Ashley Tisdale and Christopher French Flipping Out in Studio City

SELLERS: Ashley Tisdale and Christopher French LOCATION: Studio City, CA PRICE: $2,695,000 SIZE: 4,976 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Though they purchased the property only a bit more than a year ago for $2.5 million, actress/pop singer/internet entrepreneur Ashley Tisdale and musician Christopher French, lead singer of the rock band Annie… Read more »

Madison Avenue Bets Big On Fox’s ‘Star’ To Lead Freshman TV Shows

What does it take to get a consumer to open his or her wallet? Madison Avenue is wagering that a TV show with what is likely to be a memorable soundtrack will do the trick. A Variety survey of commercial-ratings projections for the 2016-2017 broadcast TV season finds ad buyers believe “Star,” the new Fox musical… Read more »

Sesame Street Fans No Longer Need HBO to Watch Elmo and Cookie Monster on TV

For the past year, the only way to get to Sesame Street—and watch new episodes featuring Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster and the rest of the gang—was by subscribing to HBO, which has exclusive rights to the show through 2020. But starting in September, Sprout is offering fans a new way to see two of those characters without subscribing to the premium cable network.

Elmo and Cookie Monster will appear in The Furchester Hotel, a new series on Sprout from Sesame Workshop and the BBC’s preschool children’s channel, CBeebies.

The show takes place at a hotel operated by a family of monsters, including Funella Furchester, husband Furgus Fuzz and daughter Phoebe Furchester-Fuzz. Elmo, who is Phoebe’s cousin, is on “an extended visit,” according to a release, while Cookie Monster works at the hotel as a room-service and dining-room waiter. Both Elmo and Cookie Monster will be regular characters on the show.

Beginning Sept. 26, 11-minute episodes of The Furchester Hotel will air weekdays at 9 a.m. and weekends at 11 a.m. (the weekend time slot will shift to 7 a.m. starting the week of Oct. 10). During the show’s premiere week, Sprout, NBCUniversal’s preschool network, will also feature Elmo and Cookie Monster on Sunny Side Up, its live morning show.

The Furchester Hotel episodes will also be available via video on demand and streaming on the Spourt Now app for authenticated users.

It will be the first opportunity for non-HBO subscribers to watch new kids programming featuring Elmo and Cookie Monster since HBO and Sesame Workshop inked their five-year partnership exactly one year ago. Under the agreement, new Sesame Street episodes air first on HBO and its various platforms. After nine months, those episodes will be made available to PBS and its member stations, which continue to air them for free.

Those Season 46 episodes—which are now 30 minutes each, down from 60 minutes—debuted on HBO, HBO Latino and HBO Family in January, meaning they are available to air on PBS this fall. Five years of past Seasme Street episodes are also available to stream on HBO Now, HBO Go and HBO On Demand.

Sprout launched in 2005 as PBS Kids Sprout, and was a partnership with Comcast, HIT Entertainment and Sesame Workshop. After Comcast bought NBCUniversal, it bought out the other partners and took over full ownership of the network in 2013.

Sprout had aired Sesame Street episodes along with PBS, but that agreement ended last November, while spinoff Play With Me Sesame continued airing until December. This will be the first time since then that Cookie Monster and Elmo will regularly be featured on the network.

The Furchester Hotel premiere is part of Sprout’s “Back to New” campaign, which will feature new episode premieres from shows like Maya the Bee, Floogals and new series Terrific Trucks every day in September.

Leslie Jones Hack Now A Homeland Security Investigation

The wide spread hack of Leslie Jones‘ personal information and photos yesterday is now being investigated by Homeland Security, the federal department confirmed today.
“ICE Homeland Security Investigations in New York does currently have an open investigation,” a DHS spokesperson said Thursday. Not that the feds said much else on the matter. “As a matter of agency policy, we are unable to disclose any information related to an active…


Leslie Jones Hack Being Investigated by Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security is currently investigating a cyber hack that exposed Leslie Jones’ personal information and leaked nude photos on her website. “ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New York does currently have an open investigation,” a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security told Variety. “As a matter of agency policy, we… Read more »

‘America’s Got Talent’, ‘Big Brother’ & ‘MasterChef’ Ratings All Rise Post-Olympics

The Rio Olympics are over but not forgotten on NBC where Michael Phelps made an appearance on America’s Got Talent (2.1/8). Unlike the ratings sagging 2016 Games, the most decorated Olympian of all time helped bring some bounce to AGT.
The highest rated and, with 10.48 million tuning in, most watched show of Wednesday’s primetime, the 9 PM AGT saw a rise of 17% among adults 18-49 and 12% in viewers from its last Wednesday show of August 3. With lead-out The Night Shift


‘Paradise Lost’ Director Joe Berlinger Joins IDA’s Board Of Directors

EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker Joe Berlinger has joined the International Documentary Association’s (IDA) board of directors.
“Two years ago, at the inaugural Getting Real 2014 documentary conference, Joe Berlinger spoke movingly about the power of the IDA community rallying to support him as he dealt with law suits from Chevron in response to his film Crude,” said IDA Board
President, Marjan Safinia in a statement,”Having witnessed first-­hand the…


Neil Burger to Direct Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston in ‘Intouchables’ Remake

“Divergent” director Neil Burger has been tapped to direct The Weinstein Company’s remake of “The Intouchables,” starring Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston. TWC plans to start showing in January. Hart and Cranston, who have not worked together before, came on board the project in March. The original French movie starred Francois Cluzet and Omar Sy… Read more »

Fox Nabs Buddy Drama Loosely Based On ‘I Spy’ From David Shore, McG & ‘Blacklist’ Producers With Put Pilot Commitment

EXCLUSIVE: A hot action drama from House creator David Shore, Charlie’s Angels director McG and John Davis’ Davis Entertainment (The Blacklist), has landed at Fox with a put pilot commitment, I have learned. The project, loosely based on the 1965 adventure series I Spy, hails from Sony Pictures TV, where Davis Entertainment and Shore are based. The studio is finalizing a co-production agreement with 20th Century Fox TV, where McG recently signed an overall deal.