Zurich, San Sebastian Film Festivals Opening Windows On Each Other
The Zurich and San Sebastian Film Festivals are creating a unique partnership for their upcoming editions, which run almost simultaneously. Zurich will open a San Sebastian Window, which will offer insight into contemporary Spanish cinema by showcasing entries from the different sections of San Sebastian’s program. In turn, a Zurich Window will enhance the San Sebastian program with contributions from German-speaking countries, particularly Switzerland. The parties intend to strengthen their alliance in the coming years. Zurich runs Sept 26-Oct 6, and San Sebastian is September 20-28.
CBS Studios Fare To Stream in UK, Germany Via LoveFilm
Amazon’s LoveFilm has singed a multiyear licensing deal with CBS Studios International to bring content from the group to the UK and Germany. Subscribers will be able to stream network TV series including The Good Wife and Blue Bloods as well as Showtime programming such as Nurse Jackie, Californication and Dexter. The original 1960s Star Trek series and and Star Trek: Voyager also will be available. Read More »
UPDATE, 10:17 AM: Having reached a confidential settlement today in their multimillion-dollar lawsuit over profits from NCIS: LA, CBS and NCIS creator Don Bellisario released a joint statement Friday:
“We’re pleased to settle this lawsuit on amicable terms and put this dispute to rest,” said David Stapf, President, CBS Television Studios. “Although we differed in opinion on this matter, our admiration, appreciation and respect for Mr. Bellisario has never wavered throughout. We consider him one of the best creative talents of his time and a valued member of the CBS family, whose shows, both past and present, have played an important role in CBS’s success.” Don Bellisario added, “I am also pleased that we were able to amicably resolve the lawsuit short of a trial. I am gratified that CBS has recognized my contributions in creating JAG and NCIS.”
PREVIOUSLY, 10:08 AM: CBS Studios and Don Bellisario have come to a settlement in the producer’s multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the network for profits from NCIS: Los Angeles, Deadline has confirmed. The parties were scheduled to go to trial January 25. No details of the deal are known. Despite having made more than $116 million from his CBS shows over the years, the JAG and NCIS creator sued CBS in April 2011 over breach of contract and the covenant of good faith for profits from NCIS: LA. The legal battle revolved around conflicting definitions of what constitutes a “spinoff,” what kind of spinoff NCIS: LA is and which one of the three agreements the producer had with the studio is the basis for the dispute. Bellisario was let go from NCIS in 2007 after star Mark Harmon threatened to quit. Read More »
UPDATE, 10:01 AM: The start date for the multimillion-dollar jury trial was pushed back to January 25 today by Judge Gregory Alarcon. It had been set to begin January 14. Based on a tentative ruling circulated earlier by the judge that granted rights to CBS to examine Bellisario’s medical records and take depositions from three of his doctors, the studio sought to have the start date pushed back until at least February 2013. Bellisario’s lawyer Ronald Nessim argued to keep the start date as close to the original as possible. Both sides and the judge acknowledged that the upcoming holidays, the court’s crowded schedule and the time needed for both sided to conduct interviews would push the case forward. “A week before a trial of this magnitude I don’t want to be taking doctors’ depositions, I want to be working on my opening argument”, CBS Studios lawyer Scott Edelman told the court. The judge noted the tight schedule, and urged both sides to find a way to strike a deal; at one point, Edelman accused Nessim of being a “Christmas Scrooge” for his proposed compressed schedule. The date was eventually scheduled from the bench. It is likely Bellisario and his wife will also be interviewed by both sides about his medical condition. A final status conference before the trial is set for January 18.
PREVIOUS, 9:01 AM: Lawyers for Don Bellisario and CBS are set to face off at a hearing over the producer’s multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the network for profits from NCIS: Los Angeles. At issue this morning in LA Superior Court downtown is whether the JAG and NCIS creator’s recently revealed neurological disorder will delay the trial. Despite having made more than $116 million from his CBS shows over the years, Bellisario sued last April over breach of contract and the covenant of good faith for profits from NCIS: LA. This morning, CBS wants Judge Gregory Alarcon to push back the January 14 trial start date so it can look at Bellisario’s medical records and talk to his doctors to determine whether his “water on the brain” condition could have prevented him from performing his duties as a network showrunner. Lawyers for the 77-year-old Bellisario, who was let go from NCIS in 2007 after star Mark Harmon threatened to quit, want to squash that attempt, a move CBS has called “stonewalling” in legal documents for “trying to leverage Bellisario’s medical condition in their own favor.” Read More »
Donald Bellisario today saw his claim to millions from CBS Studios and NCIS: Los Angeles take a legal body blow. A LA Superior Court judge ruled that the JAG and NCIS creator is not entitled to any money from CBS over the show. In a dense 12-page ruling, (Read it here) Judge Gregory Alarcon dismissed any financial claims Bellisario may have believed he was due to the spinoff under a 2006 agreement with CBS Studios.
