Monday, November 20, 2017

News Briefs

Displaying 1 - 10 of 2719
  • Friday, Nov. 17, 2017
Comcast talking to Fox about a deal, source says
This Wednesday, March 29, 2017, photo shows a sign outside the Comcast Center in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Comcast is in discussions with 21st Century Fox about buying its movie studio, some cable channels and its international arms, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. This person wouldn't discuss the matter publicly.

The conversations are at a very early stage, and there's no guarantee that a deal would be finalized, this person said Thursday.

Comcast is interested in the same Fox assets that, according to reports last week, Disney had previously looked at, this person said. Those would include European broadcaster Sky and Star India, the National Geographic and FX cable channels and the company's film studio. Fox owns 39 percent of Sky and wants to buy the rest of it, but it has run into problems with U.K. regulators, in part over concerns about the sexual harassment scandals at Fox News.

The Wall Street Journal and CNBC earlier reported on Comcast's interest in Fox.

If such a deal took place, it would leave Fox with its Fox News channel, sports channels, the Fox broadcast network and several TV stations.

Selling the entertainment business would be a good deal for Fox, said MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson. "Maybe, just maybe, the company is acknowledging that the outlook for film has changed from an ok business to a bad business for everyone not owning a massive stable of global franchises," he wrote in a note last week.

The company may have realized it has a "better edge" in sports and news, he said, and that the investment needed to build out a streaming service, like Disney is doing , may be too much for Fox.

Other companies may also want the Fox assets. A person close to the matter, who wouldn't speak publicly, said Verizon is not in active discussions with Fox, but that Verizon might be interested in some parts of Fox's business.

U.S. cable and telecom companies have been buying up media assets and launching advertising businesses in the past several years. Comcast, the country's largest cable company, finished buying NBCUniversal's cable channels and movie studio in 2013 and added Dreamworks Animation in 2016.

Last year, AT&T agreed to buy Time Warner, the owner of the Warner Bros. movie studio and networks including CNN and HBO, for $85 billion. Regulators have taken a tougher-than-expected stance on that deal and have yet to clear it.

Reports that the Murdoch family could sell parts of its empire came as a surprise last week. The company has previously focused on building its business, and even offered to buy Time Warner in 2014. Fox was rebuffed.

  • Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017
Miss Golden Globe honor renamed Golden Globe Ambassador
Simone Garcia Johnson named Golden Globe Ambassador at the HFPA and InStyle Celebrate the 2018 Golden Globe Awards Season at Catch LA on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017, in West Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

The group behind the Golden Globe awards says its Miss Golden Globe honoree will now be known as the Golden Globe Ambassador.

Hollywood Foreign Press Association president Meher Tatna says the move was made in order to help expand the role to help recognize the association's philanthropic efforts throughout the year. The honoree is traditionally the child of a celebrity. This year's Golden Globe Ambassador is Simone Garcia Johnson, the daughter of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and his ex-wife, producer Dany Garcia.

The announcement was made at a party in Los Angeles on Wednesday night. The 16-year-old Garcia Johnson has been recently signed by IMG Models.

  • Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017
"Veep" production halted awaiting Louis-Dreyfus' treatment
In this Sept. 17, 2017 file photo, Julia Louis-Dreyfus arrives at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

A producer of "Veep" says filming of the HBO comedy has been postponed as its star, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, undergoes treatment for breast cancer.

During an interview on SiriusXM on Wednesday, Frank Rich said production of the new season was awaiting her recovery.

Rich said "the expectation is that we will shoot again," and said that scripts for what had already been announced as the seventh and final season are ready. He said as recently as 10 days earlier Louis-Dreyfus had taken part in a table read for one of the new episodes.

Louis-Dreyfus posted word of her illness on social media in September, just days after winning her sixth Emmy Award for her portrayal of former POTUS Selina Meyer. Before "Veep," she starred in the hit comedy "Seinfeld."

  • Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017
Nick Kroll, John Mulaney to host Film Independent Spirit Awards for 2nd straight year
John Mulaney (l) and Nick Kroll (photo courtesy of WireImage and Film Independent)
LOS ANGELES -- 

Film Independent announced that Nick Kroll (Big Mouth, Operation Finale, Uncle Drew) and John Mulaney (Kid Gorgeous, "Oh, Hello on Broadway," Big Mouth) are signing on for the second year in a row to co-host the 2018 Spirit Awards which will be broadcast live on IFC Saturday, March 3 at 2pm PT/5pm ET. The Spirit Awards are the primary fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round programs, which cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers and promote diversity in the industry.
 
“The only thing better than having Nick Kroll and John Mulaney host the Spirit Awards is having them host the Spirit Awards twice,” said Film Independent president Josh Welsh. “They did such an amazing job last year and we’re thrilled to have them back in 2018.”
 
“From the minute Nick and John opened last year’s show, which went instantly viral, we knew we wanted them back to host this year,” said Jennifer Caserta, president, IFC.  “These two talented multi-hyphenates knocked it out of the park last year and we can’t wait to see what they have planned for this year.”
 
Kroll is an actor, writer and producer. He most recently co-created and voices numerous roles on the Netflix smash hit animated series Big Mouth. He recently wrapped productions on MGM’s Operation Finale opposite Oscar Isaac and Ben Kingley, and Lionsgate’s Uncle Drew. In January 2017, he wrapped his Broadway debut with the critical and financial hit "Oh, Hello on Broadway" alongside Mulaney. Recent film credits include Jeff Nichols’ critically acclaimed film Loving, Seth Rogen’s Sausage Party and Illumination’s Sing. Kroll had his own Comedy Central sketch series Kroll Show and starred as Ruxin in the hit FX show The League.
 
Mulaney is an Emmy Award-winning writer and comedian. He is currently touring the United States with his most recent show, Kid Gorgeous. In 2015 Mulaney released his 3rd hour stand up special, a Netflix Original titled The Comeback Kid. He began his career in New York’s East Village and has since toured around the world. In 2008, he began writing at Saturday Night Live where he appeared as a Weekend Update correspondent and co-created characters such as “Stefon” with Bill Hader. He currently writes for IFC’s Documentary Now and for Netflix’s Big Mouth on which he voices the character of Andrew.  Mulaney’s first comedy album, The Top Part, was released in 2009. He released his second Comedy Central special and album New In Town in 2012.

Previously announced, Lily Collins (To The Bone, Rules Don’t Apply, Okja) and Tessa Thompson (Dear White People, Creed, Thor: Ragnarok) will co-host the press conference announcing the nominees of the Spirit Awards on Tuesday, November 21, at the Jeremy Hotel in West Hollywood.
 
This year marks the 33rd edition of the awards show that celebrates the best of independent film. Past Spirit Awards hosts have included Kate McKinnon and Kumail Nanjiani, Fred Armisen and Kristen Bell, Patton Oswalt, Andy Samberg, Joel McHale, Sarah Silverman, Samuel L. Jackson, Eddie Izzard, Queen Latifah and John Waters to name a few. The show, which will be held on the beach in Santa Monica, will be executive produced and directed by Joel Gallen of Tenth Planet Productions for the fourth consecutive year. Shawn Davis returns as producer for his 16th year and Danielle Federico and Andrew Schaff also return as co-producers.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017
Cinefamily to close amid misconduct investigation
In this Dec. 25, 2014, file photo, a visitor takes a selfie with his friend in front of the Cinefamily at Silent Movie Theater in Los Angeles, prior to attending the movie "The Interview." The independent movie theater Cinefamily, which had numerous celebrity supporters, said Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, it is closing in the wake of investigations into the sexual misconduct of two of its executives. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

The independent Los Angeles movie theater Cinefamily, which had numerous celebrity supporters, said Tuesday it is closing in the wake of investigations into the sexual misconduct of two of its executives.

Cinefamily's board of directors said Tuesday that it was shutting down after 10 years of operation, citing crippling debt and "the conduct of some." The decision came after an exhaustive analysis of the theater's operational, reputational and financial status.

