‘Bar Rescue’ Host & Production Company Hit With Assault & Battery Lawsuit: Video

By | Monday April 7, 2014 @ 4:46pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGEReality shows are accused all the time of being fake, but an assault and battery complaint filed today against Spike TV’s Bar Rescue might have gotten a bit too real for all concerned. A Vegas doctor is alleging that he was set up by the production company to hit on host Jon Taffer’s wife and then attacked by the bar and nightlife expert for doing so. In the 4-claim jury barrescue__140321175026-275x206trial filing (read it here) today in LA Superior Court, Dr. Paul Wilkes is seeking general, actual and punitive damages as well as medical and legal expenses, pain and suffering and “other and further relief as the Court many deem just and proper” from the February 11, 2013, incident. The doctor is suing Taffer; his wife Nicole, who also is on the show; and Bongo LLC, a limited liability company of producer 3 Ball Productions. Wilkes, who is part owner of the Sin City bar that used to be known as the Sand Dollar, “has suffered and continues to suffer severe emotional distress which results in physical manifestations including but not limited to migraine headaches, nausea, vomiting, night terrors, crying spells, severe depression and anxiety attacks,” says the filing of the on-camera dust-up that saw Taffer punch the doctor in the jaw, among other things. Portions of the incident were seen on the show’s July 7 Season 3 broadcast entitled “Don’t Mess With Taffer’s Wife” (watch a clip from the episode below).

Related: Spike TV Orders Fourth Season Of ‘Bar Rescue’

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Animal Planet Details First Dive Into Scripted Programming With ‘Moby Dick’ From Whale’s Point Of View

By | Thursday April 3, 2014 @ 6:43am PDT

animal-planet-logoAnimal Planet is plunging into scripted territory with a retelling of the story that inspired the novel Moby Dick, in Revenge Of The Whale (working title). Starring Martin Sheen, this two-hour film tells a dramatic story of a time when whales were hunted for their oil. The BBC co-production re-imagines what happened when the magnificent sea creature finally turned on its killers. Here’s a complete look at Animal Planet’s new slate: Read More »

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E!’s Slate Includes Gucci Miniseries, More ‘Rich Kids’, New Kardashian Offshoots, Christina Milian & Lance Bass Reality Series

By | Wednesday March 26, 2014 @ 7:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

E!_LogoHeading into its upfront presentation, E! has unveiled its original programming slate, which includes three upcoming series: reality competition series Escape Club premiering June 8, plastic surgery docu-series Botched premiering this September, and the network’s first original scripted series The Royals debuting in early 2015. The network has picked up a second season of #RichKids Of Beverly Hills and has put in development a New York-based spinoff. It also has greenlighted a new installment of the Kardashians’ Take franchise, Kourtney & Khloe Take The Hamptons while developing yet another Kardashian reality series, Dash Dolls, about Kim and Khloe Kardashian’s boutiques. “E! continues to deliver for the pop culture fan through buzzy original programming, unparalleled entertainment news, and innovative digital initiatives,” said Suzanne Kolb, President, E! Entertainment.

E! Network Events - 2013While celebrity-driven unscripted fare remains a cornerstone of E!’s programming with new projects headlined by the Kardashians, Christina Millian and Lance Bass, there are also more fashion and lifestyle offerings, including a new reality series in the works toplined by fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg. E! also stepped up its coverage of Fashion Week this year. The expansion in the arena is in part because E!’s sister network Style was phased out, said Kolb. “We are stretching that muscle more.”

On the scripted side, the network is developing a miniseries about the Gucci family. Longform is a relatively new area for E!, where the network also has in the works another project, The Four Hundred. Because of E!’s tradition with covering events, like awards ceremonies, event programming “feels like area that would have great traction for us,” Kolb said.

E!’s upfront scripted slate only includes the Gucci mini and pilot Songbyrd, one of E!’s first two scripted pilots along with The Royals, which is still undergoing testing. “It’s a good pilot,” said Kolb. And while there are no scripted development projects announced today, “we are continuing the active scripted development pipeline,” Kolb said, noting that the network won’t wait to see how The Royals does before ordering more scripted pilots later in 2014.

