Wednesday Jun 8, 2016

'Raging Bull' actress Theresa Saldana dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Theresa Saldana, the "Raging Bull" actress who survived a stalker's brutal attack to become a crime victim's advocate and reclaimed her entertainment career with "The Commish" and other TV shows, has died. She was 61. Saldana had been suffering from pneumonia and...
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TV

'Raging Bull' actress Theresa Saldana dies
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
'Raging Bull' actress Theresa Saldana dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Theresa Saldana, the "Raging Bull" actress who survived a stalker's brutal attack to become a crime victim's advocate and reclaimed her entertainment career with "The Commish" and other TV shows, has died. She was 61. Saldana had been suffering from pneumonia and died Monday at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to her longtime friend, Soorya Townley, who called the actress a "warm, caring person who always put others' needs before her own. Saldana co-starred in the 1991-96 drama "The Commish" as the supportive wife of Michael Chiklis' police commissioner. Her most notable big-screen role was opposite Joe Pesci in "Raging Bull," Martin Scorsese's 1980 film starring Robert De Niro. "I have such good memories of working with her on 'Raging Bull,' and I always admired the way that she handled the horrifying attack by a stalker — the good that she made of it," Scorsese said. "She was a wonderful actress and a fine human being." In 1982, Saldana was repeatedly stabbed by an obsessed man in front of her West Hollywood apartment. The attack was stopped by a then-water deliveryman, Jeff Fenn, who held the man for police. Scottish drifter Arthur Jackson served more than a decade in prison for the crime before he was extradited to Great Britain to face charges in a case there. Saldana, who endured a prolonged hospitalization, was both physically and mentally scarred and received treatment for both problems. She went on to found a support and lobbying group, Victims for Victims, and played herself in the 1984 TV movie "Victims For Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story." She also wrote "Beyond Survival," a memoir. In a 1992 interview with The Associated Press, Saldana said her recovery was long in coming but complete. "It's been a decade and it's over now, finally," she said. "If someone brings it up I remember, but I don't think about it all the time. It's certainly not a formidable part of my life anymore. I'm happy and excited. I'm doing really well." She and actor Phil Peters, who had a recurring role on "The Commish" as police Sgt. William Frawley, married in 1989 and had a daughter, Tianna. Saldana was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1954 and was adopted at five days by an Italian-Puerto Rican family. Her first film appearances came in 1978 with "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "Nunzio." Other movie credits included "Defiance," ''The Evil That Men Do" and "Gang Warz." Her TV credits included "T.J. Hooker" and "Matlock" in the early and mid-1980s, "Diagnosis Murder" in the '90s and "The Bernie Mac Show" in 2003. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lynn Elber from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Watch: 'Marco Polo' Season 2 trailer
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
Watch: 'Marco Polo' Season 2 trailer

Lorenzo Richelmy returns as the title character and explorer of the Mongolian Empire in a first trailer for July 2016's second season of "Marco Polo" on Netflix.The two-minute reel sets expectations for a 10-episode season due to drop July 1, with Marco Polo conscripted into the order of the Mongol Knights as the Empire's violent growth faces new challenges. Benedict Wong of "The Martian" and "Prometheus" returns as Kublai Khan in a cast that includes Olivia Cheng, Jean Chen, Zhy Zhu, Mahesh Jadu, Michelle Yeoh, Rick Yune and Uli Latukefu. Marco Polo Season 2 trailer: youtu.be/OXfgvcJ5T8E, facebook.com/MarcoPoloMP/videos/1044389592295431 Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Video consumes vast majority of US data traffic: report
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
Video consumes vast majority of US data traffic: report