The theater came under scrutiny in August for sexual misconduct allegations against the theater's executive director Hadrian Belove and board member Shadie Elnashai. The accusations became public a month before sexual harassment and abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein rippled through the culture. The board suspended activities of the theater and hired an independent firm to investigate the allegations and both Belove and Elnashai resigned.

Giles Miller of Lynx Insights & Investigations spearheaded the inquiry, during which no victims came forward to corroborate rape claims, but the investigation did uncover serious concerns and breaches of acceptable behavior, according to the board.

The decision to close, the board said, "comes amid the very necessary and overdue conversation about sexual assault and harassment in our industry."

Cinefamily had many celebrity supporters and fans including Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, David Geffen, Brie Larson, Jon Favreau, Sting and James L. Brooks. Many of the major film studios also financially backed the theater, known for its repertory screenings of off-beat or forgotten films and post screening Q&As with filmmakers.

The physical theater, located in West Hollywood, will be closed and renovated by the landlord.

"The Cinefamily was a unique institution with game-changing programming and a film-loving vitality," the board said in its statement. "We hope a new organization will emerge that reflects the positive spirit of the film community and finds a way to again celebrate the best of cinema in a healthy environment."

  • Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017
Prague Studios breaks ground on 2 stages
Prague Studios owner Tomas Krejci (center) at groundbreaking ceremony
PRAGUE, Czech Republic -- 

Prague Studios just broke ground on two new stages for TV, film and commercial production. The announcement was made by Prague Studios general manager Jindrich Guttner. The state-of-the-art sound stages will offer filmmakers from around the world Hollywood-style amenities and Prague production value. As part of the expansion, all existing stage space and production facilities at Prague Studios are being upgraded, allowing for support of top-tier international production. Upon completion in Spring 2018, Prague Studios will encompass five stages and total 350,000 square feet of production space.

“Here in the Czech Republic, thanks to incentives, there’s increased demand by filmmakers for more and better stage space,” said Prague Studios owner Tomas Krejci. “With our October groundbreaking, we’re building leading-edge facilities paired with the latest production amenities. When our facility upgrades and the new stages are completed, Prague Studios will be able to handle the most ambitious Hollywood productions.” 

Currently, Stages 1, 2 and 5 offer 32,500 sq. ft., 27,000 sq. ft. and 11,000 sq. ft. respectively. New Stages 3 and 4 are 14,000 sq. ft. each, are interconnectable and feature adjacent production offices, make-up rooms, wardrobe spaces, catering, workshop and storage areas. 

The Prague Studios complex was built on the site of a former aircraft factory. In 2001, three spacious hangars were converted into film stages. Productions soon came from around the world, including projects from Star Wars producer Rick McCallum. “We shot the LucasFilm feature Red Tails and the TV series Britannia for Sky and Amazon at Prague Studios,” said McCallum. “It was a fantastic experience. It was refreshing to work at a studio that understood our needs and was able to adjust to them flexibly. The local team swiftly reacted to every request and was proactive in solving problems.” McCallum continues to book Prague Studios for a diverse range of filmmaking projects.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017
Former marketing exec implicates Fox Sports in soccer bribes
In this May 14, 2015, file photo, CONMEBOL delegate Roger Bello, of Bolivia, left, talks with Boca Juniors goalkeeper Agustin Orion, center, and Alejandro Burzaco, president of Torneos y Competencias, during a Copa Libertadores soccer match between Boca Juniors and River Plate, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano, File)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Fox Sports partnered with a South American marketing firm to make millions of dollars in bribes to high-ranking soccer officials in exchange for lucrative broadcasting rights to major tournaments, the marketing company's former CEO testified Tuesday at a U.S. corruption trial.

Alejandro Burzaco, former CEO of the firm based in Argentina, testified that Fox and other broadcasters were involved in a scheme to pay bribes — concealed using offshore side entities and sham contracts — that secured rights for the Copa America and other events.

As evidence of the scheme, prosecutors at the trial at a federal court in New York City produced a 2008 agreement for the partnership to pay $3.7 million to a holding company in Turks and Caicos that was an alleged conduit for the bribes. They say it was signed by a former Fox executive.

