UPDATE: Netflix Says It May Raise Prices For New Customers As Q1 Earnings Beat Expectations

By | Monday, 21 April 2014 21:04 UK

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UPDATED: CEO Reed Hastings told analysts that the likely price increase is due to the fact that “over the last couple of years we’ve been improving the content selection on Netflix and broadening it.” For that to continue, “we have to eventually increase prices a little bit.” He’d consider having tiers of service but first wants to “be sure we grandfather [existing customers into the new system] cleanly.” As for his opposition to Comcast’s $45B plan to buy Time Warner Cable, Hastings says that Comcast CEO Brian Roberts is “very thoughtful, very long term and very reasonable. But I don’t know that we want anyone to control half of the U.S. internet.”

PREVIOUS, 1:04 PM: Current customers could keep their $7.99 a month price “for a generous time period” if the fees for new customers go up — possibly “a one- or two-dollar increase, depending on the country, later this quarter” — CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells say in a note to shareholders. They slipped that important piece of info into a report that basically reassured Wall Street, sending Netflix shares up 5.7% in postmarket trading. The company generated $53.1M in net income, up from $2.7M in the same period in 2013, on revenues of $1.27B, +24%. Netflix 1The revenue number is on target with the Street’s consensus forecast, and earnings at 86 cents a share beat projections … Read More »

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Millennium Takes U.S. Rights To Sci-Fi Drama ‘Parts Per Billion’

Parts PEr BillionEXCLUSIVE: Ahead of its screening at the Marché du Film at Cannes, the pic about three couples dealing with the same reality-shaking event has found a domestic distributor. Millennium Entertainment has picked up U.S. rights to Parts Per Billion, starring Rosario Dawson, Josh Hartnett, Teresa Palmer, Penn Badgley, Frank Langella and Gena Rowlands as the three couples forced to make life-defining decisions in the face of a biological catastrophe that threatens to destroy the human race. As the pandemic spreads and civilization is thrown into chaos, Millennium__130422172643-200x134generations old and young must each make the ultimate decision. Brian Horiuchi wrote and directed the sci-fi drama, which was produced by Molly Hassell, Jennifer Levine and Michael Benaroya. No release date has been set. LA-based XYZ Films handled the Millennium deal and also is doing international sales for the movie, which screened at Hong Kong Filmart last month.

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‘Fargo’ Jumps 68% In Live+3 Premiere Stats

By | Monday, 21 April 2014 21:02 UK

FARGO FXFargo: the most DVR-lifted drama/miniseries premiere in FX history. From Live+Same Day to Live+3, the drama series’ premiere episode jumped 68% — from 2.65 million total viewers to 4.46 million. The multi-telecast gross audience for the 10 PM premiere episode and two encore airings on Tuesday night was 6.38 million total viewers on Live+3;  the gross audience on Live+Same Day had been 4.15 million. For comparison’s sake, here are previous FX Live+Same Day to Live+3 total viewers highs: The Bridge (53%), The Americans (44%), and even greater percentage gain than fxlogo1__130919165223-200x110__131105211930those show’s Live+Same Day to Live+7 lift. FX estimates that when Fargo’s Live+7 data becomes available, it will among the Top 5 most-watched drama/miniseries debut ever on FX (out of 18 dating back to The Shield in 2002). Here are current Top 5: American Horror Story: Coven, 7.77 million; American Horror Story: Asylum, 5.5 million; The Americans, 5.11 million; The Bridge, 5.07 million; Justified, 4.94 million.

Related: FX & FXX To Double Their Original Output

In the demo,  Fargo climbed 74% from Live+Same Day to Live+3 (from 1.02 million to 1.78 million). That’s a much bigger jump, percentage-wise, than all prior FX drama/miniseries premieres, most recently The Bridge (67%) and The Americans (48%).

