THE VOICE TURNS TEN — I just watched the Today Show salute to 10-years of The Voice … and, Adam Levine (one of the original judges) was not mentioned once … or, shown. Odd, right? To me, he was the heart of the show from day one. When he left it was neatly sewn up – no hard feelings on either side, but this omission was truly a major gaffe.
Carson Daly, a producer on the show, really lucked out with thus one. Sure, they’ve discovered some real talent (Kelly Clarkson) … but, as so many have pointed out in the music industry (and, I won’t names names) … they win … and, go nowhere. How many contestants that have one can you name? Exactly my point.
The judges have been primarily well chosen, but certainly mostly are lightweight for sure.
I really didn’t watch the show much when it debuted, but just loved the competitiveness between Levine and Blake Shelton; and, I’ve grown to respect Shelton as an artist. But, face it, in ten years, the show will be a distant memory. It’s like Star Search. Do you remember that a 10-year old Britney Spears was on the show in 1992?
JUDY JUDGED — (Via Deadline) A loss in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday means Judge Judy may have to dip into her own pocket to deliver a promised $4 million to charity.
The famed small-screen judge saw her $22 million counterclaim suit against talent agent Richard Lawrence and Rebel Entertainment Partners essentially tossed out of court this morning. “Defendants’ demurrer is sustained,” LASC Judge Richard Burdge wrote in a tentative that was adopted as a final ruling. The decision axes all three of Judy Sheindlin’s counterclaims — at least for now.
“Plaintiff is granted 30 days leave to amend,” Burdge added in the dense five-page ruling over declaratory relief, unlawful/unfair business practices and unjust enrichment.
Needless to say, even with more to come, there is a victory dance over at the law firm repping Lawrence and Rebel.
“On August 19th, on behalf of Mr Lawrence, we stated that Judy had no legal standing and her case would be dismissed,” Freedman + Taitelman’s Bryan Freedman told Deadline. “As the court made very clear today, that was a true statement. If Judy tries to continue with this case our client will seek sanctions and sue her for malicious prosecution. This was never a real lawsuit, only an attempt to insult an honorable man, and Judy knows that.”
On the flip side, Sheindlin’s Lavely & Singer lawyers sought to dampen the decision. “This is simply a procedural issue with the Court to clarify our claims by allowing us to file an amended Complaint,” the heavyweight firm’s Todd Eagan told Deadline.
“The court declined to dismiss the claims, and in making its ruling today the court assumed that all of the facts pled in the complaint are true – and they are true,” he added in service to his client. “It is not disputed that Richard Lawrence received over $20 million in packaging fees even though he did not represent a package and has caused significant damage to Judy Sheindlin by his wrongful conduct.”
After years of various court filings over profit participation against CBS (settled early last year) and others over the lucrative long-running reality show, “successor in interest” Rebel, original packager talent agent Lawrence and his Abrams, Rubaloff & Lawrence firm went after Sheindlin with a $5 million breach of contract suit last summer. That action was birthed by a seemingly sleight-of-hand $95 million sale of the show’s rich library to CBS in 2017.
The volume ramped up when Sheindlin and her attorneys Marty Singer and Eagan filed their big-bucks counterclaims on August 19. The sometimes caustic former Manhattan family court judge promised to donate to a cancer charity the around $4 million she would personally pocket if her legal move was successful.
In November, Freedman and colleague Sean Hardy placed their clients’ demurrer in the court docket, with a hearing set for today.
Of course, all this is happening as Judge Judy wraps its syndicated run after 25 seasons. Back in October, Sheindlin unveiled her own decision to launch successor series, Judy Justice, with Amazon Studios and IMDb TV.
THE BELCHER CONSEQUENCE — We’ve just had a sneak peek at a new book set for release in late-April, via Yorkshire Publishing, called The Inescapable Consequence, by J.D. Belcher and just loved it! A bit of science fiction, magical realism, with some thrilled-packed moments.
In relaying my enthusiasm to the book’s rep, I mentioned that when a movie is made (and, I feel it will be) it should be directed by Servant’s M. Night Shyamalan. Turns out, the director is Belcher’s first choice.