E! also eyes expansion of its late-night block anchored by Chelsea Lately by possibly turning its awards night special After Party into a daily pop culture news recap that could air at 11:30 PM. Here is the network’s original programming slate: Read More »

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SXSW: Marc Webb Keynote, Jason Bateman, Mike Myers Set For Film Conference Chats; Full Lineup Set

By | Wednesday February 12, 2014 @ 11:00am PST

SXSW 2014 moviesA keynote session with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 helmer Marc Webb leads the final lineup for the 2014 SXSW Film Conference slate which also includes chats with filmmakers Jason Bateman (Bad Words), Mike Myers (Supermensch) moderated by Jon Favreau, Ralph Steadman (For No Good Reason), and actors Robert Duvall and Tilda Swinton. The SXSW Film Festival runs March 7-15:

Related:
SXSW 2014 Features Lineup, New TV Section Unveiled
SXSW Midnighters & Full Shorts Slate Unveiled

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The Takeaway On A Record Holiday Weekend? Be Fearless In Making Good Movies And Audiences Will Come

Mike Fleming

Hunger Games Catching Fire Box Office Record6TH UPDATE:  The staggering grosses turned in this weekend by The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen, and the collective strong box office that will likely result in a record five-day Thanksgiving weekend come along at a fortuitous time for the movie business. Why? Because fear has ruled the roost lately, and these numbers on a diversity of mostly smart films shows clearly that if you give an audience a story well told, they will show up.

The performance of Catching Fire and Frozen are all the more remarkable if you consider that both of these films are squarely driven by female heroines. Conventional wisdom is that the marketplace could never support more than one female-driven film, because while gals will see guy movies, it doesn’t work the other way. Well, it worked big time — both films crushed the 5-day Thanksgiving domestic gross record – and it happened shortly after another female driven film, Gravity, crossed the $600 million mark in global gross this weekend. That movie would not have been made if not for a maverick advocate and you could make the same argument for a drama about Somali pirates, Captain Phillips, which has passed the $100 million mark domestically and will crack $200 million worldwide on a $55 million budget. You can look at The Best Man Holiday and Last Vegas (CBS Films’ biggest grossing film ever) and find similarly encouraging signs; good movies made for a price, finding crossover audiences.

LyntonPascal__131119192611-e1384889190694-200x357This is important, coming just on the heels of that Sony investors meeting held on the Culver City lot. It was a powwow that on the surface seemed to be a capitulation to cranky shareholders like Daniel Loeb, who, as George Clooney said, whined about two summer flops but betrayed a complete lack of understanding of how the movie business works. This weekend was a good reminder that, few legal businesses are capable of creating cash as quickly as blockbusters do. The people who make those bets are like shrewd riverboat gamblers, and if the current climate makes them fearful, they will not make good films. They are only good if they’ve got swagger and cockiness, and it would be nice to imagine a weekend like this serves as a reminder of what happens when smart risks are taken and good movies are the result.

Related: George Clooney To Hedge Fund Honcho Daniel Loeb: Stop Spreading Fear At Sony

When Sony responded to Loeb’s criticism by announcing plans to shed $100 million in overhead and trimming back its film slates to instead put more chips on TV projects, some in town wondered if Japan was planning to sell its showbiz division. Nonsense, say insiders I trust. Read More »

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Producer Jon Kilik Rebuts Recent Comments By Soderbergh, Spielberg And Lucas In IFP Market Keynote

By | Tuesday September 17, 2013 @ 8:18am PDT
Mike Fleming

Jon Kilik, who has been producing films big and small from New York for as long as I can remember, gave Sunday’s keynote address to open the IFP Market. He makes some compelling points about the viability of film, countering warning cries from the likes of Steven Soderbergh, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. I’ve trimmed it a bit, but here’s the speech by Kilik, who produced the Bennett Miller-directed Foxcatcher which bows December 20, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire which opens November 22, and the Spike Lee-directed Mike Tyson one-man show The Undisputed Truth, which airs on HBO next month.

“I live near the Film Forum and last Saturday I went to see Jean Luc Godard’s “Contempt”, on it’s 50th anniversary. In the film, Fritz Lang plays the director of a commercial treatment of “The Odyssey”. His line near the end of the film sums up the separate but related realities of both love and filmmaking. He speaks his final 3 words, “ONE MUST SUFFER.”

