

Each episode will focus on a different character, and will be directed by BAFTA-nominated Skins and Being Human helmer Chris Martin.

Daniel Tosh: Sorry for the Rape Joke

Daniel Tosh has wiped the smirk off of his face just long enough to apologize for telling a joke about rape during a comedy show.

The host of Comedy Central's "Tosh.0" has taken to his Twitter account to issue a mea culpa for his ill-conceived wisecrack at Hollywood's Laugh Factory.

Tosh's apology comes after an account of the set, purportedly written by the friend of an audience member, began making its rounds on the blogosphere.

According to the account, Tosh made "some very generalizing, declarative statements about rape jokes always being funny, how can a rape joke not be funny, rape is hilarious, etc."

The blog post claims that the offended attendee yelled out, "Actually, rape jokes are never funny!"

After which Tosh asked the crowd, "Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her? … ”

The audience member claims to have been "completely stunned" by Tosh's words and "high-tailed it out of there."

Tosh seemed to validate the story on his Twitter account Tuesday, linking to one of the published reports and writing, "all the out of context misquotes aside, i'd like to sincerely apologize."

The comedian, whose series is punctuated by borderline-inappropriate humor, further attempted to justify his comments by noting, "the point i was making before i was heckled is there are awful things in the world but you can still make jokes about them."

Tosh then deflected to the conversation to his own series, noting, "on a lighter note tonight's new episode of tosh.0 will be featuring clowns."

Clowns with better senses of humor than he has, hopefully.

Stephen Gaghan Signs Pod Deal With Fox 21

Stephen Gaghan has inked a pod deal with Fox 21, the production company behind the Showtime hit "Homeland."

As part of the two-year deal, "Syriana" director Gaghan will develop cable shows, as well as supervise other writers.

Gaghan's small-screen credits include the NBC pilot "S.I.L.A.," which starred Jimmy Smits.

Brett Ratner in Talks to Executive-Produce First Cable Series (Exclusive)

The "X3: The Last Stand" and "Tower Heist" director is negotiating to executive-produce the dramedy "Rock in a Hard Place," which would mark his first series for cable.

The series, created by Huffington Post contributor David Fagin, centers on aging Jewish punk legend Lance "Lint" Jones, a former frontman for a band called The Prix who moves in with his mother after a stint in rehab.

"Wings" alum Steven Weber is attached to play Jones, with Rosanna Arquette, who will also co-executive produce, on board to play his ill-tempered ex, Janice, a former soft-core porn actress.

The cast will also include Lesley Ann Warren as Dr. Debbie, a former groupie who finds a second life as a sort of female Dr. Phil.

Griffin Dunne, who co-starred with Arquette in the 1985 comedy "After Hours," will direct the pilot.

In addition to creating the series, Fagin -- who caught Ratner and Arquette's attention by emailing them a home-made sizzle reel -- will collaborate on creating the Prix's catalog with '80s hitmaker Richard Marx.

The project, which could be heading to Showtime, will be produced by Ratner's Rat TV.

Nickelodeon Honors Ernest Borgnine with a "SpongeBob SquarePants" Two-Hour Marathon

Borgnine's Mermaid Man will be showcased from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on Wednesday, July 11.

Nickelodeon honors the late Ernest Borgnine with a two-hour SpongeBob SquarePants marathon featuring the actor as Mermaid Man, from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on Wednesday, July 11. Borgnine voiced the character alongside his former "McHale's Navy" co-star Tim Conway, who voiced Barnacle Boy. Nicktoons also will run the special line-up from 10:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. ET on Saturday, July 14.

The marathon kicks off with the first episode featuring Borgnine--"Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy." While watching their favorite show, reruns of the TV duo superhero show Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy, SpongeBob and Patrick hear that their beloved heroes are living in a nearby retirement home. The aging superheroes discover their toughest challenge yet will be SpongeBob and Patrick, who have decided the duo must come out of retirement.

The special programming block continues with "Mermaid Man II," "MermaidMan and Barnacle Boy III," "Superfriends," "Back to the Past," "The Bad Guy Club for Villains" and "Mermaidman Begins."

Since its launch in July 1999, SpongeBob SquarePants has emerged as a pop culture phenomenon. The series has been the number-one animated program with kids 2-11 for more than 12 consecutive years on Nickelodeon; and over the past several years, it has averaged more than 100 million total viewers every quarter across all Nickelodeon networks.

Michelle Keegan's agent denies Corrie hiatus, 'Strictly' rumour

Michelle Keegan's agent has refuted claims that the star is taking a break from Coronation Street.

Rumours circulated on Monday (July 9) that the Tina McIntyre actress has been asked to partake in the 2012 series of Strictly Come Dancing in the autumn.

However, her agent Vital Management PR wrote on Twitter: "The story about Michelle Keegan doing Strictly is untrue. Its just an inaccurate rumour doing the rounds! sorry!"

Vital Management made the statement after the Coronation Street Blog requested clarification of the speculation.

The Daily Star reported earlier this week that Keegan was being touted as the BBC ballroom show's biggest celebrity signing of the year.

A Coronation Street spokesperson at the time commented coyly: "Offers to our actors are considered on merit."

Keegan's friend and co-star Antony Cotton was given special permission to join I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here last November while remaining on the ITV soap.

NBC Chooses Showtime Vet as Drama Development EVP

Pearlena  Igbokwe has been tapped as the new executive vice president of drama development at NBC Entertainment, the company announced Tuesday.

Igbokwe, who comes to NBC from Showtime, replaces Laura Lancaster, who will move into  a consulting role to ease the transition.

At Showtime, Igbokwe was involved in hit series such as "Dexter" and "Nurse Jackie." She also developed the pilot for the upcoming Showtime series "Masters of Sex," which will star Michael Sheen.

In her new position, Igbokwe, who worked closely with Greenblatt at Showtime for seven years, will oversee all drama development for NBC.

Igbokwe is the latest in a long line of personnel to follow NBC Entertainment chair Robert Greenblatt over from Showtime since Greenblatt assumed his new position at NBC in January 2011. The list includes Len Fogge, who now serves as president of marketing for NBC Entertainment, current NBC Entertainment EVP of communications Richard Licata, and Robert Hayes, who now serves as NBC's executive vice president of digital media.

"Pearlena is hands-down one of the best creative executives I've ever worked with and I'm thrilled she is coming to NBC,” Greenblatt said. "She will be instrumental in reinvigorating our drama slate and making the network a haven for the top creative people in our business."

NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke added, “Pearlena has forged an impressive track record over her successful career that has earned her the admiration of the creative community. She will bring a unique perspective to development that will help us reach our goal of once again making NBC the home of some of the best and most respected dramas on television.”

Igbokwe began at Showtime as the cable network's manager of direct response, television marketing.