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Rob DesHotel Dies: TV Writer-Producer Of ‘Man With a Plan’, ‘That ’70s Show’ Was 52

Rob DesHotel, writer/co-executive producer of CBS’ comedy series Man with a Plan, has passed away. He died suddenly yesterday of a suspected heart attack. The veteran TV writer-producer was 52. Known mostly for his comedy series work, DesHotel segued seamlessly between half-hour and hourlong shows throughout his career. He landed his first staff writing job on the NBC comedy series Hope & Gloria. DesHotel went on to work on the first two seasons of Joss Whedon’s WB drama… Read

TV

‘Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes’ Docuseries Set At Netflix

Netflix has announced a new docuseries titled Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes. The four-episode series will feature never-before-heard audio interviews with Ted Bundy on death row. The series will launch on January 24 — 30 years after the date of his execution in Florida. Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes brings the infamously twisted mind of serial killer Ted Bundy into the light for the very first time. The chilling series will invade our… Read

TV

‘The Voice’ Tops Big 4 Ratings; ‘Arrow’ Up On Night 2 Of CW’s Superhero Crossover Event

Arrow

NBC’s The Voice (1.4 demo rating, 8.40 million viewers) was No. 1 among Big 4 programs in both metrics Monday, topping ABC’s CMA Country Christmas (0.8, 6.23M) head to head from 8-10 PM by 75% in the demo. CMA Country Christmas dropped three-tenths in the demo and 1.7M viewers compared to last year, reversing a pattern of growth the last two years, to clock lowest stats for the annual special since its 2010 launch. Getting pushed to 10 PM dropped ABC's Great Christmas Ligh… Read

exclusiveFilm

Michael Sucsy To Helm ‘Playing To The Gods’; Clash Between Thesps Sarah Bernhardt & Eleonora Duse

Michael Sucsy Playing To The Gods

EXCLUSIVE: Grey Gardens writer-director Michael Sucsy has formed his HungryDuck production shingle by optioning Peter Radar’s Simon & Schuster novel Playing to the Gods. Sucsy has written the script and will direct as well as produce the feature. The project will be taken out for financing shortly. The pic is envisioned as The Favourite meets Amadeus. It tells the true story of French stage superstar Sarah Bernhardt, a pioneer in the culture of exotic, eccentric celebrity… Read

Business

TV Time Ranks ‘Friends’ As Most-Binged Show Of The Week, Adding Another Data Point To Netflix’s Decision To Renew The Sitcom

The television tracking app TV Time offers yet another data point validating Netflix’s decision to keep Ross, Rachel, Joey and Chandler hanging around the streaming service for another year. The Emmy Award-winning comedy landed at the top of TV Time’s weekly rankings of the most binged-watched television show for the third week in a row, based on data gleaned from users of the app. The number of people who reported watching four or more episodes at a time of Friends rose… Read

Box Office

Female-Led Movies Outperform Male Peers At All Budget Levels – Study

New research from CAA and tech firm Shift7 shows casting women as leads in films at all budget levels offers a significant box office boost compared with male-led averages. Analyzing 350 films released between January 2014 and December 2017, the companies determined that 105 of them listed women first in billing blocks, press notes or distributor-issued final credits. Across five budget categories (below $10M; $10M to $30M; $30M-$50M; $50M-$100M; and $100M-plus)… Read

Business

Lin-Manuel Miranda Shares Unreleased ‘Hamilton’ Song

Ever since Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton made its Broadway debut in 2015, it has become a cultural phenomenon. With numerous tours, a dope mixtape and tickets that people would sell their young for, Hamilton is the gift that keeps on giving. And just when we thought that we got all we could get out of the hip hop musical, Miranda drops an unreleased song on Twitter. The Mary Poppins Returns star surprised us all on Twitter with the track. “Here you go. George Washington’s… Read

exclusiveFilm

Stellan Skarsgård Inks With CAA

EXCLUSIVE: CAA has signed award-winning actor Stellan Skarsgård. Since gaining critical acclaim in the César award-winning 1996 film Breaking the Waves from Lars von Trier, Skarsgård continued on to have a phenomenal career in such franchises as Marvel’s The Avengers and Thor, Universal’s Mamma Mia! and Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean.  The Swedish actor’s 1997 turn in Miramax’s Oscar winner Good Will Hunting went on to earn him a European Film Award (which also counted… Read

Business

SAG-AFTRA Says EMS Can’t Employ Members In TV Ads; Company Says Not So Fast

SAG-AFTRA

SAG-AFTRA has declared victory in its efforts to shut down Executive Media Services' ability to employ union actors in TV commercials after revoking the company's signatory status in August. "Now, without the ability to access professional union talent, EMS is ceasing operations under the Commercials Contracts," the union said today. EMS president Patricia Bogart, however, is crying foul. "They had given us until March 31 to be an active signatory," she told Deadline… Read

exclusiveFilm

Tuppence Middleton, Hannah Gross Climb ‘Clifton Hill’ For Indie Canadian Drama

EXCLUSIVE: Tuppence Middleton and Hannah Gross are starring in Canadian indie Clifton Hill, a drama from In Her Place director Albert Shin. The psychological thriller hails from Rhombus Media and Elevation Pictures with Elevation distributing in Canada. The story centers on Abby (Middleton) who, after returning home following the death of her mother, becomes obsessed with fragmented memories of a kidnapping she claims to have witnessed as a child. Gross is Abby's younger… Read

exclusiveBusiness

‘Boondocks’ And ‘Black Dynamite’ Producers Set Fuse Media Animated Series ‘Sugar and Toys’

EXCLUSIVE: Fuse Media is adding some adult animation to its flagship network’s 2019 lineup, which will also air new seasons of original shows Complex x Fuse and T-Pain's School of Business. Sugar and Toys, from Carl Jones and Brian Ash (producers of Black Dynamite and The Boondocks for Adult Swim) will be the first adult animation title on Fuse. It is described by the network as “a wild new twist on the Saturday morning cartoons we all grew up with — but a whole lot less… Read

breakingBusiness

CNN & Others Hit With $300M Defamation Suit By Joe Arpaio; Claims Senate Bid In Peril Over “Felon” Comments

Joe Arpaio CNN

It's starting to feel a lot like that Joe Arpaio likes to sue media outlets almost as much as he liked violating the constitutional rights of the detained when he was the much-spotlighted sheriff of Arizona's Maricopa County for 24 years. Convicted of contempt of court back in July of last year, the 2020 Senate hopeful went after the New York Times in October for defamation and now he's added CNN, host Chris Cuomo, cable newser boss Jeff Zucker, plus the Huffington Post… Read