PriceWaterhouseCoopers' "Global entertainment and media outlook 2016-2020" study estimates that online video consumed 82.1% of data traffic in the USA for 2015.Film, TV/video, music, internet advertising, and video games will change in the most impactful way over the period 2016 to 2020, said PwC. Event cinema, video game adaptations, local-language content will impact film, while China will become the world's top movie market in 2017; in TV, online delivery is "the new normal," with online home video already bigger than the box office. Live music experiences will continue to increase in importance, with digital streaming the predominant form of consumption and subscription services accounting for 80% of industry revenue. Virtual reality was identified as an "exciting area of growth" within video games, and competitive gaming, known as eSports, will benefit from increased local awareness in the US. For advertisers, mobile is of the most interest, with paid search and online video internet advertising to grow rapidly, as long as the challenges of transparency, ad fraud and privacy can be adequately dealt with. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

A summer bounty of TV drama, comedies and even a 'Hamilton'
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
A summer bounty of TV drama, comedies and even a 'Hamilton'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Summer travel packing list: swimsuit, sunblock, television. In this portable TV era, there's no reason to leave small-screen entertainment at home when cable channels, streaming services and networks are eager to keep you connected online with top-notch fare from, among others, Oscar-owning filmmakers. So hit the road with your smartphone, laptop or tablet — or, heck, stay put in front of an actual TV set — and check out this steamy-weather menu of hot picks (all times EDT). — "BrainDead," CBS, 10 p.m. Monday, June 13. A different political show from "The Good Wife" creators Robert and Michelle King, with Washington beset by brain-eating bugs and a bipartisan coalition out to stop them. Tony Shalhoub and Broadway and TV "Grease" heartthrob Aaron Tveit are among the comic thriller's stars. — "Animal Kingdom," TNT, 9 p.m. Monday, June 14. A teenager (Finn Cole) loses his mother to a heroin overdose and gains a violent family that includes a tough matriarch (Ellen Barkin) and her offspring in the drama series based on the Australian movie of the same name. — "Raised by Wolves," Acorn TV streaming service, Monday, June 20. A bluntly funny take on the lives of an unconventional single mother and her six home-schooled kids from writers Caitlin and Caroline Moran, sisters who lived a version of the comedy series. — "Queen of the South," USA, 10 p.m. Thursday, June 23. Drawn from the best-selling novel "La Reina Del Sur," which already spawned a hit telenovela, the drama stars Alice Braga ("I Am Legend") as a woman on the run in the U.S. from a drug trafficking ring after her boyfriend's murder. —"Dancing On the Edge," PBS, 8 p.m. Sunday, June 26. An eight-part drama about a black jazz band that finds success and tragedy in 1930s London. Chiwetel Ejiofor ("12 Years A Slave") and Matthew Goode (aka Lady Mary's squeeze in "Downton Abbey") are part of the cast. — "Alexander Hamilton," History Channel, 9 p.m. Sunday, June 26. Finding tickets to the Broadway hit musical "Hamilton" too pricey? This two-hour documentary detailing his national legacy may leave you singing the founding father's praises. — "Roadies," Showtime, 10 p.m. Sunday, June 26. Rock stars ruled in filmmaker Cameron Crowe's Oscar-winning "Almost Famous," but it's the crew members who shine in the comedy series written and directed by Crowe. Luke Wilson, Carla Gugino and Keisha Castle-Hughes are part of the ensemble cast. — "Hello World!" Discovery Channel, 8 p.m. Saturday, July 9. The family friendly series enlists the narration and tunes of Christina Aguilera, Usher, Joan Jett and others to educate us about wild animals and their habitats. — "The Night Of," HBO, 9 p.m. Sunday, July 10. A start-to-finish murder case as created by one Oscar-winning writer, Steven Zaillian ("Schindler's List") and one Oscar-nominated one, Richard Price ("The Color of Money"), with an assist from Peter Moffat, whose original U.K. series it's adapted from. John Turturro, Riz Ahmed star. — "The A Word," SundanceTV, 10 p.m. Wednesday, July 13. Both autism and adultery figure in this series, described as both thoughtful and humorous, about a 5-year-old boy and his extended family. — "The Get Down," Netflix, Friday, Aug. 12. New York circa 1970s is the setting for this music-saturated drama about South Bronx teenagers in a harsh and changing world. Extravagant filmmaker Baz Luhrmann ("Moulin Rouge!") directed and produced the series with young actors (Justice Smith, Shameik Moore) and veterans (Jimmy Smits, Giancarlo Esposito). ___ Lynn Elber can be reached at lelber@ap.org and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lynnelber Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lynn Elber from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Lawsuit: Ellen DeGeneres mocked woman's name for breast joke
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
Lawsuit: Ellen DeGeneres mocked woman's name for breast joke

