California Lawmakers Rein In Stalkarazzi On 13th Anniversary of Princess Diana’s Death

By | Tuesday August 31, 2010 @ 11:33pm PDT

The California Assembly today passed AB 2479 by a margin of 43-13 to impose penalties of up to $5,000, with the possibility of jail time, for paparazzi who drive recklessly and endanger celebrities and the general public. The legislation passed … Read More »

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AT&T U-Verse Drops Hallmark Channels

Nellie Andreeva

The impasse in the negotiations between AT&T U-Verse and Crown Media, the parent company of the Hallmark Channel and the Hallmark Movie Channel, over a new carriage agreement resulted in the two channels gong dark for 2.3 million … Read More »

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Seth Green To Produce Interactive Digital Reality Series With Ford and Sprint

By | Tuesday August 31, 2010 @ 8:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Robot Chicken creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich have teamed with Ford Motor Co. and Sprint Nextel for ControlTV, an interactive reality show. The series, which will follow six weeks in the life of a guy in his … Read More »

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Sony Pic Billboards Offer “Virgin Helpline” And Cause Nationwide Controversy

By | Tuesday August 31, 2010 @ 7:01pm PDT
Mike Fleming

A nationwide billboard campaign asking “Still A Virgin? For Help, Call 888-742-4335” is creating controversy in a growing number of cities. TV news stations in Louisiana, Miami, San Diego, and Arizona have so far covered the brouhaha as local politicians demand the billboards’ removal. Turns out … Read More »

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Prince Of Darkness Is Suing Yet Again…

By | Tuesday August 31, 2010 @ 5:44pm PDT

Gavin Polone is smart and snarky and Hollywood’s erstwhile bad boy. He keeps earning his nickname as the Prince Of Darkness by today filing yet another lawsuit against an entertainment company. (His now infamous lawsuit against a former talent agency employer exposed oodles of bad behavior…) This time, … Read More »

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‘City Slickers’ Scribes Re-Join Billy Crystal

By | Tuesday August 31, 2010 @ 4:39pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Writers Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel have come aboard to do a quick rewrite of Us & Them, the Andy Fickman-directed film. The scribes worked with the film’s star/producer, Billy Crystal, on City Slickers, Forget Paris and Father’s Day.  Us & Them, picked up in turnaround from Paramount, is on … Read More »

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Mark Canton Bites Back At Jim Cameron For Filleting ‘Piranha 3D’

By | Tuesday August 31, 2010 @ 2:13pm PDT
Mike Fleming

A war of words broke out today between Avatar director James Cameron and producer Mark Canton over whether Weinstein Co/Dimension’s current version of Piranha 3D is a crapfest. (Cameron was hired and then fired as the director of the original 1981 Piranha Part 2). Here’s what they are saying:

Cameron told while publicizing his Avatar re-release: “I tend almost never to throw other films under the bus, but [Piranha 3D] is exactly an example of what we should not be doing in 3D. Because it just cheapens the medium and reminds you of the bad 3D horror films from the ’70s and ’80s, like Friday The 13th 3D. When movies got to the bottom of the barrel of their creativity and at the last gasp of their financial lifespan, they did a 3-D version to get the last few drops of blood out of the turnip. And that’s now what’s happening now with 3D. It is a renaissance. Right now the biggest and best films are being made in 3D. Martin Scorsese is making a film in 3D [Hugo Cabret]. Disney’s biggest film of the year – Tron: Legacy — is coming out in 3D. So it’s a whole new ballgame.”

Canton issued this rebuttal via Dimension’s PR department: “As a producer in the entertainment industry, Jim Cameron’s comments on are very disappointing to me and the team that made Piranha 3D.  Mr. Cameron, who singles himself out to be a visionary of movie-making, seems to have a small vision regarding any motion pictures that are not his own.  It is amazing that in the movie-making process – which is certainly a team sport – that Cameron consistently celebrates himself out as though he is a team of one.  His comments are ridiculous, self-serving and insulting to those of us who are not caught up in serving his ego and his rhetoric.

Jim, are you kidding or what? First of all, let’s start by you accepting the fact that you were the original director of Piranha 2 and you were fired.  Shame on you for thinking that genre movies and the real maestros like Roger Corman and his collaborators are any less auteur or impactful in the history of cinema than you. Martin Scorcese made Boxcar Bertha at the beginning of his career.  And Francis Ford Coppola made Dimentia 13 back in 1963.  And those are just a few examples of the  talented and successful filmmakers whose roots are in genre films.  Who are you to impugn any genre film or its creators?

