Shark Tank Star Found NOT GUILTY


Mark Cuban, billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team and star of ABC’s Shark Tank, was found NOT GUILTY of insider trading when he sold his stock in an Internet company in 2004, a Texas jury ruled on Wednesday.

Cuban, 55, estimated by Forbes magazine to have a net worth of $2.5 billion, was accused by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of trading based on non-public information when he sold 600,000 shares in Internet search company for worth $7.9 million thus avoiding a $750,000 loss.

Prosecutors argued during a two-week trial that Cuban sold his stake after learning from Chief Executive Guy Faure that the company was planning a private placement that would dilute his holdings. shares dropped 9.3 percent on the morning after the offering was announced. By that time, Cuban had already sold his shares.  The nine-member jury issued the verdict after deliberating 3 hours and 35 minutes.  Cuban simply nodded and smiled as the verdict was read.


Hayden Panettiere Engaged!

Image via Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Image via Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Nashville star Hayden Panettiere is confirming her engagement to professional boxer Wladimir  Klitschko.

Panettiere (24) appeared on Wednesday’s Live with Kelly and Michael sporting a large diamond ring that prompted host Kelly Ripa to inquire.

Panettiere confirmed the engagement as the studio audience cheered. No wedding date has been set at this time.  Congratulations to the happy couple!

Fall’s First Cancellation – (UN) Lucky 7


And the winner is….  ABC’s Lucky 7.

The ABC drama wins the award for being this fall’s first canceled series and after only two episodes (and 12 days into the season).  Lucky 7 premiered to 4.4 million viewers and a woeful 1.3 adults 18-49 rating last week, making it ABC’s lowest-rated drama premiere in years despite the evening launching and lead in with Agents of S.H.I..E.L.D.  For its second episode last Tuesday night, Lucky 7′s adult demo rating plummeted to a 0.7 to rank as broadcast’s lowest-rated show that evening. Scandal repeats will fill its 10 p.m. slot starting next week.

We never watched the series.  And apparently neither did any of you.  Lucky 7 followed seven down on their luck Queens, N.Y. residents who split a $45 million lottery win, and all the problems and heartaches their windfall causes.  While it seems lots of lottery winners come into troubles, the premise is very dumb.

What new series will be next on the chopping block?  Some say CBS We are Men or Fox’s Dad’s.  We personally vote for Dad’s (especially because we only made it through 14 minutes for the first episode).  It was HARD to watch.


Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Premiere Review


The much-anticipated series begins where the film Marvel’s The Avengers left off following the epic battle of New York. The scene is set and the world now knows there are both heroes and monsters living among them.

(To skip the recap and get straight to the ES Smack scroll down)

The opening sequence involves an unemployed father walking down the street with his son.  All of a sudden an explosion and fire ignites in the building behind them.  Michael Peterson (aka The Hooded Hero) climbs the back side of the building then jumps out of the window on the top floor rescuing a lady from the fire.  The whole thing is caught on video by a photographer blogger rebel hacker named Skye (Chloe Bennet) thus setting up the episode.

Next we find out Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) was NOT killed in Avengers’ movie.  Director Fury orchestrated a fake death to motivate the Avengers.  I guess that is one way to make sure you get a notable star and character attached to the show.  Coulson immediately starts putting together his new team recruiting Agent Ward (Brett Dalton) and Agent May (Ming-Na Wen).


SHIELD‘s mission is to find the “Hooded Hero” in an effort to contain him in fear that potentially evil powers will track him down and exploit his powers.

However, we learn that Michael’s power is artificially induced by a doctor via a phone conversation and we get our first glimpse of the “centipede.”  Next, Michael returns back to the factory he was laid off after an injury and pleads for his job back.  When his former boss informs him there is nothing that can be done a dark rage overtakes (clearly as a result of the artificial power) and leads him to attack leaving his boss in critical condition.


Moving along, we find out the women Michael rescued in the opening sequence was in fact the doctor that provided him with the centipede strength technology when he visits her in the hospital recovery area.  We find out he was not the first test subject and in fact the last subject snapped and blew up.  In fear of being exposed she urges him to disappear.  The main question we’re all asking at this point is who does the doctor work for?  This serves to be the antagonist for the SHIELD group all season.  The SHIELD scientist identifies that the centipede device attached to Michael is designed to explode and the first test subject didn’t snap.  This springs the team into action in an effort to capture him before he hurts himself or others.

I’ll let you watch and see how things play out.  Although, be warned it is pretty by the book.  The teaser preview (possibly the most interesting 2 minutes of the evening) for the rest of the season focuses on the 5 recruited team members coming together and places a specific emphasis on catching the end of each episode.  Is this simply a ploy to make us watch all the way to the end or will something from each episode tie together down the road?

