O.J. Simpson, reality star? Stranger things have happened

Jul 21, 2017 26

Twenty-two years ago O.J. Simpson beat a double murder rap. On Thursday he won parole in Nevada after serving nine years for robbery and kidnapping. Soon, if reports are to be believed, he could be starring in a reality show.

No producers or networks have announced any involvement in any O.J. projects, but TMZ says they are out there and they are chomping at the bit. The New York Post concurs, reporting “Everyone in town is shopping him a reality show.”

Dan Gainor, Vice President of Business and Culture for the Media Research Center, says the television industry will take advantage of America’s fascination with Simpson.

“In a world where ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ played for five seasons, don’t tell me there’s no audience for O.J.” Gainor told Fox News. “That doesn’t make it right, but since when are TV networks moral institutions? ‘Game of Thrones’ is one of the most-talked-about shows and it’s filled with sex and graphic violence and rape. Some network could put on live gladiatorial combat and it would get solid ratings. TV isn’t a vast wasteland any more. It’s a cultural apocalypse.” 

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But in his testimony Thursday, Simpsons said he has no interest in being on TV.

“You know, right now I’m at a point in my life where all I want to do is spend time, as much time as I can, with my children and my friends,” he said. “And — and I’m not looking to be involved with the media.”

Simpson has credits for over 35 roles on IMDB, and was a sportscaster for Monday Night Football and NBC. Pop culture expert Cate Meighan believes a return of O.J. to television is indeed a “Sure bet.”

“American audiences love true crime stories and O.J. Simpson’s case is never far from our minds anyway,” she said. “He needs to make money and networks, producers and Hollywood execs ultimately want to be connected to that moment where maybe he confesses to crimes he was legally acquitted of. The hope of a confession will prompt Hollywood to take a chance and it’ll also be the same reason why viewers will tune in. He is a sure bet to return. People will tune in, just in case he confesses.” 

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But film producer and marketing expert Mark Joseph says even if Simpson lands a series, he doubts any interest in it will last.

“I don’t see any respectable narrative film or TV projects coming O.J.’s way but I’m not surprised to hear there are lots of offers from reality TV producers,” Joseph said. “If he gets a reality show there will be an initial burst of attention just because people are curious about him but it would likely fade quickly unless the show has interesting characters, and would quickly lose its audience.”

But he’ll be on TV soon whether he likes it or not. A&E recently announced a two hour special, “Guilty: The Conviction of O.J. Simpson” The focus of the documentary will focus primarily on the 2007 conviction for armed robbery concerning some of his sports memorabilia, and not as much on the 1994 murder of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, for which he was tried an acquitted.

After a 1997 civil lawsuit, Simpson was found liable for their wrongful deaths, and ordered to pay $33.35 million in damages to the families. Entertainment lawyer Julian Chan said Simpson may find creative ways to profit from a new venture even though his wages will be subject to garnishment. “He could have entities or trusted associates provide services for a production about him and they could be allocated what might normally go to him,” Chan explained. “Or he might just find ways to spend the money before court action can seize it.”

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Simpson is expected to be released from Lovelock Correctional Center in October 2017.

You can follow Blanche Johnson on Twitter @blancheFOXLA.

‘Big Bang Theory’ Stars Talk Sheldon-Amy Finale Proposal at Comic-Con

Jul 21, 2017 20

The season 10 finale of “The Big Bang Theory” provided an emotional moment for the cast and crew.

In a panel Friday at Comic-Con in San Diego, star Kaley Cuoco described the mood on set of the multi-camera comedy when it came time to shoot the episode’s final scene — in which Jim Parsons’ Sheldon Cooper proposed to Mayim Bialik’s Amy. Cuoco said that the entire cast and crew had gathered behind camera to witness the scene.

“I started crying,” Cuoco said.

“We were all crying,” added co-star Kunal Nayyar.

“I came as close to crying as is possible for me,” added fellow co-star Johnny Galecki.

The proposal was the culmination of a long arc for Sheldon and Amy — one that had been slowly building since Bialik joined the cast in 2010.

“To see that be the pinnacle of this season was really cool,” Cuoco said. “We’ve all come such a long way.”

The cast and producers also reminisced about their favorite guest stars. Showrunner Steve Molaro recalled the late Adam West guest starring.

