August 2010 Archive


California Lawmakers Rein In Stalkarazzi On 13th Anniversary of Princess Diana's Death

The California Assembly today passed AB 2479 by a margin of 43-13 to impose penalties of up to $5,000, with the possibility of jail time, for paparazzi who drive recklessly and endanger celebrities and the general public. The legislation passed on the anniversary of the 1997 death of Princess Diana, who was killed in a Paris car crash as she and her boyfriend and their security were fleeing the stalkarazzi. Depending on your POV, this law which now goes to Governor… Read


AT&T U-Verse Drops Hallmark Channels

The impasse in the negotiations between AT&T U-Verse and Crown Media, the parent company of the Hallmark Channel and the Hallmark Movie Channel, over a new carriage agreement resulted in the two channels gong dark for 2.3 million subscribers at 12:01 AM EDT tonight when the two sides' previous deal expired. Here are the statements by AT&T and Hallmark Channels: AT&T: We are very disappointed that Hallmark has refused to provide AT&T and its customers with a fair deal one… Read


Seth Green To Produce Interactive Digital Reality Series With Ford and Sprint

Robot Chicken creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich have teamed with Ford Motor Co. and Sprint Nextel for ControlTV, an interactive reality show. The series, which will follow six weeks in the life of a guy in his twenties, enables the audience to vote, in real time, on every aspect of his life--from what he wears and eats, to where he works, to who he dates. Given the partners, there obviously will be product placement: the guy will drive a 2011 Ford Fiesta, and… Read


Sony Pic Billboards Offer “Virgin Helpline” And Cause Nationwide Controversy

A nationwide billboard campaign asking "Still A Virgin? For Help, Call 888-742-4335" is creating controversy in a growing number of cities. TV news stations in Louisiana, Miami, San Diego, and Arizona have so far covered the brouhaha as local politicians demand the billboards' removal. Turns out the whole thing is a ruse, a flash marketing campaign to create awareness for The Virginity Hit, the “R”-rated feature comedy from Sony Pictures which is sponsoring the… Read


Prince Of Darkness Is Suing Yet Again…

Gavin Polone is smart and snarky and Hollywood's erstwhile bad boy. He keeps earning his nickname as the Prince Of Darkness by today filing yet another lawsuit against an entertainment company. (His now infamous lawsuit against a former talent agency employer exposed oodles of bad behavior…) This time, it's Summit Entertainment which the manager/producer is suing for breach of contract along with the screenwriter Pablo Fenjves over the film Man On A Ledge. Polone claims… Read


'City Slickers' Scribes Re-Join Billy Crystal

Writers Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel have come aboard to do a quick rewrite of Us & Them, the Andy Fickman-directed film. The scribes worked with the film's star/producer, Billy Crystal, on City Slickers, Forget Paris and Father's Day.  Us & Them, picked up in turnaround from Paramount, is on a fast track as a co-production between Walden Media and Fox. Crystal plays a grandpa left alone to care for his grandchildren. He has to navigate to overcome generational shifts… Read


Mark Canton Bites Back At Jim Cameron For Filleting 'Piranha 3D'

A war of words broke out today between Avatar director James Cameron and producer Mark Canton over whether Weinstein Co/Dimension's current version of Piranha 3D is a crapfest. (Cameron was hired and then fired as the director of the original 1981 Piranha Part 2). Here's what they are saying: Cameron told while publicizing his Avatar re-release: “I tend almost never to throw other films under the bus, but [Piranha 3D] is exactly an example of what we should… Read


NBC Renews 'America's Got Talent'

No surprise here: NBC has renewed summer series America's Got Talent for a 6th season. Celebrity judges Piers Morgan, who recently signed a multi-year deal with NBC, Sharon Osbourne, and Howie Mandel will return along with host Nick Cannon. This is the 5th consecutive year that AGT, from FremantleMedia and Simon Cowell's SYCO Television, has ranked as the top summer series in total viewers. Season-to-date, the show has averaged a 3.4 rating/10 share in adults 18-49 and… Read


Company 3 Founder Stefan Sonnenfeld Gets First-Look Paramount Producer Deal

Paramount Pictures has made a first-look producing deal with Stefan Sonnenfeld, the founder and president of visual effects company Company 3. Sonnenfeld has provided post production work on such Paramount films as the first two Transformers films, Star Trek and Cloverfield. Sonnenfeld's company has also worked on such films as Alice in Wonderland, Pirates of the Caribbean, 300 and Watchmen. Considering how stingy studios are with producing deals these days, this is a… Read


HBO Acquires 'Precious Life' Documentary

HBO has acquired the U.S. TV rights to the Israeli documentary Precious Life, which is an official selection of this year's Toronto Film Festival. The documentary, about a four-month-old Palestinian boy from Gaza who was born without an immune system and required a bone marrow transplant that could only be done in an Israeli hospital, was directed by Israeli broadcast journalist Shlomi Eldar and produced by Ehud Bleiberg and Yoav Ze'evi. It will premiere on HBO in… Read


Icahn Offers $7.50 Per Lionsgate Share; Annual Meeting Delayed Until After Oct. 12

Every Icahn move has deep reverberations inside the film/television studio whose management is increasingly paranoid about how their actions will be viewed by him. What a destabilizing situation. Now Carl Icahn's hostile takeover attempt intensifies with his $7.50 a share unsolicited tender offer this morning. It expires October 22nd. Icahn said his new offer will only be valid if the extra shares that the company recently issued to Lionsgate director Mark Rachesky (who… Read


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