America invades “Downton Abbey” by way of actor Paul Giamatti.
Masterpiece on PBS has confirmed that Giamatti will be playing Cora’s playboy brother Harold, in the season four finale.
The “Sideways’” star will be joined by returning guest star and fellow American, Shirley MacLaine, who plays Cora’s over the top mother, Martha Levinson, from season three.
In a statement, executive producer Gareth Neame said, “We’re excited that Paul Giamatti will be joining us on ‘Downton’ to play Cora’s brother Harold, the rather free-spirited uncle to Mary and Edith. We can’t wait to see him work alongside Shirley MacLaine, who are both sure to upset the Grantham’s apple cart in this year’s finale.”
Giamatti is one of many new characters being introduced in season four. He will also be joined by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Tom Cullen, Julian Ovenden, Nigel Harman, Joanna David and Gary Carr.
Season four of the series is set to begin January 5, 2014.
On Wednesday MTV announced they were canceling the TV Reality show “Buckwild”
In a statement the network wrote, “After careful consideration, MTV will not be moving forward with season two of ‘Buckwild’ in West Virginia.” Explaining they continued, “We love the cast and the show and this was not an easy decision, but given Shain’s tragic passing and essential presence on the show, we felt it was not appropriate to continue without him”
Last week MTV reported that cast member Shain Gandee was found dead in a vehicle, along with his uncle and another unidentified person, in a remote area of Sissonville, West Virginia.
The trio perished while “off-roading” in a remote area after their vehicle overturned, trapping the three. They died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
“Buckwild” is a show that followed a number of young adults living in the town of Sissonville. When the show initially started MTV took some heat for the partying lifestyle portrayed by the group. After the tragic event, which occurred at 3 a.m. after the three had left a local bar, MTV suspended production.
A spokesman for MTV told Reuters that the network plans on running a tribute show to Gandee on Sunday, but will not be airing any of the footage shot for season 2.
According to the CBS Los Angeles, authorities say three people have died in a helicopter crash early this morning in the rural area of Acton, Calif., in northern Los Angeles County. The helicopter may have been used in the production of an unknown reality show.
At approximately 3:40 this morning Los Angeles County Fire was dispatched to Polsa Rosa Ranch in Acton. According to dispatcher Robert Diaz everyone on board died.
The crash occurred in an area that is typically rented out by film crews. According to investigators the chopper was being used as part of a film production.
The Los Angeles Film Commission told CBS that Bongo Productions had a permit to shoot in the area on a reportedly untitled reality show, which began shooting on Saturday. It’s not known if the accident happened during a film shoot.
Television footage showed mangled wreckage in a rugged canyon area near Soledad Canyon Road.
The National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Aviation Administration and law enforcement agencies are investigating.
According to Bongo Productions’ website Michael Caruana, who runs Bongo Productions, acts “as an on-set-acting coach, Michael is engaged by production to work with individual actors prior to shooting and/or on set.”
Yesterday the Skin Cancer Foundation filed a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, asking that the F.T.C. to use its authority under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act to investigate MTV’s Jersey Shore television series, along with other related initiatives related to the promotion of cancer causing behavior.
The highly rated MTV television show is no stranger to controversy, from cast members onscreen violent outbursts, to their off screen antics.
According to the complaint the Foundation alleges that, “MTV utilized a complex web of programming, advertising, promotion and merchandising to glamorize and endorse excessive tanning as socially enhancing and beneficial, through use of the cast’s ‘Gym, Tan, Laundry’ ritual, without disclosing the related health risks.”
The show just wrapped up its sixth and final season, and to commemorate the event MTV, aired a series of farewell programs, including a one hour retrospective called “Gym, Tan, Look Back.”
The series, according to the complaint, reached nearly nine million viewers at the show’s peak.
While the show has shuttered its doors, the complaint goes on to describe the continuation of such behavior through spin-offs and repeats, which will expose this disturbing behavior to an impressionable audience for years to come.
In a press release issued today, the President and Founder of The Skin Cancer Foundation explained, “While experts have long suspected a link between skin cancer and tanning beds, it was not until a few years ago that we had research studies definitively showing a connection. The fact is, tanning beds cause skin cancer,” he went on to say, “As the series progressed over the years, displays of tanning behaviors grew in frequency along with the cast’s influence over viewers, to the point where the expression ‘Gym, Tan, Laundry’ became a national catchphrase. The repeated and ongoing references to tanning as a harmless activity are dangerous and hazardous to the public’s health.”
In September 2012 the Foundation met with MTV executives, requesting that MTV include a warning with each episode and in conjunction with the sale of items and activities that promote tanning. MTV refused, prompting the Foundation to file the complaint with the F.T.C., in the hope that the Commission would require the use of such a warning.
On a disturbing note, in episode 13 of season two, cast member Paul DelVecchio (Pauly D) enthusiastically nominated himself “Most Likely to Get Skin Cancer.”