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Top Actors in Social Media And What It Means For TV & Movie Marketing

BuschColumnColumn: Social media has had a tremendous impact on movie and television marketing, increasing awareness and visibility for a TV show or movie across the globe in a click — a lot clicks — of a button. Some of the best social jimmy-fallon-ftrmedia teams right now on TV are the two Jimmys — late-night talk hosts Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel. These two are in a constant battle for viewers and they really go at each other on social media. Their social engagement across platforms and their understanding of social heralds a new generation of savvy Hollywood stars backed by sophisticated jimmykimmelonline marketing teams that understand how to push past traditional media to build a tremendous fan base. Increasingly, stars, celebrities and their teams are using social media to extend awareness of their brands — because that is what they have become — online and off, driving ratings and box office as well as bigger fan bases.

Vin-DieselThese days, a performer’s social media footprint is strongly considered when marketers start strategizing a film’s campaign. Vin Diesel is the current king of social, almost entirely because of the monster presence he’s built on Facebook. In the months since his emotional tribute on FB for his good friend and Fast & Furious co-star Paul Walker who died in a car crash, Diesel has seen his Facebook presence vault from an already whopping 54M likes to 72.3M, according to RelishMix, which tracks social-media engagement by TV shows, films and performers. And in six months, his following has jumped 46%.RelishMIX-FBactors1

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Unlike Kimmel and Fallon, Diesel has no team to manage his social profile. He does it entirely on his own. “Vin is a very unique case in that he curates that himself and the voice is authentic and all the posts seem real because they are real,” says Michael Moses, co-president of marketing at Universal Pictures. “He doesn’t have a social-media team. He maintains that. He has an authentic relationship with his fans.” Moses calls it “a higher level of commitment and engagement.” Read More »

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Aereo Supreme Court Preview With Dominic Patten: Podcast

By and | Monday, 21 April 2014 20:05 UK

Aereo badgeWill the Supreme Court back upstart tech company Aereo in its bid to short-cut broadcasters with a service that provides an Internet connection to over-the-air TV signals? Deadline Legal Editor Dominic Patten is headed to Washington D.C. to cover tomorrow’s oral arguments before the Court. Here’s a quick primer on the legal aspects of the case and what to look for ahead of the court’s final decision, which is expected by July. (Please note that in the time since this podcast was recorded, the Supreme Court has agreed to allow the U.S. Solicitor General to join in the oral arguments on behalf of the broadcasters.) For a view on the potential business-side impacts of the case, make sure to listen to Deadline Executive Editor David Lieberman in his weekly Deadline Big Media podcast from Friday, where he and David Bloom look at whether the Aereo decision will upset the broadcast apple cart should Aereo win. Also, Lieberman and Patten collaborated on a series of stories this past week looking at “The ABCs of the Aereo Case,” beginning with this piece explaining what Aereo is.

Dominic Patten Aereo Legal Preview Podcast (.MP3 version)
Dominic Patten Aereo Legal Preview Podcast (.M4A version)

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HBO Renews ‘Veep’ And ‘Silicon Valley’

By | Monday, 21 April 2014 19:45 UK

veep seaosn 4 debutThe two orders follow HBO‘s recent two-season pickup on Game Of Thrones. The news also follows the series’ second-week numbers coming in. Sunday’s Silicon Valley at 10 PM averaged 1.6 million viewers, after the previous Sunday’s premiere debuted with 2 million viewers. For the night, the Mike Judge series achieved a gross audience of 2.1 million viewers.  At 10:30 siliconvalley04PM, Veep delivered 775,000 viewers and a gross audience of 1.3 million viewers; last week Veep returned for a third season with 955,000 viewers, which was down 20% from the 1.2 million who tuned in to the show’s Season 2 debut on April 14 last year.  The two comedies’ second telecasts of the season followed Game Of Thrones‘ third episode, which averaged 6.6 million viewers at 9 PM last night, just shy of the season high. Another 1.6 million watched across two replays bringing the night’s tally to 8.2 million viewers.

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PGA Awards Sets 2015 Timeline

By | Monday, 21 April 2014 19:45 UK

pga67__140108185018-275x154__140121183522LOS ANGELES (April 21, 2014) – The Producers Guild of America announced today the opening of the submissions and key deadlines for consideration for the 2015 Producers Guild Awards. The 26th Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.

