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NBC Orders Thriller Drama Pilot ‘Reverie’ From ‘Extant’ Creator & Amblin TV

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NBC has given a pilot order to Reverie, a drama pilot from the Extant team of creator Mickey Fisher and Amblin TV. Like Extant, Reverie originated as a spec. Penned by Fisher, it is described as a grounded and dramatic thriller about a former detective specializing in human behavior who is brought in when the launch of an advanced virtual reality program has dangerous and unintended consequences. Fisher executive produces with fellow Extant executive producers, his… Read

Business

Trump’s FCC Chairman Pick Ajit Pai Wins Industry Cheers, Consumer Activist Jeers

UNITED STATES - MAY 12: FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai prepares to testify before a Senate Appropriations Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee hearing in Dirksen Building on the Federal Communications Commission's proposed budget for FY2016, May 12, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call) (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

President Trump today formally designated FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai to become the agency’s chairman, replacing Tom Wheeler who resigned with the change in administrations. In his nearly five years on the FCC, Pai, 44, vigorously opposed nearly all of Wheeler’s top initiatives including the decision to reclassify the internet as a communications medium subject to net neutrality rules. A former lawyer for Verizon, Pai was raised in Kansas and earned his law degree from the… Read

TV

Pilot Season 2017: How Many Pilots Is Each Network Ordering?

primetime pilot panic

It’s another late pilot season as scripts once again are coming in very late, pushing greenlight decisions into late January and February. Some of it is old-fashioned gamesmanship on part of writers as there is the notion that if your script is among the first ones delivered, it would go to the bottom of the pile, overshadowed by the ones that come in later. But there are also other circumstances. Development has been slow in general this cycle. The buying season has been… Read

Film

‘Raw’ Director Reminds That Cannibals Are People: “We Label Them As Inhuman” – Sundance Studio

Julia Ducournau

Leave it to the French to blow up a genre and redefine it whether it’s Luc Besson with the female action sphere with La Femme Nikita or Jean-Pierre Jeunet with the romantic comedy and Amelie. Meet filmmaker Julia Ducournau whose Raw gobbles up the horror genre and digests into something mindblowing. “I don’t consider my movie a horror movie,” asserts Ducournau about her genre-bending, “I wanted to make people uneasy, that’s for sure.” Talk about a high concept: A young… Read

TV

Bill Maher Bags Record ‘Real Time’ Kickoff Numbers On Donald Trump Inauguration Day

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HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher clocked its biggest premiere crowd ever in its 15th season kickoff, which coincided with Donald Trump’s inauguration. Friday night’s kickoff, hours after Trump was sworn in, snagged 19 million viewers at 10 PM which is 71% higher than last January’s premiere. Across the night, Maher’s return clocked 2.5M viewers. Castigating pundits who held out hope Trump finally would pivot to his Presidential Persona on Inauguration Day, Maher said in… Read

Business

Ice Cube’s Cube Vision Enters Financial/Strategic Partnership With Kelvin Wu’s AID Partners

Ice Cube

Cube Vision, Ice Cube's Film production company, has entered into a strategic partnership with AID Partners, a media investment company founded by Hong Kong entrepreneur Kelvin Wu. AID’s other investments include Legendary Pictures, Golden Harvest Entertainment, Prime Focus Double Negative, HMV Digital China and Zoox Inc. The deal calls for AID Partners to become a significant shareholder, strategic advisor, and an investor who fully funds targeted Cube Vision development… Read

breakingBox Office

‘Dear Evan Hansen’ Defies Winter Chill At Broadway Box Office

Jennifer Laura Thompson and Ben Platt in the off-Broadway production of Dear Evan Hansen.

An unlikely media sensation gets caught up in the Twitter-enhanced mythology that distorts his true nature as he becomes a national hero: Donald Trump? Evan Hansen? Both had big weeks in dark times (but while each character profits from alternative truths, only one sings. Also, he’s not real). While Trump moved into the White House, Dear Evan Hansen — the first musical of the season to look like a significant hit — was one of the few shows to buck the seasonal plunge into… Read

Business

Liberty Media’s Formula 1 Acquisition Gets Checkered Flag

Manor Racing survival. File photo dated 25/11/2016 of Manor Racing Formula One car as the team are facing a race against the clock to secure its survival as the cash available to pay its 200 staff is set to run out within days. Issue date: Monday January 23, 2017. The group, which collapsed into administration earlier this month, requires new owners to inject money into the team so it can pay for the completion of testing before the start of the Formula 1 season in March. See PA story CITY Manor. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire URN:29838251

Liberty Media is officially in the F1 driver’s seat. The company run by president and CEO Greg Maffei has completed its $4.4B acquisition of the global motorsports business, whose parent company is Delta Topco, and Formula 1 has tapped former Fox exec Chase Carey as its chief executive. He replaces Bernie Ecclestone, who segues to the role Chairman Emeritus of F1 after more than four decades in the sport. With the deal done, Liberty Media Group will be renamed the Formula… Read

Business

AMC Theaters CEO Says He’s Focusing On Operations, But More Deals Are Possible

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Is AMC Theaters still eager to snap up exhibition chains following its rapid-fire deals to buy Carmike Cinemas, Odeon & UCI Cinemas and — this morning — Nordic Cinema Group, making it the world’s No. 1 exhibition chain? Perhaps, CEO Adam Aron told analysts today — although there’s “there is nothing in the hopper at the moment” and he’s “focusing on assimilation, not acquisition.” If he sees a deal where the Wanda Group-controlled chain “can intelligently expand our… Read

Business

Sundance Institute Unveils 2017 Recipient of Merata Mita Fellowship

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Australian filmmaker Amie Batalibasi has been named as the 2017 recipient of the Sundance Institute Merata Mita Fellowship for Indigenous Artists, the annual fellowship given in honor of the late Māori filmmaker. Mita was New Zealand’s first Indigenous female filmmaker and served as an advisor and artistic director of the Sundance Institute NativeLab from 2000 to 2009, where she championed emerging Indigenous talent. The announcement was made today at the Sundance Film Fes… Read

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Mary Jo Buttafuoco Will Tell Her Story In Unscripted Documentary Via Tent City And Fremantle

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EXCLUSIVE: In a story that is particularly pertinent as Americans continue to grapple with the issue of gun legislation, Mary Jo Buttafuoco’s life story is being made into an unscripted documentary to coincide with the 25-year anniversary of her being shot in the face by her husband’s mistress. Tent City and Fremantle just optioned Buttafuoco’s life rights and will develop her life story with her. In May 1992, Buttafuoco opened her front door and was shot in the head by… Read

Video

Jill Soloway Says ‘I Love Dick’ Is Rare “Psycho-Sexual Comedy” – Sundance Studio

I Love Dick

"It's like a soapy delicious psycho-sexual comedy set in an art town," Jill Soloway says of her upcoming Amazon Studio series I Love Dick. "No one makes psycho-sexual comedies," the award-winning Transparent creator added. "Not in Texas" chimed in cast member Griffin Dunne of the show, which launches May 12. The pair, at the Robert Redford-founded festival for a preview premiere of the first three episodes of I Love Dick later today, were joined in the discussion at the… Read