Wednesday, January 18, 2017

News Briefs

Displaying 1 - 10 of 34
  • Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017
EP Daniel Pyne adds showrunner mantle for Amazon's "Bosch"
A scene from "Bosch"

Daniel Pyne (Fracture, Alcatraz), an executive producer of the Emmy-nominated Amazon Original Series Bosch, is adding showrunner to his job description, taking over day to day duties from Eric Overmyer who will remain an EP on Bosch while assuming showrunner duties on The Man in the High Castle.

Joining Bosch as an EP is John Mankiewicz (House of Cards, House), a frequent collaborator of Pyne.

Among Pyne’s film credits are The Manchurian Candidate, Pacific Heights, Sum of All Fears, and Fracture. He made his directorial debut with the indie cult film Where’s Marlowe?, which he co-wrote with Mankiewicz. Together, they also created and produced The Street, a syndicated police procedural starring Stanley Tucci, and The Marshal. Pyne’s television work includes Alcatraz and Miami Vice, on which he and Mankiewicz first worked together. Pyne’s new novel, Catalina Eddy, will be released in March.
Mankiewicz is a screen and television writer who has served as an EP on House of Cards for the last four seasons. His credits include Miami Vice, Tales From The Crypt and The Mentalist. As a journalist, he has written for Rolling Stone, Esquire and, most recently The New Yorker. His screenplay adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ novella Rape: A Love Story, starring Nicolas Cage, will be released in 2017.
Based on the best-selling Michael Connelly novels, Bosch is currently in production on season three, and recently announced a fourth season pickup. The hour-long series stars Titus Welliver (Lost) as Detective Harry Bosch, Jamie Hector (The Wire) as Jerry Edgar, Amy Aquino (Being Human) as Lt. Grace Billets, Madison Lintz (The Walking Dead) as Maddie Bosch and Lance Reddick (The Wire) as Deputy Chief Irvin Irving.
Bosch was developed for television by Overmyer (Treme, The Wire, Homicide: Life on the Streets) and is executive produced by Overmyer, Henrik Bastin (The 100 Code, American Odyssey, The Comedians) from Fabrik Entertainment, Pieter Jan Brugge (Heat, The Insider, The Clearing), Pyne, Mankiewicz and Connelly. Welliver also serves as producer.

  • Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017
Streep, Meyers, "Moonlight" to be honored at LGBTQ gala
This Jan. 8, 2017 file image released by NBC shows Meryl Streep accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Paul Drinkwater/NBC via AP, File)

Actress Meryl Streep, TV host Seth Meyers, and the Golden Globe-winning movie "Moonlight" will be honored next month by the Human Rights Campaign, the LGBTQ civil rights organization.

The award for "Moonlight," a coming-of-age film about a black gay youth, will be accepted by Tarell Alvin McCraney, the author of the play on which the film is based.

Meyers, the host of "Late Night with Seth Meyers" on NBC, is being honored at the Feb. 11 gala for raising awareness about LGBTQ issues, including drawing attention to discriminatory legislation.

Streep, who gave an impassioned speech at the Golden Globes criticizing President-elect Donald Trump for mocking a disabled reporter and calling for the defense of a free press, will be honored for a career of advocating for LGBTQ equality.

  • Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017
PBS: No "red flag" on funding under Trump, but it's early 
President and CEO Paula Kerger speaks at the PBS Executive Session at the 2017 Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- 

PBS is waiting, but not quietly, to see what the Trump administration's impact on public broadcasting and its federal funding may be, PBS chief executive Paula Kerger said.

"It's too early to tell. But there's been no red flag," Kerger said in an interview Sunday.

Given that change always presents uncertainty, she said, and "in this case, more uncertainty," PBS and its member stations are conducting a vigorous effort to remind lawmakers about public television's value.

"We're spending time talking to as many people as we can - but particularly legislators, both sides of the aisle, Senate and House - making sure they understand the role we play in civil discourse" and in providing meaningful programming, Kerger told a TV critics' meeting. "Stay tuned," she added.

The effort coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Public Broadcasting Act that created what Kerger called "the best public-private partnership."

"For about $1.35 a citizen a year, we provide an extraordinary service," she said.

Federal money represents 15 percent of public TV stations' funding overall, with the rest provided by private and corporate donors, PBS said. Most of that approximately $400 million is divided annually among 1,500-plus locally owned-and-operated TV and radio stations nationwide.

