‘Twilight Saga’ Financier Goldcrest Sues Summit For Millions Owed In Revenue

By | Wednesday April 9, 2014 @ 4:06pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGEThe Twilight Saga films may be over, but the battle for money from the blockbuster franchise is not. Financier Goldcrest Film Distribution hit Summit today with a multimillion-dollar breach of contract lawsuit (read it here) over the … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE UPDATE: ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ & ‘Voice’ Adjusted Up, ‘Chicago Fire’ & ‘About A Boy’ Down

By | Wednesday April 9, 2014 @ 2:22pm PDT

BRETT DALTON, CHLOE BENNET, CLARK GREGGUPDATE, 2:22 PM: The final numbers are in and Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. has seen a rise of two tenths for a second week in a row. While still down from last week’s 2.0/6, last night’s 1.9/6 is not the series low for ABC’s superspy agency drama as preliminary numbers indicated this morning. S.H.I.E.L.D.’s all-time low was a 1.8 on March 4. NBC’ also saw adjustments in its lineup with The Voice up a tenth to 2.9/9 to tie a low for a regularly scheduled show, and About A Boy and Chicago Fire down a tenth each for the latter to hit a season low.

Related: ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ Smashes April Opening Record

PREVIOUS, 9:05 AM: After tease after tease this season, Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. (1.7/6) last night finally plunged full force into the greater Marvel Universe with a crossover to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Even with the heavily promoted crossover, plus betrayals and revelations galore, the superspy agency series didn’t see the blockbuster results of the just-released superhero pic.
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LA Mayor & Film Czar Pitch Les Moonves On Moving Post-Letterman ‘Late Show’ West

By | Tuesday April 8, 2014 @ 6:17pm PDT

TCA Summer Press Tour 2013EXCLUSIVE: Will Les Moonves have to install a party line? One day after getting a call from NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio urging the CBS boss to keep Late Show in the City That Never Sleeps after David Letterman steps down next year, I’ve learned that Moonves got a call today from LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Film Czar Ken Ziffren imploring him to bring the late-night franchise to the West Coast. The three spoke this afternoon, I’m told.

Related: NYC Mayor Called Les Moonves Directly To Keep Post-Letterman ‘Late Show’ In Big Apple

Of course, this isn’t the first time Garcetti has tried to persuade Moonves to put the City of Angels in his late-night President Obama Announces First Five "Promise Zones" To Battle PovertyKen Ziffren1future. On the day Letterman announced that he would be retiring in 2015, the SAG-AFTRA card-carrying mayor wrote to the CBS chief on the matter of Letterman’s successor and where that show would be located. “I am excited for the opportunity to encourage you to bring CBS’ next late-night show to our city — the entertainment capital of the world,” Garcetti wrote to Moonves on April 3.

Related: David Letterman Through The Years: Video

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Disney Parks Refutes Lawsuit Claiming Discrimination Against Autistic Kids

By | Tuesday April 8, 2014 @ 1:22pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGEWalt Disney Parks and Resorts today denied allegations in a lawsuit filed by families of children with developmental disorders that the company has caused them suffering and violated the American With Disabilities Act. The 57-count complaint (read it Read More »

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UPDATE: NYC Mayor Called Les Moonves Directly To Keep Post-Letterman ‘Late Show’ In Big Apple

CBS Late Show marquee UPDATE, 11:25 AM: Forget the letter-writing campaign of Los Angeles’ mayor. The mayor of New York picked up the phone and directly asked CBS boss Les Moonves to keep the Late Show in the Big Apple after David Letterman retires next year. “I had a very good conversation yesterday with the man who will actually make that decision, Les Moonves, and I emphasized that New York has been an extraordinary home for the Late Show and that we think it’ll be a great home for the Late Show going forward,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio today during a press Washington Nationals v New York Metsconference. “Obviously, David Letterman made rich use of his surrounding environment of New York City, and I hope that his successor will do the same.”

