LOS ANGELES - Apple could potentially find the cash to pull off a $200 billion-plus takeover of Disney -- creating a company worth $1 trillion with "almost limitless opportunities in content and technology." That's according to a speculative analysis from RBC Capital Markets, which in a note to client Thursday said such a colossal tie-up would be contingent on Apple getting tax breaks to "repatriate" overseas cash.
LOS ANGELES - MTV is reviving the reality franchise "Fear Factor" for a new generation. The Viacom cabler has ordered 10 new episodes of the series from Endemol Shine North America. Rap star Ludacris is set to host and exec produce. The series that challenges teams of contestants to face extreme physical and mental trials is expected to bow May 30.
LOS ANGELES - A New York couple decided to kill their disabled adopted son after watching "Manchester by the Sea," according to a prosecutor handling the case. Chenango County District Attorney Joseph McBride said last week during a bail hearing that 16-year-old Jeffrey Franklin was killed within two hours of his adoptive parents, Ernest and Heather Franklin, watching the Oscar-winning film on Feb. 28, according to WBNG-TV. McBride said an examination showed that the teen died before the fire.
NEW YORK - Comedian and actor Charlie Murphy died in his sleep at a New York hospital on Wednesday at age 57 after suffering from leukemia, entertainment media reported. Murphy, whose younger brother is "Coming to America" and "The Nutty Professor" star Eddie Murphy, was a cast member and sketch writer on Comedy Central's "Chappelle's Show." The Brooklyn native also co-wrote and acted in some of his brother's movies, including the 2007 comedy "Norbit." Murphy's agent William Rodriguez was not immediately available for comment.
LOS ANGELES - Bill O'Reilly's Fox News Channel presence in recent days has sparked social-media outrage and advertiser defections. If he goes off the air for a while, will calm return?
LOS ANGELES - John Warren Geils, Jr., known professionally as J. Geils and lead guitarist and founder of The J. Geils Band, has died in his home in Groton, Mass according to multiple local reports. He was 71. Geils grew up listening to artists like Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, and Duke Ellington. He studied Miles Davis tunes on trumpet and drums and played trumpet at Northeastern University. He eventually became attracted to the folk scene in Boston, and left Northeastern to study at Worcester Polytechnic University, where the J. Geils Band was formed.
LOS ANGELES - For the third time in one day, Sean Spicer is attempting walk back his statement that Adolf Hitler "didn't even sink to using chemical weapons" during World War II. Appearing on Wolf Blitzer's "The Situation Room" on CNN Tuesday, Spicer offered up an apology for the comment, following an afternoon of backlash.
LOS ANGELES - James Corden will host a brand new "Carpool Karaoke" primetime special on CBS in May, Variety has learned. The special will feature an all new "Carpool Karaoke," Toddlerography, as well as some of Corden's favorite moments from past episodes of "The Late Late Show." Guests for the special will be annouced at a later date. It will air May 22 at 10 p.m. on CBS.
LOS ANGELES - "Nashville" has been renewed by CMT for a sixth season. The cable channel also set June 1 as the return date for the back half of the drama's current fifth season. Season six will consist of 16 new episodes and is set to premiere in early 2018.
LOS ANGELES - Tomi Lahren has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against Glenn Beck and TheBlaze, claiming that she was fired after an appearance on "The View," in which she said she was pro-choice. In the lawsuit, filed in Dallas County Court in Texas, Lahren claims that Beck and others associated with TheBlaze engaged in a "smear" campaign by "chastising her political views and opinions in a clear attempt to embarrass, humiliate, and undermine" her "reach to her audience on social media and elsewhere."