‘The Dirt’ Review: Netflix’s Mötley Crüe Memoir Pic Flaccid & Bleached Clean

Read on: Deadline.

SPOILER ALERT: This review contains details of the movie version of The Dirt
Having taken decades to make it to the screen, you kind of knew any adaptation of Mötley Crüe’s 2001 memoir The Dirt was going to be problematic, to put it politely.
Inf…

Chicago’s Long-Running ‘#DateMe: An OKCupid Experiment’ Musical Comedy Makes Off Broadway Date

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Chicago’s long-running #DateMe: An OkCupid Experiment is finally making a date with New York City: The offbeat blend of improv, scripted comedy and musical theater will begin performances at Off Broadway’s Westside Theatre this s…

JAY-Z, Miley Cyrus, Dead And Company, and Chance The Rapper to headline Woodstock 50

Read on: The A.V. Club.

A whole generation’s innocence was shattered by the disastrous Woodstock ‘99, an event that updated one of music’s most iconic symbols of peace and love by throwing in the sort of butt-rock, nu-metal bullshit that people liked in 1999. Now that it’s an…

Ratings: NBC’s ‘Good Girls’ Dips to New Series Low – Not Good

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

NBC’s “Good Girls” slipped Sunday in ratings, settling for a new series low. Right, not good.

ABC was first in ratings with a 1.1 rating/5 in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and second in total viewers with an average of 5.7 million, according to preliminary numbers. Following a rerun, a two-hour “American Idol” at 8 p.m. posted a 1.3/6 and 7.1 million viewers. “Shark Tank” at 10 had a 0.9/4 and 3.9 million viewers.

CBS was second in ratings with a 0.9/4 and first in viewers with 7.9 million. At 7, “60 Minutes” put up a 1.1/6 and 9.9 million viewers. “God Friended Me” at 8 got a 0.8/4 and 7.8 million viewers. At 9, “NCIS: Los Angeles” received a 0.9/4 and 8.3 million viewers. “Madam Secretary” at 10 finished primetime off with a 0.5/3 and 5.5 million viewers.

Also Read: Ratings: Fox Ties for First With iHeartRadio Music Awards’ Return to Broadcast

NBC and Fox tie for third in ratings, both with a 0.6/3. NBC was third in total viewers with 3.2 million, Fox was fourth with 1.8 million.

For NBC, following a repeat, a two-hour “World of Dance” from 8 to 10 averaged a 0.8/4 and 3.7 million viewers. “Good Girls” at 10 settled for a 0.5/2 and 2.4 million viewers.

For Fox, following a rerun, “The Simpsons” at 8 had a 0.8/4 and 2 million viewers. “Bob’s Burgers” at 8:30 got a 0.9/4 and 2.1 million viewers. At 9, “Family Guy” received a 0.8/3 and 2 million viewers. Another repeat closed primetime.

Also Read: Ratings Tank for First ‘Empire’ Since Jussie Smollett Arrest

Telemundo was fifth in ratings with a 0.4/2 and in viewers with 1.1 million.

Univision was sixth in ratings with a 0.3/1 and in viewers with 933,000.

The CW was seventh in ratings with a 0.2/1 and in viewers with 814,000. “Supergirl” at 8 had a 0.3/1 and 1.1 million viewers. “Charmed” at 9 got a 0.2/1 and 665,000 viewers.

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Ratings: ‘The Bachelor’ Season Finale Grows From Last Year, Beats ‘This Is Us’

Tucker Carlson’s Ratings Dip in 1st Show Since Resurfaced Comments About Rape, Women

MySpace Loses 12 Years Of Uploaded Music Due To A Server Issue

Read on: Deadline.

MySpace, which was once the most trafficked website on the internet, has admitted that some 50 million user-uploaded songs as well as other files have been lost due to a server malfunction.
Concern has been mounting on Reddit and on social media over t…

Apple Rips Spotify Complaint In Europe As “Misleading Rhetoric”

Read on: Deadline.

