Seth Meyers to Host 2014 Emmy Awards

April 25, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Seth Meyers has been tapped to host NBC’s telecast of the Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25. NBC and the Television Academy have also set kudocast vet Don Mischer as exec producer of the live broadcast originating from downtown L.A.‘s Nokia Theatre. There was little doubt that the host of this year’s Emmycast would come... Read more

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Broadway Review: ‘Cabaret’ Starring Michelle Williams and Alan Cumming

April 25, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Alan Cumming owns the debauched role of the Emcee in this redux of the dazzling 1998 revival, but Michelle Williams falters in her early scenes as Sally Bowles.

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Landmark Theaters Promotes Lisa Bunnell to Head Film Buyer

April 25, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Landmark Theaters revealed a trio of promotions Thursday; namely, exhibition vet Lisa Bunnell has been upped to head film buyer for the circuit. She will be taking over nationwide responsibilities for senior VP film buyer Mike McClellan, who is leaving Landmark after 17 years with the company. He will retain a consulting position. The announcement... Read more

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The Wire’s David Simon: HBO Would Have Killed My Show Today

April 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Despite being widely considered one of the best TV shows of all time , The Wire's creator David Simon doesn't believe

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Netflix to Launch on Three U.S. Cable Operators via TiVo

April 24, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Netflix has grabbed its first foothold with cable operators in the United States, with plans to launch on three smaller companies next week through an app on TiVo DVRs. The deals are with RCN Communications, Atlantic Broadband and Grande Communications. The MSOs are tiny compared with giants like Comcast or Time Warner Cable, but the... Read more

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MTV’s Newest Series Include the Amazingly Titled Slednecks

April 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

MTV isn't getting off the kids-behaving-badly kick: after Jersey Shore and Buckwild, the network is going for a third locale filled with colorful young people, set in Alaska, called Slednecks. The network also has Beyond Dance, a dancing competition series, and One Bad Choice, a Teen Mom-style series about people who made a poor decision and then dealt with the consequences. The upfront was music-heavy, as befitting the M in the network's name, with performances by Bastille and Zed, among others. But it also included an unexpected part of the Viacom portfolio: LGBT-themed network Logo (which, oddly, Viacom called a "brand" in its boilerplate, rather than a network), which has a new series called The Secret Guide to Fabulous Living. It's unclear what kind of change might come from the conflation of the two networks—is Viacom consolidating?—but MTV said the show would be about "not how to have it all, but what to do with what you have," which seems to be of a piece with MTV's working-class subject matter these days. Scripted series returning included, of course, Teen Wolf , and Rob Drydek's Ridiculousness. The network's summer slate will show exclusively on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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Tribeca Film Review: ‘In Your Eyes’

April 24, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

For anyone who’s ever wondered whether “the right one” might be somewhere out there waiting for you, Joss Whedon has the answer in the form of a supernatural soap opera so first-drafty, only the faithful need apply.

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FCC Net Neutrality Proposal Still Fuzzy

April 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The Federal Communications Commission did damage control today to try to convince critics that the chairman's net neutrality proposal would not create a "payola Internet,” would not end the end the Internet as we know it, and would not lead to a host of Internet price increases for consumers. "This notice decides nothing," an FCC official explained during a call with reporters that followed a tsunami of negative press . Even after the commission votes May 15 to proceed with the notice of proposed rulemaking, there will still be plenty of unanswered questions, including what would constitute a net neutrality violation. The public will have plenty of time to comment before the FCC finalizes the rules by the end of the year. Let's take the easy part of chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal first. The FCC proposes to reinstate the 2010 "no blocking" rule for legal content and enhance the 2010 rule that requires ISPs to disclose their network policies and practices. The biggest question, and what remains unclear in Wheeler's proposal, is how the FCC will determine what fast lane agreements between ISPs and content providers is "commercially reasonable." "We don't know, the rulemaking will decide it," said an FCC official. "We want a broad public debate before we make those kinds of decisions. We'll ask first and answer later," he said. So depending on a bunch of details that haven't been written yet, that could mean the FCC might allow deals that give some Internet content priority over another. But no one at the FCC seems to know how that will work, except that each deal will be reviewed on a "case-by-case basis." In his blog post , Wheeler said the FCC "will propose rules that establish a high bar for what is 'commercially reasonable.'" "The allegation that it will result in anti-competitive price increases for consumers is also unfounded. That is exactly what the 'commercially reasonable' test will protect against: harm to competition and consumers stemming from abusive market activity," Wheeler wrote. When asked if that means a deal between Netflix and Comcast that raises prices for consumers would be a violation, the FCC official responded that: "if it limits competition, that's a problem." OK, are we clear now?

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TV Review: ‘All About Ann: Governor Richards of the Lone Star State’

April 24, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Ann Richards is best remembered for her skewering of George H.W. Bush at the 1988 Democratic National Convention (“Poor George. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth”), and later — somewhat poetically — for losing the Texas governorship to Bush’s son. “All About Ann: Governor Richards of the Lone Star State” putties... Read more

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C7 Ratings to Free Up Hundreds of Millions in Hidden Revenue

April 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

While the broadcast networks are pressuring agencies and clients to start writing more deals against a C7 ratings currency, at first blush, it would appear that there’s little cause to rush into a paradigm shift. But nothing could be further from the truth. Based on a close examination of each broadcast series’ C3 and C7 deliveries, there would appear to be very little to gain from adding the extra four days of playback to the data stream. For the period spanning Sept. 23, 2012 through March 30, 2013, the vast majority of network shows have demonstrated no lift whatsoever upon conversion from the C3 currency to the more inclusive C7 metric. In the rare cases where the bonus playback numbers have helped goose the demo deliveries, the net gain is seemingly trivial. Of the dozen or so series that did see a boost upon conversion from C3 to C7, most inch up a mere one-tenth of a ratings point. A handful of shows gained two-tenths of a point, including ABC’s Modern Family (3.2 to 3.4) and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2.2 to 2.4), CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (4.6 to 4.8), Fox’s The Following (2.2 to 2.4) and NBC’s The Blacklist (3.1 to 3.3). The single biggest gainer, Fox’s freshman series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey , improved three-tenths of a point, from a 2.1 in C3 to a 2.4 C7 rating. All that having been said, on a percentile basis, these conversions represent a veritable mother lode of incremental revenue. Assuming your network books $3 billion in annual ad sales revenue, even as little as a 4 percent lift would translate into leaving $120 million on the table. “That’s real money,” said one ad sales boss. “In the greater scheme of things, 4 percent seems like a trifle. But say your C7 conversion gives you a lift of 4 percent across the board. That’s an awful lot of money to leave lying around just because you’re still working with a compromised metric .” As the networks press forward with an initiative designed to wean viewers off the commercial-zapping DVR in favor of VOD platforms that don’t allow for ad-avoidance, the prevailing notion is that the C7 numbers will rise accordingly. This in turn should lead to an increase in actionable demo deliveries. “If 4 percent becomes 10 percent in three years, now you’re looking at serious cash—enough to fund three pilot seasons ,” the ad sales executive said. Interestingly enough, not a single show declined upon addition of the four bonus playback days. That is not at all the case upon converting live-plus-same-day data to C3.

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