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  • Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020
Vineet Mehra

Effie Worldwide, the marketing industry’s leading effectiveness organization and organizer of the Effie Awards, has launched the inaugural Global Best of the Best Effie Awards, crowning the world’s most effective marketing efforts.  

The 2020 Global Best of the Best Effie Awards is open to all 2019 Gold & Grand Effie winners from Effie’s regional and national programs. These previous winners now have the opportunity to compete at a global level, honoring ’the best of the best’ in marketing effectiveness worldwide including the ultimate recognition--the Global Grand Effie Award.

Two rounds of rigorous judging will determine finalists and winners in 20+ entry categories from Automotive to Finance and Data-Driven to Positive Change. A Grand Jury will then convene to select one supreme winner of the Global Grand Effie Award.

Entries will be judged by a jury comprised of leading marketers from the world’s brightest and best agencies More

  • Friday, Feb. 28, 2020
This image released by CBS shows host Phil Keoghan in a scene from last season's competition series "The Amazing Race." CBS said in a statement Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, that it had temporarily suspended production on the show’s 33rd season as a precaution due to the virus outbreak affecting several countries. (CBS via AP)

The globe-trotting reality series "The Amazing Race" is taking a breather as a precaution due to the virus outbreak affecting several countries.

CBS said in a statement Friday that it had temporarily suspended production and was sending contestants and crew members home as a precautionary measure. Filming on the show's 33rd season was in its early stages.

"At this time, no racers or anyone on the production team traveling with them have contracted the virus, or shown symptoms, and we are not aware of anyone being exposed to it," a network spokesperson said in a statement. "Out of an abundance of caution, everyone involved in the show will continue to be monitored when they return home."

Nearly 60 nations have reported cases of coronavirus, including China where the current outbreak emerged. China has the majority of confirmed cases and has reported more than 2,700 deaths.

In Asia, attractions including Tokyo Disneyland and More

  • Friday, Feb. 28, 2020
This image released by NBC shows America Ferrera as Amy in a scene from the comedy series "Superstore." Ferrera says she’s departing the NBC sitcom after its current season. The season five finale will air on April 18 at 8 p.m. EST. (Ron Batzdorff/NBC via AP)

"Superstore" is losing its manager — star America Ferrera says she's departing the NBC sitcom after its current season.

Ferrera plays the manager of a big box store in the show, which has already been renewed for a sixth season. The actress also serves as an executive producer on the series and has directed several episodes.

"The last five years on 'Superstore' have been some of the most rewarding, enriching and enjoyable years of my career," Ferrera said in a statement Friday.

The actress became the first Latina actress to win the top comedy actress Emmy Award for her the title role in the series "Ugly Betty" in 2007. 

She announced on New Year's Eve that she is expecting her second child.

"As I start the next chapter for my family and career, I wish only the best, and much continued success, to my beloved 'Superstore' family," Ferrera said in her statement.

The season five finale will air on April 18 at 8 p.m More

  • Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020
This Oct. 16, 2017 file photo shows Dick Wolf at the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame Awards 27th Anniversary Gala in New York. NBC has given three-season pickups to Wolf's “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.," “Chicago Med” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)

NBC is giving three-year renewals to its drama series from veteran producer Dick Wolf, including the perennial "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit."

The pickups for the "Law & Order" series and Wolf's three Chicago-set dramas are part of a new five-year deal to keep his Wolf Entertainment production company at Universal Television. 

Universal Television has been his studio home base for 36 years, NBC said Thursday.

"Dick Wolf has proven time and time again that he makes shows audiences love," NBC Entertainment Chairman Paul Telegdy said in a statement.

"Law & Order: SVU," which stars Mariska Hargitay and is in its 21st season, already holds the record for longest-running, live-action prime-time TV series. The other renewed series, "Chicago Fire," "Chicago P.D." and "Chicago Med," are relative kids, ranging from five to eight seasons so far.

Wolf's deal follows his recent agreement with NBCUniversal's More

  • Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020
This image released by Disney Plus shows characters from a revival of the new animated series "The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder" The new series will feature original cast members including Kyla Pratt as Penny Proud and Tommy Davidson and Paula Jai Parker as her parents, Oscar and Trudy. (Disney+ via AP)

The Proud family is making a comeback.

The Disney Plus streaming service said Thursday it's ordered a revival of the animated series about an African American teenager and her extended family.

The new series, "The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder," will feature original cast members including Kyla Pratt as Penny Proud and Tommy Davidson and Paula Jai Parker as her parents, Oscar and Trudy. 

Soleil Moon Frye is returning as Penny's pal Zoey Howzer, and Cedric the Entertainer will reprise the role of Uncle Bobby. 

"In our minds, the show never really went away, as we still had tons of stories left to tell. It's the perfect time to bring back this show, and we can't wait to take fans, old and new alike, on this journey with us," executive producers Bruce W. Smith and Ralph Farquhar said in a joint statement.

Production on the series is underway, with a release date yet to be announced.