MACON, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia real estate agent is suing the producer of the "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," claiming the comedian mispronounced her name to make a joke about breasts. Titi (TEE'-tee) Pierce alleges in the lawsuit filed against Warner Bros. last week that DeGeneres displayed one of Pierce's real estate signs during the Feb. 22 show that was rerun April 15. It says DeGeneres led into the joke about Pierce's name after showing a sign for the unrelated Nipple Convalescent Home. The suit also says the sign included Pierce's cellphone number and she was subjected to "ridiculing and harassing" phone calls. The suit claims invasion of privacy, defamation and emotional distress. It seeks unspecified monetary damages. Warner Bros. declined to comment on the suit. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Movies

'Raging Bull' actress Theresa Saldana dies
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
'Raging Bull' actress Theresa Saldana dies

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Theresa Saldana, the "Raging Bull" actress who survived a stalker's brutal attack to become a crime victim's advocate and reclaimed her entertainment career with "The Commish" and other TV shows, has died. She was 61. Saldana had been suffering from pneumonia and died Monday at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, according to her longtime friend, Soorya Townley, who called the actress a "warm, caring person who always put others' needs before her own. Saldana co-starred in the 1991-96 drama "The Commish" as the supportive wife of Michael Chiklis' police commissioner. Her most notable big-screen role was opposite Joe Pesci in "Raging Bull," Martin Scorsese's 1980 film starring Robert De Niro. "I have such good memories of working with her on 'Raging Bull,' and I always admired the way that she handled the horrifying attack by a stalker — the good that she made of it," Scorsese said. "She was a wonderful actress and a fine human being." In 1982, Saldana was repeatedly stabbed by an obsessed man in front of her West Hollywood apartment. The attack was stopped by a then-water deliveryman, Jeff Fenn, who held the man for police. Scottish drifter Arthur Jackson served more than a decade in prison for the crime before he was extradited to Great Britain to face charges in a case there. Saldana, who endured a prolonged hospitalization, was both physically and mentally scarred and received treatment for both problems. She went on to found a support and lobbying group, Victims for Victims, and played herself in the 1984 TV movie "Victims For Victims: The Theresa Saldana Story." She also wrote "Beyond Survival," a memoir. In a 1992 interview with The Associated Press, Saldana said her recovery was long in coming but complete. "It's been a decade and it's over now, finally," she said. "If someone brings it up I remember, but I don't think about it all the time. It's certainly not a formidable part of my life anymore. I'm happy and excited. I'm doing really well." She and actor Phil Peters, who had a recurring role on "The Commish" as police Sgt. William Frawley, married in 1989 and had a daughter, Tianna. Saldana was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1954 and was adopted at five days by an Italian-Puerto Rican family. Her first film appearances came in 1978 with "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" and "Nunzio." Other movie credits included "Defiance," ''The Evil That Men Do" and "Gang Warz." Her TV credits included "T.J. Hooker" and "Matlock" in the early and mid-1980s, "Diagnosis Murder" in the '90s and "The Bernie Mac Show" in 2003. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Lynn Elber from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Video consumes vast majority of US data traffic: report
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
Video consumes vast majority of US data traffic: report