Related: David Letterman Through The Years: Video

The same day Letterman announced he would be leaving Late Show sometime in 2015, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti wrote to the CBS boss urging him to move Letterman’s successor out to the West Coast. Burbank lost The Tonight Show back to NYC after 40 years when Jimmy Fallon took over hosting earlier this year, and L.A. is currently home to late-night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Conan O’Brien’s talk show on TBS, Arsenio Hall, and Letterman’s lead-out Craig Ferguson. On Friday, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito also wrote to Moonves about making sure Late Show post-Letterman stayed in New York. With de Blasio now weighing in, is it only a matter of time until this becomes a Governor-to-Governor thing? NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo has already made his stand doing the Top 10 list on April 4.  Read More »

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WGA Sets New Contract Ratification Vote Online, By Mail & In Person

By | Tuesday April 8, 2014 @ 9:59am PDT

wga-logo__140128204911__140131020047__140205212542__140306212740__140307232618__140331211919Less than a week after reaching an agreement on a new three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and TV Producers, the WGA today announced it’s bringing the contract to a membership vote (see the email to members below). “This year, ballots may be cast online, by mail (for those requesting a paper ballot) or at membership meetings in New York and Los Angeles on April 29, 2014,” said WGA West President Chris Keyser and Michael Winship, President, WGA East in an email to members. The union’s current contract expires on May 1. The duo also revealed that both the WGA West Board and the WGA East Council have unsurprisingly approved the new contract. Read More »

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‘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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Conan O’Brien To Broadcast TBS Show From Comic-Con 2015

By | Monday April 7, 2014 @ 2:11pm PDT

comic-con-2013__130716202600__130720233914Talk about planning ahead. He’s hosting the MTV Movie Awards for the first time on April 13 and now Conan O’Brien is climbing another pop culture mountain by heading to Comic-Con next year. The TBS Read More »

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Studios Slam Megaupload With Mega-Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

DJP LEGAL BADGEOver two years since notorious cyberlocker Megaupload was shut down on January 19, 2012, Hollywood today has gone on the legal offensive. Disney, 20th Century Fox Film, Paramount Pictures, Universal, Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros. today … Read More »

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‘Game Of Thrones’ Season 4 Premiere Hits New High, ‘Silicon Valley’ Debuts Strong, ‘Veep’ Returns Down

By | Monday April 7, 2014 @ 12:17pm PDT

game of thrones season 4 debut 2With swords in hand and palace intrigue in the shadows, HBO’s Game Of Thrones was back for its fourth season last night with a record-breaking 6.6 million viewers. That’s up 52% over the 4.4 million who tuned in for the Season 3 debut on March 31, 2013 – no wonder GoT crashed HBO Go last night. Sunday’s viewership result is not only the most watched GoT episode ever but is the second-best result HBO has seen since the 11.9 million who watched the series finale of The Sopranos back in 2007. The Season 4 opener also soared 23% up from the 5.4 million viewers the Season 3 finale drew on June 9. Until last night, the most-watched GoT episode ever was the May 5, 2013, airing that pulled in an audience of 5.5 million. With two more plays last night, GoT had a gross audience of 8.2 million on Sunday.

Related: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Gets “Welcome Back” From ‘House Of Cards’

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Academy Of Country Music Awards Falls, ‘Resurrection’ & ‘American Dream Builders’ Hit Lows

blake shelton shakira academy of country music awards 2014On a night that saw a lot of action on cable with premieres (Welcome back Game Of Thrones and Veep) and season finales (Shameless and House Of Lies), CBS and the 49th Academy of Country Music Awards (3.3/9) took a hit from last year’s more than a decade-long high. With performances from The Voice’s Blake Shelton and Shakira, plus Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, an appearance by Garth Brooks and big wins for George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Jason Aldean and Kacey Musgraves, the 8 PM – 11 PM awards show fell 23% from its April 7, 2013 show. Having lost out on the promotion platform of the NCAA Tournament the night before (the basketball was on Turner not CBS), the ACM also saw a dip of 8% in terms of total viewership from 2013’s 15.38 million to 14.14 million last night. CBS started the night with a new 60 Minutes (1.3/4) that was down 54% from last week, which saw overruns from the college basketball tournament. Still, even with those big stumbles, overall the network won the night in terms of the key demo (2.8/8) and total viewers 13.10 million. Read More »

