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Muslim Actors Scoring More Roles in Hollywood ... Take That, Prez Trump?

3/21/2017 10:58 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

0321-muslim-actors-hollywood-fa-getty-02Hollywood is hiring way more Muslim actors than ever before ... and President Trump might very well be the one to thank.

Industry sources tell TMZ there's been a big uptick in the number of roles for Muslim actors this pilot season, and that TV networks are pushing for more Muslim-American story lines in primetime.

For example ... Omar Metwally (CBS), Mouzam Makkar (NBC), Zainab Johnson (ABC), Adeel Akhtar (FOX) and Hasan Minhaj (Netflix) ... are all starring in pilots right now.

Sue Obeidi, the director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council in Hollywood, says studios and production companies are reaching out to her group to consult on accurate plots.

She adds ... rather than just casting someone who might look Middle Eastern or Arabic, networks are pushing for actual Muslims to play Muslim characters. As opposed to the infamous casting of Jake Gyllenhaal in 'Prince of Persia.'

Sources at one of TV's biggest casting agencies say the demand has been on the rise since Trump announced his presidential bid.

As for why? The timing makes it seem obvious -- Hollywood power players, most of whom are vehemently anti-Trump, are pushing back against what they see as his exclusionary policies.

Translation: In your face, Mr. President.

Les Moonves NFL Games WILL Be Shorter ... Here's How

2/24/2017 3:15 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

CBS Honcho Les Moonves is coming to the rescue of all NFL fans sick of the games taking longer than a presidential term to finish ... promising the games WILL be shorter and telling us how.

NFL ratings took a dip last season ... with some fans complaining the length of the games is a factor in why they're changing the station.

CBS has been a part of discussions with the league about how to speed things up, and when we got Les -- the president of the network -- out at Craig's in L.A., he told us how they're gonna do it.

Shorter games mean less time to blow 25 point leads, right Falcons fans?

Les Moonves $500k for Tom Brady Jersey??? ... Even I Won't Pay That!

2/22/2017 7:43 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

CBS honcho Les Moonves reportedly makes $60 MILLION per year!!!!

And even HE thinks $500,000 for Tom Brady's Super Bowl jersey is an INSANE number. 

Interesting thing is Les would probably be a real contender to buy the jersey if it's ever recovered and put up for sale ... he's a huge Patriots fan who loves Tom Brady. 

... but he's not a sucker. 

Les Moonves What Oprah Wants, Oprah Gets at CBS

2/10/2017 6:13 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Oprah Winfrey has the keys to the kingdom at CBS, because the big boss says so.

Les Moonves was leaving Madeo in WeHo Thursday night when we asked about Oprah's increased presence on CBS. She's becoming a special correspondent on "60 Minutes," she did a primetime special recently and she pops up on other shows as well.

Mr. M made it clear ... if Oprah has an idea for a show, it gets on his air -- period.

As for why Oprah would choose CBS over her own OWN, well, Les says it's pretty obvious.

Matt Lauer Oprah Joining CBS is Good ... For Them

1/31/2017 9:45 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Matt Lauer says Oprah joining "60 Minutes" on CBS is great ... for CBS.

We got the NBC "Today" host in NYC Tuesday, where we asked if O joining their rival network was good for competition. 

Here's who's gotta worry ... Megyn Kelly, because she's getting a magazine show that may go head-to-head with "60 Minutes."

JonBenet Ramsey Brother Sues CBS for $750 Mil ... For Implying He Killed Her

12/28/2016 2:17 PM PST
Breaking News

1228-Burke-Ramsey-splashJonBenet Ramsey's older brother just followed through on his promise to sue CBS for insinuating he killed his sister ... and he's gunning for $750 million. 

Burke Ramsey just filed suit against the TV network for its special about JonBenet earlier this fall, where some experts openly theorized that Burke had taken a flashlight to his little sister's head. 

He's reportedly asking for $250 mil in compensatory damages and $500 mil in punitive damages.

You'll recall ... Burke already sued one of the experts CBS used on their special, Dr. Werner Spitz, for $150 million ... to which Spitz responded by saying he should be allowed to speculate about who killed JonBenet.

Burke's attorney at the time, L. Lin Wood, previously told us he was planning to sue CBS on his client's behalf. It's unclear if he's repping Burke for this suit. 

CBS had no comment.  

JonBenet Ramsey Investigator My Theory Burke Did It Is Just That ... Theory

12/2/2016 10:19 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

1006-burke-jonbenet-ramsey-splash-5The famed investigator who strongly suggested JonBenet Ramsey was killed by her older brother ... insists he has every right to say so thanks to the Constitution.

Dr. Werner Spitz filed a response Friday to Burke Ramsey's defamation suit, saying the First Amendment allows him to hypothesize who her killer might have been ... because he's not claiming it's FACT, just his theory. 

In the docs, obtained by TMZ, Spitz says defamation claims must be based on a "provably false statement of fact," and insists his statements are not. He even points out the radio show that aired his "opinion" noted Spitz's theory hadn't been proven in court.

