Jeff Lewis isn't one to hold his tongue, especially when it comes to talking about fellow Bravolebrities from the “Real Housewives” franchise.
The “Flipping Out” star appeared on Thursday's episode of “The Wendy Williams Show” and swiftly weighed in on the casting of “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star NeNe Leakes on the upcoming season of ABC's “Dancing With the Stars.”
“I'm actually very happy that she has this gig, because I feel like this last season we're watching right now, I feel like she has kind of regressed, taken a step backwards. I feel like she's getting a little dirty,” Lewis, who was promoting the seventh season return of “Flipping Out” to Bravo earlier this week, told Williams.
Leakes, whose NBC comedy “Next to Normal” was canceled after one season, had recently been in the middle of a massive brawl on the Bravo show, which led to some serious injuries to Kenya Moore's friend.
“I felt dirty,” Lewis continued. “I felt like this has gone too far. I don't mind flipping tables, I don't mind screaming at each other, but when they start breaking ribs, that's where I'm like, ooh, this is a line.”
Williams agreed, saying she had “backed out” of the show after that incident.
Watch the video above.
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Robert Schenkkan's new play, “All the Way,” offers much more in the way of soap opera than even “August: Osage County,” which clocked in only a few minutes longer on Broadway.
There's a homosexual scandal (Walter Jenkins), a philandering civil-rights leader (Martin Luther King Jr.), infighting among the minorities (NAACP and SNCC), a racist upstart challenger (George Wallace), the beginnings of a secret war (Vietnam) and, in place of that drugged-out matriarch Violet Weston, there's a deeply flawed, vulgar, funny and great president (Lyndon Baines Johnson). There's also Bryan Cranston, who's on stage for many of the 170 minutes of “All the Way,” which opened Thursday at the Neil Simon Theatre after a run in Cambridge, Mass., last fall.
Cranston doesn't look or act much like the real LBJ (at least the one most of us saw on TV), and that's one of the more intriguing aspects of Bill Rauch's direction. Except for a dead-on Lady Bird Johnson (Betsy Aidem) and George Wallace (Rob Campbell), the cast avoids the Madame Tussauds approach to acting that has taken over biopics (and rarely fails to win actors their Oscars).
Rauch keeps the focus on telling a complicated story as nimbly as possible, dispensing with the extreme makeup and mannerisms that would only get in the way as Brandon J. Dirden's MLK, Christopher Gurr's Strom Thurmond, Richard Poe's Everett Dirksen, William Jackson Harper's Stokely Carmichael, Robert Petkoff's Hubert Humphrey, Michael McKean's J. Edgar Hoover and Cranston's LBJ do battle with each other in 1964.
In fact, the laconic McKean bears a closer resemblance to the late president than the wily, high-strung Cranston. And that's what Cranston delivers big time: a wily, high-strung and very comic LBJ, as if Rip Torn had returned to deliver his measly thug from “Sweet Bird of Youth” with a bit of Walter Brennan thrown in to sweeten the humor.
Since much of what Cranston says is delivered directly to the audience, it sometimes appears as if he's auditioning to be a stand-up comic. And because he often scores, the play's huge helping of politics goes down as easily as gravy over pork chops.
Cranston doesn't miss a laugh and he milks more than a few. His LBJ describes politics as war when he tries to deliver civil-rights legislation on the eve of his election (and loses the South to the Republicans in the process). Strangely enough, in the first act of “All the Way,” it is McKean's Hoover who plays hardball with minimal effort when he prevents his premature retirement by hinting at the president's sexual and business indiscretions.
There's nothing minimal about LBJ's efforts, or Cranston's, in the second act when he tries to prevent the South's delegates from walking out en masse at the Democratic Convention. Surprisingly, the first real presidential bite that draws blood is when LBJ attacks Lady Bird. Then Humphrey, Hoover and Jenkins (a nicely understated Christopher Liam Moore), his loyal assistant who gets caught making it in a locker room with some ex-army man.
In essence, “All the Way” is the CliffsNotes version of Robert A. Caro. It's just one play, after all, not multiple books. Schenkkan keeps his story moving, rarely lets it get bogged down in exposition and juggles multiple stories with a craftsman's finesse. He stoops a bit at the end when he tries to build suspense about the outcome of the Johnson/Goldwater race, hammering us with poll numbers from the South — as if the 1964 election were ever in doubt.
