Jul 30, 2015
10:09 am

Former ‘Top Gear’ Stars Set Up Deal for New Series (WSJ)

The former presenters on the worldwide hit show “Top Gear,” who got the boot from the long-running U.K. car show amid controversy surrounding Jeremy Clarkson, are back in business.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Clarkson and co-hosts Richard Hammond and James May are headed to Amazon Prime with a new car series. The report cites unnamed sources who are familiar with the situation.

The three TV personalities parted ways with the BBC series in the wake of an incident in which Clarkson reportedly punched one of the producers of “Top Gear,” as we reported previously. BBC has since unveiled plans to continue “Top Gear” with a new on-air lineup.

Clarkson, Hammond and May, along with former “Top Gear” executive producer Andy Wilman, have formed their own banner, W. Chump & Sons Limited.

“Amazon beat out Netflix Inc. and major broadcasters in the bidding for the group’s new show,” WSJ reports, quoting one source saying: “We’ve never seen a horse race like this.”

WSJ adds: “Amazon won the global rights to the new series, meaning it will appear on Prime video in the U.S., U.K., Austria and Germany. Amazon can also license rights to the show to broadcasters or streaming services in other territories around the world where Prime video isn’t available. It also adds to Amazon’s content war chest if it does expand to new countries.”

top gear-title

Jul 30, 2015
10:01 am

Netflix Production Coming Soon to a Theater Near You — Here’s the Trailer (Boston Herald, YouTube)

Netflix unveiled the release date and a new trailer for the streaming service’s first film. The Boston Herald reports that “Beasts of No Nation” will open in theaters Oct. 16 in selected U.S. cities.

The movie, written and directed by “True Detective’s” Cary Fukunaga and starring Golden Globe winner Idris Elba, premieres the same day on Netflix.

“Netflix is partnering with Bleeker Street, the distribution company founded by Andrew Karpen last year, and Landmark to open the film at 19 markets served by Landmark Theatres,” the story reports.

The movie, about a child soldier in Africa, already has Oscar buzz after being selected for screenings at the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.

The story reports that the theatrical opening is set for New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington DC, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Seattle, San Francisco and San Diego.

Here’s the trailer:

Jul 30, 2015
9:44 am

HBO Joins Forces With One of the Top Rock Bands of All Time for Special Programming (TVWeek)

HBO is anteing up for programming from the band that became one of the biggest rock acts in the world with 1980s hits such as “With or Without You,” “Where the Streets Have No Name” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”

The pay-cable channel announced plans today for two specials headlined by U2: a concert special from Paris and a behind-the-scenes documentary on U2’s current iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE world tour.

The behind-the-scenes special is set to premiere Nov. 7, followed a week later by U2’s performance at Bercy Arena in Paris, to be aired on the day of the concert, Nov. 14.

Please click here for the full announcement.

u2-innocence + experience-tour logo

Jul 30, 2015
9:31 am

Actor Dead at 54 After Drowning Incident (Us)

A little more than a week after what has been called a “near-drowning incident” July 20 put him in a coma, actor Sean Malone is dead.

Us magazine reports that the Boston Fire Department confirmed the death of the 54-year-old, known for a handful of movies including the 2007 release “Gone Baby Gone.”

The fire department announced late Wednesday on Twitter: “Sean Malone succumbed to his injuries this evening. [He was] surrounded by his son Sean, parents and siblings at Boston Medical Center.”

The Us report adds: “The actor had been hospitalized in a coma since July 20, when he nearly drowned at a beach in South Boston. According to the Boston Globe, Malone swam too far out in the waters and was rescued by an off-duty firefighter Chris Flaherty.”

Malone, a resident of Boston, played Skinny Ray Likanski in the Ben Affleck-directed detective movie “Gone Baby Gone,” which starred Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan.

Jul 30, 2015
9:17 am

Time Warner Cable Comes Up Short of Quarterly Earnings Estimates (USA Today)

Time Warner Cable’s earnings report for the second quarter fell short of expectations amid rising programming costs and the continued migration of subscribers away from traditional pay television.

USA Today reports: “The company, which Charter Communications is seeking to acquire, reported earnings of $1.54 per share, falling short of analysts’ estimate of $1.81. Revenue of $5.93 billion rose 3.5%, but missed expectations of $5.94 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.”

Net income was off 7.2% from the second quarter of 2014, slipping to $463 million from $499 million.

