Oct 13, 2015
6:31 am

Snapchat Rethinks Move Into Original Programming, Shuts Down Snap Channel (Deadline)

In a move that Nellie Andreeva, writing on Deadline.com, says underscores “the complicated relationship between the tech world and traditional entertainment,” the video messaging firm Snapchat appears to have decided not to move into original content after all.

The company has decided to “shut down its Snap Channel permanently, leading to the departure of a number of employees, including Marcus Wiley, Head of Program Planning and Development,” Andreeva writes.

Snap Channel, which got rolling back in January, was the umbrella for Snapchat’s move into original programming.

“The fast-growing social network made a statement about its ambitions in the arena with the May hire of former Fox SVP Comedy Wiley as programming head,” the story notes. “A team of about 15 people was assembled with the goal to develop and produce content for Snap Channel on the Discovery platform, primarily shortform narrative/musical series — some of them experimental.”

The company pulled Snap Channel off the Discover platform a couple of weeks ago, but at the time it was expected to be relaunched.

“Wiley and his team had been tasked with creating the backbone of programming for Snap Channel 2.0, which they had been doing with the company’s blessing,” Andreeva notes. “But upon careful examination of what that would entail money-wise, that plan has been scrapped, with Snapchat hitting pause on its original programming efforts via Snap Channel and re-examining its overall original content strategy.”

In a statement provided to Deadline, Snapchat said of Wiley: “Given that we are winding down the Snap Channel, it’s natural that Marcus would want to explore other opportunities. He is a tremendous talent, and we wish him well.”


Oct 13, 2015
6:17 am

Esquire Names Its Sexiest Woman Alive — You May Know Her From a Popular TV Show (Esquire)

Esquire magazine’s Sexiest Woman Alive for 2015 is also a star on a wildly popular television show. The publication just took the wraps off its November issue showcasing Emilia Clarke, the 28-year-old London native who plays Daenerys Targaryen — Mother of Dragons — on the HBO drama series “Game of Thrones.”

Clarke, who has received two Emmy nominations for “Thrones,” was also recently named Woman of the Year by GQ. She recently starred as Sarah Connor in “Terminator Genisys.”

esquire november 2015 cover emilia clarke sexiest woman alive

Oct 13, 2015
6:01 am

World’s Top Two Beer Makers Agree to Merge (AP)

“The world’s top two beer makers agreed Tuesday to join forces to create a company that would control nearly a third of the global market and bring together top U.S. brands Budweiser and Miller Genuine Draft,” the AP reports. “After turning down five offers, British-based brewer SABMiller accepted in principle an improved takeover bid worth 69 billion pounds ($106 billion) from Anheuser Busch InBev, which along with Budweiser makes Corona, Stella Artois and Beck’s.”

Given the scale of the deal, regulatory resistance is expected — not only in the U.S., but also in China. The report notes that the companies could be forced to sell either Budweiser or Miller to obtain approval for the merger.

But the report notes: “The markets think the deal is now very likely and SABMiller’s shares were trading right near the bid price.”

The AP adds: “AB InBev has until Oct. 28 to come up with a formal offer if U.K. regulators grant an extension to the takeover talks. In that time, the two sides will work on the terms and conditions of the takeover offer as well as the financing of the deal.”

a-b inbev-logo

Oct 12, 2015
7:35 pm

Starting in March, Playboy Magazine Will Be Nude Free (NY Times)

“As part of a redesign that will be unveiled next March, the print edition of Playboy will still feature women in provocative poses,” reports The New York Times, adding, “But they will no longer be fully nude.”

The Times story continues, “Its executives admit that Playboy has been overtaken by the changes it pioneered. ‘That battle has been fought and won,’ said Scott Flanders, the company’s chief executive. ‘You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free. And so it’s just passé at this juncture.’

The article adds, “Playboy’s circulation has dropped from 5.6 million in 1975 to about 800,000 now, according to the Alliance for Audited Media.”

The adult-oriented TV channel Playboy TV was sold by Playboy back in 2011. It only licenses the Playboy name.

To read more details about this item please click on the link, above, which will take you to the original New York Times story.

PlayboyFirstIssueA copy of the first Playboy magazine, in 1954, which featured pictures of Marilyn Monroe nude within its pages

Oct 12, 2015
7:15 pm

USC Fires Its Football Coach (LA Times)

“Faced with mounting reports of erratic behavior by its football coach, USC fired the troubled Steve Sarkisian [this] afternoon,” Monday, Oct. 12, 2015,  reports the Los Angeles Times.

According to the story, “The announcement capped a string of incidents that included Sarkisian appearing intoxicated at a football booster event in August and seeming not himself during a recent game.

“The final straw came Sunday when he acted strangely at a team meeting, then left campus before practice began. Athletic Director Pat Haden immediately put him on indefinite leave before following up with Monday’s decision.”

The USC Trojan football team has a record of 3-2 this season.

To read more details about this item, please click here, which will take you to the original Times article.

Oct 12, 2015
2:31 pm

CBS Orders Workplace Comedy — In Fact, This One Is Called ‘Workplace,’ and It Comes From a Pair of Producers With a Wildly Successful Series on a Rival Network (Deadline)

CBS is moving forward with a comedy project from two producers who have been busy with the hit show “Modern Family” over at ABC. Nellie Andreeva reports on Deadline.com that the network gave a put pilot commitment to “Workplace,” from Paul Corrigan and Brad Walsh.