Apple has issued a lengthy response to Spotify’s complaint before European Commission regulators, which was issued earlier this week. The iPhone maker dismisses it as “misleading rhetoric” that conceals its streaming competitor’…

Ratings: Fox Ties for First With iHeartRadio Music Awards’ Return to Broadcast

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

ABC and Fox tied for first place in the key 18-49 ratings demo Thursday, when CBS aired repeats of “The Big Bang Theory” and “Young Sheldon.” Fox’s primetime consisted entirely of the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards, which returned to broadcast for the first time since 2015.

CBS finished first in total-viewer averages in last night’s primetime.

In March 2015, the iHeartRadio Music Awards — then on NBC — posted a 1.7 demo rating and 5.3 million viewers. This one didn’t come close to those Nielsen numbers. The annual awards show ran on Turner’s cable channels between then and now.

Also Read: Ratings Tank for First ‘Empire’ Since Jussie Smollett Arrest

ABC and Fox tied for first in ratings, both with a 0.9 rating/4 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic. ABC was second in total viewers with an average of 5.1 million, according to preliminary numbers, Fox was fourth with 3 million.

For ABC, “Grey’s Anatomy” at 8 put up a 1.4/7 and 6.7 million viewers. At 9, “Station 19” had a 0.8/4 and 5.2 million viewers. “For the People” at 10 got a 0.6/3 and 3.4 million viewers.

The only telecast on Fox’s primetime was the iHeart Awards, averaging the above-mentioned numbers.

Also Read: Ratings: ‘The Bachelor’ Season Finale Grows From Last Year, Beats ‘This Is Us’

CBS was third in ratings with a 0.8/4 and first in viewers with 5.4 million. Between repeats, “Fam” at 8:30 received a 1.0/5 and 6.1 million viewers. Another “Fam” at 9:30 had a 0.8/3 and 4.8 million viewers. Another rerun followed.

NBC was fourth in ratings with a 0.7/3 and third in viewers with 3.3 million. “Superstore” at 8 got a 1.0/5 and 3.6 million viewers. At 8:30, “A.P. Bio” received a 0.6/3 and 2.4 million viewers. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” at 9 had a 0.7/3 and 2.3 million viewers. “Will & Grace” at 9:30 closed out the comedy block with a 0.6/3 and 2.7 million viewers. “Law & Order: SVU” finished off primetime to a 0.8/4 and 4.3 million viewers.

Univision, The CW and Telemundo tied for fifth in ratings, each with a 0.4/2. Univision was fifth in total viewers with 1.4 million, CW was sixth with 1.3 million, and Telemundo was seventh with 1.1 million.

For CW, “Supernatural” at 8 had a 0.4/2 and 1.6 million viewers. At 9, “Legacies” got a 0.3/1 and 1.1 million viewers.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Tucker Carlson’s Ratings Dip in 1st Show Since Resurfaced Comments About Rape, Women

Ratings: Part 1 of Colton’s ‘Bachelor’ Season Finale Tops Monday Demo

Apple Fires Back at Spotify: Music Streamer Wants to ‘Squeeze’ Its Competitors and Artists

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

We’ve got an old fashioned tech fight on our hands. Apple shot back at Spotify late Thursday night, saying the music streamer has been “misleading” the public while spending much of the past week lambasting Apple’s “unfair advantage” against its competitors, adding that Spotify is looking to take advantage of the App Store in the same way it’s taken advantage of artists in recent years.

At the heart of the matter is Spotify’s complaint that Apple charges its competitors a 30 percent “Apple tax” anytime users upgrade their service within the App Store. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said earlier this week that Apple forces the world’s biggest music streamer to “artificially inflate” its prices — putting it at a disadvantage compared to Apple Music, its chief rival.

Spotify stopped paying the fee in 2015, opting to have its customers upgrade their service outside the App Store. Apple, in its response, said Spotify wants to “keep all the benefits” of the App Store without contributing to its upkeep.

