The family of the pop star had filed a wrongful death suit in 2010 against entertainment giant AEG. The nation’s second-largest concert promoter, which has its hands in more than 100 global arenas and stadiums and numerous sports teams, hired Michael Jackson for a massive comeback tour that was to launch in summer 2009. Jackson died that June of an overdose of the anesthetic propofol, and his doctor Conrad Murray eventually was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and is serving two years in prison. The verdict concludes the 21-week trial that captivated the likes of HLN and truTV, with the jury ruling just now that while AEG hired Murray, the company did not contribute to Jackson’s death. AEG’s lawyers argued it had no way of knowing Murray was a risk when he was hired. “I am pleased that the jury recognized that this lawsuit was without merit, and the entire AEG family looks forward to putting this unfortunate chapter behind us,” said AEG president and CEO Dan Beckerman in a release. The final rehearsals from the mega-tour that never was were captured in Sony’s 2009 documentary Michael Jackson’s This Is It, which grossed $261 million worldwide.
Related: ‘This Is It’ Hits $200M Globally
A tale of Big Media is coming to cable. Continuing its recent moves toward original scripted series, Bravo is developing the drama Moguls. The series will follow the professional and personal challenges of a media … Read More »
ABC has acquired TV rights to Spike Lee’s Michael Jackson documentary Bad 25, which marks the 25th anniversary of the groundbreaking album. The network said it would air a version of the documentary at Thanksgiving … Read More »
Nearly a year after Sony Pictures and the PlayStation Network faced targeted hacking attacks, it has emerged that Sony Music had its own breach in the US in 2011. Two British men appeared in a UK court on Friday … Read More »
UPDATE 1:17 PM: The TV news community swarmed over the guilty verdict against Dr. Conrad Murray, convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson in June 2009. CBS/2, NBC/4, KTLA/5, ABC/7, KCAL/9, Fox/11, CNN, HLN, MSNBC, Fox News and truTV all covered the verdict live from the Los Angeles Criminal Court in Downtown L.A. Murray had no visible reaction to the news, while cameras showed celebration among the sign-wielding crowd gathered outside the court. In the wake of the verdict, those hoping for conviction were interviewed all over the local news dial, while on cable news pundits and legal experts held court with opinion and reaction. The exceptions were Fox News, which quickly went back to its scheduled news rotation, and KCOP/13 locally, which opted to stick with its Bewitched rerun. Murray was handcuffed in court; his sentencing date is November 29.
Read More »
Sony Pictures attorneys had argued that jurors in Michael Jackson’s manslaughter case should not see unreleased footage from the studio’s Jackson documentary This Is It in order to determine the state of the singer’s health before his death in June … Read More »
Feature and video director Mark Romanek has signed with CAA. Romanek, who just directed the Fox Searchlight adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go with Andrew Garfield, Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley, had been repped by WME. Romanek previously … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Michael Jackson, who reportedly earned $275 million posthumously over the past year for his estate, isn’t slowing down anytime soon. I’m told that GK Films is in active negotiations to acquire a package for a film that is being fashioned around his groundbreaking hit song Thriller. The film, which has been quietly shopped over the past several weeks by Real Effects Entertainment, has Kenny Ortega attached to direct, and The Hangover scribe Jeremy Garelick to write the screenplay. While GK is in the driver’s seat, I’m told that Fox 2000, Mandate/Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment are all in the mix on what will shape up as a pricey rights deal, but which will turn out to be a film budgeted at under $50 million. Plot is being kept under wraps but I understand it has to do with the song’s folklore, involving Vincent Price and the town he grew up in. All of this deal making is subject to a deal being completed with Jackson’s estate, but that has been in the works for some time and is expected to be sealed. Thriller songwriter Rod Temperton is also in the mix. On top of the Thriller deal, I’ve heard that Cirque du Soleil is in talks to do two live shows based on Jackson’s music, and that Montecito partners Ivan Reitman and Tom Pollock are looking to do a feature about Jackson’s younger years. Read More »