NBC Press Day: Medical Drama ‘Night Shift’ Consciously Blue-Collar With Military Roots

By | Tuesday April 8, 2014 @ 2:48pm PDT

NBC‘s Night Shift exec producer Jeffnightshsift Judah insists he loves the idea of his big ensemble medical drama running on the broadcast network in the summer. “There are not as many shows on the networks, it may not get lost as much, maybe get a chance to be seen by more people — we love it.” he told reporters at NBC Press Day.

NBC series The Night Shift, about the men and women who work graveyard at San Antonio Memorial, got an 8-episode order  as part of a four-show deal between NBC and Sony TV last May that included pickups of The Blacklist (with guaranteed Monday 10 PM slot), Welcome To The Family and The Night Shift, and a renewal of Community. The Night Shift pilot tested very well, with Irish actor Eoin Macken in the lead, as adrenaline junkie T.C. Callahan who, after a grueling tour of duty in the Middle East, now works in the ER.  Creators Gabe Sachs and Judah executive produce with Pierre Morel.
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Sony Dates Adam Sandler Film ‘Pixels’ for Summer 2015, Michelle Monaghan and Peter Dinklage Join Cast

By | Friday April 4, 2014 @ 9:12am PDT

Adam SandlerSony Pictures announced that it will release the Chris Columbus film Pixels starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Josh Gad in summer 2015, with Michelle Monaghan and Peter Dinklage joining the cast.  Principal photography will commence in June. … Read More »

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Sony Layoffs Hit Distribution — Dallas Office To Close, L.A. Operations Support Group Affected

By | Sunday March 23, 2014 @ 10:29am PDT

sony-pictures-logoEXCLUSIVE: Sony is continuing its restructuring, giving notice to 13 to 15 people in its Dallas distribution office that it will close operations there on June 2nd. In addition, layoffs also have impacted the Los Angeles cash department division of Sony’s distribution operations. The department numbers nine employees and the majority of the department are also being let go. A skeletal crew will remain. The round of dismissals come after Bain Captial were brought in to help Sony streamline its operations in an effort to increase profit margins. Tough times at Sony and its never easy to let people go, but this is not unusual for companies looking to improve their stock price and Sony has been charged with cutting costs.

The latest round of layoffs come only a week after the studio cut its entire Sony Pictures Interactive team which, for the last 15 years, supported the studio’s digital marketing efforts. Word came on March 14, that the studio was going to start implementing the layoffs. Read More »

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Animated Children’s Series ‘Beat Bugs’ To Feature Beatles … Music That Is

By | Tuesday March 11, 2014 @ 10:32am PDT

BeatBugsAussie-U.S. production company GRACE has acquired worldwide rights from Sony/ATV Music Publishing to The Beatles‘ catalog, a rare rights deal for the iconic band’s music that will be used to make the animated children’s series Beat Bugs, which … Read More »

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Does Future Of Microsoft’s Xbox One Depend On ‘Titanfall’ Success?

By | Monday March 10, 2014 @ 4:45pm PDT

Microsoft_Xbox_One_logoTuesday’s debut of the much-anticipated video game Titanfall likely will be a pivotal early moment for Microsoft’s newest console, the Xbox One, which has struggled to keep up with Sony’s cheaper PlayStation 4 since both launched in November. Almost four months in, Sony has sold 6 million PS4s, compared to 4 million Xbox Ones. With the Xbox One costing $100 more than the PS4, and with few other distinctive titles, Microsoft is hoping a successful Titanfall launch will keep it in the game.

Related: Microsoft’s Xbox One Breaks Sales Record, Moves 1M Units In 24 Hours

TitanfallDistributed by Electronic Arts, Titanfall is a rip-roaring online-only take on standard tropes of science fiction and first-person shooters, from creators of the Call of Duty franchise. It initially will be exclusive to the Xbox One, then also be launched for Windows-based PCs and Microsoft’s older Xbox 360 console. It is not scheduled to be available on Sony consoles, an unusual move by a big third-party publisher such as EA that normally wants to make its games as widely available as possible.

