Signs of the Apocalypse Roundup – May 2010 – Week 4
Reality Power list
Reality Power List Top 50, The Hollywood Reporter’s third annual list of the most powerful people in reality TV
Paula Abdul returning to primetime on CBS
Abdul will serve as the lead judge, executive producer, creative partner, mentor and coach on “Got to Dance,” a series from Shine Group/Reveille that’s based on a UK hit. The competition show is billed as broadcast’s first all-ages all-genres dance series — “from ballroom to break dance, bhangra to ballet, and tap to tango.” A wide variety of acts will compete for a panel of judges, with viewers getting to vote for their favorites during the semifinals and finals.
Can ‘American Idol’ Be Saved?
‘American Idol’ Ratings Are At Their Lowest Since 2004, And Simon Cowell Is Moving On. As The Season-Nine Finale Approaches, Can TV’s Talent Show Behemoth Stay Dominant And Turn Its Winners Into Stars Again?
The CW picks up ‘Plain Jane’
Makeover/dating reality show to air in the summer
Executive producers are Allison Grodner (“Big Brother”), Rich Meehan and Pete Tartaglia with British fashion expert Louise Roe serving as host. Each episode of the Sony series will follow one “plain Jane” as she transforms via style tips, new wardrobe and confidence-building exercises to prepare for a date with a crush who doesn’t know she’s interested in him.
Spike orders ‘Auction Heroes’
Cable net has ordered eight half-hour episodes
The network on Tuesday announced a new series called “Auction Heroes.” It will showcase two business-savvy friends who make money by purchasing storage containers at auctions and re-selling the contents for a profit at pawn shops.
- ABC lands Jesse James interview, ‘Nightline’s’ exclusive report to air May 25
- James Franco returning to ‘General Hospital’
Business of the Business
BBC Worldwide profits up 40%
Commercial division achieves record profits of $200 mil
The BBC’s commercial division BBC Worldwide looks set for a record year with profits in the region of £140 million ($201 million) in 2009/10, according to BBC director general Mark Thompson. Driven by format hits like “Top Gear” and “Strictly Come Dancing,” a burgeoning global channels business and global TV hits like “Doctor Who,” Worldwide’s profits are up almost 40% on last year.
Did Warner Bros. pirate antipiracy technology?
Warner Bros. has been sued for stealing an antipiracy technology patent. The claim comes from a German company called Medien Patent Verwaltung. According to new infringement lawsuits filed against Warners, Technicolor and Deluxe in New York and Germany, MPV says that in 2003, it introduced the studio to a method of marking films with a distinctive code so it could track back sources of piracy to the exact theater in which an unauthorized copy originated. MPV says it has been trying to get Warners to pay for use of the technology since it allegedly began incorporating the invention in prints throughout Europe in 2004.
Movie Tickets Reach the $20 Mark
For the first time, a major Hollywood film will hit the $20 threshold at the box office, as movie-theater owners test the public’s ability to absorb ever higher ticket prices. This weekend’s price increase come less than eight weeks after theater operators instituted some of the steepest hikes in a decade. Those increases in late March—in some cases of as much as 26%—varied theater to theater and focused on 3-D and IMAX showings of another DreamWorks Animation title, “How to Train Your Dragon.” The same AMC theater in Manhattan charged $19.50 for an IMAX showing of “Dragon.”
RapidShare Also Scores Trail-blazing Victory in US
Yet another company has failed in its attempt to discredit and have the business model of the leading global one-click-filehost, RapidShare AG, declared illegal. On 18 May 2010, a US District Court threw out an application for a temporary injunction against RapidShare AG. Submitted on 11 April 2010 at the District Court of the Southern District of California by the adult entertainment company, Perfect 10, the application was intended to force RapidShare into preventing Perfect 10 pictures from being distributed via RapidShare’s file-hosting service.
Film Academy targets GoDaddy in massive cybersquatting lawsuit
Suing under the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, the Academy disputes more than a 100 domain names, including 2011oscars.com, academyawardz.com, jaylenososcars.com, betacademyawards.com, oscarsunplugged.com, oscarshotels.com, oscarstravel.com, oscarsliveblogging.com … etc. Damages could total as much as $10 million. AMPAS takes issue with the fact that GoDaddy customers are allowed to monetize domain names that are allegedly confusingly similar to its famous marks. Specifically, GoDaddy runs a “CashParking” program that allows users to buy a domain, “park” the page and collect a portion of revenue from GoDaddy’s advertising partners on a pay-per-click basis. The practice has recently begun to draw scrutiny from legal observers who have asked, “Is GoDaddy a Mass Cybersquatter?.”
- Wall Street cautious on ‘Shrek’ effect, financial estimates for DreamWorks may come down
- Weinsteins continuing Miramax negotiations
- BELOW THE LINE: WHAT’S THE POINT OF 3D?
- Marc Cuban company sues Paramount for millions
- EFF recruiting attorneys to fight piracy lawsuits
- Pakistan blocks access to YouTube in internet crackdown
Planet of the Odd
Lindsay Lohan to undergo random drug tests
Actress ordered to wear alcohol monitoring bracelet
Lohan, who agreed to the conditions on Monday, claimed she lost her passport in France last week, preventing an earlier return to Los Angeles for the May 20 hearing she missed. Judge Revel said the “Mean Girls” actress has failed to complete alcohol education classes imposed as part of a 2007 sentence for reckless driving, drunken driving and driving under the influence of cocaine. Revel warned Lohan last October that she risked going to jail unless she took the matter seriously.
Is Dora the Explorer an illegal immigrant?
In her police mug shot, the doe-eyed cartoon heroine with the bowl haircut has a black eye, battered lip and bloody nose. Dora the Explorer’s alleged crime? “Illegal Border Crossing Resisting Arrest.” The doctored picture, one of several circulating widely in the aftermath of Arizona’s controversial new immigration law, may seem harmless, ridiculous or even tasteless. But experts say the pictures and the rhetoric surrounding them online, in newspapers and at public rallies, reveal some Americans’ attitudes about race, immigrants and where some of immigration reform debate may be headed.
Jerry O’Connell postpones law school to play TV lawyer
Jerry O’Connell hopes to get school credit for his new acting gig. He’ll play a lawyer on the new CBS television show “The Defenders” this fall alongside Jim Belushi. In real life, he recently finished his first year at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. Law school is on hold while O’Connell plays a lawyer on TV. But he says he plans to get his degree.
Miley Cyrus jewelry pulled by Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart said Wednesday it is pulling an entire line of Miley Cyrus-brand necklaces and bracelets from its shelves after tests performed for the Associated Press found the jewelry contained high levels of the toxic metal cadmium.
Adam Ant sectioned under Mental Health Act
The former Adam and the Ants singer, who suffers from bipolar disorder, has been hospitalised under the Mental Health Act after concerns grew for his state of mind following a recent concert in a church hall in which he heckled the audience and told Christians to “f**k off”. Adam Ant, real name Stuart Goddard, was previously sectioned in 2003 when he was found naked in a cafe basement after threatening to smash his neighbour’s front door with a shovel.
Bits and Pieces
- Brittany Murphy’s husband found dead
- Bret Michaels hospitalized; Suffered ‘warning stroke’ unrelated to brain hemorrhage
- John Travolta, Kelly Preston ‘expecting’
The Fine Print
This is by no means meant to be a comprehensive roundup of the entire weeks’ news. All stories are chosen by me for no other reason than that they got my attention and might capture yours. If something you think is more important chime in on the feedback; we’d love to hear comments and have a conversation about it.
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