The Weirdest Emmy Ballot Omissions and Oddities

June 16, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Where are "Cougar Town" and Max Greenfield? And what's up with "SNL" only submitting male hosts?

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‘Catastrophe’ Makes Its American Debut on Facebook, Not Amazon Prime

June 15, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

British comedy Catastrophe will make its American debut this evening on Facebook. While the first season will be available Friday on Amazon Prime, the 24-minute debut episode hits Facebook at 7 p.m. ET today and will be available for 48 hours. The "virtual screening party" is also expected to include engagement with the series' stars and writers, Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan. The episode will include the hashtag bug #CatastropheTV.

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Stephanie Drake Talks Stealing Scenes On ‘Mad Men’ Final Season

June 15, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

"Thank goodness Meredith didn’t sleep with Don."

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Internet-Plus Poised To Transform China’s Film Business Models

June 14, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Self-confidence overflowed as Chinese film and Internet executives pitched a new business model that may be on the way to transforming the fortunes of local studios and rolling back the influence of Hollywood in China.

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Jeffrey Katzenberg, Mike Tyson on Hand to Open Shanghai Festival

June 13, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Mike Tyson, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Jackie Chan and Fan Bingbing were among the celebrities on hald at the opening ceremony of the 18th Shanghai festival.

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Francis Ng Joins Dave Bautista in Cast of ‘Warrior’s Gate’

June 11, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Hong Kong-Chinese actor Francis Ng has joined the cast of action-adventure “Warrior’s Gate,” the upcoming Matthias Hoene film, scripted by Luc Besson and Robert Kamen.

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Orange Is the New Black’s Latest Inmate Is a Character From a Virgin Ad Campaign

June 10, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Last year, Virgin Media in the U.K. introduced an ad character who's literally a night owl, staying up late to binge-watch show after show on Netflix. Now, that owl—who goes by the name Ally McNab—is one step closer to her anti-heroes on Orange Is the New Black. A new campaign from BBH London, pushing Netflix streaming on Virgin, actually sends Ally to Litchfield Penitentiary, where she becomes the latest orange-clad newbie inmate. And the show's famous characters even filmed scenes with their freaky new cellmate. (Not surprisingly, Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren takes a shine to her new feathered friend—either because they have a similar stare, or because Crazy Eyes befriends everyone.) The spot actually combines new and existing footage. It's an interesting bit of film, considering all the players involved. "It's a piece of content involving an entertainment property, a subscription streaming service and a broadband provider," says Jeremy Ettinghausen, innovation director at BBH and BBH Labs. "It stars characters from a TV show interacting with characters from an advertising campaign, in an advertising campaign for a TV show, a broadband provider and a subscription entertainment service. Is this a new content type? We don't know. Is it interesting? We think so, maybe simply because we can't put it in a box." The campaign is running online, on social media, in retail, and on video on demand.

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Film Review: ‘Seven Weeks’

June 10, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Nobuhiko Obayashi's profound if overly involved "Seven Weeks" addresses Japan's wartime responsibility and her present nuclear crisis with poetic whimsy.

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How MasterChef Junior Helped Rescue Fox’s Season

June 8, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As Fox's schedule imploded last fall, the network found itself with an enormous hole to fill: Tuesdays at 8 p.m. where reality misfire Utopia (one of its four freshman flops) had sunk to a 0.8 rating in adults 18-49. To stop the bleeding, the network tapped the only fall show left in its arsenal, MasterChef Junior, which had been set for Fridays. "We were anxious, but flattered," said Adeline Ramage Rooney, the show's executive producer, of the high-profile move. "They obviously saw there was an opportunity to take a gamble on it, and it seemed to pay off." Indeed, the series—in which kid chefs between 8 and 13 compete for Gordon Ramsay and other celebrity judges to win a $100,000 prize—was one of Fox's only fall shows to outperform expectations. Its 1.8 debut 18-49 rating more than doubled Utopia's puny numbers—and the show maintained a 1.7 average for both Season 2 and winter's Season 3 (up from Season 1's 1.4 in fall 2013), drawing more viewers than even the regular MasterChef. "The preservation of our Tuesday audience was very important, and MasterChef Junior helped us stabilize the night," said David Madden, president, Fox Entertainment. Gordon Ramsay Matt Hoyle / Fox Ramage Rooney, who also executive produces MasterChef (its sixth season just kicked off), said she and Ramsay were inspired to create MasterChef Junior because "the adult version of MasterChef really seemed to capture a family audience and to get more kids into cooking. There's quite a lack of co-viewing shows that parents and kids can sit down to together." The show's family appeal also is a draw for advertisers.

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Natalie Cole, Aloe Blacc to Perform at Songs of Hope Fundraiser

June 8, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

The 11th Songs of Hope charity event, taking place Thursday night at the sprawling L.A. residence of music producer Ron Fair, has tapped recording artists Natalie Cole and Aloe Blacc for double duty: as performers and awards recipients.

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