As we reported ... Burke Ramsey sued Dr. Spitz for $150 million after openly suggesting Burke killed JonBenet. He made very similar remarks during a CBS special about the unsolved case.

Spitz is asking a judge to dismiss the case.

'Andy Griffith Show' CBS Sues YouTuber for Stealing ... We're No Deputy Fife!

12/1/2016 4:09 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

1201_andy_griffith_show_cbs_compositeA YouTube channel featuring TV classics like "The Andy Griffith Show" is run by a lowdown crook making money off other people's work ... according to CBS.

In a lawsuit, the network says 8thManDVD.com -- run by Edward Heldman III -- has racked up over 2.5 million views, by posting 16 episodes of the beloved sitcom. CBS alerted YouTube to nip it in the bud and remove the vids, which it did. Temporarily.

Heldman fought back and, according to docs, got the episodes reposted by claiming they were in the public domain. CBS says public domain doesn't matter because the shows contain copyrighted characters like Deputy Barney Fife, Sheriff Andy and of course ... Opie.

Heldman insists he's in the clear because he "remastered" the episodes -- which he believes makes them new and available for his use. He also claims CBS is trying to abuse copyright law.

CBS is suing to get the vids taken down for good, and to grab Heldman's profits from them.

Jared Fogle's Ex-Wife I Was Totally in the Dark Until FBI Raid

11/4/2016 9:09 AM PDT

Jared Fogle was a devious master at keeping his double lives separated ... according to his now ex-wife who's speaking out about his child porn conviction for the first time.

Kathleen McLaughlin says she was completely shocked the day FBI agents barged into their Indiana home with search warrants. She told "CBS This Morning" ... "He had 2 lives going on. He was able to keep those 2 very separate in a way I couldn't even fathom."

TMZ broke the story ... Kathleen sued Subway, accusing the sandwich giant of using him as its pitchman despite knowing he was a pedophile.

jared-fogle-photos-sub-gallery-GETTY-01

JonBenet Ramsey Murder House Owners Rejected CBS Documentary

9/22/2016 12:40 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

0921-jonbenet-ramsey-house-splash-getty-01The owners of the Boulder house where JonBenet Ramsey was killed told documentary producers to take a hike when they literally tried to return to the scene of the crime.

Carol Schuller Milner and her husband currently live in the home, and she tells TMZ ... a production company contacted them months ago asking to lease their house. She says they immediately turned them down ... saying they had NO interest in dredging up horrific memories.

If you saw CBS' special, "The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey" ... you noticed producers had to build replica rooms, because they had zero access to the real deal. 

Even if the Milners had played ball ... Carol says they made major renovations 10 years ago, which included the basement. She says it wasn't because they were creeped out -- they'd already been there for 2 years -- it was just time for a makeover.

Carol says they didn't watch the documentary, and they've always separated the JonBenet tragedy from their home.

JonBenet Ramsey Brother's Atty Rips CBS ... Special Was an 'Asinine' Lie

9/21/2016 2:56 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

The lawyer for JonBenet Ramsey's brother laid out exactly why he plans to sue the crap out of CBS for airing "experts" who concluded Burke Ramsey killed his little sister.

Burke's lawyer, L. Lin Wood, came on "TMZ Live" and accused CBS of using "phony experts" on its documentary ... just so it could profit off the impending 20 year anniversary of JonBenet's unsolved murder.

Wood explained why he believe the evidence completely refutes the findings of "The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey." As we reported ... Wood intends to sue CBS for defamation.

CBS Honcho Les Moonves Manny vs. Floyd = Gold Mine! 'Hoping Fight Happens'

1/21/2015 9:08 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

CBS honcho Les Moonves says he's "hoping" Floyd Mayweather signs the contract to fight Manny Pacquiao ... telling TMZ Sports it would make "a lot of money for everybody."

Of course, CBS owns Showtime -- and Moonves has reportedly been working hard with both Manny's camp and Floyd's camp to lock up a deal for the network. 

FYI -- experts predict the fight would CRUSH every financial record in the history of the sport ... including the all-time pay-per-view record of $150 million, which was set during the Mayweather-Alvarez fight in 2013. 

Moonves also shot down rumors that he threatened to fire the head of Showtime Sports if the fight doesn't come to fruition. 

So where do things stand? Manny says he's signed his side of the contract and is giving Mayweather until the end of the month to sign his ... or else he'll move.

CBS Show 'VEGAS' The Set Was A Death Trap

12/29/2014 12:15 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE
CBS Vegas LawsuitThe set of former CBS show 'Vegas' was full of dangerous and defective equipment ... according to a lawsuit filed by an outraged crew member who nearly lost a finger.

Andrea Krout is rolling the dice and suing the drama's crane manufacturer and distributor -- Technovision and Crane Shot -- after having her thumb crushed and nearly torn off during a horrific crane accident last year while she worked as a dolly grip.

Krout says both companies are responsible for the faulty equipment and putting her life at risk -- she's demanding they pick up the tab for her medical expenses and pain and suffering.

Vegas ... definitely risky.

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