Netflix Gets a Hollywood Makeover

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Netflix has just turned its back on the Silicon Valley tech firms in a move that signals a seismic shift in the entertainment business.

The streaming video giant pulled out of the Internet Association, which is the lobbying entity for web-based businesses, and locked arms with Silicon Valley’s nemesis, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Hollywood’s preeminent lobbying organization.

The Internet Association is a highly influential trade group that represents the biggest technology companies in the world, including Google, Facebook, and Amazon. The MPAA members are the six studio giants of Hollywood: Disney, Paramount, Sony, 21st Century Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros.

Although the tech firms of Silicon Valley and the entertainment companies of Hollywood have some common interests, they are on opposite sides when it comes to copyright protection and statutory immunities that are of benefit to Internet intermediaries.

Because of recent data scandals and charges of censorship by the largest tech firms, U.S. lawmakers are raising questions about two existing statutes: 1) Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields Internet concerns from liability for content published by their users; and 2) The safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which helps to protect such firms from copyright claims.

Hollywood, via the MPAA, has been pursuing more severe anti-piracy measures in an effort to prod Internet intermediaries into taking steps to prevent and remove illegal content that has been uploaded by users.

Immediately after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made an appearance in Washington, D.C. before a congressional committee, MPAA head Charles Rivkin requested that Congress begin looking into the possibility of holding Internet platforms accountable, which, of course, raised the specter of government regulation.

Rivken’s rhetoric infuriated Internet Association’s Michael Beckerman, who characterized the MPAA leader’s calls to regulate Internet companies as “shameless rent-seeking.”

Netflix is looking to the MPAA to assist in helping the streaming company expand into markets that in the past have proven to be difficult, if not impossible, to penetrate, which has been especially true with regard to China and India.

Netflix gradually morphed into a different entity from what it was at its onset. In the beginning, Netflix was a streaming platform that hosted third-party content and served as an alternative to Blockbuster and other video rental stores. The Netflix of today, though, is a full blown mega-studio, having reportedly spent about $13 billion on content just last year. Its service seeks to actively pair up content with needs and preferences of its subscribers.

In a recent letter to investors, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings indicated that because of the company’s success in producing original content, it plans to move away from outside programming and make content production the company’s primary objective.

Once dismissed by the industry as an entertainment flash in the pan and a mere rerun platform, Netflix has reshaped the way in which the public consumes entertainment. The industry realized that Netflix had become a threat to traditional entertainment business models, so CEOs sought comfort in mega-mergers and the establishment of new streaming services.

AT&T acquired Time Warner, and the newly formed entity presently has plans to launch a streaming service later in the year. Disney is also set to launch a streaming service, following its pending acquisition of 21st Century Fox. And Comcast will reportedly get into the streaming service business as well, after its acquisition of NBCUniversal is completed.

Netflix recently shocked its subscribers with its biggest price increase ever. A recent survey by Streaming Observer and Mindnet Analytics reveals that Netflix might lose up to 27% of its subscribers due to the price hike.

Another factor that poses a threat to Netflix’s bottom line is that major streaming service competitor Hulu reportedly has plans to lower its monthly charge from $7.99 to $5.99, starting at the end of February 2019.

Netflix is likely to lose much of its licensed third-party content at approximately the same time that Disney’s much-anticipated streamer is launched, complete with entertainment fare from its “Star Wars,” Marvel, and Pixar catalogues.

The current corporate model of Netflix is predicated on rapid growth. However, it now looks as though Netflix will have the brakes applied as emerging competition from Hollywood causes the streaming business to go through a remake.

Gladys Knight Takes a Stand for the National Anthem

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Gladys Knight earned the nickname “Empress of Soul” for good reason. The hit songs that she and her band mates, the Pips, delivered throughout the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s left a unique gospel-pop imprint on the pages of American music history.

It is for this and so many other reasons that Knight seems to be the perfect voice to lend dignity and beauty to professional football’s great national anthem moment this year.

