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Oprah Discusses Rihanna’s ‘Next Chapter’ Episode



*OWN has made available online the trailer for “Oprah’s Next Chapter” featuring an in depth interview with Rihanna, scheduled to air next Sunday, Aug. 19, at 9 p.m. EST.

As previously reported, Oprah Winfrey flew to Rihanna’s native island of Barbados for the taping. The two chatted about her career, her family, the recent passing of her grandmother and the price of fame, according to OWN.  She also “reveals how she really feels about Chris Brown-and her relationship with him today.”

Rihanna will also drive Oprah around the island to tour her childhood neighborhood and meet her mother, Monica Fenty, “for a surprise announcement.”

Oprah Discusses Rihanna’s ‘Next Chapter’ Episode


Robert Pattinson turns to ex Nina Schubert for break-up advice

Robert Pattinson

Robert Pattinson in a scene from Remember Me. Picture: Supplied

ROBERT Pattinson’s ex-girlfriend has apparently warned him not to “make any hasty decisions” when it comes to his love life.

The British actor has remained on good terms with his first love, Nina Schubert. The pair dated when Robert was growing up in London and despite the split, they still share a close bond. Robert has been left devastated after it was revealed that his girlfriend Kristen Stewart cheated on him with director Rupert Sanders. The hunk has now turned to Nina, who is proving to be his rock.

“Rob and Nina grew up together… She was Rob’s first serious girlfriend. It only didn’t work out between them because he had to move to LA for work. She’s been there for him more than anyone else these past few weeks,” a source told British magazine Look. “Nina’s told him he shouldn’t make any hasty decisions now and he should take all the time he needs.”

Robert has been phoning Nina and they have been discussing his relationship with Kristen.

“He calls her upset, at 2am, saying over and over how stupid he feels for not realising what was going on between Kristen and Rupert,” the source added. “She’s there to listen.”

Kristen is believed to be begging to see Robert so she can “explain” herself.

According to British magazine Closer, the cheating star wants a face-to-face meeting, saying; “You don’t have to forgive me, just hear me out.”

Kristen has even suggested the pair fly to a secluded log cabin in Seattle. Robert is said to be unsure of the plans, but has Kristen’s best interests at heart.

“Rob is still deciding what to do,” the source continued. “He knows she’s going through as much hell as he is, but he’s not sure he’s ready to see her or forgive her. Kristen has told him she doesn’t expect or deserve forgiveness, she just needs to see him to explain.”

Meanwhile, Rupert’s wife Liberty Ross apparently visited a lawyer in Los Angeles on Tuesday. The model was spotted in the lobby of a legal practice in Century City.

However, TMZ is reporting Liberty is not seeking a divorce from the director. It is believed the couple are working on reconciliation and have attended couples therapy sessions.

Liberty has not been wearing her wedding ring, and insiders claim she wants “assurance” from Rupert that he won’t be unfaithful again.
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TV channel blackouts becoming more common as profits stall

Channel blackouts such as the one that resulted from the recent spat between Viacom and DirecTV have become far more common over the past three years. Consumers can thank the changing dynamics of the entertainment industry.

Media companies such as Viacom and Disney have become steadily more profitable since the gloom of the recession lifted in early 2010. But the cable and satellite providers that pay to carry their channels have seen profitability virtually stagnate as they fight each other for subscribers.

The squeeze has prompted distributors such as Dish and DirecTV to revolt against higher programming costs. Consumers are left in the crossfire.

DirecTV subscribers haven’t been able to view Viacom channels such as Comedy CentralMTV, Nickelodeon and VH1 since Tuesday, when the two companies failed to reach a contract agreement over content fees. The companies are still negotiating, but the channel blackout for consumers has continued through the weekend.

The industry’s cost pressures mean such fights are likely to continue.

“I think this is the new normal,” says Barton Crockett, an analyst with Lazard Capital. “It’s getting to be a little bit more of a battle between life and death for these guys.”

