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AMC Gives Pilot Order To Geopolitical Drama Set In Afghanistan From Chris Mundy & Tom Freston

By | Friday July 25, 2014 @ 10:47am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

AMC Gives Pilot Order To Geopolitical Drama Set In Afghanistan From Chris Mundy & Tom FrestonAMC continues to explore new places and genres with a pilot order to White City, a geopolitical drama focused on Western diplomats and journalists living in Afghanistan. An adventure story set in the somewhat surreal ex-pat world of near-present Afghanistan, White City was among the scripts vying for a pilot order at the network’s 2014 annual script showcase held in the spring. The show focuses on Jon Liston, a war junkie who has spent the better part of the last decade in Kabul with a front-row seat to the carnage. In the pilot, against the advice of everyone from American embassy staffers to tweeting tribal leaders to the French journalist he’s in a relationship with, Jon tragically overreaches in an attempt to talk with insurgent leaders. In the series, Jon must find a new role in Kabul as he attempts to address his guilt, frustration and doubts about whether there is good left for him or any Westerner to do in Afghanistan.

Related: 2014 AMC Pilots

mundytomfrestonThe project, produced by AMC Studios, comes from co-writers and co-executive producers Nick McDonell, a novelist (Twelve) and journalist who has covered Iraq and Afghanistan for TIME, and John Dempsey, former long-time resident of Kabul and senior advisor on Afghanistan to the late US diplomat, Richard C. Holbrooke. Executive producers are Chris Mundy, a former journalist for Rolling Stone and showrunner of Criminal Minds and AMC’s Low Read More »

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MySpace Debacle Vindication For Fired Viacom CEO Tom Freston

Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone stunned the entertainment industry in 2006 when he fired CEO Tom Freston. One of the chief reasons for the move was that Freston hadn’t moved decisively enough to buy MySpace, enabling Rupert Murdoch to pick up what was then the most popular social networking site for $580 million. Redstone seemed to think that contributed to the 20% drop in Viacom’s stock price in 2006 up to the date of Freston’s ouster. The CEO’s successor, Philippe Dauman, would “never, ever let another competitor beat us to the trophy,” Redstone told analysts. Redstone told interviewer Charlie Rose that losing MySpace had been “humiliating,” adding, “MySpace was sitting there for the taking for $500 million.”

But who’s laughing now? MySpace has collapsed into a distant also-ran behind Facebook and Twitter. And Murdoch took a bath on MySpace this week. He wanted $100 million for it but sold 95% of his interest to ad company Specific Media for a mere $35 million. Just imagine what would have happened to Viacom’s stock if Redstone’s passion for chasing fads led him to outbid Murdoch. It’s hard to believe that the owner of MTV would have seen what Murdoch didn’t — that social network fans were being turned off by MySpace’s tawdry commercialism as it established itself as a music and entertainment portal. That provided the opening for Facebook and Twitter to position themselves as safer alternatives for people who simply want to connect with friends.

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Vice Bolsters Biz With Blowhard Boasts, And Actual Movers And Shakers Tom Freston And Ari Emanuel

By | Tuesday April 5, 2011 @ 6:28am PDT
Mike Fleming

NEW YORK, NY (April 5, 2011) – Vice today announced it has formed major investment partnerships with some of the most influential leaders in the media business: Tom Freston, MTV Founder and former Viacom CEO; WPP, the world’s leading communications services group; and The Raine Group, a top media merchant bank. Vice Founder Shane Smith described the new partnership as an “unholy alliance that will ensure no other media company will ever stand a chance against Vice’s relentless onslaught.”

Vice also announced a strategic partnership with powerhouse talent agency William Morris Endeavor.

Freston, WPP, and The Raine Group will acquire seats on Vice’s board of directors. The company and its board will remain independently owned and controlled.

The set of partnerships strategically positions Vice to continue its transformation into one of the world’s leading youth media companies. Vice will leverage the new resources and relationships to aggressively expand globally, focusing on emerging markets such as Brazil, China, India and South Korea. Vice is in the process of building a network of international studios and creative facilities to produce and distribute content from directors, writers, artists and musicians.

Vice will also expand its news and sports divisions, increasing its coverage of international stories for a young audience. Additionally, Vice will continue establishing new digital channels and verticals with large brands.

Shane Smith said, “Vice has long been accused of having ambitions for total global domination. Today, we acknowledge the truth: we want the whole ball of wax. Sir Martin Sorrell and WPP, Ari Emanuel and

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Cloris Leachman, Diahann Carroll, Peter Jennings And Tom Freston Inducted Into TV Academy’s Hall of Fame

Nellie Andreeva

North Hollywood, CA – The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame Committee has selected two iconic actresses, a ground-breaking comedy writer, an innovative cable executive, a trail-blazing TV game show producer, a universally respected journalist and television’s most beloved composer as the newest inductees into the Hall of Fame, announced Television Academy Chairman-CEO John Shaffner.

Actresses Diahann Carroll and Cloris Leachman, cable executive Tom Freston, composer Earle Hagen, writer and producer Susan Harris, broadcast journalist Peter Jennings, and game show producer Bill Todman will be honored in the 20th Annual Hall of Fame Induction ceremony held at the Beverly Hills Hotel on January 20th. The event will be produced by Lee Miller. Earle Hagen, Peter Jennings, and Bill Todman will be inducted posthumously.

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