Posts Tagged ‘hollywood’

UCLA and USC Announce 5th Annual Transforming Hollywood Conference

March 13, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, USC Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism and USC School of Cinematic Arts announced Wednesday that they will team up once again for the fifth annual Transforming Hollywood: The Future of Television conference. The event, presented by the Andrew J. Kuehn Jr. Foundation, will take place April 4... Read more

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Anne Sweeney Is Leaving Disney

March 11, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday announced that Anne Sweeney is leaving the company, effective January 2015, so that she may devote time to directing. An 18-year Disney veteran, Sweeney currently serves as co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of the Disney/ABC Television Group. John Skipper is the Mouse House’s other co-chair, and he also is president of ESPN. Sweeney joined Disney in 1996, signing on as president of Disney Channel and evp of Disney/ABC Cable Networks. Before that, she was president and CEO of FX Networks. Sweeney broke the news to The Hollywood Reporter . Shortly, after that story went live, Disney issued an official press release. “I’ve been a part of an amazing evolution in our business and our industry, and have achieved far more than I ever thought possible,” Sweeney said, by way of announcing her decision to move on. “But as wonderful as the experience has been, there has always been a nagging voice in the back of my head pushing me to step out of the comfort zone of the executive ranks and more directly into the creative arena that enticed me to TV in the first place.” Sweeney went on to add that while her plan to walk away from corporate life to pursue a discipline in which she is untutored may seem a bit peculiar, directing a TV series would prove to be the culmination of “a long realized dream.” She then thanked Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger for his “leadership, guidance and his friendship over the years,” before saying that Iger had offered her an extension on her contract. Sweeney will remain in place through the end of the year, where she looks to “position the TV Group for even greater success.” For his part, Iger credited Sweeney with growing Disney Channel into a global powerhouse while making ABC “a strong, successful content creation engine.” He went on to “applaud Anne for knowing what she wants out of life and for having the courage to follow her dream.” While a short list of executives is rumored to be in line to succeed Iger when he steps down in June 2016, Sweeney’s name is rarely listed among them

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FX Is the Edgiest and Most Prolific Drama Producer on Ad-Supported TV

March 3, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Not so long ago, the prospect of an established actor accepting a role on a television series was as remote as the moons of Saturn. Backsliding from film to the boob tube was a tacit admission of defeat, one that could only lead to the purgatory that was a seat inside a garishly lit 6-foot-square window, flanked by your newfound friends and peers Dixie Carter and ALF. Billy Bob Thornton remembers it well. “When I was coming up, we all did television initially, and that was OK,” he says, speaking from the Calgary set of Fargo , an adaptation of Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1996 theatrical . “I’d get a bit part on Hunter or Matlock or Evening Shade, but if you were already established and you did TV, it meant the next stop was Hollywood Squares.” While certainly in no danger of fading into the long twilight of syndicated game-show obscurity, Thornton says the changing face of the independent film marketplace has made it increasingly difficult to tell the stories he’d like to pursue as a writer and an actor. “The $20-30 million adult drama, the medium-budget independent film, is a vanishing breed,” Thornton says. “Especially an adult drama with humor, which is my wheelhouse. Television has taken the place of those films. And there’s nothing wrong with that.”

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All Hail Shonda Rhimes

February 28, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It may be time to rename ABC “The House That Shonda Built.” After a two-and-a-half-month hiatus, showrunner Shonda Rhimes’ twin Thursday night hits Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal came storming back as if they’d never left. In fact, both series posted their highest ratings since October. According to Nielsen fast national data, Grey’s last night averaged 9.31 million viewers and a 3.0 in the adults 18-49 demo, marking an 11 percent increase when compared to its most recent original airdate (Dec. 12). Moreover, Grey’s gathered steam as the night went on, improving from a 2.9 in the demo between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. to a 3.1 rating in its second half-hour. The hits just kept coming at 10 p.m., as the return of Olivia Pope and the rest of the Beltway crisis management crew delivered 9.27 million viewers and a 3.3 in the dollar demo. Scandal’s preliminary deliveries topped its most recent new broadcast by one-tenth of a point and tied the Oct. 17 installment as the second highest-rated episode of Season 3. In fact, that 3.3 rating trails only the Season 3 premiere as the highest rated show in Scandal history

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Countdown to the Oscars

February 28, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

The 86th annual Academy Awards are just a few days away. Here's a complete guide to the biggest show in Hollywood!

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Writers Guild Contract Talks Recessing for Two Weeks

February 16, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

The Writers Guild of America and Hollywood’s production companies have agreed to recess contract talks for two weeks until March 4. “The parties have agreed to a temporary recess for scheduling reasons,” the bare-bones announcement said. “Negotiations will resume on March 4th. Neither the Guilds nor the AMPTP will be commenting further at this time.”... Read more

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Show Business Diversity Trailing U.S. Demographics, UCLA Report Shows

February 12, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Minorities and women are falling far short in making inroads into influential Hollywood positions compared with the actual demographics of the U.S. population, a new UCLA study shows. “This disconnect does not bode well for future of the Hollywood industry,” said Darnell Hunt, directors of UCLA’s Ralph J. Bunche Center for African-American Studies. “Women already... Read more

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Oscar-Nominated Dramas Confound Hollywood’s Liberation-Story Formulas

February 6, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Oscar voters have traditionally loved liberation stories, uplifting tales of the oppressed throwing off their shackles. In this season’s contending scripts, though, the power relationships are more tangled and the stories lack such cathartic retribution. Edwin Epps in “12 Years a Slave” and the nuns who sell Philomena Lee’s son in “Philomena” are villainous enough,... Read more

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Berlin: Joan and Pauline Collins Join ‘The Time of Their Lives’

February 6, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Joan Collins and Pauline Collins are set to hit the road along with veteran Italian actor Franco Nero in upcoming comedy “The Time of Their Lives.” Collins plays a former Hollywood star who is on her way to crash her ex-husband’s funeral with a friend. Along the way they pick up a Frenchman (Nero.) Directed... Read more

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NBC Shuts Down The Michael J. Fox Show

February 6, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

NBC’s beleaguered Thursday prime-time lineup continues to give the network fits, and as of this evening, the night’s

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