- - Sunday, October 21, 2012

ABC and Tom Hanks are apologizing after the actor let slip a swear word during a live appearance on “Good Morning America.”

Mr. Hanks telegraphed his “f-bomb” during an interview Friday. Anchor Elizabeth Vargas had asked him to speak in his character’s British accent in the movie “Cloud Atlas.”. Mr. Hanks said that it was “mostly swear words,” but Ms. Vargas told him to go ahead anyway.

He began speaking in a mumble, but the obscenity was clearly audible. He immediately covered his mouth and apologized to “the kids of America that are watching right now.” ABC removed the obscenity for subsequent feeds of the show in the Midwest and West.

Ms. Vargas quickly said, “We are so sorry, ‘Good Morning America.’” Mr. Hanks also apologized — and said he’d probably have a seven-second delay next time he’s on the show.

Details of Moonves‘ new contract revealed

Two years after granting CEO Leslie Moonves a bundle of stock options as a bonus for signing a long-term contract, CBS Corp. is giving him another signing bonus worth $22 million after extending his contract through the middle of 2017.

The 63-year-old executive redid his contract this week. The first installment of the new signing bonus was due Thursday, when he was to receive $7.5 million worth of stock options. In 2013, he is entitled to restricted stock units that will be valued at $14.5 million on the day they are issued.

Both sets of stock grants vest starting a year after they are issued.

The one-time stock grants come on top of an annual salary of $3.5 million and a target bonus of $12 million per year, both unchanged from his previous deal.

The details of the signing bonus were laid out in a securities filing Thursday.

The CEO’s pay package in 2011 was valued at $68.4 million, an increase of 20 percent from a year earlier, primarily because the value of his options rose to $27.3 million from $14.9 million. The gains were mostly due to the addition of $3.6 million in stock options in March 2011, the second of two installments he secured when he redid his employment contract in February 2010. The deal was to run until February 2015.

Despite the $12 million bonus target, Mr. Moonves got bonuses of $27.5 million in both 2011 and 2010, in light of the company’s improved performance and rising stock price. He also will continue to receive other annual grants of restricted stock units based on the formula used in his previous agreement, the filing said.

The filing Thursday also spelled out that Mr. Moonves will receive $4.5 million per year as a company adviser after his contract expires June 30, 2017. He has the option to decide to be a CBS producer during his four-year advisory period. The filing said that in certain circumstances, if he decides not to become a producer, he would be entitled to a $10 million cash payment.

Mr. Moonves‘ pay package in 2011 is not close to the $378 million pay package awarded to Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook, but the sum still ranked Mr. Moonves among the top five highest-paid CEOs of U.S. companies last year. The average head of a publicly traded U.S. company made $9.6 million in 2011, according to pay research firm Equilar.

In 2010, Viacom Inc.’s Philippe Dauman led all CEOs with an $84.5 million haul, mainly because of a new contract that granted him shares and stock options. Last year, Mr. Dauman’s pay fell to $43 million.

Besides being highly compensated, Mr. Moonves and Mr. Dauman, 58, have another thing in common: They both work for octogenarian billionaire Sumner Redstone, who controls more than 79 percent of the voting stock in both companies.

NBC cancels ‘Animal Practice,’ replaces it with ‘Whitney’

Crystal the monkey is hanging up her doctor’s coat.

NBC said Thursday it’s pulling the low-rated sitcom “Animal Practice,” with the last episode to air Nov. 7.

The series stars Justin Kirk (“Weeds”) as a veterinarian at a New York animal hospital. His co-stars include Crystal, a Capuchin monkey with the “Hangover” movie sequel among her credits.

“Animal Practice” had the dubious distinction of annoying Olympic viewers: NBC interrupted the Summer Games’ closing ceremony to air the sitcom’s debut episode.

This week, “Animal Practice” drew less than 4 million viewers. That compares to the more than 14 million averaged by top-rated sitcom “The Big Bang Theory” on CBS.

“Animal Practice” will be replaced by “Whitney,” starring Whitney Cummings, which returns for its second-season debut 8 p.m. Nov. 14.

West Memphis Three films to be released as set

The three HBO documentaries that helped free Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr. and Jason Baldwin — aka the West Memphis Three — from certain death in prison will be released as a collector’s edition box set Nov. 6.

“Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills,” “Paradise Lost 2: Revelations” and “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” all were directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky. The trilogy documents the experiences of the accused, from trial to sentencing to long-awaited freedom 18 years later thanks in part to the help of entertainment luminaries such as director Peter Jackson (whose “West of Memphis” documentary was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics following its Sundance debut) and Johnny Depp in what turned out to be a true Hollywood ending.

The three-DVD set will include more than an hour of rare footage, a never-before-seen interview with Mr. Baldwin on the morning of his release from prison, and a collectible booklet featuring exclusive behind-the-scenes photographs chronicling the nearly two decades during which the films were in production.

• Compiled from Web and wire reports

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