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TVBIZWIRE
Jun 20, 2018
3:51 pm
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Fox Accepts New Disney Acquisition Offer (Investor's Business Daily, TVWeek)

In a blow to Comcast, Fox has accepted a new offer from The Walt Disney Co. to acquire 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets for $71.3 billion in cash and stock.

The new $38-per-share acquisition offer gives 21st Century Fox shareholders the option to elect cash or stock in the combined entity, Disney announced.

Click here to read today’s announcement from Disney.

“The $38-a-share price is about $10 a share higher than what Disney offered in December — and $3 above Comcast’s bid from last week,” Investor’s Business Daily reports. “The new agreement also offers more flexibility and other enhancements than the Comcast offer, Fox said on Wednesday.”

The IBD report adds: “At stake is a trove of media properties, ranging from ‘The Simpsons’ to ‘X-Men,’ that may help fend off the threat from Netflix and other streaming upstarts. Both Disney and Comcast are looking to use the Fox assets to bolster their content and expand overseas.

“Disney’s latest offer is a ‘very aggressive move’ by Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger and may make it difficult for Comcast to respond, said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Paul Sweeney. Comcast’s current bid was already poised to load the company up with debt, and its shares have fallen 18% this year.”

IBD quotes Sweeney saying: “Comcast’s balance sheet may preclude it from bidding much higher. Further hampering Comcast’s ability to respond is its position that it does not want to use its stock in a deal at these low levels.”

The high-stakes tussle over the Fox assets follows approval of the AT&T acquisition of Time Warner, which is expected to trigger further media consolidation moves.

Please click here to see Disney’s announcement of its new agreement with Fox.

TVBIZWIRE
Jun 20, 2018
3:44 pm
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Peter Fonda Apologizes for Tweet About Trump’s Son; U.S. Secret Service Alerted (CNN, TVWeek)

“The United States Secret Service has been alerted in response to a tweet by actor Peter Fonda, who said Barron Trump — President Donald Trump’s youngest son — should be separated from his mother and put ‘in a cage with pedophiles,'” CNN reports.

The tweet from Fonda, which has since been deleted, reportedly says: “We should rip Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles and see if mother will stand up against the giant a–hole she is married to. 90 million people in the streets on the same weekend in the country. F—.”

CNN reports: “First lady Melania Trump’s communications director, Stephanie Grisham, called the tweet ‘sick and irresponsible,’ adding that the Secret Service has been notified. A Secret Service spokesman said the agency is aware of the tweet but declined to comment, citing the agency’s practice of not speaking about protective matters.”

Fonda, who sent out the tweet in anger over Trump’s immigration policy separating families, later issued an apology, which has been widely reported in the media, in which he said: “I tweeted something highly inappropriate and vulgar about the president and his family in response to the devastating images I was seeing on television.

“Like many Americans, I am very impassioned and distraught over the situation with children separated from their families at the border, but I went way too far. It was wrong and I should not have done it. I immediately regretted it and sincerely apologize to the family for what I said and any hurt my words have caused.”

TVBIZWIRE
Jun 20, 2018
3:31 pm
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CW Unveils Premiere Dates for Fall, New Expanded Prime Time (TVWeek)

The CW today released its prime-time schedule for fall, when the broadcast network expands its prime time to six nights a week.

Among the changes, “Arrow” will now lead off the night on Mondays with “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” moving an hour later.

“The Flash” and “Black Lightning” return Tuesday, Oct. 9; “Riverdale” and the new series “All American” premiere Wednesday, Oct. 10.

“Supernatural” returns for Season 14 on Thursday, Oct. 11, while “Dynasty” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” premiere Friday, Oct. 12.

The CW’s new Sunday lineup of “Supergirl” and “Charmed” bows Oct. 14. The new series “Legacies” premieres following an all-new “Supernatural” on Thursday, Oct. 25.

The schedule also features a two-night exclusive telecast of the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Festival on Sunday and Monday, Oct. 7-8.

Please click here for additional details in the full announcement from the CW.

Here’s the CW’s schedule of premieres:

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7

8:00-10:00pm 2018 IHEARTRADIO MUSIC FESTIVAL, NIGHT ONE

MONDAY, OCTOBER 8

8:00-10:00pm 2018 IHEARTRADIO MUSIC FESTIVAL, NIGHT TWO

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 9

8:00-9:00pm THE FLASH (Season Premiere)

9:00-10:00pm BLACK LIGHTNING (Season Premiere)

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 10

8:00-9:00pm RIVERDALE (Season Premiere)

9:00-10:00pm ALL AMERICAN (Series Premiere)

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11

8:00-9:00pm SUPERNATURAL (Season Premiere)

9:00-10:00pm ALL AMERICAN (Encore of Premiere)

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12

8:00-9:00pm DYNASTY (Season Premiere)

9:00-10:00pm CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND (Season Premiere)

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14

8:00-9:00pm SUPERGIRL (Season Premiere)

9:00-10:00pm CHARMED (Series Premiere)

MONDAY, OCTOBER 15

8:00-9:00pm ARROW (Season Premiere)

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18

8:00-9:00pm SUPERNATURAL (Original Episode)

9:00-10:00pm CHARMED (Encore of Premiere)

MONDAY, OCTOBER 22

8:00-9:00pm ARROW (Original Episode)

9:00-10:00pm DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW (Season Premiere)

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25

8:00-9:00pm SUPERNATURAL (Original Episode)

9:00-10:00pm LEGACIES (Series Premiere)

TVBIZWIRE
Jun 20, 2018
3:29 pm
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Apple Continues TV Push, Signs Major Children’s Programming Producer (AP)

Apple continues to get into business with prestigious TV programming providers. On the heels of the tech firm’s deal with Oprah Winfrey, Apple announced a deal today with Sesame Workshop.

