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2 SCARY? Theater Chain Pulls Trailer For ‘Paranormal Activity’ Sequel In Texas

paramountlogoParamount of course marketed the first installment of the psychological thriller precisely on the basis that the original Paranormal Activity was frightening the bejesus out of college town moviegoers. Now it’s happening again. Although Paranormal Activity 2 won’t be released until October 16th, Paramount decided to play its trailer in front of the Twilight Saga: Eclipse blockbuster that opened today. (See trailer here.) paranormal2Well, after the 12:01 AM and 3 AM screenings of the vampire vs werewolves pic, Cinemark execs called Paramount today and said they have had multiple complaints in Texas that the Paranormal 2 trailer was “too scary” and they are pulling it from several of their theaters. Hey, I saw that trailer, and scary it’s not. There’s a dog. There’s a woman standing in the doorway. Jeez, I’m more scared by the prospect of Carrie Fisher playing me on Entourage. (She is. This season. Don’t ask.) But a studio exec insists, “I actually went to a couple theaters last night, and a ton of girls jumped out of their seats and screamed. All I can tell you is people complained and Cinemark pulled it down.” I say wusses, all.

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Judd Apatow Producing New Pee-wee Pic

By | Wednesday June 30, 2010 @ 5:27pm PDT

reubens_lWhat a difference nearly two decades can make. Back in 1991, Paul Reubens was arrested for allegedly masturbating publicly in a Florida theater. His showbiz career was seemingly over. Now he’s heading to Broadway, making regular TV appearances, and staging a big screen comeback as the lovable Pee-wee Herman. After seeing Paul perform as Pee-wee onstage in Los Angeles, Judd Apatow is developing a Pee-wee Herman adventure pic for Universal under the Apatow Productions banner. Reubens is writing it with Paul Rust. No director is set.

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Larry King Heading Into Bagel Biz; Will He Have To Answer To Nate N’ Al?

By | Wednesday June 30, 2010 @ 4:32pm PDT
Mike Fleming

SURPRISE! CNN Talking To Joy Behar About Replacing Larry King

larry-kingWhen Larry King steps down from his CNN gig later this year, he’ll need something to fill his downtime. Bagels will play a role. Just before he announced his exit, King closed a deal to become a financial partner in The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Company, a Florida-based enterprise that claims to have developed a water treatment technology that replicates the H2O from the New York borough that is the key to churning out bagels that taste like they were made in Brooklyn. (I’m not kidding). Read More »

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Feds Seize 9 Websites For First-Run Films

By | Wednesday June 30, 2010 @ 3:56pm PDT
Mike Fleming

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) announced the launch Wednesday of “Operation In Our Sites,” a new initiative aimed at Internet counterfeiting and piracy. In the first action carried out as part of the initiative, authorities seized nine domain names of Web sites that were offering first-run movies, often within hours of their theatrical release. Seven of those sites were targeted for seizure by the SDNY.

Read More »

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SURPRISE! CNN Talking To Joy Behar About Replacing Larry King

TV Behar HLN ShowA day after Larry King officially announced he will leave his CNN primetime talk show after 25 years, we hear the cable news network is in talks with Joy Behar to replace him. Behar has been one of the strongest internal candidates to succeed King. Her The Joy Behar Show on HLN (formerly known as CNN Headlline News and CNN2) has been the brightest spot on CNN’s mostly grim ratings report. It had the most growth of any primetime CNN show in Q2 among total viewers, up +39%. For comparison, CNN top anchor Anderson Cooper’s ratings were down -30%, King’s down -37%. Behar was also a regular fill-in for King on his show, a stint that led to her getting her own show on HLN.

A deal with Behar would go against King’s wishes. On his show last night, the veteran interviewer reiterated his support for Seacrest as his successor. “He’s curious, he’s interesting, he’s likable,” King said of the American Idol host. “If he has a great interest in politics, I would recommend him. But I’m sure there’s a ton of people who could do it. Come on, it’s Q&A.” Among those people is America’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan who, according to British papers, had been in talks for King’s job. CBS Evening News host Katie Couric’s name also has been part of the mix, with conflicting reports on whether she is interested or not. … Read More »

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The CW Announces Fall Premiere Dates

Nellie Andreeva

The CW today became the first broadcast network to announce premiere dates for its fall lineup. As usual, the CW will roll out the bulk of its schedule ahead of the traditional fall premiere week, starting on September 8 with the debut of new drama Hellcats.

cw logo 2On Wednesday, September 8, Cycle 15 of  AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL (8:00-9:00 p.m.) kicks-off the 2010-2011 season, followed by the series premiere of new drama HELLCATS (9:00-10:00 p.m.).  HELLCATS is a drama about a young pre-law student (Aly Michalka) whose world is turned upside-down when she loses her scholarship and has to join the college’s competitive cheerleading squad. Ashley Tisdale also stars as a young woman who is totally committed to the cheerleading squad to realize her dreams.

