Sunday, November 18, 2018

News Briefs

Displaying 81 - 90 of 3278
  • Thursday, Sep. 27, 2018
Fox plans to sell stake in Sky to Comcast for $15B
In this Thursday, June 14, 2018, file photo shows the 21st Century Fox logo outside its New York office. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, FILE)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

21st Century Fox will sell its remaining stake in British pay TV provider Sky to Comcast in the latest financial wrangling as Disney prepares to acquire Fox's entertainment assets.

Over the weekend, Comcast won a rare bidding auction for 61 percent of Sky offering 17.28 pounds per share, almost 30 billion pounds ($39 billion). Fox will sell its 39 percent stake to for 11.6 billion pounds ($15.25 billion).

Last December a bidding war between Walt Disney Co. and Comcast began over Fox's entertainment assets. Walt Disney Co. prevailed and is in the process acquiring Fox. Comcast dropped out of that contest to focus on its acquisition of Sky.

Disney says the sale will significantly reduce the amount of debt it is taking on by acquiring Fox's entertainment assets.

  • Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2018
Universal Studios Costume Dept. opens Digital Design Workroom
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. -- 

The Universal Studios Costume Department has announced the grand opening of its latest innovative service, the Digital Design Workroom.  In a 3D virtual environment, Workroom staff can create a designer’s garment using talent measurements, fabric type and color, and overall fit.  The Digital Design Workroom technology saves time in design, approval, and manufacturing while reducing fabric waste by creating more accurate patterns.

“The Workroom is very flexible.  Designers can bring in photos and sketches or even actual garments to replicate,” said Poppy Cannon-Reese, director of Costume at Universal Studios. “The Digital Design Workroom staff provides hands-on client support from concept to printed pattern to manufacturing.”

Designers can provide the Workroom staff with objects such as fabric samples, buttons, buckles, straps, and zippers to see life-like attributes and behaviors for their desired garment.  Print placement for fabrics, stitching, and logos can also be displayed in the system.  The software simulates draping, accounting for fabric weight and texture, and allows for multiple iterations on customized avatars.  Images and videos of the designs can be shared for approvals via email, enabling a quicker turnaround.  Once approved, the design is converted into a pattern that is printed on site.  Designers can take the pattern with them, or have Universal Costume finish with sewing and alterations.

Universal Studios Costume Department is a unit of NBCUniversal, a leading media and entertainment company in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.  NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses.  NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

  • Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2018
SAG-AFTRA Foundation to honor Jeffrey Katzenberg, Spike Lee
Director Spike Lee pose for photographers during a photo call for the film "BlacKkKlansman" at the 71st international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 15, 2018. (Photo by Arthur Mola/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES -- 

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation will present its Patron of the Artists Awards to entertainment industry leader, WndrCo co-founder and NewTV (working title) founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and trailblazing director/producer/writer Spike Lee whose most recent film BlacKkKlansman opened earlier this year. The award honors industry leaders who are champions of the arts and whose history of fostering creativity and creating opportunities for actors has made a positive impact on the acting profession and the performing arts. The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s 3rd annual Patron of the Artists Awards benefit takes place Thursday, November 8, at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills.

“The SAG-AFTRA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a vital safety net for artists throughout their careers. We believe that the contributions made by performing artists to our society are not only valuable, but essential, and it’s not only the arts, but the artists who need a community of support,” said SAG-AFTRA Foundation president JoBeth Williams. “Jeffrey Katzenberg and Spike Lee are two leaders within our industry who have created opportunities, opened doors, nurtured careers and provided jobs to countless artists. They understand the value of artists--and the arts--to transport us to worlds that we have never seen before and tell stories that have never been told before. Mr. Lee and Mr. Katzenberg are innovators, leaders and champions of the arts, and of artists, and could not be more deserving of our Patron of the Artists Awards.” 

Previous recipients of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s Patron of the Artists Awards are director/writer/producer Judd Apatow, director/producer Kathryn Bigelow, director/writer/producer Lee Daniels, producer Megan Ellison, director/producer Rob Marshall, and Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. The Patron of the Artists Awards event includes musical performances with ticket sales benefitting the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s vital assistance and performers programs for SAG-AFTRA artists, as well as its Emmy®-nominated children’s literacy program Storyline Online®.

