NO DEAL AS AFTRA, AMPTP TALK OVER WEEKEND
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers continued bargaining talks over the weekend but were unable to resolve their differences by Sunday night. Although negotiators have agreed to a news blackout, trade reporters said that the talks have stalled over the issue of whether studios and networks should be required to seek permission from actors before clips of their performances are posted on the Internet. Studios claim that the cost of administering such permissions would be prohibitive and that the clips would end up only being posted by pirates, thereby wiping out payments for anyone. The AMPTP has indicated that it would like to wrap up negotiations with AFTRA by Wednesday, when it is due to resume talks with the larger Screen Actors Guild.
IDOL RUNNER-UP SAYS RUMORS ABOUT DAD "WEIRD"
American Idol runner-up David Archuleta says he found all of the "stage dad" reports about his father Jeff "really weird." In an interview with E! Entertainment Channel, the 17-year-old singer, whose father was reportedly barred from rehearsals during the show's final weeks for attempting to override the producers, said the weirdest rumor was one claiming that his father refused to bring him a glass of water. "I mean, I am 17, and, you know, if I want water, I am pretty sure I would just go get it anyway." He did acknowledge that his father kept news about his performances away from him, "because I didn't want it to distract me or let it go to my head."
MARTIN, OF ROWAN & MARTIN TEAM, DEAD AT 86
Dick Martin, one half of the comedy team of Rowan and Martin, who hosted the seminal Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In in the 1960s, died Saturday of respiratory complications in Santa Monica, CA at age 86. His comedic partner, Dan Rowan, died in 1987. Laugh-In's appeal was its irreverence. It famously persuaded Richard Nixon, then making a presidential bid, to deliver its signature line, "Sock it to me." In its obituary, the New York Times quoted Martin as once saying that the audience wants "to see sacred cows kicked over" and that the show contrived sketches involving celebrities just to be "irreverent and silly." He noted that other variety shows might pay the arch singer Robert Goulet $10,000 to sing three songs. "We hire Robert Goulet, pay him $210 and drop him through a trap door."
MOMENT OF TRUTH TOPS ALL NEW SHOWS
The Moment of Truth, in which contestants agree to answer questions about their personal lives while hooked up to a lie detector, turned out to be the most successful new show of the 2007-08 season, according to Nielsen Research. The show, which averaged 14.6 million viewers, ranked 13 on the overall list of network shows for the season. The most successful scripted show was ABC's Samantha Who?, which averaged 11.8 million viewers and ranked No. 27 on the list.
FRENCH COURT TOSSES OUT LIBEL JUDGMENT AGAINST TV CRITIC
A French appeals court has overturned a libel judgment against critic Philippe Karsenty, who claimed that state-run France 2 Television staged news footage allegedly showing a Palestinian boy being shot by Israeli soldiers in 2000 as he was cowering with his father. Karsenty presented photos and other evidence suggesting that the boy was not shot at all. France 2 Television had also sued three websites that posted Karsenty's analysis of the footage. Karsenty hailed the court's decision as a "victory of truth over lies. It's the victory of honesty over intellectual dishonesty. It's the victory of French justice over corporatism and the media mafia. It is time for France to recover its decency and admit that they produced, protected and covered up the biggest anti-Semitic lie of the century." The television channel said that it would appeal.