Category Archives: TV

FCC Asked to Block Renewal of TV Licenses for Use of Word “Redskins”

The broadcast licenses of two Los Angeles TV stations have been challenged for their use of the name “Redskins” on air. Four Native Americans filed petitions with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking it to deny license renewals for Fox-owned KTTV and NBC-owned KNBC-TV.  Three petitions were filed against KTTV, a station which broadcasts Redskins football games, on October 31.  The KNBC petition was filed on November 3, just in time for the deadline on such petitions.  All four were filed with the assistance of…

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Goodfellas Actor Suing The Simpsons Maker for $250M over ‘Louie’ Character

Frank Sivero, who played a mobster role in the 1990 mobster film Goodfellas, sued Fox Television Studios (“Fox”) for $250 million, claiming the ‘Louie’ character in its long-running popular cartoon show The Simpsons was based on his interpretation of ‘Frankie Carbone’ in Goodfellas. In a suit filed yesterday, Sivero argued that “The Simpsons’ continued use of [his] image and likeness for commercial purposes are all done without [his] consent and without compensating [him].”  Sivero claimed his rights were violated under California’s publicity…

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Real Prison Sentence for ‘Real Housewives’ Stars

On Thursday, October 2, reality television stars, Giuseppe and Teresa Giudice were sentenced to staggered prison sentences for several counts of fraud. The married couple, starring on Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” were indicted in 2013 on 39 counts of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud, and making false statements on loan applications.  Additionally Giuseppe failed to file tax returns for the years 2004 – 2008.  The couple originally pleaded not guilty, but changed their mind in March…

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FCC Eliminates Its NFL Blackout Rule

Here in Buffalo, football fans are enraged by the words “Blackout Rule.”  That reaction, however, may be a thing of the past.  On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) voted unanimously to end the rule. The nearly 40 year old rule was enacted by the FCC to promote attendance at local games.  It did so by banning cable and satellite providers from airing local broadcasts of a game that did not meet attendance requirements.  More specifically, a local broadcaster cannot air a game within a…

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Tax Situation Could Land “Jersey Shore” Star in Prison

On Wednesday, September 24, Mike “the Situation” Sorrentino of the MTV show “Jersey Shore,” appeared in court with his brother Marc to plead not guilty of  federal tax  related charges. The Sorrentinos were charged with multiple counts: conspiracy to defraud the US, filing false tax returns, and failing to file a tax return, resulting in a failure to pay for taxes on $8.9 million of income.  The brothers allegedly claimed millions in personal and business expenses including clothing, vehicles, and grooming.  The charges stem from…

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Apple Faces Lawsuit Over Half of Breaking Bad’s Final Season

On Friday, August 29, Judge Davila of the court of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed two of three consumer class action claims against Apple stemming from its sale of the final season of AMC’s Breaking Bad. Angry Apple customer, Dr. Noam Lazebnik, was irritated to learn that his $22.99 purchase of the final season of Breaking Bad  only included the first 8 episodes.  In 2012, Apple advertised the price for “all current and future episodes of Breaking…

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CBS Sued Over Farting Hippopotamus

A recurring stuffed animal on the hit CBS show, NCIS, is causing the broadcasting corporation legal woes this week.  On August 25, CBS Broadcasting was sued by world renowned puppet maker, Folkmanis Inc.,  for infringing its copyrights by producing and selling “Bert the Farting Hippo” products. Abby Sciuto, the goth forensic scientist on NCIS, introduced her furry, farting stuffed animal, Bert back in 2003.  Since his first appearance, Bert the Farting Hippo has made over a dozen appearances on the television show, garnering…

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Contestant Sues Viacom; “Dating Naked” Was “Not What She Anticipated”

On Friday, August 22, a contestant from VH1’s series “Dating Naked” filed a $10 million lawsuit against Viacom and two other production companies for broadcasting images of her naked. Jessie Nizewitz, a model from New York, participated in the reality television show “Dating Naked,”  which aired in July.  The show revolves around several male and female participants who strip down to the buff and go on dates with each other in an island paradise.  During an on-beach wrestling incident, Niewitz claims that her…

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New Yorkers Pay to Keep Colbert and “Late Show” in NYC

Wednesday afternoon, CBS and New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, announced that the “Late Show” will stay in New York City when Stephen Colbert takes over hosting duties from David Letterman next year. Reports claim that Los Angeles and governor Eric Garcetti attempted to lure Colbert and the “Late Show” from its NY home, but Governor Andrew Cuomo stepped in.  Cuomo offered CBS CEO Leslie Moonves $11 million in tax credits over a five year span through the excelsior tax credit program, geared toward job creation. …

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Supreme Court Shuts Down Aereo

The much anticipated Supreme Court decision came out today.  The US Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision, ruled that Aereo infringed on the copyrights of major TV networks when it transmitted their contents to its subscribers.  Aereo rented out a miniature antenna to a subscriber who then received broadcast signals from major TV networks. Writing for the majority, Justice Stephen G. Breyer found that Aereo was essentially acting like a cable company, not like “an equipment provider.”  He further rejected Aereo’s argument that its transmission…

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