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Starz To End Both ‘Party Down’ & ‘Gravity’

Nellie Andreeva

partyDown_keyartEXCLUSIVE: Starz has decided not to renew comedy series Party Down and Gravity. I hear the pay cable network may make the announcement later today. Both shows were developed and launched by Starz’s previous regime, but new president and CEO Chris Albrecht has stated gravityrepeatedly that he is big fan of Party Down. While the off-beat comedy has become an instant cult classic, I hear at the end of the day its appeal was deemed not wide enough to keep the show beyond its recently concluded Season 2. Consider this: The Season 2 finale of Party Down and Season one close of Gravity last week drew a 0.0 rating in adults 18-49 each and total audiences of 74,000 and 54,000, respectively. That is miniscule even for pay cable standards. And the writing has been on the wall: some of the actors on Party Down have already taken other jobs, like Adam Scott, who recently joined NBC’s Parks & Recreation. Starz’s slate has evolved following the breakout success of period drama Spartacus. The pay cable network has focused on dramas with big, recognizable title like the upcoming series Camelot, Torchwood and the Spartacus prqeuel as well as limited series The Pillars of the Earth. Additionally, Starz is developing an U.S. version of the hit Australian mob drama Underbelly.

UPDATE 12PM: Stephan Shelanski, executive vp programming for Starz Entertainment, issued a statement confirming the cancellations. ”After careful consideration, we’ve Read More »

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Apparition Restructures With 60% Staff Cut

Mike Fleming

UPDATE 12:13 PM: Apparition just made official its restructuring plans after Deadline broke the story.

EXCLUSIVE: Bill Pohlad has begun the first phase of restructuring Apparition, apparition_logothe indie distribution company that was thrown into disarray when co-founder Bob Berney exited in bombshell fashion just before the Cannes Film Festival. The first step is painful: 60%, or approximately 15 staffers were informed moments ago they are being let go and receiving severance packages. Last day for those staffers is this Friday. Read More »

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IFC To Air Judd Apatow’s Cult TV Series

Nellie Andreeva

A decade after their short runs, Judd Apatow’s cult series Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared are getting another shot on IFC. The cable channel has acquired all 18 produced episodes of the NBC dramedy, created by Paul Feig and produced by Apatow, and all 17 segments of the Fox comedy, created and produced by Apatow, from Paramount Pictures, which holds the rights to the two DreamWorks TV series. Freaks and Geeks premieres this Friday, while Undeclared will debut in the fall featuring a previously unaired episode. The two series helped break a slew of young talent, including Jay Baruchel, Jenna Fischer, James Franco, Seth Rogen and Jason Segel.

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Cineworld Income Rises 4% Over 7 Months

CineworldThe UK multiplex operator says total revenue, including ticket sales and popcorn, rose by 3.7% in the 26 weeks to July 1. Box office has increased by 4.1% including this month’s World Cup month. But the ticket sales rise was offset by a 3.2% decline in popcorn and Coke sales. Other income rose by 31.4%. Cinema chains will no doubt welcome England getting kicked out of the World Cup on Sunday. Tumbleweed has been rolling through the multiplexes during the tournament. Next time we Brits invent a sport, we should just keep it to ourselves. That way we might at least win something.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Ratings Drop Across The Board Tuesday With ABC Hardest Hit

Nellie Andreeva

Ratings were in downfall last night, and nowhere was this more evident than with ABC’s new reality series Downfall (1.4/4), which  was down 26% from its soft premiere last week and lost almost half of its Wipeout lead-in. Wipeout (2.6/9) was also down, 16%, from its season premiere last week, as was ABC News Primetime: MindGames (1.0/3) at 10PM, down 23% from its last week’s debut last. Also slipping week-to-week was the night’s top program, NBC’s America’s Got Talent (2.8/9). The hourlong show at 9PM was down 18% from last week’s two-hour telecst for a season low. On the plus side, NBC’s new summer series Losing It With Jillian (1.3/5) was up 8% from its all-time low last week. And a repeat of the network’s Last Comic Standing (1.7/5) dominated the 10PM hour over MindGames and a repeat of CBS’ The Good Wife (1.0/3). Fox won the night in the 18-49 demo with a two-hour Hell’s Kitchen (2.7/9), which was down 7% from last week. CBS (7.9 million viewers) was No.1 in total viewers with an all-rerun lineup.

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MTV’s ‘Jersey Shore’ Season 2 Teaser

More end-of-civilization reality crapfest with the Guidos & Guidettes:

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EXCLUSIVE: Don Kramer’s Wonder Woman

DC Comics has just given me exclusively this graphic art by Don Kramer, the new artist for the “updated” Wonder Woman comic book. (Copyright DC Comics)
My own thoughts about her: DC Comics Has Ruined Wonder Woman!


Wonder Woman New By Don Kramer

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DC Comics Has Ruined Wonder Woman!

