Catch up on the top film stories you missed this week:
A Journalist’s Plea On 10th Anniversary Of ‘The Passion Of The Christ’: Hollywood, Take Mel Gibson Off Your Blacklist
By Allison Hope Weiner – It has been a decade since Mel Gibson made The Passion Of The Christ and watched it become the biggest-grossing independent film with $612 million in worldwide ticket sales. In the years that followed, Gibson made several comments that went public, made him seem anti-Semitic and racist. They made him persona non grata at major studios and agencies, the same ones that work with others who’ve committed felonies and done things far more serious than Gibson, who essentially used his tongue as a lethal weapon.
Anxiety On Sony Lot As Layoffs Coming Early Next Week
By Mike Fleming Jr. – EXCLUSIVE: There is anxiety in Culver City today as word gets around on the Sony lot that significant layoffs are coming as soon as Monday.
Box Office: ‘Mr. Peabody & Sherman’ Looks To Take No. 1 Spot; ‘Need For Speed’ Stalled; Tyler Perry’s ‘Mom’s Club’ Lackluster, ‘Budapest Hotel’ Exceptional … Again
By Anita Busch – The news of the weekend is that Fox’s Mr. Peabody and Sherman surprised to take No. 1 in its second weekend out for DreamWorks Animation (Family audiences gave it a strong Saturday night bump) while Need for Speed (Disney/DreamWorks) started out strong on its late night showings on Thursday and then just tanked. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: James Ward Byrkit has signed with Alex Manugian to write the screenplay for Paramount’s long-gestating thriller Wake. Wake chronicles the high school life and loves of Janie Hannagan, a teen who has the ability to enter other people’s dreams. This project has been trying to find its form since it was first announced in 2010 that Miley Cyrus would play the lead in the MTV Films-distributed adaptation of Lisa McMann’s bestselling 2008 novel. Disturbia co-writer Christopher London had been attached to Wake, the first in a young-adult novel trilogy. Lindsay Williams will produce Wake for Gotham and Jodi Zuckerman-Weiner and Cyrus’ production company Hope Town.
The gig marks the second writing collaboration between Byrkit and Manugian. The Rango story co-writer and Manugian, who handled the voice of Spoons in the 2011 animated pic, worked together on the Byrkit-directed Coherence. A winner at last year’s Fantastic Fest, the indie sci-fi thriller was picked up by Oscilloscope Laboratories at AFM in November, with plans to release it theatrically and online this year. Both Byrkit and Manugian are repped by Gotham Group, with Byrkit also repped by Gersh.
Because nothing says “celebration of TV industry” like a Monday in August, NBC and the TV Academy on Tuesday said they had picked August 25 as the airdate for this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards. NBC yanking the Emmys out of its traditional night-before-the-start-of-the-TV season berth to make way for the network’s Sunday football package is not news — the network has done it twice already, in 2006 and 2010. And both times NBC aired the trophy show on a Sunday in August. But a Monday in August was news and caused a kerfuffle yesterday. Eyebrows were raised until they threatened to disarrange hairlines as the media wondered why a company that had enjoyed recent Emmy success with NBCUniversal-produced Downton Abbey, and that had such high hopes for this year’s Emmys what with Universal TV’s freshman comedy for Fox, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, having cleaned up at the recent Golden Globes, would toss the trophy show on a Monday in August.
Related: Primetime Emmys To Air On August 25 — And It’s A Monday
After yesterday’s news broke, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences issued a statement pointing the finger at NBC. “Each year it is the responsibility of the host network to schedule the Primetime Emmy Awards,” Academy president and COO Lucy Hood said, cueing up a certain amount of industry snarking about the wisdom of putting a broadcast network in charge of picking the best date to air what’s become the CableACE Awards. ”With NBC, there is the added element of the NFL schedule, which typically pushes the date back into late August,” Hood continued, adding, “We look forward to working with NBC as we begin to plan the 2014 Primetime show.”
NBC had intended to air this year’s Emmycast on August 24, according to a report published five months ago. Based on that date, plans had been locked in for the so-called Creative Arts (aka non-televised) portion of the two-night trophy-dispensing ceremony. What changed NBC’s mind? Fear of Miley Cyrus: According to several press reports, the date was changed to Monday when it was discovered the MTV Video Music Awards would be held Sunday, August 24. Read More »
The year 2013 was so jam-packed with TV controversies that, after Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson this month left A&E looking more or less like the spot marked with chalk where the accident had occurred, exhausted Reporters Who Cover Television slumped over in a surfeited sort of coma.
Here’s a look at some of the bigger dust-ups: Read More »
2ND UPDATE MONDAY 10 AM: This is a new one — after slamming MTV for Miley Cyrus’ twerking at the Video Music Awards in August, the Parents Television Council today praised the network for censoring Cyrus’ smoking of an apparent marijuana joint at the European Music Awards where she again twerked with a dwarf. “We applaud MTV for taking responsible actions to eliminate the drug use from its U.S. broadcast, and we urge them to make that a uniform policy for all of its programming,” said PTC President Tim Winter.
