19 kids and cancelled: TV shows that got pulled due to controversy


Last week, the TLC reality series “19 Kids and Counting” was in the midst of its 10th season, merrily chronicling the exploits of the extremely large Duggar family, as it had done without incident for seven years. Then, 27-year-old eldest son Josh Duggar publicly acknowledged that as a teenager, he had molested five girls. (Reports later suggested his sisters were among his victims.) To say that the revelation caused an uproar is putting it mildly.

Great efforts were quickly made by sponsors and the network to distance themselves from the calamity. On May 22, TLC pulled all episodes of the show from the air, and on Tuesday, The Hollywood Reporter reported that further sponsors, such as Payless ShoeSource, Choice Hotels and Walgreens had joined General Mills in jumping ship and pulling their ads. On Thursday, Hulu also pulled all episodes from the site.

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The story is unlikely…

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Terror on the XBOX! 4 new streaming services for horror movie fans


If you were a horror movie fan during the 1970s or 1980s, you are indebted to Charles Band. He not only made them for decades, but as a distributor, he got them to fans who wanted to see them, but couldn’t find them at movie theaters.

“I was an early pioneer in home video,” he told Fortune. “I licensed well-known Italian horror films, like ‘Zombie’ by Lucio Fulci, and it was a seller’s market. In the 80s I had a company called Empire, and we made ‘Ghoulies,’ ‘Parasite’ and ‘Metalstorm.’ Then I started Full Moon Video, and VHS morphed into DVD.”

These movies were typically only available to cable subscribers who happened to be up at 3 a.m., or to people who rented them at Blockbuster. Then the digital age came along, and rampant piracy dealt a blow to the genre that could have been fatal. “We’d release a…

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David Letterman: Comedian, late night legend… and shrewd businessman?


Whenever a television show with a few seasons under its belt goes off the air, there are always those who proclaim it “the end of an era,” even if it really isn’t. Well this time, it’s for real.

On May 20, talk show host David Letterman will retire from CBS’s “The Late Show,” which he has hosted since 1993. He passes the torch and the time slot to comedian Stephen Colbert, formerly of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” but while no disrespect is intended to the very funny and intelligent successor, it just won’t be the same.

The first episode of “Late Night with David Letterman” aired on NBC in 1982, and he’s been on the air ever since, surpassing Johnny Carson to become the longest-serving late-night talk show host in history. Most of today’s late night talk show hosts acknowledge him as a primary influence, to the extent…

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I tried a robo-adviser. It went a little something like this…


New products and services becomes obtainable to consumers on a daily basis without a human intermediary to facilitate their sale. We buy soft drinks, postage stamps and lottery tickets without a human being anywhere in sight, and it’s the norm.

This is acceptable in part because the stakes are low — if you put money in a vending machine, and the Zagnut bar doesn’t drop into the compartment below, it’s annoying, but forgettable.

This principle does not apply to everything. Take investing. If you press the “Apple” button on a hypothetical investment vending machine and it erroneously dispenses 20,000 shares of “Radio Shack” instead, you’ve got problems far exceeding a lost dollar.

Be that as it may, some financial service institutions have begun offering the services of “robo-advisers.” Traditionally, investment advice has been dispensed by a living human being, who would put a client’s money into whatever configuration of stocks…

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What’s the economic impact of the Amtrak crash?


An eighth body was recovered today from the wreckage of Amtrak Regional 188, which crashed on Tuesday in Philadelphia. The city’s mayor, Michael Nutter, announced that all 243 passengers had now been accounted for.

According to Federal investigators, the train was travelling from Washington D.C. to New York City at 106 miles per hour when it hit a sharp curve and derailed. Robert Sumwalt of the National Transportation Safety Board said that the posted speed limit on that part of the tracks was 50 miles per hour.

While many people are still reeling from this tragedy, a stubborn fact remains – thousands of people still have to travel through the Northeast Corridor which, according to Amtrak, comprises 457 mainline route miles travelled by 260 million passengers annually, at a rate of 2,200 trains per day.

The company said that the yearly contribution to GDP of that workforce is $50…

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‘American Idol’ is ending: Here are the biggest winners and losers


For a while there, it was hard to find a show more popular than “American Idol.” The singing competition debuted in July 2002 and launched the careers of such household names as Ruben Studdard, Jordin Sparks and William Hung. In June, 2011, TV Guide reported that it had become the most watched prime time show in America for the eighth consecutive time.

But inevitably, every blockbuster must lose its gleam, collect dust and fade into history. The ratings of “American Idol” began this process in 2012, and in May 2015, the Fox network announced that the forthcoming 15th season would be the show’s last. Oh, how the mighty had fallen.

Not everyone was upset by the news. Some media reaction was giddy with schadenfreude, as in the case of Gawker, which reported the news with the not entirely charitable headline, “American Idol’s Rotting Bones Finally…

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If you thought the Bud Light ad campaign was bad, check these out


There is, in fact, such a thing as bad publicity. As part of its “Up For Whatever” campaign, the makers of Bud Light printed “The perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night” on a large number of its bottles, without anyone noticing the rohypnol-ish implications until it was already on store shelves.

Bud Light Vice President Alexander Lambrecht said in a statement that the company regretted the error and would immediately stop putting the message on its bottles. Lesson learned, and if anything, Lambrecht can at least take consolation in the fact that Bud Light is far from the first company to run an advertising campaign that gets the sort of warm reception normally reserved for Ebola outbreaks.

Jaguar XFR-S

A car is an expression of machismo and a statement of many men’s alpha dog status. The Jaguar car company must have agreed, because it debuted…

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Britney Spears is the latest celeb to get her own app. Who should be next?


Britney Spears wants back into your life–or at least your phone. On April 29, Peoplereported that singer is the latest pop star to get her own mobile video game app. According to People, the app is part of a five-year deal between Spears and Glu Mobile and will be released sometime in 2016.

Glu [fortune-stock symbol=”GLUU”] is the developer that brought “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” to the masses, an app that allows players to join the reality show star and budding mogul “on a red carpet adventure.” The temptation to roll one’s eyes at this technology is powerful, but the app made $1.6 million in its first five days of release, according to The New York Times, so there you go.

Britney and Kim are hardly the only celebrities with their own apps. GLU has also announced deals with Katy Perry and Kendall and Kylie Jenner, while the…

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