A couple of weeks ago I was on a flight from Los Angeles to New York reading recent speeches and statements by some of our greatest American Filmmakers. This time, unfortunately, their words sent out more panic than inspiration. Steven Soderbergh, in his “State of Cinema” address at the San Francisco Film Festival claimed that “Cinema is under assault by the Studios, with the full support of the audience. The reasons for this are more economic than philosophical but when you add an ample amount of fear and a lack of vision and a lack of leadership you’ve got a trajectory that’s pretty difficult to reverse.”

In a recent talk at USC, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg predicted that the film industry is on track to have a “massive implosion” because there just isn’t enough time in the day for people to support all the films released in theaters. Lucas complained that it’s getting so bad it is even hard for him to get a film in a theater and that this should make producers of films very nervous.

According to these great titans, CINEMA is in danger of disappearing from the theaters and MOVIES are to be relegated to a lurid sensational experience akin to a theme park ride or Las Vegas Dinner Theater.

Many people have predicted the end of the film business. Or at least a cataclysmic shake up that destroys all modestly budgeted films of quality leaving us with only 4D motion control Blockbusters. These End-of-Days predictions have come before in our industry. The advent of Color was supposed to eventually doom Black and White – in which case we would have never had “Dr. Strangelove”, “Manhattan”, “Raging Bull”, or “Schindler’s List”. Or “She’s Gotta Have It”, “Stranger Than Paradise”, or “Pi” – giving birth to Spike Lee, Jim Jarmusch and Darren Aronofsky. Television was supposed to doom the theatrical experience – why would anyone want to go out to a movie when they can get it at home. Cable TV and DVD’s were supposed to do the same thing. Video on Demand and companies like Netflix were supposed to do it again.

It hasn’t happened – what has happened is that we now have more ways to make movies and more ways to get people to see them than ever before.

So my advice to us, all of us, from film students to Spielberg, Lucas and Soderbergh, all of us who make human movies that we care about, my advice is to ignore the prophecies, DON’T RETIRE, and keep on making films and showing films by any means available. Build and they will come.

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Radio Host Art Bell Joins SiriusXM To Present Talk Show About The Paranormal

By | Tuesday July 30, 2013 @ 8:28am PDT

NEW YORK—July 30, 2013 – Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) announced today it will be the exclusive home to legendary radio personality Art Bell, marking the return of the trailblazing late night host to radio with a new, expanded live, nightly call-in show on which he will explore the paranormal, unexplained and more with expert guests and listeners nationwide.

Read More »

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Comic-Con 2013: Day 3 Schedule

By | Saturday July 6, 2013 @ 11:45am PDT

Comic-Con‘s just-announced Day 3 schedule will see many of the San Diego convention’s biggest panels for film and TV, including presentations of Marvel StudiosThor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. WB and Legendary are also rolling deep with their slate of upcoming genre titles, including Godzilla, Seventh Son, 300: Rise Of An Empire, Gravity, and The LEGO Movie.

Related: Comic-Con: Legendary Bringing ‘Godzilla’ And ‘Seventh Son’ To Confab

On the TV side, The CW‘s bringing the familiar and the new to Comic-Con. They’ll preview The Vampire Diaries and Arrow along with TVD spin-off The Originals and new series The Tomorrow People. Fans will also get peeks at A&E’s Bates Motel, HBO‘s True Blood, and NBC‘s Grimm and Revolution, along with a look at the upcoming Dracula. Here’s the full Saturday schedule Read More »

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2013-14 The CW New Series

By | Wednesday May 22, 2013 @ 1:50pm PDT

2013-14 The CW New Series
Dramas

The Originals – Family is power. The Original Vampire family swore it to each other a thousand years ago. They pledged to remain together, always and forever. Now, centuries have passed and the bonds of family are broken. Time, tragedy and hunger for power have torn the Original Family apart. When Klaus Mikaelson, the original vampire-werewolf hybrid, receives a mysterious tip that a plot is brewing against him in the supernatural melting pot that is the French Quarter of New Orleans, he returns to the city his family helped build. Klaus’ questions lead him to a reunion with his diabolical former protégé, Marcel, a charismatic vampire who has total control over the human and supernatural inhabitants of New Orleans. Determined to help his brother find redemption, Elijah follows Klaus and soon learns that the werewolf Hayley has also come to the French Quarter searching for clues to her family history, and has fallen into the hands of a powerful witch named Sophie. Tensions between the town’s supernatural factions are nearing a breaking point as Marcel commands his devoted followers and rules with absolute power. For Klaus, the thought of answering to his powerful protégé is unthinkable, and he vows to reclaim what was once his – the power, the city and his family. While they wait to see if their sister Rebekah will leave Mystic Falls and join them, Klaus and Elijah form an uneasy alliance with the witches to … Read More »