PriceWaterhouseCoopers' "Global entertainment and media outlook 2016-2020" study estimates that online video consumed 82.1% of data traffic in the USA for 2015.Film, TV/video, music, internet advertising, and video games will change in the most impactful way over the period 2016 to 2020, said PwC. Event cinema, video game adaptations, local-language content will impact film, while China will become the world's top movie market in 2017; in TV, online delivery is "the new normal," with online home video already bigger than the box office. Live music experiences will continue to increase in importance, with digital streaming the predominant form of consumption and subscription services accounting for 80% of industry revenue. Virtual reality was identified as an "exciting area of growth" within video games, and competitive gaming, known as eSports, will benefit from increased local awareness in the US. For advertisers, mobile is of the most interest, with paid search and online video internet advertising to grow rapidly, as long as the challenges of transparency, ad fraud and privacy can be adequately dealt with. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

'Suicide Squad' hits PG-13 target
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
'Suicide Squad' hits PG-13 target

August anti-hero movie "Suicide Squad" has nailed its anticipated PG-13 rating for US cinemas, even after February's "Deadpool" became a blockbuster with its rare R-rating.The Warner Bros movie has a host of DC Comics super villains recruited by a secret government agency; they'll be set free should they manage to somehow complete and survive their suicide mission. Jared Leto is the newest incarnation of The Joker, with cast members also including Will Smith (Deadshot), Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn), Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje (Killer Croc) and Cara Delevingne (Enchantress); Ben Affleck is also set to appear as Batman, and Viola Davis as the crew's agency boss. While "Deadpool" romped to a $772m box office on the back of a rare superhero movie R-rating -- 2008's "Punisher: War Zone" developed a noteworthy following only after its time in theaters had drawn to a close -- and "Batman v. Superman" being prepared for an R-rated Ultimate Edition on DVD from June 28, there was some speculation that "Suicide Squad" might go the same route. But the PG-13 rating enables Warner's August tentpole to reach as wide an audience as possible, establishing a stronger platform for more movies further down the line. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Harry Potter play gets rave reviews
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
Harry Potter play gets rave reviews

Harry Potter's stage debut got a standing ovation from a packed theatre audience in a new London play that imagines the fictional boy wizard as a grown-up father of three, British media reported on Wednesday."Judging by the whooping and cheering, nobody was disappointed," Clare Fitzimons wrote in The Mirror after the first showing of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" at the Palace Theatre. "It was phenomenal, it really was. It lived up to all the hype," said one fan interviewed by the BBC, while another in a Potter-style cape said: "This completely blew me away. J. K. Rowling did an amazing job." Potter creator Rowling made a special request for fans to keep the plot secret and the 1,500 audience members were handed badges reading "#KeepTheSecrets". "The storyline, a hymn to friendship and teenage misfits, contains enough twists to please the most knowledgeable of fans," Hannah Furness wrote in The Daily Telegraph. "Any fears that the world of Hogwarts on stage would struggle to compete with the multimillion-dollar special effects of film were quickly kicked into touch". "Has Rowling done it again? The audience was in no doubt," she wrote. The plot for the play reads: "While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. "As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places," it said. The show officially opens on July 30 and is set to be published as a book on July 31, which is Rowling's and Harry Potter's birthday. Rowling's books have sold more than 450 million copies since 1997 and been adapted into eight films. The show is written by English screenwriter and playwright Jack Thorne, based on an original story co-written with Rowling and the play's director John Tiffany. Given the millions of fans around the world, the decision to move the characters on two decades was seen as risky. Like many of his fans, Potter has now grown up in the play and has three children with his wife Ginny Weasley, the sister of his friend Ron. He is working at the Ministry of Magic. He still has his trademark round-rimmed glasses and the scar on his head, a permanent reminder of his nemesis Lord Voldemort, but must now help his youngest son Albus confront the family's dark past. Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

'Jason Bourne' movie issues explosive TV spot
Wednesday Jun 8, 2016
'Jason Bourne' movie issues explosive TV spot

