Rappers Insane Clown Posse have had their lawsuit against top U.S. authorities dismissed after objecting to a report which labelled their fans gang members. In January (14), Violent J, real name Joseph Bruce, and Shaggy 2 Dope, real name Joey Utsler, joined forces with four fans to sue officials at the U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the U.S. Federal District Court in Michigan, claiming their constitutional rights of free expression and association and due process were violated by the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment.
The fans, who call themselves Juggalos, also alleged they had been subject to police harassment because of the designation, but last week (ends06Jul14) a federal judge ruled officials in the U.S. government were not responsible for the report from the state police agencies and dismissed the case.
The plaintiffs have since decided to challenge the decision and on Tuesday (08Jul14), they filed an appeal to have the judge's ruling reviewed.
Tom Cruise and J.J. Abrams are celebrating after a $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit against them was dismissed. Timothy Patrick McLanahan sued the Edge of Tomorrow star and Abrams, along with several others, in January (14), claiming the premise for 2011's Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol was stolen from a script he wrote in 1998 for a film titled Head On.
Last month (Jun14), McLanahan was scheduled to present evidence for his claims, but failed to submit the proper documents and, on Thursday (03July14), a federal judge tossed the case.
His ruling reads: "The case is dismissed, without prejudice, for lack of prosecution and for failure to comply with the orders of the Court."
Actor Jake Gyllenhaal is set to make his Broadway debut in Nick Payne's Constellations. The Brokeback Mountain star will appear in the Manhattan Theater Club's production of the hit West End play at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre for a limited run, beginning in December (14).
The award-winning play reunites Gyllenhaal with director Payne, who he worked with in his off-Broadway, New York stage debut in 2012, If There Is I Haven't Found It Yet.
Constellations premiered in 2012 at London's Royal Court Theatre, and starred Sally Hawkins and Rafe Spall.
NBC Universal Media
Next fall, NBC will air The Biggest Loser to its Thursday night lineup, giving it the 8 PM slot. Once football season ends, the network will put its only true hit from this season, The Blacklist, at the 9 PM slot on Thursday. Why is any of that news? Because it means that for one of the few times since 1983, NBC will not air a block of sitcoms during the 8 - 10 PM timeslots.
NBC's Thursday nights has been the home to some of the biggest hits and most influential sitcoms in history, and while the network's programming strategy might make business sense it's hard not to feel a little sad at the end of what became one of the medium's few constants.
The Peacock first experimented with the idea of grouping sitcoms on Thursday during the 1983 - 84 season with a rotation of shows that included fare like Gimme a Break and We Got It Made… but it also included a pair of building blocks that would provide the basis for what was to come.
The following season in 1984, NBC debuted its first classic lineup on Thursdays with holdovers Cheers and Family Ties, paired with The Cosby Show and Night Court. The formula of two smart family sitcoms during the 8 - 9 PM hour and then two slightly more adult oriented sitcoms between 9 - 10 PM wasn't new — CBS did the same thing throughout much of the '70s — but the quality of the four shows was so good that it was hard for the grouping not to standout.
NBC's success on Thursdays — particularly with The Cosby Show, which at its peak was averaging nearly 30 million viewers a week — propelled the network to its first standalone win in the season ratings since Nielsen started keeping track in 1960.Cheers and The Cosby Show anchored the night for the rest of the decade until a little show about nothing came along to keep the ball rolling.
In its early days, Seinfeld bounced around the NBC schedule in search of a home, sometimes airing after Cheers. When the Ted Danson sitcom finally ended in 1993, however, Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David's creation was ready to take over.
Seinfeld and Friends
Seinfeld, Mad About You, and starting in 1994, Friends became "Must See TV." For most of the next decade, Friends and Seinfeld were such strong ratings winners that they could carry a variety of weaker shows (Caroline in the City, Suddenly Susan, Veronica's Closet, etc.) that followed them. The pair of New York-based sitcoms became so iconic that Friends generated a fashion sensation as women rushed to have their hair styled like Rachel and Seinfeld fans quoted the show so much that phrases like "Master of your domain" and "No soup for you!" became part of the cultural lexicon.
When Seinfeld called it quits, the Cheers spinoff Frasier moved back to Thursday to stabilize the night for a couple of seasons until suitable replacement could be found. NBC found that replacement when it turned to a show about a group of friends far different from Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Matthew Perry and company: as Friends started to wind-down, the night became the domain of Will & Grace. The sitcom about a gay man and his female best friend (Eric McCormack and Debra Messing), along with their two flakey cohorts (Sean Hayes and Megan Mullally), provided the network with another hit to build around.
Beginning of the End
When Friends came to a close, NBC's Thursday lineup went through a period of flux. The first signs of trouble began when Scrubs had difficulty finding a larger audience, despite being well received by critics. With ratings dropping, The Apprentice spent time in the 9 PM Thursday slot, as did Deal or No Deal.