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HBO’s ‘Game Of Thrones’ Gets “Welcome Back” From Netflix’s ‘House Of Cards’

By | Sunday April 6, 2014 @ 6:42pm PDT

Game-of-Thrones__140319040101-275x407Talk about game recognizing Game – literally and figuratively. With Game Of Thrones returning for a fourth season tonight, the blood drenched and court politics HBO drama got a social media shout out from another show that may not have … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Unforgettable’ Return, ‘Hannibal’ & ‘Neighbors’ Down, ‘Raising Hope’ Finale Up, ABC Wins Night In Demo

By | Saturday April 5, 2014 @ 9:59am PDT

UNFORGETTABLE APRIL 4 CBSThe end of the workweek was a night of new beginnings and a final farewell on primetime last night. The beginning was the return of Unforgettable (1.0/4) for the last six episodes of its second season on CBS. The Sony TV-produced procedural starring Poppy Montgomery and Dylan Walsh is in some ways, the show that will never die – having cancelled once and then brought back to life again in summer 2012 with a new pick up. Last night, however, Unforgettable took a hit in its latest return. Already renewed for a third season set to start in June, the show fell 23% last night from its Sunday July 28 Season 2 debut of last year. While even with its last show on September 8 last year, last night’s Unforgettable actually saw a small 4% total viewership rise from its Season 2 debut to an audience of 7.50 million. Back with their first originals since March 14, Hawaii Five-0 (1.3/5) and Blue Bloods (1.5/5) were down and up 7% respectively, with the latter the most watched show of the night with 11.40 million viewers. Read More »

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‘Ghost Hunters’ Legal Win Means No More Fright For NBCUniversal

By | Friday April 4, 2014 @ 4:33pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGEGhost HuntersSeven years bad luck is what you usually get for breaking a mirror so looks like NBCUniversal has finally put the pieces together and outrun the curse – literally and figuratively. After more than 7 years of legal haunting and a near-trip to the Supreme Court, the media company seemingly has been freed of the Ghost Hunters lawsuit that claimed it lifted the idea for the flagship Syfy reality show. California’s 2nd Court of Appeals this week granted NBCU a summary judgment NBCUniversal__120928224730-200x133and said that parapsychologist Larry Montz and publicist Daena Smoller’s initial 2006 case hadn’t brought their claims within the applicable two-year statute of limitations. “In sum, the undisputed facts and the law established the right of petitioners to an order granting their motion for summary judgment,” said the April 1 order (read it here) by Judge Nora Margaret Manella. Now of course this isn’t totally over as Montz and Smoller could appeal again — though their chances of success at this point look dim. Read More »

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Universal Slapped With ‘Section 6′ Lawsuit By MGM & James Bond Producer

By | Friday April 4, 2014 @ 11:09am PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGETurns out there’s not enough room in Hollywood for two British agents with a license to kill. Aiming for a clean shot, MGM and James Bond producer Danjaq earlier this week went after Universal in federal court over the latter’s Section 6 project. Calling the WW1-set Aaron Berg-scripted pic a “James Bond knockoff” the plaintiffs want unspecified damage and they want  the Universal-Pictures-logo-2013__140130232555__140321183123-275x141court to declare an injunction shutting down the Universal property that Joe Cornish was recently brought on board to helm. “This lawsuit concerns a motion picture project, in active development, featuring a daring, tuxedo-clad British secret agent, employed by ‘His Majesty’s Secret Service,’ with a ‘license to kill,’ and a 00 secret agent number on a mission to save England from the diabolical plot of a megalomanical villain,” the heavily censored April 3 filing says (read it here). “Most moviegoers would assume from that description alone that this lawsuit concerns the next James Bond picture. It does not.” Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Wonderland’ Finale Down, ‘The Millers’ Surges, ‘Surviving Jack’ Slips & ‘Community’ Hits Series Low

