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So What Do You Do, Bill Schultz, Emmy-Winning Animation Producer?

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He’s best known as the producer of animated smash hits, like The Simpsons and King of the Hill, but it’s his forthcoming animated dramedy he hopes will earn him worldwide (Web) praise and land him a weekly spot on your TV. Bill Schultz‘s latest venture, Jimmy Stones, takes to the Internet to create a series for the people, by the people, to reach the masses.

After four Emmy awards and nearly 30 years in the film and television business, Schultz is no stranger to collaboration, but online crowdfunding — that’s new. Now he’s teamed up with Jim Manos, Jr., Emmy-Award-winning writer of The Sopranos and The Shield, and creator of Dexter, to develop a new kind of animated series. Jimmy Stones is a half-hour adult animated comedy series that follows a cynical guy as he deals with his miserable life and finds himself speaking to animals living around him New York City. The animals remind him it’s never too late to start anew, even if your ex-wife wants you dead, the IRS is looking for you and your landlord is ready to toss you out.

Manos and Schultz are asking fans to pony up to deliver custom content with a highly fan-centric approach. Get your name on the credits, get your script covered or just get a T-shirt… every little bit helps bring the carefully drawn characters to life! If Jimmy Stones is victorious, you’ll catch about a dozen episodes online and Manos and Schultz hope it’ll be on your television set, too.

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Le Monde Profiles Nikki Finke

Sandwiched around a great full-page, in-place-of-current-headshot illustration by Kelsey Dake, Le Monde’s M magazine has chimed in with a November 22 profile of Nikki Finke. Good timing, since heading into Thanksgiving, Finke tweeted that she is getting ready to announce by year’s end if and how her day-job efforts will continue.

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Although Finke did not on-the-record participate, article author Samuel Blumenfeld does at one point reference her off-the-record response to M inquiries. He writes that the speed and detail of her words made it feel like M was the only party to have ever contacted her.

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John Cleese is No Fan of Rupert Murdoch

JohnCleeseLiveTalksLAThis penultimate portion of Live Talks LA’s fifth season sold out quickly a month beforehand. A total of 900 copies of John Cleese‘s autobiography were purchased in conjunction with the November 18 Alex Theatre sit-down. And per the full video of the conversation now posted, nearly an equal amount of scintillating anecdotes were shared.

Event series founder-producer Ted Habte-Gabr has matched up a lot of great authors and interviewers over the years, but the pairing of Cleese with Monty Python pal Eric Idle ranks right at the top. Probably the funniest single stretch is when Cleese and Idle recalled touring New Zealand during their earliest days (“We left England in July 1964 and we arrived in Auckland in…” Cleese began, “…in July 1864,” Idle added.)

There were also during the discussion a couple of notable mentions of Rupert Murdoch. At one point, Idle and Cleese talked about having recently read Nick Davies‘ acclaimed book Hack Attack: How the Truth Caught Up with Rupert Murdoch:

Idle: “It’s a very interesting book of how, we won’t mention his name – Rupert Murdoch! – took over England, really, and was responsible for electing Thatcher, Blair, Major and Brown. That power is really extraordinary.”

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Graham Norton on Tom Cruise, ‘Bad Boyfriend’ and More

GrahamNortonHeDevilCoverPolly Vernon‘s profile of Graham Norton for the New Zealand Herald is unlikely to leave a single reader “banjaxed.” As opposed to Norton himself, to whom Vernon at one point applies that descriptive to convey the talk show host’s reaction to a question about the perhaps-missed-opportunity of engaging a female sex surrogate.

Vernon and Norton are a match made in dazzling-wit heaven. The 51-year-old UK media star, who foresees exiting his BBC America talker in three years, says he is at peace with both not making it “big” in the U.S. and being less proactive than a certain year-older A-lister:

Tom Cruise is supernaturally good at [being nice]. Nothing will prepare you for it. He is like an alien. He’s like someone from a different planet! So like, on the way in here, he’ll have met that manager guy, who did introduce himself to me, but I don’t remember his name. Tom will know it! And on the way out, he’ll thank him for everything. And then that guy will love Tom Cruise forever. We can be pleasant to him, but already we’ve messed up, because we don’t remember his name. And the difference is that.”

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Reporter Remains ‘Livid’ About Spiking of 2005 Bill Cosby Expose

RobinMizrahiPicThe Bill Cosby news stream continues to unfurl at a furious pace. And from an inside-media perspective, one of  the biggest headlines remains the business explored by Mark Ebner and now, The Guardian.