Individual TV stations' reliance on federal funds varies widely - for those in Alaska, for instance, the money represents as much as 50 percent of their budgets, Kerger said.

Government support for public broadcasting periodically comes under scrutiny.

Many Republicans vowed to eliminate subsidies in 1995, but the effort fizzled. In 2005, Republicans controlling the House tried to cut subsidies for PBS, National Public Radio and hundreds of public radio and TV stations by $100 million, igniting an outcry from fans of "Sesame Street" and other defenders of public broadcasting. That bid failed, as did the most recent effort in 2011.

Kerger said a "rigorous reassessment" of how federal dollars are spent is always legitimate, with lawmakers taking into account what their constituents think about PBS' value.

She called children's programming the most "powerful argument" for public broadcasting, especially with half of American children lacking access to preschool.

On Monday, PBS is launching a round-the-clock PBS Kids Channel on member stations and live-streamed on digital platforms. The free service will serve youngsters aged 2 to 6 and their families with educational programming including "Nature Cat" and "Bob the Builder," PBS said.

  • Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017
Brie Larson and Jennifer Hudson to announce Oscar nominees 
In this Feb. 28, 2016 file photo, "Best Actress" winner Brie Larson arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, Calif. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, that Oscar-winning actress Larson will help announce this year’s Oscar nominees at a presentation on Tuesday, Jan. 24.(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Oscar winners Brie Larson and Jennifer Hudson will help announce this year's Academy Award nominees.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on Friday revealed the actresses will be among those who announce nominees in 24 categories on Jan. 24. Also presenting will be Oscar nominees Jason Reitman and Ken Watanabe and Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel "Chivo" Lubezki.

In a departure from previous years, the academy is ditching a live audience for the nomination announcements and will livestream them on its website, . Some of the presentation will also air on "Good Morning America."

Jimmy Kimmel is hosting this year's ceremony, which will air on Feb. 26 on ABC.

Larson won the best actress award last year for "Room," and Hudson won the supporting actress award in 2007 for "Dreamgirls."

  • Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017
No plans to digitize Carrie Fisher in future "Star Wars" films 
This April 7, 2011 file photo shows Carrie Fisher at the 2011 NewNowNext Awards in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)

The makers of "Star Wars" have put a quick end to rumors that while Carrie Fisher has died, her Princess Leia may live on.

Making a rare foray into the sprawling world of "Star Wars" speculation, Lucasfilm said Friday night that there are no plans to digitally recreate Fisher to appear in future episodes of the movie saga.

"There is a rumor circulating that we would like to address," a company statement said. "We want to assure our fans that Lucasfilm has no plans to digitally recreate Carrie Fisher's performance as Princess or General Leia Organa."

Fisher, who reprised her role as Leia in 2015's "Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens," had finished shooting "Star Wars: Episode VIII," due out next December, when she died Dec. 27 of cardiac arrest at age 60. Her mother Debbie Reynolds died the next day.

But Fisher had also been slated to appear in "Episode IX," scheduled for release in 2019. That film is still being scripted, and the writers are deciding how to handle her death.

Adding to the speculation was the brief appearance of a digitized 1977-era Fisher in "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story," which was released last month.

That film also had a much larger role for a digitized version of the late Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin.

The renderings of Fisher and Cushing, who died in 1994, were embraced by many fans but hated by just as many, who thought the characters looked cartoonish, distracting, or even spooky.

John Knoll, the effects guru who came up with the idea of the revitalized characters, told Yahoo Movies on Friday that Fisher "loved" her appearance in "Rogue One," which consists of one short-but-significant shot, and a single word of dialogue.

"She was very much in favor of it," Knoll said.

But Lucasfilm insists "Episode VIII" will be Fisher's last.

"Carrie Fisher was, is, and always will be a part of the Lucasfilm family," the company's statement said. "She was our princess, our general, and more importantly, our friend. We are still hurting from her loss. We cherish her memory and legacy as Princess Leia, and will always strive to honor everything she gave to "Star Wars.'"

