The Fresno Grizzlies, a Triple-A affiliate of the World Series champion San Francisco Giants, hope to draw a galaxy of fans Saturday with a Star Wars Night, at the ballpark. For one game only, players will sport Storm Trooper-inspired jerseys that will be auctioned off for charity after the final out (ideally a Force play). The Grizzlies even put out videos to promote their promotion:
Two of Fox News‘ most visible female on-air hosts got all up in Lou Dobbs’ grill this week in an unusually public display of disharmony on the channel. Greta Van Susteren and Megyn Kelly were reacting to a discussion Wednesday on Lou Dobbs‘ Fox Business Network featuring an all-male panel lamenting a new Pew study showing that women are the primary breadwinners in 40% of American households. (“This is bad for kids, bad for marriage”, “catastrophic”, and will “undermine our social order,” the men said.) Van Susteren took to her blog to complain: “Have these men lost their minds? (and these are my colleagues??!! oh brother… maybe I need to have a little chat with them (next thing they will have a segment to discuss eliminating women’s right to vote?)” Kelly voiced her outrage on the air in this Fox News segment:
Veteran Exec François Ivernel Exits Pathé To Launch Production Company
Pathé said today that veteran top executive François Ivernel has resigned to launch Montebello Productions, a London-based film-production company that will open June 3. He most recently held several titles within the French company, serving as chairman of the board and managing director of Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé, deputy managing director of Pathé, as a member of its executive board and as president of Pathe U.K. Ivernel’s executive producer credits include the Best Picture Oscar winner Slumdog Millionaire and Palme d’Or-winning The Wind That Shakes The Barley.
Vivendi Agrees To Mediation With Lagardere Over Canal Plus France
Vivendi agreed Friday that a mediator should decide its legal spat with Lagardere over their pay-TV venture Canal Plus France. Lagardere had said in February it was suing Vivendi for 1.6 billion euros ($2 billion). Reuters reports that the media group wants Vivendi to return the sum to Canal+ France because it claims Vivendi – which owns 80% of the venture — is making permanent use of the business’s entire cash surplus under a disputed cash management agreement between the venture and its Vivendi-owned parent. Vivendi has in turn accused Lagardere of trying to destabilize it and force it to buy back Lagardere’s 20 percent stake in Canal+ France, a move Vivendi.
UPDATE7:27 PM: SAG-AFTRA members voted overwhelmingly to approve its commercials contracts, with 96% of the national membership saying yes. The 2013 SAG-AFTRA Commercials Contract and 2013 SAG-AFTRA Radio Recorded Commercials Contract are the first major pacts negotiated by the merged union since SAG and AFTRA linked up in March 2012. The contracts (summaries are here and here) go into effect immediately, retroactive to April 1, and are good through June 30, 2016. “The significance of this ratification is two-fold,” said Roberta Reardon, National Co-President of SAG-AFTRA. “Not only are these the first major contracts negotiated as SAG-AFTRA, but the contracts’ provisions provide for great improvements in the lives of our members and their families. I am grateful to the SAG-AFTRA members and staff who served alongside me on the negotiating team for all of their hard work.” Added union Co-President Ken Howard, “The overwhelming vote of support for these contracts is gratifying.”
PREVIOUSLY: Members have until 5 PM PT to vote on the Commercials Contract, the first deal negotiated by SAG-AFTRA as a new union. A tentative deal on new contracts covering television and film commercials was reached April 6 and the National Board voted unanimously to approve it April 21. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Writer-producer Doris Egan (House) has signed a two-year overall deal with CBS TV Studios. Under the pact, she will join the studio’s high-profile new CW drama Reign as co-executive producer. Created by Laurie McCarthy and Stephanie SenGupta, Reign, a soapy reimagining of the teenage years of Mary Queen of Scots (Adelaide Kane) in the French Court, is one of the buzziest new CW series and landed the coveted post-Vampire Diaries slot on the fall schedule. On Reign, Egan will work with McCarthy as SenGupta departed the project last week. Egan, repped by WME and Rain Management Group, was co-executive producer of House for six years. She most recently was co-exec producer on Starz’s upcoming pirate drama Black Sails, from producer Michael Bay, and also developed/co-wrote a Frankenstein series with Laeta Kalogridis at the premium net.
EXCLUSIVE: FremantleMedia North America is assembling a new scripted programming team. I’ve learned that former Lionsgate TV and GK-tv executive Craig Cegielski has been tapped as EVP Scripted Programming and Development. He’s being joined by Playtone’s Stefanie Berk, who is expected to serve as SVP Scripted. FremantleMedia has been without a scripted team since February when SVP Tony Optican’s contract was not renewed and VP Holly Hines left to head scripted development and production for Participant Media’s new cable network Pivot.