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Third Point Shuffles Sony Shares But It Remains A “Core” Investment

By | Tuesday February 18, 2014 @ 11:42am PST

There’s less than meets the eye to a regulatory filing in Japan that seemed to show that hedge fund Third Point is no longer one of the top 10 investors in Sony. sony_logo__121101084843-200x133__130207090832__130530213852The filing, first reported by … Read More »

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Q&A: MLB Advanced Media CEO Bob Bowman On WWE Network, Sony’s Virtual Pay TV Plans, And What’s Next For Streaming Video

The new year has barely started, yet I already have a candidate for the eventual list of 2014′s most influential media execs: MLB Advanced Media CEO Bob Bowman. Bob Bowman 2 His sports-focused streaming video and Internet operation is poised to become an entertainment power following the announcements at International CES this month that it will drive two potentially ground-breaking new services. On February 24, WWE will launch a subscription-based online video channel, WWE Network, that will include live and on-demand library programming. (Bowman sat on the WWE board from 2003-2008.) And Sony turned heads with its plan to introduce a Web-based pay TV service that will include live programming from channels that are only available now to subscribers of traditional cable, satellite, and telco video services. MLBAM’s state-of-the-art infrastructure already handles live and on-demand streaming for college basketball’s March Madness, CBS Sports, and ESPN3, as well as Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze TV and in 2012 handled Obama for America campaign videos. As its business grows, financial types wonder mlbam_logowhether baseball execs might take MLBAM public. So it’s a heady time for Bowman, who became Michigan’s state treasurer in 1983 at age 27 and went on to become COO of ITT Corp. Deadline checked in with the MLBAM chief to find out more about his plans with WWE and Sony, and the prospects for streaming video. Here are his thoughts, edited for length and clarity.

DEADLINE: Why do you consider the WWE Network so noteworthy?
BOWMAN: Economically it’s one of our largest clients for sure. In that sense it’s incredibly important. But what’s more important than dollars is this is the most vertically integrated brand in America.WWE Network Vince McMahon controls everything soup to nuts — from the idea in his head to how it appears on every screen around the world. And he just demonstrated [at CES] he’s going to try and change what the economic rules are. He’s in an ideal situation to do that. That’s why a lot of the content players are going to watch this very carefully. Read More »

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BOX OFFICE: ‘Vampire Academy’ Out of Valentine’s Day; Now Its Sony’s ‘RoboCop’ v Sony’s Kevin Hart Pic ‘About Last Night’

Vampire_AcademyMV5BMjE3NzcwMzA3N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODMwNzIzMDE@._V1_SX640_SY720_Vampire Academy is moving up and out of Valentine’s Day weekend and will now bow on Feb. 7, giving the horror pic a couple of more weeks to play before RoboCop (MGM) and the next Kevin Hart pic About Last Night coming smashing through theater doors. Okay, now that Ride Along is busting up all Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday records at the box office with an estimated $42.2M take for the three day and $48M-plus for the four-day gross, Valentine’s Day weekend looks interesting given that Sony is releasing both pictures (Robocop on the Wednesday before). About Last Night, which also stars Regina Hall and Joy Bryant, will be released through its Screen Gems moniker. Of course, one is a violent actioner and the other is a romantic comedy so much different pics, but Sony’s gotta be thrilled after seeing these grosses. Read More »

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Deadline Big Media 67 – The CES Is For Yahoos Podcast

Deadline Big Media podcast 67In this week’s podcast, Deadline Executive Editor David Lieberman and host David Bloom download the highlights from this week’s massive Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

They look at Yahoo’s splashy preview of its new tech, news and food sites with a presentation that reminded David L. of a network advertising upfront; discuss highlights from David L.’s talk with TiVo CEO Tom Rogers on the current shortcomings and future opportunities in TV; grapple with the WWE’s move to online subscription video; and dial into T-Mobile’s highly entertaining and potentially transformative tactics that could re-arrange the mobile phone industry.

