Disney Employee Arrested for Insider Trading; Claims Iger in Talks to Sell ABC

Bonnie Hoxie, an administrative assistant to Disney’s head of Corporate Communication, Zenia Mucha, was arrested earlier today along with her boyfriend Yonni Sebbag (a.k.a. Jonathan Cyrus) by the FBI on charges of conspiracy and wire fraud in an attempt to sell inside information on the company’s latest quarterly earnings report.

The duo allegedly sent emails via a gmail account to hedge funds and investment companies in New York. Posing as hedge fund investors, the FBI arranged to receive insider trading information from Sebbag in New York which included disclosing earnings per share hours prior to the public disclosure.

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ESPN2 and ABC to Broadcast Star-Studded FIFA World Cup Kick-off Celebration Concert, June 10

ESPN Inc.’s unprecedented coverage of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ from South Africa will kick off before the games even begin when ESPN2 broadcasts complete live coverage of the FIFA World Cup™ Kick-Off Celebration Concert from Soweto/Johannesburg on Thursday, June 10 beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.

The three-hour concert, considered the biggest entertainment event to date in South Africa, celebrates the arrival of the first-ever FIFA World Cup™ on the African continent and will take place at 30,000-seat Orlando Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg. Alicia Keys, the Black Eyed Peas, John Legend, Shakira and Juanes will perform live on ESPN2 alongside, and in collaboration with, popular African artists, with a specially-produced highlight presentation of the concert airing in primetime on ABC, Friday, June 11 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

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ABC News Explores Real Life ‘Superhumans’ on 20/20 Special, June 1

Superpowers are usually associated with action superheroes like Superman and Batman. And right now, from hit movies like “Iron Man 2″ to weekly fan conventions across the country, superheroes are bigger than ever. ABC invites you to meet real people with superpowers they’ve developed by dedicating their lives to the basic human urge to overcome limitations to soar by unlocking abilities hidden deep within. A Special Edition of “20/20″ looks at everyday men and women with unbelievable powers, including:

  • A man able to survive 72 minutes in the North Pole in nothing but shorts

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‘LOST’ Series Finale to be Simulcasted Around the Globe

In purported efforts to thwart online piracy and spoilers, Disney Media Distribution has announced that 59 countries around the world will be allowed to air the series finale of ABC’s LOST (titled ‘The End’) up to 48 hours after its original United States airing, a move that schedules the program several days ahead of its normal schedule in many of the countries.

In addition, viewers in some countries  such as Canada, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom will be able to watch a simulcast of the show’s final episode in sync with the US west coast feed.

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ABC Owned Television Stations Group President Walter Liss Retires; WABC President Rebecca Campbell Named Successor

Esteemed television executive Walter Liss today announced his retirement as President, ABC Owned Television Stations Group.  He will immediately move into a consultancy role for the Station Group to assist in the transition.

In commenting on the announcement, Robert A. Iger, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company said, “I’ve worked with Walter for almost 25 years, and I know him to be a one of a kind person: a great executive who knows his business well and has always had a passion for it. He is a no-nonsense guy, who ran the best station group in the country, and loved every minute he spent in the station business! We are all grateful for his leadership, his contributions and his friendship, and we are thankful for ensuring our stations are so well-positioned for the future. Although he has definitely earned the right to retire, he will be sorely missed.”

“I’ve been in this wonderful business for over 50 years.   More than 30 of those years have been with the best Company in the world…The Walt Disney Company,” added Mr. Liss.  “Early next year I’ll go to work on my golf game.  All those guys on the Champions Tour better watch out.”

Walter C. Liss was appointed president, ABC Owned Television Stations Group, in May 1999.  In this role he had chief management responsibility for the 10 ABC owned television stations and for the Group’s ABC National Television Sales rep firm.

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ABC Unveils 2010-11 Primetime Schedule

NEW FALL AND MIDSEASON SERIES – DRAMA

“BODY OF PROOF”
Dr. Megan Hunt (Dana Delany) was in a class of her own, a brilliant neurosurgeon at the top of her game. But her world is turned upside down when a devastating car accident puts an end to her time in the operating room. Megan resumes her career as a medical examiner, determined to solve the puzzle of who or what killed the victims. Her instincts are sharp, but she’s developed a reputation for graying the lines of where her job ends and where the police department’s begins. It turns out her career isn’t the only thing that will need to be rebuilt; Megan’s family has taken a backseat to her ambition, and now she’s discovering there’s a lot of work to do when it comes to dissecting her relationships with the living.

Dana Delany stars as Dr. Megan Hunt, Jeri Ryan as Dr. Kate Murphy, Geoffrey Arend as Dr. Elliot Gross, John Carroll Lynch as Detective Bud Morris, Windell Middlebrooks as Dr. Curtis Brumfield, Nic Bishop as Peter Dunlap and Sonja Sohn as Detective Samantha Baker.

“Body of Proof” is from ABC Studios. Christopher Murphey wrote the pilot, which was directed by Nelson McCormick. Murphey and Matt Gross serve as executive producers.

“DETROIT 1-8-7”
What does it take to be a detective on America’s most dangerous streets? Get ready to be part of the action when a documentary crew rolls with some of Detroit’s finest, offering an insider’s glimpse behind the curtain of a Homicide Unit. The cameras unearth the crisis and revelation, heartbreak and heroism of these inner city cops — moments of raw exposure when they address us directly, as well as private moments when they forget they’re being filmed.

