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  • Monday, Mar. 2, 2020
Grads from the Producers Guild's 2019 Power of Diversity Master Workshop
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Producers Guild of America (PGA) is now accepting applications for its 16th annual Power of Diversity Master Workshop. The workshop is designed to help aspiring and seasoned producers bring their diverse perspectives to television, film, documentary and digital media. Many of the nearly 200 alumni have used the program as a launchpad to even greater success in the industry. 

The workshop provides participants with master classes headlined by today’s top producers, as well as one-on-one mentoring with members of the Producers Guild Diversity Committee. Sessions are tailored to the participants and their individual projects  and include a broad range of topics such as story, development, pitching, packaging, financing, marketing, multiplatform distribution and new media opportunities.

For this highly selective program, only 10 projects per year are chosen out of a worldwide applicant pool. Non-PGA members are encouraged to apply. The More

  • Monday, Mar. 2, 2020
This file photo combo shows the AT&T logo on the side of a corporate office in Springfield, Ill., left, and a DirecTV satellite dish atop a home in Los Angeles. AT&T is launching a new internet-delivered TV service Monday as it struggles with a shrinking DirecTV satellite business. The new service, AT&T TV, will have the same channels offered on DirecTV, but it'll come over the internet rather than a satellite dish. AT&T has been testing the service in about a dozen markets and is now making it available to anyone. (AP Photo/File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

AT&T is launching a new internet-delivered TV service Monday as it struggles with a shrinking DirecTV satellite business.

The new service, AT&T TV, will have most of the same channels offered on DirecTV, but it'll come over the internet rather than a satellite dish. AT&T has been testing the service in 13 markets and is now making it available to anyone. 

AT&T will send subscribers an Android streaming-TV box to use the service. The free device will also come with Netflix and other streaming apps, the way Comcast's X1 cable box does. Additional boxes cost $120.

The channel lineups and prices are comparable with what's available from DirecTV, but AT&T TV doesn't have NFL Sunday Ticket, a package of out-of-market football games.

The company is trying to adapt to the shift to streaming video, as subscribers to traditional cable and satellite TV services fall. In May, it's launching HBO Max, a $15-a-month More

  • Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020
In this Aug. 23, 2019, file photo, Hilary Duff attends the Disney+ press line at the 2019 D23 Expo in Anaheim, Calif. Duff is asking Disney to find a TV home that’s more appropriate to the grown-up “Lizzie McGuire.” In an Instagram post on Friday, Feb. 28, 2020, the actress who’s reprising the title character for Disney Plus said the streaming service isn’t the best fit and suggested Hulu instead. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Hilary Duff is asking Disney to find a TV home that's more appropriate to the grown-up "Lizzie McGuire."

In an Instagram post, the actress who's reprising the title character for Disney Plus, said the streaming service isn't the best fit, suggesting Hulu instead. The original series, about a girl whose thoughts are expressed by her animated doppelganger, aired from 2001 to 2004 on the Disney Channel.

"Was incredibly excited to launch 'Lizzie' on D+ and my passion remains," Duff said in her post Friday. "However, I feel a huge responsibility to honor the fans' relationship with Lizzie who, like me, grew up seeing themselves in her. I'd be doing a disservice to everyone by limiting the realities of a 30-year-old's journey to live under the ceiling of a PG rating."

The original series was an authentic portrayal of Lizzie as a preteen and teenager, Duff said, and her next chapters should be "as real and relatable."

Production on More

  • Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020
Vineet Mehra
LONDON/NEW YORK -- 

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)
LOS ANGELES (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)
LOS ANGELES (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)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

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)
LOS ANGELES (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)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- 

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

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