The deal that become official this morning transforms Disney from a "mere behemoth" into an "entertainment colossus the size of which the world has never seen," says Brooks Barnes. Disney CEO said Bob Iger, in an internal memo to his staff, said today was "a historic day for our company.” As Barnes explains, "Disney now owns most of Rupert Murdoch’s former empire, including the 20th Century Fox movie and television studio, which includes the X-Men, Avatar and Simpsons franchises; Blue Sky, the Ice Age animation studio that is based in Connecticut; the National Geographic and FX cable networks; most of the streaming service Hulu; and Star, a fast-growing television-service provider in India." The Fox assets will put Disney in better position to compete with Apple and other tech giants making aggressive moves in Hollywood. "Disney is now trying to become less dependent on cable channels like ESPN, which are in slow, steady decline owing to cord-cutting," says Barnes. "Instead, Disney has decided to move into the rapidly growing realm of online video, a direct-to-consumer business defined by Netflix. Mr. Iger believes that the Fox assets will enhance that plan, which includes a streaming service called Disney+ later this year." ALSO: The Simpsons boss Al Jean welcomed Disney with a tweet of Homer Simpson choking Mickey Mouse.
The Elementary star is producing Unsung Heroes for ABC Studios International. According to The Hollywood Reporter, "Unsung Heroes will profile women who were highly accomplished in their fields but did not receive acknowledgment for their achievements and how their stories have impacted history. The first episode will center on Anna May Wong, a star of Hollywood's silent era." Unsung Heroes doesn't yet have a TV home.
Andrew Dice Clay introduced the former Roseanne star's recent surprise performance at the Laugh Factory Las Vegas. “Dear ABC, when you asked me back to once again bail out your shit, f*ckin’, low-rated network, I did so with the same vigor I’ve always rocked, and I delivered you the highest ratings you’ve had in ten f*cking years,” she said to applause. “At the first sign of controversy, you killed me off with a drug overdose. But you know what, I ain’t dead b*tches.”
Stranger Things 3's official trailer is set to the tune of The Who's "Teenage Wasteland."
"The show is so mired in the past that its title no longer induces chuckles but groans," says Travis M. Andrews, pointing out that the jokes now feel outdated, especially since Season 5 is set before the 2016 election. "Jerry Seinfeld famously turned down the most lucrative television deal at the time to continue producing Seinfeld, because he never wanted to jump the shark," says Andrews. Mitch Hurwitz and crew, he adds, "should take a page from the legendary comedian’s book. Arrested Development, once a wonderfully layered experience that rewarded repeated watches more than almost any other show, now just feels like work. It’s the embodiment of a caffeine headache — insistent, annoying and, worst of all, dull."
Fox Corporation chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch, the eldest son of Rupert Murdoch, is believed to be interested in moving Fox News in a less pro-Trump direction, reports Gabriel Sherman, whose book on Roger Ailes is becoming a Showtime series. The first sign of a less pro-Trump direction was the hiring earlier this week of Donna Brazile, the former Democratic National Committee chair. “Donna is a shot in that direction. Management knows they have an image problem," a source tells Sherman. Sherman adds: "Two sources close to Lachlan told me that he has likely waited to implement any editorial changes at Fox News until the Disney deal closes on March 20, for fear of antagonizing Trump into opposing it." Meanwhile, Sherman reports that Hannity has told friends he plans to leave the network when his contract expires in 2021 due to disagreements with the Murdochs. ALSO: Is Trump trying to divide Fox News?
After studying the response to Scandal, Madam Secretary and The Good Wife, two academics argue that "the influence of political dramas, particularly those featuring women in lead roles, can lead to increases in political engagement."
Cooper is teaming with historian-novelist Katherine Howe, who specializes in novels about witchcraft, on his two non-fiction books, the first of which is scheduled to be released in 2022.
The "Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network" was showered with praise as it celebrated its 40th anniversary on Tuesday. Democrats and Republicans agree that C-SPAN has been a big positive for Americans, with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich saying the nation owes C-SPAN "a big vote of gratitude for empowering citizenship in the television age." But as David A. Graham points out, C-SPAN might not be so great. "Anytime so many people agree about something, there’s usually reason for suspicion," says Graham. "C-SPAN has much to recommend it, as these endorsements show. But like every silver cloud, it isn’t without a dark lining. Reporters and Congress-watchers love it for the convenience. Authors love it for the serious coverage of books. Cranky citizens love it for the opportunity to call in. But politicians love it for the chance to grandstand." Graham points out that Gingrich arrived as a congressman in Washington the same year C-SPAN debuted and quickly grasped the power of the new outlet. "The aim to speak without any editorial intervention and create a ruckus is hardly the exclusive preserve of Gingrich or the president," says Graham. "Politicians from both parties have recognized Gingrich’s genius and embraced his technique. Using C-SPAN, Gingrich sought to sidestep what he viewed as liberal bias in the mainstream media, but circumventing the press’s mediation means that politicians can also offer complete hogwash directly to the public without anyone stopping falsehoods."
The Single Parents star appears in this week's episode as a singer.
Alex Gibney’s The Inventor: Out for Blood In Silicon Valley offers several shocking revelations, including that the Theranos founder never blinked, possibly as a mind-control tactic aimed at dominating people around her. The film also shows promo shots filmed by Errol Morris -- who, like Gibney, is an Oscar-winning documentarian. "Those who listened to The Dropout and/or read Bad Blood know that Theranos hired award-winning documentarian Errol Morris (Thin Blue Line) to produce some promo spots for the company," says EJ Dickson. "But actually seeing the footage of these ads is another story entirely. In one bizarre ad, a grandmother receives a gift card for a Theranos blood test while her grandchild looks on, weeping. (For his part, Morris seems pretty embarrassed about his role promoting Theranos, and reportedly refused to speak to Gibney about it when they ran into each other at an event.)"
"If people don’t accept a person’s apology for a mistake, there’s no value in that person trying to improve,” Gervais says in a New York Times Magazine profile, addressing the Kevin Hart and Louis CK controversies. "And I hate virtue-signaling. I’ll tell you why it’s bad. Because the more pathetic people’s accusation is, the more these people are saying they’re not like the accused. They’re saying, 'Look how good I am.' They’re saying, “I hate that thing because I would never do it.” Why are you telling us?" He adds of CK: "The Louis C.K. thing — is he allowed to gig? Yeah, he is. Are people allowed to protest? Yeah, they are. But you can’t change history." Meanwhile, when told that "everyone agrees" The Office is great TV, Gervais responds: "No, they don’t. Some people hate it, which is comforting. It reminds me that everyone is different, and opinions are subjective and it doesn’t matter."
“I never had that conversation with Ron Moore,” Sackhoff says of the reboot's creator, telling TV Insider: “So, I never really asked what Kara was, I just went to work and I did it. I don’t know what she was!”
The late Young and the Restless star's coroner's report states that St. John was admitted to Las Encinas Mental Health Hospital on January 26, 2019 for “threatening to hurt himself and alcohol abuse.” He was released on Feb. 1. The coroner's report also notes that he had been held on 72-hour holds in the past.
Watch Leno bring his signature Tonight Show bit to the streets of New York City.