Super Bowl LIII is set to take place on February 3 in Atlanta, Georgia, where the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots will battle to determine which team will ultimately secure the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Look for “The Star-Spangled Banner” performed by Knight to provide a graceful air of decorum to the pre-game ceremony and give an assist to a National Football League (NFL) in need of an image boost after suffering through the aftermath of some high-profile political posturing.

Knight began singing at the tender age of four. By age seven, she had secured a win for an appearance that she made in 1952 on “Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour.”

The following year Knight’s family formed a musical group, which they dubbed “the Pips,” a name derived from that of a cousin of Knight, James “Pip” Woods. The group would later come to be known as “Gladys Knight and the Pips,” which would be the vehicle that would ultimately propel Knight to superstardom.

Knight has an ecumenical faith background, having been born a Baptist, attended a Catholic grade school, and converted in the late 1990s to the Mormon church, the place in which she would create the Grammy Award-winning “Saints Unified Voices” gospel music choir.

The soul singer’s upcoming performance of the national anthem comes at a time following former member of the San Francisco 49ers Colin Kaepernick’s game setting launch of a political protest.

Kaepernick’s protest began in 2016, during the third pre-season 49ers game in which he sat (and in later games knelt), instead of standing up with his teammates and the stadium fans as the national anthem was sung.

Kaepernick’s mode of protest, which continued throughout the season during the pre-game singing of the anthem, was offensive to many and distinctly out of place. It ended up hitting the NFL hard in the pocketbook, as some football players attempted to show their support for Kaepernick by emulating him.

The demonstrations by dissenting players during the anthem infuriated a significant number of football fans. However, liberal Hollywood elites and like-minded media outlets collectively nodded in unison and proceeded to lionize the protesting players.

Sports attire giant Nike added fuel to the football fire by making Kaepernick the poster boy of a signature advertising campaign. Kaepernick remains embroiled in a grievance arbitration filed against the NFL in which he alleges that team owners colluded to keep him out of the league after he lost out to being signed last season.

The whole Kaepernick controversy spilled over into this year’s Super Bowl halftime show preparations. Virtue signaling became all the rage as performers, which included singer Rihanna as well as rappers Cardi B and Jay-Z, declared that they would boycott the halftime show. Jay-Z even placed the following line in one of his tunes: “I said no to the Super Bowl, you need me, I don’t need you.”

Meanwhile, those who are currently slated to perform, including singer and judge on “The Voice” Adam Levine’s musical group Maroon 5 and rappers Travis Scott and Big Boi, are being slammed by the social media and pressured to withdraw. Scott has even received backlash via Kaepernick’s own Twitter account.

Knight recently issued a timely and sage statement to the public, using a Hollywood trade publication as her outlet.

“I understand that Mr. Kaepernick is protesting two things, and they are police violence and injustice,” Knight wrote as reported by Variety. “It is unfortunate that our national anthem has been dragged into this debate when the distinctive senses of the national anthem and fighting for justice should each stand alone.”

Knight’s statement continued, “I am here today and on Sunday, Feb. 3, to give the anthem back its voice, to stand for that historic choice of words, the way it unites us when we hear it and to free it from the same prejudices and struggles I have fought long and hard for all my life.”

In light of the disharmony caused by the behavior and rhetoric on the part of Kaepernick and his allies in Hollywood and the mainstream media, coupled with the inept response by NFL leadership, Knight’s voice is going to be a musical tonic for those who have a passion for football and unabashed love for America.

Superheroes Save Hollywood’s 2018 Box Office

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After a great deal of handwringing, Hollywood is breathing a sigh of relief.

The 2018 box office showed growth, and the movie business owes its positive performance to an aggregate of superhero films.

After hyper-anxiety over the possibility that streaming entertainment was going to kill the movie theater business, Hollywood ended up raking in a record $11.9 billion in revenue last year.

The 2018 domestic box office was up 7 percent over 2017 as well as being up 4 percent when compared to 2016. The audience has grown, and although the actual number of tickets sold remains below the high mark that was set in 2002, attendance for 2018 was higher than the previous year by 4 percent.

