‘Everybody Dance Now’ Stumbles But Murdochs Keep Music Playing
Everybody Dance Now, a new Australian series hosted by Lachlan Murdoch’s wife Sarah Murdoch and featuring American “dance masters” Kelly Rowland and Jason Derülo, has stumbled badly on Network Ten, whose chairman is … Lachlan Murdoch. The Sunday night premiere averaged just 598,000 viewers against Nine’s debuting Big Brother and local crime series Underbelly: Badness. The audience dropped to 304,000 for the second episode on Monday night. Ten insists it’s sticking with the show produced by FremantleMedia Australia, although it’s been cut back to one hour on Sunday nights from three hours over two nights. Offering more than $A450,000 ($472,000) in prizes, the show aims to find the most entertaining dance act in Oz. – Don Groves
Alan Partridge Returns To UK TV Ahead Of Big Screen Debut
Funnyman Steve Coogan is bringing his signature character, Alan Partridge, back to UK television audiences next year via Sky Atlantic. The show, Mid Morning Matters 2, follows a first series that was aired on Sky Atlantic this year. It sees the hapless, politically incorrect radio presenter working at a shabby radio station in North Norfolk, England. Filming has begun on the series that’s produced by Coogan and Veep’s Armando Iannucci along with Baby Cow chief exec Henry Normal. There’s an Alan Partridge feature in the works that starts shooting in January for an August 16, 2013 UK release which StudioCanal is handling. Coogan and Iannucci penned that script with frequent Sacha Baron Cohen collaborator Peter Baynham and Neil and Rob Gibbons. Declan Lowney is directing.
YOU On Demand, Dalian Hook Up In China
Chinese pay-per-view leader YOU On Demand has entered a VOD distribution agreement with local cable operator Dalian Tiantu Cable Network. Dalian has 1.6M cable subscribers who will have access to YOU On Demand’s SVOD service by the end of this year. The deal brings YOU On Demand’s subscribers to 5.5M. By way of comparison, that puts it on par with Cox in the U.S. The mix includes hundreds of hours of Hollywood films. YOU On Demand has deals in place with studios including Warner Bros., Disney, Paramount, Lionsgate, Miramax and Magnolia. It expects to hit 12M subs by year’s end.
Fortissimo Comes Of Age With ‘Bwakaw’
Fortissimo Films has acquired international rights to Bwakaw, Jun Robles Lana’s Filipino coming of age movie about a cantankerous elderly gay man and his sick dog. Local star Eddie Garcia just won the best actor prize for the Filipino picture at Manila’s Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival. Bwakaw will be released in the Philippines in early 2013 and will have its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival next month as part of the World Contemporary Cinema section. Fortissimo will start sales at the festival.
Cineworld Posts Growth In UK
UK exhibition group Cineworld has announced positive results for the first half of 2012. Box office is up 4.1% to £118.6M ($186.6M). It’s the largest cinema operator in the UK and Ireland combined. Cash flow is up 2.3% with revenue up 1.1%. The company said that during the beginning of the second semester 2012 – with the Olympics dominating Britons free time – box office performed in line with expectations including The Amazing Spider-Man, Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, The Dark Knight Rises and Ted. The company expects to be on target for the end of the year with upcoming releases including The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, Skyfall and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.