In addition to honoring Katzenberg and Lee with Patron of the Artists Awards on November 8, the SAG-AFTRA Foundation will also recognize Harrison Ford and Lady Gaga with Artists Inspiration Awards for their philanthropic work.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 25, 2018
"Making a Murderer" sequel set to premiere Oct. 19
In this April 16, 2007, file photo, Brendan Dassey appears in court at the Manitowoc County Courthouse in Manitowoc, Wis. A sequel to the popular "Making a Murderer" documentary series recounting the story of Dassey, and his uncle, Steve Avery, who were convicted in the 2005 slaying of Wisconsin photographer Teresa Halbach, is set to premiere Oct. 19, 2018, on Netflix. The sequel, "Making a Murderer 2," will follow their appeals. (Dan Powers/The Post-Crescent, Pool, File)
MADISON, Wisc. (AP) -- 

A sequel to the popular "Making a Murderer" documentary series about a Wisconsin murder case is set to premiere Oct. 19 on Netflix.

The first "Making a Murderer" recounted the story of Steven Avery and his nephew, Brendan Dassey, who were convicted in the 2005 slaying of Wisconsin photographer Teresa Halbach. Avery and Dassey are serving life sentences in the killing.

Halbach's remains were found in the Avery family's Manitowoc County salvage yard. Avery insists police framed him. Dassey has argued detectives coerced him into confessing that he helped Avery rape and kill Halbach.

The documentary won Avery and Dassey legions of fans and spurred demands for their release.

The 10-episode sequel, "Making a Murderer Part 2," will follow their appeals. The premiere date is Dassey's birthday.

Netflix says Emmy-winning filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos had "exclusive access" to Avery, Dassey, the men's family members and their legal teams. It says the second season explores the "emotional toll" the appeals take on all of them.

Dassey was 16 years old when he confessed to Wisconsin authorities. His attorneys argued that he is borderline intellectually disabled and that police manipulated him into confessing, but the U.S. Supreme Court refused without comment to take his case in June. One of Dassey's attorneys has said the fight to win him a new trial will continue.

Avery was denied his request for a new trial last October. Avery's attorney said she planned to present new evidence and new testimony, but a judge found no grounds to warrant a new trial. Avery is appealing for a new trial.

The first multi-part "Making a Murderer" debuted in 2015, sparking conjecture about the pair's innocence. Those who worked on the cases said the filmmakers left out key pieces of evidence and presented a biased view, but Ricciardi and Demos defended their work.

  • Tuesday, Sep. 25, 2018
CBS taps media industry veteran Parsons as interim chairman
In this Thursday, March 12, 2009, file photo, then-Citigroup CEO Richard Parsons listens as President Barack Obama speaks about the economy at Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies, at a hotel in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

CBS says it has named media industry veteran Richard Parsons as interim chairman of the board as the company moves to reshape itself following the ouster of longtime chief Les Moonves.

Parsons is the former chairman of Time Warner and Citicorp. He was added to the board of CBS earlier this month along with five others as the company pursues an independent investigation into Moonves.

Moonves resigned just after six women joined others who had previously accused the long-time television executive with sexual misconduct.

CBS also said Tuesday that two other board members were stepping down. Bruce Gordon and William Cohen had been on the company's board since it became a standalone public company in 2006.

  • Monday, Sep. 24, 2018
Mel Gibson to direct, co-write remake of "The Wild Bunch"
In this Nov. 16, 2017 file photo, Mel Gibson arrives at the premiere of "Daddys Home 2," in London. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Mel Gibson will co-write and direct a remake of Sam Peckinpah's classic 1969 Western "The Wild Bunch."

Warner Bros. on Monday confirmed that Gibson will helm the production, with Bryan Bagby to co-write the script with him. It will be Gibson's first time directing since his 2016 World War II drama "Hacksaw Ridge," for which Gibson earned a best directing Oscar nomination.

"Hacksaw Ridge" was nominated for six Academy Awards including best picture. The Oscar reception was seen by some as a comeback for Gibson in Hollywood years after he pleaded no contest in 2011 to spousal battery of his former girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva. In 2006, he went on an anti-Semitic tirade while being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

No production start or release date for "The Wild Bunch" was announced. Gibson is first prepping a World War II drama to star Mark Wahlberg.

  • Monday, Sep. 24, 2018
SiriusXM buying Pandora Media in $3.5 billion deal
In this Feb. 22, 2018, file photo, the Pandora logo appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
NEW YORK -- 

Subscription radio company SiriusXM says it's buying music streaming service Pandora Media Inc. in a stock deal valued at about $3.5 billion that'll allow it to expand its service beyond cars and into homes and other mobile areas.

SiriusXM Holdings Inc. has more than 36 million subscribers in North America, while Pandora has more than 70 million monthly active users.