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WGN’s ‘Salem’ Off To Strong Ratings Start

By | Monday, 21 April 2014 19:37 UK
Nellie Andreeva

WGA's SalemWGN America‘s first original scripted series Salem debuted to a solid 1.5 million total viewers and 647,000 Adults 18-49 at 10 PM ET last night. That represents a +635% increase over the network’s Adults 18-49 season-to-date average in the slot and WGN America’s highest-rated telecast in more than seven years, since 2007. We should note that WGN America covers only 62.3% of the U.S. (72 million homes) and is a rare single-feed cable network, meaning that the Salem 10 PM premiere aired at 7 PM on the West Coast. For comparison, the 2007 premiere of AMC’s first original scripted series, Mad Men, drew 510,000 Adults 18-49 and 1.6 total viewers in 92 million homes. For the night, the Salem debut drew a total of 2.3 total viewers and 886,000 adults 18-49 over four airings, including encores at 11 PM ET/8 PM PT, 1 AM ET/10 PM PT and 2 AM ET/11 PM PT.  “These numbers far exceeded our expectations,” said Matt Cherniss, WGN America President and General Manager. Originally developed at FX, Salem, about the Salem witch trials, is the first series as part of WGN’s push to become a top tier general entertainment network. It will be followed by period drama Manhattan, premiering in July 2014, and event series Ten Commandments, debuting in 2015.

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Spielberg Circling Several Projects, Cold War Thriller Among Them

By | Monday, 21 April 2014 18:22 UK
Mike Fleming

spielSister publication Variety reporting Tom Hanks wants to star for Steven Spielberg in an untitled thriller scripted by Matt Charman. Not sure if this will be next, as DreamWorks poured cold water on the Cold War project when Deadline inquired a couple weeks ago after hearing it might be next for Spielberg. In this one, Hanks would play James Donovan, a prominent American attorney enlisted by the CIA during the Cold War to slip behind the iron curtain to negotiate the release of a pilot captured when his U2 spy plane is shot down over Russia. The prolific Marc Platt is the producer.

I wonder if some of these projects, including the still-percolating Robopocalypse, will eventually square things financially for India-based Reliance, which sure seems to have so far come out on the short end of the stick after bankrolling a DreamWorks venture that seems to have run its course, and hasn’t generated much in the way of blockbuster hits since leaving Paramount. Stay tuned.

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Hot TV Teaser: HBO’s ‘True Blood’

By | Monday, 21 April 2014 18:21 UK

HBO has dropped a new teaser for True Blood‘s final Season 7, which premieres June 22. It looks like the residents of Bon Temps will have plenty to deal with in the final chapter, including an attack on a church and a lot of sick vampires. Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer star. Have a look:

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OSCARS: Craig Zadan & Neil Meron Return To Produce In 2015

86th Annual Academy Awards - ShowWe’re hearing the Academy is aiming for consistency and has nailed down Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to produce the Oscarcast for a third year running. Here’s how much consistency: the Academy announced the pair was returning for the 86th Oscars almost exactly a year ago (and they announced Ellen DeGeneres as host that August). It’s the first time since 1997-1999 (Gil Cates) that the Oscars has had the same producer three years in a row. In March, Meron, Zadan and DeGeneres together built a show that drew 43.7 million viewers with a 13.1/33 rating in adults 18-49, the most watched Academy Awards since 2000 and the highest-rated in the demo since 2010. The speculation right now is if the Academy wants consistency with the producers then they’d seek it with a host, but nothing has been set. Here’s today’s release:

Oscar_badge__140302212232BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Motion picture, television and theater producing team Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will return to produce the Oscars for a third consecutive year, Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced today. The 87th Oscars will air live on the ABC Television Network on Oscar® Sunday, February 22, 2015.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Craig and Neil back to produce the Oscars again in 2015,” said Boone Isaacs. “Their showmanship has elevated the show to new heights and we are excited to keep the momentum going with this creative partnership.”

