Category: MTV

MTV's Dan Savage whacked by PTC for anti-Bible remarks

Dansavage
Dan Savage bashed the Bible — and now conservatives are declaring a holy war on the outspoken MTV host.

A longtime gay and anti-bullying activist who in early April premiered the sex-advice series "Savage U" on the cable network, Savage earlier this month spoke at the National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle. Many students applauded — but many others walked out — after he attacked those who defended anti-gay attitudes by citing biblical scripture.

"People often point out that they can't help it, they can't help with the anti-gay bullying, because it says right there in Leviticus, it says right there in Timothy, it says right there in Romans, that being gay is wrong," Savage told the crowd. He counseled the students to ignore biblical teachings on homosexuality and noted that defenders of slavery once used Scripture for similar purposes. He also ridiculed the students who walked out of the auditorium during his speech.

Over the last few days, the speech unleashed a torrent of invective from conservatives, who argued that an anti-bullying activist was now bullying Christians. On Monday, the the Parents Television Council — which relentlessly attacks networks for programs it deems overly sexual or otherwise unfit for families — weighed in, calling "Savage U" "a campaign to promote promiscuity on college campuses."

PTC even took its protest a step further, saying Savage's series illustrates why cable customers should be allowed to strip out objectionable programs and networks from their bundled monthly packages — a longtime pet issue for some conservative commentators who hope that such "cable choice" can erode Hollywood's power.

Savage has since apologized for some of the strong language he used during the speech, but says his intention all along was to attack hypocrisy rather than the Bible itself.

What do you think of Savage's views and the reaction to them?

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— Scott Collins (twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT)

Photo: Columnist Dan Savage has drawn ire for his remarks about the Bible earlier this month. Credit: Charles Sykes / Associated Press.

 

MTV: What you need to know about five new shows

Zachstone
NEW YORK -- MTV unveiled a not-so-pregnant-looking Snooki and a very-polished-sounding Alicia Keys at its annual upfront in this city's Beacon Theatre on Thursday. It also teased clips from a host of new shows that you’ll see roll out over the next year, everything from a docu-series about online dating to a scripted comedy about unemployment. Here are the takeaways on the five new series.

“Catfish” -- Neve Schulman stole Sundance Film Festival-goers' hearts as the charming, unusually credulous victim at the center of an online-dating hoax a couple of years back. Now he’s moving from subject to counselor as he helps everyday people explore  “what happens when you fall in love with someone you never met.” From the footage here, Schulman combs through a newly swooning person's online correspondence and takes them to their new paramour's house to see if the online lover is who they say they are. The footage suggested a reality-dating show -- someone falls in love with a person they’ve never met and barely know (it could almost be the “Bachelor”) -- meets “To Catch a Predator.” That's not necessarily a good thing.

“Wake Brothers” -- On its face, the idea of watching two surfer dudes, as Phil and Bob Soven are, fight to win wakeboarding competitions and top each other suggests a glorified look at an X-Games competition. But what could have been self-indulgent comes off as casual and funny, as the brothers — who also brought their act to the stage Thursday — enjoy plenty of genuinely zany and spontaneous moments.

“Underemployed” — A group of early twentysomethings struggle with love and employment in a post-college haze of self-doubt and entitlement. No , it’s not “Girls,” but “Underemployed,” MTV’s spin on the Millennials-adrift genre. Maybe it’s just that the show, from "Six Feet Under" veteran Craig Wright, is being introduced as the rough-around-the-edges “Girls” continues its run in the zeitgeist, but the clips of “Underemployed” showed a series far too slick and glib to be anything close to relatable. The one-liners didn’t quite land either.

“The Inbetweeners”—You’ve seen the types many times before in “Superbad,” “Project X” and other Judd Apatow and Todd Phillips films: teen boys who are not exactly nerdy but far away from cool bumble their way through life and love in high school. You’ll see them again in “Inbetweeners,” Brad Copeland’s adaptation of a British series.

“Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous”—With his showy manner and snarky style, the viral-video star Bo Burnham isn’t to everyone’s taste. But what he displayed in this scripted show—playing a version of himself as a young man trying to make it as an Internet star (complete with meta touches, like Stone filming scenes from his fictional life)--was funny and unusual.  If it doesn’t wear thin or push certain buttons too hard, MTV could have a sleeper on its hands.