The rising number of disputes is largely the result of the stagnant market for pay television. Simply put, there aren’t many new households being formed in the sluggish economy, and those who want to pay for TV already do. Some 101 million American households subscribe to cable or satellite service. That’s about 87% of homes, a proportion that has remained unchanged since 2009, according to Leichtman Research Group, which studies media and entertainment.

TV distributors pay media companies a few cents per channel per subscriber each month. In turn, they try to sell packages of channels for more. As costs for those channels rise, so do monthly service bills, but not always by enough to offset the increasing fees cable and satellite providers are paying to media companies. In addition, distributors spend money on special promotions to woo subscribers from competitors. As a result, some companies’ expenses are rising faster than revenue.

That has prompted cable and satellite service providers to fight back against cost increases, even when it means blacking out channels until they can eke out a better deal. Satellite TV companies like Dish and DirecTV are in an even tighter squeeze than cable companies because they can’t make up for higher costs by providing Internet or phone service.

Major cable and satellite TV distributors DirecTV, Dish, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision and Charter have increased profitability over the last few years, but that’s tapered off, according to an Associated Press review of FactSet data.

Back in December 2009, they kept 15 cents of profit after subtracting operating expenses from every dollar of services they sold. That grew to 19 cents last September. But since, cable and satellite companies haven’t found a way to wring more profitability from their business.

Meanwhile, prominent media companies that produce and bankroll the shows — Disney,Time Warner, News Corp., Viacom, Discovery, CBS and AMC— have kept expanding their profit share. They grew operating profits from 16 cents to 19 cents per dollar over the same period. That kept climbing to 20 cents per dollar by March.

Media companies have posted gains in part by extracting higher fees from distributors in bare-knuckle contract negotiations. Those gains have come directly at the distributors’ expense.

To be sure, each company is different. Disney, for instance, has assets such as theme parks that skew the analysis.

But distributors are no longer enjoying a post-recession bounce. The media companies are. These diverging fortunes have coincided with an outsized revolt by distributors.

In the first six and a half months of this year, 22 fee disputes involving the price of broadcast TV signals have caused channel blackouts, according to the American TV Alliance. That’s up from 15 blackouts in all of 2011. There were just four in 2010.

Dish Network Corp. dropped AMC Networks Inc. channels on July 1, two weeks ahead of the premiere of the final season of “Breaking Bad” on Sunday. DirecTV dropped more than a dozen Viacom Inc. channels on July 10. Time Warner Cable Inc. gave up on a Fox Sports channel covering the San Diego Padres in April and on July 9 it let 15 Hearst television stations go dark, complaining of a four-fold fee hike demand.

Distributors say they must hold the line on their biggest expense —programming— even if they risk having customers defect.

“I don’t think the industry can sustain this kind of behavior,” says DirecTV’s executive vice president of strategy, Derek Chang, who accuses Viacom of trying to raise rates by 30%. “Ultimately, it’ll drive costs up to the end user.”

Viacom argues that DirecTV is out of step with higher-paying competitors now that its seven-year-old contract has ended.

Amid the war of words, one thing is clear: the price of TV is going up.

People already have been paying more and more. In April and May, 1,369 Americans who were surveyed by the Leichtman Research Group reported that their monthly TV bill rose an average of 7% from a year ago, to $78.63. That’s largely in line with annual single-digit%age increases historically.

What’s different for distributors lately is that they also have to pay for broadcast TV station signals, which they used to get for free in exchange for carrying upstart new channels. In recent years, broadcasters like CBS have demanded cash from TV distributors for broadcast signals, even though consumers who go through the trouble of setting up an antenna could get them over the air at no charge.

Such “retransmission fees” are expected to double industry-wide from $1.8 billion this year to $3.6 billion in 2017, according to research firm SNL Kagan.

“That’s an expense that really didn’t exist five or 10 years ago,” says Leichtman Research Group’s president Bruce Leichtman. “That’s putting the biggest stress on the system.”