The comedy lineup reemerged, however, in 2007 when Tina Fey's 30 Rock joined The Office, My Name Is Earl and Scrubs to form one more stellar block of sitcoms. By 2009, Community and Parks and Recreation had joined The Office and 30 Rock, but as smartly written as the group was, ratings never quite rebounded fully.
By this past season, when only Community and Parks remained and were grouped with the now canceled Welcome to the Family, Sean Saves the World, and The Michael J. Fox Show, the writing was on the wall. With not much more than The Big Bang Theory, CBS easily defeated NBC's offerings. With CBS' announcement that they would air NFL games on Thursdays in the fall, it became clear that NBC was going to have to counterprogram to keep from being trampled.
At some point, NBC lost its touch and patience for building sitcoms like Cheers, Seinfeld, and The Office... none of which was an immediate ratings success. That's too bad, but instead of lamenting the network's inability to come up with suitable sitcoms, it's better to sit back and marvel at the decades of comedy success that NBC managed to pull off. It was a heck of a run while it lasted.
Justin Timberlake, Imagine Dragons Robin Thicke and Jennifer Lopez were among the big winners at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday (18May14), each taking home top honours. The SexyBack hitmaker, who is currently on his world tour, emerged victorious in a total of seven categories, including Top Artist, Top Male Artist and Top Radio Songs Artist, while he also claimed the title for Top Billboard 200 Album for The 20/20 Experience.
Imagine Dragons and Robin Thicke were also multiple winners on the night, while Lorde had double the reason to celebrate as she was named Top New Artist and her hit Royals earned her the Top Rock Song prize. It was also a big night for Jennifer Lopez, who opened the Las Vegas ceremony by joining Pitbull and Claudia Leitte to perform their official 2014 FIFA World Cup soccer anthem, We Are One (Ole Ola).
She returned to the stage almost three hours later to close the show with her new song First Love as she was feted with the Icon Award by pal Ricky Martin and rapper Iggy Azalea, while video tributes from the likes of Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Cameron Diaz, Britney Spears, Rihanna and Mary J. Blige were shown on a big screen. She grew emotional as she gave thanks to her friends, family and key colleagues and she wrapped up her acceptance speech by addressing all the youngsters watching the awards on TV, telling them, "Have faith, think big, dream big and know that anything is possible. You never know where you might end up. Thank you, I love you."
Other show highlights included Ricky Martin's energetic Vida and Lorde's first TV rendition of her new single Tennis Court. There was also a pre-taped Birthday surprise from Katy Perry, who recorded a segment from her recent gig in Newcastle, England, where she plucked a real birthday girl from the audience and serenaded her onstage, for the awards show, while footage from Miley Cyrus' concert in Manchester, England last week (14May14), when she sang a cover of the Beatles' Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds with the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne and Steven Drozd, also aired.
The main list of winners at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards, presented by rapper Ludacris, is as follows:
Top Artist - Justin Timberlake
Top New Artist - Lorde
Top Male Artist - Justin Timberlake
Top Female Artist - Katy Perry
Top Duo/Group - Imagine Dragons
Top Touring Artist - Bon Jovi
Top Billboard 200 Artist - Justin Timberlake
Top Billboard 200 Album - Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience
Top Hot 100 Artist - Imagine Dragons
Top Hot 100 Song - Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams, Blurred Lines
Top Radio Songs Artist - Justin Timberlake
Top Radio Song - Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams, Blurred Lines
Top Digital Songs Artist - Katy Perry
Top Digital Song - Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams, Blurred Lines
Top Social Artist - Justin Bieber
Top Streaming Artist - Miley Cyrus
Top Streaming Song (Audio) - Imagine Dragons, Radioactive
Top Streaming Song (Video) - Miley Cyrus, Wrecking Ball
Top Christian Artist - Chris Tomlin
Top Christian Song - Matthew West, Hello, My Name Is
Top Christian Album - Alan Jackson, Precious Memories Volume II
Top Country Artist - Luke Bryan
Top Country Song - Florida Georgia Line featuring Nelly, Cruise
Top Country Album - Luke Bryan, Crash My Party
Top Dance/Electronic Album - Daft Punk, Random Access Memories
Top Latin Artist - Marc Anthony
Top Latin Song - Marc Anthony, Vivir Mi Vida
Top Latin Album - Marc Anthony, 3.0
Top R&B Artist - Justin Timberlake
Top R&B Song - Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams, Blurred Lines
Top R&B Album - Justin Timberlake, The 20/20 Experience
Top Rap Artist - Eminem
Top Rap Song - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Ray Dalton, Can't Hold Us
Top Rap Album - Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP 2
Top Rock Artist - Imagine Dragons
Top Rock Song - Lorde, Royals
Top Rock Album - Imagine Dragons,
Night Visions Milestone Award - Carrie Underwood
Icon Award - Jennifer Lopez.