DEADLINE EXCLUSIVE: Don Kramer’s Wonder Woman

dc comicsDC Comics announced that, starting today, Wonder Woman “will appear like you’ve never seen her before”. And I wish they’d just left her alone, especially since she’s the only comic book character female I’ve ever admired. Of course, it took a bunch of men to ruin her. Look at the new costume design by DC Comics Co-Publisher Jim Lee below: she looks ready for Goth Day at the Sherman Oaks Galleria. (Shame on Diane Nelson, the head of DC Entertainment, for allowing this to happen. And for not finding a talented woman writer now as in years past to update the icon’s saga.) Here’s the announcement about the dumbass stuff that DC Comics is doing to her. So let me start the campaign: FREE WONDER WOMAN!

WW_costumeDC Comics Co-Publisher and bestselling artist Jim Lee has redesigned her costume for the modern era, just in time for BABYLON 5 creator and critically acclaimed writer J. Michael Straczynski and artists Don Kramer and Michael Babinski to launch the Amazon Princess into an exciting and epic new era of adventure.

Starting with their story in WONDER WOMAN #600, which is in comic shops today, Straczynski and Kramer will begin a run that is both forward-looking and true to the legendary character, planting her firmly in the modern era.

Here’s what J. Michael Straczynski had to

Read More »

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Ex-TV Boss Warns Bookstores Are Doomed

Pile of BooksLuke Johnson, former chairman of UK broadcaster Channel 4, who tried to rescue the ailing Borders chain, has warned High Street bookshops are finished. Johnson, who tried to turn UK Borders around before admitting defeat, says bookstores will be put out of business through a combination of supermarkets and the internet. Stores such as Asda and Sainsbury’s offer heavily discounted bestsellers, while you can get anything you want via Amazon.

The UK book market itself has shrunk by nearly 3% over the past 12 months.

“I bought Borders thinking we could turn it around,” he told the BBC. “I believed wrongly we could reverse the downturn in High Street book sales. It’s a great sadness that we couldn’t. In my opinion, the High Street book store is doomed.”

Publishers I’ve spoken to agree that the one-size-fits-all bookstore doesn’t have a future. But there is still room for independents that know their customers.

Christopher MacLehose, British publisher of Stieg Larsson (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), says that the collapse of Borders shows what happens when you try to apply a one-size-fits-all approach to bookselling. Waterstone’s is the only national bookshop chain left in the UK after the closure of Ottakar’s and Dillons. Ironically, the collapse of Borders has left the field wide open to Waterstone’s, which has a powerful retail proposition with its three-for-two paperback offers.

When Waterstone’s was founded in 1982, it originally gave a lot of leeway to individual book … Read More »

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‘Bridget Jones’ Musical Gets Underway

By | Wednesday June 30, 2010 @ 4:01am PDT

Lily_AllenLily Allen is writing some of the songs for the new Bridget Jones stage musical, which has staged its first workshop reading. I’m told this was a rough assembly of Helen Fielding’s script and some songs with the Billy Elliot creative team — director Stephen Daldry, choreographer Peter Darling and associate director Julian Webber. Producer Working Title plans to bring the show to London’s West End next year. They’ll be crossing fingers Bridget Jones replicates the success of Billy Elliot, which has been seen by 4.5 million people worldwide and won 10 Tony awards, including Best Musical. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Paranormal Activity 2′

By | Wednesday June 30, 2010 @ 12:11am PDT

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Who Wants To Win The ‘Millionaire’ Trial? Jury Deciding Between Disney & Celador

Nellie Andreeva

millionaire-logo-mediumAfter a 6 year legal maneuvering and a month-long trial, the $250 million case of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? producer Celador v. Disney over profits from the hit game show is now in the hands of the jury. Throughout the parade of witnesses, Celador seemed to prove that it earned less than it could have from the success of the show on ABC. The question is whether it was able to convince the jurors that it was the result of Disney-owned ABC and co-producer Buena Vista TV brokering sweetheart deals among themselves, thus allegedly cheating Celador out of millions — and not because it just made a bad deal. Read More »

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So Who’ll Succeed Larry King On CNN?

Nellie Andreeva

What a sad day for Larry King. First, the Q2 cable ratings were released in the early afternoon, with CNN posting another double-digit year-to-year drop led by Larry King Live, which drew a mere 677,000 viewers and posted CNN’s biggest year-to-year demo loss of -37%. A couple of hours later, King announced that he will leave his nightly talk show in the fall after 25 years. (Larry King Stepping Down From CNN Talk) Year-to-date, King’s viewership is down -43%. On any network, such huge ratings declines would warrant a cancellation. But Larry King Live continued to be CNN’s top-rated program.

If Larry King had his way, American Idol host Ryan Seacrest would succeed him. “He’s curious, he’s interesting, he’s likable,” King told guest Bill Maher tonight. “If he has a great interest in politics, I would recommend him. But I’m sure there’s a ton of people who could do it. Come on, it’s Q&A.” Still, it’s very telling that two reality stars, Seacrest and America’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan (who was tipped by the British press two weeks ago as King’s replacement), are in the running for the most prestigious show on a network dedicated to news and politics. CBS Evening News host Katie Couric’s name also has been part of the mix, with conflicting reports on whether she is interested or not. Her contract with CBS is up next year. Inside CNN, the two obvious candidates are Joy Behar, whose talk … Read More »

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