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'America's Got Talent' 'AGT' Still Wants Nick But if He Wants Out He Can Go

2/14/2017 1:06 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

"America's Got Talent" execs desperately want to keep Nick Cannon ... but if he really wants to walk, they likely won't hold him to his contract. 

Production sources with knowledge of the situation tell us the show fires up next month, but honchos aren't scouting for new hosts ... at least not yet. They're hoping Nick has a change of heart.

If Nick holds firm, NBC likely won't sue him for breach of contract. 

Our sources say Nick has been great to work with on 'AGT,' and the crew has become a family. There's reason to believe he's going through something emotional in his personal life and that may well be factoring into his decision. 

Nick Cannon & 'AGT' Nearly Fired Over 'Black Card' Joke ... Cooler Heads Prevail

2/10/2017 9:44 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Nick Cannon pissed off some NBC execs with a joke he made during a stand-up comedy special -- and it nearly cost him his job on "America's Got Talent" ... TMZ has learned.

While Nick was recording the special more than a month ago, he joked with the audience that NBC was making him lose his "black card" -- strongly insinuating the network wanted him to show less swagger on 'AGT.' 

Sources familiar with the situation tell us NBC execs got wind of it when Nick was promoting the special on "The Howard Stern Show" ... and thought he was disparaging the network -- a violation of his contract. We're told his deal has a clause that bars him from talking about the network without approval.

There were serious discussions about axing him for breach of contract, or simply because ... if he's so miserable, why not just let him go?

Ultimately, the execs decided Nick had simply made a passing comment. We're told they like him and didn't want to blow the relationship. He'll be shooting 'AGT' next month.

As for the comedy special, it airs Friday night on Showtime and we're told the "black card" comment is in it.

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."

NBC Fires Back at Trump Supporter You Were Asking for a Beatdown

1/16/2017 8:51 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

When you go to the "Today" show with a shirt suggesting Bill Clinton did what Donald Trump said he did ... you gotta be ready for someone to kick your ass ... so says NBC.

Mark Gallagher went to 30 Rock before the election and wore a t-shirt with Clinton's face and the word "rape."

He claims he was standing there minding his own business when NBC security -- whom he called a "goon squad" -- descended on him and beat the crap out of him. He has sued NBC for $53 mil.

NBC has now fired off its answer, saying when someone does something as incendiary as Gallagher did, they assume the risk someone will come after them. NBC does not get specific, but the network disputes Gallagher's version of the facts ... presumably what he did before the incident.

And this is the best. NBC says Gallagher had a duty to minimize his damages by getting quick medical help, which he did not do. The legal docs say he could have availed himself of the benefits of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- aka Obamacare. 

Megyn Kelly & Lara Spencer Near Collision at JFK Feeling Frigid in NYC

1/10/2017 7:43 AM PST

Lara Spencer and Megyn Kelly may have hugged, kissed or schmoozed before the camera rolled, but it certainly wasn't apparent from what we see at baggage claim at JFK.

The 'GMA' host and the soon-to-be NBC talk show host were feet from each other Monday night, but not a word was spoken ... at least as far as we can see.

ABC and NBC are in fierce competition, but then again competitive anchors still chew the fat.  

At the very least, the video's entertaining.

Trump Supporter NBC's Goons Beat Me Up ... Because I'm Anti-Clinton!!

11/2/2016 11:16 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

NBC sent a "goon squad" to manhandle a "Today" show audience member because he's a known Trump supporter and they hated his t-shirt ... according to the guy's new lawsuit.

Mark Gallagher claims NBC security descended on him and roughed him up last month because he was pro-Trump ... according to the docs. He says he was doing nothing wrong at the time -- just chatting 2 ladies and wearing an anti-Clinton shirt. 

Gallagher admits he had a motive for being in the "Today" audience ... he believes Bill Clinton is a rapist, and wanted to get some TV time for a shirt with Bill's face and the word "RAPE" on it. He says he was successful doing this the day before on "Good Morning America."