Veteran TV exec Cegielski most recently served as president of Graham King’s GK-tv, a post he left in January. There, he shepherded Camelot, the company’s series for Starz. Before that he served as EVP Programming and Sales, International TV, at Lionsgate. Prior to joining Lionsgate, Cegielski worked for CBS/Kingworld International, specializing in local production and programming. Berk comes from Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone, where she was SVP Development.
“To fight monsters, we created monsters” – so goes the tagline for Guillermo del Toro’s summer tentpole for Warner Bros. A new 4-minute Pacific Rim featurette gives viewers a look inside the massive robots deployed to battle the kaijus that have emerged from the sea in the near future. “Every movie has to have a portion of analog practical effects to really convey the sense of physical reality of the film,” del Toro says, then he details how they did it. Stars Idris Elba and Charlie Hunnam describe the challenges as they endured del Toro’s “torture machine.” Suffice it to say, this ain’t Godzilla vs. Mothra. The Legendary Pictures actioner opens July 12:
Jay Leno’s ratings numbers continue to impress. In his final May sweep before handing over the Tonight Show anchor desk to Jimmy Fallon in February, the NBC late-night show won the key ratings period from April 25-May 22. Tonight bettered time-slot rivals Late Show With David Letterman at CBS and Jimmy Kimmel Live at ABC in every category, and matched its highest margin of victory over Letterman in the 18-49 viewers in nine years. Against Kimmel, Leno grew its 18-49 lead compared with the February sweeps from 12% to 30% in 18-49 and from 39% to 42% in total viewers. (See the full chart below.) For the May sweep, Leno generated bigger audiences than its broadcast rivals in every key category: adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, plus total viewers.
EXCLUSIVE: Agnes Bruckner, who plays Anna Nicole Smith in Lifetime’s upcoming biopic of the former Playboy model, has been cast in another A+E Networks project. Bruckner is set to co-star opposite Josh Lucas and Lynn Collins in A&E‘s drama pilot Occult, produced by Transformers helmer Michael Bay and written by veteran genre writer and The X-Files alum James Wong. Occult, which draws parallels to X-Files and Fringe, centers on Dolan (Lucas), an FBI agent who returns from administrative leave after going off the deep end while investigating his wife’s disappearance.
EXCLUSIVE:Matt Olmstead, executive producer of NBC’s Chicago Fire and co-creator/executive producer of its upcoming spinoff Chicago PD, has signed a rich two-year overall deal with Universal Television, the studio behind the two series, along with Wolf Films. Under the seven-figure pact, Olmstead will continue as showrunner on Chicago Fire and also will serve as showrunner on Chicago PD, working on both series with Chicago Fire creators/exec producers and Chicago PD co-creators/exec producers Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, as well as exec producer Dick Wolf. Making things a bit easier logistically is the fact that Chicago PD has a midseason order. “Matt is an experienced and creative showrunner and we were thrilled with his stellar work on Chicago Fire, Uni TV EVP Bela Bajaria said. “We look forward to extending our relationship with him on Chicago PD and at Universal TV”. Read More »
More than 1.5M Time Warner Cable subscribers in 14 markets can relax. The cable company — which also represents Bright House Network – ”has reached an agreement with LIN Media for continued carriage of their broadcast stations,” it said today without details about terms. The companies’ carriage agreement was due to expire today, and LIN had warned that its stations might have to go dark on TWC and Bright House systems. The two cable companies account for about 20.6% of LIN’s viewers, according to SNL Kagan data. Stations that appeared to be at risk included LIN TV’s NBC, CW, and MyNetworkTV affiliates in Austin; CBS and CW stations in Buffalo, NY; NBC and CW outlets in Dayton, OH; and Fox and CW stations in Green Bay. TWC said that LIN wanted a 50% hike in the retransmission fees it negotiated two years ago. LIN countered that it was asking for “less than what Time Warner pays for many of its cable networks with far lower ratings.” LIN’s stations were blacked out on Time Warner Cable for 25 days in fall 2008 when negotiations reached an impasse.
“Did I just see breasts in front of me, or did I dream it?” asked Heidi Klum after two half-naked women protesters rushed the catwalk during yesterday’s finale of Germany’s Next Top Model TV show. Host Klum was onstage with the finalists when the women from the German feminist group Femen burst onto the set, one with “Heidi Horror Picture Show” written across her nude chest. Security quickly removed the women and Klum reportedly remained calm throughout. The group explained why it took the action on its Facebook page. “FEMEN regards the fashion industry as an element of pimp business and has consistently opposed the commercialization of the female body”, the statement reads in part. Germany’s Next Top Model is based on America’s Next Top Modelreality series which gives women a chance to launch their career in the modeling industry. The German version launched in 2006.