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--Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Bo Burnham in "Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous." Credit: Sam Urdank/MTV

'Jersey Shore' spinoff 'Snooki & JWoww' to debut June 21

"Jersey Shore"

MTV announced Thursday it will debut “Jersey Shore” spinoff “Snooki & JWoww” on Thursday, June 21, at 10 p.m., and confirmed the earlier Show Tracker report that the show will be followed this season with teen-girl dramedy “Awkward,” which will premiere after the “Snooki” episode on June 28.

The network will also premiere the second season of its teen-genre series “Teen Wolf” on Sunday, June 3, following the MTV Movie awards at 11 p.m., and then follow it with a second hourlong part in the show's usual slot Monday at 10 p.m.

MTV made the announcement at its annual advertiser upfront, where it teased a number of new programs, including a reality series on wakeboarding champions, an adaptation of a British hit and an adaptation of a hit Sundance documentary.

The youth network touted the docu-series “Catfish,” which is based on the Sundance movie about the increasingly disturbing online relationship between a man and his long-distance girlfriend. It promoted “Wake Brothers,” a reality series with the wakeboard champions Phil and Bob Soven, and “In-Betweeners,” the Brad Copeland series about a group of high school boys struggling through adolescence. The show is a counterpoint of sorts to “Awkward.”

Presentations were also made on behalf of Craig Wright comedy “Underemployed” and the scripted comedy “Zach Stone is Gonna Be Famous,” which stars viral-video comedian Bo Burnham. No air dates were given for the new series.

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Snooki and JWoww get cold shoulder in Jersey City

Snooki, JWoww headed for "Jersey Shore" spinoff

--Steven Zeitchik

twitter.com/ZeitchikLAT

Photo: Snooki and JWoww in "Jersey Shore." Credit: MTV

MTV: 'Snooki & JWoww’ to offer 'new way of looking at pregnancy'

 

Snooki

Of all the people surprised when “Jersey Shore’s” Snooki revealed two months ago that she was pregnant, perhaps none were more taken aback than the executives at MTV.

The network’s toppers had been planning to ride the high jinx of Snooki and gal pal JWoww in a new spinoff series titled "Snooki & JWoww," and the idea of following one of its main characters as she spends many of her nights taking it easy at home -- sans alcohol, no less -- wasn’t exactly what they had in mind.

But the network also believed it could be sitting on a gold mine, and programmers set about crafting a series that would depict its main characters in an unexpected way.

“It’s a very different show -- it isn’t two single pals living in Jersey City anymore,” MTV President Stephen Friedman told Show Tracker of the upcoming summer series. “You’re going to see a very different side to both women -- not just Snooki but Jenni [JWoww], who has a real maternal side.” He added, perhaps with some understatement. “It’s a whole new way to look at pregnancy.”

Because the executives knew about the pregnancy before many of the “Jersey Shore” cast members did, they also, it seems, were able to capture reaction shots from various members of the cast. "We do have some of that,” Friedman said, a gleam in in his eye.

Friedman was speaking from his Midtown Manhattan office on Wednesday, a day before the Thursday-evening upfront presentation that will unveil the network’s plan for the next year, and particularly its summer 2012 bloc.

Among the more salient nuggets:

Continue reading »

'America’s Best Dance Crew': Flo Rida brings his brand of dance

Flo Rida will perform live tonight on MTV's "Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew" with the competing crews (see a sneak preview of it above), something that hasn't been done on the show since the second season.

Back then, it was Missy Elliot who lit up (literally) the stage with her "Shake It Like a Pom Pom" song alongside the final crews: Boogie Bots, So Real Cru, eventual Season 2 champ Super Cr3w, and Fanny Pak, who happens to be back for Season 7.

This week, each crew will also be required to do a routine to one of Flo Rida’s popular songs. With hits like "Wild Ones," "Good Feeling" and "In the Ayer," his music is tailor-made for a hip-hop competition dance show, and the rapper knows how much the culture of dance actually influences his musicality.