Also Read: Spotify CEO Daniel Ek Says Apple’s Stiff Rules Place a ‘Gag Order’ on Its Competitors

“We share Spotify’s love of music and their vision of sharing it with the world. Where we differ is how you achieve that goal,” Apple said in its response. “Underneath the rhetoric, Spotify’s aim is to make more money off others’ work. And it’s not just the App Store that they’re trying to squeeze — it’s also artists, musicians and songwriters.”

Also Read: Apple’s Streaming Service on Track to Have 100 Million Subscribers in 3-5 Years, Analyst Says

The company response comes after Apple had stayed mum for the last two days. On Tuesday, Spotify filed an antitrust complaint with the European Commission against Apple, and on Wednesday, Ek said in Berlin Spotify’s relationship  with Apple had turned from something that was “mutually beneficial” to something that was “completely unsustainable.”

Apple said Spotify’s framing of the cut it receives from apps has been wrapped in “misleading rhetoric.”

“The only contribution that Apple requires is for digital goods and services that are purchased inside the app using our secure in-app purchase system,” Apple said. “As Spotify points out, that revenue share is 30 percent for the first year of an annual subscription — but they left out that it drops to 15 percent in the years after.”

Also Read: Brie Larson to Star in CIA Drama Series at Apple

Spotify left out other important information, according to Apple, including that most of its 207 million subscribers only use the free version of its service. (Apple Music has gained 56 million paying customers, compared to 97 million for Spotify, since launching four years ago.) Apple argued much of Spotify’s success is due to the App Store — and failing to contribute part of its revenue is unethical.

“Spotify wouldn’t be the business they are today without the App Store ecosystem, but now they’re leveraging their scale to avoid contributing to maintaining that ecosystem for the next generation of app entrepreneurs. We think that’s wrong,” Apple said.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek Says Apple’s Stiff Rules Place a ‘Gag Order’ on Its Competitors

Spotify Files Antitrust Complaint Against Apple and Its ‘Unfair Advantage’

Spotify Premium Members Now Get Ad-Supported Hulu for Free

Milo Ventimiglia Blows It by Quoting Lady Gaga During James Corden’s Bruno Mars Soap Opera (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Damn: Bruno Mars lyrics are DRAMATIC y’all. On Thursday, James Corden and his late-night guests Kate Beckinsale and Milo Ventimiglia turned the “Uptown Funk” singer’s songs into a soap opera.

On the latest episode of “The Bold & The Lyrical,” Beckinsale is caught in a love triangle between the “Late Late Show” host and the “This Is Us” star. Corden may not have Ventimiglia’s looks, but the “Into the Woods” alum gets — or at least delivers — the best lines in the sketch.

Like, his interpretation of: “Today/ I swear/I’m not doing anything,” is a goodie.

As is this one: “So what?/We get drunk/So what?/We smoke weed.”

Plus, the coup de gras: “That’s ice cold/Michelle Pfeiffer/that white gold.”

Also Read: Angry Jay Leno Interrupts Jimmy Fallon’s Monologue to Get a Few Things Off His Chest (Video)

Meanwhile, Ventimiglia nearly ruins the whole thing by “accidentally” bringing in Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” lyrics. It’s OK dude, that song has been stuck in all of ours heads since her steamy duet with “A Star Is Born” director Bradley Cooper at the Oscars.

Watch the Corden skit via the video above.

As one might expect, the NBC actor — not the CBS host — gets the girl. Insert your own Pete Davidson joke or meme here if you’d like.

Along with the “W,” Milo gets a plug from us: Ventimiglia’s “This Is Us” airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC.

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David Beckham Is Way Too Polite When James Corden Pranks Him With Fake LA Galaxy Statue (Video)

Migos will perform at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice, because apparently kids are cool now

Read on: The A.V. Club.

Kids tend to get unfairly slammed for liking things that are, you know, childish, but kids are just as capable of liking “cool” stuff as older people. If anything, kids actually tend to like stuff that is cooler than what older people like, it’s just t…

Neon Carnival 2019 Expands to the Same Weekend as Stagecoach (Exclusive)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Hollywood loves a sequel … and a franchise.