The AP reports that the company gave a multiple-series order to the nonprofit organization to create programs that will be part of the slate of children’s content for Apple’s upcoming streaming service.

Sesame Workshop’s long-running series “Sesame Street,” which is televised by PBS and HBO, is not part of the agreement, Apple noted.

 

TVBIZWIRE
Jun 20, 2018
12:49 pm
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Reorganization, Executive Shuffle at Sony TV (THR)

Sony Pictures Television Studios is merging three departments under a single executive as Sony’s new TV chairman Mike Hopkins shakes things up.

“Set to merge are Sony TV’s global networks operations, worldwide distribution and home entertainment,” The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports. “All three divisions will be merged into what Sony is calling a territory management model in which key services will be centralized to divide integrated programming, operations, creative services and sales functions. As part of the change, Sony will establish a direct-to-consumer unit charged with audience engagement and building new platforms.”

Keith Le Goy will oversee the regional leaders in each territory. “Le Goy in February added oversight of home entertainment when worldwide networks president Andy Kaplan, home entertainment topper Man Jit Singh and president and CMO Sheraton Kalouria departed,” THR notes. “Le Goy now oversees Sony distribution, home entertainment and worldwide networks.

Sony is also reviving its first-run syndication business under John Weiser, who steps into the newly created role of president of First Run TV, reporting to Hopkins. “Weiser will identify and sell first-run syndicaiton properties and partner with Holly Jacobs for U.S. production, Micahel Davies for Embassy Row and Wayne Garvie’s international production teams,” THR reports.

TVBIZWIRE
Jun 20, 2018
11:59 am
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Cher Explains How She and Meryl Streep Rescued a Woman From a Violent Attack (TVWeek, CBS)

Cher gave details of an incident in New York in which she and Meryl Streep saved a woman from a violent attack on the street. The singer described the incident during an appearance on CBS’s “The Late Late Show with James Corden.”

Here’s the clip …

TVBIZWIRE
Jun 20, 2018
10:19 am
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Disney Ups the Ante — By a Lot — in Battle Over Fox Assets (AP)

Disney has countered Comcast’s bid for Fox’s entertainment businesses by raising its own bid by almost $20 billion. The AP reports that Disney is now offering more than $71 billion in a counterbid to Comcast’s offer of almost $66 billion.

“The battle for Twenty-First Century Fox reflects a new imperative among entertainment and telecommunications firms,” the report notes. “They are amassing ever more programming to better compete with technology companies such as Amazon and Netflix for viewers’ attention — and dollars. The bidding war comes after AT&T bought Time Warner for $81 billion.”

Disney originally made an all-stock offer of $28 per Fox share back in December, with that offer currently valued at $52.6 billion. Following approval of the AT&T-Time Warner merger, Comcast countered last week with a $35-per-share all-cash offer, valued at $65.7 billion based on the same number of shares.

The AP notes that Disney’s new offer of $38 per share, or $71.3 billion, is half cash and half stock.

“Disney’s move had been expected since Comcast made its bid last week,” the report notes. “Disney said it’s raising its offer because Fox’s value increased due to ‘tax reform and operating improvements.’”

TVBIZWIRE
Jun 20, 2018
10:07 am
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ABC Takes Wraps Off ‘Revolutionary’ New Reality Show (TVWeek, ABC)

ABC announced plans today for a big night of reality premieres featuring both the season five premiere of “Bachelor in Paradise” and the debut of the new series “Castaways.”

ABC says “Castaways” is “a revolutionary series testing the human need for companionship under extreme circumstances as each individual learns there are other castaways out there but are unaware of how many, their locations or when they will be rescued.”

Both premieres are set for Tuesday, Aug. 7.

Click here for details on both shows, including bio blurbs on each of the 12 castaways who will be participating in the new series.

Below is a first-look clip for “Castaways” …

TVBIZWIRE
Jun 20, 2018
8:19 am
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AMC Theatres Rolls Out Movie Ticket Subscription Service (AP)

AMC Theatres unveiled a new movie ticket program that enables subscribers to see up to three movies a week for a monthly fee of $19.95, the AP reports. The program appears to be a response to MoviePass.

“Unlike MoviePass, subscribers will be allowed to see all three movies on the same day, and can watch the same movie repeatedly. Movies won’t carry over if a subscriber sees fewer than three films in a week,” the report notes.

The subscription price is double the $9.95 monthly fee for MoviePass, but AMC’s plan includes access to premium format screenings such as IMAX and 3-D. The new AMC Stubs A-List membership plan also includes discounts on concessions.

“AMC Theatres chief executive Adam Aron pointedly said in a statement that AMC’s program is at a ‘sustainable price,'” the AP notes. “Since MoviePass slashed its monthly fee, questions have mounted over the long-term viability of its economic model.”

The report notes that AMC is the world’s largest movie theater chain.

TVBIZWIRE
Jun 20, 2018
8:07 am
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Here’s Who Will Be Joining Seinfeld on ‘Comedians in Cars’ (TVWeek, Netflix)

Netflix just put out a trailer for the new 2018 episodes of Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” and the show has lined up a guest list that includes the late Jerry Lewis, Kate McKinnon, Ellen DeGeneres, Hasan Minhaj, Dana Carvey, Neil Brennan, Tracy Morgan, Brian Regan, Alec Baldwin, Zach Galifianakis, John Mulaney and Dave Chappelle.

The new episodes arrive on Netflix July 6.

Here’s the trailer …

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