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Steve Carell, Charlie Kaufman Lock ‘I.Q. 83;’ Viral Outbreaks Dumbs Down World

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EXCLUSIVE: Charlie Kaufman has been signed to do a page one rewrite of I.Q. 83, an adaptation of the classic Arthur Herzog science fiction novel that Paramount is now developing as a star vehicle for Steve Carell. Mad Chance's Andrew Lazar is producing with Walter Parkes. The plan is for Carell to play Dr. James Healey, who led a group of scientists that conducted DNA experiments that unleashed an airborne virus that ravages the population. The affliction isn't fatal, but… Read


DGA Board Approves New Commercials Contract


The DGA's national board of directors has unanimously approved the terms of a new three-year contract covering directors and members of the directorial team working on TV commercials. The new pact, which includes pay raises of 2.75% in the first year and 3% in each of the second and third years, now goes to the guild's members for final ratification. "Members working in commercials represent a strong and steady portion of the DGA membership, and this contract will secure… Read


Nancy Snyderman Out Of Quarantine — But Not Returning To NBC For Another Month


NBC News will bring back its chief medical correspondent Nancy Snyderman, whose mandatory quarantine ends today — but the news division is keeping her out of circulation for another month, presumably to give the toxicity of her quarantine violation time to subside. In a memo to staff, NBC News chief Deborah Turness announced that the 21-day quarantine period of Snyderman and her team is ending tonight, but that “we have encouraged them - and they have agreed - to take… Read


California Film Commission Appointments: IATSE VP & PMK*BNC Boss Added


Just over a month after signing a big expansion of California's $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit Program, Gov. Jerry Brown has picked a Democrat labor leader and a Republican PR CEO to join the state film commission's board. The announcement of IATSE VP Thomas Davis and PMK*BNC boss Michael Nyman to the board of the Californian Film Commission comes as big change and big bucks are about to hit the state organization. Next year will see not only an influx of hundreds of… Read


Lisa Ling’s ‘This Is Life’ Latest CNN Show Pushing Network Definition To Early Viewer Approval


Lisa Ling's This Is Life continues CNN's encouraging preliminary ratings results with programs that push the news network's definition. In its first telecast, on September 28, the documentary series clocked 235,000 demo viewers and 598,000 total viewers, handily winning both metrics, and a big uptick compared to the 10 PM time slot's prior four-week average with repeats of such programs as The Hunt, Death Row Stories and Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown. The new series'… Read


Quartet Cast In HBO’s ‘Crime’ Miniseries


Michael Kenneth Williams, Amara Karan, Jeannie Berlin and Glenne Headly have joined the cast of HBO's eight-hour miniseries Crime (formerly Criminal Justice). The project's executive producer Steven Zaillian, who helmed the original pilot co-starring the late James Gandolfini, is set to direct multiple episodes, with James Marsh (The Theory Of Everything) tapped to direct one. The New York crime story, a passion project of  Gandolfini, centers on Jack Stone  — played by Jo Read


‘John Wick’ Partners PalmStar & Thunder Road Make $200 Million Slate Financing Deal

"The Town" Press Conference - 2010 Toronto International Film Festival

On the eve of the opening of their Keanu Reeves-starrer John Wick, PalmStar Media Capital and Thunder Road Pictures have made an overall financing deal that will give Basil Iwanyk's production company more than $200 million in equity annually to fully finance and produce five to six star-driven films with budgets between $20 million and $50 million. PalmStar has the option to finance or co-finance the bigger-budget films. Iwanyk's company will also have over $5 million in… Read


ABC Nabs Fortune Feimster Comedy From Matt Hubbard, Tina Fey & Robert Carlock

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The Cabot College team of creator/executive Matt Hubbard and executive producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock have reunited for another multi-camera project. It will be headlined by Cabot College co-star, actor-comedian Fortune Feimster. Hubbard again will write the script for the project, which has landed at ABC with penalty in a competitive situation. Set in North Carolina, the untitled multicamera comedy is based on the family life and stand-up of Feimster, who grew up… Read


Bryan Cranston “Congratulates” Florida Mom On Anti-‘Breaking Bad’ Doll Campaign


Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston has tweeted his amazement/amusement upon learning Toys R Us was taking his action figure off its shelves in response to an online petition created by a Florida housewife.  Toys R Us, meanwhile, has learned about the downside of the media's deep and abiding love of all things Breaking Bad, when a flood of late-night gags and morning-infotainment-show hand-wringers turned a puny 8,000 signature-strong petition protesting the dolls into a… Read


WGA PAC Endorsements Heavy On California Incumbent Democrats

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With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, the WGA West's political action committee has endorsed California Gov. Jerry Brown and Attorney General Kamala Harris for re-election. The guild's PAC also endorsed seven candidates for the U.S. Senate — all incumbent Democrats — and nine Democratic candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives. "These candidates have demonstrated support for the Writers Guild's public policy priorities," the WGA West's PAC said in a… Read


Modern VideoFilm Under New Management As Corporate Restructuring Veterans Step In

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Deloitte Corporate Restructuring Group, which specializes in reorganizing troubled companies, has taken over day-to-day operation of Modern VideoFilm. Scott Avila, a principal of Deloitte CRG, has been named CEO of the postproduction facility. He replaces Moshe Barkat, the company's founder, who was ousted as CEO and President by the board of directors in September. Cooper Crouse, a director of Deloitte CRG, has been named President of Modern Video/Film. Avila and… Read


Streaming Cash: Redbox Reports Losses From Its Joint Venture With Verizon

Redbox, Verizon End Streaming Service

It's become fashionable - especially since last week when HBO and CBS announced their online plans - to look at Internet streaming as a digital gold rush. But the folks at Redbox tell a different story, in an SEC filing today, about their experience with their  now-defunct joint venture: Redbox Instant by Verizon. Parent company Outerwall says that it contributed $77M to the venture, and received $70.5M — including disc rentals tied to the subscriptions and a $16.8M… Read


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