Asked whom he kept informed about the bribe arrangements, Burzaco responded, "Fox Pan American Sports. Fox Sports."

Through the bribes, the network "gained leverage and rights to broadcast its signal to Argentina" and other parts of the world, he added.

Last year, a Florida-based soccer network that repeatedly lost out on the television rights to tournaments that Fox Sports aired had made similar bribery allegations against Fox in a pending federal lawsuit.

Fox Sports didn't immediately reply to a request for comment on Tuesday's testimony.

Burzaco said other media businesses, including Televisa, Media Pro, TV Globo, Full Play Argentina, and Traffic had all paid bribes for soccer rights as well. In a statement, Globo vehemently denied making bribes and said it was willing to cooperate with U.S. authorities.

The testimony came on the second day of the U.S. trial of three former South American soccer officials accused of taking bribes in a sprawling corruption investigation of FIFA, the sport's governing body. Burzaco, who has pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and other charges, has emerged as a key witness against Jose Maria Marin, Manuel Burga and Juan Angel Napout.

The former officials, who have pleaded not guilty, are the first to face trial in the investigation accusing them of taking part in a 24-year scheme involving at least $150 million in bribes. More than 40 other officials have pleaded guilty in hopes of receiving reduced sentences.

Burzaco was asked to point out the three defendants in the courtroom while testifying that he bribed all of them. The witness described a series of meeting at hotels and restaurants in Buenos Aires starting in 2012 where he helped strike deals for annual six-figure bribes for Marin, the former president of Brazil's soccer federation, Burga, former president of Peru's soccer federation and Napout, ex-head of Paraguay's soccer federation.

After one meeting where arrangements were made to wire Marin a portion of a $2 million bribe, he "gave me a hug and showed me his gratitude," Burzaco said. At another, Burga "told me he was happy collecting the bribes," he said. After being charged in 2015, Burzaco testified that he briefly went into hiding before deciding to turn himself in and cooperate.

"I said, 'Alejandro, you go to the United States and face justice,'" he said about the decision. "'Accept responsibility.'"

  • Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017
Cannom, Guerrero named recipients of Lifetime Achievement honors at Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards
LOS ANGELES -- 

Oscar®-winning make-up artist Greg Cannom and four time Emmy®-winning hair stylist Mary Guerrero, will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Annual Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards, (MUAHS, IATSE Local 706) honoring outstanding achievements for make-up artists and hair stylists in motion pictures, television, commercials, and live theater. The black-tie awards gala returns to the NOVO by Microsoft in L.A. Live on Saturday, February 24, 2018. 

IATSE Local 706 president Sue Cabral-Ebert said of Cannom and Guerrero, “They are extraordinary artists whose character aesthetics have engaged and delighted audiences in both motion pictures and television for decades and they have set the bar for generations to come. Both are accomplished leaders in the entertainment industry, and it is our pleasure to name them as this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.”

Cannom is the only make-up artist (along with Wesley Wofford) to have ever won an Oscar for a Scientific and Technical Award and has three additional Oscars for his incredible work on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Mrs. Doubtfire and Dracula. He has 23 other award nominations and a Hollywood Make-up Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Award for Gleason and Bicentennial Man. Greg has more than 120 credits in his distinguished resume that include The Passion of the Christ, Hannibal, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, Van Helsing, Titanic, The Mask, Tales from the Crypt and he was part of the team for The Lost Boys. Not only have his legendary make-up effects been part of film history, but he has also been a cherished instructor for Local 706, sharing his secrets and skills.

