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  • Friday, Mar. 27, 2020
Jim Houston
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Hollywood Section of Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) has announced the passing of its long-time member Jim Houston. A 34-year veteran of the entertainment industry, Houston held senior engineering positions with several studios and prominent postproduction facilities, including Sony Pictures Entertainment, Pacific Title & Art, Walt Disney Feature Animation and, since February of this year, Samsung Research America. A pioneer in motion imaging standards, computer animation and digital restoration, he won two Academy Awards for Scientific and Engineering Achievement. He died from a heart attack, March 26, in Pasadena. He was 61.

“Jim made a profound impact on SMPTE and the industry in general,” said SMPTE Hollywood Section chair Brian Gaffney. “He was a founding member of the Academy Color Encoding System (ACES) committee. He wrote influential papers of topics ranging from the color fidelity of High Dynamic Range More

  • Thursday, Mar. 26, 2020
In this Saturday March 7, 2020 file photo, Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has her first post-royal job: narrating a Disney documentary about elephants. Disney announced Thursday, March 26 that the duchess is lending her voice to “Elephant,” released April 3 on the Disney+ streaming service. (Simon Dawson/Pool via AP, file)
LONDON (AP) -- 

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has her first post-royal job: narrating a Disney documentary about elephants.

Disney announced Thursday that the duchess, who is married to Britain's Prince Harry, is lending her voice to "Elephant," to be released April 3 on the Disney+ streaming service. It's one of a series of animal- and nature-themed features released to mark Earth Month.

The film follows an elephant family on a 1,000-mile (1,600-kilometer) journey across the Kalahari Desert.

Harry and Meghan shocked the world in January by announcing that they were quitting as senior royals, relinquishing official duties and seeking financial independence. Since late last year they have been based on Vancouver Island, and will officially end royal duties on March 31.

The grandson of Queen Elizabeth II married the American actress Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle in May 2018, in a ceremony watched by millions around the world. The couple More

  • Wednesday, Mar. 25, 2020
This June 9, 2019 file photo shows the stage prior to the start of the 73rd annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The 74th Annual Tony Awards, scheduled to air live on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 7, will be postponed and rescheduled at a later date. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

With Broadway shuttered amid the coronavirus pandemic, producers of the annual Tony Awards have postponed this year's celebration of American theater.

The show was originally scheduled for June 7 but the virus forced all 41 Broadway theaters to go dark and caused turmoil in the Tony schedule. The awards show will be "rescheduled at a later date," according to producers. 

Broadway theaters abruptly closed on March 12, knocking out all shows on the Great White Way but also 16 that were still scheduled to open, including "Diana," "Mrs. Doubtfire" and "Company." Already some shows scheduled to open this spring have abandoned their plans, including "Hangmen" and a revival of Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

Broadway producers have vowed to resume musicals and plays the week of April 13, but that would be only 10 days before the official cut-off for eligibility for the Tonys. There was no word on whether the original More

  • Tuesday, Mar. 24, 2020
This image released by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman in a scene from “Wonder Woman 1984." Warner Bros. on Tuesday delayed the summer release of the film to Aug. 14 instead of June 5 due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Clay Enos/Warner Bros Pictures via AP)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Warner Bros. on Tuesday delayed the summer release of "Wonder Woman 1984" and removed the adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's "In the Heights" from its schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

With much of Hollywood's spring release calendar already vacated due to the virus, major summer movies are also increasingly reshuffling. "Wonder Woman 1984," the sequel to 2017's "Wonder Woman," will now hit theaters on Aug. 14 instead of June 5. 

"In the Heights," directed by "Crazy Rich Asians" filmmaker Jon M. Chu, had been slated for June 26 but now isn't dated for release. Miranda, in a recent livestream interview with Rosie O'Donnell, said the score was being recorded when post-production work slowed due to the outbreak. 

"There's a lot that remains to be done on that movie," said Miranda. "We were finishing the score and the mixing and just getting the music exactly right."

The studio also took several other films off its More

  • Tuesday, Mar. 24, 2020
NEW YORK & IRVING, Tex. -- 

ViacomCBS (NASDAQ: VIACA, VIAC) and Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXST) announced a multi-year agreement to renew nine CBS network affiliations for Nexstar stations, reaching approximately 3.5% of the U.S. audience and nearly four million television households. The deal extends CBS/Nexstar affiliations that were set to expire later this year and covers two top-50 market affiliates, WNCN-TV in Raleigh, NC and KLAS-TV in Las Vegas, NV. 