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Believe’ & ‘Cosmos’ Rise, ‘Once Upon A Time’ & CBS Lineup Slip

By | Monday, 21 April 2014 17:54 UK
Nellie Andreeva

believeThe ABC series that shares a title with the Easter holiday, Resurrection, was off last night, but two other shows dealing with spiritual and cosmic themes, NBC’s Believe and Fox’s Cosmos, got ratings bumps. Coincidentally, both air in Resurrection‘s 9 PM time slot and benefited from the benching of the midseason for a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. Believe (1.2 in 18-49, up 20% from last week to match a regular-slot high since the premiere) also was helped from a stronger lead-in from Dateline (0.9, up 13%) as NBC moved in to swap underperformed reality series American Dream Builders and the newsmagazine. In its first airing at 7 PM, Dream Builders (0.6) was down 14% from last week’s 8 PM episode to a new low. (NBC was pre-empted for an NBA game in Portland from 7-9 PM, so ratings for Dream Builders and Dateline may undergo adjustments.) At 10 PM Crisis (0.9) retreated 18% after a 10% bump the previous Sunday to a new low. Both midseason dramas have been considered very long shots for renewal. UPDATE: The Portland NBA game went into overtime, spilling beyond 9 PM to also pre-empt Believe and part of Crisis in the market, NBC just said in a note. That could explain the .2 rise for Believe, which will likely be adjusted down in the finals tomorrow.

CosmosDespite following American Dad, The Read More »

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TruTV Greenlights Six New Series, Orders More ‘The Carbonaro Effect’ And ‘Impractical Jokers’

By | Monday, 21 April 2014 17:52 UK

trutv-2TruTV has greenlighted six new series as it changes its brand, targeting a young audience of “funseekers.” Over the past eight months, truTV has been reshaping its brand, turning over a slate of more than 30 projects in development. The network’s slate of new shows includes Fake-Off, a Kabuki-inspired, pop-culture-themed talent competition series; Way Out West, a reality Western about three rival outfitter families in the Idaho backcountry; How To Be A Grown Up, a comedic take on the relatable trials and tribulations of true adulthood; Local News (working title), a look at the playful rivalry between the news teams at two small-town television stations; and Hair Jacked, a new ambush game show that gives contestants the opportunity to win big money or go home with the cut of the day. Additionally, after sneak peeking new series The Carbonaro Effect on April 1, the network ordered 13 additional episodes before the first-season launch of the Michael Carbonaro starrer, debuting Thursday, May 15, at 10 PM. The network also ordered another season of Impractical Jokers, which finished the first quarter of 2014 ranking as basic cable’s No. 1 program in its Thursday night time slot with adults 18-34,  as well as a spinoff series, Jokers Wild! Here’s a rundown of truTV’s five main programming categories, with details about the new series and projects:

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‘Midnight Rider’ Investigation Handed Over To District Attorney For Examination

By and | Monday, 21 April 2014 17:35 UK

georgia22n-3-webThe ongoing investigation into the February death of crew member Sarah Jones on the Georgia set of Midnight Rider was turned over this morning to the Wayne County District Attorney’s office by the Wayne County Sheriff’s office, the local authority that has been investigating the 27-year-old camera assistant’s death. They will be discussing the case with state authorities who will then take the matter under consideration whether to pursue criminal charges. According to Sheriff John Carter: “We just turned everything over to the District Attorney, and it will be up to her office to look it over and decide whether or not the case will go to a grand jury. Our detective interviewed everyone he could on this case.” The detective on the case was Joe Gardner; the Wayne County D.A. is Jackie Johnson. Carter would not say what course of action their office is recommending. According to a spokesman for the D.A.’s office, they plan to review the investigative materials. That will be done, of course, to decide whether this rises to the level of criminality. “We will assess from our end what we need to do,” said the spokesman. “It may take a few days or longer (because) we want to be fair to the process.”

Investigations are also ongoing on the federal level via the National Transportation Safety Board, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration and Georgia Bureau Of Investigation.