Schenkkan obviously admires LBJ's accomplishment with civil rights. Perhaps he admires him too much.
His LBJ tells us that Goldwater will get down in the gutter with his campaign. In fact, it was the real LBJ who built the trench that led to that new, deeper gutter. If Schenkkan wanted to show us what politics as war really looks like, he would have included LBJ's notorious daisy/mushroom cloud ad against Goldwater in “All the Way.”
That piece of TV character assassination paved the way for all the Willie Horton and Swift Boat atrocities that have poisoned American politics ever since. It was the work not of a warrior but a real killer.
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Slate's Adele Dazeem name generator, which Slate posted on Monday following John Travolta's highly-publicized Oscar faux pas in which the actor hilariously mispronounced Idina Menzel's name has become the website's most viewed article ever.
The Travoltafier widget racked up nearly 10 million unique users by Thursday and was adding roughly 100,000 hits an hour.
Plotz noted the overwhelming success of the post on Twitter:
Definition of ambivalent: The John Travolta name generator is the most popular story in Slate history. http://t.co/nT4kJp7J2Q
- David Plotz (@davidplotz) March 4, 2014
The special feature allows users to type their name into a script and discover how Travolta might garble their own name.
The site had previously tried a Carlos Danger name generator last summer to spoof Anthony Weiner's sexting name, which also did well for the site.
Plotz told the Nieman Journalism Lab he had mixed feelings about the overwhelming success of the article:
The Travolta name generator is a delightful piece of work that brings pleasure to millions — literally millions — of readers. It's fast, fun, and on the news, and I am unbelievably proud of the clever work that went into it, and glad for the joy it has brought so many readers. On the other hand, I have to giggle that this project is attracting millions of readers, and crushing stories about Ukraine or Obama under its boot. And on the third hand, one of the most popular Slate stories in the past six months before Travolta came along was Josh Levin's The Welfare Queen, an 18,000-word masterpiece about the woman Ronald Reagan villainized for bilking the government, who turned out to be even more fascinating, and loathsome, than Reagan ever could have imagined.
Slate's venture into interactive content builds upon the dynasty that BuzzFeed has innovated in recent weeks. The popular social content sharing site had a massive hit last year with “Which Grease Pink Lady Are You?” Discovering they had a successful formula on their hands, BuzzFeed's editorial team snapped into action and started filing voluminous pop culture quizzes. Facebook feeds became flush with content asking “What State Should I Live In?” which garnered 39 million total views, and “What City Should I Live In?” with 20 million. Sensing there was a way to monetize the quiz formula, BuzzFeed's creative team created sponsored quizzes; notable examples include a Barbie quiz and a Game of Thrones quiz which have already reached over 1 million views. Google Trends show that people are actively searching for quizzes.
Summer Anne Burton, BuzzFeed's Managing Editorial Director who's been leading the charge on quizzes, spoke to TheWrap about the viral news angle that sites are taking with creating sharable quiz content. She pointed to the recent phenomenon of celebrities participating as proof the medium has forever changed our news culture.
“Sharing something that reveals a truth about yourself — even if it's a frivolous quiz result — is a way of relating to the world around you,” Burton told TheWrap. “Celebrities taking BuzzFeed quizzes, especially ones that mention them, is a new way for them to communicate and play with their fans and followers. And when they don't get themselves or their characters, it's all the more fun and maybe even revealing about the gap between their public personas and their private lives. Mostly, though, our quizzes are a game that everyone is playing, and famous people want to have fun too!”
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If you just turned on the news for the first time in a while, you might have noticed a lot of chatter about RT.
RT, aka Russia Today, is an English-language news channel funded by the Russian government, that launched in 2005 to counter “Western news bias against Russia.” Recently, RT has made headlines — especially after one of its anchors, Liz Wahl, quit the network live on the air over RT's pro-Putin bias in the ongoing crisis in the Ukraine.
Wahl isn't the only RT anchor making waves. Earlier this week, Abby Martin, host of RT's “Breaking the Set,” slammed Russia's military action against the Ukraine during a broadcast.
With the situation in the Ukraine not going away anytime soon, here are 5 things you need to know about the network covering it:
1. The network is available to over 86 million American cable subscribers.
Steven Seagal has made frequent appearances on the network
3. RT's English language Facebook page has recorded over 1 million “Likes.”
4. RT's YouTube channel has more than 1 billion views, becoming the first news channel to reach this mark. RT's YouTube page has also recently gained more than 1 million subscribers.