  • Friday, Jan. 13, 2017
2 years after the hack, Sony CEO Lynton exits for Snap Inc. 
In this April 25, 2014 file photo, Michael Lynton, chairman and CEO, Sony Pictures Entertainment, arrives at the 19th annual "Taste For A Cure" at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP, File)

Two years after guiding the company through an unprecedented email hack, Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton is leaving the company to become the chairman of the board for Snap Inc., the company behind Snapchat.

Sony said Friday that Lynton, a 13-year Sony veteran who led both the music and entertainment group, will stay on for six months to ensure a smooth transition as Sony Corp. President and CEO Kazuo Hirai looks for a replacement.

In a statement, Lynton said he had been involved with Snapchat since its early days and is choosing to focus on that company given its recent growth.

Lynton started with Sony in 2004 as chairman and CEO of Sony Pictures Entertainment and in 2012 was named CEO of Sony Entertainment.

Sony Pictures Entertainment and its various film divisions have been struggling of late at the box office with underwhelming performances from higher budget fare such as "Ghostbusters," ''Inferno" and "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk."

Lynton's highest-profile moments during his tenure came in the aftermath of the devastating November 2014 hack involving the leak of proprietary information, employee Social Security numbers and embarrassing emails from top executives such as Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chair Amy Pascal.

Five Sony-produced movies, including the unreleased "Annie," appeared on file-sharing websites. The hack hindered Sony's business operations, including the release of the James Franco and Seth Rogen film "The Interview," and led to the departure of Pascal only three months later.

"The whole series of events, not just for myself, but for everybody in the company, had so many twists and turns to it that every time you thought you were going down a path, every time people thought we got this in hand, the next thing you knew we'd have another threatening email come through two days later or another series of events," Lynton told The Associated Press at the time.

  • Friday, Jan. 13, 2017
UK's Sky scraps show with Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson 
In this Feb. 17, 2016 file photo, actor Joseph Fiennes attends AOL's BUILD Speaker Series to discuss the film, "Risen" in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

A British broadcaster said Friday it was canceling a TV comedy starring Joseph Fiennes as Michael Jackson after the program was condemned by the late musician's family.

Sky Arts said it has decided not to broadcast the program "in light of the concerns expressed by Michael Jackson's immediate family." It said Fiennes "fully supports our decision."

Sky had been criticized for casting the white "Shakespeare in Love" star as the King of Pop in "Elizabeth, Michael and Marlon." The half-hour program also features Stockard Channing as Elizabeth Taylor and British actor Brian Cox as Marlon Brando.

Jackson's daughter Paris tweeted that she felt angry after watching a trailer for the show, which was due to be broadcast next week.

"I'm so incredibly offended by it, as I'm sure plenty of people are as well, and it honestly makes me want to vomit," she wrote.

"It angers me to see how obviously intentional it was for them to be this insulting, not just towards my father, but my godmother Liz as well."

The show is an episode in the "Urban Myths" series, which Sky says looks at "remarkable stories from well-known historical, artistic and cultural figures, which may or may not have happened in real life."

It centers on a possibly apocryphal cross-country road trip taken by Jackson, Taylor and Brando after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Sky said it was intended as "a light-hearted look at reportedly true events and never intended to cause any offense."

Fiennes defended his casting to The Associated Press last year, saying the project does not promote stereotyping.

  • Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017
Pitagorsky, Mintus, Barone elected to leadership roles at AICE NY
Pictured (l-r) are Tina Mintus of KYLE nyc, Adam Barone of Sonic Union, and Gloria Pitagorsky of Heard City.