132937_GROUP_FINALr2David Letterman’s announcement yesterday of his retirement was the big news in TV and certainly the end of an era for late night. However, in primetime, there was another end. Officially cancelled last week by ABC, limited run Once Upon A Time In Wonderland (0.9/3) wrapped its first and only season last night. Having debuted on October 10 last year with 1.7 rating among adults 18-49 and soon dipping below a 1.0, the fantasy drama spinoff of Once Upon A Time was down 10% from its result of last week. The rest of ABC’s night with dramas Grey’s Anatomy (2.6/7) and the ever intrigue-filled Scandal (2.8.9) saw the Shonda Rhimes-produced shows even and down 10% respectively from last week. That’s a season low tie for Scandal. Read More »

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LA Mayor Urges CBS To Bring Letterman Successor’s Show To West Coast

President Obama Announces First Five "Promise Zones" To Battle PovertyBurbank may have recently lost NBC’s The Tonight Show to NYC after 40 years, but LA’s mayor now wants CBS to make the City of Angels the home of the replacement to Late Show With David Letterman. In a letter today to CBS boss Les Moonves after David Letterman announced that he will retire next year, Mayor Eric Garcetti urged him “to bring CBS’ next late night show to our city.” With shows and features deserting LA in droves in the past decade, Garcetti has made stabilizing and increasing film & TV production in the city a TCA Summer Press Tour 2013top priority for his still fairly new administration. The mayor created a Film Czar office and has been advocating an expansion of California’s current $100 million Film and TV Tax Credit program. Having said that, LA still has some late-night skin in the game with Letterman’s lead-out Craig Ferguson, Conan O’Brien’s TBS show, Arsenio Hall, and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, but getting CBS to set down more post-primetime roots here would be a real though unlikely coup for the city post-Letterman. Here is Garcetti’s full letter to Moonves:

Related:
L.A. Mayor, Production Alliance Cheer New Film/TV Tax Credit Legislation
Watch David Letterman Announce His Retirement
David Letterman Through The Years: Video

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LA Judge Nixes Mike Ovitz’s Latest Bid In Pellicano Case; Anita Busch Suit Heading For Trial

By and | Thursday April 3, 2014 @ 6:06pm PDT

Business Leaders Meet In Sun Valley, Idaho For Allen And Co. Annual ConferenceIn a ruling that sets the stage for a courtroom showdown between Mike Ovitz and Deadline’s film editor Anita Busch, a LA Superior Court judge ruled against the former CAA co-owner’s statute of limitations defense in the longstanding Anthony Pellicano case.”Ovitz has not met his burden to demonstrate that, at the time of filing the original Complaint in May of 2004, Plaintiff had knowledge of actual facts to cause a reasonable person to believe that liability on the part of Ovitz for the torts alleged was probable,” said Judge Elihu M Berle in today’s ruling (read it here).

This goes back to the June 20, 2002, incident where Busch, working for the Los Angeles Times, found a dead fish and rose on her damaged windshield with the scrawled message “STOP”. Busch alleged other instances of harassment, computer hacking, illegal wiretapping and threats. This led back to private investigator Pellicano, and what became one of the largest illegal wiretapping case in the history of the U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI. Read More »

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Marvel & Disney Rights Case For Supreme Court To Decide Says Jack Kirby Estate

By | Wednesday April 2, 2014 @ 7:58pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGEJust days before Captain America: The Winter Soldier opens, the heirs of Captain America, The Avengers and X-Men co-creator Jack Kirby are asking thekirby cap america Supreme Court to hand them back the rights to the comic legends from Marvel and Disney. “The Court of Appeals unconstitutionally appropriated Kirby’s valuable copyrights and gave them outright to Marvel, effecting a transfer of wealth on a massive scale,” says the 39-page petition (read it here) filed with the high court on March 21. The petition is the latest legal attempt by Lisa Kirby, Neal Kirby, Susan Kirby and Barbara Kirby to assert that they had the right in 2009 to issue termination notices to Marvel and others on the artist’s characters under the provisions of the 1976 Copyright Act. A response is due from Marvel and Disney on April 28. Read More »

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