Neon Carnival, the unofficial Coachella festival side-party where Leonardo DiCaprio, Drake, Rihanna and Clint Eastwood mingle with blinking ferris wheels, drunk-driven bumper cars, and 8,000 industry invitees on an outdoor dance floor until dawn, is expanding from one weekend to two.

After its initial outing on Saturday, April 13 — the second night of Coachella — Neon Carnival will return for a second, country-tinted outing two weeks later on April 27, the second night of the Stagecoach festival, creator Brent Bolthouse revealed to the The Party Report.

Clint Eastwood made an appearance a few years ago. (Getty Images)

Ever since Coachella expanded from one weekend to two identical weekends in 2012, brands and marketers have focused solely on “weekend one.” If the shoulder economy of unofficial side parties, female-focused media brand brunches, and nightclub mansion pop-ups were to creep over to the residual April festival weekends, the conventional wisdom was that brands would seize the more consumer-friendly (read: less Kardashian and Bieber-esque) vibes of “weekend two” to make some noise.

Not so. They’re leapfrogging over “weekend two” to the even more socially barren and sideshow-free “third” weekend — a.k.a. Stagecoach — of April 26-28.

The “Weekend Three Neon Carnival” will stay true to form as a private bash, albeit for the country crowd. To the Hollywood social scene, it’s a bit of a blindside but a reminder to our bubble of the Stagecoach demographic’s growing cultural relevance.

Also Read: Coachella 2019 Lineup: 19 Surprises and Snubs From This Year’s Poster (Photos)

“I know so many people that go to [country music festivals] that have fun and I see those people at some of my nightclubs,” Bolthouse said. “They’re girls from the south. They still like to dance and go to nightclubs. It’s not like people fly in from all over and they only want to line dance.”

The “country” Neon Carnival will recast the logo, and some of their talent. The DJ AM of country music, Dee Jay Silver (he’s Jason Aldean’s touring DJ, but spins open format), will slide in to the booth with Neon Carnival resident DJ’s Kayper and Ruckus, who will stay on for both weekends.

“It’s like blending the best of both worlds,” Bolthouse added.

In the era of addressable advertising and data-driven micro-targeting, finding sponsors to speak to both of those worlds seems like a tough needle to thread. They partnered with Levi’s, a self-tanning product (Bondi Sands), and the Warner Bros./Legendary feature film “Pokémon Detective Pikachu” to present both weekends.

NBA star Blake Griffin and Jamie Foxx at the 2018 Neon Carnival.

Also Read: Neon Carnival at Coachella: The Inside Story Behind Hollywood’s Biggest Party

Here’s what else we know about the new franchise so far:

They’ve been growing the grass for eight months
I’m not talking about California’s decriminalized cannabis.

After moving from its longtime home on the tarmac at a private airport to this horse park last year, the event is moving to a new grassy meadow within the same grounds. The hope: guests can put away their dust masks.

“You can sit on the ground. You’ve never been able to do that before at Neon Carnival. You never wanted to sit on the asphalt,” Bolthouse said. “How great will it be to be there and lie down and look at the stars?”

The new footprint is the size of three football fields.  They’ve been growing grass there in anticipation since last July.

Also Read: Coachella 2018 Final Report Card: Winners and Losers (Photos)

Here’s some good news for Tame Impala fans
Instead of two separate lists for the two events, anyone invited to the event on the 13th is automatically cross-invited for the 27th. No need to rush out on Saturday night’s headliner, Tame Impala. Following in Beyonce’s footsteps is hard enough.

What’s “Pokemon” doing there?

“Pokemon Detective PIkachu” will be released on May 10.

As a marketing exercise, it’s impressive to see a major studio marketing a PG movie via an all-night bash. This event’s past sponsors have been more endemic to this crowd: tequila, mid-market apparel brands, and makeup companies looking to jumpstart the summer spending season. As a Pokemon illiterate, a quick watch of the trailer shows that it’s a live-action film with Ryan Reynolds, and looks more likely to trip a 20-something’s algorithm than other PG fare.