"Most definitely. It's one thing to make music, but to see people actually dance shows the soulful part of it. When [what you do] makes people go out there and want to dance, that's another voice for the music and definitely inspires me," he says.

The multi-platinum artist has seen the progression of hip-hop and hip-hip dance grow from the streets to the classroom to being "piped in over the loudspeakers when I go to the gym or see people in exercise classes doing the moves." The recent passing of Dick Clark underscores how the public has always gravitated toward musical entertainment that features dancers showing the world new steps. The mainstreaming of hip-hop dance is due in no small part to current shows like "America's Best Dance Crew" and movies like the "Step Up" franchise popularizing the style.

"Watching movies like 'Krush Groove' back in the day, B2K getting out there, ‘ABDC,’ 'Step Up 2: The Streets' that I was involved in ... it's just a joy to watch people get out there and dance to music. People like Big Daddy Kane used to rap and dance to music, and to me, helped show the relationship that [rap, hip-hop and dance] have together."

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-- Jevon Phillips

How provocateur Dan Savage became MTV's sex advisor in 'Savage U'

Dan savage mtv savage u
Dan Savage never intended to be the anti-bullying Gandhi, and he couldn’t have predicted he would become a voice of reason for a generation of young adults confused about their sex lives. A controversial sex columnist and alternative newspaper editor, Savage regularly gets stopped at airports and asked for advice on sexual ethics and techniques these days. Gay teens hug him in gratitude for co-creating the “It Gets Better” campaign.

Now he’s launching a reality series: MTV’s “Savage U,” which premieres Tuesday at 11 p.m. It follows Savage as he travels to college campuses across the country to lecture and take questions from students seeking his sexual wisdom.

“MTV needed a middle-aged gay dude, and now they’ve got one,” Savage, 46, jokes over coffee at the network’s Santa Monica offices. “I’m as surprised as my teenaged son that I’m on MTV to do this show.”

In each of the season’s 12 episodes, the "Savage Love" columnist takes aside young people to discuss a specific issue or crisis in their lives. He travels with on-camera sidekick and producer Lauren Hurchinson, and the questions he hears can be bold or embarrassed, describing situations frequently hilarious or heartbreaking.

“Most of my mail is from people between 15 and 22,” Savage explains. “Those are the people who are wrestling with what they were told sex was going to be, what they are actually interested in, who they are. Some of them have glommed onto things they thought they would like, and then realized they don’t. Those are the ones hitting the wall, because they’re just starting out.”

Beginning in 2010, Savage earned increasing credibility with young people thanks to the “It Gets Better” campaign — co-created with his husband, Terry Miller, after several suicides of young gay men who had been bullied. They posted the first video on YouTube, offering hope to teens of a life beyond high school, and the campaign steamrollered into a viral campaign and website with more than 50,000 videos, including messages from President Obama and pop star Katy Perry.

The pilot for “Savage U” was already finished when MTV agreed to create a one-hour “It Gets Better” special, which aired in February. It presented the stories of three young people at different stages of sexual growth: a nervous teen preparing to reveal his homosexuality to friends, a 19-year-old lesbian working toward understanding with her family and a transgender man hoping to legally marry.

“The idea is we’re going to talk to these kids whether the parents want us to or not,” he said of the ongoing campaign. “It is an aggressive act. It’s not just feel-good, wishy-washy nonsense.”

Continue reading »

'Jersey Shore's' Pauly D makes his solo debut on MTV

"The Pauly D Project"

Pauly's herrrrrrrre! Known as the "Jersey Shore" star with the voluminous hairstyle and an immaculate shoe collection, Paul "Pauly D" Delvecchio will step out Thursday on MTV minus somersaulting meatballs and his fellow fist-pumping lotharios when his spinoff, "The Pauly D Project," makes its debut.

It's only been two weeks since the season five finale of "Jersey Shore," but the network doesn't seem to want to go on without its tangerine-tinted stars; a season six renewal -- despite a pregnancy and rehab issues for some of its stars -- only supports that. The network first announced plans for spinoff shows with three of its stars -- Delvecchio, and also one with  Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Jenni "JWoww" Farley -- last April.  