5. Oddly, RT is prone to broadcasting the views of conspiracy theorists — especially 9/11 truthers. Watch the video below:
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Nick Singer has already conquered Slamdance with “February,” a short that served as his thesis at Wesleyan University and began his “Other Months” project.
Now Singer is bringing “Other Months,” a full-length feature, to South by Southwest.
In this short clip, Nash, the plumbing protagonist, encounters a girl at a party who laughs at his profession. She soon eats her words.
The post SXSW First Look: ‘Never Mock A Plumber’ Clip (Exclusive Video) appeared first on TheWrap.
The founder of leading conservative news website Newsmax is planning to launch a new 24-hour cable news network in June, designed to rival Fox News Channel.
Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said in a Bloomberg Businessweek profile that plans are in place to launch NewsmaxTV — which Ruddy describes as a “kindler, gentler Fox” — in more than 50 million homes by June via satellite and cable providers.
Also read: Donald Trump Pulls Out of NewsMax Debate
“Our goal is to be a little more boomer-oriented, more information-based rather than being vituperative and polarizing,” Ruddy told Bloomberg, saying that many viewers feel Fox has become too right-wing.
Ruddy — who is not a Republican — said his plans to launch the network are based on a glaring business opportunity within the cable news landscape. Fox News chairman Roger Ailes launched the network 18 years ago, recognizing there was a lack of conservative voices in news media, and since then, Fox has had a complete monopoly on that audience.
In fact, the network has been the No. 1 cable news channel by a wide margin for 12 consecutive years.
“How do you have something so successful in cable that nobody else wants to imitate or cut into their market share?” Ruddy said. “It defies reason. “If we take 10 to 15 percent of the Fox audience, and they are making $1 billion a year, then we are going to be hugely profitable,” he added.
The cable network will be an expansion of Newsmax's online broadcast, which is currently available for three live hours per day. NewsmaxTV will start with nine live hours and be available on Dish Network, DirecTV, and cable companies — but Ruddy said the company will not charge providers to carry its programming, at least at the outset.
“They don't want to pay new networks,” he said. “[T]hey are actually trying to get rid of the networks they have. So what we are going to do is say, ‘We are going to give you the service free or we will pay you to take us.'”
Ruddy can afford to make that offer because Newsmax has been very profitable since its inception in 1998. The company saw $103 million in revenue in 2013, up from $85 million the prior year, according to Bloomberg.
Half of that revenue comes from newsletter subscriptions and vitamin supplements — which the company has been selling to its 55-year-old average aged audience for years.
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“300: Rise of an Empire” is off to a fast start overseas, where it will open in 58 foreign markets this weekend.
Warner Bros. And Legendary Pictures’ sequel to their 2007 breakout sword-and-sandals saga opened at No. 1 in France with $1.8 million Wednesday, exceeding the first day of the original film by 20 percent, according to distributor Warner Bros.
“Rise of an Empire” opened in Belgium and the French side of Switzerland on Wednesday as well. It grossed$195,000 on 80 screens (including sneaks) in Belgium, and $36,000 on 21 screens in French Switzerland. Both of those numbers top “300″ by more than 50 percent, the studio reported.
The 3D adventure saga is also on pace to take the top spot in Australia, after taking in $536,000 from 470 locations on Thursday. It also opened in Germany, Italy and Russia on Thursday.
The R-rated “Rise of an Empire” opens in 3,470 U.S. theaters on Friday.
Hot off an appearance on “The Arsenio Hall Show,” Prince is going to be performing at the Hollywood Palladium on Friday and Saturday night, an individual with knowledge of the secret show has told TheWrap.
Liv Warfield and NPG Horns are currently scheduled to play at the Palladium on Friday night. Prince executive produced Warfield's new album “The Unexpected.” It is unclear whether Prince will perform with Warfield and NPG, or whether he'll be playing solo afterwards.
Tickets for Friday's show went on sale Wednesday, and tickets for Saturday's show are not expected to go on sale until Friday.
The Palladium's management staff did not respond to multiple requests for comment. A woman answering the phone at the Palladium told TheWrap that managers have been in meetings all afternoon.
Prince shows tend to sell out within minutes and this weekend's shows should be no different. Tickets are already being scalped on CraigsList.
