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Sep 20, 2016

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Extant Finale To Air Week Early, Big Brother To Stretch To Premiere Week
Aug 4, 2014

After shifting new drama Extant from 9 PM to 10 PM earlier this week, CBS also is moving the finale of the sci-fi series starring Halle Berry. Extant was slated to end its season with a two-hour finale from 9-11 PM on premiere Tuesday, Sept. 24, following the season premiere of Survivor. Instead, it will wrap the season the previous week, Sept. 17, with an hourlong installment airing at 10 PM. Sept.

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Elijah Wood Joins The Last Witch Hunter
Aug 4, 2014

Vin Diesel starrer The Last Witch Hunter has added Elijah Wood to its cast as filming ramps up to start this month. Pic tracks an immortal witch hunter who teams up with his natural enemy, a witch, to save NYC from a coven-conjured plague. The supernatural action film helmed by Breck Eisner also stars Rose Leslie and Michael Caine, and is scripted by Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama (Gods of Egypt). Original pitch is by Cory Goodman and the project’s full writing credits also include work by D.W. Harper and Melisa Wallack.

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Questions That Analysts Should Ask Fox And Time Warner This Week, But Probably Wont
Aug 4, 2014

Wednesday should be fun for those of us who can’t get enough of the Fox-Time Warner story. Both companies will release their Q2 earnings — and then hold their first public conversations with Wall Street analysts since word got out about Fox’s $80B offer for Time Warner, which the owner of Warner Bros, HBO and TBSrejected.

If history serves, then Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes will run his company’s call in the morning while Fox COO Chase Carey subs for CEO Rupert Murdoch in the afternoon. The conventional wisdom is that if they say anything about consolidation, they’ll probably limit themselves to comments about broad trends in the marketplace. There’s no reason to discuss deal specifics because, for now at least, there isn’t one on the table. They’ll probably get away with that.

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R.I.P. L.A. Newsman Jess Marlow
Aug 4, 2014

The longtime Los Angeles TV news anchor died of Alzheimer’s complications at his Colorado home during the weekend. Jess Marlow was 84. He was one of the most familiar faces on Southland TV for nearly four decades, bringing viewers the big stories and human interest reports long before the advent of cable news or the Internet. After stints at a local station near his home in Salem, IL, and a reporter gig at then-ABC affiliate KNTV in San Jose, Marlow started his LA career in 1966 as the host and anchor of News Conference, a public affairs show on KNBC. He moved to the station’s anchor chair two years later, at one point doing the 5PM news with Tom Snyder and the 11PM report opposite Tom Brokaw. “Jess Marlow was a first-rate journalist and a beloved figure in the newsroom,” Brokaw said today in a statement.

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Condola Rashad, Broadways Most Recent Juliet, Signs With ICM Partners
Aug 4, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Rashad made a sensational debut off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club playing a young girl in a brothel in Lynn Nottage’s 2009 Pulitzer Prize winning play Ruined, set in the war-ravaged Democratic Republic Of Congo. She’s twice Tony nominated, for her roles in Lydia Diamond’s underrated Stick Fly and the late Horton Foote’s The Trip To Bountiful, opposite Cicely Tyson. Lastseason she played Juliet opposite Orlando Bloom’s Romeo.

Daughter of actress Phylicia Rashad and former NFL wide receiver Ahmad Rashad, she consistently impresses critics and audiences with her combination of beauty and gravitas. She had a recurring role on NBC’s Smash and starred in the Lifetime remake of Steel Magnolias. She’s expected to transition to films while maintaining a strong footing in theater and TV.

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Sam Rockwell, Nina Arianda & Chita Rivera Head For The Hills
Aug 4, 2014

The Williamstown Theatre Festival isn’t exactly the straw hat circuit — unless you count the likes of Sam Rockwell, Blythe Danner and Bradley Cooper in seasonal mufti during their off hours at the Tunnel City Cafe. Instead, the WTF (don’t think the popularization of those three letters is lost on the marketing folks up there in the Berkshires; they’ve made WTF Is Going Onthe company mantra) has become a place where first-string Hollywood and New York talent comes to try out new work or shinein classy revivals that frequentlyend up on Broadway. That was the case with last year’s big tryout, Jason Robert Brown and Marsha Norman’s musical adaptation of The Bridges Of Madison County. In the fall, Cooper will reprise on Broadway the festivalrevival of The Elephant Manthat he ledin 2012.

With that in mind, I headed up to see the latest buzz-generating productions, a revival of Sam Shepard‘s killer romance, Fool For Love starring Rockwell and Nina Arianda, and The Visit, a musical adaptation by John Kander, Fred Ebb and Terrence McNally of the play by Friedrich Durrenmatt.