UPDATE, 6:25 PM: The MTV censors have spoken. The EMAs just aired on the East Coast, and the portion of Miley Cyrus‘ acceptance speech where she lights up what looks like a joint has been cut out. In the edited version that aired in the U.S., Cyrus barely says one line before the camera cuts to an ultra wide shot of the audience and comes back to her for an awkward good-bye. (You can watch and compare the unedited and cut versions below. UPDATE: MTV has moved in to remove the clips with Cyrus’ smoking from video sharing sites.) Had MTV opted to leave the smoking stunt by the 20-year-old Cyrus in, the network most certainly would’ve gotten into hot water with watchdogs and parents.
PREVIOUS 3:50 PM: After the headline-grabbing twerking at the MTV VMAs, Miley Cyrus had been billed as the main attraction for today’s MTV EMAs, with MTV’s promos asking “How Wild Will Miley Get At The EMAs?” Her music performance didn’t break new ground in lowbrow/shock entertainment with more dwarf twerking. But her acceptance speech for Best Music Video will likely create headaches for U.S. censors. During the show, Cyrus pulled out a suspicious-looking cigarette that many have identified as a joint and proceeded to light up and smoke on stage. The ceremony was held in Amsterdam where marijuana is sold in coffee shops. But promoting smoking and likely illegal substances to minors who make up a big portion of the MTV audience in the U.S. is sure to stir controversy and strong reaction from advocacy groups. MTV has yet to respond to requests for comment about whether the smoking incident will be aired in the U.S. Read More »
Until the network figures out how to feature her in an episode of The Blacklist, it appears Miley Cyrus has completed her Strategic Hot Mess Tour through The Platforms Of NBC, with her appearance last night as the guest and music act for the entire hour of Jimmy Fallon’s late-night show. Fallon noted Cyrus had to wear clothes on his show. Miley was too smart for him — yes, she wore a modest white shirt, but with bits of a bra on the outside (her shorts had expired backstage, but her feet were, as usual, very modestly covered). During her interview with Fallon, Cyrus said her appearance on NBC’s Saturday Night Live – she was not only the host but the music act on SNL which, like Fallon’s show, is produced by Lorne Michaels — she had the opportunity to show she had other talents besides twerking and “licking stuff”. “I can sing and I can act a little bit too,” she said, adding, “I’m multi-talented. My parents are proud.” Still a tiny bit of the Hannah Montana child in Strategic Hot Mess Miley. She did not discuss what had happened to her shorts (R.I.P.) during her appearance on Today which, according to press reports, had left The NBC Decency Police scrambling as she danced with mushrooms. Watch Miley, Fallon, and The Roots here:
Related: Miley Cyrus … Read More »
NBC no doubt hopes Miley Cyrus‘ Today show appearance this morning cops better ratings than did her Saturday Night Live hosting/performing gig over the weekend. Undaunted by NCAA football’s best effort to nuke her SNL numbers with a nearly half-hour delay, trouper Cyrus packed up her Strategic Hot Mess Tour and sashayed on over to Today to make some news, telling Matt Lauer he’s too old to be sexy, or to understand her VMA performance.
Matt needs the ratings — all good.
Related: ‘SNL’ Cold Open: Miley Backstage At VMAs
Miley was the only one who mentioned the half-hour football delay — deadline in late-night — that no doubt kept her Twerking Michele Bachmann performance from becoming all the talk on the Sunday Beltway shows the next morning. That football overrun kept Miley from setting any SNL ratings records on the heels of her gone-viral VMA twerkformance. That said, SNL’s delayed-viewing stats will no doubt be even higher than usual. Matt instead, after praising her “really great showing on Saturday Night Live,” wondered if the seasoned pro — who has been slapped in front of TV cameras since around the turn of the century, starred in her own comedy series from ’06-’11, upstaged Justin Timberlake at the VMAs, and had hosted SNL before — was nervous on the late-night stalwart over the weekend. Miley politely explained that she was not. Then Matt said he would never be able to look at another foam finger or wrecking ball the same way again and wondered if it has been harder than she’d expected to navigate the transition from kid star to adult star, and if she was surprised by the attention she’s been getting of late. (Watch Miley talk to Matt after the jump.)
Related: FCC Airs Miley Cyrus Twerking Complaints
Read More »
Here’s one way to get Miley Cyrus and Tina Fey in the same sentence. Last night’s Saturday Night Live, which was delayed 27 minutes on the East Coast because of a football overrun, drew a 4.5 rating in the metered-market households and a 2.7 in adults 18-49 in the Local People Meters. The show with Cyrus as host/musical matched the 18-49 performance of last week’s SNL season premiere hosted by Fey as well as the May 18 season finale with host Ben Affleck and musical guest Kanye West. In households, last night’s show was down 4% from last week’s season opener.