New York-based Guardian reporter Ed Pilkington spoke to Robin Mizrahi (pictured), the journalist whose National Enquirer 2005 expose was spiked after pressure from Cosby attorneys. (Details of this pressure and editorial flip, which resulted in the piece being replaced with a more straightforward Cosby denial, were documented in the Andrea Constand civil lawsuit.) The original Enquirer story centered around the civil suit’s “Jane Doe No. 5:”

Mizrahi made contact with Beth Ferrier, who alleged that she too had been drugged and sexually molested by the entertainer. The Enquirer brought Ferrier to Los Angeles from her home in Denver, where she was then working as a model, and Mizrahi interviewed her and arranged for her to undergo a lie detector test.

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Who Should Play Helen Gurley Brown?

It’s still a long way from a big-screen sure thing. But as reported by Deadline EIC Mike Fleming Jr., Fox2000 has optioned the 2015 HarperCollins book Enter Helen: The Rise And Reign Of The Original Cosmo Girl, by Brooke Hauser.

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The editors of Cosmopolitan reacted by noting some of the great quotes (like the one above) that are first-draft worthy. We’re more fixated on which star should-could play Gurley Brown.

The possibilities are almost endless. Reese Witherspoon, gathering awards momentum currently with Wild, could die her hair. Shannen Doherty might engineer a career renaissance by combining some facial resemblances with Oscar-worthy hair extensions. And Nicole Kidman could drop the accent.

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Music Journo Set for His 218th Rolling Stones Concert

DeanGoodmanStrangeDaysIn the 2013 memoir Strange DaysDean Goodman framed his lifelong passion for the Rolling Stones as follows:

I started obsessing about Mick & Co. when I was 13. Everyone at my New Zealand boarding school was into the Rolling Stones. In a regimented system whose absurd rules and traditions dated back to the early years of Queen Victoria’s reign, we looked to the Stones as our rebellious role models.

They gave me hope that I too could break out of my dull suburban existence just as they did in the early ’60s. They were dangerous and dirty, as was their music…

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Nitasha Tiku Jumps to The Verge

NitashaTikuTwitterProfilePicHoly Silicon Valley!

Just a month after stepping into Sam Biddle‘s Valleywag shoes at Gawker, Nitasha Tiku has bolted to The Verge. From Business Insider senior correspondent Alyson Shontell‘s report:

Tiku, who recently relocated from New York to San Francisco, will be a west coast senior writer alongside Casey Newton.

“We want The Verge to be better at covering The Valley and we could not think of someone better than Nitasha,” The Verge’s editor-in-chief Nilay Patel told us. “We spent some time talking to her about the opportunity and how much more powerful her already-powerful voice could be on our huge platform.”

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Rich Mirman: Newspaper Publisher and Paperboy

2010_The_Orange_County_Register-logoUsually, it goes in the other direction. A teenager starts out delivering newspapers and then, many years later, can point to having ascended through the ranks of the publication to EIC or publisher.

But the Orange County Register, thanks to the actions of Aaron Kushner, is no ordinary newspaper. From Gustavo Arellano‘s feature interview report in OC Weekly:

[Newly hired publisher Rich] Mirman arrived at the Register‘s printing plant his first weekend on the job at 2 a.m., folding papers alongside his wife. After stacking hundreds of papers into a car, he and another Register worker drove to Huntington Beach at 3:30, with Mirman tossing papers out of the passenger window.

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So What Do You Do, Arienne Thompson, Entertainment Reporter at USA Today?

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Arienne Thompson‘s head is filled with golden pop-culture nuggets. But unlike most people who live and breathe all things celebrity, from Kimye’s fashion choices to Taylor Swift‘s relationship status, it’s her job to obsess over the minute details of celebrities’ lives. And there’s nothing she’d rather be doing. As an entertainment reporter at USA Today, Thompson knows who’s dating who, who wore what where and who’s got beef on everyone from Justin Beiber to Blake Lively to Beyoncé, so she can give pop-culture fiends their daily fix.

She spills the tea in the pages of the nation’s No. 1 newspaper in daily circulation, in USA Today‘s DailyDish vlog, and in the pages of USA Weekend, the paper’s weekend magazine. Sound cool? It is. But don’t get it twisted. Entertainment reporting is not for the faint of heart. You have to go hard. “You cannot be scared or shy or a wallflower. You can’t be psychotic — well, sometimes you have to be a little psychotic — but you have to be so aggressive,” Thompson explains.

Here, she serves up the scoop on how she went from being an extra in an America’s Most Wanted reenactment to being a sought-after pop-culture expert. 

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