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Discovery Chief Says U.S. TV Market Is Weakening While Overseas Grows

2013 WICT Leadership Conference - Day 1

Discovery CEO David Zaslav seemed more skeptical than usual about the growth prospects for U.S. television in his appearance this morning before investors at the Bernstein Annual Strategic Decisions Conference.  He provided a dreary report about everything from domestic advertising to content sales as he talked up Discovery’s international growth efforts. Zaslav described the current upfront ad sales market as “pretty good, but not great” as the number of orders ebbs… Read


‘Doctor Who’ Peter Capaldi Set For Comic-Con Debut

Doctor Who

Like the Tardis, Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center is a lot bigger than it first appears, and the 12th Doctor intends to fill it. In his Comic-Con debut, Peter Capaldi will be headlining BBC America’s Doctor Who panel in the cavernous Hall on July 9. This year’s fanboy and fangirl megafest runs July 9-12 with the preview night on July 8. "Tales of San Diego Comic-Con are told in awe on every set around the known fantasy/sci-fi production world,” said Capaldi, a… Read


Music Box Acquires Pablo Larrain’s ‘The Club’ For North America

attends the Award Winners press conference during the 65th Berlinale International Film Festival at Grand Hyatt Hotel on February 14, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.

Music Box Films has acquired North American rights to Chilean director Pablo Larrain’s The Club, which won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. Funny Balloons is handing world sales. The film is Larrain's follow-up feature to the Oscar-nominated No, which starred Gael Garcia Bernal. The Club features a number of Larrain regulars including Alfredo Castro, star of  the director’s Tony Manero. Guillermo Calderon, Daniel Villalobos and Larraín wrote the… Read


Viacom Renews Distribution Agreement With Mediacom

Viacom Logo

This will catch the eye of Viacom investors who fear that additional distributors will follow the lead of some relatively small operators that have dropped the entertainment company’s channels. Suddenlink and others that have done so say that Viacom’s price demands  are too high for services including Nickelodeon, MTV, and VH1 whose ratings have declined. This morning’s announcement about Viacom’s renewal with Mediacom is light on specifics about the deal, including how… Read


FIFA Officials Arrested In Switzerland On US Corruption Charges


1st UPDATE, Wednesday, 04.30 AM- FIFA reps have confirmed that a planned congress and presidential election scheduled for this Friday will still go ahead, as will the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar respectively. The rep also made clear that controversial FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who has not been implicated in the arrest of six top FIFA officials this morning in a Swiss hotel, will not be stepping down ahead of Friday’s election, which he had widely… Read


‘Grace And Frankie’ Renewed For Season 2 By Netflix

Grace frankie 1

Comedy series Grace And Frankie has gotten a second season on Netflix. It will debut in 2016. The news was revealed tonight on an FYC panel at the Pacific Design Center that included series co-creators and executive producers Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris, along with series stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Martin Sheen. “Let me say, it’s so awesome to do a show on Netflix,” said Kauffman, series co-creator and exec producer, “because two and a half weeks after we… Read


‘League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ To Be Rebooted By Fox


20th Century Fox is taking another stab at turning Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen into a film franchise, it was reported today. The studio is producing a new film based on the influential graphic novel series, to be overseen by Ira Napoliello and Matt Reilly, and produced by John Davis of Davis Entertainment. The graphic novel series was previously adapted to film by Fox in 2003. That movie debuted at number 2 behind the first Pirates… Read


Jimmy Smits To Star In Baz Luhrmann’s Netflix Music Drama ‘The Get Down’

Photo: John Russo

Jimmy Smits has been tapped for a key role in Baz Luhrmann's music-driven drama for Netflix The Get Down. Set in 1970s New York City, the series — a long-time passion project for Luhrmann — revolves around a ragtag crew of South Bronx teenagers who are wild in the streets — nothings and nobodies with no one to shelter them, except one another. Smits will play Francisco Cruz, aka “Papa Fuerte,” a South Bronx political boss who delivers services the City fails to provide &ndash… Read


New ABC Drama ‘Oil’ Recasts 2 Roles

ABC Logo Grid

Add Sunday drama Oil to the list of newly picked-up ABC/ABC Studios drama series that will be undergoing recasting. Toplined by Don Johnson and Chace Crawford, the series examines the biggest oil discovery in American history, which has triggered a geopolitical shift and an economic boom in North Dakota on a scale not seen since the 1849 California Gold Rush. The series will be recasting two series regular characters played in the pilot by Caitlin Carver and Yani… Read


‘Aquarius’ Review: David Duchovny Dominates In Manson-Era Drama

Aquarius 2

Debuting on May 28, NBC's Aquarius really is a case of the more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite its entire 13-episode season going up on the network's website for four weeks, Netflix-style, and despite the 1960s-set John McNamara-created show's storyline of the real-life rise of the murderous Charles Manson, Aquarius, as my video review above says, is at its heart a damn good network cop drama. It takes awhile to achieve liftoff but is on a solid… Read

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‘Tomorrowland’ Slightly Better In Actuals, But Memorial Day Frame Was Still A Downer – Tuesday B.O. Update


Young Frank Walker (Thomas Robinson) 

Ph: Film Frame

©Disney 2015

6th UPDATE, Tuesday 4:15 PM: Disney’s Tomorrowland came in slightly higher than what was reported with $42.679M for the 4-day. With a global weekend of $74.7M, the B.O. for Tomorrowland reps anywhere from 39% to 42% of its lofty $180M-$190M budget. Not a good start. Furthermore, among Memorial Day bows, it’s way down there. In fact it’s not that far above Disney’s Memorial day opening clunker Prince Of Persia: The Sands of Time, which opened to $37.8M, cost $200M, and… Read


‘Point Break’ First Trailer: Johnny Utah Rides Again

Official poster

The first trailer for the Point Break remake finally has dropped, bringing with it a combination of nostalgia and extreme sports sure to warm the hearts of people still pining for the Kathryn Bigelow-directed original starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. As in the original, Point Break centers on a novice FBI agent named Johnny Utah, who goes undercover with a group of rebellious thrill-seekers led by the charismatic Bodhi, to investigate a series of daring crimes… Read