A 30-second clip for July's fifth entry to the Bourne franchise promises an all-action movie whose plot calls rogue agent Jason Bourne out of the shadows one more time.Matt Damon returns as Jason Bourne, with Julia Stiles as Nicky Parsons who, having been his agency handler at one point, lets him know that the secretive training programs he sought to dismantle have returned with a vengeance. Fortunately for fans of the franchise, so has Bourne himself, and this time he's got an advantage -- "I know everything," says the former amnesiac. Some viewers feel that they too now know too much, identifying what could be a potential spoiler halfway through the clip. Also involved in the film are Tommy Lee Jones ("Captain America: Civil War"), Alicia Vikander ("Ex Machina"), Ato Essandoh ("Django Unchained"), Riz Ahmed ("Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"), and Vincent Cassel ("Black Swan.") "Jason Bourne" starts its international rollout the week of July 29, 2016, including territories such as the USA, Canada, the UK and Ireland, Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, the Netherlands and Singapore. Japanese showings commence from October 7. Jason Bourne TV spot: youtu.be/ApNnmNNvW8o, twitter.com/jasonbourne/status/740236183569997824, facebook.com/TheBourneSeries/videos/1219039824802806 Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Events

MTV launches global contest for cover song stardom
Wednesday Aug 24, 2016
MTV launches global contest for cover song stardom

MTV on Wednesday invited fans around the world to cover hit songs, with the winner set to earn fame by starring in an original video.The pioneering music network announced the contest ahead of Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards in New York and geared the initiative toward viewers in the network's more than 120 markets outside the United States. The network will announce a song each month. To enter the competition, international viewers will need to upload cover versions on YouTube and submit them online to be the "MTV Cover of the Month." MTV International will recognize each month's winner through a recurring spot on television as well as a trophy. The network will also pick a winner of the year, who will star in an original music video to be produced and promoted by MTV. The first song in the contest, which will open after Sunday's awards gala, is Mike Posner's global hit "I Took a Pill in Ibiza." The track has already gone through a musical transformation. Posner wrote it as a pop song with light guitar but -- true to the sound of the Spanish resort of Ibiza -- it climbed the charts as an electronic dance track mixed by Norwegian duo Seeb. "I'm all about anything that supports creativity and self-expression," Posner, who will personally select the winner, said in a statement. MTV International senior vice president Kerry Taylor said that the contest was part of the network's approach of preserving its well-known global brand identity while encouraging a local flavor. "Our focus is very much about being a global brand with local resonance," Taylor told AFP. Taylor said that MTV was open to covers from all around the world including with strong regional adaptations. "When you look at the kind of success of people doing covers on YouTube and just knowing how much our audiences universally love music, this felt like a contest that would work as well in Asia as it would in the Americas," she said. MTV revolutionized the music industry from its launch in 1981 by intertwining a visual component with pop songs but the network has come to focus more broadly on youth culture. MTV International rebranded itself last year in part due to youth culture's rapid embrace of social media and the growing world of YouTube sensations. As part of the change, MTV International airs user-generated content -- labeled with the hashtag #mtvbump -- thousands of times per week. MTV has also produced international spinoffs of its popular series "Jersey Shore" and "Ridiculousness." Copyright AFP Relaxnews, 2016. This article was from AFP Relax News and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Pharrell to be honored by Clive Davis for songwriting
Wednesday Aug 24, 2016
Pharrell to be honored by Clive Davis for songwriting

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Pharrell has a new reason to be "Happy." Clive Davis is honoring the "Happy" and "Freedom" singer-songwriter with his Legend in Songwriting Award. Pharrell is scheduled to receive the honor from the veteran music executive at the 12th annual Songs of Hope event on Sept. 15. The annual event benefits the City of Hope, a research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases in Duarte, California. Other award recipients will include singer-songwriter Mike Posner and "The Jungle Book" and "Mother's Day" composer John Debney. Burt Bacharach, Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds are among the previous winners of Davis' Legend in Songwriting Award. Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

APNewsBreak: Ohio literary peace award to Marilynne Robinson
Wednesday Aug 24, 2016
APNewsBreak: Ohio literary peace award to Marilynne Robinson