The battle ends up hurting consumers the most.

Russell Hawkins, a 36-year-old food company marketer in Clinton, Mich., says that because of the dispute between Dish and AMC, he’s decided to end his four-year relationship with Dish and has asked his Internet provider, Comcast Corp., to hook up cable TV in a week. He had no problems paying $70 a month, but the prospect of losing AMC was too much.

“They can’t be dropping channels on people,” he says.

Now he’ll save $40 a month by getting Internet and phone service bundled, and Comcast threw in HBO and Showtime for 2 years for free. His friends are contacting him about how to get the same deal. “A lot of others are going to do the same thing.”

David Jacobs, a 48-year-old social media consultant in Damascus, Ore., says he signed up with Dish just six months ago to pay for upwards of 100 channels for around $50 a month. But now, he’s locked into a two-year contract and will have to pay hefty penalties if he cancels. He’ll now have to scramble to find a way to watch the premiere of “Breaking Bad,” his favorite show, which airs on AMC.

AMC has offered to stream the episode free online for Dish subscribers. But he’s not sure what to do. His options include paying extra for a download from Apple’s iTunes or, or resorting to an unauthorized download from a pirate site.

“These are big multimedia corporations,” Jacobs says. “But me — the little guy who’s struggling every day to get by and live life — I’m left holding the bag. That’s what makes me the most angry.”

TV channel blackouts becoming more common as profits stall

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Whitney’s Friend Raffles van Excel Gives Vivid, Visual Account of Death Scene

‘She was on the floor, totally naked. Ray (Whitney’s bodyguard) got up and started shaking his head and crying.’   

whitney houston & raffles van excel

Whitney Houston & Raffles van Excel

*Whitney Houston’s companion, Raffles van Excel is speaking out about the late singer’s death.

In an interview with British news outlet, the Sunday Mirror,the Dutch native gives an incredible first hand eyewitness account of what went on in Whitney’s Beverly Hilton Hotel suite in the minutes after she died.

Quite frankly his recount of what happened is so vivid and visual, it’s mind blowing.

He says what he saw still keeps him awake at night and will be forever etched on his mind.

When Raffles van Exel saw Whitney Houston’s bodyguard frantically pumping her chest, he ­immediately knew she was dead.

The singing legend was naked as she lay rigid on a sodden beige carpet.

Water from the fast-running tap was still pouring out of the bath, forming an eerie, transparent frame around her.

It was an ill-fitting, ignominious end for a woman who was once the best-selling female artist of all time.

Raffles instinctively ran for a towel and covered the bottom half of her body as her devastated bodyguard Ray Watson stood up and began crying into his hands.

Today Raffles becomes the first person in Whitney’s tight inner circle to break the silence ­surrounding her tragic death in February at the age of 48.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Mirror, he tells how she hid her drug habit from those ­closest to her in the weeks before she died, and how she seemed to have a ­premonition about her end.

“Whitney was good at hiding her drug habit,” Raffles says. “I ­honestly thought she was clean in the two years before she died.

“Yes, she would have the occasional drink. And I knew she was taking painkillers and the anxiety drug Xanax. But I never suspected she was using hard drugs.

“It really shocked me when I found that out. And actually it made me quite mad because I thought, ‘Whitney, you had us all fooled.’

“Everyone thought Whitney was in a good place and we never ­imagined anything like this was going to happen.”

He adds: “But looking back, Whitney seemed to have a premonition about her death. She started carrying a Bible around everywhere she went and would read from it all the time.

“Also, she kept talking about ‘leaving’ America. I thought she meant she was going to Switzerland, where she had talked about living, but now I realize she meant she was leaving this world.”

