Associated Press

LOS ANGELES

Producer Ryan Murphy signs exclusive Netflix deal

TV and movie producer Ryan Murphy is expanding his empire to Netflix.

The streaming service says Murphy signed a deal to produce new series and films exclusively for it starting in July. Details of the multiyear deal were not disclosed.

Murphy has been producing TV shows for the Fox broadcast network and FX cable channel, including “Glee,” ”9-1-1,” ”American Crime Story” and “American Horror Story.”

He will continue working on the Fox and FX shows produced by 20th Century Fox Television, a spokesman for Murphy said Wednesday.

Two new shows that will premiere on Netflix, “Ratched” and “The Politician,” also will be produced by Fox, his spokesman said.

Murphy’s big-screen credits include “Running with Scissors” and “Eat Pray Love.”

Associated Press

 

LOS ANGELES

Former ‘Charles in Charge’ actor claims abuse by Scott Baio

(AP) — A former “Charles in Charge” actor says Scott Baio assaulted and “mentally tortured” him during their time together on the show in the 1980s.

Alexander Polinsky made the allegations Wednesday in Los Angeles during a news conference.

Polinsky says Baio exposed himself, talked about gay sex acts with the young actor and once threw a hot cup of tea in his face.

Another “Charles in Charge” star, Nicole Eggert, came forward last month with claims that Baio sexually assaulted her when she was a minor while they worked together on the hit show.

Baio called those allegations false and said he and Eggert were involved in a consensual relationship when she was of legal age.

Baio spokesman Brian Glicklich said the new claims would be addressed at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.

SANDY COHEN, AP Entertainment Writer

 

LOS ANGELES

Bill Paxton family sues hospital, doctor for wrongful death

The family of Bill Paxton has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a Los Angeles hospital and the surgeon who performed the actor’s heart surgery shortly before he died.

The suit filed Friday against Cedars-Sinai Medical Center alleges the surgeon, used a “high risk and unconventional surgical approach” that was unnecessary and that he lacked the experience to perform, and that he downplayed the procedure’s risks.

And it alleges the hospital knew the surgeon, Dr. Ali Khoynezhad, tended to “engage in maverick surgeries and show suboptimal judgment.”

The misguided treatment caused Paxton to suffer excessive bleeding, cardiogenic shock and a compromised coronary artery, the suit alleges.

Paxton’s death certificate says he died Feb. 25, 2017, from a stroke, 11 days after surgery to replace a heart valve and repair aorta damage. He was 61.

“Bill Paxton and his family trusted the physicians and staff at this medical facility but instead Cedars-Sinai betrayed their trust,” the family’s attorney Bruce Broillet said in a statement. “The surgeon’s actions resulted in this tragic and preventable death.”

Paxton’s widow, Louise, and children, James and Lydia, brought the lawsuit. It seeks unspecified damages and reserves the right to add more defendants who work for the hospital as their roles and names become clear.

Cedars-Sinai said it could not offer public comment about Paxton’s case.

“State and federal privacy laws prevent us from commenting about patient care without written authorization,” a statement said. “Nothing is more important to Cedars-Sinai than the health and safety of our patients. These remain our top priorities. One of the reasons for our high quality is that we thoroughly review concerns about any patient’s medical care. This process ensures that we can continue to provide the highest quality care.”

Khoynezhad has since left Cedars-Sinai for another hospital. An after-hours message left seeking comment from him was not immediately returned.

The lawsuit comes just before the first anniversary of the death of Paxton, who played major supporting roles in the films “Apollo 13,” ”Titanic,” and “Aliens,” and starred in the HBO series “Big Love.”

Paxton, who was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, was among the industry’s busiest actors, with nearly 100 credits, and was starring in the CBS drama “Training Day” when he died.

By ANDREW DALTON, Associated Press

 

Citywide

Review: ‘Poison’ by John Lescroart is a marvelous mystery

“Poison: a Novel” (Atria), by John Lescroart

Thoughts of retirement for attorney Dismas Hardy have to be put on hold when a former client begs for his help in “Poison,” John Lescroart’s latest thriller.

Abby Jarvis made a horrible mistake years ago. She did her time, and after being released, she found a job as a bookkeeper with Grant Carver and his prestigious company. When Carver kills himself, she finds herself about to get a huge windfall, thanks to his will. But a second autopsy reveals that he was murdered by a poison called aconite, and she becomes the No. 1 suspect. It doesn’t help her claims of innocence that she was embezzling funds from the company.

Dismas Hardy feels compelled to help Jarvis, not only because he truly believes that she didn’t kill Carver, but also because he can’t stay away from the courtroom. He was shot because of the last case he worked, and his wife doesn’t want him working at all, especially not on a murder case. Hardy has to balance his personal feelings and his family’s wishes against the pursuit of justice, even if it puts him back into a potentially dangerous situation.

Lescroart’s characters play key roles in this marvelous mystery. In addition to Hardy playing the role of Perry Mason, police Lieutenant Abe Glitsky and private investigator Wyatt Hunt are also like their counterparts from the iconic series, with Hunt asking the tough questions from the potential suspects. The way the narrative flows also invokes key atmospheric moments paying a wonderful homage to the world created by Erle Stanley Gardner, while adding material to make it timely and relevant. While Dismas Hardy contemplates retirement, and his family encourages that decision, readers of this series won’t want to see him leave the courtroom anytime soon.

By JEFF AYERS, Associated Press

 

Citywide

Review: Tom Miller’s novel turns gender roles upside down

“The Philosopher’s Flight” (Simon & Schuster), by Tom Miller

Rarely does a novel begin with rollicking fierceness that grabs readers from its opening lines and doesn’t loosen its grip or lessen its hold all the way through.

“The Philosopher’s Flight” is the debut novel from Tom Miller, an emergency room doctor from Madison, Wisconsin, and he’s woven a fanciful tale set against the historic backdrop of post-World War I America.

In the book’s prologue, narrator Robert Weekes introduces empirical philosophy or sigilry — the movement of energy to produce a physical affect. Practitioners draw sigils or glyphs on various surfaces to choose the resulting action. The science/art came into widespread use in the 1750s and, by the novel’s opening in 1917, it’s used for everything from hovering and flying hundreds of miles to preventing pregnancy, healing injuries — and even, to murder.

Not surprisingly, philosophers have become much sought after in wartime. They’re even credited with ending the Civil War.

Women excel at the practice, so naysayers dismiss it as witchcraft and an organized movement seeks to destroy it and send women back into the home rather than watch them rise through the military and academic ranks.

Male sigilrists are rare, but that doesn’t dash Weekes’ hopes of joining the same elite corps that his mother once led. When he receives a prodigious scholarship to Radcliffe College, then primarily for women, Weekes leaves his rural Montana town and heads to Boston where his formal studies begin as well as his eye-opening introduction to the larger world and its politics and social norms.

Miller’s writing is intoxicating and one doesn’t need to be a fantasy or sci-fi fan to adore this book. One only hopes Miller can manage to take a break from doctoring to write another book and another and another.

By KIM CURTIS, Associated Press