According to the suit ... Gallagher was assaulted by the goons before he even had a chance to take off his sweater and reveal his shirt. He claims he was struck in the back of the head with a security radio and sustained injuries to his neck, lower back, ribs, arms and ankle while being removed ... and has bruises to show for it.

Gallagher is suing NBC Universal for more than $53 million. We reached out to NBC for comment, so far no word back.

Billy Bush Officially Done at 'Today' ... NBC Pays Up

10/17/2016 3:49 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Billy Bush and NBC have reached a financial settlement on his "Today" contract ... officially ending his employment with the network after the Donald Trump tape leaked. 

Sources with direct knowledge of the negotiations tell us Billy is happy with the final numbers ... which are confidential. As we reported, Bush had just joined NBC's flagship show in August, signing a 3-year deal for $3.5 million per year.

NBC suspended him after the "Access Hollywood" tape came out 10 days ago. Our sources said Bush felt the punishment was unfair because he'd openly talked about the tape in front of his bosses ... and was never disciplined.

We're told he felt like a scapegoat and was cut loose purely for PR reasons. 

An NBC memo to staffers said, "While he was a new member of the TODAY team, he was a valued colleague and longtime member of the broader NBC family. We wish success as he goes forward." 

Billy Bush Negotiating Settlement with NBC

10/14/2016 1:43 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Billy Bush showed up to a law office Friday morning ... to hash out a settlement with the NBC execs who want to give him the ax ... TMZ has learned.

Our sources say an NBC lawyer and a senior executive from NBC News "with full negotiating authority" were across the table from Bush and his attorney, Marshall Grossman.

Grossman tells TMZ the AM negotiations were "positive," adding, "I anticipate a favorable resolution in the near future."

Millions of dollars are on the table ... Billy was just months into a 3-year contract with "Today" and our NBC sources say he was pulling in $3.5 million a year.

We're told NBC made a decision Thursday to sit down at the table because Billy's people made it clear they would sue if the network tried firing him for a cause.

As we've previously reported, Billy was talking openly about the "Access Hollywood" tape in early August and NBC honchos knew what he had said, but had no problem with the tape until it was leaked.

The negotiations are continuing Friday afternoon, and Billy and NBC could be parting company by day's end.

NBC Planned to Use Trump Audio to Influence Debate, Election

10/12/2016 6:49 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

NBC execs had a plan to time the release of the Donald Trump audio to have maximum impact on both the 2nd presidential debate and the general election ... sources connected with the network tell TMZ.

Multiple sources connected with NBC tell us ... top network execs knew about the video long before they publicly said they did, but wanted to hold it because it was too early in the election. The sources say many NBC execs have open disdain for Trump and their plan was to roll out the tape 48 hours before the debate so it would dominate the news cycle leading up to the face-off.

As we reported, Billy Bush was bragging about the tape -- in front of NBC execs at the Rio Olympics -- in early August. NBC says it's only known about the tape for a little more than a week.

We're told the plan was to edit the tape to keep the focus on Trump and not Billy. "Access Hollywood" we're told was not going to air the portion where Trump and Billy got off the bus and Billy goaded Trump and the soap star to hug. Our sources say the tape was going to be "sanitized" to protect Billy as much as possible.

Case in point ... after The Washington Post ran the story, 'Access' aired their footage and cut out the parts where Billy looked worse -- saying things like, "Jeez! Your girl's hot as s*** in the purple!"

We've told you the plan got derailed by Hurricane Matthew. Execs decided the wall-to-wall coverage of the storm would mess up the plan to dominate the news with the Trump tape, so they were going to hold it until Monday. It didn't sit well with some staffers who wanted it out pre-debate, so it was leaked to the Washington Post.

As one source put it, "NBC really screwed Billy. They had no problem with him on the tape 'till it got leaked." The source goes on to say there was never a peep about disciplining Billy until the full tape got leaked.