Prince recently appeared alongside Zooey Deschanel and Jake Johnson on the hit Fox sitcom “New Girl.”
The post Prince to Play Secret Show at Hollywood Palladium With Liv Warfield, NPG Horns (Exclusive) appeared first on TheWrap.
Disney has partnered with Shanghai Media Group Pictures to develop Disney-branded movies as US-China co-productions, the studio said Thursday.
United States-based action and fantasy writers will work with Chinese writers to develop scripts that fit both the Disney brand and feature Chinese themes.
Disney and SMG Pictures hope the movies will qualify as co-productions because those movies are not subject to China's quota on the number of imported movies. China only permits 34 movies from overseas to screen in the country every year. Those spots have become even more popular in recent years as China has blossomed into the second biggest market for movies in the world.
“For over 90 years, Disney has built a rich legacy of entertaining families with high-quality storytelling and compelling characters,” Alan Bergman, President of the Walt Disney Studios, said in a statement. “Disney's collaboration with SMG adds an exciting chapter of new stories for the next generation of global Disney fans.”
Qualifying as a co-production has been a challenge for many producers, who have either stopped trying or searched for new partners. Some companies, such as Village Roadshow, have begun to make movies in Chinese — movies aimed at the Chinese market that will never make much money in the United States.
“It's getting more tricky to qualify English-language films as co-productions,” Hype Park Entertainment CEO Ashok Amritraj told TheWrap last year. “The rules are fairly strong and one has to be very careful how one qualifies.”
Zhang Xun, who oversees the China Film co-production corporation, spent part of her keynote at the U.S.-China Film Summit in November explaining how movies could qualify so that people could avoid any vexing scenarios in the future.
Disney knows the lure of the Chinese market and the power of the co-production as well as anyone. ”Iron Man 3,” which it distributed, grossed $124 million in the territory, the second most of any movie last year. It released a different version of the movie in China, one featuring Chinese star Fan Bingbing.
Tony To, EVP of production, will oversee the co-development program for Disney.
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Personal managers nationwide have overwhelming rejected the Personal Manager Code of Ethics and Conduct rolled out by SAG-AFTRA earlier this week, according to a national survey conducted by the National Conference of Personal Managers and released Thursday.
“The survey showed 98 percent of personal managers will not apply to sign on to the SAG-AFTRA Code,” Clinton Ford Billups, national president of the NCOPM told TheWrap. “The remaining managers responded ‘maybe’ and only one responded that he would apply. Based on that and the other results of the survey, it appears that the SAG-AFTRA Code is dead on arrival with the personal management community.”
The NCOPM online survey, emailed to more than 1,200 personal managers nationwide, also found that 96 percent of the survey respondents disagreed with the SAG-AFTRA Code's inclusion of a provision that a personal manager “does not solicit and/or procure employment.”
“For NCOPM, the SAG-AFTRA code is moot. Our members must abide by the NCOPM Code of Ethics, which has been an industry standard for more than 50 years,” said Billups.
The managers organization is currently challenging the constitutionality of California's 1978 Talent Agencies Act, which deregulated managers and has been interpreted as preventing them from procuring work.
The announcement of the survey results drew a quick response from SAG-AFTRA.
“NCOPM was invited to take part in the collaborative process of drafting this voluntary agreement,” said Zino Macaluso, the union's national director and senior counsel, professional representatives department. “They declined.”
“The NCOPM had months to review the Code, provide feedback and help make it more responsive to their needs. They refused. They did not engage in good faith to create a mutually agreeable document. We assumed their attention was purely focused on their impending lawsuit against the State of California and not how to improve their relationship with SAG-AFTRA members.
“The flawed NCOPM push poll is not representative of the opinion and attitudes of the entire management community or the members of SAG-AFTRA. The questions are suggestive and the results unreliable.
“We encourage all engaged personal managers to review the Code for themselves,” he added.
It's clear the issue is going go remain contentious. NCOPM's Billups said late Thursday that his group did indeed provide feedback as the code was being worked on, specifically at a Dec. 9 meeting.
SAG-AFTRA on Tuesday unveiled the code, a set of voluntary guidelines the union is hoping will promote honest and ethical relationships between its members and their managers. The guidelines draw distinctions between the role of managers and agents and say managers should not also be agents and that managers should help members find agents. Additionally, it calls on them to agree to arbitrate disputes through SAG-AFTRA, among other things.