They also peer at the physical and likely fiscal limits of the latest savior for consumer electronics companies, the 4K Ultra HD TV; and prompt a review of Michael Bay’s rather sudden departure from the stage during a Samsung presentation.

Listen to the podcast in your preferred format here:
Deadline Big Media podcast 67 (.MP3 version)
Deadline Big Media podcast 67 (.M4A version)
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CES: Sony CEO Calls For An End To “Just Good Enough” Tech Products

By | Tuesday January 7, 2014 @ 11:10am PST

Kazuo Hirai‘s keynote presentation at the International CES started slow but finished with a passionate call to arms that should resonate loudest at his own company. Kazuo HiraiThe CEO acknowledged that Sony has had a string of technological … Read More »

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CES: Sony Says It Will Introduce Cloud-Based Live And VOD TV Service This Year

By | Tuesday January 7, 2014 @ 9:50am PST

This would appear to be the potentially revolutionary virtual pay TV service that’s been widely anticipated by the media elitesony_logo__121101084843-200x133__130207090832__130530213852Sony Computer Entertainment Group CEO Andrew House told the International CES confab that the Sony Entertainment Network will be introduced as a “new cloud based service in U.S. this year” and it will include the “most popular live TV programs combined with a large library of VOD content” — although he offered no specifics. It will have “an intuitive and dynamic interface that gets to know you.” Users won’t need multiple boxes, and can view across devices. They also can harness social media connections and their own viewing history to help discover new shows. House — given a segment to talk during Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai’s keynote — says that Sony “will make TV a more personalized and dynamic service” adding that “no other company is better poised to lead the TV revolution than Sony.” The big question is whether Sony will be able to offer pay TV channels apart from the conventional cable and satellite bundles. If it can, then the service might promote cord-cutting — which could upend economic assumptions for traditional media companies.

Related: CES: Sony CEO Calls For An End To “Just Good Enough” Tech Products

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CES: Netflix Joins Sony’s 4K TV Push

By | Monday January 6, 2014 @ 5:48pm PST

sony_logo__121101084843-200x133__130207090832__130530213852Netflix seems to be everywhere at the International CES confab. Sony just announced that its new 4K Bravia TV sets will offer Netflix’s 4K programming to its subscribers — an arrangement similar to ones the streaming service unveiled … Read More »

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Tribune Agrees To Pay $170M For Sony’s Entertainment Data Service Gracenote

By | Monday December 23, 2013 @ 10:29am PST

This is an intriguing move for Tribune, and a black eye for Sony as it seeks savings and cost cuts. Gracenote logoIt paid $260M for Gracenote in 2008 and says today that it expects the sale to add $60M to its … Read More »

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Deadline Big Media 63 – The UBS Pay-TV It Forward Podcast

By | Friday December 13, 2013 @ 3:25pm PST

Deadline Big Media episode 63Deadline Financial Editor David Lieberman and host David Bloom talk about highlights from this week’s big UBS media investor conference, which was dominated by lots and lots of talk about the future of pay television, whether the conversation was about DirecTV dropping channels, Viacom and Sony possibly starting an online service, Aereo’s big talk about partnering with cable companies and challenging broadcasters in the Supreme Court, or rising ad revenues for CBS and other broadcasters in a year plumped up by revenues from the Winter Olympics, mid-term elections and an improving economy.