“He had a line in the script where he told Leonard and Koothrappali, ‘Don’t ring my doorbell or my poodles will go crazy,’” Molaro said. West asked if his character could have a tougher dog, “like a Rottweiler.” When Molaro explained that a poodle was funnier, West said, “Well, I have poodles in real life, so I guess it’s fine.”

Executive producer Steve Holland recalled James Earl Jones and Carrie Fisher being on set together for an episode — the first time that the “Star Wars” stars had ever met. “She came out and she said ‘Dad!’ and then they hugged,” Holland said.

In March, CBS gave a two season renewal to “The Big Bang Theory” after studio Warner Bros. Television secured new deals with five of the seven core actors — Jim Parsons, Galecki, Cuoco, Nayyar and Simon Helberg. Fellow stars Bialik and Melissa Rauch finalized new deals a month later.

Bialik and Rauch’s new deals earn them 500,000 per episode for 48 episodes. The five original actors each took a $100,000-per-episode pay cut from the $1 million that each had been earning in order to free up additional money for Bialik and Rauch’s raises.

The upcoming 11th and 12th seasons of the Chuck Lorre-executive produced are expected to be the last.

Everything We Learned about Psych: The Movie at Comic-Con

Jul 21, 2017 15

The cast of Psych reunited on Friday at San Diego Comic-Con to bring fans an exclusive sneak-peek of Psych: The Movie and TV Guide was there to tell you everything we learned.

James Roday, Dul Hill, Maggie Lawson, Kirsten Nelson and Corbin Bernson reunited at Comic-Con, along with creator Steve Franks and executive producers Chris Henze and Kelly Kulchak. The panel was moderated by the one and only Jimmi Simpson.

The cast and crew not only talked about the experience of making Psych: The Movie but shared some never-before-seen footage from the project. Here is everything we learned.

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1. Jimmi returns!

Simpson confirmed during the panel that he will be returning to Psych as Mary Lightly!

2. Suck it, Tim!

Tim Omundson, better known as Lassiter to Psych fans, wasn’t able to attend the panel due to a stroke he suffered shortly before production began on the movie. The cast and crew recorded the Comic Con crowd yelling, “Suck it, Tim!” to make sure the actor knows he was missed.

3. The movie will start in San Francisco

The final episode of Psych sent everyone up to San Francisco, so Franks wanted to make sure the continuity remained in the movie. So the movie will pick up at north. Get ready for the bay area!

4. Gus has grown a beard

Dule Hill weighed in that Gus is loving it in San Francisco. He’s getting so relaxed up north that he’s even grown a beard.

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5. The footage!

We saw the first eight minutes of the Psych movie and so much went down. Shawn has wasted no time getting himself in deep with a dangerous group of men fencing stolen goods. He first appears in a stellar Hagrid costume though and a fake beard on a beard (a beard beard) that becomes instrumental when the bad guys figure out he’s not who he says he is. Luckily, he finds his way to Gus who is able to help him out of the jam, though it costs Shawn’s best brofriend a tasty egg salad sandwich.

6. Gus won’t wait long to get back in the swing of things

It took 11 days after the guys arrived in San Francisco for Gus to find a permanent job — he likes security — but Hill promised that Gus won’t hesitate to jump back in the Psych game once Shawn says he needs him. At the end of the day, he loves doing it.

7. There’s a joke that no one on in the cast understood

Steve Franks is most proud of one joke in the movie script that no one on the cast understood when they read the script and filmed the movie — and because of that he made sure it stays in the movie. It’s a tune that gets played and is a Bugs Bunny reference to the scene where Daffy Duck tried to blow up Bugs in a vaudeville show. Yeah, we’re not sure either, guess we’ll have to see the movie to fully understand.

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8. Will there be singing in the movie?

“I will say that more than one person on this panel might do a little singing,” Steve Franks promised a fan who asked if the cast would bust out some vocals in light of Zachary Levi joining the cast. Get ready!

9. There will be pineapples!

There’s not just a pineapple in the Psych movie, but its a pineapple that references a very specific pineapple from the original series. Steve Franks recommends going back and watching all 121 episodes to figure out which one.

Psych: The Movie airs this December in USA.