Read more of this incredibly vivid and visual account of the event’s after Whitney’s death at Sunday Mirror.

raffles van excel

Raffles van Excel

Whitney’s Friend Raffles van Excel Gives Vivid, Visual Account of Death Scene

Sade Opens Up About ‘Bring Me Home Live’ DVD


Singer Sade turns 53 today

*The chance to interact with fans is often one of the things that motivates an entertainer towards going all out in their work. While she is known for being reclusive, Sade Adu relishes the chance to experience the joy of fan appreciation whenever she goes out on tour.

The songstress opened up about her “Bring Me Home” tour in an interview with Soul Bounce. For Adu, the outing proved to be worth everything both professionally and personally for all parties.

“We wanted people to walk away from the show having had an amazing memorable experience even if they weren’t a particular fan,” the vocalist shared. “Like a great movie that you might see that effects you and leaves a lasting impression. There’s nothing quite like being there, being on stage, right there in front of the crowd, knowing that there are expectations. Whatever you feel that day, whatever’s going on in your life, you have to leave it behind you, and let nothing come between you and that moment. Sometimes I feel like I’m in the eye of the storm, and then riding on a wave. It’s always exciting and emotional, and it’s the closest we’ll ever be to the people who put us there in the first place.”

RELATED: Adele Ain’t Got Nothin’ on Reclusive Sade

Adu’s comments come amid release her third live concert DVD, “Bring Me Home — Live 2011.” Produced by Sophie Muller, the video, which comes with a live CD, provides a look at the entertainer’s successful return to the live stage while featuring a 20-minute documentary, exclusive candid moments, outtakes from the crew and a short technical documentary. Despite her initial refusal stemming from thoughts of not doing the outing justice, the singer soon changed her tune once she saw how much her trek resonated with fans.

“We felt the show far excelled anything we had ever done before. So initially I was against the idea of filming it, I thought we couldn’t do it justice,” Adu stated. “But because of the positive response Sophie persuaded me to make the film. She said it would be crazy not to document our best work. So for all the people who didn’t make it to the show, and for those who went and wanted to relive it, the film is like a teleport device.”

Sade’s Bring Me Home Live 2011 DVD is in stores now.

Read/learn more at Soul Bounce.

Sade Opens Up About ‘Bring Me Home Live’ DVD

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Woman threatens to sue Chris Brown and Drake after being injured in brawl

Lucy Pavlovsky is currently seeking legal advice about a potential lawsuit

Woman threatens to sue Chris Brown and Drake after being injured in brawl

A woman has threatened to sue Chris Brown and Drake after she was injured during the pair’s fight at a New York club, according to reports.

Lucy Pavlovsky was sitting beside Brown in the VIP section of the W.I.P nightclub when the incident took place. She suffered a gash to her arm and required 12 stitches.

Javier Solano, a lawyer speaking on behalf of the victim, told gossip website TMZ that his client had been hit by a bottle and was later taken to hospital to receive a tetanus shot and stiches.

He added that his client had been interviewed by NYPD officers and planned to bring a lawsuit to the club but did not rule out that Brown or Drake could be included, saying: “At this moment we are exploring all options on who will become a defendant. I can assure you that regardless of fame, money or stature, the people responsible will be held accountable.”

It has previously been claimed that the fight began after Brown sent a bottle over to Drake’s table. The Toronto rapper then approached Brown and started arguing over Rihanna, Brown’s ex-girlfriend who Drake also had a short relationship with.

Mark Geragos, Chris Brown’s attorney, has claimed that he has evidence that Drake threw a bottle during the incident, while Brown posted a picture of his gashed chin on Twitter after the fracas along with a tirade of messages directed at Drake’s crew – although they have since been removed.

Drake, however, has denied his involvement in the fight, and said he was heading for the exits when the brawl broke out. A spokesman for the rapper said: “Drake did not participate in any wrongdoing of any kind last night at W.I.P. He was on his way out when the altercation began.”

Woman threatens to sue Chris Brown and Drake after being injured in brawl

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Sheen: ‘Anger Management’ my ‘swan song’

charlie sheen

Charlie Sheen is planning to retire from Hollywood and turn his upcoming TV sitcom Anger Management into his “swan song”.