Managers must agree to preconditions before signing on. Those who do will have their name and information listed on the SAG-AFTRA web site, just as current franchised agents are listed online.
The announcement of the code was welcomed by some in the managers community, but drew immediate fire from NCOMP and the Talent Managers Association. SAG-AFTRA sent a letter to its members Tuesday seeking to clarify the finer points of the program and counter what it called misleading criticism.
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One of NBC's rivals says the network is blocking “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” guests from appearing on competing network shows — a contention NBC denies.
An insider from a morning show on another network says NBC is taking advantage of Fallon's strong ratings to try to monopolize guests. The person told TheWrap that NBC does not allow a celebrity to do competitors’ shows for three months — even morning shows.
“We've been hearing … that they've been promising packages to the big stars,” the morning show insider told TheWrap. “[NBC is saying], ‘We'll give you ‘The Voice,’ ‘Today,’ or even spots on ‘Nightly [News].'”
“It's like a full-court press,” the insider added, claiming that NBC is “dangling” E!, Bravo, Telemundo, and other NBCUniversal properties in front of potential guests.
There's nothing unusual about bookers trying to get guests exclusively, but NBC is “playing a bit more hardball,” the insider said.
Another person, with knowledge of the late night landscape, said the contention of strong-arming was “probably a very exaggerated truth.” Both the morning and late-night sources noted that in January NBC named Kathy Kelly-Brown senior vice president of Global Talent Booking with an eye toward landing New York City guests.
“With all these shows there is a struggle for guests … and NBC did hire [Kelly-Brown] in New York City, who is facilitating booking between all of their entertainment shows throughout NBCUni, so that office probably has some leverage, but [it] sounds a little extreme,” the late-night person said.
“You couldn't pull that with a big name,” the person continued. “Maybe someone who is lesser-known and just starting out on an NBC show.”
NBC denies any wrongdoing: ”While of course the network would like to get the best talent on its morning show and late night, by no means are we strong-arming anyone,” a network insider told TheWrap.
An executive at another network said the booking issues may be more about logistics than anything else. Because “The Tonight Show,” “Late Night,” “Saturday Night Live” and “The Today Show” are so close together, it's very easy for a guest to do several NBC shows. That wasn't the case when “The Tonight Show” was in Burbank.
“Being in New York City has sort of messed up everyone's biorhythms,” the executive told TheWrap, adding ”These types of booking shenanigans have been going on since the dawn of time. The only difference right now is Fallon's hot.”
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Fear not, “Archer” fans; your favorite animated spy/drug dealer isn't going anywhere soon.
FX has renewed “Archer” for a sixth and seventh season. Each season will consist of 13 episodes.
The current fifth season of the series, dubbed “Archer Vice,” has seven more episodes left to air; the season finale airs April 21 at 10 p.m.
The renewal will keep the series, which was created by Adam Reed and Floyd County Productions, on FX at least through 2016.
Also read: FX's ‘Fargo’ Casts Comedians Key and Peele
“Archer is one of the best comedies on television and has played a significant role in the growth of the FX comedy brand,” said FX Networks and FX Productions president of original programming Eric Schrier. “We're grateful to Adam Reed, Matt Thompson and their team at Floyd County, and also our incredible voice cast, and are looking forward to supporting their work for at least two more seasons.”
Added Reed, “I am figuratively over the moon.”
More to come…
Move over, Richard Parker! Disney has found the perfect actor to voice the killer tiger Shere Khan in Jon Favreau's “The Jungle Book,” as Idris Elba is nearing a deal to star in the live-action movie, an individual familiar with the project has told TheWrap.
Disney's “Jungle Book” movie, which was written by Justin Marks, will be a mix of live-action and VFX. The studio is in a race with Warner Bros. to bring Rudyard Kipling's classic tale to the big screen. WB's project suffered a setback when Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu bowed out.
“Jungle Book” follows Mowgli, a young orphan raised in the jungle by wild animals. Shere Khan is the tiger who stalks the boy and decides to kill him when he becomes a threat.
Elba, who recently played Nelson Mandela in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” is preparing to star in Cary Fukunaga's “Beasts of No Nation.” He's repped by WME and Anonymous Content.
The news was first reported by Deadline.