‘SNL’ Cold Open: Miley Backstage At VMAs
‘SNL’ Twerks Miley And Federal Shutdown
Strap In For ‘SNL’ Rebuilding Year
The ‘old’ Miley Cyrus visits present-day Miley Cyrus to warn her about that VMAs performance:
This is supposed to be U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and Congresswoman Michele Bachmann celebrating the government shutdown by throwing a raucous house party set to host Miley Cyrus‘ latest single. Kinda funny:
Immediately after Tina Fey returns to Saturday Night Live to host the season debut on September 28, featuring Arcade Fire as the music act, NBC will air a half hour Arcade Fire concert special, which will help to promote the band’s fourth studio album — due out next month, reported Consequence of Sound. NBC confirmed the special, but did not elaborate. No word as to whether there will be more of same during SNL’s season; Miley Cyrus is scheduled to host and perform on SNL the following week, and Katy Perry, is performing on October 12 when Bruce Willis hosts.
Miley Cyrus and her headline-grabbing twerk routine helped the MTV VMAs reach 10.1M viewers on August 25. It also prompted 150 irate official complaint filings over at the FCC, according to documents received by The Smoking Gun. Some compare it to the Janet Jackson Super Bowl Nipple-gate of 2004 on CBS in an MTV-produced halftime show and led to a $550,000 fine. Many of the FCC complaints term Cyrus’s grinding on singer Robin Thicke as “obscene” and “indecent” with one saying, “Had I wanted my family to see a hooker perform a live sex show, I would have taken them to Tijuana.” Others call for FCC fines to MTV, Cyrus, and even Thicke for being the guy who got twerked on. Unfortunately for outraged tsk-tskers, Cyrus’s MTV stunt was broadcast on the cable network – so the FCC can’t touch it.
Related: 10.1 Million Watch Miley Cyrus Clumsily Come Of Age On VMAs
Parents Television Council & VMAs Continue Their Mutually Beneficial Relationship
Tina Fey‘s schedule is a bit more free on the TV side these days after her long-running 30 Rock wrapped its run in the spring. She will return to NBC‘s airwaves September 28 to host the season premiere of Saturday Night Live. It launches the 39th season of the late-night show. Arcade Fire returns as musical guest. Miley Cyrus, fresh off her stint at the MTV Video Music Awards, will be host and musical guest both on October 5, Bruce Willis and Katy Perry will host and perform, respectively, on October 12. SNL has added five new castmembers for this season after the departures of Bill Hader, Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis in May and Seth Meyers leaving later in the fall to take over Jimmy Fallon’s late-night show.
Without Parents Television Council, MTV‘s aged Video Music Awards trophy show might lose its status as The Go To Program for former Disney star kids looking for an image update. And, without the VMAs, PTC would have one less occasion to promote its campaign to compel cable networks to offer programming a la carte. It’s a great working relationship.
Related: VMAs Draw About 10.1M Viewers
“MTV continues to sexually exploit young women by promoting acts that incorporate ‘twerking’ in a nude-colored bikini. How is this image of former child star Miley Cyrus appropriate for 14-year-olds?” PTC wondered rhetorically the morning after last night’s VMAs, in which Cyrus, dressed as a slightly desperate-to-stay-relevant former Disney child-star in a nude-colored bikini, twerked on thirtysomething Robin Thicke, who was dressed as an NFL referee on a dinner date. “MTV has once again succeeded in marketing sexually charged messages to young children using former child stars and condom commercials — while falsely rating this program as appropriate for kids as young as 14,” the advocacy group charged this morning. Read More »
MTV announced today a Miley Cyrus feature documentary, and premieres for docu-series Generation Cryo and Nurses, in addition to renewals for shows including Teen Wolf, the third season of Snooki & JWOWW and the fall season of Awkward. The announcements were among those made today by Susanne Daniels, President of MTV Programming, during the network’s presentation at the TCA summer press tour.
The one-hour Cyrus feature film produced by MTV’s News and Docs team will follow her as she works on her new album and delves into the “transformation” she has experienced over the past few years — from Disney princess to TMZ fave. Premiering this fall, it follows in the footsteps of similar documentaries that have featured the likes of Lady Gaga, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Britney Spears and most recently Demi Lovato.
Additionally, Daniels announced pilot pickups of comedies Faking It (working title) from Carter Covington (10 Things I Hate About You) and Happyland (working title) from Ben Epstein and executive producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan (Smash). Faking It revolves around two best friends who will do almost anything to fit in and be popular in high school — including pretending to be something they are not. Happyland is a soapy teen comedy which explores the underbelly of one of the country’s most popular theme parks and those who work there.
Daniels also announced that writers Jay Beattie and Dan Dworkin (Criminal Minds) have been tapped to write the horror drama pilot Scream, which is based on the successful film franchise with Dimension Films. Read More »