EntertainmentSlap Smack:

1.  I’m not sold on this show yet.  There was a lot of hype leading up to the premiere, especially among fan boys and I found the premiere underwhelming.  There was little excitement and the dialogue was a bit corny.  Perhaps things will sharpen up in the upcoming episodes now that all the characters have been introduced.

2.  If you tune expecting to see the Avengers you are in for a big disappointment.  The easiest way I can describe the show is Heroes + Undercovers + Smallville.

3.  I’m all for the secret agency with super weapons and technology, however the flying car was over the top.   Also, is Robin from How I Met Your Mother really the division director?  How they use her moving forward is something to keep an eye on.

4.  The opening episode focused mostly on introducing the team and characters.  We did not get to meet the true antagonist thus leaving the show’s direction up in the air.  I would have preferred at least a flash clip of the villain or opposing group.  Hopefully we get this early in episode two.

5.  I’m going to apply my rule of 3 to this series.  I’ll allow myself to watch the first three episodes good or bad.  However, if they can’t hook me and bring me in more than the premiere episode did then I’ll likely discontinue watching.

What did everyone else think?


Nashville Season 2 Premiere Review and Analysis

The second season of Nashville came out of the gate strong and opened with a bang!
Almost 10 sub plots were laid out before the first commercial break with the headlining story being Rayna (Connie Britton) in a coma and Deacon (Charles Esten) in jail after the car wreck that ended season 1.
With the news of Rayna’s coma, Juliette (Hayden Panettiere) is in a panic over the release of her new album and worried her spot light will be diverted to the ailing star.  Although the always resourceful Juliette ultimately exploits the news of the injured legend by dedicating a segment of her album release concert at the Parthenon to Rayna and meeting fans outside the hospital for a candle light ceremony afterwards.  To me this was predictable and forced by the writers.  The back and forth between Panettiere and Britton’s characters (although the backbone of the show) is also the least interesting and beginning to be repetitive and boring.  Rayna gets a headline, Juliette reacts in big and dramatic fashion – drinks, tears, yelling, etc.  Luckily the teaser preview for the rest of the season showed the introduction of some new young talent to steal Juliette’s spot light and create a true rivalry.  I mean let’s be honest do we really think Taylor Swift would care if Reba was in the headlines.  Exactly!  No.
In less dramatic news, Will (Chris Carmack) throws a party in an effort to help Gunnar (Sam Palladio) get over Scarlett (Clare Bowen).  The party includes drinking, hookups and an entertaining couch burning sequence (Scarlett’s couch).  After the fire settles and fire department leaves Gunnar accepts he can’t party his feelings away and heads to the Bluebird to see Scarlett.  Gunnar vs. Avery (Jonathon Jackson) round 2.  Will continues to struggle with his homosexual desires and we can only assume this will some how culminate and cost him in his attempt at stardom as his on stage persona is that of a ladies man.
The only two interesting story lines of the night received the least screen time with Teddy (Eric Close) and Peggy (Kimberly Williams-Paisley, wife of real life country star Brad Paisley) and the love child from their affair.  Teddy informs Peggy that he will only be involved from a financial stand point and wants no part of the child’s life.  Peggy learns during the episode she loses the baby, however leads Teddy to believe her pregnancy is going well.  This was very predictable the minute the doctor said there was no heart beat, however it is a story line that could be taken a number of directions and one worth keeping an eye on.  The other being a teaser that Lamar (Rayna’s father played by Powers Boothe) was responsible for the car wreck that resulted in his wife’s death.  Finally something worth watching the season for.  Lamar is a character that deserves far more screen time and script and it seems as so the show writers agree.
Rayna awakes in the final minutes of the episode at Vanderbilt hospital and confirms she was driving resulting in Deacon being released from jail.  I personally hope the car wreck is the end of the Deacon and Rayna romance and more emphasis is placed on Deacon being the biological father of Rayna and Teddy’s oldest child.
Although the episode started off strong, the momentum was killed by the flash backs to Rayna and Deacon’s younger days and Juliette’s “look at me, I’m the star” antics.  There were potentially great story lines laid out during the episode and some boring repetitive ones.  Hopefully the writers do us all a favor and focus on the right ones during this second season.
Nashville is an American musical drama television series. It was created by Academy Award winner Callie Khouri and produced by R.J. Cutler, Khouri, Dee Johnson, Steve Buchanan and Connie Britton. The series stars Connie Britton as Rayna Jaymes, a legendary country music superstar, whose stardom begins fading, and Hayden Panettiere as rising teen star Juliette Barnes. The series premiered on ABC on October 10, 2012.