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October 10, 2015


Oprah Settles Defamation Suit

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 25th 2010 9:02AM
Oprah WinfreyIt looks like Oprah Winfrey will not be going to trial. The queen of day-time talk shows settled a lawsuit out of court with Nomvuyo Mzamane, a former headmistress of her South African school. The lawsuit was based on statements Winfrey made after allegations of student abuse at the school occurred.

In 1998, Oprah was sued by some Texas cattle ranchers due to a segment on her show about mad cow disease. In that case, she did go to trial and was acquitted (even taping episodes of her show from Texas). However, it's difficult to know if the same results can be obtained from a South African court.

There are two sides to this settlement. The first is that if Oprah feels her statements were valid and her celebrity shouldn't be taken into account, she should have gone to South Africa to defend herself. The other is that her time is way too valuable to waste on what seems to be a frivolous lawsuit. What do you think? Should Oprah have defended her honor?

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Teen Featured on 'Wife Swap' Sues Show

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 23rd 2010 3:00PM
Wife SwapHere's a tip for anyone who wants to appear on television: don't go on a reality show. Sure, there are a few reality shows that might be OK, but for the most part, they are going to be edited to make you look bad or they're going to be a horrible experience in general. There are other ways to get your 15 minutes of fame (note: please don't go for your 15 minutes of fame either).

A teen who appeared on the ABC reality show 'Wife Swap' (the title should tell you pretty much what the show is about) is suing the show and Disney for $100 million (say that in a Dr. Evil-like voice). She says that people at the show actually told her how to act (like a spoiled brat) and even wrote specific lines for her to say (viewers who think that reality shows are 100% unscripted live in a fantasy world of unicorns and rainbows). She says that after the show aired she was physically and verbally assaulted at school.

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Oprah Being Sued for Defamation

by Brad Trechak, posted Mar 18th 2010 10:30AM
Oprah WinfreyLarato Mzamane, the former headmistress for Oprah Winfrey's South Africa-based Leadership Academy of Girls, is suing the billionaire talk show host for defamation and casting her in a false light. Now she must face the wrath of Oprah.

What is most interesting about the article is that even the judge acknowledges that Oprah's incredible popularity contributed to the veracity of the prosecutor's claims. If Oprah potentially falsely criticized Mzamane's job performance but wasn't a household name, it wouldn't be that big a deal.

It's a bit like Oprah's Book Club. If Oprah didn't like your book, then you better not quit your day job. Similarly, if Oprah criticized you at your job, you'd better find another job. In that regard, the logic behind the judge's decision is understandable. And while Oprah likely has an army of lawyers at her beck and call, Mzamane can no doubt find a couple of legal sharks that want a piece of Oprah's net worth.

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Kid Gets Detention for Repeating Joke From 'The Office'

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 25th 2010 3:31PM
This happened last year but it's still worth posting. A thirteen-year-old kid got detention for repeating Michael Scott's popular catch phrase "That's what she said!" during class. Steve Carell should write a note to him.

The funniest part is this detention notice sent to his parents. It's funny when a teacher has to put down a reason like this for a detention and has to describe it. Is the kid a wiseass? Probably, but it's funny. All of my report cards when I was a kid said "gets good grades but laughs too much in class."


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Do you have good enough grades to get into Lost University?

by Bob Sassone, posted Jul 23rd 2009 3:25PM
Adults are always urging kids to "stay in school," but they don't usually say which school. What if there was a university dedicated to all things Lost?

ABC has launched a web site for Lost University, an online school that starts on September 22. There are two semesters (or one final season), and courses include "Introductory Physics of Time Travel," "I'm Lost, Therefore I Am," and "I'm Right, You're Wrong: The Us vs. Them Mentality." There's also a Smokey Patrol, a campus security service run by students, and a Drive Shaft cover band contest.

The university will be at Comic-Con this weekend too, dropping clues about what all this means.

[via PopWatch]

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Watch the NYC Prep preview here

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 18th 2009 5:31PM
Bravo's new show NYC Prep premieres on July 23. It follows a bunch of rich kids and the schools they go to (yes, lots of sex, drinking, and talk about money). There's one kid named "PC," and I really think they should have gotten another kid nicknamed "Mac." That would have been good. There must be at least one person with that nickname in the private schools of NYC. Here's the first episode. (You can also watch it on iTunes.)

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School Daze Quiz

by Hillary Busis, posted Aug 11th 2008 5:00AM
Can you make the grade?

The beginning of fall will always mean one thing -- back-to-school season.

And in honor of this special time of year, we present you with a pop quiz all about TV schools.

Where did Felicity go to college? Was a baby ever born at Bayside High? Please keep your eyes on your own paper. Pencils out ... you may begin.

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Chronicle campus scenes to be revised in wake of Virginia Tech shootings

by Adam Finley, posted Jul 23rd 2007 1:02PM

Thomas DekkerThe Sarah Connor Chronicles, a new drama that continues where the Terminator films left off (well, Terminator 2: Judgment Day to be exact) will hit FOX midseason, but at least one scene will be changed before we see it.

The series focuses on Sarah Connor and her son John, the young boy who will grow up to lead the battle against the machines. Sarah's duty is to protect her son from harm, but in one scene, John is attacked at his school. Executive producer Josh Friedman had explained, prior to the massacre at Virginia Tech, that the scene was central to the series as a whole: school is the one place where a parent cannot absolutely protect a child.