In "The Pauly D Project," the Rhode Islander wants to show viewers the world he lives in outside of the wood-paneled walls in Seaside Heights, N.J. Viewers will watch as Delvecchio hits Las Vegas for his DJ residency at the Palms Hotel and Casino with his "Entourage"-like crew by his side, including turntable inspiration Biggie, bodyguard Jerry and wingman Ryan. Then there's that other gig -- serving as an opening act for Britney Spears -- and other business deals. 

We caught up with the star for a round of five questions.

What was it like filming without your "Jersey Shore" castmates -- liberating or strange?

It was cool because it's different. People can now meet me on a more personal level. They get to see where I come from. They get to meet my family. They get to meet my friends. They get to see what it's like to be a touring DJ, and all the struggles that come along with that. It's a little different than just being in Jersey with them. But I missed it. It was different. There's a lot of traveling with my show. With ["Jersey Shore"], I was just in the house. I actually miss the cast, though.

Are you ready to be an uncle now that Snooki is pregnant?

Continue reading »

'Jersey Shore' to return for a sixth season

Jersey Shore gets a sixth season
When its star meatball gets pregnant, another season is inevitable: “Jersey Shore” will get a sixth season, MTV announced Monday.

The housemates have gone places such as South Beach and Italy, have been punched in the face and have revealed their private bits to just about everyone.  But could a sixth season present a more mature group of roommates? Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is engaged and has a meatball in the oven (due in the fall) and Paul “Pauly D” DelVecchio will have a spin-off under his belt — “The Pauly D Project,” set to premiere March 29 -- by the time production starts. 

Who are we kidding? If anything, the pickle consumption might increase exponentially for pregnant Snooki. 

The question is, are fans tiring of the ultra-tan stars and their wild, yet not-so-shocking antics? The fifth season, which wrapped last week, saw ratings dip nearly every week. The finale brought in just under 5 million viewers.  That was down from the Italy-set fourth-season finale, which delivered 6.6 million viewers -- itself down 13% from the previous season.

Production for Season 6 is set to begin this summer in Seaside Heights, N.J.

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Snooki pregnancy reports cloud MTV 'Jersey Shore' spinoff

'Jersey Shore' spinoff not welcome in Jersey Shore, Pa.

-- Yvonne Villarreal

twitter.com/villarrealy

Photo: Deena Nicole Cortes, left, Sammi "Sweetheart" Giancola, Jenni "JWoww" Farley and Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi  while shooting the fourth season in Italy. Credit: Jeff Daly/MTV 

Snooki pregnancy reports cloud MTV 'Jersey Shore' spinoff

JWoww and Snooki

There's going to be a lot less gym and tanning -- and way more laundry -- if the latest reports are true and Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi of MTV's "Jersey Shore" is indeed pregnant.

SNOOKI LIED - SHE'S PREGGERS shouts the headline on a New York Post story, which adds that the, um, development has plunged network executives into "crisis mode" over the future of a now-filming "Jersey Shore" spinoff that stars Snooki and Jenni "JWoww" Farley. TMZ and E! are also reporting the pregnancy as "confirmed."

The 24-year-old reality TV starlet, known for her hard-partying ways, is reportedly planning to drop the news formally soon via a weekly magazine spread. In early February, she denied pregnancy rumors during an appearance on "Good Morning America," but the Post reports she's three or four months along and the father is her current flame Jionni LaValle. 

MTV's concern is understandable. The "Jersey Shore" franchise has revitalized the network, and Snooki is at the center of it. A baby would seriously cramp the Snooki M.O., which involves getting falling-down drunk and losing her underwear at just about every nightclub outing. But with the right adjustments, the new "Shore" spinoff might be turned from "Sex & the City" into "Up All Night."

One thing's certain: The pregnancy news is causing Twitter to explode.

"Snooki is pregnant," tweeted one wag. "So, the Mayans were right after all."

"Snooki is pregnant and the Republican candidates suddenly switch their positions on abortion," offered another.

Yet another found little chance that an infant would cause the "Jersey Shore" star to mend her ways. "I bet Snooki is still drinking," the fan wrote.

What do you think of Snooki's reported pregnancy? Could this be how "Jersey Shore" jumps the shark?