“As the title suggests, the project is a workplace comedy,” Andreeva writes. “It is set in a three-story building with three seemingly separate businesses: a one-hit-wonder app developer, a real estate company grudgingly shared by a divorced couple, and a cafe run by two sisters, one of whom hasn’t worked a day in her life.”

The single-camera project is being produced by 20th Century Fox TV, with Corrigan and Walsh executive producing. The pair were at CBS before going to “Modern Family” six years ago, working on the family comedy “1321 Clover,” which received a pilot order from CBS in 2007.

“Modern Family” has been an Emmy favorite, including winning Outstanding Comedy Series five years in a row, from 2010-2014.

modern family-title

Oct 12, 2015
2:17 pm

Dan Rather on Donald Trump: ‘I Don’t Think It’s Outside the Realm of Possibility He Gets Elected’ — Watch the Video (THR)

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, former “CBS Evening News” anchor Dan Rather examined the Donald Trump phenomenon and the 2016 presidential race, commenting, “I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility he gets elected.”

Rather noted that he expects Trump to go deep into the primary process, but stopped short of predicting that Trump would win the GOP nomination. The veteran newsman raises a number of questions about Trump’s foreign policy and immigration policy during the three-minute interview clip, which you can watch below.

Oct 12, 2015
1:37 pm

Actor Randy Quaid Held on $500,000 Bail — Judge Explains Why It’s So High (Reuters)

A judge in Vermont today ordered that actor Randy Quaid be held on $500,000 bail after he was arrested crossing the border from Canada into the U.S., Reuters reports.

As we reported earlier today, Quaid and his wife, Evi, were arrested Saturday while crossing into Vermont. Reuters reports that Quaid, 65, was arrested on charges stemming from a 2010 trespassing case in Santa Barbara, Calif.

“Quaid is wanted in California on charges related to a 2010 incident in which he and his wife entered a Santa Barbara, California, building that the couple contends they legally owned at the time,” Reuters reports. “He faces charges of vandalism, unauthorized entry into a dwelling and failure to appear for a court appearance in California.”

Quaid reportedly said in court today that he heard about the 2010 court proceeding while he was in Vancouver on a previously scheduled trip.

Reuters quotes Quaid saying: “We heard about it through the Internet, that we’d missed this court appearance.”

The story notes that an attorney for Quaid argued that the bail was set too high, prompting Vermont Superior Court Judge Alison Arms to say, “I don’t disagree with you that $500,000 is high bail. However, this court is considering the fact that this warrant was issued almost exactly five years ago and that Mr. Quaid has been in Canada that entire time.”

Separately, Evi Quaid was also ordered held of $500,000 bail, the story reports.

randy quaid-2015-vermont state policeRandy Quaid — photo released
by Vermont State Police

Oct 12, 2015
1:21 pm

TV Legend Steps In After His Childhood Home Is Condemned (AP)

After Dick Van Dyke found out his childhood home was scheduled to be demolished, the TV legend found a way to do something about it.

The AP reports that Van Dyke — known for his early 1960s CBS sitcom “The Dick Van Dyke Show” as well as appearances in feature films such as “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Mary Poppins” — announced plans this weekend to have the house restored.

The two-story home in Danville, Ill., was condemned last December because of its dilapidated condition, with Van Dyke hearing about it this summer, the AP notes. Now Van Dyke, 89, has announced that the house will become the headquarters for a new foundation that will award scholarships to young performers.

“Organizers of the Dick Van Dyke Foundation hope to establish a museum in the home where Van Dyke and brother Jerry lived during high school after the family relocated from Missouri,” the AP reports. A new foundation is being formed that will seek nonprofit status.

In a news release from the Dick Van Dyke Foundation, the group’s board president, Lance Kirkland, said Van Dyke and his wife, Arlene, “look forward to working with the community of Danville to inspire the town’s young talent to follow in Dick and Jerry’s footsteps. The foundation hopes to quickly expand its reach to provide support to young singers, dancers and actors across the country.”

dick van dyke show

Oct 12, 2015
1:09 pm

Weak Opening for Warner Bros.’ ‘Pan’ Conjures Memories of the Biggest Box-Office Disasters (AP)

A dismal opening weekend in theaters for the $150 million live-action Peter Pan feature “Pan” from Warner Bros. has some film writers scrambling to recollect the all-time worst box-offfice disasters.

Writing for the AP, Lindsey Bahr lists 10 of “Hollywood’s most infamous financial catastrophes,” noting that it may be up to China to rescue “Pan” from a place on the list. “Pan,” which stars Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara and Levi Miller, opens there Oct. 22.

Bahr notes that the movie’s weekend in North American theaters brought in only $15.5 million, “and its international prospects don’t look much more promising.” In 52 international markets, the movie brought in just $20.5 million.

As it stands, “Pan” ranks among the year’s biggest bombs along with Disney’s “Tomorrowland” and Fox’s “Fantastic Four.”

Bahr’s all-time top 10 includes a few oldies — the perennial “Heaven’s Gate” from 1980, credited with bringing down United Artists, is the oldest. But for the most part, the list is made up of recent bombs, such as “The Lone Ranger” (2013) and “John Carter” (2012).

The latter movie, starring “Friday Night Lights” alum Taylor Kitsch, reportedly cost Disney between $250 million and $275 million to make, then brought in only $30.2 million on opening weekend — prompting Disney to take a $200 million write-down while “John Carter” was still in theaters.

We encourage readers to click on the link near the top of this story to see Bahr’s full list.

pan-2015 movie-warner bros

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