Tag Archives: producer

Donald Trump remains producer on ‘New Celebrity Apprentice’

Donald Trump is gone from the boardroom of NBC’s reboot of “Celebrity Apprentice” but he’s kept a business connection to the reality show.

President-elect Trump has an executive producer credit on “The New Celebrity Apprentice,” said Clare Anne Darragh, a spokesman for “Apprentice” creator Mark Burnett. She declined further comment on Trump’s participation in the show that taped last February.

Trump’s representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The series debuts Jan. 2 with Arnold Schwarzenegger replacing Trump as host. Schwarzenegger is an executive producer on the new show, as Trump was on the original.

Trump’s continued stake in a TV series is yet another unusual aspect of the election of a businessman and reality star to the presidency. Questions have been raised on how his extensive holdings may intersect with his actions as president.

Trump has said he is delaying until the new year plans to disclose how he will “take me completely out of business operations.”  He previously said that he plans to hand over management of his business to three of his adult children.

That falls short of what some government ethics experts are pushing him for, which is that he sell his assets and put the money in a “blind trust” overseen by an independent manager not related to him.

In TV, a producer’s tasks can range widely, but the credit also can be given as a so-called vanity perk and for compensation without actively working on a project. Trade publication Variety first reported he had retained the title.

NBC, which declined comment, previously faced scrutiny over its business dealings with Trump, which included beauty pageant telecasts as well as “Apprentice.”

In July 2015, NBC said it was severing its business ties to Trump following his claims that many undocumented Mexicans immigrants are criminals and rapists. The network licenses “New Celebrity Apprentice” from MGM, which produces it.

Burnett, a mega-producer whose other programs include “Survivor” and “The Voice,” also answered for his Trump relationship. He released a statement last October distancing himself and his wife, actress Roma Downey, from the GOP contender.

“I am not now and have never been a supporter of Donald Trump’s candidacy. I am NOT ‘Pro-Trump.’ Further, my wife and I reject the hatred, division and misogyny that has been a very unfortunate part of his campaign,” said Burnett, who in 2015 was named president of MGM Television and Digital Group.

The statement followed pressure on Burnett and MGM to make public “Apprentice” outtakes after an Associated Press report that, during the show’s production, Trump repeatedly demeaned women with sexually tinged comments. That report was followed by release of an “Access Hollywood” audio tape with graphic Trump comments.

MGM said in October that it, not Burnett, owns “The Apprentice” and would honor confidentiality and artist’s rights agreements in regard to “Apprentice.” No outtakes were released.

Garry Marshall dies at 81

Director, producer and writer Garry Marshall, who was responsible for creating sitcom hits such as “The Odd Couple,” “Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley” and directed hit movies “Pretty Woman” and “The Princess Diaries,” died on July 19.

He was 81.

Marshall died at 5 p.m. local time in Burbank, California, from complications of pneumonia after a stroke, his representative Michelle Bega told USA Today.

“The Odd Couple,” a hit sitcom created and produced by Marshall, began a five-year run on ABC in 1970. The show, starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, received Emmy nominations and wins for the comedy series based on Neil Simon’s play about two divorced men with different lifestyles who are forced to share an apartment.

Marshall’s “Happy Days” debuted as a television series on ABC in 1974, starting a 10-year run that saw Henry Winkler’s “the Fonz” become what Variety described as a cultural touchstone.

“Garry Marshall Rest In Peace. Thank you for my professional life. Thank you for your loyalty, friendship and generosity,” Winkler said on Twitter.

Marshall was the older brother of Penny Marshall, who played the unrefined but lovable Laverne DeFazio on “Laverne & Shirley,” a “Happy Days” sequel he co-created that ran on the ABC network from 1976 to 1983. It followed the lives of two single women and their nutty friends in 1950s and ’60s Milwaukee.

He also directed “Pretty Woman,” a big screen blockbuster in 1990 starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere that grossed $463 million worldwide. Roberts earned an Oscar nomination for best actress and the film was nominated for a Golden Globe for best comedy/musical.

“The Princess Diaries,” “Beaches” and “The Flamingo Kid,” were among other popular films Marshall had a hand in putting on the big screen.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2ZXjY5rTHg

Bee Gees manager Robert Stigwood dies at 81

Robert Stigwood, the impresario who managed the Bee Gees and produced 1970s blockbusters “Grease” and “Saturday Night Fever,” has died. He was 81.

Stigwood’s office said he died on Jan. 4. The cause of death was not announced.

Born in Adelaide, Australia in 1934, Stigwood moved to Britain in the 1950s and soon became an astute player in Britain’s embryonic rock music industry.

In the 1960s he managed rock super group Cream and its guitarist Eric Clapton before signing brothers Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb, collectively known as the Bee Gees, whose melodic folk-rock achieved late-‘60s success before a career slump.

Stigwood moved into theater — bringing Broadway hit “Hair” to the London stage — and film, producing cinema versions of Andrew Lloyd Webber-Tim Rice musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” and The Who’s rock opera “Tommy.”

He also produced the 1977 dancefloor drama “Saturday Night Fever,” with a soundtrack that brought the Bee Gees mega-stardom that reached a pitch as high as Barry Gibb’s signature falsetto.

That film and the Stigwood-produced “Grease,” released in 1978, also made John Travolta into one of the decade’s biggest stars.

Stigwood’s golden touch failed him with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” a Beatles-based movie musical which was a critical and box-office flop in 1978.

Sequels to “Saturday Night Fever” and “Grease” also underperformed, but Stigwood found success again in 1996 with movie musical “Evita,” starring Madonna as Argentine first lady Eva Peron.

Lloyd Webber paid tribute to Stigwood on Twitter, calling him a “great showman who taught me so much.”

Spencer Gibb — son of the late Maurice Gibb and Stigwood’s godson — described him as “a creative genius with a very quick and dry wit.”

“I would like to thank Robert for his kindness to me over the years as well as his mentorship to my family,” Gibb wrote on Facebook. ““Stiggy,’ you will be missed.”

Janet Jackson to produce transgender documentary

Janet Jackson has signed on as an executive producer of a documentary on the lives of transgender people around the world.

New York-based Brainchild Films announced that Jackson was working on “Truth” and would do some of the on-camera interviews. The documentary begins production this summer and will focus on the lives and struggles of transgender persons.

Jackson writes in a statement that she is working on the project to try to stop discrimination of the transgender community.

The 46-year-old sister of Michael Jackson has starred in several films and won five Grammy Awards.

“Truth” will be directed by Robert Jason, who previously directed a documentary for The Style Network on four transgender New Yorkers. He says “Truth” will feature stories from North America, Europe, Australia and Latin America.