The star signed up for the new comedy, based on Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson’s 2003 movie of the same name, after he was fired from his last TV job, Two and a Half Men, following a public bust-up with producers.

The program is due to premiere later this month, but Sheen admits he is already looking to the future and is eager to quit show business once Anger Management runs its course.

The 46-year-old tells the New York Times, “I’ve got a dream life as a direct result of television, you know? But at some point you just get tired of wearing somebody else’s clothes, saying somebody else’s words and working in somebody else’s space.

“When I’m done with this business it’s just going to be about soccer games and amusement parks. And when this ends, I’m done. This is my swan song… There’s a lot more out there to do than make-believe, you know?”

Sheen: ‘Anger Management’ my ‘swan song’

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Mom of 13-Year-Old Witness in Trayvon Shooting Speaks Out

*The mother of a 13-year-old eyewitness to the Trayvon Martin killing says a police investigator told her he didn’t buy shooter George Zimmerman’s claim of self-defense.

Cheryl Brown, accompanied by her attorney Alisa Adamson, appeared on both MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton” and “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” to talk about what her son saw that night, and his questioning by police after the killing.

“The lead investigator from the Sanford Police Department stood in my family room and told me this was absolutely not self-defense and they needed to prove it,” said Brown. “He told me, and I’m paraphrasing this quote, ‘Read between the lines. There’s some stereotyping going on here.’”

Brown said police did not contact her son about his 911 call until five days after the shooting. And when they did question him, Brown said she thought the questions were “leading.”

“I think there were some tactics used to maybe suggest some things to him, leading him to say certain things,” she said.

Watch Cheryl Brown’s interview on “PoliticsNation” below.

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‘The Host’ trailer premieres. Is it drafting off ‘Hunger Games’?

By Rene Lynch

A trailer for “The Host” — the new book-to-movie project by “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer — premiered right around the time that moviegoers were taking their seats for the first screening of”The Hunger Games.”

Why is this news? “The Host” doesn’t open in theaters until March 29 Of 2013.

Is this all a coincidence? We think not. It wasn’t all that long ago that Meyer was pretty much the reigning princess of young adult literature with her wildly successful “Twilight” trilogy-turned-film phenomenon. More recently, the vampire-themed romance collection has since been edged out of the spotlight by Suzanne Collins and her “Hunger Games” trilogy about a dystopian future where children are forced to fight to the death while adults bet on the outcome and cheer for carnage. The heroines of both trilogies are stunning young women with minds of their own.

Now, the two publishing sensations are being pitted against each other at the box office. It’s a given that “The Hunger Games” will make millions of dollars this weekend. But everyone wants to know whether it will eclipse the success of “Twilight.”

Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark Tickets

And so it’s into this arena that the Chockstone Pictures trailer for “The Host” arrives. This novel, aimed at more of an adult audience, is about a frightening future where aliens take over the world — and our bodies. (You can tell the body snatchers by their piercing blue eyes.)

You can decide whether Hollywood’s timing is designed to steal some of “The Hunger Games'” thunder, or whether this is simply a smart move to target a key demographic. Either way, the trailer is a tasty little morsel that the more mature “Hunger Games” fans can watch on their smartphones while standing in line this weekend.

Find Discount Tickets at for events in the New Jersey/New York Area. All Discount Tickets are below face value.

“The Hunger Games” is already off to a record-breaking box office start.

The Lionsgate film took in nearly $20 million at late night/early morning screenings. That was enough for to crown the film “the No. 1 non-sequel midnight opening in history.” (Of course, a sequel is in the works.) Using the industry’s penchant for parsing, IMDB also adds that “The film now ranks as the No. 7 highest-grossing midnight opening of all time.”

Photos: Meet the cast of ‘The Hunger Games’

Mad for ‘Hunger Games’ merchandise: nail polish, socks, crossbows…

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