Guerrero has won eight Primetime Emmys, Make-up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards and Daytime Emmys and has 15 other nominations for her hair styling talents and creativity. She began her television and film career at NBC as a TV tape member, then transitioned onto the roster and became a journeyman. Her beautiful stylings have consistently graced the top episodic television productions and she is now on her 24th season as hair department head on Dancing With the Stars. Her career has spanned every genre of television show from sitcom to episodic and her credits include Dharma and Greg, The Larry Sanders Show, Hot in Cleveland, Get a Life and Alf along with dozens of awards shows. Guerrero has served as hair stylist Governor for the Television Academy, and has also served on the Local 706 Executive Board, and is Betty White’s hair stylist.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to one make-up artist and one hair stylist for extraordinary Lifetime Achievement, exceptional contributions to the motion picture arts and sciences, or outstanding service to their union or the entertainment industry. Previous recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Make-Up Artists are Leonard Engelman, Ve Neill, Rick Baker, Montague “Monty” Westmore, Bob Schiffer, John Chambers, Jack Pierce, Daniel Striepeke and Dick Smith. Previous recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Hair Stylists are Barbara Lorenz, Yolanda Toussieng, Kathryn Blondell, Sydney Guilaroff, Vivienne Walker, Paul LeBlanc, Colleen Callaghan and Gail Ryan.

Additional awards will honor a Distinguished Artisan and nominees for outstanding achievements in motion pictures, television, commercials and live theater. Submissions and voting will be made online at www.local706.org. Submissions close on Friday, November 17, 2017. Nominations for this year’s awards will be announced on January 5, 2018. Final ballot on-line voting closes on February 16, 2018. Winners will be announced on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at the Awards gala.

  • Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017
Art Directors Guild to present Cinematic Imagery Award to Kathleen Kennedy
Kathleen Kennedy
LOS ANGELES -- 

Eight-time Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Kathleen Kennedy, whose films have consistently reflected the highest quality of production design, will receive the prestigious Cinematic Imagery Award from the Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE, Local 800) at its 22nd Annual Art Directors Guild’s Excellence in Production Design Awards, it was announced by ADG Council chairman Marcia Hinds ADG and awards producers Thomas A. Walsh ADG and Thomas Wilkins ADG. The 2018 Awards, themed “Production Design: Celebrating 100 Years of Imagination,” will be held Saturday, January 27, 2018 at the Ray Dolby Ballroom at Hollywood and Highland and will honor the prestigious spectrum of Kennedy’s extraordinary award-winning work.

Nelson Coates, president of ADG, said “We are thrilled to recognize the amazing contributions Kathleen Kennedy has made to narrative design for more than three decades, while so beautifully creating a cinematic legacy as represented by some of the most successful movies of our time. Ms. Kennedy is truly a significant role model. Her creative legacy and professional journey is an inspirational example to all young artists who are in search of a meaningful career in the entertainment industry. Through her perseverance, talent and leadership, she has become an icon elevating the art of production design. She continues to raise the bar for all visual storytellers.”

Considered one of the most successful and respected producers and executives in the film industry today, Kennedy is president of Lucasfilm and she oversees the company’s three divisions: Lucasfilm, Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound. Kennedy is also the producer of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), which set a record for the biggest domestic opening of all time with $248M and went on to earn over $2B worldwide, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (12/16/16), as well as the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi (12/15/17), Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) and a new installment in the Indiana Jones series (2019).

Kennedy has produced or executive produced over 70 feature films, which have collectively garnered 120 Academy Award nominations and 25 wins. Among her credits: Jurassic Park, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, The Sixth Sense, the Back to the Future trilogy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Gremlins, The Goonies, Poltergeist, Empire of the Sun, Lincoln (nominated for 12 Oscars and won 2), War Horse, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Schindler’s List, The Color Purple, and The Adventures of Tintin.

Kennedy has produced the films of such directors as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, JJ Abrams, Rian Johnson, Ron Howard, David Fincher, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Robert Zemeckis, Julian Schnabel, Marjane Satrapi, M. Night Shyamalan, Frank Oz, Peter Bogdanovich and Richard Donner.

Prior to joining Lucasfilm in 2012, Kennedy headed The Kennedy/Marshall Company, which she founded in 1992 with director/producer Frank Marshall, and in 1982 she co-founded the successful Amblin Entertainment with Marshall and Steven Spielberg.