Episodes of the original 2001 More

  • Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020
In this May 2, 2018 file photo, director Roman Polanski appears at an international film festival, where he promoted his latest film, "Based on a True Story," in Krakow, Poland. The entire leadership of the Cesar Awards, France's version of the Oscars, stepped down Thursday Feb. 13, 2020, in a spat over both its opaque decision-making process and controversial director Roman Polanski, whose new film, “An Officer and a Spy”, leads this year's nominations. (AP Photo, file)
PARIS (AP) -- 

Filmmaker Roman Polanski is skipping the awards ceremony for France's equivalent of the Oscars — where his latest movie leads this year's nominations — because of protests prompted by a new rape accusation against him.

Women's rights activists have called for a boycott of Friday's Cesars ceremony in Paris, and plastered anti-Polanski banners and graffiti at the event venue and the Cesar academy headquarters. 

The entire male-dominated leadership of the Cesars stepped down recently amid a spat over its byzantine decision-making structure and over how to deal with the Polanski problem.

In a statement Thursday provided to The Associated Press, the Paris-based Polanski said the ceremony was turning into a "public lynching." Addressing the new accusation against him and other allegations over the years, he said: "Fantasies of unhealthy minds are now treated as proven facts."

"We know ahead of time how this evening will play out," More

  • Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020
A fan wearing a protective mask takes a picture with her cell phone prior the Champions League, round of 16, first leg soccer match between Real Madrid and Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Facebook said Wednesday that it is banning ads that make false claims about products tied to the new coronavirus. 

The social network said it is removing ads that feature a product and imply a limited supply, seeking create a "sense of urgency" in their mention of coronavirus. Ads that guarantee a cure or prevention are also banned, it said.

For instance, ads for face masks that claim the products are 100% guaranteed to prevent the spread of the virus are not allowed, the company said. 

The ban went into effect this week. Facebook had previously banned ads, along with regular unpaid posts, that peddle fake cures such as drinking bleach, spread conspiracy theories about the virus, or discourage people from seeking medical treatment. 

The ban went into effect as the World Health Organization reported that the  number of new cases  outside China exceeded the number of new infections inside the country for the first time on More

  • Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020
The Den founders Mary Ellen Duggan (l) and Christjan Jordan

Christjan Jordan, editor of award-winning work for clients including Amazon, GEICO, and Hulu, has partnered with industry veteran Mary Ellen Duggan to launch The Den, an independent boutique editorial house in Los Angeles. The new venture’s roster also includes editor Andrew Ratzlaff, who like Jordan was most recently at Union Editorial.

The Den has already turned out some noteworthy work, including two Super Bowl spots cut by Jordan. Hulu’s first Big Game ad in eight years to feature celebrity talent, “Tom Brady’s Big Announcement,” had fans of the 42-year-old quarterback contemplating his possible retirement. Walmart’s Big Game debut, “Famous Visitors,” showcased the big box store’s offer of out of this world convenience through curbside pickup.

The Den founders Jordan and Duggan are long-time friends. Duggan’s bicoastal career has included heading production departments at both KPB and Cliff Freeman on the East Coast, and most recently More

  • Monday, Feb. 24, 2020
This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Tom Cruise in a scene from "Mission: Impossible - Fallout," the sixth film in the Mission Impossible franchise. Paramount Pictures on Monday halted production on the seventh “Mission: Impossible” film due to the Coronavirus outbreak, as Hollywood began to more drastically adapt to the growing epidemic. (Chiabella James/Paramount Pictures and Skydance via AP)

Paramount Pictures on Monday halted production on the seventh "Mission: Impossible" film due to the new virus, as Hollywood began to more drastically adapt to the growing global outbreak. 

"Mission: Impossible 7" had been scheduled to shoot for three weeks in Venice. More than 200 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Italy, the largest number outside Asia. While most of those cases are in the neighboring Lombardy region, authorities said three people in Venice have tested positive for the virus. 

In a statement, Paramount cited the Venetian government's halting of public gatherings, and said it was canceling the shoot "out of an abundance of caution for the safety and well-being of our cast and crew." 

Paramount also on Monday postponed the Chinese release of "Sonic the Hedgehog," which had been set for Friday. Cinemas in China have been shuttered due to the outbreak, closing down the world's second largest box-office More

  • Monday, Feb. 24, 2020
AKKURAT founders Andreas Roth (l) and Daniel "Rocco" Kopecny (photo by Christoph Scheider)

Director Andreas Roth and executive producer Daniel “Rocco” Kopecny have launched AKKURAT Studios, an international creative collective and production company hybrid. With more than a decade of advertising experience, founders and filmmakers Roth and Kopecny will serve, respectively, as creative director and managing director of the new venture. The German business partners will lead the company out of Berlin, with a satellite atelier in Los Angeles. 

AKKURAT will initially handle representation in Germany for its roster of directors, which includes Roth, Cloé Bailly, Mario Feil, Joschka Laukeninks, Novemba, Ozan Biron, Ben Brand, Francisco Gonzalez Sendino and Ivana Bobic. On the photography front, artistic perspectives represented include those of Patrick Fraser, Evelyn Dragan, Florian Bison, Murat Aslan, Patrick Maus, and Rammstein house and yard photographer Jens Koch. 

Plans call for AKKURAT to handle the U.S. for much of its talent More

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