PBS UK Launches On BSkyB, Virgin Media

By | Monday October 31, 2011 @ 10:34pm PDT

The U.S. Public Broadcasting Service, long an importer of British fare, will attempt to return the favor starting Tuesday with the launch of PBS UK, the Wall Street Journal reports. The lineup includes U.S. flagship shows PBS News Hour and Frontline; the science series Nova; the U.S. version of Antiques Roadshow (format imported from Britain); and documentaries from director Ken Burns, whose Prohibition (pictured) will air on Day 1. It’s PBS’ first major foreign foray since the service was founded more than 40 years ago. PBS UK will air on Britain’s two biggest pay-TV platforms, British Sky Broadcasting and Virgin Media. It will be available to about 14 million viewers, roughly half the country’s TV audience. PBS is late to the party because it doesn’t have a lot of money. U.S. commercial networks such as MTV, Nickelodeon, Discovery and CBS have been in the UK for years. “The top priority is to get our content to an audience that I know is interested in the work we produce,” said PBS chief executive Paula Kerger. Read More »

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Democrat, Republican Tapped For FCC Slots

By | Monday October 31, 2011 @ 9:33pm PDT

President Obama has nominated Democratic Senate aide Jessica Rosenworcel and Republican lawyer Ajit Pai to fill spots on the five-member Federal Communications Commission, Bloomberg reported. The FCC is operating with four after Republican Meredith Attwell Baker leftRead More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’

Director Lynne Ramsay’s We Need To Talk About Kevin explores the relationship between a mother (Tilda Swinton) haunted by the murderous rampage of her psychopathic son (Ezra Miller). John C. Reilly plays the father. With cinematography by Seamus McGarvey, the movie based on a novel by Lionel Shriver screened in … Read More »

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Fire Spoils Halloween For Magic Castle

By | Monday October 31, 2011 @ 6:28pm PDT

Fire erupted at Hollywood landmark the Magic Castle at midday Monday, but flames were confined mostly to the attic and no injuries were reported. Water damage may have been significant because the fire triggered sprinklers in the building. Cause of … Read More »

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Comedies From Jenji Kohan, Gail Lerner Find Broadcast Homes

By | Monday October 31, 2011 @ 5:43pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

A comedy from Weeds creator/executive producer Jenji Kohan and the Showtime series’ writer David Holstein has been sold to CBS, while a half-hour from Happy Endings co-executive producer Gail Lerner and producer Warren Littlefield has landed at ABC.

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NBC To Launch New Reality Show ‘Who’s Still Standing?’ In December As A Strip

By | Monday October 31, 2011 @ 5:20pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Once again NBC will be launching a reality series as a strip during the holiday season in December. Following in the footsteps of Deal Or No Deal, Clash Of The Choirs and The Sing-Off, new trivia competition show Who’s Still Read More »

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Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Adventures Of Tintin’ To Close AFI Fest

Clint Eastwood’s ‘J. Edgar’ To World Premiere As AFI Fest Opener

LOS ANGELES, CA, October 31, 2011 – The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today that Paramount Pictures and Columbia Pictures’ THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN, directed by AFI Life Achievement Award recipient and Academy Award®-winning director Steven Spielberg, will have its North American Premiere as the Closing Night Gala of AFI FEST 2011 presented by Audi. The film is based on the internationally beloved and irrepressible characters created by Hergé and stars Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg. It is produced by Academy Award® winners Spielberg, Peter Jackson and Kathleen Kennedy. From an original screenplay by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, the story follows the unquenchably curious young reporter Tintin and his fiercely loyal dog Snowy as they discover a ship carrying an explosive secret that may hold the key to vast fortune…and an ancient curse. Academy Award®-winning composer John Williams scored the film, with 2011 marking a collaboration between Spielberg and Williams that has enriched 25 of their films together.

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UPDATE: Stuntmen In ‘Expendables 2′ Fatal Accident Identified

By | Monday October 31, 2011 @ 4:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE, 4 PM: NuImage/Millennium Films released an update today on the accident that killed one stuntman and seriously injured another last week during filming on a 2nd Unit location for The Expendables 2 on Lake Ognyanovo, Bulgaria. Those men are now identified, and other information is clarified in the statement below.

“Our deepest condolences go to the family of Kun Lieu. His passing is tragic.  Our sympathies also go to Nuo Sun who was seriously injured as a result of the same explosion.  We have been informed his condition has stabilized. He has been transported to Munich, Germany, where he is receiving top medical care from the best specialists,” said Nu Image/Millennium Films.

Regrettably, Bulgarian language newspapers have incorrectly reported that stunt doubles for Jet Li and Sylvester Stallone were involved in the accident.  This is absolutely false and inaccurate.  At the time of the accident neither Li’s or Stallone’s stuntmen were on or near the Second Unit set, nor were any of the film’s main actors, director Simon West or any of the Main Unit crew.