With more than 26 percent of all domestic box-office revenue in 2018, Disney commands an unprecedented portion of the market share. CEO Bob Iger’s strategy of buying franchises and rights to superhero characters paid off enormously, and the company’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets is expected to close in the first half of 2019.

Disney’s share of the market is likely to increase in 2019, with the planned release of another “Star Wars” film and the fourth and supposedly final “Avengers” movie, as well as two animated features and three live-action versions of classic Disney tales.

Based on the 2018 box-office performance, filmgoers can expect movie studios to continue to deliver two predictable types of entertainment product in 2019: 1) additional sequels; and 2) more cinema that features costumed crusaders with super-human powers.

Of the top five box-office films of the year, four were superhero films, and amazingly the ten highest-grossing films of 2018 were either superhero movies, sequels, or both.

The top film of 2018 was the superhero offering “Black Panther,” which earned over $700 million domestically making it the third highest-grossing movie in the history of cinema. Following close behind was another superhero flick, “Avengers: Infinity War.”

The biggest take from last year’s ticket revenue arrived courtesy of the superhero genre, with four out of the top five films bringing in more than $2.3 billion. The “Spider-Man” spin-off “Venom” and “Ant-Man and The Wasp” hauled in another combined $429 million. The newly released “Aquaman” and “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse” added an additional combined $300 million to last year’s superhero gross.

The enduring success of comic book characters that come to life begs the question: What is it about these superhero movies that draws people to the multiplex?

Family films pay the bills for Hollywood, and since parents are on an eternal quest for places to take their little ones, superhero films provide a relatively wholesome type of fare that adults and appropriately-aged children are able to enjoy together.

That the superhero phenomenon has become so deeply ingrained into the fabric of our culture suggests something more significant is occurring within the public consciousness. People instinctively long for stories in which moral tensions in plot lines are ultimately resolved in a fundamentally fair manner. Similar to the mythological gods of antiquity, superheroes possess powers and abilities that can rectify unjust situations. Superheroes also travel through storylines in which forces of good and evil have clearly marked boundaries and good generally triumphs over evil. In this fanciful realm, the universe is ordered and stability secured.

The successful releases in the superhero category typically feature characters with extraordinary powers, who, as they go about saving the world, must deal with ordinary relatable problems. When superhero characters possess an aura of authenticity, the stories surrounding them communicate a sense of hope that problems can be solved and obstacles overcome.

A study that took place in Kyoto, Japan, published in January 2017, explored attitudes of very young children toward heroic characters.

Six-month-old infants were presented with animations that depicted a character bumping into another character while a third onlooker watched from a distance. The onlooker intervened in one version and in a second version ran away.

When the infants were given the opportunity to select a real life replica of the intervening character or non-intervening character, the young subjects were more likely to choose the intervening character as opposed to the one who ran away.

The findings of the research indicate that pre-verbal six-month-old infants are able to recognize heroism, suggesting that the ability to identify a hero is an innate one.

This innate human attraction to heroism has been capitalized upon by the motion picture industry and explains, in part, the omnipresence of superhero characters in movies. Hollywood executives will soon debut even more superhero films. Scheduled for release in 2019 are Disney’s “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers: Endgame,” Sony’s “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” and Fox’s X-Men sequel, “Dark Phoenix.”

Adam McKay’s Oscar-seeking ‘Vice’

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Filmmaker Adam McKay has unleashed a cinematic hit piece just in time for Christmas.

McKay is first and foremost a comedian, whose stand-up helped him lock in a gig as head writer for “Saturday Night Live” for two seasons. He additionally formed a creative alliance with actor Will Ferrell, which opened the pathway for his directing of zany comedic romps including “Anchorman,” “Talladega Nights,” and “Step Brothers.”

One of the biggest turning points for McKay, though, came in 2015. He experienced critical acclaim and a whole lot of ataboys from his peers for his Oscar-winning movie “The Big Short.” The political dramedy about the 2008 financial crash was the winner of Best Adapted Screenplay and received four other nominations from the Academy.