The ADG’s Cinematic Imagery Award is given to those whose body of work in the film industry has richly enhanced the visual aspects of the movie-going experience. Previous recipients have been Brad Bird, David O. Russell, Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, John Lasseter, George Lucas, Frank Oz, the production designers behind the James Bond franchise, the principal team behind the Harry Potter films, Bill Taylor, Syd Dutton, Warren Beatty, Allen Daviau, Clint Eastwood, Blake Edwards, Terry Gilliam, Ray Harryhausen, Norman Jewison, Robert S. Wise and Zhang Yimou.

Producers of this year’s ADG Awards (#ADGawards) are production designers Walsh ADG and Wilkins ADG. Award submissions are open online now through November 9, 2017. Online nomination voting will be held December 6, 2017-January 3, 2018 and nominees announced on January 4, 2018. Final online balloting will be held January 8-25, and winners will be announced at the dinner ceremony on Saturday, January 27, 2018. ADG Awards are open only to productions when made within the U.S. by producers signatory to the IATSE agreement. Foreign entries are acceptable without restrictions.

  • Monday, Nov. 13, 2017
Michael Wright to become EPIX president on Dec. 4th
Michael Wright
LOS ANGELES -- 

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) has appointed Michael Wright as president of the premium pay television network EPIX. Wright will begin his new role on December 4, working out of MGM’s headquarters in Los Angeles. 

Reporting to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. chairman/CEO Gary Barber, Wright will shepherd EPIX into its next phase of expanded original programming, leading creative and marketing efforts.  Business operations will continue to be overseen by Monty Sarhan, EVP and general manager for EPIX. Sarhan will also work closely with Chris Ottinger, MGM’s president, Worldwide Television Distribution and Acquisitions, on all distribution matters. 

Wright was previously the CEO of Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners, a content creation company he helped launch in 2015. Under Wright’s leadership, the company most recently released the hit films The Girl on the Train, Office Christmas Party and A Dog’s Purpose, and prepared the upcoming films The Post, Ready Player One, and The House with a Clock in its Walls, starring Jack Black and Cate Blanchett. Prior to joining DreamWorks Studios in 2014, Wright was president, head of programming for TBS, TNT, and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). During Wright’s tenure at Turner, he led TNT and TBS to the top of the cable charts for 10 straight years. Wright programmed some of the biggest hits on cable television, with commercial and award-winning success across all the networks, including the record setting and acclaimed series The Closer, Into the West, Southland, Men of a Certain Age and Falling Skies for TNT, and Conan, My Boys, Cougar Town and Angie Tribeca for TBS. For TCM, Wright oversaw the development and production of the Emmy nominated documentary Moguls and Movie Stars: The History of Hollywood, the acclaimed TCM: A Night at the Movies franchise, and the Emmy-winning AFI: Lifetime Achievement Award specials.

Barber said of Wright, “His television industry experience and creative instincts are the perfect combination to help us execute on our original content strategy for EPIX and drive additional value creation for MGM overall.” 

Wright said, “EPIX, under MGM’s ownership, is strongly positioned to excel as a provider of engaging, entertaining original content. This is an exciting time in our business, and I’m looking forward to working with Gary, the EPIX and MGM teams, to bring the best storytelling voices to the network and move EPIX into the next phase of its growth.” 

Earlier this year, MGM completed the transaction to acquire the balance of EPIX, adding a premier distribution platform to its growing pipeline of new film and television content and robust library.  MGM Television is currently in production in Montreal on its second series for EPIX, The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair, based on the bestselling novel by Joël Dicker, starring Patrick Dempsey in his return to television, Ben Schnetzer, Virginia Madsen and Damon Wayans Jr.  Early next year, MGM Television will begin production on the second season of Get Shorty, based in part on the 1990 best-selling novel of the same name by Elmore Leonard, starring Ray Romano and Chris O’Dowd. EPIX programming also includes the critically acclaimed series Berlin Station and Golden Globe nominated Graves, award winning docu-series America Divided with executive producers Norman Lear and Jesse Williams, Danica, about racing superstar Danica Patrick, plus thousands of movies including big franchises James Bond, Rocky, and Star Trek.