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John Malone’s Liberty Global Increases Stake In ITV To 9.9%

John Malone

John Malone’s Liberty Global has upped its stake in British broadcaster ITV from 6.4% to 9.9%. Liberty originally acquired its stake in July last year from Rupert Murdoch’s then BSkyB- now called Sky- for $824 million. ITV is the home of ratings juggernaut Downton Abbey and has been on an aggressive acquisitions spree of late.  In June, ITV acquired Boom Supervisory Limited, the holding company of Brit TV production banner Twofour Group, from majority shareholder LDC, the… Read

International

‘Top Gear’ Gets New Exec Producer; Discovery Expands In Turkey: Global Briefs

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Just as the former Top Gear team heads over to Amazon Prime, the BBC show has plugged in a new executive producer. Lisa Clark will step in for Andy Wilman who left the motoring series after Jeremy Clarkson was exited and who is joining Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May for their new program at Amazon. Chris Evans has strapped into the Top Gear driver's seat for the BBC and will reunite there with Clark, with whom he previously worked at The Big Breakfast and Don't Fo… Read

Business

Relativity Filing Unveils Its Complicated Debts And Operations

"The November Man" - Los Angeles Premiere

Relativity today finally had to disclose, in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing, information about its complicated web of loans and finances that it long struggled to keep private. The document from Chief Restructuring Officer Brian Kushner says that the company faces more than 1,000 creditors looking to be made whole as it struggles to deal with $350 million in outstanding matured secured debt while “unable to finalize any further financing.” Relativity generated about $501… Read

TV

David Simon On HBO’s ‘Show Me A Hero': Can’t “Let Fear Guide Us” – TCA

David Simon Paul Haggis TCA 2015

“There was some resistance … the political hierarchy felt a little uncomfortably, at first, until they saw benefit in way we were using the Yonkers experience as emblematic what else is being faced in the nation,” William Xorzi says of HBO’s new six-part miniseries Show Me A  Hero, which he co-wrote with David Simon. Shot on location, the mini tells the story of Nick Wasicsko (Oscar Isaac), the youngest big-city mayor in the nation who finds himself thrust into the center… Read

TV

Leftovers Season 2 “About A Family Coming Together,” Says Damon Lindelof – TCA

The Leftovers TCA 2015

Spoiler alert: Reveals detail about season 2 of The Leftovers. When asked by the TCA press if Season 2 of dystopian-future series The Leftovers would be equally as depressing as Season 1, creator/EP Damon Lindelof joked, “We wanted to tape Season 2 before a live studio audiencem — we wanted to opt in for a laugh track.” Despite the maudlin mood lurking over the characters in The Leftovers, Season 2 propels them forward, moving Kevin Garvey and his GF Nora Durst to a small… Read

TV

‘Doll & Em’ Not Like Their Lives, Insist Dolly Wells And Emily Mortimer, Convincing No One – TCA

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Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells will play a closer version of themselves in the second six-episode season of HBO’s Doll & Em, in which they write an off-Broadway play together and hoodwink Evan Rachel Wood and Olivia Wilde into appearing in it, with Wood playing Doll and Wilde playing Em. Ewan McGregor and Mikhail Baryshnikov also guest star. It’s a second-season effort by the TV versions of themselves to correct the strain put on their relationship in the first season… Read

TV

HBO’s Michael Lombardo Optimistic About New David Chase Series, Another Season of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ – TCA

Michael Lombardo TCA 2015

There are a couple of questions asked at every HBO TCA executive session: Will we see a new show from The Sopranos creator David Chase, and how about a new season of Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm? There was some encouraging news on both fronts today. The network six years ago started to develop a new series with Chase, A Ribbon Of Dreams, about the early Hollywood film industry. “I’ve seen pages,” HBO President of Programming Michael Lombardo reported. "He showed us… Read

exclusiveBusiness

SAG-AFTRA Election: Challenger Patricia Richardson Calls For Sweeping Changes

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EXCLUSIVE: SAG-AFTRA presidential candidate Patricia Richardson is calling for sweeping changes in the way the union does its business and deals with its diverse membership, vowing to heal the infighting and to take the fight to the producers for better wages and working conditions. Perhaps just as important, she's calling for greater transparency inside a union that some wags have come to call the Secret Actors Guild. Running atop her Membership First slate of… Read

TV

HBO’s Michael Lombardo Defends ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Talks Potential Season 3 – TCA

True Detective Colin Ferrell

There has been backlash from critics and fans to the second season of True Detective, the sequel to Nick Pizzolatto’s runaway pop culture phenom. At TCA today, HBO president of programming Michael Lombardo was repeatedly asked about the response to Season 2. Lombardo stressed that he was very pleased with the new installment starring Colin Farrell. "I think you need to watch the entirety of it," he cautioned. "I think the season’s ending is as satisfying as any series… Read

TV

Julia Ormond Joins Syfy Pilot ‘Incorporated'; Federico Dordei in ‘Gorgeous Morons’

Premiere Of "Food Chains" - Arrivals

Julia Ormond (Sabrina, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button) has been tapped for a starring role in Incorporated, an espionage thriller set in a dystopian future where companies have unlimited power. It centers on Ben Larson (Sean Teale), a young executive who risks everything to infiltrate an all-controlling corporate world and save the woman he loves. In the process, he will take on the entire system — with deadly consequences. Ormond, repped by Gersh and Creative… Read

exclusiveTV

David Fincher HBO Pilot ‘Utopia’ In Jeopardy Over Budget Issues

David Fincher

Prospects appear grim for Utopia, HBO’s drama pilot from David Fincher, an adaptation of the Channel 4 series created by Dennis Kelly. The issue I hear is budgetary, as the director and the pay cable network are yet to agree on a budget for the high-profile, big-scope project. The pilot already has cast a number of actors, including Fincher’s Girl With The Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara, though all deals are contingent on a budget agreement, which has not been reached… Read

Business

Regal Rejects Paramount Film Test That Might Shorten The Theatrical Window

Regal Entertainment

The No. 1 theater chain says it won’t show Paramount’s Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (to be released October 23) and Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse (October 30) — rejecting the studio’s experiment with AMC Entertainment that might cut into the 90-day period when exhibitors want exclusivity. Paramount said this month it will put the films on digital home video outlets 17 days after each dips below 300 domestic theaters. At that point, exhibitors that show… Read