Like so many modern-day stars, who have parlayed their success into full-fledged liberal activism in exchange for the secret promise of more accolades and awards, McKay’s latest outing, titled “Vice,” is a biopic of the hateful and distorted kind.

In the film, he re-writes the historical annals of Dick Cheney, who served as Secretary of Defense (1989 to 1993) during the presidency of the late President George H.W. Bush, and who went on to serve as Vice President of the United States (2001 to 2009) in the administration of former President George W. Bush.

As a self-identified Democratic socialist and an endorser of Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election, McKay detests most Republicans, but he appears to have a special animus for one of Hollywood’s primary targets of vilification; that is, Cheney.

The filmmaker was seemingly intent on presenting Cheney’s rise to power from a left-wing perspective and was likely simultaneously motivated to win the affection of fellow GOP-haters within the film critic community and award granting organizations. He assembled actors from his prior successful ventures and enlisted others as well to create a project that is intended to please both film critics and Oscar voters.

To realistically portray Cheney, actor Christian Bale had to undergo a physical transformation through the use of facial prosthetics and weight gain.

Nominated five times without a win and viewed by Academy members as overdue for an award, actress Amy Adams plays Cheney’s wife Lynne. Adams’s role requires her to mature in age as she transitions from a college-years wife to a vice president’s spouse.

McKay’s strategy has already yielded awards season results. With six nominations, the liberal fictional treatment of Cheney’s life in “Vice” has resulted in the highest number of nominations in the upcoming Golden Globe awards. The movie has also garnered nine Critics’ Choice Award nominations and two Screen Actors Guild Award noms, as Oscar talk ensues.

An intriguing thing has coincided with the release of the film, though. Despite praise given for the performances of Christian Bale and Amy Adams, many establishment movie critics are expressing disappointment with the biopic and even some hostility. The critic community apparently loathes Cheney more than McKay does, and some have panned the movie for being too soft on the former vice president.

A Daily Beast review calls the film a “baffling tonal hodgepodge” that “at best marginally humanizes Dick Cheney and at worst lionizes him…” And a review in the San Francisco Chronicle states that “the failure of “Vice” is a failure on its own terms. If Cheney is really as bad as McKay believes — an empty shell of ambition, a destructive and malign force in American life — he warrants serious moral horror, not a smirky treatment that assumes, going in, that we all agree.”

Despite the fact that McKay channeled plenty of hate into “Vice,” his final cut appeared to move in two different directions. Apparently McKay’s humor background and sensibilities compelled the filmmaker to insert a sufficient amount of comedic material, but it may have served to undercut the perception by some that it met the appropriate attack mark.

McKay’s end product seems to be a conflicted work that is caught between comedy and drama, and the movie characters are thereby left without discernible motivations, floating about in a farcical superficial storyline.

Also, by presenting an all-powerful Cheney and an empty-suited Bush, the film unwittingly takes the 43rd president off the hook for the list of wrongs of which the left maintains the Bush administration is guilty.

Audiences get their first glimpse of the former vice president as a heavy drinker and brawler, who is expelled from Yale. He is being cajoled by his wife Lynn into changing his life.

Soon a revved up ambitious Cheney works for a future Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who is portrayed in an overly cavalier manner by Steve Carell. Cheney learns the political ropes from Rumsfeld and ends up conning the clueless caricature of G.W., played with zero depth by Sam Rockwell.

The “Vice” version of Cheney easily persuades the supposedly simpleton GOP nominee Bush into an arrangement that hands excessive power over to Cheney, allowing him to be the de-facto leader of the free world. Soon enough Cheney and his cadre of neo-cons slowly take over the reins of the presidency.

Although the movie starts out by informing the audience via an onscreen message that “Vice” is a “true story,” people in the know, including former Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and former Undersecretary of Homeland Security Michael Brown, have pointed out that the film’s central theme of Cheney being the so-called man behind the curtain that called the shots for a feckless president is plain old fiction.

Tim Allen: Liberals Have a ‘Very Small Window of Sense of Humor’

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In a recent interview with IndieWire, film and television star Tim Allen reacted to the astounding success of his current TV sitcom “Last Man Standing.”

