Vivendi Chairman Vincent Bollore Ups His Stake To 10.2%
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
Sony Pictures TV Buys Dutch Pay TV Group Film1 From Liberty Media
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
PBS Already Has Talked To Julian Fellowes About Next Masterpiece Drama
PBS already has talked with Julian Fellowes about his next drama for Masterpiece. Masterpiece chief Rebecca Eaton, talking to Deadline about today's announced ending for Fellowes' Downton Abbey, confirmed the talks, but declined to elaborate.
PBS chief Paula Kerger also was on the phone call, to assure Deadline PBS is not in a panic about the coming end of its most popular drama series in its history and a show that single-handedly made public broadcasting sexy… Read
‘Downton Abbey’s Gareth Neame On Series End: “We Know Exactly The Story We Want To Tell” (6 Seasons & A Movie?)
Amid mounting speculation, the end of Downton Abbey was finally confirmed today. The historic period drama that has become a global phenomenon will close its doors after the currently shooting sixth season. Questions surrounding when the series would conclude have dogged and confounded creator Julian Fellowes and executive producer Gareth Neame going back as early as Season 2. Just 10 days ago — when they spoke at a conference in Jerusalem — the pair would not be lead as… Read
Tom Stoppard & Charlie Hebdo Staff Lauded By PEN As Free-Speech Exemplars: Media
Tom Stoppard, a fevered friend of free expression and foe of bad writing, will receive the PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award for his “extraordinary career as a dramatist and his abiding commitment to the defense of creative freedom worldwide.” It’s the highest honor bestowed by the American chapter of the global human-rights organization of writers and editors. Stoppard’s plays include Arcadia, The Real Thing and most recently The Hard Problem, currently running… Read
All3Media Nearing Deal To Acquire Sam Mendes’ Neal Street Productions
All3Media is closing a deal to acquire Sam Mendes’ Neal Street Productions. A deal is expected to close within days for the company, which Mendes founded in 2003 with former BBC Drama commissioner Pippa Harris and theater veteran Caro Newling. Neal Street has been for sale since last November, when Mendes and his partners had reportedly put a $60 million price tag on the company.
Though launched as a film, theater and TV company, Neal Street has enjoyed its most… Read
Pedro Almodovar Unveils Cast For New Pic ‘Silencio’
Iconoclastic Spanish director and Oscar winner Pedro Almodovar unveiled today the cast of his new feature Silencio. The film will see Emma Suarez (The Red Squirrel) and Adriana Ugarte (3some) play the same character, Julieta, in a drama that focuses on the director’s familiar themes of destiny, guilt and what makes people abandon those they love. While Suarez previously won a Goya for The Dog In The Manger, both actresses have far lower profiles internationally than… Read
British Election Campaign Kicks Off With First Televised Leaders Debate
The British General Election campaign gets into full swing this evening with the first televised live debate between Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour Party leader Ed Miliband. The event, which will be aired on Channel 4 and Sky News, comes after months of tortuous negotiations about what format the debates, if any, should take. The impact the debates will have on this year’s elections, however, looks set to be reduced from their oversized influence in 2010. Back… Read
NBCU International Inks First-Look With UK Writers Jim Keeble & Dudi Appleton
NBCUniversal International Television Production is expanding its existing relationship with UK writing duo Jim Keeble and Dudi Appleton through the pair’s 87 Films banner. The partners first got into business with spec acquisition Effective Range, a co-production with Scott Free UK. The character-driven conspiracy thriller is currently out to directors and will be shopped as a straight-to-series international co-production.
The new one-year first-look deal covers Keeble… Read
Channel 4 Acquires Stake In Factual Indie Producer Renowned Films
The acquisition of a stake in Renowned Films marks the sixth recent investment in a UK indie by public service broadcaster Channel 4. Via its £20M growth fund, the network has taken a minority share of the documentary and factual producer. Co-founded by BBC radio host Duane Jones along with Max Welch and Tim Withers in 2012, the indie aims to disrupt traditional broadcast media by creating innovative content directed at young audiences using emerging technology and… Read
‘Apu Trilogy’ Restored; PBS Gets ‘Inside The Court Of Henry VIII’ — Global Briefs
Janus Films has unveiled the release of new 4K restorations of Satiyajit Ray’s Bengali-language cinematic milestone The Apu Trilogy. With the original negatives severely damaged in a nitrate fire in 1993, restoration of the trilogy, considered to be perhaps the greatest film in Indian film history, was long thought impossible. However, the damaged negatives were preserved by the Academy Film Archive, and recent technological developments have made restoration — a joint… Read
’60 Minutes’ Blasted For “Anachronistic Style” Of Africa Coverage
A group of academics and journalists is accusing 60 Minutes of turning black Africans into background extras in its recent segments from the continent.
“60 Minutes has managed, quite extraordinarily, to render people of black African ancestry voiceless and all but invisible” in a series of recent segments, says a letter penned by Howard W. French and signed by more than 150 people that was emailed to 60 Minutes exec producer Jeff Fager and posted on the blog A Glimpse of… Read