“It’s a carnival. You’re not a million miles apart (creatively),” Bolthose explained. “You could see a Pikachu at Neon Carnival and think ‘That’s cute, let’s get a picture.’”

After Warner Bros.’ success with “A Star is Born,” which had scenes shot on the Coachella grounds, the studio is officially a fan of this weekend. Welcome to the party.

How do you get on the list?
Bolthouse, best known for crafting the final era of celebrity-driven weekly Hollywood nightlife before it was eaten by social media, continues with partners Jen Rosero and the event czar, Jeffrey Best.

Brett Hyman and his NVE Experience Agency, fresh back from a motorcycle rally promo stunt at SXSW in Austin, worked with the sponsors. They married Warner Bros. in to the event.

Ricky Abramson’s country lifestyle marketing agency “Boots on Stage” is breathing life in to the country edition.

The unenviable task of managing the celebrity and influencer submissions (and hurting feelings) again falls to EFG PR chief Rembrandt Flores, with the press team of Johnny Gines and Nedda Soltani (formerly of Insomniac).

Get friendly with the foregoing, quickly. Not me. I have no authority and no sway. But…

“Civilians” have a chance of attending
Word from the producers is that there will be some giveaways on the event’s social media channels over the coming weeks.

“At the end of the day, it’s still a party for 8,000 people,” Bolthouse said. “Between our friends at WME and CAA, we let a lot of people in. If you’re that kid from Australia and you don’t know one person from Los Angeles, it’s probably pretty hard to go in. But if you have any kind of connection anywhere in entertainment or music, we do say ‘yes’ more than we say ‘no.’ People find that hard to believe, but you’d be surprised.”

More to come from the desert…

Please send invites, additions, and bookings on the festival side-scene to the writer Mikey Glazer here.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Coachella 2019 Lineup: 19 Surprises and Snubs From This Year’s Poster (Photos)

Neon Carnival at Coachella: The Inside Story Behind Hollywood’s Biggest Party

Hollywood Hits Coachella 2018 (Updating Photos)

‘Switched on Pop’ Podcast Host on Whether You Should Still Listen to Michael Jackson and R Kelly Songs

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Charlie Harding can still remember the moment R. Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix)” began to play at a wedding four years ago. The co-host of the music podcast “Switched on Pop” couldn’t believe it. He thought to himself, “Do we really want to have this person celebrated at this wonderful event?”

“It would no longer be culturally acceptable,” Harding, who with musicologist Nate Sloan has created the No. 1 music podcast on the Apple charts right now, said. “As a music critic, I was already aware of his history and made a choice of not participating with his music.”

In the last month, two documentaries about music icons have divided the nation and wedding dance floors: “Surviving R.Kelly,” the six-part investigation into the singer’s sexual abuse allegations and “Leaving Neverland,” about Michael Jackson’s alleged sexual abuse of minors. Harding believes music listeners must reckon with the fallout from these revelations about Jackson: “The reality is, even if we choose to not play his music, we can’t stop playing his influence.”

Also Read: ‘The Simpsons’ Producers Pull 1991 Michael Jackson Episode in Response to ‘Leaving Neverland’

So what can music fans do? Harding has analyzed the making and meaning of music on “Switched on Pop” since 2014. In the past, the podcast has used R. Kelly and Michael Jackson as examples of how current artists like Bruno Mars and Beyoncé have made hits.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean Kelly and Jackson are good people, Harding told TheWrap during an interview from SXSW. While the art can be analyzed on its own, analyzing the artist with the art is a delicate, case-by-case process.

What responsibility do music fans have when deciding to listen to artists who have faced serious accusations of misconduct, like Michael Jackson and R. Kelly?

There’s a responsibility here for anyone who’s continuing the business of Michael Jackson by enriching his estate. It’s obviously complicated because Michael Jackson is one of the most influential musicians of the 21st century. We can’t hear Justin Timberlake or Bruno Mars or Beyoncé without hearing the influence of Michael Jackson. His sound and identity permeates our culture. It makes his history uncomfortable to deal with. That’s part of the reckoning that we have to do culturally. We live in a world in which there is great wrongdoing. There’s abuse. Just as much as we get to celebrate American exceptionalism, we have to accept all of the most difficult sides of our history.