“The cost of programming for TWC’s pay-TV service rose 8.7% to $1.4 billion as the company acquired the rights for the Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Dodgers for its SportsNet LA regional sports network, USA Today notes. “That led to a 11.6% increase in monthly programming costs for subscribers to $42.73.”

The company’s video households fell by 45,000 while it added a net 172,000 subscribers to broadband, with both numbers representing TWC’s best second-quarter performance since 2008.

time warner cable-logo

Jul 30, 2015
9:07 am

New Show on E! Tracks Young Clairvoyant to the Stars (TVWeek)

E! Entertainment has announced plans for a new series that will follow a young clairvoyant as he provides readings to Hollywood celebrities.

Former small-town boy Tyler Henry, 19, has become Hollywood’s “go-to medium,” according to E!, and he will be at the center of the new series with the working title “Hollywood Teen Medium.” The show has an order for eight hour-long episodes.

Said Jeff Olde, Executive Vice President, Original Programming & Development, E!: “Tyler’s innocent charm puts celebrities instantly at ease, and viewers will see him deliver messages of hope, closure and forgiveness to some of today’s biggest stars as they open up about their lives.”

Here’s a press release from E! Entertainment about the new series.

e entertainment-logo

Jul 30, 2015
8:44 am

Sony Corp. Triples Its Profits (WSJ, Deadline)

Sony Corp. reported net profit today for the April-June quarter that more than tripled the year-ago figure. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company reported net income surged to $665 million, boosted by strong sales in videogames and smartphone image sensors.

“After a multiyear restructuring led by Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai, Sony is less dependent on low-margin or money-losing consumer electronics businesses such as televisions and mobile phones. The company’s shares have roughly doubled over the past year on signs that the turnaround is starting to work,” WSJ reports.

The gains came even with a down report on the movie and TV side.

“The movie and TV division saw an 11.9% drop in sales and operating revenues to $1.4B,” Deadline.com reports. “Sony, which released ‘Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2′ (approximate global cume $104M), ‘Chappie’ ($102M), ‘Aloha’ ($24M) and ‘Insidious: Chapter 3′ ($107M) during the quarter, says the drops are a reflection of the stronger global theatrical performance of films released in the same quarter of the previous fiscal year, which included ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2′ and ’22 Jump Street.'”


Jul 30, 2015
1:24 am

Director of ‘Law & Order’ and ‘Rescue Me’ Arrested on Child Pornography Charges (NY Post; IMDB)

“Television director Jason ‘Jace’ Alexander has been arrested on child pornography charges for allegedly promoting a video showing a girl stripping and masturbating, the Westchester County District Attorney’s office said Wednesday,” reports the New York Post.

The story says, “Alexander, 51, of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. the only son of actress Jane Alexander, is accused of promoting the video – depicting a girl about 12 or 13 years old – by making it available for viewing in late June on the Torrent network, according to a criminal complaint.”

Alexander is NOT the same Jason Alexander who co-starred in “Seinfeld.”

According to IMDB, Jace Alexander directed 32 episodes of “Law & Order” and 19 episodes of “Rescue Me.”

Says Variety, Alexander “posted $10,000 bail and is expected in court on Nov. 19.”

Jul 30, 2015
1:20 am

Cindy Crawford Developing Her First Series for TV (Variety)

“Cindy Crawford is developing a drama…based on the modeling world in the 1980’s” reports Elizabeth Wagmeister in a scoop for Variety.Variety

The series is being developed for NBC.

The story says that the series, “‘Icon,’ hailing from Universal TV, revolves around the modeling wars in the ’80s that occurred between Ford Modeling Agency and Elite Model Management. The show is completely fictionalized, rather than a re-telling of Crawford’s own experiences. No actual names of models or figures from the time will be used.”

Variety says that Crawford will produce the series and not be in it.

Jul 29, 2015
3:01 pm

MTV Renews Drama Series (TVWeek)

MTV made a number of programming announcements today during the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills, including announcing the pickup of the drama series “Scream” for a second season.

In its announcement, MTV said: “More than 21 million viewers have tuned in to the debut season of ‘Scream’ on-air and the series has generated another 7.9 million streams across platforms. Additionally, ‘Scream’ has averaged 60% increases in L+3 over L+SD ratings week to week.

The network also announced that “Finding Carter” will return Tuesday, Oct. 6, and revealed that “Ridiculousness” will head to New York City for two episodes in August, with 50 Cent and Action Bronson as guests.

Please click here to read the full announcement.

scream-mtv“Scream” (MTV)

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