- - Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hey, YouTubers! Have you danced your fill to “Gangnam Style”? Have you seen enough versions of “Call Me Maybe”?

Now video grazers can check out a brand-new YouTube channel that promises to be as amusing as any cat on a skateboard but also to engage viewers with ideas for changing the world.

TakePart TV, which launched Tuesday, is a digital home for what the network has termed “clever, eye-opening and optimistic content around big issues that face our planet.” The target audience is millennials ranging from teenage to 30.

One of YouTube’s new 100-channel portfolio, TakePart TV will deliver original programming that consists of news, short-form comedy, animation and nonfiction series featuring names such as Henry Rollins, Dan Savage and Kobe Bryant.

“The mission of this channel is to create awesome stuff for people who give a [darn],” said Evan Shapiro, president of Participant Television. “But what we want to do is not just give them stuff that entertains them but stuff they want to spread around: The great thing about the Internet is you’re just a click away from sharing your favorite content with a million people.”

The network’s flagship show is “Brain Food Daily,” which will have five correspondents focus on sex, power, media, mind and the planet. Topics this week include “The Price of Vice: Making Money by Legalizing Sex, Drugs and Gambling” and “Five Worst Hells: Countdown of the World’s Worst Afterlives.”

In discussing the potential for TakePart TV, Mr. Shapiro pointed to the thousands of “Call Me Maybe” covers and parodies that sprang up in response to the original by Carly Rae Jepsen. He cited the hundreds of millions of viewings of South Korean rapper Psy’s “Gangnam Style.”

What would happen if such interest and viral response were spurred by issues TakePart TV’s audience embraces as socially significant?

“This generation cares, and they’re looking to be part of something larger than themselves,” Mr. Shapiro said. “We’re giving them that — something actionable on a daily basis — as well as something to enjoy.

Man confesses murder to Dr. Phil before going to police

A man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend in Houston and then driving hundreds of miles to dump her body in a West Texas oil field taped an interview about the case with the “Dr. Phil” show two days before confessing to investigators, police said Monday.

Mark Augustin Castellano, a 37-year-old computer technician, has been charged with murder in the Sept. 22 death of 31-year-old Michelle Warner.

Houston Detective Fil Waters said Mr. Castellano initially told investigators that Ms. Warner had run out on him and their 3-year-old son. Her family later reported her missing to police.

Mr. Castellano, who was staying with his son at his parents’ home in Odessa in West Texas, had kept in contact with police and agreed to return to Houston on Sunday to speak with investigators. During a two-hour interview, Mr. Castellano told investigators he killed Ms. Warner after an argument in their apartment in which he grabbed her by the throat and apparently snapped her neck, Detective Waters said.

Detective Waters said Mr. Castellano also indicated he had taped an interview for the “Dr. Phil” show on Friday.

“I thought he was kidding, but it was the real deal,” Detective Waters said. “He talks to Dr. Phil, provides Dr. Phil as I understand it, with the same information he’s been providing everyone else.”

In a brief statement, Stacey Luchs, a spokeswoman for the “Dr. Phil” show said, “Mr. Castellano sat down for an interview with Dr. Phil in Texas just before his confession to law enforcement, late last week. Dr. Phil also conducted an interview with Ms. Warner’s family for this show, which is currently scheduled to air on Thursday.”

The statement did not say what Mr. Castellano talked about during his interview.

He was scheduled to have his initial court appearance Tuesday.

Animal welfare group to honor Bob Barker

Bob Barker has spent millions of dollars helping elephants, bears, chimps and other animals.

For decades, when he was host of “The Price Is Right,” he ended every show with a plea to viewers to spay or neuter their pets.

Animal Defenders International will present him with the Lord Houghton Award on Oct. 13 at a West Hollywood ceremony.

ADI President Jan Creamer said Mr. Barker was chosen not only for a lifetime of service but also for his generosity and for repeatedly taking the animal message to Congress.

The award brings Mr. Barker international recognition, but he said it means so much because of the respect he has for ADI. He said the group is one of the finest animal protection organizations in Europe.

Court rules Johnson entitled to ‘Nash Bridges’ profits

A divided appellate court Monday upheld Don Johnson’s jury award over profits from the series “Nash Bridges” but significantly reduced the amount the actor is eligible to receive.

The California 2nd District Court of Appeal panel voted 2-1 to uphold a verdict that determined the actor was owed millions from the hit series, but the panel cut the amount from $23.2 million to $15 million. The appeals court also limited the amount of interest the actor is eligible to receive.

Mr. Johnson’s award had been appealed by the series’ producers and financiers, Rysher Entertainment, 2929 Entertainment and Qualia Capital. One justice agreed with the companies that Mr. Johnson’s verdict should be overturned because his claims were barred by the statute of limitations, but two justices sided with the actor.

“Nash Bridges” aired for six seasons on CBS

“‘Nash Bridges’ has been my baby since its inception and I’ve fought for years for my interest under our contractual agreement,” Mr. Johnson wrote in a statement, adding that he was gratified that the appeals court ruled in his favor. He sued over his stake in the show in February 2009.

Defense attorneys handling the case were not immediately available for comment. The companies could appeal Monday’s ruling to the California Supreme Court.

Compiled from Web and wire reports.

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