AICE’s New York Chapter, which will host this year’s AICE Awards Show, has elected a new president, VP and secretary, representing a slate of new leaders for the association’s largest chapter. The new president of the chapter’s board is Gloria Pitagorsky, managing director and partner of Heard City. She succeeds David Gioiella, editor and partner at Northern Lights, who remains a board member. Pitagorsky steps up to the top position at the board after a two-year term as VP.
Also elected to top leadership posts are Tina Mintus, editor and founder of KYLE nyc, the editorial and postproduction boutique, who succeeds Pitagorsky as VP of the board, and Adam Barone, managing director and co-founder of the audio post and music house Sonic Union, who will serve as secretary. He succeeds Rosemary Quigley of Hooligan.
Joining the new leadership slate are three new board members: Robin Hall, executive producer at Northern Lights; Mark Valentine, founder/creative director of ANATOMY; and Celia Williams, executive producer of Freefolk.
“I can speak for the entire AICE community when I welcome Gloria, Tina and Adam to their new positions as leaders of our New York chapter,” said executive director Rachelle Madden. “All of them are committed industry movers who are no strangers when it comes to volunteering their time, passion and knowledge to the association and its many activities. They’ll have a huge impact on the chapter, and we’re all going to benefit from their vision and their increased involvement.”
Madden also took the opportunity to thank Gioiella and Quigley for their service to the chapter. “David and Rosemary have been great assets to our association, and have led the way as the New York chapter has worked to increase member involvement, offer new events that help our members succeed and flourish and continue to keep an eye on the next generation of talent. We owe them a lot.”
A member of both the New York chapter board and AICE’s international board, Pitagorsky is also a producer, philanthropist, activist and 18-year veteran of the industry. She serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including the Food Bank for New York City, a hunger-relief organization working to end food poverty throughout the five boroughs. Aside from her day job, she’s committed to mentoring and supporting women in technology, film and advertising roles, and is a member of New York Women in Film & TV, The Ad Club of New York, The One Club, New York Women in Advertising. She’s also a patron of the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
Mintus is a star editor whose work for a range of brands has been hailed as energetic and trend-setting. She launched KYLE Edit in 2011 after having worked for over a dozen years at V2 Editorial, previously Vito DeSario Editing. While there she grew from an assistant to a sr. editor, and was mentored by DeSario himself. Her company recently rebranded as KYLE nyc and has expanded its services to include production, visual effects and color grading.
Barone launched Sonic Union in 2008 with partners Michael Marinelli and Steve Rosen, both mixing engineers. A native of western New York, Barone is an honors graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology. After graduating he worked for one of the leading companies in the cinema advertising industry (which was eventually acquired by Technicolor), then transitioned into postproduction at Buzz, a Manhattan audio post and video finishing boutique, before co-founding Sonic Union. A dedicated volunteer, Barone sits on the international board of Compeer, a social service organization that provides companionship and support to people with disabilities.
The companies represented by the chapter’s new board members--Northern Lights, ANATOMY and Freefolk--represent a cross-section of the industry, coming from an integrated editorial house with effects and design wings, a broadcast promotion specialty studio and an effects and color grading shop with roots in the UK.
Hall’s career in post spans over four decades. In addition to his work at NL, he’s served in EP roles at Crew Cuts and Chickonkey and was a producer at BlueRock. He brings an expansive knowledge of the industry to the board and clear ideas on what member companies can do to diversify, grow and succeed in today’s challenging landscape.
Valentine brings an extensive background in broadcast promotion via his work at Anatomy, adding important new perspective about this category to the board. An editor, he launched Anatomy 16 years ago, and has launched, branded and marketed media and entertainment companies for nearly two decades. An alumnus of the iconic broadcast branding studio Lee Hunt Associates, Valentine continues to run Promax/BDA’s annual Hot Spot Seminar, which is often the highest-attended event of the conference.
Williams’s resume reflects her depth of experience on the ad agency, post production and audio post sides of the business. She’s held EP or head of production roles at such agencies as DDB, Arnold Worldwide, mcgarrybowen and The Martin Agency (and freelanced at several other top shops), and spent several years at the music and sound design studio Endless Noise. Freefolk, which opened its local office just a few months ago, focuses on 3D, VFX, color grading and finishing, and is the first US office of a London-based post boutique formed from the merger of Finish and Realise Studio.

  • Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017
Surviving Carpenters member sues over digital royalties 
This March 14, 1972 file photo shows Karen Carpenter, left, and Richard Carpenter, of The Carpenters, posing with their award for best pop vocal per during the 14th annual 1971 Grammy Awards in New York. (AP Photo/File)

Grammy winner Richard Carpenter sued Universal Music Group on Wednesday for millions in royalties he contends are owed from licensing Carpenters songs for online services such as Apple's iTunes.

Carpenter's lawsuit seeks more than $2 million in royalties and is also being filed on behalf of the estate of his sister, Karen Carpenter, who died in 1983.

The Carpenters won three Grammy Awards in 1970 and 1971, including for their song "Close to You."