Belcher is an author, screenwriter and journalist. His books include Hades’ Melody, a memoir which was longlisted for the 2019 Sante Fe Writers Project literary awards, and The Inescapable Consequence, his first fiction novel. He currently serves as editor for the online news publication The Yellow Party News(https://www.theyellowpartynews.com/search/label/World).
More on this to follow.
SHORT TAKES — Forget the Peter Frampton book –which we never got – we’re waiting on the terrific (or, so I’m told) autobiography from Redwood Publishing on producer-extraordinaire Richard Perry. I don’t know anyone who has read it (apparently there were some distribution issues) but how could it not be stellar? Barbra Streisand, Leo Sayer, Ringo, Tiny Tim and Nilsson? Can’t wait …DWI charges were dropped against Bruce Springsteen for the motorcycle incident reported on a few weeks ago. The Boss did plead guilty to a lesser charge, however (consuming an alcoholic beverage in a closed area, confirming the fact that he drank “two small shots of tequila” on November 14th, 2020, at New Jersey’s Gateway National Recreation Area in Sandy Hook, N.J. After paying a fine of $540, he was free to go. Springsteen quipped “I think I can pay that.” Now, will Jeep put that Springsteen ad back on? They’ve received widespread criticism for removing it in the first place when this whole kerfuffle occurred. What do you think? … Am rather amazed at all the hype over these new images from Mars. Seems to me, if those efforts (and, monies) were re-configured to the COVID battle, the world might be a lot better off. Just saying …
And, also amazed at all the news over the group Daft Punk calling it quits. I mean, “Get Lucky” was a great track, but zilch since. Here’s the official release: Daft Punk, the Parisian duo responsible for some of the most popular dance and pop songs ever made, have split. They broke the news with an 8-minute video titled “Epilogue,” excerpted from their 2006 film Electroma. Asked if Daft Punk were no more, their longtime publicist Kathryn Frazier confirmed the news to Pitchfork but gave no reason for the breakup. Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo formed Daft Punk in Paris in 1993, helping to define the French touch style of house music. Their debut album, 1997’s Homework, was a dance music landmark, featuring classic singles “Around the World” and “Da Funk.” By the release of its follow-up, Discovery, in 2001, the duo had taken to making public appearances in the robot outfits that became their trademark. The singles “One More Time” and “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger” cemented them as global superstars. Their imprint in the popular imagination continued to deepen in subsequent years, with records including third album Human After All, live LP Alive 2007, and the Tron: Legacy soundtrack album. Twenty years into their career, Daft Punk blew up once more with “Get Lucky,” the lead single of their 2013 album Random Access Memories. The ubiquitous track sold millions of copies around the world and won two Grammys for the duo and guests Nile Rodgers and Pharrell Williams, both of whom also featured on follow-up single “Lose Yourself to Dance.” Random Access Memories earned Daft Punk a further three Grammys, including Album of the Year, and the ceremony hosted one of the last stagings of their spectacular live show. “When you know how a magic trick is done, it’s so depressing,” Bangalter told Pitchfork in a 2013 Cover Story. “We focus on the illusion because giving away how it’s done instantly shuts down the sense of excitement and innocence.” The year of Random Access Memories’ release, Daft Punk were also credited with co-production on several tracks from Kanye West’s Yeezus, including the formidable opening trio of “On Sight,” “Black Skinhead,” and “I Am a God.” They would go on to collaborate with the Weeknd on the 2016 single “Starboy”—Daft Punk’s first Billboard singles chart topper—as well as a second hit, “I Feel It Coming.” Beyond the singles, their visual identity, interstellar mystique, and party-music ethos inspired generations of artists across genres. LCD Soundsystem’s breakout song, “Daft Punk Is Playing at My House,” captured the duo’s paradoxical embodiment of hipster cool even as their singles dominated airwaves. They released several batches of incredible holiday merch. They were sampled by R&B greats Janet Jackson and Jazmine Sullivan, parodied in Family Guy and Powerpuff Girls, and celebrated in art galleries around the world. Boy, when I’m gone, I want an obituary like this one. RIP Daft Punk!
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Nick Ware; Melissa Davis; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Vic Kastel; Jimmy Bralower; Russ Titleman; Donnie Kehr; Cori Gardner; Homegrown Harvest Productions; Coati Mundi; Eppy; Carol Weber; Manny’s; Rudy’s Music; and, CHIP!