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Business

Peter Bart: Tech Titans Aim To Disrupt Ad Biz Right Before Our Eyes

Videri Starbucks

The “hot” word of the moment is “disruptive.” Every new technology, or business plan, seems aimed at disrupting the orderly way we presently do or see things. As if the elections weren't disruptive enough. In that context, I have been attending demonstrations of intriguingly disruptive technologies that deliver “virtual reality” and “mixed reality.” This week I also got a glimpse of a new Videri system designed to alter the reality of visiting a Starbucks or a movie… Read

TV

Baltimore TV Station Bomb Threat: Suspect Shot By Police But Alive And “Not Cooperating”- Update

Baltimore TV bomb

2ND UPDATE, 12:46 PM: Police are holding a news conference about the incident and say the situation “is not safe.” Baltimore Police ‎director of media relations T.J. Smith said the man had “what appeared to be wires and some other things inside of his jacket that appeared to be some type of explosive.” They say a sniper shot the suspect, but “still has his hand in his pocket [and is] not complying with orders … and right now it is still an evolving situation.” Police say… Read

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Nat Geo Orders First Scripted Series: ‘Genius’ Anthology From Imagine TV, Ron Howard To Direct

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National Geographic Channel has given a straight-to-series order to Genius, its first ever scripted series. The anthology drama– telling the stories of the world's most brilliant innovators — hails from Imagine TV, Fox 21 TV Studios, OddLot Entertainment and EUE/Sokolow. Imagine principal, Oscar-winning helmer Ron Howard, is set to direct the first episode of the series, whose maiden season will focus on famous physicist Albert Einstein, based on Walter Isaacson's… Read

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‘The Dark Tower’ Looking To Add Sundance Star Michael Barbieri To Cast

Michael Barbieri 2016

EXCLUSIVE: Moving towards the start of shooting in South Africa soon, The Dark Tower is beefing up its cast with the addition of Michael Barbieri, I've learned. Reps for the 14-year old are deep in talks to have him join the highly anticipated Nikolaj Arcel directed adaptation of Stephen King's bestselling series, set to come out on Presidents Day weekend next year. Having starred as the co-lead in Ira Sachs' Sundance premiering Little Men, Barbieri is slated to play the… Read

TV

Cable Net Z Living Greenlights Four New Health-Focused Series

Z Living Featured image

Health entertainment network Z Living has greenlit four new original series and acquired three others for its 2016-2017 slate. New original series include Finding Fido, about finding the perfect canine companion, Altar’d, a series focused on overweight couples who are trying to lose weight before their wedding day, The Big Fat Truth, based on JD Roth’s book, and Yoga Girls, about yoga instructors who compete for business on LA’s West side. Finding Fido and Altar'd go into… Read

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Johnny Depp-Produced ‘Muscle Shoals’ Among 5 Series In Works At IM Global TV

Johnny Depp

IM Global TV is teaming with Johnny Depp and Richard Branson to develop a limited music drama series based on Rick Hall’s autobiography The Man From Muscle Shoals: My Journey from Shame to Fame. It’s one of five new series projects put in development by Reliance Entertainment’s TV studio — a division of feature-film financing, production and sales company IM Global — along with I, Rebel; LD50 and adaptations of the book The Lesser Dead and graphic novel Planetoid. Muscle S… Read

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Paul Rudd Set To Star As Moe Berg In Fact-Based WWII Tale ‘The Catcher Was A Spy’

paul rudd

EXCLUSIVE: Paul Rudd is set to star in The Catcher Was a Spy, a WWII thriller that Ben Lewin (The Sessions) will direct, with PalmStar Media producing and financing. The script is by Saving Private Ryan scribe Robert Rodat, who adapted the Nicholas Dawidoff bestselling book. PalmStar Media’s Kevin Frakes and Mark Fasano will produce along with Animus Films’ Jim Young and Tatiana Kelly of Serena Films, and Michael Bederman. PalmStar’s Buddy Patrick will Executive… Read

Video

‘Southside With You’ Trailer: The Obamas’ First Date Goes Pretty Well

southside with you

“You and I share a lot of the same interests.” And eventually they’d share the title of America’s First Couple. Here’s the first trailer for Southside With You, the story of the first date — “This is not a date” — of Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson on a summer’s day in 1989 Chiacgo. Suffice it so say, things went well. Michelle (Tika Sumpter) initially isn’t all that thrilled that her law firm’s new summer associate from Harvard (Parker Sawyers) has invited her to a… Read

Film

Open Road Joins Lakeshore On ‘Miles’ Movie

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Open Road Film has joined with Lakeshore Entertainment to co-produce and co-finance Miles, a feature film to be directed by Oliver Daly based on his original short which started a bidding war among producers last year. That battle was won by David S. Goyer and his Phantom Four Films, which developed the script with Daly. Open Road will now release the film domestically; the pic is currently casting with principal photography to begin late summer for an anticipated 2017… Read

TV

Drew Barrymore Joins NBC’s ‘First Dates’ As Narrator

Drew Barrymore First Dates

Drew Barrymore has signed on as narrator for First Dates, NBC’s upcoming alternative dating show executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres. The eight-episode reality series, based on the hit UK format, is described as an observational documentary series that takes an authentic look at a variety of real first dates happening over one night at the same restaurant. The Chicago-set hourlong series will be produced by Shed Media, which is part of Warner Bros. TV's alternative… Read

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Christopher McDonald Segues From ‘Good Wife’ Judge To ‘Wetlands’ & Broadway’s ‘Front Page’ Revival

Chris McDonald

EXCLUSIVE: Veteran villain Christopher McDonald, a familiar face this season as vindictive Judge John Schakowsky on CBS’ finalizing series The Good Wife, has landed a couple of plums — one on screen, the other on Broadway. He’s filming now writer-director Emanuele Della Valle’s Wetlands, described as a noirish film starring Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Anthony Mackie. The story revolves around Babel “Babs” Johnson, who is attempting to rebuild his life in bleak Atlantic… Read