‘Young Justice: Outsiders’ Adds Character For Series Revival, Shows Off New Designs – Comic-Con

Jul 21, 2017 21

If it weren’t for these meddling kids. The animated digital series Young Justice: Outsiders is gearing up for a third season, three years after it was canceled by Cartoon Network, and Warner Bros showed off some new wrinkles during its Comic-Con panel today in San Diego. Take a look at the new character designs below, including the new character Thirteen.

InYoung Justice: Outsiders,the teenage superheroes of the DC Universe come of age in an animated world of superpowers, supervillains and super secrets. In the new season, the team faces its greatest challenge as it takes on meta-human trafficking and the terrifying threat it creates for a society caught in the crossfire of a genetic arms race spanning the globe and the galaxy.

There had been nearly a year of chatter about about a series revival before it was announced in November. It is set to help launchtheDC-branded digital service next year, along with the live-actionTitans.

Sam Register (Teen Titans Go!) is executive producing Young Justice: Outsidersfrom Warner Bros. Animation, which is produced by series creators Brandon Vietti and Greg Weisman. The original toon’s Phil Bourassa also is returning to serve as art director.

For those of you scoring along at home, the photo below depicts, from left:Static, Kid Flash, Robin, Wonder Girl, Spoiler, Blue Beetle, Thirteen, Arrowette, Arsenal and Beast Boy. Oh, and an unsolicited bitof advice: Think twice before telling these particular teen to get the hell off your lawn.

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Usher paid $1.1M to woman he allegedly infected with herpes, court documents say

Jul 21, 2017 23

Grammy Award-winning singer Usher reportedly paid a woman he had sexual relations with $1.1 million in 2012  to settle a lawsuit after she had claimed the performer gave her herpes.

The “Yeah” singer reportedly contracted herpes between 2009 and 2010, around the time he began filing for divorce from his first wife, Tameka Foster, according to People, which cited court documents. 

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The woman, who was reportedly a celebrity stylist, accused the performer of “consciously and purposefully” not notifying her of his infection and continuing “to have unprotected sex” with her regardless. The complaint was filed at a Los Angeles court.

The “Confessions” singer also denied having the infection and said he tested negative during a sexually transmitted disease test. However, court documents stated he had released a “greenish discharge” from his penis.

The unidentified woman said she started suffering from fevers and vaginal sores before she was diagnosed with the infection.

The victim claimed she “feels that her health and body have been ruined” and “has suffered severe emotional distress and has been extremely depressed knowing there is no cure.”

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In California, “it is illegal to knowingly or recklessly transmit a sexually transmitted disease,” according to the Daily News.

Usher paid for the stylist’s medical bills, a reported $2,754.40 in 2012 and settled the suit on Dec. 28, 2012.

'American Horror Story' gets title and premiere date amid election backlash

Jul 21, 2017 19

Fans of the FX Network’s spooky anthology series, “American Horror Story” were treated to some exciting news about Season 7 during the San Diego Comic Con on Thursday. Ahead of its premiere, the release date and title for the highly anticipated show has been announced.

The seventh installment in the ongoing anthology will officially be titled “American Horror Story: Cult.” The title was released as part of an elaborate stunt at the SDCC in which an installment appeared on the waterfront near the FX exhibit. The installment encouraged fans to visit a website where a creepy video revealed the title and offered fans a chance to sign up for more inside materials from the show leading up to its premiere.

According to Variety, a creepy teaser trailer for the season was released online very soon after featuring a cadre of scary clowns conducting some kind of ritual.

The title reveal comes just hours after the series creator revealed that “Girls” star Lena Dunham would be joining the cast of Season 7. Previously, it’s been reported that “Cult” will tackle the 2016 election. However, amid backlash, Murphy martialed expectations about a politically-charged season. He admitted that no actor or actress will be playing Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, but rather they will appear on TV and the election night will be a pivotal moment for the characters.

“The first 10 minutes of the season takes place in a very eerie macabre way on Election Night and there’s something terrible that happens in the lives of our characters on Election Night as they’re watching it all go down,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.

“American Horror Story” Season 7 kicks off on September 5.

Katie Couric's 'fake news' comments spark backlash

Jul 21, 2017 15

Katie Couric caused a controversy when she commented on fake news.

The Yahoo News anchor said in an interview Thursday she believes the fake news phenomenon is “tearing [America] apart at the seams.”

But her critics were quick to chime in and claim Couric has been part of the problem.