In August 2019, ViacomCBS and Nexstar completed an affiliation agreement covering 19 Nexstar stations in 15 markets, reaching approximately 5% of the U.S. audience and nearly six million television households. The agreement announced today, coupled with the August agreement and other prior renewals, marks the long-term extension of substantially all of the ViacomCBS affiliation agreements covering 49 Nexstar television stations.

Nexstar is the largest independent operator of CBS affiliates, covering 14% More

  • Monday, Mar. 23, 2020
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) has launched the COVID-19 Response Fund primarily to provide relief to people in the entertainment industry who are most vulnerable to the effects of this economic crisis. Funds also will support the public health response to the threat posed by this virus including the prevention, detection, and treatment of new cases of COVID-19. Donations can be made here.

“As a partner to the entertainment industry, we are here for those in need in a time of crisis, whether it be a natural disaster or a global pandemic,” said EIF president and CEO Nicole Sexton. “Together, we can help to ease the financial pressure that is felt by so many in our community and beyond as we navigate these next few weeks and months.” More

  • Monday, Mar. 23, 2020
In this Sept. 5, 2019 file photo, comedian and media mogul Byron Allen poses for a picture Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- 

The Supreme Court on Monday threw out a lower court ruling in favor of a black media mogul and comedian who's suing cable giant Comcast alleging racial discrimination.

The justices agreed unanimously that an appeals court applied the wrong legal standard in allowing business owner Byron Allen's $20 billion suit against Comcast to go forward. Allen has a separate $10 billion suit against Charter Communications that the justices' decision also affects. 

A federal appeals court in San Francisco had said that Allen needed to show that race was among the factors in Comcast's decision not to offer him a contract. But the Supreme Court said that Allen has to show that race was the decisive factor in the cable companies' refusal to carry his television channels. Comcast has said it declined to carry the channels because the programming isn't very good.

Comcast, which is based in Philadelphia, said in a statement it was pleased with the More

  • Sunday, Mar. 22, 2020
In this July 12, 2019 file photo, opera singer Placido Domingo speaks during a news conference about an upcoming show in Madrid, Spain. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)
MADRID (AP) -- 

Spanish opera singer Plácido Domingo said Sunday that he's infected with the coronavirus. 

The 79-year-old Domingo said in a post on his personal Facebook account Sunday that "I feel it is my moral duty to announce to you that I have tested positive."

The tenor says he and his family are in self-isolation and that he is feeling well despite having fever and a cough. 

"I beg everyone to be extremely careful, follow the basic guidelines by washing your hands frequently, keeping at least a 6 foot distance from others, doing everything you can to stop the virus from spreading and please above all stay home if you can!" he said. 

Domingo, one of the world's top opera stars, has recently been accused by several women of sexual misconduct. That has led to several of his performances being canceled and an apology from him. 

Spain is the third hardest-hit country after China and Italy with 28,572 infections and 1,720 deaths in More

  • Friday, Mar. 20, 2020
In this image released by Disney/Pixar, Ian Lightfoot, voiced by Tom Holland, foreground, appears in a scene from "Onward." (Disney/Pixar via AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Pixar’s “Onward” will go from the top movie at the box office straight to digital release, as Hollywood continued to shuffle its recent releases from theaters into the home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Walt Disney Co. said Friday that “Onward” will be available for purchase on digital platforms for $19.99 beginning Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern. It will land on the studio’s streaming platform, Disney Plus, on April 3.

“Onward” had been the top movie at the domestic box office the last two weekends. But the wide majority of cinemas have closed in recent days to help limit large gatherings as the virus spreads. Other recently released films have also moved to on-demand or other home-viewing platforms, including Sony Pictures’ “Bloodshot” and Universal Pictures releases “The Hunt,” “Emma” and “The Invisible Man.”

  • Thursday, Mar. 19, 2020
Ken Corday and the cast and crew of "Days of Our Lives" accept the award for outstanding drama series at the 45th annual Daytime Emmy Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center on Sunday, April 29, 2018, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP photo)
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) -- 

The coronavirus pandemic has started to affect events in the summer, with the Daytime Emmy Awards announcing Thursday that they were canceling their June ceremony.

“There are just too many unknowns right now, not the least of which is whether we would actually be permitted to stage an event in June” involving more than 1,000 participants, National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences chairman Terry O’Reilly wrote in a letter to members.

The Daytime Emmy Awards had been scheduled for June 12-14 in Pasadena.

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