During the interview, the actor provided some insight into his approach to comedy writing and delivery, particularly his use of humor directed at left-of-center ideology.

“I think it’s funny to make fun of people that are full of themselves. Liberals have a very small window of sense of humor about themselves, so I love poking at it,” Allen said.

Allen brought up a current practice in which many liberals routinely engage; that is, the avoidance of rational debate via the mallet of identity politics.

“[R]ight now liberals, particularly progressives, hide behind large concepts,” Allen noted. “If you don’t agree with them, if you don’t agree with that position, then you hate women, and you hate gay people, and you hate pro-choice people…”

Revealing a bit about the motivation behind his style of humor, Allen said, “I like p***ing people off,” adding that “…there’s nothing, especially in this area, that p***es people off more than a very funny conservative.”

“A smart, funny conservative that takes shots and is certainly self-effacing. The left-wing point of view is so pervasive that they don’t even realize it’s a point of view,” Allen said.

Allen’s show is in its seventh season, having enjoyed six successful seasons, until ABC inexplicably canceled it and Fox brought it back. The Fox network picked up “Last Man Standing” and has been running away with it in the ratings. The actor has rightly questioned whether ABC chose to get rid of the successful sitcom because of Allen’s personal political positions, an explanation that is certainly within the realm of possibility.

“When we knew Tim was up for doing it, we jumped at the chance,” Fox Entertainment President Michael Thorn said. “He’s obviously a huge TV star, and we felt the show could resonate for our audience.”

Helping with the decision was the huge ratings success of the reboot “Roseanne.” It was certainly not lost on the Fox executives that both shows were family-oriented comedies, with lead characters that possess conservative political views.

Ironically, “Roseanne” was also canceled by ABC. And ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey, who terminated sitcom star Roseanne Barr, is now on her way out amid ABC corporate parent Disney’s pending acquisition of 21st Century Fox and the planned reorganization of Disney television.

Adding to ABC’s headaches is the fact that the replacement series for “Roseanne,” “The Conners,” is tanking in the ratings. The network has committed to only one additional episode, sparking rumors that the show may be canceled. Additionally, it has been reported that two of the shows stars, John Goodman and Laurie Metcalf, have been asked to take a pay cut.

Meanwhile with “Last Man Standing” Fox is basking in the sunlight of sitcom success. The show’s Sept. 28 debut was Fox’s most-watched Friday telecast in 18 years, with a whopping 2.7 rating among adults 18-49 and 12.4 million multi-platform viewers. Fox has been at the top in the difficult Friday night lineup for six weeks, its longest streak in more than seven years.

“I certainly bumped into a number of people who had never seen the show when it was on ABC, that had found it in syndication. So I was hoping it would get maybe a little bit of boost. I did not expect that number,” Allen said.

Reportedly, Fox plans to place “WWE Smackdown” on Fridays next year, so “Last Man Standing” will likely move to a mid-week spot next season. Until then you can still catch it on Fridays at 8 p.m. on Fox.

In an age of cord cutting and streaming entertainment, Allen still sees advantages in traditional broadcasting. The actor loves the ability of traditional broadcast television to be capable of incorporating current events and issues into the programming. He refers to this attribute as “fresh television.”

“I think eventually, you come back to broadcast television,” Allen said. “This isn’t streaming. Streaming to me is processed food. You don’t know when that was made, you don’t know, there’s no expiration date on it. This stuff was made recently. You get ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, and to all of us on broadcast, we’re doing this right now. This is fresh television.”

Megyn Kelly’s Legal Battle Ensnares NBC News Chair Andy Lack

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It looks like Megyn Kelly is playing hardball with the Peacock network.

Her television show “Megyn Kelly Today” was summarily canceled a short two days after a controversial episode of the show aired on NBC.

The episode in question contained an anecdote told by Kelly, which many found offensive and consequently set the social media ablaze.

“What is racist?” Kelly asked a panel. “You truly do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface at Halloween or a black person who puts on whiteface … That was OK when I was a kid, as long as you were dressing like a character.”

