Boxing Bluebloods Turn Out For FX’s ‘Lights Out’ Debut


Boxing is enjoying a cinematic revival.
The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian
Bale, in theaters now, is about boxers Micky Ward and
David Eklund.

Ward was among the
litany of famous boxers at
last Wednesday’s New York
premiere of another pugilistic
production, Lights
, the upcoming FX series
about a retired former
heavyweight champ struggling
with life after the
ring. (See review.)

Taking bows before the
screening, at the Hudson
Theatre in Times Square,
were: Joe Frazier, Larry
Holmes and Lennox
Lewis, all former heavyweight
champs; current
heavyweight title-holder
Wladimir Klitschko;
former heavyweight title
contender Gerry Cooney
(whom Lights Out star
Holt McClannay studied
in prepping for the role
as Patrick “Lights” Leary); Olympic gold medalist Mark
Breland; and others, ably introduced by FX PR chief John

In the balcony, Irish middleweight John Duddy yelled,
“Up here!” when his name was called, later grinning for
photos with an extended right fist.

Warren Leight, the executive producer and showrunner,
told them: “You guys are much more interesting and
thoughtful and complicated
than people understand,
and we did everything we
could to honor what you
bring to the sport.”

Two cast members at
the premiere — Stacy Keach
and Elizabeth Marvel
— came to walk the red
carpet, then headed to an
eight o’clock curtain at Lincoln
Center, where they’re
appearing in Other Desert

Leight promised that,
much as he’d like to see
more seasons of Lights Out,
cast and crew put everything
they had into making
this season great. “Like
boxers say, don’t leave anything
for the rematch.”
Lights Out starts Tuesday,
Jan. 11, at 10 p.m.

Johns Hopkins Latest
Beneficiary of Cable
Moguls’ Philanthropy

Once again, knowing a wealthy cable entrepreneur has
paid off for an educational institution.

John Malone has given Johns Hopkins University $30
million for a new research building at the Whiting School
of Education, its largest single gift ever.

Malone earned both a master’s degree (in industrial
management) and a doctorate at JHU. The Liberty
chairman gave $24 million to Yale University (his
undergraduate alma mater) in 2000, also to fund an
engineering building.

Malone will help fund an interdisciplinary effort
among Johns Hopkins researchers to “learn to tailor
therapies for individual patients and devise systemsbased
approaches to some of society’s biggest problems.”

Cable philanthropy has helped many a school. Gerry
and Marguerite Lenfest have given millions to education,
including a $35 million gift in 2005 to Mercersburg
, which he attended. Gus and Rita Hauser’s
donations to Harvard University established The
Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations
there. And
the business school at the University of Denver was
renamed for Bill Daniels after he endowed it.

Alan Gerry is keeping the Woodstock spirit alive with
his foundation’s backing of the Bethel Woods Center
for theArts in Bethel, N.Y. And the Lenfests’ love of
history led them last year to pledge $5.8 million toward
restoring the ocean liner S.S. United States, berthed in
Philly. Philanthropy magazine reported Lenfest’s father’s
machine shop made watertight doors for the vessel,
built in 1950-52.

Oversight Commitee
Overlooks the NCTA
With Input Request

“Nothing personal” was essentially the response from
the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee
when asked why it had not reached out to
the National Cable & Telecommunications Association
for input on regulations that it thought might be

In other words, the oversight committee’s failure to
contact the cable trade group about regulatory reform
was an oversight.

The question was raised after the National Association
of Broadcasters
confirmed it had been one of the
150 or so trade groups and individuals sent a letter by
the committee soliciting input.

“There has been no intention to exclude anyone,”
committee spokesman Frederick Hill said, explaining
that no single database “has every single association
and business out there that we could easily send one
letter to.”

Hill said the committee would welcome any NCTA
suggestions and would send along a letter to that effect
if it would help.

He also said the committee was still trying to “find
and identify” more organizations in what he called a
“rolling” process of collecting input. The result could
be sector-specific hearings or more general hearings
on regulation reform.

The NAB received the letter; “We look forward to responding,”
spokesman Dennis Wharton said.