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Complete coverage of "Jersey Shore"

Snooki and JWoww get cold shoulder in Jersey City

Snooki, JWoww headed for "Jersey Shore" spinoff

-Scott Collins (twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT)

Photo: Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Jenni "JWoww" Farley are the stars of MTV's smash "Jersey Shore." Credit: Craig Barritt/Getty Images.

Snooki and JWoww get cold shoulder in Jersey City

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Jenni "JWoww" Farley are off to a rocky start with their upcoming "Jersey Shore" spinoff, currently shooting in Jersey City, N.J.

Several businesses in the area have denied filming permits to MTV, making it clear that Snooki and JWoww's reality TV shenanigans are not welcome. The Jersey Journal reports that local bars Skinner's Loft, Barcade and LITM are not interested in playing host to the reality show crew, citing the need to make their regular customers a priority.

Meanwhile, Jersey Wine and Spirits, the liquor store next to Snooki and JWoww's home, has posted a "No Snooki" sign in the window.

The reality show ended up in Jersey City when they were denied filming permits by the city of Hoboken, N.J. An invitation to the crew to film in Jersey Shore, Pa., had to be rescinded when public outcry became too great for the Central Pennsylvania Film Office.

This week, Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker also denied filming permits to the production company, stating in a letter printed by the Newark Star-Ledger, "While we appreciate your desire to film and capture the essence of our great city, we are confident that the filming of this show will most certainly attract a high level of local and national attention and notoriety." Booker went on to explain that he didn't want the city's emegency personnel tied up handling incidents with the reality stars.

JWoww is at least putting up a good front, writing on her Twitter, "Omg I'm crying over the bars that rejected us in jersey city. What am I gonna do Lmfao Ahh pathetic. Don't wanna be caught dead in them anyways."

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-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi. Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty Images.

Demi Lovato reveals post-rehab life in MTV special [Video]

Demi Lovato
The months following rehab are normally a very personal time, but troubled pop singer Demi Lovato has allowed MTV's cameras to follow her for some of her new post-rehab life. Fans will get to see exactly what that looks like on March 6, when MTV airs the special "Demi Lovato: Stay Strong."

Lovato abruptly quit her tour with the Jonas Brothers in October 2010 to seek medical treatment for several issues including eating disorders and self-mutilation. When she returned to the public eye last April, she said that she wouldn't be returning to her hit Disney Channel series, "Sonny With a Chance," and instead would focus on her music career.

She announced a 10-date U.S. concert tour at the end of last year, and the MTV cameras have captured her activities during that tour, which included a stop at her hometown of Dallas, a highly publicized speaking engagement at the Illinois rehab facility where she underwent treatment, and her first Thanksgiving since getting help with her eating disorder — a tricky and sensitive moment.

In the special, Lovato reveals that she was unprepared for the role-model status that was thrust upon her along with the fame. "It literally ended up driving me insane," she says.

Her recovery has been accompanied by a healthy career. Her post-rehab album, "Unbroken," was released last fall and peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard charts.

Lovato announced the special to her 5.8 million fans Tuesday on Twitter. "Lovatics -- I wanted to tell you FIRST about a special I worked on with @MTV. It premieres March 6th at 10pm!! #staystrong."

Get More: Music News

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— Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Demi Lovato. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times.

'Jersey Shore' spinoff not welcome in Jersey Shore, Pa.

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi

Another Jersey Shore has shut the door on "Jersey Shore."

The Central Pennsylvania Film Office a few days ago had issued an invitation to the cast of MTV's infamous reality show to come to the tiny borough of Jersey Shore, Pa., in the wake of the news that Hoboken, N.J., officials had refused to issue a permit for a planned spinoff of the show that would feature the hard-partying Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and Jenni "JWoww" Farley.

But when the invitation became public, borough officials were bombarded by the attention and have now released a statement saying they don't want the cast there, saying the series "does not reflect the values of the town."

Lorena Beniquez, commissioner for the film office, said, "I am saddened by this development but must honor the town's wishes."

However, the mayor of Williamsport, Pa., Gabriel Campana, said he would welcome the cast, saying production of the spinoff would be a boost to the local economy as well as tourism.

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-- Greg Braxton

Photo: Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi at the2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

 

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