At Least Four UK Nets Lining Up To Bid For FA Cup Rights
A bidding war reportedly is gearing up in the UK for TV rights to soccer tournament the FA Cup for the three seasons to 2017-18. Financial Times reports that BT, ITV, BSkyB and the BBC are entering bids. BT and ITV currently share rights to the FA Cup until the end of the 2013-14 season. FT says analysts predict that having all four in the ring could significantly push up the cost of the rights. In January 2012, ITV acquired free-to-air broadcast rights for 16 FA Cup games per season, along with some of England’s home qualifying games, for an annual cost of £43M. But the BBC is understood to be concerned about its lack of live soccer during the regular season. BT and BSkyB are still expected to be the most aggressive bidders.

Shanghai Now Second-Biggest Box Office Among Chinese Cities
Shanghai box office has become the second biggest of all mainland Chinese cities and is expected to continue to grow rapidly in the next few years, spurred on by investment from U.S. studios Disney and DreamWorks, according to a study by Artisan Gateway. In 2012, Shanghai’s box office was $214.2 million, a 22.2% year-on-year growth. The city, regarded as the birthplace of Chinese cinema, has 122 movie theaters, just two more than the No. 1 Beijing market. The U.S. Consulate, which sponsored the study, said it plans to contribute more to protecting IP rights, Shanghai Daily reported.

Karlovy Vary To Fete John Travolta, Premiere ‘Killing Season’
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will present John Travolta with its Crystal Globe for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema. The June 28-July 6 event also will host the world premiere of Mark Steven Johnson’s Killing Season starring Travolta and Robert De Niro. “John Travolta is an artist of incredible versatile talent,” Karlovy Vary fest president Jiří Bartoška said. “His contribution to world cinema is unquestionable and we are incredibly honored to host him at Karlovy Vary 2013 and premiere his latest film.” Previous recipients of the Crystal Globe include De Niro, Robert Redford, Michael Douglas and Miloš Forman.

Vince Gilligan, Miranda Hart Added To Edinburgh TV Fest
Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan and Miranda star Miranda Hart have been added to the roster for the 2013 Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival. Gilligan will deliver a masterclass on his Emmy-winning drama, whose final eight episodes will begin airing shortly before the festival in August. Hart, the creator and star of BBC One sitcom Miranda, will take part in the Richard Dunn Memorial interview. As previously announced, Kevin Spacey will deliver the keynote MacTaggart Lecture at the fest which runs August 22-24.

Helen Mirren’s ‘The Audience’ Sets National Theatre Live Record
Helen Mirren
’s West End play The Audience was broadcast live to movie screens worldwide last week and became National Theatre Live’s biggest attraction yet. Mirren won an Olivier Award for playing Queen Elizabeth II in the Peter Morgan-scripted play performed at London’s Gielgud Theatre. The Associated Press reports the live retransmission was seen by nearly 30,000 people in North America and nearly 80,000 people in the UK, a record for the four-year-old NT Live program. Encore screenings are planned throughout the summer. Here’s a link to find movie theaters in the U.S and the UK that are showing the play.

Antoine de Caunes To Take Over As Host Of Canal Plus’ ‘Le Grand Journal’
Canal Plus’ flagship news and interview show Le Grand Journal is getting a new host. With Michel Denisot exiting after nine seasons to concentrate on his new role as editorial director of the French version of Vanity Fair, Canal Plus veteran Antoine de Caunes reportedly is set to take over. The new show will get an overhaul, according to French daily Libération, to focus more on entertainment and perhaps resemble a U.S. late-night program. De Caunes was a member of the Canal comedy troupe Nulle Part Ailleurs and has hosted the César Awards for the pay-TV channel nine times. The France-born de Caunes has worked in both the UK and France but is perhaps best known to film audiences for the 1998 comedy Man Is A Woman, which came replete with a provocative poster. Le Grand Journal is also broadcast nightly from the Croisette during the Cannes Film Festival.

BBC One Going ‘In The Club’ With Kay Mellor
has commissioned a new series by The Syndicate creator Kay Mellor. In The Club is a six-part drama about pregnancy, imminent birth, love and the changing nature of relationships that a new baby brings to a modern family. The series follows six very different couples who’ve bonded at the local Parent Craft class in the last trimester of their pregnancies. Exec producers are Mellor for Rollem Productions and Polly Hill for the BBC. Yvonne Francas produces for Rollem. The series is scheduled to air next year. ABC Studios and Amblin TV are remaking Mellor’s The Syndicate for ABC.

Ischia To Bestow Its Legend Award On Baz Luhrmann
The Ischia International Arts Academy in collaboration with the La Colombaia Foundation will honor Baz Luhrmann with its Luchino Visconti Legend Award as part of the 2013 Ischia Global Film & Music Festival. The Great Gatsby director “once again proved himself as one of today’s most creative risk takers, by combining his signature bright lights and colors with the intimacy of Fitzgerald’s classic novel,” said festival founder and producer Pascal Vicedomini. “These creative traits are reflective of the influence that Luchino Visconti has had on the art of filmmaking, and for these reasons, we are extremely pleased to honor him with this award in Visconti’s name.” Past recipients of the award include Tom Hooper, Paul Haggis, Stephen Frears, Alan Parker, Terry Gilliam, Jim Sheridan, Joel Schumacher and Andrei Konchalowski. The festival takes place from July 13-21.

Scripps Bringing Food Net, Travel Channel To Virgin Pay TV In UK
Scripps Networks Interactive is bringing Food Network and the newly rebranded Travel Channel to all Virgin pay-TV customers in the UK. Beginning today on Travel Channel, Virgin Media subscribers have access to such programming as Jonathan Phang’s Caribbean Cookbook, Bizarre Foods America With Andrew Zimmern, International House Hunters, Hotel Impossible, Dangerous Grounds and World’s Greatest Motorcycle Rides. Food Network will bring Barefoot Contessa With Ina Garten, Man V. Food Nation, Amazing Eats and Guy Fieri shows Diners, Drive-ins & Dives and Guy’s Big Bite to Virgin. A variety of program will also available via Virgin Media’s video-on-demand services from mid-July.