The social media backlash that ensued caused Kelly to be tried and convicted on the Internet of racism.

NBC personality Al Roker made it a point to weigh-in against the former Fox News anchor, saying, “The fact is while she [Kelly] apologized to the staff, she owes a bigger apology to folks of color around the country.”

Possibly believing that she could make things right, at the opening of the subsequent show Kelly offered an emotional apology and received a standing ovation from the in-studio audience. In addition to the public apology, she sent a contrite letter to her colleagues.

The apology and letter were essentially ignored by NBC News brass. NBC News Chairman Andy Lack slammed Kelly’s on-air comments during a town hall event that he held for news division staff.

Various sources told several media outlets that discussions about ending Kelly’s show had taken place prior to the “blackface” remarks. Some of these sources told US Weekly that NBC management had been looking for an opportune excuse to get rid of Kelly, due to her aggressive coverage of the #MeToo movement that included segments dealing with NBC scandals.

Kelly had covered Matt Lauer and Tom Brokaw’s alleged sexual misconduct, giving NBC executives, which included Lack, a motive to want her time at the network to end.

A Lauer accuser, Addie Zinone, appeared as a guest on Kelly’s show. With regard to Brokaw, Kelly was not counted among the women who had pledged to support him after Variety and the Washington Post released reports of his alleged sexual harassment of former NBC and Fox News correspondent Linda Vester. Kelly was also vocal in her call for an independent legal investigation of Lack himself, regarding the alleged spiking of Ronan Farrow’s coverage of Harvey Weinstein.

Kelly has now signaled that she will fully engage in a legal battle with NBC as she negotiates an exit from her contract. Presently, she has left Creative Artists Agency because of a potential conflict, since the agency also represents NBC News President Noah Oppenheim. She has also hired experienced entertainment business trial lawyer Bryan Freedman, one of Hollywood’s top talent-side litigators.

Freedman shrewdly requested that Farrow sit in on the NBC meeting concerning Kelly’s departure. Kelly’s attorney is undoubtedly aware of the fact that Lack’s news division has been under scrutiny for refusing to air Farrow’s reporting on Hollywood producer Weinstein’s sexual misconduct.

Kelly’s negotiating leverage regarding her exit package appears to be enhanced since Lack, who was a major player in Kelly’s firing, is now on the hot seat.

Unfortunately for the chairman and his network, Lack has had a series of problems that have amassed under his leadership, including the following:

-During Lack’s tenure, Farrow left NBC News in the midst of his investigation of Weinstein’s sexual misconduct. The journalist claimed he “was being blocked from further reporting.”

-Lack oversaw the scandal over MSNBC personality Joy Reid’s discredited claim that before she became well known, hackers had planted homophobic slurs on her blog.

-Lack was in charge when NBC News waited almost a month before it finally revealed evidence that discredited allegations made by lawyer Michael Avenatti’s client Julie Swetnick against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

NBC News knew that a witness, who Avenatti claimed had corroborated Swetnick’s allegations, had accused him of “twisting” her words and in essence recanted her testimony. The network has not put this particular scandal behind it, since Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley has referred both Avenatti and Swetnick to the Department of Justice for criminal investigation relating to the issuing of false statements to the Committee.

-Perhaps most importantly, Lack is the executive who is responsible for negotiating Kelly’s 3-year $69 million contract.

Concerns Rise at ABC as ‘Roseanne’ Spin-off Debut Draws Near

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Executives at ABC are reportedly feeling somewhat remorseful and perhaps a tad guilty about the removal a few months back of lead star Roseanne Barr from the hit series “Roseanne” over a controversial tweet that she had posted.

The apprehension currently taking place is due in part to the imminent first episode airing of what is essentially the “Roseanne” television show minus its lead star Barr.

Renamed “The Conners,” the sitcom keeps intact most of the same characters, settings, and storylines of the original, but the revised version has a major missing element, that being Barr herself, who in addition to being the show’s main character served as executive producer and co-writer.