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Lady or a Tramp in development

by Adam Finley, posted Jun 13th 2007 4:03PM

donald trumpDo you know what we don't have enough of on reality television programs? Slutty chicks who like to party.

Sarcasm aside, Donald Trump is developing a new reality series for a possible midseason slot on the FOX schedule called Lady or a Tramp. The series, unfortunately, is not a series of cage matches between women and hobos, but is instead a competition in which girls who love the party life are sent to charm school to learn to behave like proper women.

If this idea sounds familiar, that might be because you're British already saw the series this one is based on, Ladette to Lady.

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Everybody Hates Chris: Everybody Hates the Last Day (season finale)

by Adam Finley, posted May 15th 2007 9:44AM

everybody hates chris(S02E22) I need to pay more attention to the opening credits, because I had no idea Kelsey Grammer directed this episode. You can see a video of Grammer talking about it here.

First of all, I loved how Chris' dad thinks everything can be fixed with duct tape. Who knew Julius and Red Green had something in common?

This episode had me, and then it lost me. When Chris decides to final exact revenge on Caruso, I was all set up. This was going to be yet another great episode of a series that never relies to heavily on sitcom conventions for its humor, but by the end, that's exactly what the episode had done. I'm sure a bunch of cats being turned loose in a school might work on a lesser show, but it's an idea that seems way too "sitcom-y" for a show like Chris. Also, isn't the show supposed to be based, at least somewhat, on Chris Rock's real childhood? What school did he attend that would allow him the ample time he needed to set up such an elaborate prank?

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Everybody Hates Chris: Everybody Hates Cutting School

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 20th 2007 9:45AM

chris rock(S02E15) I never skipped school when I was young, mostly because I was a good kid, but also because I attended school in a small town and it was likely that if I skipped, someone would notice.

In this episode, Chris and Greg skip school to see Ghostbusters, which is understandable since that movie was a huge phenomenon when it came out. We all had the shirts and the Ghostbusters Trapper Keepers and that ubiquitous theme song running through our heads incessantly. I think some teachers would actually yell at us if didn't skip school to go see it: "why the hell are you kids in class? Get out right now and go see Ghostbusters, it's one of the defining movies of this decade, damn it!"

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Everybody Hates Chris: Everybody Hates the Substitute

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 12th 2007 10:46PM

everybody hates chris(S02E12) In this review I mentioned that the character of Ms. Morello seemed to be switching from a dimwitted woman misinformed about black culture to your basic run-of-the-mill racist, and in this episode she wasn't much better, returning to a trip from Africa with a tiny bone for Chris he could put in his nose.

Now, if that's merely a choice on the part of the writers to have Ms. Morello completely oblivious to her own actions as a means of comic relief, that's their prerogative, but what I loved about her character from the early episodes is how she demonstrated that not all racism is blatant: sometimes you can have what seems like the best of intentions and still be completely wrong in your approach. Now, she's just another idiot.

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ABC plans special on Oprah's South African school

by Anna Johns, posted Feb 7th 2007 3:28PM
oprah winfreyABC and Oprah's production company, Harpo Productions, will team up for a special about how Oprah built a school in South Africa for disadvantaged girls. The special will chronicle Oprah's five-year effort to get the school built. The school is called The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy (did she really have to name it after herself?). It's pretty sweet- with computer and science labs, a library, theater and "wellness center". It opened up in January after Oprah personally selected the 152 students who would be lucky enough to attend.

The upcoming ABC special also includes a long list of celebrity appearances including Tina Turner, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, Sidney Poitier, Chris Tucker and Spike Lee.

Building a Dream: The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy will air at 10 pm on Monday, February 26th. That is the last day of this month's ratings period.

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Everybody Hates Chris: Everybody Hates Snow Day

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 6th 2007 12:40PM

everybody hates chris(S02E15) When you get older and have to actually drive to work when the winter weather gets bad, it's easy to forget just how much you loved those days when you were a kid and didn't have to go to school. My school was always the last to close on snow days, and my father, who drove a school bus, was often already headed into work before they'd announce it.

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Everybody Hates Chris: Everybody Hates Hall Monitors

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 30th 2007 11:22AM

everybody hates chris(S02E14) I don't think this episode had as many laugh-out-loud moments as other episodes, but what really struck me was how tenacious Chris is when it comes to his social situation. Clearly, no one at his school likes him, but Chris still makes an effort to be respected and fit in.

Most of the students want nothing to do with Chris because he's black, but it's also because Chris has no interest in going along with the group-think that's prevalent in most schools. There are essentially two ways to go for any adolescent: you can take the path of least resistance and do what everyone else does, or you can forge your own path and earn the respect of your peers that way. The famous adult Chris is obviously a product of the latter, but what Everybody Hates Chris shows is how difficult it can be to constantly swim against the current.

I said there weren't as many laugh-out-loud moments, but the montage showing Chris giving a beat down to anyone who disrespected his role as hall monitor almost had me on the floor. Chris eventually learns that "fear" and "respect" aren't the same thing, but even he would have to admit that giving his antagonists a taste of justice felt pretty damn good.

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