CINCINNATI (AP) — Writer Marilynne Robinson has been named the winner of a lifetime achievement award that celebrates the power of literature to foster peace, social justice and global understanding. Dayton Literary Peace Prize organizers announced Wednesday that Robinson, 72, will receive this year's Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award, named for the late U.S. diplomat who brokered the 1995 Bosnia peace accords reached in Ohio. Robinson won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for "Gilead," the first of a trilogy of Iowa-set novels that includes "Home" and "Lila." Her 1980 book "Housekeeping" explored themes of family and home in a story about two sisters. The Dayton honor recognizes her overall body of novels and essays for their moving and thoughtful reflections on spirituality, politics, science and modern life. Sharon Rab, founder and co-chair of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation, praised Robinson's writings on "forgiveness, the sacredness of the human creature, and delight in being alive and experiencing the natural world" in a statement, adding that her works demonstrate "the universal healing power of reconciliation and love." "I have had the privilege of seeing for myself how books live in the world, how readily they can cross all sorts of borders and boundaries, how important they are in sustaining a human conversation through and despite the frictions that arise among nations, how intensely they can be taken to heart anywhere," Robinson said in a statement. Among the Idaho native's fans are President Barack Obama, who in 2012 gave her the National Humanities Medal and interviewed Robinson for The New York Review of Books in 2015. Robinson earlier this year was awarded the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, a lifetime achievement honor. She will receive the Dayton award Nov. 20. Previous winners include Studs Terkel, Taylor Branch, Gloria Steinem, and Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Peace Prize winner who died in July. ___ Online: http://daytonliterarypeaceprize.org ___ Follow Dan Sewell at http://www.twitter.com/dansewell For some of his other recent stories: http://bigstory.ap.org/content/dan-sewell Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Dan Sewell from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Britney Spears raffles clothes for Louisiana flood victims
Tuesday Aug 23, 2016
Britney Spears raffles clothes for Louisiana flood victims

Pop star Britney Spears is giving the clothes off her back to raise money for the Red Cross to benefit victims of widespread flooding in her home state of Louisiana. Spears, who's from Kentwood, tweeted out links Tuesday to a fundraising site that offers $10 raffle tickets to win an outfit from her upcoming performance on Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards or a trip to New York to see her at the show in person. More than 115,000 people across south Louisiana have signed up for federal disaster assistance after the catastrophic flooding that began Aug. 12. At least 13 deaths have been attributed to the flooding, and more than 60,000 homes were damaged by the storm. ___ Online: www.crowdrise.com/britneyforlouisiana/ Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by The Associated Press from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Bochco's book: He rewrote TV's rules and lived to tell it
Tuesday Aug 23, 2016
Bochco's book: He rewrote TV's rules and lived to tell it

