April 2011 Archive


Obama & Seth Meyers Trump Hollywood At Annual White House Correspondents Dinner

UPDATE: Tonight Saturday Night Live head writer and Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers entertained at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner — that annual media-politics-showbiz schmoozefest in Washington DC. I've been to the White House Correspondents Dinner, and, if history is any judge, then comedians asked to perform there seem to do best when they joke with gentle jibes rather than go for the jugular. Meyers met that criteria and more: he kept his targets… Read


Bryan Cranston Added To 'Rock Of Ages'

Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston will play the mayor in Rock of Ages, the Adam Shankman-directed adaptation of the Broadway musical. He's the husband of an Anita Bryant-like advocate who wants to ban rock and roll. That role's played by Catherine Zeta-Jones and both were created specifically for the movie. He joins a cast that includes Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Mary J. Blige, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Diego Boneta and Julianne… Read


23 Million Americans Watch Royal Wedding, Beating U.S. Audience For Charles And Di's; UK Viewership Can't Match 1981 Nuptials

UPDATE SATURDAY 7 PM: Almost 23 million viewers in the U.S. watched the coverage of the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton from 6AM to 7:15AM ET on Friday across 11 networks. That outpaces the estimated 17 million who tuned in for Prince Charles and Diana's wedding in 1981, which was carried by the Big 3 broadcast networks in the era before the proliferation of cable. According to Nielsen, the combined viewership for yesterday's nuptials was 22.77 million… Read


SAG National Board Forms Task Force For January 2012 Merger With AFTRA: Read “Mission Statement”

Here's the latest news from SAG. For the latest Hollywood Guilds news, see my post from earlier this week: Los Angeles, (April 30, 2011) - The Screen Actors Guild National Board of Directors today unanimously approved the creation of a Merger Task Force to work with their AFTRA counterparts in developing a formal plan to unite SAG and AFTRA members in one union. The Board's resolution instructed the newly-formed Merger Task Force "to meet with representatives of AFTRA as… Read


Quentin Tarantino Saddles Up For Spaghetti Western 'Django Unchained'

Back when I saw him in late February at Harvey Weinstein's Oscar night party for The King's Speech, Quentin Tarantino told me that his script for a Western was just pouring out of him easily, that he'd finished a draft and expected to turn in a final version within two months. As a web leak of the cover page of his new script Django Unchained attests, Tarantino finished that script two days ago, right on schedule. Here's what I've heard: While Tarantino has spoken about… Read


RATINGS RATE RACE: CBS Wins Night Dominated By Royal Wedding Specials

Will this further shake CBS' commitment to scripted programming on Fridays? Last night, a Royal Wedding special at 8 PM (1.7/6, 8.6 million) delivered a rare decisive No. 1 finish in the hour for the network among 18-49 and outranked the network's scripted entries in the slot this season – Medium, The Defenders and especially Chaos. CBS' CSI: NY (1.7/5, 9.2 million) was flat, as was Blue Bloods (1.6/5, 9.8 million). ABC's Shark Tank (1.2/4) was down 14%. It was followed… Read


MPAA Chief Chris Dodd's First Big DC Event

WASHINGTON DC: New MPAA chief Chris Dodd will deliver his first speech about Hollywood issues to a non-industry audience next week. He did tell me, though, that he's preparing to enlist the government's help in fighting piracy overseas. [Nikki UPDATES: Fat chance, since Dodd is a longtime Democrat, and the Republicans have already taken over the House of Representatives and are now targeting the Senate, too. The GOP and showbiz are barely on speaking terms. But of all the… Read


NFL Lockout Resumes After Appeal; Fan Fatigue Evident In Lower NFL Draft Ratings

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday granted the NFL's request for a temporary stay on an injunction that lifted an owner-imposed lockout on players. That means the lockout is back on, just a couple of days after a Minneapolis judge's decision had lifted it. Now the appeals court will review briefs by players and the league and could rule on a full stay sometime next week. Whatever happens, it's clear the labor strife handcuffing the league and its players is having… Read


Cartoon Network's VP Rob Swartz Exits

Cartoon Network's VP original series Rob Swartz is leaving the cable network after a three-year stint to return to his alternative series roots, this time as a producer. His last day is today. At CN, Swarz led the development and current teams and oversaw development and current programming for all of CN's original animated, live-action and alternative series, including Adventure Time, Regular Show, Mad, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Generator Rex, Young Justice, Hole in the W… Read


Release Dates: 'Man On A Ledge,' 'Final Destination 5'

Summit Entertainment's Man on a Ledge, which stars Sam Worthington and Elizabeth Banks and is directed by Asger Leth, has been slated for wide release Jan. 13, 2012. Worthington plays an ex-cop and wanted fugitive who threatens to jump off a New York high-rise, and Banks is the hostage negotiator who tries to talk him down. Warner Bros has shifted its 3D sequel Final Destination 5 to Aug. 12, 2011, up from its original Aug. 26… Read


NBC's 'Love Bites' To Premiere In June

Eight months after its original premiere date, NBC's hourlong anthology comedy Love Bites will debut in its original Thursday 10 PM time slot. Love Bites' premiere is set for June 2. Once a high-flying prospect, Love Bites was prominently featured at NBC's updront presentation last May when it was assigned the Thursday 10 PM slot for fall. But in the summer, the series was pushed to midseason after a series of setbacks, including the pregnancy of star Becki Newton, the… Read


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