Quick Takes

France aims against TV for toddlers

France’s broadcast authority has banned French channels from airing TV shows aimed at children under 3 years old, to shield them from developmental risks it says television viewing poses at that age.

The ruling also ordered warning messages for parents on foreign baby channels that are broadcast in France -- such as Baby TV, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., and BabyFirstTV, which has ties to News Corp.'s Fox Entertainment.

The High Audiovisual Council, in a ruling published Wednesday, said it wanted to “protect children under 3 from the effects of television.”

France’s minister for culture and communication, Christine Albanel, issued a “cry of alarm” to parents in June about channels dedicated 24 hours a day to baby-targeted programming. In a newspaper interview, she called them “a danger” and urged parents not to use them to help their children get to sleep.

From the Associated Press

Protests prompt book’s removal

A Serbian publisher said Wednesday it has withdrawn a controversial book by American writer Sherry Jones because of protests from the local Islamic community.

The book, “Jewel of Medina,” is about Aisha, one of the Prophet Muhammad’s wives. It gained worldwide attention after Random House canceled its publication, fearing an uproar in the Islamic world.

Serbian publisher BeoBook released the book but decided to withdraw it because of protests from local Islamic leaders who said it insulted Muhammad and his family.

From the Associated Press

Maddow gets MSNBC show

Rachel Maddow already has some ideas for her new show on MSNBC, which debuts Sept. 8.

“Live audience. Live punk band. You know, mariachis for important segues,” she joked with Keith Olbermann on Tuesday evening during an appearance on his program to announce her new gig.

No matter what form her show takes, there’s no question that the 35-year-old host will cut a different figure than most of her cable brethren.

An openly gay woman, unapologetic liberal and Rhodes scholar with a doctorate from Oxford University, Maddow has drawn a passionate following during her stint this year as an analyst for MSNBC.

On Wednesday, the network officially announced that it was replacing Dan Abrams’ program “Verdict” in the 6 p.m. time slot with “The Rachel Maddow Show.”

-- Matea Gold

Gary Glitter is denied entry

British glam rocker Gary Glitter, who served nearly three years in a Vietnamese prison for molesting children, was denied entry to Hong Kong after refusing to return to England, officials said Wednesday.

Glitter flew to Hong Kong on Wednesday night after staying in the transit area of Bangkok’s international airport for several hours. He’d flown there Tuesday after being released from prison and deported by Vietnam.

“The Chinese authorities have informed us that they have refused Paul Gadd entry into Hong Kong,” a spokeswoman for Britain’s Foreign Office said. Glitter’s real name is Paul Francis Gadd.

“It’s a matter for the Chinese authorities what happens next,” she said.

From the Associated Press

Ricky Martin is dad to twins

There won’t be much “livin’ la vida loca” for Ricky Martin these days -- he’s now the father of twin boys.

The 36-year-old Latin superstar had the children via a surrogate mother, and the babies were born a few weeks ago, according to a statement from his representatives.

“The children, delivered via gestational surrogacy, are healthy and already under Ricky’s full-time care,” said the statement.

From the Associated Press


TV boss: Patrick McClenahan, senior vice presi- dent and station manager at CBS-owned KCBS-TV Channel 2 and KCAL-TV Channel 9 since 2002, will become president and general manager of the two L.A. stations at the beginning of the year, replacing Don Corsini.