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2013-14 ABC New Series

By | Wednesday May 22, 2013 @ 1:20pm PDT

2013-14 ABC New Series

Dramas

Betrayal — A chance meeting between photographer Sara Hadley (Hannah Ware) and Attorney Jack McAllister (Stuart Townsend) leads to an instant and undeniable attraction. Sarah’s husband, Drew (Chris Johnson), is a successful prosecutor with political aspirations, while Jack is married to Elaine (Wendy Moniz), the daughter of his boss, Thacher Karsten (James Cromwell). When Karsten’s brother-in-law Lou is murdered, all evidence points to Karsten’s son, T.J. (Henry Thomas). Jack, the company’s lead counsel, will have to defend him, but for Sara’s prosecutor husband, Drew, this is the kind of high-profile murder case that can secure his political future. Just as Sara and Jack’s affair is starting, the lovers find themselves in an impossible situation — on opposite sides of a murder investigation. “Betrayal” stars Hannah Ware (“Shame,” “Boss”) as Sara, Stuart Townsend (“The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”) as Jack, James Cromwell (“Babe,” “American Horror Story”) as Thacher Karsten, Henry Thomas (“E.T.,” “Gangs of New York”) as T.J. Karsten, Chris Johnson (“The Vampire Diaries”) as Drew, Wendy Moniz (“Guiding Light,” “The Guardian”) as Elaine, Elizabeth McLaughlin (“The Clique”) as Val and Braeden Lamasters (“Men of a Certain Age”) as Vic. “Betrayal” was written by David Zabel (“ER”) and directed by Patty Jenkins (“The Killing,” “Monster”) and is executive-produced by David Zabel, Rob Golenberg (“Red Widow”) and Alon Aranya. “Betrayal” is produced by ABC Studios.

Killer Women — Of all the notorious lawmen who have ever patrolled the violent Texas frontier, none are more … Read More »

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CW 2013-14 Schedule: ‘Hart Of Dixie’ & ‘Beauty And The Beast’ Move To Monday, ‘Supernatural’ To Tuesday, ‘Carrie Diaries’ To Friday, ‘Reign’ To Follow ‘Vampire Diaries’

By | Thursday May 16, 2013 @ 6:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The CW schedule features far more sweeping changes than any network this year. Like last fall, the CW is introducing three new series this fall — The Vampire Diaries spinoff The Originals, costume drama Reign and sci-fi drama The Tomorrow People — with three more series — dramas The 100; Star-Crossed; and reality show Famous In 12, from the TMZ team — on tap for midseason. For a second year in a row, the CW will hold its fall launches until October to avoid the blitz of new shows and allow for more uninterrupted originals. Here is the schedule, followed by analysis and descriptions of the CW’s new series:

Related: CW New Series First Looks: Video

CW FALL 2013-2014 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; NN=New Night)

MONDAY
8-9 PM – Hart Of Dixie (NN)
9-10 PM – Beauty And The Beast (NN)

TUESDAY
8-9 PM – THE ORIGINALS
9-10 PM – Supernatural (NN)

WEDNESDAY
8-9 PM – Arrow
9-10 PM – THE TOMORROW PEOPLE

THURSDAY
8-9 PM – The Vampire Diaries
9-10 PM – REIGN

FRIDAY
8-9 PM – The Carrie Diaries (NN)
9-10 PM – America’s Next Top Model

The CW is shaking up its schedule big time, with changes on every night. In all, only the network’s two top series, The Vampire Diaries and Arrow, are staying put. They are being used to launch two of the CW’s highest-profile new series, the Mary, Queen of Scots drama Reign and the Greg Berlanti-Julie Plec produced futuristic The Tomorrow People. CW brass has high hopes for female-centered reign, so it opted to launch the series behind the network’s series with the highest concentration of female viewers, Vampire Diaries.