Jay Z, Kanye West, Beyonce, Rihanna and Chris Brown have been named in a bizarre $2.4 billion civil rights lawsuit filed by a prisoner in a California jail.
Richard J. Dupree, Jr. is convinced the musicians stole lyrics for over 3,000 songs he wrote while serving time behind bars, by spying on him via satellite with the aid of several law enforcement agencies, including the Central intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security, according to Re-Tox.com.
It is not clear which songs Dupree is claiming feature his lyrics, but in the lawsuit, which he filed on 21 April (14) in California Eastern District Court, he is asking for damages and to be freed from California State Prison, Corcoran immediately.
Paul Walker's mother was denied permission to take over as the temporary guardian of the late actor's only child after accusing her granddaughter's mother of failing to take proper care of the teen. Cheryl Walker filed papers for temporary and permanent guardianship in Los Angeles Superior Court on 18 March (14), claiming 15-year-old Meadow was at risk because Rebecca Soteros had been struggling with alcoholism.
The two parties were due for a legal showdown last week (27Mar14), but the battle was avoided after Walker, 60, reached an out-of-court agreement with Soteros, and agreed to let Meadow stay with her mother.
However, legal documents released to the public on Wednesday (02Apr14) actually reveal that Walker's short-term petition had been questioned by Commissioner David J. Cowan, who was overseeing the case. He stated, "Why is temp (temporary) guardianship needed? What is (the) urgency?"
Cowan also noted that Walker's lawyers had failed to adequately explain the reasons for the guardianship grab or serve papers to Meadow or Soteros.
The judge's ruling was issued without prejudice, which allows Walker to try for temporary guardianship again.
It is not yet known if the actor's mother will attempt to argue her case in a new filing, but if she does, the motion could be addressed during her next court hearing with Soteros, which has been set for 30 April (14).
In his will, the Fast & Furious star, who died in a car crash in November (13), stated he wanted his mother to become Meadow's guardian in the event of his premature death.
Rapper Benzino's nephew has been ordered to remain behind bars without bail after he was accused of trying to kill the hip-hop star at a family funeral. Gai Scott, 36, was arrested and charged with armed assault with intent to murder after allegedly shooting Benzino in the shoulder as he rode in the funeral procession in Duxbury, Massachusetts on Saturday (29Mar14).
He appeared before Plymouth District Court on Monday (31Mar14) when his lawyer argued that Scott fired at his uncle in self-defence and a not guilty plea was entered.
Judge J. Thomas Kirkman denied him bail on Wednesday (02Apr13) following a separate hearing.
Benzino, real name Raymond Scott, was hospitalised after the shooting but is now recovering.
In a post on Twitter on Wednesday, he thanked fans for their ongoing support, writing, "I really appriciate everybodies (sic) kind words and prayers, I'm truly grateful and blessed, it helped me alot.(sic)"
A man who has accused towering former basketball superstar Shaquille O'Neal of attacking him is planning to show his X-rays in court to prove just how bad his injuries were. Rob Williams claims he needed major surgery to repair the damage to his neck and spine following his May (13) showdown with Shaq, which left him with a herniated disk.
The plaintiff's attorney, William J. McKenny, tells TMZ.com that his client required four screws and a metal plate as a result of the alleged encounter with O'Neal, now a TV sports pundit.
And he has the X-rays to prove that what the sportsman insists was just simple horseplay was in fact serious.
Williams filed a police report against Shaq for assault and battery and cops are investigating his claims, but no arrests have been made and no charges filed.
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has filed a libel lawsuit against bosses at British newspaper the Daily Mail over a report published last year (13) about her past as a struggling single mother. The writer claims editors attributed a single incident involving one woman, who had visited her local church in Edinburgh, Scotland, to formulate a story about how her fellow church members treated her in a "bigoted, unchristian manner", because she was raising a child on her own.
Rowling insists the article, titled "How J.K. Rowling's sob story about her past as a single mother has left the churchgoers who cared for her upset and bewildered", damaged her reputation and caused her distress and embarrassment, according to The Guardian.
She is suing executives at the publication over the "misleading and unfair" story, which was published in September (13).
The court documents state, "(They wrote) a knowingly false account of her time as a single mother in Edinburgh... falsely and inexcusably accusing her fellow churchgoers of behaving in a bigoted, unchristian manner towards her, of stigmatising her and cruelly taunting her for being a single mother."
A journalist reportedly contacted Rowling's lawyer before the article was published, but did not give the author an opportunity to comment.
Rowling is seeking unspecified damages from publishers at parent company Associated Newspapers.
The article has since been removed from the Daily Mail website. A spokesperson for the publication has declined to comment on the case.
It's the latest legal drama for the author - she was awarded damages in July (13) after a British lawyer who outed Rowling as the secret writer of The Cuckoo's Calling was fined over the leak.