O.J. SimpsonLatest News and Opinion
Posted Thursday 8/30/18 at 10:02PM EDT
Norm Macdonald believes he was fired as SNL "Weekend Update" anchor because of his "experimental stuff" -- not for mocking O.J. Simpson
Source: The New York Times
Macdonald was famously fired by NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer, a friend of Simpson's, who overruled Lorne Michaels nearly 21 years ago. In a New York Times profile, Macdonald said he believes he was fired for his material, and not for his O.J. jokes. “We were doing experimental stuff, non sequiturs,” he says. “Ohlmeyer would watch Leno kill every night for 15 minutes. Every joke, huge laughs, and then I’d do 10 minutes a week and sometimes not get laughs.” Macdonald also spoke about his new Netflix interview show, Norm Macdonald Has a Show. “My idea was ‘The Latest Show,’" Macdonald said. “That’s a clever little title.” But he settled on "Norm Macdonald Has a Show," which The Times says perfectly describes Macdonald's "fatalistic disillusionment with show business."
Posted Monday 8/27/18 at 10:30PM EDT
Who Is America?'s O.J. Simpson sitdown required hidden cameras, FBI-level training and a fake Sheikh
Sacha Baron Cohen generated backlash in February when The Daily Mail reported that he paid O.J. Simpson nearly $20,000 to appear in a prank for his new film. It's unclear if that story was true, but Deadline reports that his lawyer did take a payout from Cohen's Gio Monaldo character to put him in the same room as Simpson. Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr. reports that Monaldo told Simpson's lawyer he was "acting as a middleman for (a) fictional Sheikh, who was prepared to pay a seven-figure sum to hear Simpson say what really happened that night, a confession to be delivered while the Sheikh was having sex with a prostitute. Monaldo would have to hear the confession, before his client would pay up. This took preparation that included Baron Cohen spending hours with a former lead interrogator for the FBI, an expert in drawing out confessions. It also involved creating credible cover stories for the (Sheikh), so that the lawyer who pocketed the fee and others could Google and feel they were dealing with real people." Fleming adds that "Simpson didn’t know he was on camera, as this was one of the few examples where a hidden camera was used."
- O.J. Simpson's lawyer says his client realized Cohen was pranking him in the middle of the two-hour meeting
- With Simpson, Who Is America? found a fitting mark, "a powerful person whose power manages to implicate the rest of us"
- Who Is America? ultimately told us what we already know -- and it became repetitive and stale in the second half of the season
- Cohen tweeted it's "the last EVER show," but what would be the point of announcing Who Is America? is coming back?
- Showtime shot itself in the foot by promising "the most dangerous TV show ever": Not even a fearless, risk-taking comedian like Cohen could live up to that kind of hype
- The way Who Is America? waited until the very last moment to acknowledge Sarah Palin was brilliant
Posted Monday 8/27/18 at 7:52AM EDT
Who Is America? season finale didn't show Sarah Palin, but it did troll her by giving her a "credit"
Source: The Daily Beast
Palin was missing from Sacha Baron Cohen's final episode of the season, but she did receive a "Special Publicity Consultant (Inadvertent)" credit at the end. Showtime entertainment president Gary Levine hinted that Palin's interview wouldn't be shown when he said earlier this month, "there are several people who have thrown themselves in front of buses that may not be headed their way" when asked about Palin. Showtime confirmed Cohen's Billy Wayne Ruddick, Jr. character interviewed Palin after she accused him of misrepresenting himself as a disabled veteran. Showtime said in a statement last month, "Baron Cohen never presented himself as a veteran of the U.S. military to former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin during the booking process or during the filming of her interview, and contrary to her claims he did not appear in a wheelchair." ALSO: Cohen targeted O.J. Simpson in the season finale by joking about killing women.
Posted Thursday 7/05/18 at 8:54PM EDT
Sacha Baron Cohen is reportedly in talks with Showtime for a comedy interview series -- will O.J. Simpson appear?
Cohen teased a potential talk show in a Fourth of July video of Donald Trump slamming him as "disgraceful." “He’s back as you’ve never seen him before," said the teaser. According to Variety, the former star of Da Ali G Show's is working on a potential Showtime interview show, but details are "still sketchy." Variety adds that Cohen might have already filmed one or two episodes. In February, it was reported that Cohen paid O.J. Simpson $20,000 to "be in his new film." Showtime had no comment. Earlier this year, Cohen was tapped to play real-life Israeli spy Eli Cohen in the Netflix limited series The Spy.
Posted Friday 3/16/18 at 10:02PM EDT
O.J. Simpson: "I watch nothing of me," including this week's Fox special
Source: The Buffalo News
Simpson gave an extensive, exclusive interview to the Buffalo News earlier this week, in which he was asked about the TV programming in recent years revolving around his life and murder case. "When people want to make money or get ratings," Simpson said, "they're going to pimp me. I'm going to get pimped." As for Sunday's Fox special, O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession?, he said: "I didn't watch it because I knew they were all haters, and people will say things that are just not true, and there's nobody there to challenge them, and that would piss me off." He added with laughter: "Listen, if I confessed 12 years ago, you would have heard about it 12 years ago!"