Deadline Big Media podcast 63 (.MP3 version)
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Sony Sets Spider-Man Spinoffs ‘Venom,’ ‘Sinister Six’ With New “Franchise Brain Trust”

By | Friday December 13, 2013 @ 12:19am PST

amazing spider man 2Michael Lynton said last month that they intended to create “a bigger universe around Spider-Man” and today Sony Pictures  had a new webslinging big bang. Sony Pictures Entertainment, in association with Marvel Entertainment, announced it will … Read More »

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‘Captain Phillips’ Set For January Re-Release

By | Tuesday December 10, 2013 @ 7:31pm PST

captain-phillips01EXCLUSIVE: Sony is re-releasing its Tom Hanks-starring Oscar contender Captain Phillips on Wednesday, January 15 — the day before the Academy Awards nominations are announced — and hopes to expand the film into 1,000 theaters nationwide by … Read More »

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Sony Pictures Taps Michael De Luca To Be Columbia Pictures’ Production President

By | Friday December 6, 2013 @ 10:18am PST

De LucaCulver City, Calif. (December 6, 2013) – Michael De Luca is joining Sony Pictures Entertainment as President of Production for Columbia Pictures. De Luca will partner with Hannah Minghella to oversee development and production for the Columbia Pictures label and will report to Doug Belgrad, President, Columbia Pictures.

“Mike has worked with us on several of our highest-quality and most commercial recent films, and he’s nurtured many of our generation’s most important filmmakers. Likewise, Hannah is a tremendous creative executive who has made major contributions to our entire slate, in particular our key Spider-Man and Jump Street franchises. Together, Hannah and Mike will be a formidable team,” said Belgrad.

Related: Goal For New Sony Pictures Structure With Michael De Luca: Better-Quality Slates

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Deadline Big Media 60: The Games Yes Movies No Episode

By | Friday November 22, 2013 @ 7:08pm PST

Listen to (and share) episode 60 of our audio podcast “Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman.”

Deadline’s financial editor talks with host David Bloom about Sony’s big investor meeting this week and the changes and cuts it’s promising to make to enhance the health of its “vital” entertainment unit; the race between Sony and Microsoft as each finally launches long-awaited next-generation videogame consoles; more big cuts at the long-suffering Tribune Co.’s newspapers; and John Malone and Charter Communications look like they’re about to go hunting for more cable companies.

Deadline Big Media Episode 60 (.MP3 version)
Deadline Big Media Episode 60 (.M4A version)
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Xbox One’s Hollywood Launch Promotes Games But Not Its Future In Entertainment

By | Friday November 22, 2013 @ 11:29am PST

A week after its biggest competitor’s successful launch, Microsoft rolled out its own next-generation video game console, the Xbox One, in a midnight party in Hollywood amid hundreds of gamers and a fair smattering of rappers, actors, YouTube personalities and other celebrities of varying wattage. The Xbox One is $100 more expensive than Sony’s PS4 at $499, but more technically capable thanks to included motion, face and voice sensors. Sony’s console sold 1 million units on its launch day a week ago. Both companies will be fighting for consumer attention this holiday season, which kicks off officially in one more week.

Related: Retailers Brace For Holiday-Season Price Wars

At last night’s event at the Milk Studios in Hollywood, as electronic dance music star Deadmau5 and other DJs spun on a stage, the company showed off its biggest games — including some 22 titles exclusive to the platform — to fans who played for hours ahead of the machine’s first official sale at 12:01 AM. But all the night’s noise obscured Microsoft’s broader push, which is that the machine can integrate all kinds of entertainment while easing access to them all. One of the machine’s niftiest tricks is a slick and relatively reliable ability to seamlessly switch between, or even simultaneously watch/use/play, a TV show, the Internet and a game with virtually no delays. The device’s sensors can recognize when a person has sat down in front of it, and automatically open up that person’s customized interface on screen. It can even do so for more than one person at a time. Voice and gesture commands work pretty well, though many reviewers have said the gee-whiz tech isn’t reliable enough yet to completely replace using a hand controller to navigate.

When they introduced the console six months ago, Microsoft reps talked up new kinds of interactive programming being created by Microsoft Studios under former CBS honcho Nancy Tellem. But last night only games were on display. They didn’t even demonstrate the offerings for fantasy football as part of their new deal with the NFL.

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