Rockwell and Arianda were last-minute replacements for Chris Pine and Lauren Ambrose in the Shepard play, a one-act set in a crummy motel room near the Mojave Desert where push-me, pull-you lovers May (Arianda) and Eddie (Rockwell) work out their commitment issues.

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Q&A: GSN Head Of Programming Amy Introcaso-Davis On Channels Evolution From Bible Quizzing To Body Painting
Aug 4, 2014

This December will mark the 20th anniversary of GSN. Once not more than a place for reruns of 1950s and 1960s game shows, the net, previously known as Game Show Network, started to add originals a decade ago. The process has accelerated since the 2011 hire of former Bravo and Oxygen executive Amy Introcaso-Davis. On her watch, the network launched American Bible Challenge, which became the highest-rated original series in GSN’s history, as well as other breakouts like It Takes AChurch and The Chase. The cable network, co-owned by Sony Pictures TV and DirecTV, has now logged three consecutive years of growth in the target demo of women 25-54 and had its most-watched year in 2013. GSN will continue to rely on acquired game shows — like Steve Harveys Family Feud, which has done extremely well — but the primary focus will be on development, with the goal to have 12-15 primetime original series in 2015, double the network’s 2013 output.

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Open Road Ups Jason Cassidy To Chief Marketing Officer, Hires Kaitlyn Vowels
Aug 4, 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Open Road Films CEO Tom Ortenberg has promoted longtime marketing president Jason Cassidy to Chief Marketing Officer. At the same time, he has hired from Paramount Pictures Kaitlyn Vowels to beSVPCreative Advertising. Cassidy has overseen marketing on all Open Road films since the label was formed in 2011 by theater chains AMC and Regal. This has been a particularly strong year for the acquisitions-driven company. That includes The Nut Job, which became the biggest opening of an animated indie film ever, and Chef, the Jon Favreau-directed summer breakout indie hit about a chef who regains his kitchen mojo in a food truck. Other campaigns Cassidy spearheaded include The Grey and End Of Watch.

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Sharknado 2 Even Wipes Out NFL (Preseason) Game In Weeks Twitter TV Ratings
Aug 4, 2014

After chomping through last week’s TV ratings and a significant chunkof Twitter’s collectiveattention span, it’s no surprise to see Sharknado 2: The Second Oneatop the week’s Twitter TV ratings. The cheesily offbeat summer sequel of marine mayhem even -and we won’t be saying this often the next few months – beat the NFL. Admittedly, the NFLgame the Shark Snarkbeat out involved two teams from opposite ends of one state (Buffalo and NYC) in the year’s first pre-season game, which is to say perhaps the most meaningless tilt of the year,with the possible exception of the Pro Bowl.

Nielsen’s Twitter TV ratings are designed to measure the unduplicated audience of people who saw tweets about a show during its first broadcast or during the three hours before and after the broadcast.Sharknadospun up an social-media audience of more than 5.5 million Twitter users, about 1 millionahead of summer Top 10 fixtureThe Bacheloretteand that NFL game and more than double other regulars such asPretty Little LiarsandWWE Monday Night Raw,

 

On the sports side, you know you’re fully into early August’sdog days when that aforementioned preseason game still whips six baseball games (almost all involving contenders), a NASCAR race, and one of those random high-profile international soccer tournaments featuring, in this case, Euro club powers Manchester United and Real Madrid.

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TV News Orgs Note James Brady Death With Video He Hated
Aug 4, 2014

James Brady, the thumb-up White House press secretary who becamea crusader for gun control legislation after being critically wounded in a1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan, died this morning at age 73. TV news orgs noted his death throughout the day in various ways, including coverage of the statement made by current White House spokesman Josh Earnest during the daily press briefing:

“He is somebody who I think really revolutionized this job and, even after he was wounded in that attack on the President, was somebody who showed his patriotism and commitment to the country by being very outspoken on an issue that was important to him and that he felt very strongly about, Earnest told reporters from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, named tohonor the man who was left partially paralyzed in the attack. (The hotel that Reagan had just exited at the time of the assassination attempt was very unofficially nicknamed the Hinkley Hilton after the man who fired the shots. It’s where the annual orgy of obsequiousnessknown as the White House Correspondents’ Dinner is held.) Here is Earnest’s statement to the press:

Earnest also participated today in a rare Washington occurrence — a joint statement from Brady’s successors:

“Jim set the model and standard for the rest of us to follow.

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