Abu Dhabi: Empire Will Release ‘From A to B’ in the Middle East

October 25, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Pan-Arab film distributor Empire Intl. will release Abu Dhabi fest opener “From A to B,” by Ali Mostafa, in the Middle East, starting on Jan. 1. Empire has a close rapport with “A to B” co-financer Image Nation, having successfully released Image Nation-produced chiller “Djinn,” by Tobe Hooper, in 2013. The Lebanese company sub-distributes for...

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Abu Dhabi: Image Nation Sets Doc Slate for Tyro Division

October 25, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Abu Dhabi’s Image Nation is delving into documentary production with pics on strong societal topics, such as “Every Last Child,” pictured above, by U.K. director Tom Roberts, which examines efforts to fight the polio epidemic in Pakistan, where the Taliban have imposed a ban on the vaccine. “Child” is set to have its world premiere... Read more

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ABC Cancels ‘Manhattan Love Story’

October 25, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

ABC has broken up with its new relationship comedy, “Manhattan Love Story,” canceling the sitcom created by Jeff Lowell after four episodes. The ABC Studios comedy, which focused on the inner monologues of characters who were embarking on a new relationship, is the first of the new fall shows to be canceled. “Love Story,” which aired... Read more

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‘Game of Thrones’ Actor Cast in Syfy Miniseries

October 24, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Forgot the political warfare of the Seven Kingdoms: “Game of Thrones” actor Charles Dance will soon be staging an alien invasion, as Variety has confirmed he will be one of the leads in Syfy’s “Childhood’s End.” The six-hour miniseries, which is an adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s classic novel “Childhood’s End,” focuses on what happens... Read more

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Alibaba Is in Talks With U.S. Movie Studios to Stream in China

October 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Alibaba founder Jack Ma, fresh off his company's record-breaking $22 billion public stock offering, is shopping for U.S. movies to stream online in China. Ma and a group of Alibaba executives are meeting with studio chiefs next week to get the rights to content to sell to Chinese consumers hungry for TV and movies from Hollywood, according to Bloomberg. Ma’s reported wish list includes Walt Disney, Viacom, Lions Gate Entertainment, Warner Bros., Sony, 21st Century Fox and Comcast. In July, Alibaba struck a deal with Lions Gate to stream the Hunger Games franchise and TV show Mad Men to Chinese audiences. The New York Post reported that Ma wants to buy chairman Mark Rachesky’s controlling shares in Lions Gate, when he steps down as early as next month. Rachesky’s shares are worth about $1.6 billion. China is the No. 2 film market in the world, making the convenience of online subscription content a natural fit for Alibaba’s e-commerce network. However, China is not a straightforward place to do business. Last month, Chinese regulators announced they would cap the amount of foreign TV programs local providers could stream to online subscribers. Neftlix’s House of Cards, which attracts millions of Chinese viewers, was rumored to be in jeopardy. In April, Chinese regulators yanked NCIS, The Practice, The Good Wife and The Big Bang Theory off video streaming services without giving a reason. The Big Bang Theory was reportedly pulling in 120 million viewers a month. It remains to be seen if Ma’s clout and business savvy will overcome Chinese regulators and net him another lucrative revenue stream. Alibaba’s stock has been soaring on news of its interest in movie streaming.

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Jim Parsons To Star in NBC’s ‘Elf’ Animated Holiday Special

October 24, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Jim Parsons will bring holiday cheer this winter, starring in NBC’s special “Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas.”  Parsons will voice Buddy, made famous by the 2003 film “Elf” starring Will Ferrell and Broadway production “Elf: The Musical.” The hourlong, stop-motion animated special is set to air at 8 p.m. on Dec. 16, and will blend the... Read more

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Honey Boo Boo Show Canceled Over Mom’s Reported Relationship With Sex Offender

October 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is going off the air for a really appalling reason: the hit TLC reality show about the misadventures of an Arkansas family has been canceled in the wake of reports that "Mama" June Thompson got back together with former boyfriend Mark McDaniel, who was convicted in 2004 of forcing himself on an 8-year-old child. McDaniel and Thompson were also dating when he committed the crime, according to reports . "TLC has canceled the series Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and ended all activities around the series, effective immediately," reads the unbylined statement submitted by a network spokesperson. "Supporting the health and welfare of these remarkable children is our only priority. TLC is faithfully committed to the children's ongoing comfort and well-being." It's a sad end to a show that was always a little sad and inspired reams of cultural criticism discussing not just whether the show's mere existence constituted exploitation of a poor family, but life in the South and poverty in general. The star of the show was supposedly Alana Thompson, Honey Boo Boo from TLC's beauty pageant reality series Toddlers and Tiaras, but Mama June quickly became the focus, as the series focused its gaze on her struggle to navigate motherhood of Alana and her three other daughters, Lauryn, Jessica and Anna. Thompson has denied seeing McDaniel, but TMZ has posted recent photos of the pair together. A fifth season of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo had reportedly been shot; it joins reruns of 7th Heaven among family-friendly shows rendered unwatchable for some by the poor decisions of the cast.

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AMC Gets Big Piece of BBC America for $200 Million

October 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

AMC is taking over BBC America, buying a piece of the U.K. broadcasting property for a reported $200 million. The deal gives control to AMC, but BBC Worldwide will retain a 50.1 percent stake in the cable channel. The companies will invest in BBC productions, and AMC will enjoy free rein pursuing U.S. advertising for BBC America and BBC World News. BBC America is available in 80 million U.S. homes. Its programs include the long-running classic Dr. Who, the over-the-top motor enthusiast show Top Gear, the dramas Orphan Black, Luther and Broadchurch, and the Planet Earth natural history series. BBC Worldwide and AMC have collaborated before—on the drama Top of the Lake and the spy thriller The Honourable Woman, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal which aired on the BBC in the U.K. The BBC said, "AMC will run (BBC America) consistent with BBC’s editorial standards and policies."

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AMC Gets Big Piece of BBC America for $200 Million

October 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

AMC is taking over BBC America, buying a piece of the U.K. broadcasting property for a reported $200 million. The deal gives control to AMC, but BBC Worldwide will retain a 50.1 percent stake in the cable channel. The companies will invest in BBC productions, and AMC will enjoy free rein pursuing U.S. advertising for BBC America and BBC World News. BBC America is available in 80 million U.S. homes. Its programs include the long-running classic Dr. Who, the over-the-top motor enthusiast show Top Gear, the dramas Orphan Black, Luther and Broadchurch, and the Planet Earth natural history series. BBC Worldwide and AMC have collaborated before—on the drama Top of the Lake and the spy thriller The Honourable Woman, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal which aired on the BBC in the U.K. The BBC said, "AMC will run (BBC America) consistent with BBC’s editorial standards and policies."

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Recording Academy, CBS Shuffle Grammy Nominations Announcement Plan

October 24, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

The Recording Academy and CBS are shaking up the Grammy nominations process, returning to the traditional early morning unveiling of most categories — other than the top prize of album of the year — after announcing key categories as part of a primetime special for the past six years. This year, album of the year... Read more

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