Couric was hit with a $12 million lawsuit over her documentary “Under the Gun” in 2016. Pro-gun activists accused Couric of deceptive editing, but the case was dismissed in May.

Couric initially stood by the documentary but then quickly changed course and took responsibility for the headline-making edits in the film. Couric wrote in a May 2016 message on the film’s website that she regrets not raising her initial concerns about the segment “more vigorously.”

She also faced a similar accusation for her 2014 documentary “Fed Up.” 

A subject from “Fed Up,” which focuses on the food industry and obesity, came forward in 2016 to say he was misrepresented in the documentary.

“They had reached out to me…and indicated to me that they were particularly interested in having a diversity of viewpoints,” Dr. David Allison, who appeared in “Fed Up,” told “FOX & Friends” in June 2016.

Allison said he was taped for 90 minutes, but the film only included a small fraction of his interview, which he said portrayed him incorrectly.

'Arrested Development' Season 5 plot details revealed by Jason Bateman

Jul 21, 2017 10

The “Arrested Development” stars will come together once again for a second outing on Netflix – and fifth season overall. Now, the cult comedy series’ star is sharing some details about what fans can expect when the new episodes finally drop.

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Speaking to Entertainment Weekly’s radio show, actor Jason Bateman shared some details about the fifth season and where it picks up in relation to the fourth.

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“The central spine of that story is the death of Liza Minnelli’s character, and a bit of whodunit, who may have done it,” he said. “That’s sort of a central thread around which [creator Mitch Hurwitz] is going to braid in all the colorful plot complications that he knows how to do.”

Fans will note that Minnelli has played Lucille Austero on the hit series since its first season. At the end of Season 4, she goes missing at a 2012 Cinco de Cuatro celebration. Buster Bluth is arrested in connection with the crime, but the true circumstances of what happened are a mystery that the show will apparently address in Season 5.

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Bateman is perhaps the best voice to discuss the future direction of the show as he’s filled the straight man role on the comedy for years. His character, Michael Bluth, serves as the audience’s surrogate – the sanest member of this clan who shares and shapes viewers’ wonderment at the lunacy whirling around him. In recent years, he’s taken a step away from acting in comedies to more challenging projects like directing and dramatic roles. His most recent project sees him playing a significantly more serious character than Michael on the Netflix series “The Ozarks.”

“Acting changed for me a while ago when I started to become disenchanted with pretending to be other people,” he said. “I’m not interested in tricking you into thinking I’m somebody else. My challenge with acting has now changed into a different goal: to give me another hand on the wheel, along with directing, to steer the audience through the story.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Elvis Presley's first music agency contract up for auction

Jul 21, 2017 18

Elvis Presley’s first music agency contract is among a host of memorabilia related to the music legend up for auction in the UK on Saturday.

The contract with the William Morris Agency was signed by Elvis on Jan. 31 1956 in New York. The signing took place the day after he recorded “Blue Suede Shoes,” according to auction house Henry Aldridge & Son.

“This was the start the beginning of an incredible relationship between Elvis and the William Morris Agency that would continue throughout Elvis’s career,” explained Henry Aldridge & Son auctioneer Andrew Aldridge, in an email to Fox News.

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The contract, which is hand signed in four places by Elvis, is also being sold with an accompanying rider and copies of two photos of the signing, which show Elvis alongside Nat Lefkowitz and Harry Kalcheim of the William Morris Agency and his manager Colonel Parker.

The lot has a pre-sale estimate between $32,465 and $38,958.

A softback copy of the novel “The Omen” signed by Elvis for a fan is also up for auction Saturday.

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“Elvis read, inscribed and signed this book just before his upcoming August 1977 tour, which did not take place due to his untimely death,” explained Aldridge, in an email to Fox News. “He wrote ‘TO MY BEST FAN your friend Elvis Presley’.”

The book is accompanied by a copy of a letter dated Jan. 21 1978 from Elvis’ father Vernon Presley. “Were sorry about the delay in sending you the autograph you requested. Yours on the Omen book was amongst the last to be signed,” he wrote, in the letter. “Elvis got a kick out of it that you sent him a book he had read and also of that sort for an autograph. You probably do not know this but Elvis read your book again in curiosity prior to us sending it back to you autographed by Elvis personally.”

The lot has a pre-sale estimate of $10,369 to $15,553.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers