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Entertainment Community Announces Grassroots Organization to Fight Content Theft

July 6, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

New Creative America organization is broad, industry-wide effort uniting diverse voices with shared interest in protecting jobs, creativity

LOS ANGELES – The entertainment community today announced a new initiative to build grassroots support for the fight against content theft and to protect our country’s vibrant arts and culture. Creative America, the grassroots organization organizing the effort, will begin serving as the unified voice of the more than 2 million Americans in all 50 states whose jobs are supported by film and television, as well as people in other creative fields and anyone who believes that halting the looting of America’s creative works and protecting jobs must be a national priority.

Creative America will provide a gathering place (www.creativeamerica.org) for members of the creative community to learn more about the impact of content theft on their jobs, their benefits and their ability to continue making a living in the entertainment industry.

Global theft of movies and television shows has already cost the U.S. economy more than 140,000 jobs. Foreign websites, operated by thieves profiting off of stolen content, are highly sophisticated and designed to look legitimate. The appearance of legitimacy lures unsuspecting Americans into providing personal information, exposing them to identity and credit card theft.

Among its initial activities, Creative America will enable members of the entertainment community to demonstrate their support for the passage of important Congressional legislation that will significantly impact the fight against content theft, including the PROTECT IP Act, legislation designed to combat foreign trafficking in stolen movies, TV shows and other forms of intellectual property.

The PROTECT IP Act, now before the Senate, would authorize the U.S. Department of Justice to go after foreign websites that are dedicated to illegal distribution of stolen movies and TV – often called “rogue sites” – where these sites are directed at United States consumers. The House of Representatives is also working on legislation to fight these rogue sites.

“People need to understand that this isn’t a victimless crime,” said Rachel Lipsey, who runs a craft services business with her husband, serving TV and film productions in Portland, Oregon. “When movies and TV get stolen, it hurts me and everyone I work with. We aren’t celebrities,we’re regular working people, and we depend on movies and TV shows being made for our living. This is about American jobs and American workers. Congress has got to do something.”

“I love my job,” said Grace Yavana, production manager for the “Today” show on NBC. “Every day, I get to help make great television. But when our hard work gets stolen, it hurts us all. I don’t think most people realize that jobs are put at risk – my job and the jobs of our entire crew. We have to do something about content theft, and we have to do it now.”

“Creative America is the coalition we’ve needed for a long time,” said Tom Houghton, an Emmy-nominated director of photography. “Our industry is coming together on the big common issue that is affecting all of us. We’ve all got a shared interest in stopping content theft.”

“The goal of Creative America is to bring together people of diverse skills, talents, interests and backgrounds who care about protecting jobs and creativity in this country,” said director Jonathan Mostow. “When the movies and TV shows that we create and finance are stolen, there is a ripple effect throughout our business. As revenue is lost, inevitably less money is available for new production. That translates to thousands of people losing their livelihoods and their opportunity to create. Passing the PROTECT IP Act or other similar legislation is an important step in stemming the tide of digital theft.”

“Content theft impacts not just me but everyone I’ve ever worked with,” said actor Clark Gregg. “I’m glad it’s being taken seriously and that we are speaking out to protect our work.”

Creative America results from the efforts of an unprecedented coalition of major entertainment unions, guilds, studios and networks: the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, CBS Corporation, the Directors Guild of America, IATSE International, NBC Universal, the Screen Actors Guild, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc., Twentieth Century Fox, Viacom, the Walt Disney Company, and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

“No matter what your job title is, whether you’re a union or guild member, whether you’re on the set or in an office, on this critical issue of content protection, we must be absolutely united,” said Debbie Uyeda, manager of Inventory Operations at Paramount Pictures. “Creative America gives everyone who cares about protecting American jobs and fostering creativity a strong new voice.”

Sign-up begins now at CreativeAmerica.org. On the site, supporters can learn more about content theft and what it means for them, email Congress and get updates on pending legislation via email or by following @CreativeAmerica on Twitter and through Facebook.

Statements of Support

American Federation of Television and Radio Artists

“AFTRA is proud to be on the battle lines against digital theft with our sister unions, producers and other stakeholders in the entertainment and media industries. To be successful, we need a fully engaged community of union members and other professionals to stand up, make our voices heard and do our part to stop digital theft.”

CBS Corporation

“It speaks to the importance of the issue that so many organizations representing all facets of our business are rallying around this initiative together. Content remains the creative and economic heartbeat of our industry. We need voices from all corners of our respective companies and our community to fight this problem and to protect the jobs and creativity that make the content happen.”

Directors Guild of America

“The mission of Creative America is straightforward – to ensure that our industry remains strong and healthy, that people are fairly compensated for their work, that the importance of creativity to American culture is not lost in the public debate, and that this community continues to provide good jobs for hundreds of thousands of people who make the films and television shows we all love.”

IATSE International

“The IATSE joins in the industry coalition’s fight against digital theft knowing the stakes are high and the potential consequences to our members dire. Good middle class jobs, with employer-paid health and retirement benefits are threatened by digital looters from around the globe. We are committed to engaging and energizing our membership and combining forces with other industry stakeholders to meet this challenge.”

NBC Universal

“Content theft threatens the viability of our industry, our company, and our jobs. Combating this growing problem will take the coordinated efforts of everyone whose incomes, benefits, and pensions are put at risk by this illegal activity. That’s what makes the launch of Creative America such a significant step and why NBC Universal is behind this effort. For the first time, everyone who is directly or indirectly affected can come together with a single voice in order to make a difference.”

Screen Actors Guild

“Movies and television are an invaluable cultural resource that represent the economic well- being and creativity of many talented people. The theft of films and television shows affects everyone in the entertainment industry especially working actors who depend on residuals to make a living. Those actors also depend on Screen Actors Guild to protect their interests. We are working with our colleagues throughout the entertainment industry community to stop the proliferation of illegal content and to help get the word out that digital theft is stealing – pure and simple. It’s an important issue that affects us all and that’s why we are part of Creative America – united against content theft.”

Sony Pictures Entertainment, Inc.

“Sony Pictures is proud to be among the organizations participating in this effort to address the corrosive problem of content theft. Creative America will give each of the talented individuals who work so hard to create entertainment that is enjoyed across the country and around the world the opportunity to share a powerful, unified voice for stronger laws and policies to protect our jobs and creativity in all its forms.”

Twentieth Century Fox

“The future of the entertainment industry depends on our ability to protect not only the innovative films and television shows we produce, but also the more than two million workers dedicated to creating incredible entertainment content in this country. Creative America is a groundbreaking coalition of labor and management that will elevate this issue in Washington with a new, unified voice, and we at Twentieth Century Fox are encouraging all of our employees to take action and be heard on this vital issue.”

Viacom

“Simply put, the new digital face of content theft is the biggest threat the entertainment community has ever faced, and all of us need to join together to fight back. Viacom has been working closely with the Obama Administration and Congress to ensure that the government continues its battle against illegal digital theft. And that’s why we’re supporting Creative America – so that everyone in the community has a way to participate in the industry-wide effort to fight digital theft.”

The Walt Disney Company

“The ability to distribute content on multiple platforms holds enormous promise for consumers. But for that promise to be fulfilled, it is imperative to stem the theft of the content that so many have worked to create. We are proud to be part of the effort to combat digital theft and build a powerful voice for our industry.”

Warner Bros. Entertainment

“Digital theft is a real problem affecting millions of jobs and workers. We believe that the combined force and unity of Creative America can provide a real solution, and Warner Bros. is proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our studio peers and industry colleagues to bring an end to this wholesale theft of our intellectual property.”

Motion Picture Association of America

“Making a great movie or TV show takes the work of hundreds of dedicated people. From the actors onscreen to the artists and technicians behind the camera, it’s truly amazing what we can do – and where our imaginations can take us – when we work together. Creative America will give the men and women of our community a new way to speak out in the fight against content theft. If you are among the millions whose hard work helps make filmed entertainment, if you love the movies and want to stand with us against theft, please take a minute to visit CreativeAmerica.org and sign up today.”

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GARIN WOLF NAMED HEAD WRITER OF ABC’S “GENERAL HOSPITAL”

May 18, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Brian Frons, president, Daytime, Disney/ABC Television Group announced today that Garin Wolf has been named head writer of ABC’s Emmy® Award-winning daytime drama, “General Hospital.” The appointment is effective immediately.

“Garin is a talented writer and storyteller who has been a part of the ‘General Hospital’ family for nearly 15 years. His in-depth knowledge and adoration for the show’s legacy will help make a smooth transition and an immediate impact on story,” said Frons. “I’m sure he will succeed in taking ‘General Hospital’ to new heights as he develops characters and storylines that will engage and thrill our viewers.”

Recipient of two Daytime Emmys®, Wolf has been working for the daytime drama since 1997 and over the years has held the roles of associate head writer, breakdown writer and script writer. He has also written for SOAPnet’s prime-time spin-off series, “General Hospital: Night Shift” and daytime drama “As the World Turns,” as well as animated series “Batman” and “Tiny Toon Adventures.” In addition, Wolf has won a Writer’s Guild Award for his work on “General Hospital.”

Currently nominated for 21 Daytime Emmys (the most of any show this year), “General Hospital” airs at 3:00 p.m., ET, 2:00 p.m., PT on the ABC Television Network, and on SOAPnet at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. Winner of a record-setting ten Emmys for Outstanding Daytime Drama, the program celebrated 48 years of broadcasting on April 1, 2011, and is the longest-running dramatic serial on ABC, having aired over 12,000 episodes. “General Hospital” consistently rates as one of the top-rated Daytime programs in the key demographic of Women 18-49.

“General Hospital” was created by Frank and Doris Hursley. Jill Farren Phelps is the executive producer. Mary O’Leary, Mercer Barrows and Michelle Henry are producers. Full episodes of “General Hospital” are available on ABC.com the day after airing on the network for users to watch online.

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FOX BROADCASTING COMPANY ELEVATES MARKETING EXECUTIVE TOM MORRISSEY TO SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF DESIGN

April 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Fox Broadcasting Company has promoted Tom Morrissey to Senior Vice President, Design, it was announced today by Joe Earley, President, Marketing & Communications. In his new role, Morrissey will report directly to Earley and will be responsible for the creative design strategy supporting the network’s programming and branding across all forms of media.

 

Reporting to Morrissey are Justin Owens, Vice President, Broadcast Design; Brian Salay, Vice President, Digital Design; and Julius Preite, Vice President, Animation Design, who will support him in managing and strengthening the look and style of all of the network’s cross-platform marketing and promotions.

 

“Tom is an incredibly gifted artist and executive. His creative vision and fearless approach gives our marketing its unique and indisputable edge,” said Earley. “He’s also a phenomenal leader who – together with Justin, Brian and Julius – has inspired the FOX Design team, which is second to none.”

 

Morrissey has developed and overseen award-winning creative for FOX series such as GLEE, HOUSE, FRINGE, “24” and AMERICAN IDOL. He first joined FOX in 1996 as Art Director, Print Advertising, and created innovative campaigns for popular shows, including “Malcolm in the Middle,” “King of the Hill,” “The O.C.” and “The Bernie Mac Show.” In 2004, he left to join entertainment ad agency Crew Creative as Senior Art Director, where he designed key art and advertising for cable and broadcast television networks, including TNT, TBS, CBS, CNN, Lifetime, FX, FOX and HBO. He returned to FOX in 2006. Previously a graphic designer, Morrissey began his entertainment advertising career in 1993 at Matsuno Design Group, where he worked on theatrical campaigns for New Line Cinema, Universal, The Walt Disney Company and other feature film clients.

 

Before joining FOX in 2008, Justin Owens served as Senior Art Director at National Geographic Channel, where he led the internal design team in its very successful re-branding of the channel. Prior to that, Owens was a Senior Motion Designer for The Food Network and held positions at other cable networks as well as at J. Walter Thompson in Denver and Seattle.

 

Brian Salay previously served as Vice President, Digital Design for Fox Digital Media, leading projects for Fox Sports, FX Networks and other Fox digital entities. Before that, he held the role of Senior Design Manager at Yahoo!, Inc., where he led the first major and highly successful redesign of Yahoo.com, one of the top-ranked web sites in the world. Prior to that, Salay was Lead Designer at Frog Design, where he led projects for high-profile clients including Magellan®, Sun Microsystems and The Walt Disney Company.

 

Julius Preite is an Emmy Award-winning artist whose work has been featured on the covers of Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, Playboy, Animation and Maxim magazines, among others. Prior to developing and creating campaigns for all of FOX’s primetime animated series, Preite worked as a layout artist on THE SIMPSONS and helped launch “The Simpsons Movie” in 2007 with a critically acclaimed spread in Harper’s Bazaar and an award-winning teaser poster.

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MARK PEDOWITZ NAMED NEW PRESIDENT OF THE CW

April 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Veteran Network and Studio Executive to Continue Building The CW Programming Brand and Business Model

BURBANK, Calif. – April 28, 2011 — CBS Corporation and Warner Bros. Entertainment today announced that Mark Pedowitz has been named President, The CW Television Network.

In his new capacity, the veteran network and television studio executive will oversee all aspects of The CW, including programming, sales, marketing, distribution, finance, research and publicity. He will assume his new duties this month.

Pedowitz comes to The CW with a strong background in program development, production and business affairs. As President of ABC Studios, he oversaw such hit series as “Lost,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Ugly Betty,” “Scrubs,” “Army Wives,” “Ghost Whisperer” and “Criminal Minds.”

Dawn Ostroff, President of Entertainment for The CW, is leaving the network to relocate to New York with her family, and will assist in the transition through the current broadcast season, ending in May.

“Since its inception, Dawn and her team have built The CW into a brand-name destination for young female viewers with franchise shows as well as forward-thinking digital and marketing campaigns,” said Nancy Tellem, the executive who oversees The CW for CBS. “We now look forward to Mark leading The CW to even greater heights. Mark is an outstanding executive with a stellar reputation in our entertainment community. He brings to the table a strong and diverse background as a business strategist and production executive, as well as a track record of success in all facets of our industry.”

“Mark is a seasoned industry leader possessing a strategic combination of business savvy and strong relationships with the creative community,” said Bruce Rosenblum, President, Warner Bros. Television Group. “He’s the perfect executive to help us take the network to the next level: a key content driver with vast experience in all disciplines.”

“I’m very excited to be joining The CW and working closely with two great companies like CBS and Warner Bros.,” said Pedowitz. “The network has built a strong foundation and powerful identity in its first five years, and I’m looking forward to helping elevate it to even greater success in the future.”

Pedowitz has helmed an independent production banner, Pine Street Entertainment, on the Warner Bros. Studios Burbank Lot since February 2010. Pine Street’s pilot, “Meet Jane,” executive produced by Pedowitz and Andi Bushell in association with Warner Horizon Television, is in contention for a series order from Lifetime.

Previously, Pedowitz served as President, ABC Studios, from 2004-2009. During that period, Pedowitz’s leadership produced multiple seasons of successful programming that fed the Walt Disney Company’s distribution pipelines worldwide.

Prior to that, Pedowitz served as Executive Vice President, ABC Entertainment Television Group, overseeing all business, legal and financial affairs for ABC Primetime and Touchstone Television, as well as business/legal affairs for ABC Daytime. He joined ABC in 1991 as Senior Vice President, Business Affairs and Contracts.

Before joining ABC, Pedowitz was Senior Vice President, Business Affairs and Administration, MGM/UA Television Production Group, a position he had held since 1987. From 1985-87, Pedowitz was Vice President, Business Affairs and General Counsel, The Landsburg Company. From 1980-85, he was Vice President, Business Affairs, Reeves Entertainment. He began his career in the entertainment industry in 1979 as an attorney at MCA, Inc.

The CW is a joint venture of CBS Entertainment and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

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TELEMUNDO DELIVERS HIGHEST RATED MONTHLY PERFORMANCE IN NETWORK HISTORY IN APRIL

April 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

“La Reina del Sur” Beats Univision for Third Consecutive Week at 10pm Among Adults 18-49, Adults 18-34 –#1 program Monday through Thursday at 10pm Among Adults 18-34 Regardless of Language

Telemundo Becomes Fastest Growing Spanish Language Broadcast Network Year-Over-Year and Month-Over-Month

MIAMI – April 27, 2011 – Telemundo, a leading producer of high-quality content for Hispanics in the U.S. and audiences around the world, today announced April 2011 was the highest-rated monthly performance for Telemundo in the network’s history in prime among total viewers (persons 2+) and adults 18-49, according to Nielsen Media Research. April 2011 also ranks as Telemundo’s highest rated month ever across the key women 18-49, men 18-49 and adults 18-34 demographics.

Telemundo was the fastest growing Spanish-language network in primetime year-over-year and month-over-month among total viewers (persons 2+), adults 18-49 and women 18-49 based on percent change compared to April 2010 and March 2011, respectively. Telemundo was also the fastest growing Spanish-language network year-over-year, regardless of language, among adults 18-49.

“These ratings are a strong affirmation that Telemundo’s commitment to original content has provided the foundation for its current and future success. This performance is a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the Telemundo talent behind and in front of the cameras,” said Don Browne, President, Telemundo Communications Group.

In Monday through Friday prime, Telemundo delivered nearly 1.6 million total viewers (persons 2+) (1,574,000) and 932,000 viewers among adults 18-49. The network also delivered 521,000 adults 18-34. Year-over-year, Telemundo reported +42% growth among total viewers (persons 2+) (1,574,000 vs. 1,109,000) and +38% among adults 18-49 (932,000 vs. 676,000). Month-over-month, Telemundo reported +7% growth among total viewers (persons 2+) (1,574,000 vs. 1,475,000), +9% among adults 18-49 (932,000 vs. 852,000 and +11% among adults 18-34 (521,000 vs. 470,000).

Telemundo also garnered its best share of the Spanish-language television audience ever (defined as Telemundo, Univision and Telefutura) in Monday through Friday prime with 28% among adults 18-49 and 29% among adults 18-34.

In Monday through Sunday prime, Telemundo delivered over 1.3 million total viewers (persons 2+) (1,327,000) and 789,000 viewers among adults 18-49. The network also and 448,000 adults 18-34. Year-over-year, Telemundo delivered a +29% increase among total viewers (persons 2+) (1,327,000 vs. 1,029,000) and +25% among adults 18-49 (789,000 vs. 632,000). The network’s +25% growth among adults 18-49 surpassed all broadcast networks’ year-over-year performance, regardless of language.

Month-over-month, Telemundo reported gains of +5% among total viewers (persons 2+) (1,327,000 vs. 1,267,000), +8% among adults 18-49 (789,000 vs. 731,000) and +10% among adults 18-34 (448,000 vs. 409,000). Telemundo garnered its best share of the Spanish-language television audience ever (defined as Telemundo, Univision and Telefutura) in Monday through Sunday prime with 27% among adults 18-49 and 28% among adults 18-34.

“LA REINA DEL SUR”

For the third consecutive week, “La Reina del Sur” beat Univision from 10-11pm among adults 18-49 and adults 18-34. Telemundo delivered 2,375,000 and 1,316,000 viewers in the demographics, respectively, while Univision delivered 2,142,000 and 1,156,000 viewers during Monday-Thursday of last week.

The week of April 18 also marked the 5th consecutive week that “La Reina del Sur” out-delivered Univision’s 10-11pm programming among men 18-49 and the 8th consecutive that the telenovela beat Univision among men 18-34.

In addition, regardless of language, Telemundo was the #1 broadcast network last week with “La Reina del Sur” in the Monday through Thursday 10-11pm daypart among adults 18-34, men 18-49 and men 18-34. It was #2 among adults 18-49, beating ABC and NBC.

Source: The Nielsen Company, NPM, Live + Same Day, program average strict dayparts used for M-F 7-11pm, M-Su 7-11pm and M-Thu 10-11pm; 3/28/11-4/24/11 vs. 2/28/11-3/27/11 and 3/29/10-4/25/10; 4/18/11-4/21/11. Spanish share defined among Telemundo, Telefutura and Univision.

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THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY IS BULLISH ON LEE HIRSCH’S ACCLAIMED DOCUMENTARY THE BULLY PROJECT

April 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Acquires All Rights For North America, U.K., Australia, New Zealand, South Africa And Germany, Plus Pan-Asian Satellite TV Distribution Rights

New York, NY, April 25, 2011 – The Weinstein Company (TWC) announced today that it has acquired from Submarine Entertainment all rights to THE BULLY PROJECT, the acclaimed new documentary from Emmy and Sundance award-winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch (AMANDLA! A REVOLUTION IN FOUR PART HARMONY) that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on Saturday, April 23. The deal covers all rights in North America, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Germany. TWC also acquired the film’s distribution rights for pan-Asian satellite TV, and will be the sales agent for the remaining global territories. THE BULLY PROJECT is directed by Lee Hirsch, produced by Hirsch and Cynthia Lowen, and written by Lowen and Hirsch. Cindy Waitt is the executive producer. The announcement was made by TWC’s Executive Vice President of Acquisitions and Co-Productions Peter Lawson.

Said Lawson, “THE BULLY PROJECT is a phenomenally insightful and moving examination of bullying and its long-term impact. We think this is one of the year’s most important films, and we intend to bring all our energy and creative resources to bear in bringing THE BULLY PROJECT and its message to audiences of all ages.”

“As filmmakers we are overjoyed to be working with The Weinstein Company,” remarked Hirsch and Lowen. “Their significant commitment towards this film will ensure it reaches the national stage, and will certainly amplify its capacity to effect change.”

TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein commented, “After my team saw THE BULLY PROJECT, they immediately called and urged me to see it. I am glad they did. As a parent of four, bullying is an issue that concerns me deeply, and I jumped at the opportunity to be involved with a film that could help eradicate this plague once and for all.”

The deal was negotiated for TWC by Lawson and Vice President of Acquisitions Dan Guando; and for the filmmakers by Submarine Entertainment’s Josh Braun and David Koh.

THE BULLY PROJECT – SYNOPSIS
This year, over 18 million American kids will be bullied, making it the most common form of violence experienced by young people in the U.S. Directed by Sundance and Emmy-award winning filmmaker Lee Hirsch, the documentary THE BULLY PROJECT follows “a year in the life” of America’s bullying crisis, offering an intimate look at how bullying has touched five kids and their families. With an intimate glimpse into homes, classrooms, cafeterias and principals’ offices, the film offers insight into the often cruel world of the lives of bullied children. As teachers, administrators, kids and parents struggle to find answers, THE BULLY PROJECT examines the dire consequences of bullying through the testimony of strong and courageous youth. Through the power of their stories, the film aims to be a catalyst for change in the way we deal with bullying as parents, teachers, children and society as a whole.

ABOUT THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as SCREAM, SPY KIDS and SCARY MOVIE. Together TWC and Dimension Films have released a broad range of mainstream, genre and specialty films that have been commercial and critical successes, most recently Tom Hooper’s THE KING’S SPEECH, winner of four 2011 Academy Awards®, including Best Picture; Derek Cianfrance’s Academy Award®-nominated BLUE VALENTINE; John Wells’ feature directorial debut, THE COMPANY MEN; Julian Schnabel’s MIRAL; and Wes Craven’s SCRE4M. Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as GRINDHOUSE; I’M NOT THERE; THE GREAT DEBATERS; VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA; THE READER; THE ROAD; HALLOWEEN; THE PAT TILLMAN STORY; PIRANHA 3D; INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS; A SINGLE MAN; and 2011 Golden Globe® Best Foreign Language Film nominee THE CONCERT. Upcoming releases include SPY KIDS 4, APOLLO 18, OUR IDIOT BROTHER, THE DETAILS and MY WEEK WITH MARILYN. Recently wrapping is I DON’T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT. Currently in production is COGAN’S TRADE.

TWC is also active in television production, with credits including the Emmy® Award-winning hit reality series “Project Runway,” and the critically acclaimed HBO comedy/crime series “The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.” The company is producing two “Project Runway” spinoffs, “Project Runway: Masters” and “Project Runway: Accessories,” which are expected to debut in 2011. The company currently has 15 series in different stages of development, including: “Mob Wives,” a reality series for VH1; “Marco Polo,” a scripted historical series about the great explorer; “The Nanny Diaries,” based on the hit book; and “The Mad Ones,” adapted from the Mafia novel of the same name.

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THE PALEY CENTER FOR MEDIA TO HONOR AL MICHAELS AND MARY HART AT ANNUAL GALA: SALUTE TO EXCELLENCE IN LOS ANGELES

October 21, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Entertainment Tonight host Mary Hart and iconic sportscaster Al Michaels this year at its annual gala event, Salute to Excellence. Hart is being recognized for her outstanding contributions to the television industry and Michaels for his prolific achievements in sports broadcasting including more than 2,200 hours (and counting) of live primetime over-the-air network broadcasts. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Paley Center’s ongoing educational efforts to increase the public’s understanding of the media and its growing significance in today’s society through various public and industry programs. The gala will be held on November 30 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.

“This year we honor two of the most respected broadcasters in the entertainment business. Mary’s success as host for the number-one syndicated entertainment news show for thirty years speaks to her journalistic integrity and distinctive ability to gain exclusive access to many celebrities and politicians,” commented Pat Mitchell, president and chief executive officer of The Paley Center for Media. “With a voice that most of America recognizes, Al has covered more major sports events than any other sportscaster. With his journalism background and his experience of being in the booth for over thirty years, he has been involved in some of the most memorable moments in sports history.”

Past gala honorees include Alan Alda, Julie Andrews, Steven Bochco, Kevin S. Bright, David Brinkley, Tom Brokaw, Jerry Bruckheimer, Carol Burnett, James Burrows, Sid Caesar, Marcy Carsey, Peter Chernin, David Crane, Ted Danson, Dick Ebersol, the cast and writers of Everybody Loves Raymond, Kelsey Grammer, Merv Griffin, John S. Hendricks, Marta Kauffman, David E. Kelley, Leslie Moonves, Mary Tyler Moore, Jack Paar, Dan Rather, Sumner Redstone, Carl Reiner, the cast and writers of Saturday Night Live, Jerry Seinfeld, Garry Shandling, Martin Sheen, Showtime Networks Inc., The Simpsons, Sony Corporation, Sir Howard Stringer, Barbara Walters, John Wells, Dick Wolf, Bob Wright, and Jeff Zucker.

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The Paley Center for Media, with locations in New York and Los Angeles, leads the discussion about the cultural, creative, and social significance of television, radio, and emerging platforms for the professional community and media-interested public. Drawing upon its curatorial expertise, an international collection, and close relationships with the leaders of the media community, the Paley Center examines the intersections between media and society. The general public can access the collection and participate in programs that explore and celebrate the creativity, the innovations, the personalities, and the leaders who are shaping media. Through the global programs of its Media Council and International Council, the Paley Center also serves as a neutral setting where media professionals can engage in discussion and debate about the evolving media landscape. Previously known as The Museum of Television & Radio, the Paley Center was founded in 1976 by William S. Paley, a pioneering innovator in the industry. For more information, please visit www.paleycenter.org.

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STATEMENT BY ANNE SWEENEY (Co-Chair Disney Media Networks/President Disney/ABC Television Group) IN RESPONSE TO APPLE ANNOUNCEMENT TODAY

September 1, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Statement on behalf of Anne Sweeney, co-chair, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group, made in response to Apple’s announcement today of the new television rental model on iTunes:

“When we put our shows on iTunes five years ago, it was revolutionary,” said Anne Sweeney, co-chair Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group. “Since then, we’ve continued to provide viewers with innovative new ways to access our programming, and today we’re proud to team with Apple on a rental option for fans of our shows.”

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Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and MUBI announce partnership

May 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe [SCEE] has announced a partnership with leading online film library MUBI, to bring to PlayStation®3 (PS3™) a new service that will break open the world of independent, international and classic cinema, and introduce PS3 owners to movies outside the mainstream. MUBI will be a free, downloadable application that gives PS3 owners the key to the ever-expanding film library of MUBI – an incredible online ‘cinemateque’ for movie lovers, packed to the rafters with acclaimed independent, foreign and classic films to stream on demand.

This autumn, PS3 users will have access to a treasure trove of celluloid curated by experts – so that even non-experts can enjoy what might otherwise take a lifetime to discover. MUBI will offer more than 300 films at launch from directors from Audiard to Zeferelli; and they’re all going to be available to stream directly to your PS3. You’ll get to discover movies you never dreamed about, watch your choice of films whenever you like, and talk about the ones you love with your friends.

So how will it all work? First, you download the free MUBI application from PlayStation®Store. Then, you open it up and start watching – it’s really that easy. Next, you look around in amazement. You find festival gems, classics, famous independent releases and art-house flicks. You discover the work of world-famous directors like the Coen Brothers and Tarantino alongside Latin American directors and restored shorts from the most obscure of archives. You’ll spot free-to-watch movies alongside pay-per-view movies that you can rent for a week – and you’ll be tempted by the thought of an all-you-can-watch monthly subscription. You find exclusive online premieres, Oscar-winners, Palme D’Or winners, collaborations with international film festivals, and so many other choices you might not know where to start. But MUBI offers a whole community of film loving fans so that help is always at hand

Joining SCEE President Andrew House in Cannes at the unveiling of the new service, MUBI founder Efe Çakarel said: “MUBI is the fastest growing online destination for lovers of independent, foreign and classic film – and it is amazing how many people that covers.

Our partnership with PlayStation® brings online cinema to TV screens in homes around the world giving PlayStation owners a whole new world of entertainment to explore. And discovery couldn’t be more fun – from finding out about the films behind the latest buzz at Cannes, to taking the film recommendation of MUBI members like Martin Scorsese.”