There is a responsibility right now for radio to not harm living people who have been abused by Michael Jackson by continuing to play his music. A moment of silence feels appropriate. It’s not that hard to find other great music.

Also Read: R. Kelly Taken Back Into Custody Over Unpaid Child Support

How do you separate the art from the artist since your job is to analyze the song in front of you. If a song is clearly inspired by Michael Jackson or someone like Ryan Adams, what would be your approach?

I have a gut reaction to music that doesn’t deserve attention. The thing is, there are a lot of good songs in the world that are lyrically abhorrent. Music is one of the few places where you can say something in a microphone to everyone that you may not be able to anywhere else. I’m often looking to choose music that is interesting, so I know that’s sometimes going to overlap lyrically with music that I think is backwards. But you have to call that out and say these are the parts I find interesting and here are the parts I don’t find interesting.

It has to be case-by-case too. Take citing an influence to Ryan Adams compared to Michael Jackson. They are radically different in both what they did and their legacy. Also, one is deceased and one is not. For someone who was accused of being a serial abuser, we have a responsibility to not further enrich the person that can go on and harm other people. This addresses R.Kelly, whose allegations of abuse are undeniable. We don’t want to abet his crimes by enriching him.

Also Read: Ryan Adams’ UK and Ireland Tour Canceled After Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Why do you think people tell themselves that “insanity” drives genius, that the best of the best will almost always have something flawed about them? Is that a sound argument?

No. That’s an absurd argument that touches on the ongoing obsession with genius. That anybody who happens to do something wildly creative is somehow absolved from not only crimes but also a narcissist. It’s an old adage to say there is a “required suffering of the artist,” you have to put someone in a dark state in order for them to produce good works. That’s absurd. Take CEOs. We tell ourselves, “They are the only people with the innovative minds to lead a Fortune 500 company.” But we see again and again that we give space for these people to be put on a noncritical pedestal.

What makes “Switched On Pop” different from other music podcasts?

“Switched on Pop” is about the making and meaning of pop music. We often break down a particular song or album, even an individual artist in order to look at what musical insights it has that maybe you won’t see culturally.You have to listen very deeply and we take them along that journey to think about things like how the music and the lyrics of a song contradict. Sometimes you won’t be listening directly to the chorus and when you listen back, you notice the melody and rhythm is where you missed an essential component.

Also Read: Wondery Eyes TV Deal for Hit Podcast ‘Over My Dead Body’

What did you feel when you learned you were the No. 1 podcast on the Apple Charts?

I’m grateful to have this community of really thoughtful and critical listeners. There’s this joke that every podcast is just two dudes and a mic, and our show started that way because that I had this long-distance musical relationship with Nate Sloan. He’s a musicologist and we did it for fun. But when you’re covering popular music, you are looking at distillation of not only our American but global identity. So we wanted to make sure we would bring on people who knew more about certain genres and certain issues that we aren’t aware of.

Again, we started the project out of a genuine passion for the subject. Up to last fall, I didn’t know I would be doing this podcast full-time.

For me, being the No.1 podcast feels less like a personal accomplishment than a collective “‘I’m so glad there’s this place where a larger discourse about music can take place.” We are treating everyone to the height of their intelligence. Podcasting wants empathetic honesty. People can hear gamesmanship. We would have never found an audience.

Related stories from TheWrap:

5 Most Devastating Accusations Against Michael Jackson From ‘Leaving Neverland’

R Kelly Denies Sexual Misconduct Accusations in New Interview: ‘I Didn’t Do This Stuff’ (Video)

Layoffs Strike CMT as Part of Reorg: Heads of Marketing and Nashville Office Both Let Go

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Layoffs struck CMT on Wednesday as part of a company reorg, TheWrap has learned. Anthony Barton, the head of CMT marketing, and Suzanne Norman, the head of its Nashville office, are among those out.