Related: ‘Nikita’ To End Run With Final Six-Episode Installment Read More »

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ABC 2013-14 Schedule: Rebel Wilson Gets Post-‘Modern Family’ Slot, ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ On Tuesday, ‘Dancing’ Shrinks To One Night

By | Tuesday May 14, 2013 @ 9:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC is launching eight new series in the fall and taking some big swings, including a Tuesday lineup of all-new series, anchored by Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Rebel Wilson’s hot streak continues, with the rising star landing the post-Modern Family slot for her comedy Super Fun Night. ABC is looking to stem Dancing With The Stars‘ ratings decline by eliminating the Tuesday edition, with the Monday 8-10 PM show incorporating both performances and results. Dancing, as well as The Bachelor, Shark Tank and The Taste have been formally renewed for next season. Here is ABC’s fall schedule, analysis and descriptions of all 13 new series for next season, including newly picked up adventure reality series The Quest from The Amazing Race creators Bertram van Munster and Elise Doganieri:

Related: ABC To Air Some Dramas In Two Batches Of 12 Episodes

ABC FALL 2013-2014 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; all times ET/PT)

MONDAY
8 PM – Dancing With The Stars
10 PM – Castle

TUESDAY
8 PM – MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
9 PM – THE GOLDBERGS
9:30 PM – TROPHY WIFE
10 PM – LUCKY 7

WEDNESDAY
8 PM – The Middle
8:30 PM – BACK IN THE GAME
9 PM – Modern Family
9:30 PM – SUPER FUN NIGHT
10 PM – Nashville

THURSDAY
8 PM – ONCE UPON A TIME IN WONDERLAND
9 PM – Grey’s Anatomy
10 PM – Scandal

FRIDAY
8 PM – Last Man Standing
8:30 PM – The Neighbors
9 PM – Shark Tank
10 PM – 20/20

SATURDAY
8 PM – Saturday Night College Football

SUNDAY
7 PM – America’s Funniest Home Videos
8 PM – Once Upon A Time
9 PM – Revenge
10 PM – BETRAYAL

From ABC’s returning series, left off the schedule are comedy Suburgatory and reality series The Bachelor, which comes on in midseason, and The Taste.

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UPDATE: ABC Picks Up ‘Once Upon A Time’ Spinoff, ‘Mixology’, ‘The Returned’, ‘Killer Women’, ‘Lucky 7′, ‘Betrayal’, ‘Trophy Wife’, Cullen Bros, ‘Influence’, ‘The Goldbergs’, ‘Super Fun Night’, ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ To Series

By | Friday May 10, 2013 @ 6:13pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

When all was said and done tonight, ABC picked up a total of 12 new series — seven dramas and five comedies. All comedies are single-camera as ABC passed on both of its multi-camera pilots. Here is how it all came down today as the network opened the pickup process with one Disney-friendly shoo-in pilot, Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D., and closed it with another, the Once Upon A Time spinoff. Descriptions of all ABC series and first-look photos at the bottom of the post.
ABC’s Once Upon A Time is officially a franchise as the network just ordered spinoff Once Upon A Time In Wonderland to series, joining the original series, which also was renewed.

Also picked up at ABC are ensemble comedy Mixology, which had been heating up, drama The Returned, now called Resurrection, said to be one of Paul Lee’s favorite pilots, and female procedural Killer Women, executive produced by Sofia Vergara and Ben Silverman. The Malin Akerman starrer Trophy Wife also has gotten a series pickup.

It’s a great day for David Zabel, who just got a pickup call for both of his ABC pilots, dramas Lucky 7 and Betrayal.

Two more series pickups at ABC to two 20th TV pilots, the Cullen Bros. comedy starring James Caan and executive produced by Aaron Kaplan, titled Back In The Game, and the Steve Zahn-Christian Slater procedural Minds Games (formerly Influence).

Also getting a series pickup at ABC is comedy frontrunner Adam Goldberg, whose autobiographical 1980s dysfunctional family comedy is now called The Goldbergs. 

ABC wants to be in the Rebel Wilson business. The network’s first new comedy series pickup went to Wilson’s Super Fun Night. The pilot was not perfect, but with Wilson’s star rising so fast, the network couldn’t pass up the opportunity to have her on its air.