There’s the damaged but driven Detective Louis Fitch, a wily homicide vet who is the most respected — and most misunderstood — man in the division; Detective Damon Washington, Fitch’s new partner, who finds the first day on the job is a trial by fire, complicated by the imminent birth of his first child; Detective Ariana Sanchez, sexy, edgy and beautiful, who has emerged from a rough background to become a rising star in the department; Narcotics undercover cop John Stone, a streetwise smooth talker, clever and quick with a smile made for the movies, who is teamed with Sanchez — a combustible pairing rife with conflict and sexual tension; Sergeant Jesse Longford, a 30-year veteran struggling with his impending retirement from the force and the city he loves, who, together with his partner, Detective Aman Mahajan — a fully Americanized son of Indian immigrants — form an amusing mismatch of experience and enthusiasm, intellect and instinct, old school and new world, but whose combined skills have never encountered a case that couldn’t be cleared; and all are headed by Lieutenant Maureen Mason, a strong-willed single mom struggling to balance home and work.

The men and women of Detroit Homicide are as smart and tough as they come. They have to be, working the neighborhoods of the once and future Motor City, a rebounding bastion of middle America still saddled with the highest murder rate in the country.

“Detroit 1-8-7” stars Michael Imperioli (“The Sopranos”) as Detective Louis Fitch, Jon Michael Hill as Detective Damon Washington, James McDaniel (“NYPD Blue”) as Sergeant Jesse Longford, Aisha Hinds (“True Blood”) as Lieutenant Maureen Mason, Natalie Martinez as Detective Ariana Sanchez, D.J. Cotrona as Detective John Stone and Shaun Majumder as Detective Aman Mahajan.

The series is produced by ABC Studios. The pilot was written by Jason Richman. Executive producers are Richman, David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and David Zabel. Jeff Nachmanoff directed the pilot.

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Miley Cyrus, Sarah McLachlan to Perform on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Results Show 5/18

On TUESDAY, MAY 18 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET), on “Dancing with the Stars the Results Show,” multiplatinum recording artist and actress Miley Cyrus will perform the live television debut of her new hit single, “Can’t Be Tamed,” from her upcoming album releasing June 22 on Hollywood Records. The youngest-ever recording artist with five chart topping debuts, Cyrus has sold over 15 million records, including the EP, “The Time of Our Lives,” which featured her No. 1 hit, “Party in the USA.”

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Disney Shuts Off ‘Power Rangers,’ Selling Them Back to Creator; New Season Goes to Nick

Originally acquired by Disney when it acquired then Fox Family Worldwide (the network channel now known as ABC Family) back in 2001, the Power Rangers have received mixed messages from its master. Despite its immense popularity and several seasons (‘generations’) being produced by Disney, the series struggled to find its way in the Disney family, mostly for its perceived portrayal of violence in fantasy fighting.

The show, which would seem most at home on Disney XD, ultimately found itself restricted to Saturday morning programming on ABC. RPM was the last original season produced by Disney in 2009 with Disney opting to following it by re-running the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (MMPR) series instead of producing new shows.

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ABC Reveals List of Suitors for ‘The Bachelorette’s’ Ali Fedotowsky

Ali Fedotowsky, the BacheloretteWhat do a handsome entertainment wrestler with an impressive alter ego, a weatherman from Texas who forecasts sunny skies ahead for the Bachelorette and himself, an aspiring screenwriter attempting to script the perfect Hollywood ending, a self-declared ladies’ man and a sensitive but strong-willed landscaper all have in common? They’re all on the hunt for the new Bachelorette, Ali Fedotowsky, when the sixth edition of the female version of ABC’s popular romance reality series, “The Bachelorette,” premieres MONDAY, MAY 24 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

Ali, 25, who most recently was an account manager in on-line advertising from San Francisco, meets 25 potential soul mates as she begins her own search for true love. In the premiere, “Episode 601,” 25 eligible men come from all over to try and win her heart. Kyle, the outdoorsman, tries to reel Ali in right from the start. Jason, a hunky skier, impresses the Bachelorette with a death-defying back flip off the limo, and John C. attempts to take all the other men out of the picture as he gets down on one knee and proposes.

Once inside, Ali lives every woman’s dream– surrounded by 25 handsome men – all there just for her. As the biggest night of her life begins, so does the competition between the men.  Frank, an aspiring writer, shares his inspiring story of how he left his high-paying career to move to Paris and follow his dream. Kirk scores points with a sentimental scrapbook he presents to Ali. But Hunter, a clever Texan, steals the show with a heart-felt hilarious song, accompanying himself on the ukulele.

Tensions mount and sparks fly as the bachelors vie for the first impression rose. Roberto, a romantic Latin bachelor, takes a moment to steal Ali away and teach her some sexy salsa steps. Justin doesn’t let a broken foot get in his way, as he rips his shirt open to reveal his professional wrestling alter ego. And Jesse offers a beautiful wooden heart necklace as an original token of his admiration. Finally, Ali must eliminate eight of the 25 men, leaving 17 to compete for her affections and, in the end, her heart.

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ABC’s ‘(T)He View’ to Feature Male Co-Hosts All Week Beginning May 17

They say it’s a man’s world, and normally the opinionated hosts of ABC’s “The View” would strongly disagree. However, they’ve collectively decided to entertain the idea, for one week ONLY, because the five men joining them at the semi-circular “Hot Topics” table on May 17-21 are friends. So, for the first time in the 13-year-history of “The View,” five men will consecutively co-host for the entire hour (11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon, ET).

May 17 – Barbara’s friend, Bryant Renfroe (“The View”)
May 18 – Elisabeth’s friend/husband, Tim Hasselbeck (ESPN)
May 19 – Whoopi’s friend, André Leon Talley (“America’s Next Top Model” and Vogue)
May 20 – Sherri’s friend, comedian Vernard “Bone” Hampton (“All About Steve”)
May 21 – Joy Behar’s friend, Mario Cantone (“Sex and the City”)

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