USC will launch a three-year research effort called the Edison Project to figure out key issues of the emerging entertainment economy surrounding new creators of content, new platforms and distributors of that content, new business models to finance their work and new metrics to measure success. USC Annenberg professor Jonathan Taplin, who heads that school’s Innovation Lab, announced the project’s general outlines during a keynote speech Friday at the Digital Marketing & Analytics Summit in Los Angeles.
Taplin told a ballroom of entertainment and tech executives that sector after sector of the entertainment business is showing signs of trouble, from the long-staggering music industry to a movie business that launched numerous bombs this past summer, to an ad business that’s consolidating and automating. These problems are happening even as the world’s entertainment-consuming middle class is booming, and creation of digital media has jumped nine times. Traditional entertainment, meanwhile, is seeing revenue growth barely keep pace with inflation. And, he said new ways of thinking about entertainment are needed to deal with such issues as piracy. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: One of the world’s greatest inventors of all time, Thomas Edison, is the leading man of a new period crime drama project in the works at NBC. Titled Edison, the drama is produced by Sony Pictures TV and Mark Johnson’s Gran Via Prods. Written by Daniel C. Connolly (A&E’s Longmire), it is described as a big, fun, genre-driven show about young Thomas Alva Edison. John Shiban (Breaking Bad, Hell On Wheels), who worked on the Johnson-produced Breaking Bad, is overseeing the script for the project, set in 1880s Manhattan. Read More »
CBS This Morning‘s Charlie Rose has a fascinating interview this morning with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. The billionaire describes the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs — his former best friend — as “our Edison…our Picasso” and adds that under Tim Cook the company “will not be nearly so successful.”Ellison also attacks Google CEO Larry Page: Google’s Android operating system infringes on Oracle’s copyrights for Java, the company says.
The big news is that the Writers Guild awards to be held February 1, 2014, have revised their guidelines to allow eligibility for Netflix series like House Of Cardsthat have been produced for initial exhibition in New Media. Show received 9 Emmy nominations last week and was not specifically named in today’s WGA announcement:
Los Angeles and New York – For the upcoming awards season, Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) have changed awards eligibility and submission guidelines for the television and new media categories, and have added a new Quiz & Audience Participation writing award.
“Whether you’re watching content on a TV screen, online on a laptop, or with a hand-held device, outstanding writing and great storytelling deserve the same recognition,” said WGAW President Christopher Keyser and WGAE President Michael Winship. “These changes in eligibility and submission guidelines reflect the evolution of distribution models in the entertainment industry. We are also looking forward to giving out the new Quiz & Audience Participation Award in 2014.”
TELEVISION AND NEW MEDIA
In the past year, several high profile series have been produced for initial exhibition in new media. Under the existing Writers Guild Awards rules, these shows would not have been eligible to compete against similar programs produced for TV. The new guidelines will permit online series to compete with TV series in the script and series categories.
Also in the last year, several daytime serials, which had been broadcast on network television for decades, moved to new media platforms. Although they are continuations of programs previously produced for television, the old rules would have placed them in the separate Derivative New Media award category. The new awards guidelines will allow online daytime serials to compete in the Daytime Drama category along with serials that continue to be produced for television.
Specific changes to Writers Guild Awards rules are as follows:
Anthony D’Alessandro contributes to Deadline’s Comic-Con coverage.
Although Communitycreator Dan Harmon offered up few reveals about the cult comedy show’s fifth season at its Hall H Comic-Con panel today, he used the platform to champion the fans to demand a sixth season and a movie with the Twitter campaign #SIXSEASONSANDAMOVIE. “I created a machine that eats pain and craps joy. The people in this room gave us five seasons. It’s about legacy and six seasons and a movie,” exclaimed Harmon to the throng of screaming fans. “Nobody wants to not fail more than me,” Harmon told moderator Chris Hardwick, “I don’t consider these the last 13. I will do everything I can to get us the sixth season.”