Related: Read More »

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Hot TV Trailer: TNT’s ‘Falling Skies’

By | Monday, 21 April 2014 17:29 UK

TNT has released the new trailer for Season 4 of alien invasion drama Falling Skies, executive produced by Steven Spielberg. Noah Wyle, Moon Bloodgood, Will Patton, Drew Roy, Connor Jessup, Maxim Knight, Seychelle Gabriel, Mpho Koaho, Colin Cunningham and Sarah Carter star. Season 4 premieres on June 22 at 10 PM. Check it out:

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Keke Palmer To Host BET Daily Talk Show From Telepictures & Judge Greg Mathis

By | Monday, 21 April 2014 17:00 UK
Nellie Andreeva

Keke PalmerEXCLUSIVE: BET Networks is targeting millenials with a new daily talk show hosted by actress-singer Keke Palmer. The Keke Palmer Project (working title), which has been picked up for an initial four-week run, will premiere in July, airing Mondays-Fridays. Telepictures is producing. Judge Greg Mathis, whose long-time Bet Networkssyndicated court show Judge Mathis is produced by Telepictures, is executive producing after being instrumental in bringing together the Warner Bros TV syndication division and Palmer.

At age 20, Palmer will become the youngest talk show host in TV history. Her show will cover such topics as fashion, pop culture, social issues, seJudge Greg Mathisx, and will feature celebrity interviews, “on the street” bits and undercover segments. It stems from Palmer’s interaction with fans on social media. “I like to read quotes that touch on how I am feeling,” she said. “If I am dealing with confusion, I will read quotes about clarity and peace of mind. I started posting these quotes on my Twitter page, and the fans responded so positively! I realized that many of them were dealing with similar issues, and the quotes helped to open up a genuine dialogue between us.” Read More »

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Movie Ticket Outlays Averaged $7.96 In Q1

movie-ticketThat’s up just 2 cents vs the same period in 2013, and down from $8.35 in Q4 according to domestic numbers out this morning from the National Association of Theater Owners. The drop from the end of the year mostly reflects the fact that theaters in Q1 were filled with kids’ films including Frozen, Mr. Peabody And Sherman, and The Lego Movie. They typically drive the ticket averages down because they include a lot of low-priced children’s tickets and matinees. Remember that several factors influence the average price — including how many people pay a premium to see a film in 3D or on an IMAX screen. The Q4 number included 3D hits with Warner Bros’ Gravity (80% of its domestic gross came from 3D venues) and The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug, and Disney’s Thor: The Dark World. The quarter also had several popular films targeted to adults including Paramount’s The Wolf Of Wall Street and Sony’s American Hustle. The average outlay for a movie ticket in 2013 was $8.13.

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‘Today’ Coming To Your Car Via SiriusXM

By | Monday, 21 April 2014 15:42 UK

SIRIUS XM RADIO LOGOSiriusXM and NBC News this morning announced the launch of  Today Show Radio Channel, on which the long-running morning infotainment program will be broadcast on radio for the first time, featuring daily live feeds from both coasts — and, yes, including Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb’s slice of the franchise. SiriusXM will be the exclusive audio home of Today. From today’s announcement:
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Bravo, Joss Whedon For Online Launch Of Tribeca Pic

By | Monday, 21 April 2014 15:40 UK
Mike Fleming

joddAs a guy who has covered features my whole career, I find it distressing that the only time feature folks do risky things seems to be when they are making TV projects. Because theaters and studios can’t figure it out, films are frozen in an arcane system where you wait six months for a DVD and those who don’t want to wait, or see it in a theater, have no choice but to steal it. When they work in TV, these writer-directors play in a sandbox that gives viewers the ability to see that work, whenever and wherever they want to. Joss Whedon premiered a Brin Hill-directed micro-budget relationship film In Your Eyes at Tribeca, and announced right after that he’s making it available on Vimeo for five bucks. Obviously, Whedon makes a fortune on Marvel’s The Avengers movies, but he is onto something here, and other star filmmakers should take notice and empower new filmmakers by offering small-budget films directly to their audiences. Maybe it’s going to take mavericks like this guy to hasten the glacial pace of the evolution of the way consumers digest feature films. Here is his announcement:

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