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International

Simon Cowell’s Return To ‘X Factor UK’ Scores Best Launch Since 2011 With 9.5M Viewers

x factor uk

In a much ballyhooed return, creator Simon Cowell is back on the judging panel of ITV's singing competition show The X Factor UK. The 11th cycle kicked off last night with 9.49M viewers and a 43 share from 8-9:25PM local. (It peaked with 10.6M viewers and a 47 share.) Over the last decade, the show's best debut rating was in 2011 with 11.3M viewers; the low end of the scale was the 2004 kickoff with 4.9M. Last night's bow is tied with 2007 for the No. 5 best perf. This… Read

TV

‘The Voice’ Season 7 Contestants Have A New Advisor: Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift Signs on to 'The Voice'

Taylor Swift will be joining season 7 of NBC's The Voice which debuts on Sept. 22 and will be advising contestants across all four teams in a role similar to Coldplay's Chris Martin last season.  Swift will be working with Voice vets Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, as well as new coach Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams in addition to previously announced advisors Steve Wonder (on team Levine), Gavin Rossdale (working with wife Stefani), Little Big Town (with Shelton) and… Read

Awards

Telluride: Oscar Host To Oscar Contender? Jon Stewart’s ‘Rosewater’ Wins Standing Ovation At Festival

Rosewater-Trailer

I ran into a producer and Academy voting member after this morning's smash screening of The Daily Show host Jon Stewart's impressive writing and directorial feature debut, Rosewater.   He – and his wife – were raving about it, but also perplexed by a handful of early mixed reviews of the gripping political drama that had created some negative buzz among festgoers here even before the movie had its first screening (when it World Premiered Friday night at 9pm).  “We were… Read

Film

Exclusive Venice Clip: The Vibrant Bluegrass Music In Ami Canaan Mann’s ‘Jackie & Ryan’

Katherine Heigl Stars In Ami Mann's 'Jackie & Ryan' Clip, Debuting At Venice Film Festival

EXCLUSIVE: Having screened earlier today at the Venice Film Festival and premiering tomorrow night, Jackie & Ryan, is the third feature from director Ami Canaan Mann (daughter of Michael Mann), which follows a train hopper, Ryan (British actor Ben Barnes), who is set on becoming a musician during the millennium's recession in Utah.  He meets Jackie (Katherine Heigl), a single mother, who is fighting over custody for her daughter, however, a car accident propels their… Read

International

Hot TV Trailer: ‘Downton Abbey’ Season 5; UK Premiere Set For September 21

DOWNTON_ABBEY_SERIES_5_LAUNCH_09

ITV has set a premiere date for the next trip to the Grantham estate. Season 5 of Downton Abbey will debut in the UK on September 21 at 9PM local. (The U.S. premiere was previously announced for January 4, 2015 on PBS Masterpiece.) Season 5 kicks off in 1924 as Ramsay MacDonald becomes Britain's first ever Labour Prime Minister. As I've previously reported, Lady Mary, who dealt with the demise of her husband Matthew in S4, will deal with defining how her life moves… Read

Film

Venice: Al Pacino Waxes On Depression, The Actors Studio & The “Amazing” ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’

the humbling

It's Al Pacino day here on the Lido. The actor is in town for two very different films, Barry Levinson's out-of-competition The Humbling and David Gordon Green's competition entry Manglehorn. Pacino stars in the former as an aging theater actor at a crossroads who has an affair with Greta Gerwig's younger woman. It's based on the Philip Roth novel and adapted by Buck Henry. In Manglehorn, Green revisits his beloved Texas with the story of a disenchanted locksmith who… Read

breakingBusiness

UPDATED: MPAA Weighs In; Action! California Senate Overwhelmingly Passes $330M Film & TV Tax Credit Expansion

California Film & TV Credit Passes

UPDATED, Saturday, 7 AM: Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. weighed in early this morning on the passage of the bill to expand, extend and improve California Film and Television Tax Credit Program, lauding the move on behalf of the studios, saying it will bring billions of dollars into the state's economy. “The MPAA and our member studios again thank Assembly members Gatto and Bocanegra,  Senator DeLeon, Senate… Read

Film

Venice: ’99 Homes’ Takes On The 1% With Andrew Garfield, Michael Shannon (Video)

99-homes-andrew-garfield

Prepping his Venice Competition title 99 Homes, helmer Ramin Bahrani says he was made “dizzy by the corruption” in the Florida foreclosure system. The film is set in 2010 Orlando and follows Andrew Garfield as an unemployed construction worker and single father whose family loses its home. Michael Shannon, who was warmly welcomed here in 2012's The Iceman, plays the real estate broker who evicts him. The pair ultimately make a kind of Faustian pact that sees Garfield… Read

Awards

Telluride: Weinstein Company Jumps Back Into Oscar Game With Strong ‘Imitation Game’ Screening

The Imitation Game Movie New Pic (1)

On a day chock full of World Premieres here in Telluride, The Weinstein Company which has used this festival for North American launches of The King's Speech and The Artist, and saw both go on to win Best Picture Oscars, just might be on to another major Best Picture contender after its first public screening of the Alan Turing biopic, The Imitation Game. Of course it is easy this time of year to go into just about every film that hits the Fall Festival circuit as a… Read

International

Update: Global Showbiz Briefs: DWA/Studio Mir Relationship Clarified; Veteran Aussie Actor Bill Kerr Dies; More

DreamWorks Animation logo

UPDATE: DreamWorks Animation has clarified statemens by Korea's Studio Mir which were erroneously reported in the local press late last week. The company is in the process of working with Studio Mir to finalize a possible production agreement for one series, and has not inked a deal with Studio Mir for the latter to produce as many as four cartoon TV series during the next four years. DWA says it would be engaging the studio on a work for hire basis, meaning it would not… Read

Business

Los Angeles City Council Votes To Waive Film Fees

Los Angeles City seal

In another move to make L.A. more film friendly, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously today to renew its waiver of film fees at many city facilities and sites. The moratorium on film fees had expired June 30, and the City Council's action will make the waiver retroactive to that date. Related: L.A. Officials Probe Shakedown Claims On Downtown Shoots "California is on the brink of approving an expanded incentive to keep film and TV production in the state,”… Read

UPDATE: Abrams Artists & ‘Ghost Adventures’ Producer End Commissions Dispute

UPDATED 6:56 PM: Abrams Artists Agency and Zak Bagans have reached a settlement in their dispute over commissions, we've learned. The veteran of Travel Channel's Ghost Adventures and Paranormal Challenge will continue to be repped by the agency. PREVIOUSLY, May 2: The agency is suing Zak Bagans and his production company for unpaid commissions tied to his deal with Travel Channel. In the 14-page complaint filed today in Los Angeles Superior Court (read it here), Abrams Art… Read

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