Still undetermined is when Community will air on NBC next spring. As far as new storylines, Harmon — who didn’t brainstorm any during his time off — only said, “We need to re-establish these characters. I don’t want to plan too hard. We’re taking a different approach in the writers room, and we’ll be done shooting by Christmas.” Harmon also mentioned that he wouldn’t undo the story arcs laid out in Season 4 in an effort to maintain the show’s “organic spirit” and apologized again to fans for his snarky podcast remarks slamming Community’s recent run. Read More »
There’s lots of TV in the Thursday spotlight, including sessions dedicated to such shows as Dexter, Sherlock — sans stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman — the 35th anniversary of Battlestar Galactica and Annoying Orange. Among the dozens of panels are several geared toward making it in the business, including Marvel: Breaking Into Comics the Marvel Way, The Secrets of Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy, The Writer’s Journey: Breaking Into Hollywood and Comic Scriptwriting, Breaking Into Comics and Staying In, and Indie Comics Marketing and PR 101. There also are programs on such potentially intriguing topics as Toys 101: An Evolution of the Modern Action Figure, The Legendary Animators of Classic ’60s Cartoons, Video Gaming: Where We’ve Been, Where We Are and Where We’re Going, and – especially — Not Guilty Due to Zombification? Law and Forensic Psychiatry in a Zombie Apocalypse.
See the complete opening-day rundown after the jump:
Los Angeles and New York – The Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) and the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) have announced that the 2014 Writers Guild Awards will be held on Saturday, February 1, 2014, at simultaneous ceremonies in Los Angeles and New York. The WGAW ceremony will once again be held at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE, and the WGAE ceremony will be held at the Edison Ballroom. The Writers Guild Awards honor outstanding writing in film, television, new media, videogames, news, radio and promotional writing, and graphic animation.
Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
It wasn’t until the end of tonight’s Community panel at PaleyFest 2013 that the one genuine piece of news emerged, as a clip of the cast as Muppet-like puppets was shown to those at the Saban Theatre. An all-puppet episode featuring extensive use of the performers in puppet form will air in April and include a cameo from Jason Alexander (though not as a puppet). As the panel closed, the cast mates brought out their puppet lookalikes to revel in the moment. The puppet gambit is in keeping with a quirky series that’s already used stop-motion animation and other creative devices to distinguish itself. Earlier, new show runners David Guarascio and Moses Port focused on this Thursday’s episode that finds the introduction of James Brolin in a recurring role as the long-estranged father of star Joel McHale’s character, Jeff Winger. The installment also features Fred Willard in a cameo, and he was also present during a table read that opened the panel. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Comedy veteran Jeff Astrof (Grounded For Life) has come on board to write and executive produce ABC’s comedy pilot co-created and starring John Leguizamo as the project changes formats from single- to multi-camera. The untitled comedy is based on Leguizamo’s life as a husband, father and fish out of water on the upper West Side of New York as reflected in his one-person shows. Woven into this world are his privileged wife, his friends from his life back in the Bronx, his mother and grandfather who try to keep him grounded in his Latin roots, and his own kids who he worries are getting spoiled and losing touch with reality. Read More »
The Paley Center for Media has firmed up guest panelists for its 30th annual PaleyFest, set for March 1-15 at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills. Click over for the complete lineup, which kicks off with AMC’sThe Walking Dead.
ABC just ordered a third comedy pilot starring John Leguizamo in twelve months. The untitled multi-camera comedy is based on Leguizamo’s life as a husband, father and fish out of water on the upper West Side of New York as reflected in his one-person shows. Woven into this world are his privileged wife, his friends from his life back in the Bronx, his mother and grandfather who try to keep him grounded in his Latin roots, and his own kids who he worries are getting spoiled and losing touch with reality. Leguizamo co-wrote the story for the pilot with former Family Guy executive producer/co-showrunner Chris Sheridan. Sheridan wrote the teleplay and executive produces with Leguizamo, Leguizamo’s longtime manager Jeff Golenberg of the Collective, the company’s Sam Maydew as well as Mandeville’s David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Maria Crenna.