Andrew House welcomed MUBI to PlayStation adding: “PlayStation is about great entertainment, from games to content, delivered straight to the living room or enjoyed on the go. Today this ranges from VidZone, the free on demand service music service, through to PlayTV where you can watch, record and rewind live TV at your leisure. MUBI offers the perfect independent counterpoise to our box-office blockbuster, hi-def, video delivery service, catering for the tastes of an ever broader customer base. Add in PS3’s DVD and Blu-ray disc player and we have the perfect ticket for film lovers.”

This is cinema for cinema lovers – a movie service that takes you beyond the mainstream and deep into thousands of views of our world through different lenses – all streamed straight to your PS3 to turn your living room into your own private cinema. MUBI for PS3 will be launched this autumn initially in the UK, Ireland, France, Italy, Iberia, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Benelux, Nordic countries, Australia and New Zealand. Prepare to dim your lights and enjoy the main feature.

Find out more at www.eu.playstation.com/mubi

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FOX BROADCASTING COMPANY ELEVATES CURRENT PROGRAMMING EXECUTIVES

January 28, 2010 by · 2 Comments 

James Oh and Shana C. Waterman Named Vice Presidents of Current Programming

David Sleven Appointed Director, Current Programming

Fox Broadcasting Company has strengthened its Current Programming leadership team to ensure the continued success and growth of broadcast television’s leading scripted programming lineup, it was announced today by Kevin Reilly, President, Entertainment and Marcy Ross, Executive Vice President, Current Programming.

Shana C. Waterman and James Oh have both been promoted to Vice President, Current Programming. In their new roles, Oh and Waterman will oversee all aspects of production and serve as the primary creative advisers for FOX’s diverse slate of new and returning series. Both executives will report to Ross and will be responsible for nurturing and growing the network’s current scripted programming to build even more strength and stability across FOX’s schedule.
In addition, David Sleven has been appointed Director, Current Programming. Previously Manager, Comedy Development, Sleven will also report to Ross and will be responsible for the day-to-day management of current FOX shows.

“With the level of competition today, it’s more important than ever that we invest in top-notch talent to ensure that our programming remains innovative and relevant,” said Reilly. “It’s thanks in part to the tremendous dedication and creativity of our current programming team that FOX just notched its first of fall season win.”

“Shana and James are two gifted, creative executives who have won the trust and admiration of their peers and the executive producers of their shows,” said Ross. “Together with the fresh energy of David Sleven, I have the most dynamic and talented group in the business.”

Previously, Mr. Oh served as Director, Current Programming at FOX and supervised several of the network’s new and returning series, including HUMAN TARGET, CODE 58 (working title), 24, THE SIMPSONS, LIE TO ME, BONES and THE WANDA SYKES SHOW. Prior to that, he held leadership roles within the network’s program and audience research departments, where he provided strategic analyses evaluating overall network, program and schedule strengths. Before joining FOX in April 1998, Mr. Oh held production and market research roles at Vibe TV and The Martec Group. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Ms. Waterman joined FOX as Director, Current Programming in 2006. In this role, she oversaw several of the network’s acclaimed scripted series including HOUSE, GLEE, FRINGE, FAMILY GUY, AMERICAN DAD and THE CLEVELAND SHOW. Prior to joining FOX, she was a Manager of Development at Timberman/Beverly Productions. In addition to her work in television, Ms. Waterman has sustained her ongoing interest in theater. She recently completed several years of service as a board member and former chair of Los Angeles-based, Cornerstone Theater Company and has worked as a consultant to New Haven’s Tony Award-winning Long Wharf Theatre. She also served as a senior researcher for playwright/actor Anna Deavere Smith, and in that capacity participated in Harvard’s Institute on the Arts & Civic Dialogue. Ms. Waterman produced the play “Ah Ha Moments,” which was nominated for an NAACP Excellence in Theater Award. Currently she serves on the Board of the New York Foundation for the Arts. Ms. Waterman is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law School.

Prior to transitioning to his new role in Current Programming, Mr. Sleven served as Manager of Comedy Development at FOX, with a focus on animation. While in this role, Mr. Sleven developed FOX’s newest animated series, BOB’S BURGERS, for which he will be the covering Current executive, as well as THE CLEVELAND SHOW, FOX’s latest animated hit.

Mr. Sleven was also actively involved in developing the Fox Inkubation Studios program, a partnership with 20th Century Fox Television that provides funding for writers and animators to produce short pieces for potential network development and or digital distribution.

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