UPDATED with new information throughout: After struggling for weeks to find an audience and getting little love at the Tony nominations on Tuesday, the producers of Jason Robert Brown and Marsha Norman’s musical adaptation of The Bridges Of Madison County announced tonight that the estimated $8 million tuner will shutter May 18 at Broadway’s Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. Among the show’s producers was Warner Bros, which co-produced the $35 million 1995 film of the Robert James Waller’s best-selling weeper about an affair between an Italian-immigrant farm wife and a sensitive roving photographer. Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood starred in the film. The musical will have played 137 performances.
Related: Tony Noms Show Complicated Affair Between Broadway And Hollywood
The show won Tony noms for Brown’s lush score and sensitive orchestrations, Kelli O’Hara’s lead performance and Broadway vet Donald Holder’s lighting design. But absent a Best Musical nomination, the others don’t carry much weight. Despite glowing notices for O’Hara and co-star Steven Pasquale in the Streep and Eastwood roles, the show was rapped for its length and lugubriousness. The few ticket buyers weren’t leaving the theater fired up to tell their friends it was a must-see. Some critics noted the show’s problems and challenges last summer at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, which presented the world premiere. The show came to New York, however, little changed. Read More »
A New York judge has tossed the yearlong legal action around the short-lived paranormal crime series. “The Court finds that no discerning observer would conclude that Past Life had appropriated protected elements from Transience,” wrote Judge Barbara Jones yesterday (read ruling here). Transience writer Stevan Mena sued Fox Entertainment, Warner Bros Entertainment as well as producers David Hudgins and Craig Perry for copyright infringement last August. Produced by Warner Bros Television, Past Life debuted on February 9, 2010. With low ratings, Fox cancelled the show after three episodes. The screenwriter claimed that significant elements of the TV series were drawn from the script he wrote back in 2008. For instance, both do feature reincarnation, a child who has visions and is taken care of by a doctor and crime. However the judge ruled that there’s nothing unique about such story devices. Mena contends that his feature script made its way to Past Life creator Hudgins via Practical Pictures’ Perry and was the basis for the show. Read More »
BREAKING: Gregg Maday Out In Shakeup At Warner Bros Theatre Ventures
(September 13, 2011 – Burbank, CA)—Barry Meyer, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros., today announced a reorganization of Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, with Mark Kaufman and Raymond Wu sharing the position of Executive Vice President, Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, the Studio’s live theater production operation. Kaufman, who will be based in New York, and Wu, who will be based in Burbank, will both report to Alan Horn, who is overseeing the division in his consulting role for the Studio, reporting to Meyer.
“It’s great to have Alan’s creative instincts and insight available to Theatre Ventures, with Ray and Mark bringing a terrific combination of experience and proven hit-making talent to our team,” said Meyer. “With this new leadership structure, we can make the most of the myriad opportunities available to Theatre Ventures and take its operations to the next level.”
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Deborah Lincoln has been promoted to SVP Corporate Communications, International, at Warner Bros Entertainment. In the newly created position, she will work to manage press activities related to Warner Bros’ corporate business issues, executive changes, legislation, regulation and litigation in all Warners territories outside the U.S. She also will help devise and deliver internal and external communication strategies for the territories and regions she represents and work with the U.S.-based Public Affairs team to support those activities, including philanthropy and community engagement, in the international arena. The London-based Lincoln, formerly VP Corporate Communications, Europe, also serves as a company spokeswoman outside the U.S. She reports to Susan Fleishman, EVP Worldwide Corporate Communications & Public Affairs at Warner Bros Entertainment.
Fox Lays Off 22 Staffers In Home Entertainment
Now Disney And Lionsgate Laying Off Staff
Job Cuts Planned At Paramount Home Video?
EXCLUSIVE: That’s about 1% of Warner Bros’ total domestic workforce. When I asked about it, Warner Bros Entertainment issued this statement: “As part of the continual review of our business operations, Warner Bros. Entertainment will be undertaking limited staff reductions in our home entertainment and consumer products divisions. The total number of employees and positions impacted by these reductions is a relatively small percentage of our domestic workforce.”
As part of Warner Bros. Entertainment’s efforts to better integrate the DC Comics business, DC Entertainment will relocate its multi-media and digital content production operations to Warner Bros.’ lot in Burbank, California. That includes all businesses related to the development and production of feature films, television, digital media, video games and consumer products as well as the company’s administrative offices. Only DCE’s publishing operations will remain in New York. The move is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011 and will involve layoffs as well as personnel relocations. “This strategic business realignment allows us to fully integrate and expand the DC brand in feature films as well as across multiple distribution platforms of Warner Bros. and Time Warner,” said Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group, “We are creating a seamless, cohesive unit.”
Speaking at an investor relations conference last week, Warner Bros. chairman and CEO Barry Meyer touted maximizing DC’s potential as a priority for Warner Bros. and said that a DC slate of new projects will be announced by the end of the year.