No surprise here — ABC’s first new series order for next season has gone to Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D., from The Avengers’ Joss Whedon. The network will air a first-look at the series, officially titled Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., during the season finale of Once Upon A Time on Sunday. This marks the first pilot and first series for Disney-owned Marvel on ABC.
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Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet & ID Unveil Programming Slates

By | Thursday April 4, 2013 @ 10:24am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

At Discovery Communications’ upfront today, the company’s Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet and Investigation Discovery presented their slates of new and returning series. (See Discovery/Harpo-owned OWN’s announcement here). Discovery Channel, which had its highest-rated January ever in total viewers and adults 25-54, is putting an emphasis on live events with specials Fast N’ Live and the Grand Canyon tightrope walk Wallenda Live as well as scripted TV with its first scripted project, miniseries Klondike. The network’s unscripted slate features 10 new series, including The Huntsmen, Rock Raiders, two Naked shows, Hidden Kingdom and Survival.

Related: Discovery Shows Off Star Power At Upfront Presentation

TLC’s slate features 52 new and returning series, including the return of pop culture hit Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Breaking Amish and its spinoff. Animal Planet returns 20 series and new ones like Eel Of Fortune, about hunting prized eels off the New England coast. Its best-performing series ever, River Monsters, returns April 7. Investigation Discovery, meanwhile, is offering up its second original newsmagazine Deadline: Crime With Tamron Hall and the Jerry Springer-hosted Tabloid.

Here are details for all the Discovery networks: Read More »

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BET Renews ‘The Game’, Officially Picks Up ‘Being Mary Jane’ To Series, Revives ‘ComicView’, Orders T.D. Jakes Talk Show

By | Tuesday April 2, 2013 @ 2:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

BET NetworksBET today unveiled its slate of new and returning series to advertisers at its upfront presentation in Los Angeles. Mara Brock Akil was front and center as her hit comedy series The Game was renewed for a seventh season, and her newest project, drama Being Mary Jane, originally picked up as a movie, was formally ordered to series. Other new series pitched to advertisers include a revival of standup showcase ComicView after a five-year hiatus, a weekly talk show starring Bishop T.D. Jakes, and Burns BBQ, a reality series produced by Arthur Smith. The network had the attendees on their feet with a performance by Chaka Khan, who sang her anthem Tell Me Something Good. With multiple cable networks, including OWN, looking to tap into the strong and loyal Black TV audiences, BET’s president of original programming Loretha Jones touted BET as being “better connected” to the African-American community than any other network. Here are details about BET and sibling Centric’s new and returning series:

NEW PROGRAMMING ON BET:  

· BEING MARY JANE– From the producers of the award-winning, record breaking BET comedy THE GAME, GIRLFRIENDS and box-office hits JUMPING THE BROOM and SPARKLE comes an original series starring the gorgeous and talented Gabrielle Union. The series is a follow up to the release of the BEING MARY JANE movie of the week slated to launch on BET this summer. Read More »

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SXSW 2013: Abigail Breslin In ‘Haunter’, ‘Lords Of Salem’, ‘You’re Next’, ‘Big Ass Spider’ Lead Midnighters

By | Wednesday February 6, 2013 @ 12:00pm PST

Sixteen-year-old Abigail Breslin leads her first horror pic in Haunter, from director Vincenzo Natali (Cube, Splice), which will world-premiere in the Midnight line-up at the 2013 SXSW Film Festival. The slate also reunites Innkeepers (SXSW ’11) duo Pat Healy and Sarah Paxton, who star with Ethan Embry and David Koechner in first-time director E.L. Katz’s Cheap Thrills, while the Greg Grunberg-starring creature feature Big Ass Spider (sold overseas as, ahem, Mega Spider) sends creepy-crawly shivers through the midnight crowd.

Also unveiling for the late-night genre crowd at the fest, held March 8-16 in Austin, are Rob Zombie’s Lords Of Salem, releasing April 19 via Anchor Bay, the festival slasher fave You’re Next, which Lionsgate will open August 23, the anthology sequel V/H/S/2 (re-titled from S-VHS) snapped up by Magnolia last month at Sundance, and Xan Cassavetes’ sexy vampire pic Kiss Of The Damned starring Milo Ventimiglia and Joséphine de La Baume.

Below, descriptions of the nine features in SXSW’s Midnight selection along with the fest’s extensive slate of short films including narrative shorts, doc shorts, and music videos:

MIDNIGHTERS
Scary, funny, sexy, controversial – provocative after-dark features for night owls and the terminally curious.

