The local TV networks went into quake mode tonight — but not immediately. KCBS, KNBC and KABC continued with their regular 9 PM programming after a magnitude 5.1 earthquake struck the Southland at 9:09 PM. KCAL 9 did go live with news within about 15 minutes, and one of its co-anchors was Kent Shockneck — who famously doing a live newscast on KNBC when the 5.9 1987 Whittier Narrows quake struck and promptly got under his newsdesk. (Relive video of that incident below). Interestingly, tonight’s temblor occurred on same thrust fault that caused the ’87 quake, according to preliminary data. For their part, the three network O&Os went to their news teams by 10 PM — pre-empting The Insider on CBS, Hannibal on NBC and 20/20 on ABC. Fox 11 went with its regular 10 PM newscast.
This was the second small-to-moderate earthquake to strike the Greater Los Angeles area in less than two weeks. Disneyland shut down its rides after the main quake, which was followed by a series of more than a half-dozen aftershocks ranging in magnitude from 2.6 to 3.6. This is standard protocol for the Anaheim theme park, which is less than 10 miles from La Habra, the epicenter of the main temblor. Disneyland typically cycles through its attraction after a quake hits then inspects them after parkgoers have disembarked. … Read More »
There are a couple ways TV on-air talent can go when faced with a 4.4-magnitude earthquake hitting their market. This morning, KTLA, which is the Tribune-owned CW affiliate in Los Angeles, and the market’s CBS O&O demonstrated the two. The quake struck at 6:26 AM PT during live morning newscasts.
Watch KTLA here:
… and CBS O&O here: Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-winning scribe Dustin Lance Black has been set to script Earthquake, a big scale disaster film for Universal that is being produced by JJ Abrams, Bryan Burk and their Bad Robot banner. While Universal made the 1974 film that starred Charlton Heston, I’m told that the title and natural disaster subject is all the films share. So it is not a remake.
This puts Universal potentially in a competitive situation with New Line, which has a 3D earthquake project set up under the title San Andreas 3D.
There have been rumblings of an earthquake film from Abrams and Universal since 2008, when the project was first set up with The Omen‘s David Seltzer writing. It languished, but now the project is regaining momentum. Black won his Oscar for Milk, and followed with J. Edgar. He most recently has been adapting the Jon Krakauer book Under the Banner of Heaven at Warner Bros for Ron Howard to direct and Brian Grazer to produce through Imagine, and he scripted Barefoot Bandit for Fox. He’s currently adapting the Dark Horse graphic novel 3 Story as a directing vehicle, with Laurence Mark producing. He’s repped by CAA.
The two Tokyo theme parks have been closed since last Friday’s earthquake and tsunami (they were used as shelters for park-goers stranded following the quake), and now the Burbank-based company is temporarily suspending operations in the city’s stores and administrative offices. “Our top priority is the well-being of our employees and their families during this challenging time and we will continue to closely monitor the situation as it develops,” Disney said in a statement. The decision comes as the U.S. Embassy today offered citizens safe transport out of the country, joining other nations in advising nationals to stay at least 50 miles from the unstable Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, which lies about 130 miles to the north of Tokyo.
Two months after the big tsunami episode of CBS’ Hawaii Five-0, the show is facing a real one. Hawaii, where the series is shot, has been under a tsunami warning after the massive 8.9 earthquake in Japan but, according to a rep for CBS TV Studios, which produces the series, Hawaii is shooting today as scheduled as production is not near the water and there has been minimal impact from the disaster in Honolulu. “Back at work, bleary eyed & heartsick, but very grateful,” co-star Daniel Dae Kim tweeted this morning. “As far as I know, everyone is safe.”
UPDATE: Two 3D animation movies were supposed to open big in Japan this weekend for the March school holidays. But Disney’s Tangled and DreamWorks Animation’s Megamind are now in limbo. That scary 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan also looks to have a major impact on the technology industry and in turn entertainment. Sony stopped production in six of its northeastern factories, which produce Blu-ray discs, magnetic heads for hard drives, and batteries. That could affect games, movies, and computers (some of Apple’s components are made in Japan, but there’s been no word whether the quake will affect the launch of the company’s iPad2 that is set for this weekend).
In fact, the entire sector may feel the pain by the halted production and any long-term issues which could have a ripple effect throughout Japan, Hawaii, and of course California. The national touring company of Spamalot packed up and left Ventura because of the tsunami warnings.
Meanwhile, the Vancouver Island beach area in British Columbia where Taylor Lautner and Kristin Stewart and others are filming the finale of the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn, were evacuated. Needless to say, Internet chatter made a big deal of this.
In the meantime, Hollywood actors, pop stars and rockers have gone online to express sympathy for victims of the tragedy.