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NBC Renews ‘America’s Got Talent’

Nellie Andreeva

No surprise here: NBC has renewed summer series America’s Got Talent for a 6th season. Celebrity judges Piers Morgan, who recently signed a multi-year deal with NBC, Sharon Osbourne, and Howie Mandel will return along with host Nick Cannon. This is … Read More »

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Company 3 Founder Stefan Sonnenfeld Gets First-Look Paramount Producer Deal

By | Tuesday August 31, 2010 @ 12:47pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Paramount Pictures has made a first-look producing deal with Stefan Sonnenfeld, the founder and president of visual effects company Company 3. Sonnenfeld has provided post production work on such Paramount films as the first two Transformers films, Star Trek and Cloverfield. Sonnenfeld’s company has also worked on such films as … Read More »

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David Letterman’s Snide “Top 10 Reasons I Still Love Hosting ‘The Late Show’”

By | Tuesday August 31, 2010 @ 12:46pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Last night, David Letterman marked the 17th anniversary of The Late Show on CBS. Here is his anniversary-themed Top 10, which, in case you are wondering, does mention Conan O’Brien.

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HBO Acquires ‘Precious Life’ Documentary

By | Tuesday August 31, 2010 @ 11:58am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

HBO has acquired the U.S. TV rights to the Israeli documentary Precious Life, which is an official selection of this year’s Toronto Film Festival. The documentary, about a four-month-old Palestinian boy from Gaza who was born without an immune system and required a bone marrow transplant that could only be … Read More »

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Icahn Offers $7.50 Per Lionsgate Share; Annual Meeting Delayed Until After Oct. 12

Every Icahn move has deep reverberations inside the film/television studio whose management is increasingly paranoid about how their actions will be viewed by him. What a destabilizing situation. Now Carl Icahn’s hostile takeover attempt intensifies with his $7.50 a … Read More »

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HBO’s ‘True Blood’ Hits New Series High

By | Tuesday August 31, 2010 @ 9:49am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It may have lost at the Emmys where it was nominated for best drama series, but airing against the awards show on Sunday, HBO’s True Blood hit a new series high, drawing 5.4 million viewers. The vampire drama added another 1.2 million viewers with the 11:30 PM replay. Also on Sunday, … Read More »

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Joan Cusack Joins Showtime’s ‘Shameless’

Nellie Andreeva

Joan Cusack has joined the cast of Showtime’s new drama series Shameless and appear in all 12 episodes of the new series. She’ll play the role of Sheila, an agoraphobic Chicago housewife with a sexually active teenage daughter who strikes up a special friendship with William H. Macy’s character, Frank Gallagher. She replaces Allison Janney, who played the role in the pilot but had to pull out because of her commitment to ABC’s Mr. Sunshine after the producers of Shameless decided to make the character more prominent than originally planned. Production on the  series begins in mid-September for a January 9 premiere. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: CBS Wins Quiet Late Summer Monday With Repeats

Nellie Andreeva

It looks like the summer TV season will wrap the way it started, with CBS’s all-rerun Monday lineup easily topping the night. The network’s comedies The Big Bang Theory (2.8 rating/7 share among adults 18-49, 8.8 million viewers overall) and Two and a Half Men (2.6/7, 9.0 million) were the … Read More »

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Venice Fest “No Longer Special” Say Critics

Newspaper critics are increasingly being put off by how expensive the Venice Film Festival, which begins tomorrow, has become. One critic from Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf says that he can spend two weeks covering Toronto for the same cost of one week … Read More »

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Toronto Critter Scare: Did Somebody Cry “Bedbug” In A Crowded Theater?

By | Tuesday August 31, 2010 @ 7:50am PDT
Mike Fleming

Amazing how a bedbug scare begins. One MSN reviewer’s tweet that a friend had been bitten by bedbugs while watching Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World at the Scotiabank Theatre in Toronto. That fueled a frenzy of reports that festival-goers might not be the only things swarming the movie theaters of Toronto next month. Toronto International Film Festival co-director Cameron Bailey sent a tweet Read More »

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FtvS First-Look Deal With Krishnan Menon

By | Tuesday August 31, 2010 @ 7:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Marketer and producer Krishnan Menon has inked a first-look deal with Fox TV Studios. Under the pact, FtvS will have first crack at Menon’s TV and Internet projects, which Menon intends to develop with appropriate brands attached. Menon, who … Read More »

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Random House’s Strong Half-Year Results Driven By ‘Dragon Tattoo’ Sales

Mike Fleming

Anyone who doubts the potential of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo need look no further than how the half-year earnings of Bertselmann and its Random House division were positively impacted by the sales of the Millennium … Read More »

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