A number of employees — we’re told in the double digits — had their positions eliminated today, with the majority of the job cuts coming in the former Country Music Television’s marketing department. Other departments hit include music, scheduling, communications and events, as the groups move toward full integration into Viacom’s music group, which also houses MTV, VH1 and Logo.

A “significant” number of employees in those departments will remain, a network insider told us. The restructuring is for growth potential and is not unlike what MTV went through a few years ago.

Also Read: CMT Orders Nashville Version of ‘Hollywood Squares’ (Exclusive)

Chris McCarthy, the president of MTV, VH1, Logo and CMT, sent the below memo to his staff today:

Hi everyone,
We have made great progress over the last couple of years to fully harness the creative power of our collective group.
By integrating our departments across brands, removing silos and developing best-in-class creative teams, we are building a stronger group together.
Today, we are taking the next step – as we finalize the integration of CMT with a new, simplified structure.  Moving forward, the CMT marketing, music, scheduling, communications and event production teams will be fully integrated within our group, under our existing unified leadership team. Several CMT leads will be taking on expanded roles working across all of our brands, particularly in partnership marketing and event production.
Unfortunately, however, this new structure does mean some hard changes. A number of our CMT marketing colleagues will be leaving including Anthony Barton, the head of CMT marketing, and Suzanne Norman, the head of our Nashville office.
Suzanne and Anthony are passionate champions for the CMT brand and we are very grateful for their many years of dedication. Without them, and many of our CMT colleagues, it would not be as strong as it is today. Please join me in thanking them and wishing everyone continued success.
The heart and soul of CMT is our music programming, tentpoles and deep connection to Nashville – which will be at the center of CMT’s growth plan forward. Through increased programming and events, we will further amplify Nashville and its thriving country music scene. More to come on this shortly.
Thank you for your continued support as we transform our group and the company for the future.
Best,
Chris

Also Read: Lionsgate Lays Off 20 More Staffers

The Nashville office will remain the center for CMT as the channel doubles down on branding around the Tennessee city. The Viacom-owned cable channel is going hard on country music, and fans of that strategy can expect more content — including tentpole series — to be announced in the coming weeks.

Last week, Paramount Network (which is also owned by Viacom, as is VH1) announced that it was taking the “Wife Swap” revival off of CMT’s plate — err, slate.

Keith Cox, president of development of Paramount Network and (Viacom’s) TV Land, who developed “Wife Swap” for CMT, pushed to keep it with him at Paramount Network after CMT moved out of their network group, an insider said. The series will debut on the Paramount Network Thursday, April 4. Get more info — and a trailer — here.

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Pluto TV CEO on Impact of $340 Million Viacom Deal – and a Possible Premium Streaming Plan

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Kit Harington, BTS to Make ‘SNL’ Debuts in April

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Before the final season of “Game of Thrones” debuts next month, Kit Harington will make his debut as the host of “Saturday Night Live.”

The “GoT” star will host the late-night sketch show on April 6, with Sara Bareilles making her first appearance as a musical guest at Studio 8H that same night. That’s just over a week before “Game of Thrones” eighth and final season premieres on April 14 on HBO, so be ready for plenty of Jon Snow jokes.

The following Saturday, April 13, Korean boy band BTS will thrill K-pop fans everywhere when they take the “SNL” stage for the first time, performing as musical guest on the night Emma Stone marks her fourth time hosting the show.

Also Read: ‘SNL’: Pete Davidson Booed for Comparing R Kelly, Catholic Church (Video)

BTS’ newest album, “Map of the Soul: Persona,” will be released the Friday before their appearance, ahead of the group’s upcoming “Love Yourself: Speak Yourself” world tour.

As previously announced, Emmy-winning “Killing Eve” star Sandra Oh will make her hosting debut on March 30, ahead of the BBC America drama’s second season premiere on April 7.

Last Saturday, Idris Elba hosted “SNL” for the first time, with Khalid as musical guest.

