Quick Takes: 'Happy Days' cast sues over merchandising revenue

Four cast members of the 1970s sitcom "Happy Days" on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court against CBS Corp., alleging that the television giant has cheated them out of millions of dollars in merchandising revenue. The plaintiffs include Anson Williams (Potsie Weber), Marion Ross (Marion Cunningham), Don Most (Ralph Malph) and Erin Moran (Joanie Cunningham), as well as Patricia Bosley, wife of the late Tom Bosley (Howard Cunningham), who died last fall.

Contracts with the show's producer, Paramount Television, which has since been folded into CBS, said the actors would be paid when their "name, voice, likeness or endorsement was used in connection with merchandising rights," according to the suit.

Rather than the boilerplate "without merit" comment that companies typically issue in response to such lawsuits, CBS said it intended to honor its obligation to the performers.

"We agree that funds are owed to the actors and have been working with them for quite some time to resolve the issue," the company's consumer products unit said in a statement.

—Meg James

Hoover yanks ads from ABC

Hoover, the vacuum cleaner company, said it was yanking its advertising from ABC after the network's decision last week to sweep two of its three soap operas off its daytime schedule.

"My wife and mother are both passionate viewers of 'All My Children' and 'One Life to Live,' as are many of my colleagues here at Hoover," marketing executive Brian Kirkendall wrote this week on Hoover's Facebook page.

Kirkendall said Hoover would vacuum all of its commercials off ABC by Friday. The network declined to comment.

Whether Hoover's campaign is a clever marketing ploy or simply was a sympathetic voice among a sea of anguished viewers — it worked.

"Hoover, you are by far the best!!! I'm getting a new Hoover this weekend," one woman wrote on the company's Facebook page.

—Meg James

Jeff Bridges works on album

Jeff Bridges is working on a new album that will be his major-label debut.

The Oscar-winning actor has signed with EMI's Blue Note Records and is working with his "Crazy Heart" collaborator T Bone Burnett on an album that will include original material and the work of other songwriters.

A news release issued Tuesday says Bridges was inspired by his work with Burnett on "Crazy Heart," which earned Bridges an Oscar for lead actor and Burnett an original song trophy.

No release date was announced.

—Associated Press

Lovato exits Disney's 'Sonny'

Demi Lovato will not be returning to her successful Disney Channel show, "Sonny With a Chance."

After withdrawing from the show last fall to deal with personal issues, the actress has decided not to reprise her role on the hit teen program, the channel said.

Last October, Lovato made headlines after withdrawing from a concert tour with the Jonas Brothers to seek treatment for "emotional and physical issues." The actress has since revealed she was struggling with eating disorders and self-mutilation issues and in January completed three months of in-patient treatment at an Illinois rehab program.

On "Sonny With a Chance," Lovato played a small-town girl who won a national talent contest to land a starring role on a variety show. In January, in the wake of her absence, Disney began production on "So Random," a version of the series that focused solely on the sketches and musical acts in the variety show. That show will now continue and will premiere in June.

—Amy Kaufman

'Tea' author is subject of probe

The attorney general in the state of Montana launched an inquiry Tuesday into the charity run by "Three Cups of Tea" co-author Greg Mortenson after reports questioned whether Mortenson benefited from money donated to build schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Atty. Gen. Steve Bullock's statement follows investigations by "60 Minutes" and author Jon Krakauer into inaccuracies in the book and how money donated to the Montana-based Central Asia Institute was spent.

"Three Cups of Tea" was released in 2006 and sold more than 3 million copies.

—Associated Press


Quick renewal: "Game of Thrones," which premiered Sunday on HBO and drew 4.2 million viewers to its initial telecasts, has been renewed for a second season.

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