NEW YORK (AP) — For viewers who rejoice in TV's artistic upsurge, one virtuoso perhaps more than anyone can be credited for elevating the medium from its bygone "boob tube" status. Steven Bochco flinches at the mention of his half-century writing and producing TV. Could it really be that long? But his list of credits documents his legacy. Consider: the breakthrough hits "L.A. Law" and "NYPD Blue," the pioneering half-hour dramedy "Doogie Howser, MD" and the groundbreaking legal drama "Murder One," which, instead of a self-contained case every week, dared to delve into a complex single case throughout the season. Yet for Bochco, the TV revolutionary, "Hill Street Blues" came first. And it pretty much changed everything. In his self-published memoir "Truth Is a Total Defense: My Fifty Years in Television " (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; $16.99), Bochco takes the reader through his prolific career, which he began at 22 as a story editor on a popular NBC drama, "The Name of the Game," and continues today with his latest creation, "Murder in the First," in its third season on TNT. In his book, Bochco recalls his great collaborations and his battles royal with actors, studio heads and network execs, along with his courageous flops ("Bay City Blues"! "Cop Rock"!) that made the triumphs even sweeter. But along the way, he expounds on something even more important to him: How, at age 72, he's still alive. "Everything is fine," he reports, and looks it, as he greets a reporter at his office in Santa Monica, California. He says he's coming up on two years since the bone-marrow transplant he underwent during his battle with leukemia. "The thing I like most about the book was the juxtaposition of a career that had a pretty great arc to it with the fight for my life. "Most of us live our lives being afraid of death, and when it was actually on my doorstep I was terrified," he says. "The biggest lesson I learned very quickly was to embrace the uncertainty of my circumstances, and when I did, a lot of that fear fell away." His crash course in how there's more to life than hit shows — it's covered in the book, too. Bochco grew up in Manhattan, the son of a painter and a concert violinist (viewers see Rudolph Bochco fiddling away on the "vanity card" that identifies each Steven Bochco production). On arriving in Los Angeles after college, he wrote for several series at Universal Studios. Then he got a big break: writing the screenplay for the 1972 sci-fi film "Silent Running." It wasn't the paltry $1500 fee that soured him on his fling with the big screen. It was the disrespect he confronted as the writer: "Once you've delivered the screenplay they don't want you around, because you're gonna get in the way of someone else's vision." Bochco resolved to stick with television, despite what, then, was its second-class standing. He knew the strict schedule of completing an episode a week demands "an informing voice, a central creative driver." In TV, the writer's vision was likely to prevail. Nowhere was the writer's vision more revered than at MTM Enterprises, a creative hotbed where, after leaving Universal, he was invited to cook up a new kind of cop drama. Teamed with Michael Kozoll ("I was never a one-man band," Bochco says of his career) he was game for such an opportunity, with one proviso: He and Kozoll would have creative control over the script. The pilot script they wrote, and the series that resulted, redefined TV drama. From "The Sopranos" to "The Shield" and "Lost," from "Game of Thrones" to "Mad Men" and "Orange Is the New Black," the fruits of TV's latter-day Golden Age stem from "Hill Street Blues," which gave TV writers license to be TV trailblazers. "Hill Street Blues" had a sprawling universe of engaging yet flawed characters, a zippy pace and layers of overlapping dialogue (all scripted, Bochco says), shot in a documentary style. But what really set the show apart were the multiple narratives that interlaced each episode with those that came before and after. With the rare exception of the few prime-time soaps, almost every series up to that time — whether comedy or drama — made each episode freestanding, with a reset button for the one that came next. Bochco recalls a fan telling him that "Hill Street Blues" was the first TV series with a memory. "That's what I always thought of myself doing in the context of TV: craft a show that over time would have a memory," he says. "I sensed that very early in my career. It just took me another 10 or 12 years to get to the point where I earned the right to take a shot at it." Premiering in January 1981, "Hill Street Blues" challenged, even confounded the meager audience that sampled it. Then, on a wave of critical acclaim, the series began to click with viewers, while scoring a history-making 27 Emmy nominations its first year. During its seven-season run, it would win 26 Emmys and launch Bochco on a course that has led to dozens of series and earned him 10 Emmys and four Peabody awards. "I had a 20-plus-year run where I was pretty much the captain of my own boat," he says, "and I loved it. But TV is a business where the goal posts keep moving." Even so, a new Bochco project draws from the past: A reinvention of "L.A. Law," his slick legal drama that flourished from 1986 to 1994. "What would it be, 30 years later?" he muses. To suss that out, he has reteamed with writer-producer William Finkelstein, whose credits include the original series. They're hoping 20th Century Fox, where the show was filmed before, will sign on for a pilot to pitch to a network next spring. "They ordered a script," says Bochco, who rewrote TV's rules and lived to tell about it, "and we'll get 'em a script." _____ Online: https://www.amazon.com/Truth-Total-Defense-Fifty-Television/dp/1534833900 _____ EDITOR'S NOTE — Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore@ap.org and at http://www.twitter.com/tvfrazier. Past stories are available at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/frazier-moore Copyright (2016) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. This article was written by Frazier Moore from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.