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NBCU’s Steve Burke Is “Skeptical” About OTT, Crows About Upfront Sales

Comcast is an island of calm in the middle of industries battered by competitive storms, executives told analysts today in their quarterly call to review earnings. NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke says he’s unfazed by the growth of over-the-top video services such as AT&T’s DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, Hulu Live, and Dish Network’s Sling TV. They are “not all that material to our business.” “We have deals in place with all of them,” he adds. “They’re actually very favorable, so… Read

Film

Venice Film Festival Sets Lido Launch For Aronofsky, Clooney, Del Toro, Payne & More As Awards Buzz Begins – Full List

UPDATE: Kicking off awards season in earnest, the Venice Film Festival will world premiere movies by such directors as Alexander Payne, Guillermo del Toro, George Clooney, Darren Aronofsky, Paul Schrader and Martin McDonagh. The rundown announced today by fest chief Alberto Barbera was pretty much in line with expectations after Toronto spilled its beans earlier this week and shed light on what looked like shoo-ins for the Lido. Two titles that did not turn up today are… Read

Business

‘Fate Of The Furious’ Helps Comcast Top Q2 Earnings Expectations, Video Subs Lag

It doesn’t happen often, but in Q2 Comcast found more to like from its movie studio than from its cable systems. Universal’s The Fate Of The Furious helped to drive a nearly 60% gain in revenues vs the period last year at NBCUniversal’s Filmed Entertainment unit. Meanwhile, Comcast’s cable operation lost 34,000 customers — dropping 45,000 residential ones, but gaining 11,000 from its business services; in the period last year it lost a total of 4,000. Overall, the… Read

International

Canal Plus Books Appointment With Joann Sfar’s ‘Monsters’ Shrink’ Vampire Series

Director and graphic artist Joann Sfar is embarking on his first English-language live-action drama with Monsters’ Shrink. Canal Plus has ordered the eight-part series that’s loosely based on Sfar’s book L'Eternel. Canal’s RED Production Company will work with Sfar on the project about Rebecka, a New York psychoanalyst who discovers her husband has been found dead at their South of France villa. Determined to discover the real story of his demise, Rebecka heads to Antibes… Read

International

Sky Set To Increase Funding On Originals By 25%; Confirms Launch In Spain

Sky is ramping up efforts to compete with streaming giants such as Amazon and Netflix with plans to increase investment in Sky original programming by 25%. In an earnings report released on Thursday, the European pay-TV giant also confirmed plans to launch in Spain as the company returned to profit growth in the fourth quarter following a year of investment. The company, which is awaiting a verdict from UK regulators over whether Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox can buy… Read

breakingTV

June Foray Dies: Voice Of Rocky From ‘The Bullwinkle Show’ Was 99

June Foray, the voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel from the iconic animated series The Bullwinkle Show has died at the age of 99. Dave Nimitz, a close friend of Foray confirmed her death on Facebook, saying “With a heavy heart again I want to let you all know that we lost our little June today at 99 years old.” The cause of her death has yet to be announced. Foray was born on September 18, 1917 in Springfield, Massachusetts was two months away from her 100th birthday. At… Read

TV

Trevor Noah Discusses Donald Trump Transgender Troop Firing With Two Army Veterans On ‘The Daily Show’

Late night TV erupted over President Donald Trump's morning firing of all transgender troops, by Twitter. Comedy Central's The Daily Show host Trevor Noah was among the show hosts who blasted Trump’s move in their monologues; Noah also invited on the show two U.S. army veterans who are transgender and who explained Trump’s Twitter move, which appears to have come as a surprise to the Pentagon, means an immediate 15K reduction in military personnel. Military personnel who… Read

TV

Stephen Colbert Blasts Donald Trump For Firing Transgender Troops By Tweet

"I began my day today as I often begin my days, by checking Donald Trump's Twitter feed, to see how far the crazy has spread,” Stephen Colbert said, opening tonight’s late Show. “And today I really think he's off his meds. Because today he went from crazy to cruel, tweeting: After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow…… — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017 “What… Read

TV

Jimmy Fallon Invites Transgender Comedian To Ding Donald Trump’s Military Ban On ‘Tonight Show’

During the Tonight Show‘s opening monologue, Jimmy Fallon asked transgender comedian Patti Harrison how the transgender community is reacting to the news President Donald Trump has banned all transgender citizens from serving in the military. NBC reports Fallon, rather than tell jokes about Trump’s tweeted policy announcement, wanted to give a platform to a transgender comedian for viewers to hear from directly about the ban. Jimmy invites transgender comedian Patti… Read

TV

HBO Boss On Jon Stewart’s Scrapped Animated Series & Possible Late-Night Return

After a lengthy R&D period, HBO and Jon Stewart in May pulled the plug on his planned topical digital animated series, which had been greenlighted by the previous HBO regime. "We all thought the project had great potential, but there were technical issues in terms of production and distribution that proved too difficult given the quick turnaround and topical nature of the material,” the two parties said at the time in a joint statement. During HBO’s portion of the summer… Read

TV

HBO: “Very Good Relationship” With Bill Maher Despite Recent Language Controversy – TCA

Bill Maher

HBO has a “very good relationship” with Bill Maher and his Real Time producers, network programming president Casey Bloys said at TCA this afternoon. This after asked, of Maher, “How are the numbers doing? How long is the contract for? Are you very happy with the show? How closely is the network watching the show? Do you get a collective heart-jump-in-the-mouth moment?” and “Give us a sense what the notes are like”  – all in one breath, by one TV critic. Bloys at first… Read

exclusiveFilm

‘Ghost In The Shell’ Star Chin Han To Scale ‘Skyscraper’ With Dwayne Johnson

EXCLUSIVE: Legendary’s upcoming 3D action-thriller Skyscraper has added Chin Han to the cast. The Ghost In The Shell actor will join Dwayne Johnson and Neve Campbell in the movie written and directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber. The movie stars Johnson as Will, a former FBI Hostage Rescue Team leader and U.S. war veteran who now assesses security for skyscrapers. On assignment in Hong Kong, he finds the tallest, safest building in the world suddenly ablaze, and he's been… Read