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“Spider-Man” star Andrew Garfield's unease with the script for a planned Oscars segment with “Batkid” Miles Scott largely led to the cancellation of the appearance altogether, a person who observed rehearsal tells TheWrap.
During Sunday night's telecast, Garfield was supposed to make a special presentation with Scott, a five-year-old cancer patient who earned the nickname Batkid after the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the city of San Francisco granted him an elaborate day of superhero role-playing in November. However, two sources who were present during rehearsals say Garfield showed up with a re-written version of the speech he'd been given, complaining that the original was exploitative.
The show's producers then requested that he revert back to the original text, a request to which the actor did not immediately respond.
Sony intervened to keep its “Spider-Man” promotion on the show — and Garfield acquiesced to use the original script at the last minute — but the Academy and the producers decided to cut both the actor and the young child from the show, replacing them with a simple speech given by “Captain America” star Chris Evans.
According to TheWrap's insider, Sony was unhappy that they were losing the opportunity to promote their summer tentpole, prompting calls to the Academy about the scrapped segment.
Sony did not immediately respond to TheWrap's request for comment.
Earlier on Thursday, the Academy released a statement saying that the segment was cut in deference to the show's long running time, but additional accounts from Oscar rehearsals suggest that Garfield's reluctance to do the segment as written did have significant impact on the decision to kill the segment.
Garfield and Scott visited Disneyland together on Monday, according to both the Academy and a follow-up report by TMZ.
Later, in a statement to E!, Garfield corroborated the Academy's version of events:
“In full collaboration with the Academy and the show writer, Andrew prepared a segment for the Oscars to honor Miles Scott as the true hero that he is. At some point overnight on Saturday/Sunday morning, it was decided by those running the show that the segment didn't work in the ceremony. They decided to pull it–Andrew and Miles were equally upset. The producers arranges for Miles and his family to visit Disneyland on Monday and Andrew drove down to visit them and to bring Miles a personal gift. Andrew did the right thing for Batkid and anyone saying otherwise is flat out lying.”
The post Insiders: Andrew Garfield Rewrote Batkid Oscars Speech, Thought Segment Was Exploitative appeared first on TheWrap.
Isaiah Washington, who infamously parted ways with “Grey's Anatomy” after making homophobic remarks about co-star T.R. Knight, is coming back to the series.
Washington will reprise his role as Dr. Preston Burke for an episode in May, which will also serve as Sandra Oh's final episode on the ABC medical drama.
“Grey's” creator Shonda Rhimes said that Washington's character is “vital” to wrapping up the story of Oh's character, Cristina Yang.
“It's important to me that Cristina's journey unfolds exactly as it should,” Rhimes said. “Burke is vital to that journey — he gives her story that full-circle moment we need to properly say goodbye to our beloved Cristina Yang.”
Washington, who was ousted from “Grey's” in 2007, was most recently cast in the CW drama “The 100.”
The Parents Television Council is condemning The CW's choice to run an uncensored version of next week's episode of “Reign” online.
The network's plan is to air the episode that adheres to broadcast content standards on television and then another version with two more explicit sex scenes online.
“The CW Network is doing parents no favors by allowing children unfettered access to sexual content from this young adult and teen-targeted show online,” said the PTC's director of communications and policy, Dan Isett, in a statement. “It's appalling that a broadcast network would flaunt broadcast standards in this manner and the network should be condemned for this action.”
A CW representative told EW that “the network is not adding R-rated content here — just offering a more sexually intense edit of the existing program.” One scene appears at the top of the program while the other sex scene arrives toward the end of the episode.
Nonetheless, the PTC said that The CW's plan is “at the expense of children” by skirting broadcast standards and making the uncensored episode available online where children can watch them with greater accessibility.
“This is nothing more than a network ploy to increase attention for its show, but it comes at the expense of children,” Isett added. “Anyone with common sense should realize that online standards for broadcast networks should be the same as they are on television. There's a reason that the CW Network's own standards department cut the two sex scenes from the broadcast version – they weren't appropriate for television. So what makes them appropriate to post online where presumably children will be able to watch them with no rating or blocking capability? Nothing. The CW Network should be ashamed.”
A representative for “Reign” says the network has no comment on the PTC's protest.
“Reign,” a retelling of the game of thrones that surrounded Scotland's Queen Mary during her teen years, was just given an early Season 2 renewal. So far, its first season averages 1.7 million viewers per episode and a .63 with the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic. It airs Thursdays at 9/8c.