The suit, which also names Universal subsidiary A&M Records, is one of a number of lawsuits filed after a 2010 appellate court ruled in a case involving Eminem's record label that music downloads from services such as iTunes should result in higher payments to artists. That ruling called for artists to receive substantially higher royalty payments for digital downloads of their music than they do when a physical recording is sold.

Carpenter says he has been unable to resolve the dispute without suing. "The Carpenters recordings are among the best sellers in the history of popular music and after 48 years continue to contribute a substantial amount to UMG/A&M's annual bottom line," he wrote in a statement. "It seems only fair that these companies account fairly to my sister's estate and to me."

An email message to Universal Music Group was not immediately returned.

Carpenter has hired attorney Larry Iser, who has represented numerous artists in disputes over licensing and use of their music.

""It is unfortunate that the Carpenters were forced to file this lawsuit primarily over an issue that has already been resolved by the courts — but which these record companies still refuse to acknowledge — that digital downloads occur pursuant to license and are not sales of records," Iser said.

  • Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017
Don Draper and "Mad Men" archive land at University of Texas 
In this Monday, Jan. 9, 2017 photo, Steve Wilson, Curator of Film at the University of Texas' Harry Ransom Center, poses with props from the television show "Mad Men" on the Texas campus, in Austin, Texas. Included in the donation are boxes of scripts, drafts and notes, props, costumes, digital video and reams of research materials that went into creating the show's richly-detailed presentation of the American 1960s. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- 

The last America saw of Don Draper, he was meditating on a Pacific hillside, imagining one of the iconic ads in television history.

What's left of the flawed protagonist of "Mad Men" has now gone to Texas.

Show creator Matthew Weiner and production company Lionsgate have donated the "Mad Men" archive — scripts, drafts, notes, props, costumes, digital video and reams of research materials that went into creating the show's richly-detailed presentation of the American 1960s — to the University of Texas' Harry Ransom Center humanities library.

Weiner, who also wrote and directed many episodes, said he donated the archive to the Ransom Center because he couldn't stand the thought of the material being dispersed at auction or lost forever.

"There is a record here of mid-century America that digs so deep," Weiner said. "It would have been sad to let that go."

The donation was scheduled to be announced Thursday.

Weiner chose the Ransom Center as the resting place for a show about Madison Avenue advertising professionals almost by chance. He was in Austin to attend a film festival when a visit to the Ransom Center's "Gone With the Wind" exhibit inspired him to donate the "Mad Men" archive for preservation and research.

The "Mad Men" collection from its 2007-2015 run starring Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss includes a selection of costumes and props. They include Draper's terms of re-employment letter (meticulously typed in a size of font typical of the time), Betty Draper's medical file, advertising poster boards, rolodexes full of phone numbers, and even a fictitious "Star Trek" episode that one of the show's characters had hoped to get produced.

Boxes of research materials show how deeply show writers dug to preserve an authentic feel, even before the first episode was aired. "Look books" of period fashion and style were laid out for each character, home and office design, with details from the average kitchen toaster to re-creating a checkbook or men's suits. Magazines of the times were scoured to research the news and language of the era, such as when the word "groovy" would first be used

"We would take things from the Sears catalog, not just the cover of Vogue," Weiner said.

Kevin Beggs, Lionsgate television group chairman, said "Mad Men" is more than a great show. "It is part of American television history, a ground-breaking classic worthy of the scholarly research the Ransom Center supports."

If the collection holds any secrets about the characters or stories, Weiner said they reside in the rough drafts, rewrites, screen tests and Weiner's own notes that show how episodes or seasons evolved before they aired.

"It often didn't start the way it came out. You will get to see the origin of everything, from what a character was supposed to be like, to how a story was originally supposed to work. It's all there," Weiner said.

Weiner's personal notes also reveal production battles, such as his years-long efforts to be allowed to use Beatles music in the show, or archive news footage of CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite covering the 1969 moon landing.

"My argument was my show is fake until I get a Beatles song in there," Weiner said.

Steve Wilson, the Ransom Center's film curator, said it will take about a year to catalog the entire collection. Some pieces will be put on display and the collection will be available to researchers and the university's radio, television and film students.

Weiner wants the students and researchers to see all the work behind the show, including the burps and missteps that went into crafting the final product.

"Artists have traditionally hidden the long road of mistakes," Weiner said. "When you see a finished work, it can be intimidating. Showing all the brush strokes hopefully is very encouraging to people."