The project has been in the works since early February of last year when Leguizamo signed a deal with ABC and ABC Studios with the intention to develop a single-camera comedy inspired by his life for him to star in and executive produce with Golenberg and Mandeville, the company he worked with on Edison. But just a week later, UTA-repped Leguizamo was cast in the ABC/ABC Studios multi-camera pilot The Kings Of Van Nuys (then Only Fools And Horses). Earlier this development season, Sheridan was brought in to Leguizamo’s semi-autobiographical project, which continued to be dormant because, after passing … Read More »
Stefan Kudelski, inventor of the first portable professional sound recorder, died Saturday in Switzerland at the age of 84. Word of his death came in a statement from the Kudelski Group, the company he founded. Kudelski created the Nagra (meaning “will record” in his native Polish) in 1951, revolutionizing the world of audio recording for filmmakers. The device, weighing between 8 and 20 pounds, was “one of the tools that made the French New Wave possible, by allowing the young directors in the late 50s and early 60s … to shoot a scene almost anywhere they could think of shooting one,” Randy Thom, director of sound design for Skywalker Sound, toldAll Things Considered host Melissa Block. Kudelski sold the device to Radio Luxembourg, Italy’s s RAI and the BBC as well as ABC, NBC and CBS in the U.S., according to the Nagra Audio website. Kudelski went on to win five Oscars and two Emmys for his contributions to sound engineering. He’s pictured at the left with Maggie Smith and Maureen Stapleton at the 1978 Academy Awards. Read More »
Days after ABCpassed on comedy pilotThe Kings Of Van Nuys starring John Leguizamo, the network has lined up another half-hour project toplined by the ER alum based on his life as a husband, father and fish out of water on the upper West Side of New York. Woven into this world are his privileged wife, his friends from his life back in the Bronx, his mother and grandfather who try to keep him grounded in his Latin roots, and his own kids who he worries are getting spoiled and losing touch with reality. Leguizamo will co-write the story for the untitled single-camera comedy with former Family Guy executive producer/co-showrunner Chris Sheridan. Sheridan will write the teleplay and will executive produce with Leguizamo, Leguizamo’s longtime manager Jeff Golenberg of the Collective as well as Mandeville’s David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman. Read More »
Box office repercussions of Hurricane Sandy likely will continue this weekend in the Specialty market. Two releases, A Late Quartet and This Must Be The Place were set for launches at the Sunshine Theater in Manhattan’s Lower East Side which is still without electricity. Con Edison notified customers in the area today that power is estimated to return Saturday at 11PM. Magnolia Pictures will roll out Jack And Diane whose director Bradley Rust Gray lured a nice cache of talent. And Roadside takes on theatrical distribution for Barry Levinson‘s sci-fi thriller The Bay, which centers on an ecological disaster.
Director: Barry Levinson
Writer: Michael Wallach
Cast: Kristen Connolly, Jane McNeill, Christoph Denham, Michael Beasley
Distributor: Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate
Lionsgate initially picked up Barry Levinson’s sci-fi thriller The Bay after viewing a promotion reel. Oddly apropos to the Hurricane Sandy disaster, the story unfolds in a small Maryland town. “We’re positioning it as a horror movie for film lovers,” said Roadside Attractions co-president Howard Cohen. “Barry Levinson is loved and we’re hoping for a more sophisticated audience as opposed to the regular horror audience.” Read More »
ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox News, NBC and the Associated Press are changing the way Election Night exit polls are conducted. Their poll consortium is cutting back this year on in-person exit polls while increasing the amount of telephone polling, the AP reports. This is to take into account more people voting before November 6 and households that have dropped land lines in favor of cell phones. “It makes it trickier,” said Joe Lenski, EVP of Edison Research, which oversees the election operation. “It means there are a lot of different pieces to keep track of.” The changes are also partly because of the expense, although AP didn’t cite any figures. Read More »
The “sophisticated criminal effort” captured consumers’ credit and debit card numbers after conspirators planted bugs in PIN pads at 63 Barnes & Noble stores, the company says this morning. The scheme didn’t affect Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablets or mobile apps, the chain’s member database, or any Barnes & Noble College Bookstores. B&N says it caught the problem in mid-September, and that it’s safe now to use credit and debit cards at its stores. It pulled all of the PIN pads in nearly 700 outlets. Still, the company urges consumers at the stores that were hit — listed in the press release below — to change their PIN numbers and check their accounts to be sure that they don’ t include phony transactions.
BREAKING: Universal Pictures has acquired an untitled musical comedy to be scripted by Michael Mitnick, who is writing The Current War for Timur Bekmambetov, a drama that chronicles the true-life public battle fought between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse for domination of the early power industry. Mitnick is also writing the libretto for the Broadway musical adaptation of Animal House.
The musical, which was bought as a pitch, will be produced by Mark Gordon and Jennifer Todd through The Mark Gordon Company, whose execs Allyson Seeger and Drew Simon brought in the project. WME and Jeff Silver at Fourth Floor Productions reps Mitnick.