Only Second Unit filming has been temporarily suspended and will resume shortly. The filmmakers continue to work with authorities investigating this accident. Main Unit production has not been interrupted and continues as scheduled.

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Bill Paxton In Talks To Direct ‘Kung Fu’

By | Monday October 31, 2011 @ 3:18pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Bill Paxton is in talks to direct Kung Fu, a screen adaptation  of the classic 1972 TV series that starred David Carradine. Paxton, who’s coming off a run in the HBO series Big Love, gets the job after helming … Read More »

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Fox And DirecTV Reach New Carriage Agreement For Cable Networks As Well As Fox Broadcasting & Fox News Channel

Nellie Andreeva

Following marathon negotiations, and with only a few hours to spare before the midnight deadline tonight, Fox and DirecTV have reached a new carriage agreement. The deal covers not only all Fox Networks that were in danger of going … Read More »

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Starz’s ‘Boss’ Drops In Week 2 Against Game 7 of The World Series

By | Monday October 31, 2011 @ 3:15pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Airing against the blockbuster Game 7 of the World Series on Friday, the second episode of Starz’s new drama Boss averaged 391,000 viewers in its premiere airing at 10 PM, down 44% from the series debut. For the weekend, the drama starring Kelsey Grammer posted 1.1 million viewers, down from … Read More »

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Sides Drawn In Fight Over New Piracy Bill

By | Monday October 31, 2011 @ 2:45pm PDT

Should The Feds Block Online Pirates? Lobbyists Intensify Debate Over New Bill

Congress’ mailboxes are filling up fast with letters from both sides of the fight over the Stop Online Piracy Act, which the House introduced last week. The legislation, which would empower the government to block overseas website that traffic in copyrighted content, is pitting content owners who want to protect their intellectual property against tech companies who fear the power granted to shut down sites would be too vast and could harm the Web economy. Today, the MPAA — whose chairman Chris Dodd urged support for the bill in an industry speech Wednesday — put out a statement touting the support for SOPA from the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Fire Fighters, among other groups not usually associated with the entertainment industry. “The preparedness and safety of our members depend on sound, reliable equipment,” FOP National President Chuck Canterbury said in his group’s letter to lawmakers. “Counterfeit batteries, gloves, brake pads, and other equipment put us and the public at risk. Counterfeit pharmaceuticals, tooth paste, and footwear put our seniors and our children at risk. Organized gangs use these profits from counterfeit DVDs to fund other criminal enterprises and fuel violent crime in our communities here at home.” Read More »

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Uma Thurman Exits CAA

By | Monday October 31, 2011 @ 2:09pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Uma Thurman has discharged CAA as her agency. No specific reason was given. I’d heard that she would be in Los Angeles next week working in some agency meetings, but am told this was a business trip long in the … Read More »

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Chris Coy Joins ‘Treme’ As New Regular

By | Monday October 31, 2011 @ 2:06pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Chris Coy, who just finished a recurring role on True Blood, has landed a new regular role on another HBO drama series, Treme. David Simon and Eric Overmyer’s Treme, which will return for a third season next year, chronicles … Read More »

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DreamWorks Animation Shares Fall On Disappointing ‘Puss In Boots’ Open

Wall Street clawed 7.8% from the company’s stock price, which ended the day at $18.55, following Puss In Boots’ lower-than-expected $34M opening weekend. Analysts acknowledged that the film suffered from the blizzard that hit the Northeast as … Read More »

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Martin Campbell Eyeing ‘The Fall Guy’

By | Monday October 31, 2011 @ 1:03pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Director Martin Campbell is in early discussions to come aboard The Fall Guy, the movie adaptation of the Glen Larson-created 1981 TV series. The film’s being developed by producer Walter Parkes. The series starred Lee Majors as a stuntman who … Read More »

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Ann Peacock Signs On For Brett Ratner-Helmed ‘Hunting Eichmann’

By | Monday October 31, 2011 @ 1:02pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Ann Peacock has signed on to write Hunting Eichmann, a thriller based on the true account of Israeli agents who secretly entered pro-Nazi Argentina to capture Adolph Eichmann, known as the architect of the final solution. Tower Heist‘s … Read More »

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AFM: Indomina Group Gets ‘Cabin Fever’

By | Monday October 31, 2011 @ 1:00pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Los Angeles, CA – October 31, 2011 – It was announced today that The Indomina Group, the fast-growing U.S. and Dominican Republic based producer and distributor of film, TV and trans-media content, and leading proponent of ‘fanboy’ cinema is resurrecting the popular “Cabin Fever” franchise and will produce and

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Steve Buscemi: From Jersey Boardwalk To Vegas For ‘Burt Wonderstone’?

By | Monday October 31, 2011 @ 12:47pm PDT
Mike Fleming

UPDATE: A trade report had Olivia Wilde in negotiations to play the female lead, but I’m told that while this may happen, it hasn’t yet. Judy Greer and Sarah Silverman also made strong impressions, and the filmmakers are … Read More »

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