Billy Bush NBC Bosses Had No Problem with 'Guy Talk' ... 'Til Friday

10/12/2016 1:00 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Billy Bush has been all but fired by NBC for his part in the "Access Hollywood" Donald Trump outtakes, but his bosses had no problem with Billy's offhanded remarks about women ... for years.

Sources connected to "Access Hollywood" tell us, Billy and others would talk openly in the newsroom about women ... and some of it's even on tape. We're told some of the comments -- "Man, you look hot today," "Look at her legs," and "Man, she looks hot today!"

Billy was particularly impressed with Gigi Hadid and Taylor Swift's legs. He also, somewhat infamously, asked J Lo point-blank about her butt ... although that comment was at least on camera.

The point is ... we're told no one complained, and Billy wasn't the only one making those kinds of remarks.

What's more ... we're told a number of people knew about the Trump/Bush conversation when it went down in 2005, and again ... no one complained.

We're told Bush is upset because he feels like a scapegoat ... no one at NBC had a problem with him until the footage leaked, and when NBC had a PR problem they just cut him loose.

Donald Trump NBC Staff & 'Access' Brass Knew About Outtakes Months Ago

10/11/2016 5:17 PM PDT
Exclusive Details

People at NBC knew about Donald Trump's crude convo with Billy Bush for at least 2 months ... because Billy was bragging about it back then.

TMZ has confirmed ... Billy was telling NBC staffers in Rio about the tape back in early August, when he was still working for "Access Hollywood." We're told word circulated because Billy made it clear Trump was trash-talking Nancy O'Dell.

NBC News says it didn't know about the outtakes until a week ago Monday, but the word around the network is people knew, including executives at 'Access,' which is an NBC property. We're told those executives had full knowledge of Billy's comments on the tape ... which creates a potential problem if NBC is serious about firing him.

We're told Bush's camp will argue they can't 86 him based on a "morality clause" because execs knew what he had said, and didn't discipline him at the time ... 11 years ago. 

As for whether the big NBC News honchos knew -- our sources don't know whether the info circulated to the top levels of the company, but Billy was "very open" about it.

Sylvester Stallone Powerlifted My Show Idea! Trainer Sues Over 'Strong'

6/10/2016 3:09 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Sylvester Stallone's training and weight loss show, "Strong" was jacked from the mind of a personal trainer ... according to the suit the guy just filed.

Robert Fletcher says he created a show called "America's Next Great Trainer" and shopped it around Hollywood in 2014. He says he sent his pitch materials to Stallone's publicist, and also to agents at William Morris Endeavor ... which reps Stallone.

Fletcher thinks it's no coincidence that in early 2016 he started hearing about "Strong" -- the NBC show that lists Sly as one of its executive producers.

"Strong" features male and female trainers competing in various physical challenges -- and in his suit, Fletcher says that's almost a carbon copy of his show idea.

He says it's also fishy that one of the "Strong" trainers is a guy named Todd Durkin. Fletcher says Durkin was attached to 'ANGT' ... but went radio silent in 2015.

He's suing Stallone, NBC, Durkin and other "Strong" producers for at least $7 mil. 

'The Biggest Loser' Ex-NFL Lineman Says .. You Jacked My Logo!!!

6/6/2016 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

"The Biggest Loser" needs to drop more than weight ... its new logo is a total rip-off, according to a new lawsuit filed by former NFL lineman LeCharles Bentley.

Earlier this year, the NBC show decided to drop its original tape measure logo for a new stylized "BL." Bentley, a former Pro-Bowler, says 'Loser' screwed up because he trademarked a very similar logo in 2013 for his O-Line Performance company.

Bentley says he sent a cease and desist letter, which was ignored ... so now he's suing NBC Universal and the producers for trademark infringement. He wants the logo changed, and a cut of the revenue 'Loser' made while using the new one.

Luckily for all involved, this will be handled by lawyers -- LeCharles goes 6'2", 300-plus pounds.

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