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Modus FX, a Canadian visual effects vendor that counts “Now You See Me” and “This is the End” among its credits, is shutting down after six years.
Roughly 100 people have been let go, co-founder and visual effects supervisor Yanick Wilisky told TheWrap. The company was undone after a number of projects it was slated to work on were delayed.
“We were swinging from rope to rope and we went to grab the other rope, but it was too far away,” Wilisky said.
The company, which is based just outside of Montreal, was also suffering from cash flow problems. After a payment for a past job failed to materialize last Friday, Wilisky said he and his partners decided they could no longer afford to stay in business.
Modus recently wrapped work on three projects — “Robocop,” a French version of “Beauty and the Beast” and the Discovery series “Strip the City.”
“We still owe money and we're trying to work deals out,” Wilisky said. “I didn't want to keep struggling along like some other visual effects studios have done, because it just gets harder and harder to get back on your feet. We didn't create Modus to be like that. We created it to make beautiful images.”
Modus joins more than a half dozen visual effects companies that have shut their doors in recent years or been forced to file for bankruptcy, among them Digital Domain, Rhythm & Hues and Asylum Visual Effects.
Visual effects companies operate with very low margins and very high overhead costs, owing to the high price of equipment and personnel. One cancelled job can push them into financial ruin. Compounding issues, companies are asked to submit fixed bids on films they hope to work on, making them responsible for most cost overruns.
“It's a business that's still trying to find itself,” Wilisky said. “There needs to be more changes so companies like ours don't keep going under.”
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Two-time Oscar nominee Michael Fassbender takes a hilarious leap from his dramatic resume in the first trailer for “Frank,” a comedy about an eccentric musician who takes his act on the road to perform at Texas music, film and media festival, South by Southwest.
Fassbender, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor this year for his sadistic performance in “12 Years a Slave,” plays the title character, but audiences shouldn't expect to see much of him. As co-star Domhall Gleeson (“About Time”) explains in the preview (above), Frank wears a giant head over his own for some crazy reason.
Emphasis on “crazy,” because he refuses to take it off, and says his facial expressions out loud to let his friends know how he feels.
Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Frank's female companion, and she confirms everything the trailer suggests when she says, “Frank's not okay.”
“Frank,” a fictional story loosely inspired by Frank Sidebottom — the persona of cult musician and comedy legend Chris Sievey — premiered at Sundance this year. It is being released in the U.K. this spring, while distributor Magnolia Pictures has yet to set a U.S. release date.
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“American Idol” favorite Adam Lambert and classic rock fixture Queen are pairing up once again for a summer tour in North America.
Lambert and Queen will kick off the 19-date tour in Chicago in June 19, wrapping things up in Washington, D.C., on July 20.
Lambert, guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor first teamed up for a May 2009 performance of “We Are the Champions” on “American Idol,” and have performed a number of shows together, including the 2011 MTV European Music Awards.
“Let's rock those beautiful arenas just one more time!” May said.
Added Lambert, “I'm completely in awe of the Queen phenomenon. The thought of sharing the stage for a full set in North America is so beautifully surreal. I'm honored to be able to pay my respects to Freddie's [Mercury, late Queen singer] memory; he's a personal hero of mine, and I am deeply grateful for the chance to sing such powerful music for fans of this legendary band. I know this tour will be a huge milestone for me, and with the support of Brian, Roger and the rest of the band, I feel like magic will be on display.”
Tickets go on sale beginning March 14.
Read the full tour dates below.
6/19 Chicago United Center
6/21 Winnipeg MTS Centre
6/23 Saskatoon Credit Union Centre
6/24 Edmonton Rexall Place
6/26 Calgary Scotiabank Saddledome
6/28 Vancouver Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
7/1 San Jose SAP Center
7/3 Los Angeles The Forum
7/5 Las Vegas The Joint
7/6 Las Vegas The Joint
7/9 Houston Toyota Center
7/10 Dallas American Airlines Center
7/12 Detroit The Palace of Auburn Hills
7/13 Toronto Air Canada Centre
7/14 Montreal Bell Centre
7/16 Philadelphia Wells Fargo Center
7/17 New York Madison Square Garden
7/19 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena
7/20 Washington, DC Merriweather Post Pavilion
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