Pandora stockholders will receive 1.44 newly issued SiriusXM shares for each Pandora share they own. Pandora has a "go-shop" period in which it can solicit other offers from third parties.

Both companies' boards have approved the transaction, which is expected to close in 2019's first quarter. It still needs approval from Pandora shareholders.

Shares of Pandora, based in Oakland, California, jumped more than 8 percent in Monday premarket trading. SiriusXM's stock declined 4 percent.

  • Saturday, Sep. 22, 2018
Danny DeVito receives lifetime achievement award in Spain
In this Sunday, March 25, 2012 file photo, Danny DeVito arrives for the Jameson Empire Awards at a central London venue. (AP Photo/Jonathan Short, File)
SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain (AP) -- 

Actor Danny DeVito has been honored with a lifetime achievement award at Spain's most prestigious film festival in the northern coastal city of San Sebastian.

DeVito, 73, received the award from the San Sebastian International Film Festival during Saturday's gala. The American comic film star is promoting the animated children's film "Smallfoot" at the festival.

DeVito won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his role in the 1970-80's TV sitcom series "Taxi." Other career highlights include leading roles in the hit 1980s comedies "Throw Momma from the Train" and "Twins" and scores of endearing supporting parts.

He also shared an Oscar nomination for best picture as a producer of "Erin Brockovich" in 2000.

He currently stars in the TV series "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."

  • Friday, Sep. 21, 2018
Tribeca TV Fest: Hargitay hails impact of "SVU" as it marks 20 seasons
Mariska Hargitay attends the NBC 2018-2019 season casts party at The Four Seasons Restaurant on Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018, in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Mariska Hargitay thinks "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" has played a huge role in educating people on sexual violence, but believes there is still a lot of work to do.

The star of the TV drama spoke as the NBC show celebrated its 20th season Thursday (9/20) at the Tribeca TV Festival.

Hargitay has been playing Lt. Olivia Benson from the first episode. She said she was initially drawn to the show because it was tackling issues that others weren't.

"It's an incredibly progressive show, progressive idea, and really starting a conversation and taking sexual assault, domestic violence, and these issues that were traditionally swept under the carpet," Hargitay said.

"The conversation is in full swing, and that's very exciting. I think the show has really been a huge part of the cultural education on sexual violence. I think we have taken on the issues of consent and the neurobiology of trauma and created a survivor-centric show that was utterly unique."

Hargitay even created the Joyful Heart Foundation to help empower survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse.

"Being immersed in this material and learning the statistics and learning about the shame and isolation that survivors of sexual violence feel, that is what really called me to start my own foundation and to respond to the subject matter that I was being immersed in every day," she said.

Ice-T, who joined the show at the end of the first season, admits he was surprised by the impact that it has had on its audience.

"It took about a year or so of people saying 'thank you' to realize that it was therapy for a lot of people. These are survivors," he said.

The second annual Tribeca TV Festival, a spinoff of the Tribeca Film Festival, showcases dozens of series premieres. Most will be followed by panel chats with talent, writers and producers. Highlights will include the world premiere of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" season 12 and new season openers of "Empire," ''Madam Secretary" and "Ray Donovan."

The 20th season of "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" kicks off Sept. 27 with a two-part episode.

  • Friday, Sep. 21, 2018
The Mill adds Texas shop 3008 to its remote color grading network
Brian Hwang
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Mill has added Dallas-based editorial company 3008 to its remote color grading network, which currently includes 20+ facilities around the world. The partnership enables clients in the Dallas area to collaborate in real-time with any of The Mill’s award-winning colorists in London, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.

The Mill’s network of virtual outposts provides state-of-the-art access and communication to its creative talent, offering the same world-class output regardless of where a client may be located. In working with 3008, which maintains technology and screens identically calibrated to match the picture a client would see in any of The Mill’s studios, it’s the first time that any Dallas-based agency, production company or brand will be able to work directly with The Mill’s colorist of their choosing as if they’re in the same room.

The Mill’s group color director Dee Allen said, “By growing our capabilities in Dallas, we’re able to offer our clients more opportunities than ever to work with us--just as they would if they were to visit any of The Mill’s studios. In 3008, we’ve found an ideal partner whose services, investment in their community, and standard of quality we trust. We look forward to many collaborations ahead.”

Brian Hwang, exec producer at 3008, added, “It’s important that we offer our clients the very best talent possible. And when it comes to color, the level of experience that The Mill provides is exceptional. Not only that; we love working with teams that share a genuine passion for developing great work. We consider the partnership to be a big asset, and particularly for our locally-based clients, who will now have access to The Mill’s award-winning color services, right in their own backyard.”

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