Bellisario, who was let go from NCIS in 2007 after star Mark Harmon threatened to quit, sued CBS Studios last April over breach of contract and the covenant of good faith for profits from NCIS:LA. In his 2011 suit, the former producer claimed that under his 1992, 2002 and 2006 contracts with CBS Studios and its predecessors, he had a right of “first opportunity” “to participate creatively in economically in the development” of any “new spinoffs, sequels or remakes” of any series he had created for the studio as long as he worked on the original series for the first 2 seasons. CBS disagreed. Read More »
In an interesting twist, sitcom veteran Chris Case, who was in contention to write the new Charlie Sheen sitcom Anger Management, has sold a sitcom project to CBS, the network where Sheen was a star on Two and a Half Men for 8 seasons. Case, creator of TV Land’s comedy series Retired at 35, is co-writing the untitled comedy — about a recently separated father of two who attempts to move on with his life — with Joey Gutierrez (Still Standing). CBS TV Studios is producing with Mindy Shultheis and Michael Hanel’s Acme Prods.
This is a project a lot of my colleagues can unfortunately relate to: CBS has bought multi-camera comedy script Malled, written by Bill Kunstler (Accidentally On Purpose). It centers on a career journalist who, after getting laid off from her job at a newspaper, takes a retail job in a clothing store at a mall. CBS Studios and studio-based Tennenbaum Co are producing, with Kunstler, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum exec producing. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Film and TV producer Dan Jinks has signed an overall deal with CBS Television Studios. This marks the first TV pact for the Dan Jinks Co, which Jinks launched in February 2010 when he and longtime producing partner Bruce … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: This was close: After lengthy and rough negotiations, Criminal Minds star Thomas Gibson just signed a deal to return to the veteran CBS drama only two weeks before it is scheduled to begin production on its upcoming seventh season. I hear Gibson has signed on for two more years in a deal worth mid-to-high seven figures, plus a signing bonus, with the actor more than doubling his previous salary. The difficult negotiations with CBS, CBS Studios and ABC Studios created some jitters in the Criminal Minds writers room as the show’s scribes have been breaking stories and working on scripts for next season for almost a month now without knowing for sure if Gibson’s character, Supervisory Special Agent Aaron Hotchner, will return. With Gibson and Shemar Moore set to come back and Paget Brewster and A.J. Cook rejoining them, Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Kristoffer Polaha is staying in the CBS family. Polaha, who stars on the critically praised CW/CBS Studios drama Life Unexpected, has signed a rich talent holding deal with CBS and CBS Studios to topline a new project eyed for … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: I learned this morning that Tom Selleck hasn’t been accepting the scripts which CBS’ Blue Bloods executive producer Ken Sanzel has been giving him. So a standoff developed over character vs procedural visions for the series, summarized to me as “creative tension”. By midday, Sanzel was still staying with the show. No more. Insiders just emailed me that the former New York cop told the staff late today that he is leaving. There’s no exit date yet. “He’s a stand-up guy; he won’t leave the network or studio hanging,” a network source explains. “Simply creative differences. It happens. He was brought in after the pilot as a showrunner to set the show up. We often do this for pilots picked up to series that have great writers but who haven’t run shows before.” Now, to replace Sanzel, Selleck wants to find ”his guy” who must also meet with studio/network approval. Unfortunately this turmoil is especially embarrassing because it’s executive produced by Leonard Goldberg, a CBS Corporation board member.
Sanzel, a longtime Numb3rs showrunner, was handpicked by CBS and CBS Studios to executive produce with creators Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green, who continue with the show. ”Ken is a real take-charge tough guy and everyone knows it. They begged him to take the show. He was reluctant to do it. And Selleck was not crazy to have Ken imposed on hm. But Ken was doing the network bidding thanklessly,” an insider tells me. Sanzel’s vision was for a compelling crime procedural, whereas Selleck wanted softer character exploration. Sanzel knew the network was behind him. But Selleck wanted to be in charge of the show. “Too many cooks,” one of my insiders explains. “They love him at CBS. But Selleck realized it’s not the show he thought he was in. Ken calls Nina Tassler and says, ‘What do you want to do?’ And she says, ‘Let me talk to Tom.’” Today, it became clear to me it was just a matter of hours before Sanzel left the show. ”Not bail on them in one day. Just saunter off peacefully,” a source tells me. “If we were to count up every single show where there’s creative friction between actors and producers, we’d have a number like the census bureau.” Read More »
CSI mavens Carol Mendelsohn and Ann Donahue are staying at the helm of CBS’ veteran crime drama franchise. Each has inked a new four-year eight-figure overall deal with CSI producer CBS TV Studios. Medelsohn will continue to executive produce and showrun the mothership CSI series, which anchors the CBS Thursday schedule at 9PM. She also is executive producing the new CBS/CBS Studios drama The Defenders. Donahue will continue to executive produce and run CSI: Miami, which moves to Sundays 10PM this fall. The new pacts succeed Mendelsohn and Donahue’s previous four-year eight-figure deals with CBS Studios, which expired in mid-June. Both have been under overall pacts at the studio since 2001. “Every studio dreams of having producers with this kind of passion and leadership on the set and in the writer’s room,” CBS TV Studios president David Stapf said. “It was very important to us that Carol and Ann remain not only part of CSI, but the CBS family too.”
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