NBC‘s one-hour live Healing In The Heartland: Relief Benefit Concert hosted by Oklahoma native and The Voice judge Blake Shelton on Wednesday raised more than $6 million in pledges and ticket sales, the Associated Press has reported. Proceeds are headed to the United Way of Central Oklahoma to help victims of the May 20 tornado that decimated Moore, Okla., killing dozens. The country act-heavy concert, which also aired on NBCUniversal networks Style, CMT, G4, Bravo, E! and Palladia either live or delayed, drew 8.6 million viewers to NBC, making it the most-watched show in the 9-10 PM time slot since November 7.
EXCLUSIVE: A new panel talk show with female hosts is entering the daytime space. I’ve learned that a syndicated talker hosted by actress-singer Tamera Mowry (Tia & Tamera), singer Tamar Braxton (Braxton Family Values), singer-actress Adrienne Bailon (The Cheetah Girls), TV personality Jeannie Mai (How Do I Look?) and comedian Loni Love will be getting a summer trial run on some of the Fox-owned stations. The exact markets and time periods are still being worked out but I hear the show, produced by Telepictures, is eyeing a July 8 launch. Titled The Real, the talker is said to be in the vein of The View and The Talk, but with a younger and entirely ethnic panel. (All five hosts are under 40.) The Real is looking to follow in the footsteps of another Telepictures syndicated talk show, Bethenny, which had a successful summer run on Fox stations last summer before getting a nationwide launch this fall. For the Fox stations, this is the second talk show that is being given a try this summer, along with Twentieth’s Kris, hosted by Kris Jenner,which premieres July 15.
Jon Cowan has closed a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV. Cowan, who had been based at NBCUniversal, is currently an executive producer on USA Network’s Suits. The pact calls for Cowan to have a blind script deal with Fox that will lead into his overall, slated to start next May. “We had a fantastic experience with him in our last two development cycles, and every network is interested in his work”, 20th Century Fox TV chairman Gary Newman said. “He has a truly unique and remarkable voice and he can write just about any genre, from procedurals to thrillers to character-driven shows. He’s a really talented writer who we think will be a great addition to our roster”. Cowan, previously an executive producer on ABC’s Private Practice and NBC’s Crossing Jordan, is repped by UTA, manager Larry Shuman and attorney Bob Myman.
EXCLUSIVE: I hear ABC‘s last-minute third-season renewal of Suburgatory as midseason replacement came with a reduction in the license fee, which is leading to budget cuts and some tough choices. I’ve learned that two of the series’ eight regulars, Alan Tudyk and Rex Lee, have not been picked up for next season. They could potentially appear as guest stars. I hear there may be further trims, with other regulars potentially being cut or reduced to recurring. Suburgatory‘s remaining regular cast includes stars Jane Levy and Jeremy Sisto as well as Cheryl Hines, Carly Chaikin, Ana Gasteyer and Allie Grant. Both Tudyk and Lee have been on the show since the beginning. Lee, who plays the high school’s guidance counselor, was a guest star in the pilot but was promoted to regular right after. Tudyk playes Sisto’s trusted, country club-loving friend. Suburgatory was a breakout hit when it launched in fall 2011 but lost steam, ratings-wise and creatively, in Season 2, ending up on the bubble.
LOS ANGELES, CA, MAY 31, 2013, 3:30 pm, EST—Writer Michael Green is in negotiations to do a rewrite of Alcon Entertainment’s “Blade Runner” sequel penned by Hampton Fancher (“Blade Runner,” “The Minus Man,” “The Mighty Quinn”) and to be directed by Ridley Scott. Fancher’s original story/screenplay is set some years after the first film concluded.
Alcon co-founders and co-Chief Executive Officers Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove will produce with Bud Yorkin and Cynthia Sikes Yorkin, along with Ridley Scott. Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO’s of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers.
Green recently completed rewrites on “Robopocalypse” and Warners Bros “Gods and Kings.”
Alcon and Yorkin previously announced that they are partnering to produce “Blade Runner” theatrical sequels and prequels, in addition to all television and interactive productions.
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA, May 31, 2013—Universal Pictures International (UPI) today announced that the studio has reached $1 billion at the international box office. This is the earliest the studio has reached that milestone in history, besting a previous record set on July 17, 2012 through the performance of such global hits as Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, American Reunion, Snow White and the Huntsman and Ted. 2013 marks the seventh year in a row that Universal has reached $1 billion internationally. In 2012, the studio enjoyed its highest grossing year at the international box office with $1.794 billion in total grosses.