Also Read: New ‘Game of Thrones’ Collection From John Varvatos Designs Clothes Fit for the Iron Throne

“Saturday Night Live” is produced in association with Broadway Video. The creator and executive producer is Lorne Michaels.

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‘Game of Thrones’: Night King Has a Specific ‘Target He Wants to Kill’ in Final Season

‘The Simpsons’ Boss Al Jean Believes Michael Jackson Used Cameo ‘to Groom Boys’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Al Jean says he “strongly” believes Michael Jackson used his classic — and now pulled — cameo in Season 3 of “The Simpsons” to “groom boys.”

The “Simpsons” showrunner spoke in detail to The Daily Beast about Jackson’s “Stark Raving Dad” guest role, telling the publication at South by Southwest (SXSW), “It wasn’t just a comedy to [Jackson], it was something that was used as a tool.”

Below are the relevant excerpts from the wide-ranging interview, which readers can find in full here.

Also Read: Corey Feldman ‘Can No Longer’ Defend Michael Jackson After ‘Leaving Neverland’ (Video)

Daily Beast: The very first episode of Season 3, “Stark Raving Dad,” featuring the voice of Michael Jackson made some news recently when it was revealed that you decided to remove the episode after watching the Jackson documentary “Leaving Neverland.” That must have been a difficult decision for you, seeing as you wrote it and it was your first episode at the reins.
Al Jean: Yes. It wasn’t something that makes me happy. It’s something I agree with completely. What saddens me is, if you watch that documentary–which I did, and several of us here did–and you watch that episode, honestly, it looks like the episode was used by Michael Jackson for something other than what we’d intended it. It wasn’t just a comedy to him, it was something that was used as a tool. And I strongly believe that. That, to me, is my belief, and it’s why I think removing it is appropriate. I lose a little bit of money financially, it’s not something that’s great personally to lose one of the most successful things I ever did, but I totally think it’s the right move. I don’t believe in going through and making judgments on every guest star and saying “this one was bad, that one was bad,” but the episode itself has a false purpose, and that’s what I object to about it now.

DB: And the false purpose was what?
AJ: I think it was part of what he used to groom boys. I really don’t know, and I should be very careful because this is not something I know personally, but as far as what I think, that’s what I think. And that makes me very, very sad.

Also Read: ‘The Simpsons’ Producers Pull 1991 Michael Jackson Episode in Response to ‘Leaving Neverland’

Last week, fellow “Simpsons” executive producer James L. Brooks said the episode featuring Jackson will be permanently shelved.

“It feels clearly the only choice to make,” Brooks told the The Wall Street Journal.

Brooks told the Journal that though he went into “Leaving Neverland” wanting to believe that Jackson was innocent, he came away convinced that “the documentary gave evidence of monstrous behavior.”

The four-hour documentary details the accounts of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who say Michael Jackson sexually assaulted them over several years beginning when they were young boys.

Also Read: Anti-Abuse Group Sees Spike in ‘Grooming’ Searches After Michael Jackson Doc ‘Leaving Neverland’

The Jackson estate called the documentary “the kind of tabloid character assassination Michael Jackson endured in life, and now in death.” The estate is suing HBO for $100 million, accusing the network of violating a non-disparagement clause included in an agreement to air Jackson’s Dangerous World Tour live back in 1992.

Brooks told The Wall Street Journal that the reason the episode wasn’t shelved sooner is because Jackson was acquitted in his 2005 sexual abuse trial, but that the documentary convinced him. He said also that the “The Simpsons” production team was “of one mind on this.”

The third season episode, “Stark Raving Dad,” features Jackson as the voice of a man in a mental institution who believes he is Michael Jackson. For contractual reasons, Jackson wasn’t credited when the episode originally aired, but his participation was confirmed several years later.

Related stories from TheWrap:

It’s Weird That Michael Jackson’s 2005 Trial Hasn’t Gotten the ‘People v OJ Simpson’ Treatment

‘The Simpsons’ Producers Pull 1991 Michael Jackson Episode in Response to ‘Leaving Neverland’