Even prior to her career-changing tweet, media figures were criticizing the show because Barr’s character, like Barr herself, was an avid supporter of President Donald Trump.

It was only a few hours after news of her tweet went public that Barr was summarily dismissed. The termination occurred in May 2018, just three months following the show’s hugely successful premiere.

The UK Daily Mail recently quoted two senior ABC executives, who indicated to the newspaper that some doubts and trepidation exist regarding “The Conners” and acknowledged that terminating Barr was a rushed decision by Ben Sherwood, Disney Media Networks Co-Chairman and President of Disney-ABC Television, and Channing Dungey, President of the ABC Entertainment Group.

“We didn’t think it through properly,” one of the executives said. “What Roseanne did was wrong but we shouldn’t have rushed to fire her. It was almost a knee-jerk reaction by Ben and Channing who should have launched an investigation.”

According to the executive, an investigation “would have given them more time to listen to the public, advertisers, and cast members to determine the best decision.”

After the network announced the cancellation of Barr’s series, the mainstream media and liberals en masse praised ABC for acting quickly. However, many entertainment business professionals raised questions about why alternatives to complete termination were not offered, such as a temporary hiatus from the show.

“They could’ve suspended her from the first few episodes without pay and had her return later on in the season. I mean the season finale saw Roseanne going to the hospital for knee surgery,” an ABC executive said.

The exec noted that Barr’s fate could have been determined during the period in which her television character faced serious health complications and was struggling to survive. This would also have given Barr the opportunity to restore her career and personal reputation with select media appearances.

According to an ABC executive, on the day that her tweet made headlines Barr had “offered to publicly apologize and do the rounds of every show, but Ben and Channing weren’t having any of that and wanted her gone.”

“Roseanne kept saying on the call before she was fired, ‘What can I do? What can I do?’”

The source indicated that the writers could have written the Twitter controversy into the sitcom to allow the show and star to obtain public forgiveness.

“Fans of her show have watched her character confront prejudice and racism – we could’ve made this a storyline for her to save the show and redeem her publicly.”

Based on feedback from marketing and publicity professionals who are working on “The Conners,” ABC executives may have good reason to be apprehensive about the show’s fast-approaching debut.

The marketing and PR people for the show are apparently “horrified” since, as one of the ABC executives revealed, “No matter what promotional material is released…Roseanne’s fans come out in force stating that they won’t watch the show.”

According to the Daily Mail, top brass at ABC are also aware that posts on social media platforms align strongly against the idea of viewing a show without Barr.

“The comments on social media tend to skew in favor of Roseanne and slam ‘The Conners’ and the cast members who came back. Even dedicated fans of the Conner family feel conflicted about supporting a show that so swiftly eliminated the show’s matriarch and creator,” an ABC executive said.

Upon her exit, Barr agreed to have no creative or financial ties with the new series.

It is likely that ABC executives are experiencing regret over another hasty decision that was made by the television network, this being the one made to cancel Tim Allen’s hit comedy “Last Man Standing” after six successful seasons. Interestingly, Allen’s character, like Allen himself, is also a supporter of President Trump.

With a lateral shift to the FOX television network, “Last Man Standing” currently enjoys even better ratings than it had at ABC. In fact, the sitcom is FOX’s most-watched comedy in almost seven years.

Typically, a change in networks fails to give a television show an increase in its audience size. However, FOX’s premiere of “Last Man Standing” drew 8 million viewers, with an astounding 1.8 rating among adults 18-49.

“Standing”‘s season 7 premiere came in at much bigger numbers than the show’s season 6 premiere last fall on ABC, when it was only able to draw 5.9 million viewers and snag a 1.1 rating.

For three weeks straight now, the FOX comedy has dominated the difficult Friday prime time ratings and holds a commanding 1.4 rating for the coveted younger demographic.

Meanwhile ABC and its senior executives have had to endure abysmal ratings for the network’s entire Friday prime time lineup, which consists of soon-to-be-cancelled sitcoms “Fresh Off the Boat” (0.5 rating), “Speechless” (0.5 rating), and “Child Support” (0.4 rating).