September 2010 Archive


Paramount Restructures Licensing/Consumer Products

Paramount has restructured its Licensing and Consumer Products division. They've laid off 53 people worldwide and will save $10 million annually. Here is the memo just issued: To: Paramount Employees From: Frederick Huntsberry and Rob Moore Date: Sept. 30, 2010 We wanted to inform you of a number of changes we are making to better manage our overall business, as well as make our reporting structure more rational and efficient. Effective today, we are… Read


HOT PROPERTY: Overbrook & 'Proposal' Writer Shopping 'Hitch' Series Adaptation

EXCLUSIVE: Will Smith and James Lassiter's Overbrook Entertainment and The Proposal writer Pete Chiarelli are behind a series adaptation of the hit 2005 romantic comedy Hitch, which has several networks bidding on it. Chiarelli will pen the series project, described as an action-packed one-hour, for Sony Pictures TV. The movie, which Overbrook co-produced with Sony's Columbia Pictures, starred Smith as a date doctor. This marks the TV debut for Chiarelli who also is… Read


Gotham Indie Awards Fete Actor Foursome

    New York, NY (September 30, 2010) - The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the nation's oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers, announced today that director Darren Aronofsky, actors Hilary Swank and Robert Duvall, and Focus Features CEO, James Schamus, will each be presented with a career Tribute at the 20th Anniversary Gotham Independent Film Awards on Monday, November 29th at Cipriani Wall Street, New York, New York. This year's Tribute… Read


RATINGS RAT RACE: 'Law & Order: LA' Solid In Debut, 'Undercovers' Takes Plunge

The new Law & Order spinoff Law & Order: Los Angeles did OK in its debut on what was a down night all around, with all other series except Fox's Hell's Kitchen posting double-digit declines from last week. Topping the list was NBC's freshman spy drama Undercovers, which was down an alarming 24% from its soft premiere last week. (the rest of the drops were between 10-19%) Also hitting dangerously low levels is ABC's new 10 PM legal drama The Whole Truth. Law & Order: LA… Read


Denis Leary And Jim Serpico's Apostle Is Launching N.Y.-Based Management Division

EXCUSIVE: Denis Leary and Jim Serpico's Apostle is branching out into management. The duo's New York-based film and TV production company is launching Apostle Management, whose main focus will be shaping up the careers of stand-up comedians who aspire to perform, write and direct their own material. “In this digital era, we will lend both our creative and production experience to help our clients achieve their potential," Serpico said, adding that he and Leary are looking… Read


It's Official: Anderson Cooper To Host Warner Bros TV-Syndicated Daily Daytime Strip But Also His CNN News Show

Anderson Cooper has signed a deal to host a new one-hour NYC-based daily daytime strip for Warner Bros Domestic Television Distribution, set for national syndication launch in Fall 2011. This should be very successful: one week, I caught Cooper co-hosting with Kelly Ripa — and he was a natural. Cooper will continue to anchor CNN's “Anderson Cooper 360″ airing weeknights at 10 PM ET. And, geez, is troubled CNN relieved he's staying even though his ratings have plummeted… Read


Nickelodeon Picks Up 'Supah Ninjas' Series

Nickelodeon has picked up new live-action comedy series Supah Ninjas. Comic book in tone, Supah Ninjas follows three unsuspecting kids who are drafted into the secret world of ninjas. Created by Eric Garcia and Leo Chu (Afro Samurai), the series will be helmed by executive producers Garcia, Chu and Brian Robbins and Sharla Sumpter Bridgett (Fred: The Movie) under the Varsity Pictures production banner. The series is slated to begin production this year in Los Angeles for… Read


Viacom Promotes Pair To CFO & Controller

NEW YORK, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — James W. Barge has been named Chief Financial Officer of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B), it was announced today by Thomas E. Dooley, Viacom's Chief Operating Officer. In his new role, Mr. Barge, who previously served as Executive Vice President, Controller, Tax and Treasury for the Company, succeeds Mr. Dooley, who has served as Viacom's Chief Financial Officer since January 2007. Mr. Barge, 55, will be responsible for the… Read


R.I.P. Tony Curtis

UPDATE: The actor who grew up poor in the Bronx, arrived in Hollywood in 1948 as unknown Bernie Schwartz, and became a legendary film and television star, passed away from cardiac arrest Wednesday evening in his Las Vegas area home, according to the coronor's statement. He was 85. Many will forever remember Tony Curtis for his comedic work in 1959′s Some Like It Hot with Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe, or his dramatic work in 1958′s The Defiant Ones, which earned him a… Read


U.S. May Board UK Miniseries About Titanic

Producer Simon Vaughn tells me the U.S. broadcast networks and cable channels are also interested in coming on board the 4-part miniseries Titanic he's making with ITV Studios. "I have never been in a situation before where there are so many suitable homes," he says. Julian Fellowes, who's having a big success on ITV with Downton Abbey, has written the script. Like Downton Abbey, there's lots of opportunity for class conflict between posh First Class and those travelling… Read


NBCU Picks Overseas TV Production Head

UPDATE: Gareth Neame, the boss of UK independent TV producer Carnival, will oversee drama, comedy and entertainment at NBC Universal International. Neame is riding high this week. Carnival's new ITV drama series Downton Abbey premiered last Sunday to rave reviews and attracted 7.7 million viewers plus a 30% audience share. Written by Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey is Gosford Park redone as a weekly TV show. NBCU acquired Carnival in 2008. It was only Carnival's being able… Read


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