Haunter (Canada)
Director: Vincenzo Natali, Screenwriter: Brian King
Lisa Johnson is one day shy of her 16th birthday and will be forever. She and her family are doomed to repeat the fateful day before they were all killed in 1985. Cast: Abigail Breslin, Stephen McHattie, Peter Outerbridge, Michelle Nolden, David Hewlett (World Premiere)

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Sundance 2013 Unveils Short Film Lineup

By | Tuesday December 4, 2012 @ 1:11pm PST

Related:
Sundance Additions Include Steve Jobs Biopic As Closing-Night Film
Sundance Unveils U.S., World Cinema And Docu Slate

Park City, UT — Sundance Institute announced today the program of short films selected to screen at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, January 17-27 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. The 2013 Short Film program is comprised of 65 short films selected from a record 8,102 submissions (427 more than for the 2012 Festival). The Short Film program is presented by YouTube.

U.S. NARRATIVE SHORT FILMS

The Apocalypse / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Andrew Zuchero) — Four uninspired friends try to come up with a terrific idea for how to spend their Saturday afternoon.

Black Metal / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kat Candler) — After a career spent mining his music from the shadows, one fan creates a chain reaction for the lead singer of a black metal band.

Boneshaker / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Frances Bodomo) — An African family lost in America travels to a Louisiana church to find a cure for its problem child.

Broken Night / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Guillermo Arriaga) — A young woman and her four-year-old daughter drive across desolated hills. Everything looks fine and they seem to enjoy the ride, until an accident sends them into the nightmare of darkness.

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Ratings Rat Race: ‘Voice’ Lifts NBC, ‘Raising Hope’ Up, ‘Dr. Horrible’ Barely Registers

By | Wednesday October 10, 2012 @ 9:24am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

After airing a recap last Tuesday, NBC’s The Voice (4.4/13) returned in full force, up not only from last week (+47%) but also vs. the last original on the night two weeks ago (+10%). The Voice boosted Go On (2.8/7, up 33% from last week), The New Normal (2.0/5, up 18%), and Parenthood (2.0/6, up 25%). Parenthood posted its first No. 1 finish among 18-49 in the 10 PM hour this season, tying CBS’ Vegas and posting its best demo rating since November. NBC (2.9/8 in 18-49, 7.6 million total viewers) won the night in 18-49 for its first streak of three consecutive nightly wins in almost nine years.

Against a new Voice, CBS’ venerable drama NCIS (3.3/10) took a hit, down 11% from last week. NCIS: LA (2.9/8) was down 6%, while Vegas (2.0/5) held steady. CBS still comfortably won the night in total viewers with an average of 15 million and was a close second in 18-49 with a 2.8/8. Read More »

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Lawrence Bender & Kevin Brown’s Company Signs Pod Deal With Universal Cable Prods.

By | Wednesday August 1, 2012 @ 3:59pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Producers Lawrence Bender (Inglorious Basterds) and Kevin Brown (Roswell) have signed a development deal with Universal Cable Prods. for their Bender Brown banner. Under the pact, the duo will shepherd projects for cable as well as broadcast for UCP, which has evolved from a production arm of USA Network and SyFy to a studio that supplies all cable and broadcast nets. For the past few years Bender Brown had been independent after a stint at Warner Bros. TV where the company produced CBS drama Dr. Vegas among other projects. It has done pilots for TNT, the CW and Lifetime and enjoyed its independence but “having a single studio partner is very exciting,” Brown said. “We have done everything from fantastical drama to multi-camera comedy, so the idea that there is a one studio like UCP that does all kinds of programming and sells all over town was very appealing”.

Added Bender, “USA Network is now starting to get into comedy, and that’s a real priority for us”. Brown’s long-time relationship with UCP SVP Richard Rothstein played an important role in making the deal, which started with a call by Rothstein to Bender and Brown’s WME agent. Five years ago, as an executive at UCP corporate sibling Universal Media Studios Rothstein developed a project with Bender and Brown. The duo also have a strong relationship with UCP sibling Syfy where they produced the 2004 miniseries Earthsea. Bender and Brown will work with UCP’s development team –  SVPs Rothstein, Chris Sanagustin and Maira Suro – who oversee the studio’s development for USA, Syfy and external networks, respectively. “Lawrence and Kevin have the creative DNA – great ideas, a wide variety of genres and strong talent relationships – that goes perfectly with our diverse slate of projects and the type of production company we’re building at UCP”, Rothstein said. Read More »

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