Posted Monday 3/12/18 at 6:57AM EDT
O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession? brought Fox back to its "tacky, tawdry shock-TV past"
Source: Entertainment Weekly
"There wasn’t much there there" in the two-hour special that mostly rehashed everything you probably knew about O.J. Simpson's marriage and murder trial, says Kristen Baldwin. She says O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession? was a product of the "tacky, tawdry shock-TV past" that Fox evolved away from many years ago. "But then," Baldwin says, "ABC stole Idol out of their trash heap, and something in Fox snapped. Panicked, angry, and desperate for something to premiere against this unholy Idol, Fox found something taped to the inside of their toilet tank — an emergency stash so old, they may have even forgotten they ever had it in the first place. Yes, O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession? is the programming equivalent of finding your meth-addict buddy on the floor of his apartment, face-down in a puddle of his own sick." ALSO: Fox tried to make old news relevant by putting it in the context of powerful, famous men abusing women.
Posted Friday 3/09/18 at 11:05PM EST
Fox got the approval of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman's families to air O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession?
Executive producer Terry Wrong predicts Sunday's two-hour special will be a "TV event." He notes that O.J. Simpson wasn't paid for the original 2006 interview, though he was paid for the book If I Did It that he was promoting. Wrong also says that they sought the approval of both victims' families to air the special. “Both families feel that he’s guilty and he got away with murder,” Wrong said of why the families no longer objected to the interview being showcased. “Their attitude is, he’s going to hang himself.” ALSO: Host Soledad O'Brien says this was the most bizarre TV show she's ever worked on.
Posted Wednesday 3/07/18 at 4:45PM EST
Prosecutor Christopher Darden added to Fox's O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession? special
Sunday's Fox O.J. Simpson special has added a panel of five analysts, including Darden, who prosecuted the Simpson case (and whom Sterling K. Brown played on The People v. O.J. Simpson in his breakout role). Book publisher Judith Regan, who interviewed Simpson for the special in 2006 to promote their book collaboration If I Did It, will also be among the panelists. News Corp. fired Regan over the Simpson interview controversy in 2006, prompting her to file a $100 million lawsuit that was later settled out of court. Also joining the Soledad O'Brien-hosted special are an FBI profiler, an anti-domestic violence advocate and a representative of the Nicole Brown Simpson family.
Posted Thursday 3/01/18 at 6:42PM EST
Fox to take on Idol's return by finally airing O.J. Simpson's infamous "If I Did It" interview
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
American Idol's old network will take on its new network ABC on Sunday, March 11 by airing Simpson's "If I Did It" interview that proved too controversial for 2006. O.J. Simpson: The Lost Confession? will air with limited interruption, featuring book publisher Judith Regan's "no-holds-barred" 2006 discussion with Simpson as he described what he would've done on the night of June 12, 1994 had he, hypothetically, killed ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. Soledad O'Brien will host the special, and will be joined by a panel of experts. Fox says the special has the blessing of the Goldman and Brown families.
Posted Thursday 10/19/17 at 7:37PM EDT
Jimmy Kimmel: The Larry Sanders Show inspired me to do ads within my talk show
Years ago, Kimmel was watching the Larry Sanders episode where Garry Shandling’s character had to shill for the “Garden Weasel.” “They forced him to do it and it turned out to be funny,” says Kimmel. “It was interesting. I felt like maybe it was a sign.” With the show facing financial pressures at the time, Jimmy Kimmel Live! has since done in-show ads for everything from KFC to Ciroc vodka. “With the show in Brooklyn, we do more integrations, because it’s very expensive to travel,” Kimmel adds. “I think it costs more than $1 million a show. It’s a lot for us. We do need to pump that up.”
Posted Wednesday 10/04/17 at 9:30AM EDT
So far, TV networks are staying away from O.J. Simpson, fearing an advertiser backlash
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
One news veteran described landing an exclusive interview with Simpson, who was recently released from prison, as “treacherous.”
Posted Monday 9/11/17 at 3:14PM EDT
Don Ohlmeyer, the NBC exec who resurrected the Peacock’s primetime lineup in the early ‘90s, dies at 72
Source: The New York Times
When Ohlmeyer arrived as NBC West Coast president in 1993, he says “there was the smell of death” — despite Law & Order and Seinfeld being on the air, they were not hits. Ohlmeyer oversaw NBC’s primetime revival with the emergence of Seinfeld, plus the launch of Frasier, Friends and ER. But despite all that, and his producing work on Monday Night Football, Ohlmeyer is probably best be remembered as O.J. Simpson’s friend who got Norm Macdonald fired from SNL's Weekend Update 20 years ago.
Posted Monday 8/14/17 at 10:32PM EDT
Pawn Stars to feature Ford Bronco from the O.J. Simpson slow-speed chase
Source: USA Today
The History show will test drive the white Bronco, which Simpson’s former agent Mike Gilbert says he bought from A.C. Cowlings, who drove it during the infamous 1994 chase. Pawn Stars’ Rick Harrison says he wanted to feature the car because it’s a “really a bizarre part of history,” adding: ”I try and stay away from stuff (connected to) bad people, but it's so iconic.”