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Vivendi Chairman Vincent Bollore Ups His Stake To 10.2%

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Vivendi chairman Vincent Bollore has upped his stake in the French media giant to 10.2% only days after an activist investor challenged his strategy for the company. Bollore acquired an extra 27.7 million shares for $687 million, and his stake is now double what it was only a few weeks ago. Bollore is consolidating his grip on Vivendi in advance of an expected showdown next month with activist investor P Schoenfeld Asset Management, which has been calling for Vivendi’s… Read

Box Office

‘Get Hard’ Grabs $1.8M Thursday, Beats Preview B.O. For Kevin Hart’s ‘Ride Along’

Get Hard

Warner Bros’ R-rated Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart comedy Get Hard had a great Thursday, grossing $1.8M. That figure beats the $1.1M generated by Hart’s Ride Along during its Thursday preview in January 2014. That film went on to make $41.5M over three days during its MLK weekend bow. In addition, Get Hard outstrips the $800K Thursday night posted by Hart’s The Wedding Ringer, which ultimately made $20.6M during this year’s MLK holiday weekend. DreamWorks Animation’s Home Read

TV

Don Mischer To Return As Producer Of Primetime Emmy Awards

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While there will be a change at the helm of the Oscars, with Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announcing yesterday that they won’t be coming back, there will be continuity at the Primetime Emmy Awards. Don Mischer, who produced last year’s telecast and four of the past six, is set to return. He will produce the 67th Primetime Emmy Awards with partners Charlie Haykel and Juliane Hare through Don Mischer Prods. Hosted by Andy Samberg, the Primetime Emmys will air live on Fox on… Read

TV

Sony Pictures TV Buys Dutch Pay TV Group Film1 From Liberty Global

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Sony Pictures Television Networks (SPT) announced today it has closed a deal to acquire Dutch Pay TV group Film1 from John Malone’s Liberty Global. Under the deal, which still needs to get regulatory approval, SPT will fully own and operate the five Pay TV channels under the Film1 umbrella along with its Film1 Go service. Film1 offers both local language movies as well as titles from Dreamworks, Fox, Paramount, MGM and Warners. All five Film1 channels will continue to be… Read

TV

‘Fancy Nancy’ Books To Be Developed As Animated TV Movie & Series By Disney Jr

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Disney Junior has optioned Fancy Nancy, the New York Times best-selling book series by Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser, to develop as an original animated TV movie and series for premiere in 2017. Also included is a licensing deal with Disney Consumer Products for related role-play items and other consumer products. In addition, the books’ publisher HarperCollins and Disney Publishing will collaborate on future books based on the television series. The stories… Read

Film

WWE, Gene Simmons Tag-Team To Launch Horror Label

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The sultans of slam and God of Thunder are conspiring to terrify you. WWE Studios and Kiss mogul Gene Simmons have paired up to launch Erebus Pictures, which will finance and produce horror films. The venture has pinned a three-picture co-production deal that will kick off with writer Matt Savelloni’s Temple. Erebus, named for the Greek god of darkness, will shop worldwide rights on all titles and will use WWE's numerous platforms to market its titles. "The horror genre… Read

Business

Feds Probing Former Paramount Exec Over Embezzlement Allegations

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The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating allegations that former Paramount labor relations executive Stephen Koppekin embezzled money from three of the union pension and health plans that he served on as a management trustee. Two years ago, Paramount announced that Koppekin had retired after many years as the studio's SVP Labor Relations. On Thursday, however, the studio acknowledged that he'd been fired for the allegedly embezzlement. "As soon as this was brought to… Read

exclusiveFilm

Matthew McConaughey Has Taste For ‘Billionaire’s Vinegar’

"Interstellar" - European Premiere - Red Carpet Arrivals

EXCLUSIVE: Matthew McConaughey has become attached to star in The Billionaire’s Vinegar, the Sony Pictures film about the scandal that ensued when an auctioned cache of wine bottles purported to have been owned by Thomas Jefferson were called fakes. Script is by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, the team behind Wanted, 3:10 To Yuma and Chicago Fire. Escape Artists and Overbrook Entertainment have been developing the project for several years, based on the book by Benjamin… Read

TV

‘Coach’ Comes Back As 13-Episode NBC Series Starring Craig T. Nelson

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A signature 1990s sitcom is coming back for a new chapter. NBC has given a straight-to-series 13-episode order to Coach, with original star Craig T. Nelson on board to reprise his role and creator Barry Kemp set to write. A sequel to the original series, the new Coach will be set in present day, picking up 18 years after the ABC sitcom went off the air after nine seasons. Coach Hayden Fox (Nelson) — now retired from coaching — is called back to become assistant coach to… Read

Business

Tommy Gargotta Tops Theatrical Marketing At Relativity EuropaCorp Distribution

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The distribution and marketing venture launched last year to handle EuropaCorp's U.S. movie releases and Relativity’s slate has a new top film marketer. Tommy Gargotta, the former longtime creative advertising chief at Sony, has joined Relativity EuropaCorp Distribution as President of Theatrical Marketing. He will report to Relativity President Tucker Tooley and EuropaCorp CEO Christophe Lambert. Gargotta exited Sony after 13 years last summer, a week after Jeff Blake lef… Read

exclusiveTV

TNT’s Miami Drug-Trade Drama To Be Redeveloped

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The road to the screen for Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay's drug-trade drama is taking a new turn. I have learned that the project, which was picked up to pilot by TNT last fall, will be redeveloped by the cable network. While the current pilot is not going forward, I hear TNT brass liked the setting — the wild and unpredictable world of the Florida drug trade in the 1970s — and want to take another stab at it. Michelle Ashford, who wrote the pilot script before her… Read