Signs of the Apocalypse Roundup – July 2010 – Week 2
Snoop Dogg seeks stint on British soap
Hip-hop star is a ‘Coronation Street’ fan, solicits a cameo
Hip-hop star Snoop Dogg has revealed he’s a fan of British soap opera “Coronation Street,” and he wants a cameo on the gritty show. Snoop told fans in Manchester, northern England, on Thursday that he has been watching “Corrie” for 11 years and had asked his agent to see if he can make an appearance. He said producers “said they were interested, so hopefully it might happen.”
NBC to change ‘Today’ wedding contest after protests
NBC has agreed to change the rules of a “Today” show wedding contest after receiving complaints from gay activists slamming the annual event as discriminatory. The morning show’s “Modern Day Wedding” contest will be opened to allow same-sex couple after network executives met with Thursday with representatives from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). The contest, which got underway last week, has aired for 11 years and allows viewers to vote on which couple will win a wedding that is telecast live on the air. NBC initially argued that it was excluding same-sex couples because “the couple must be able to be legally married in New York, which is where the wedding will take place.”
New Superhero Dance Show Looks Better Than Heroes’ Final Season
The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers, the web-only series that debuts Wednesday on Hulu.com, actually looks — lord help me — interesting. Well, visually, at least. The content may be something else entirely. Think X-Men meets West Side Story. According to USA Today, The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers — or LXD, as the cool kids say — consists of 10 eight-minutes episodes “with minimal dialogue” about two groups of rival dancers who … discover they have superpowers. Through their dancing abilities.
Oprah Winfrey biopic planned
Television film is based on Kitty Kelley’s biography
Oprah Winfrey’s quarter-century run on daytime TV may be accompanied by a TV film dramatizing her life. Veteran producer Larry A. Thompson said Monday the planned two- or four-hour Winfrey film will be based on Kitty Kelley’s tell-all biography. Thompson says he has optioned it for six figures. The TV project is expected to air in September 2011, which would coincide with the end of Winfrey’s weekday talk show.
Susan Boyle launches singing competition
‘Susan’s Search’ offers chance to duet on her next album
Susan Boyle is on a mission to discover the next — well, Susan Boyle. The “Britain’s Got Talent” sensation has announced a singing competition, called “Susan’s Search,” to give her fans the chance to sing on her next album. In a video posted on her official website, Boyle explains why she launched the contest. “When I did Britain’s Got Talent, I was given a chance by Simon Cowell to show what I could do,” said Boyle. ” ‘Susan’s Search’ is about giving other people an opportunity. It’s about letting them live the dream that they have always wanted to do.”
Business of the Business
Canuck ISPs are not broadcasters, says court
Ruling could thwart local efforts to create an ISP levy
A Canadian appeals court has ruled Internet service providers (ISPs) are pipes, and not broadcasters, in a wide-open Internet or wireless phone world. The decision could thwart local efforts to create an ISP levy earmarked for Canadian content production online. The Federal Court of Appeal ruled that ISPs, led by Bell Canada, Telus Corp., Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications, cannot be considered broadcasters under the federal Broadcasting Act, even if they allow access to streaming video by their subscribers. “Because ISPs’ sole involvement is to provide the mode of transmission, they have no control or input over the content made available to Internet users by content producers and as a result, they are unable to take any steps to promote the policy described in the Broadcasting Act or its supporting provisions,” the court said in its decision. “Only those who “transmit” the “program” can contribute to the policy objectives,” the ruling added.
Google woos studios, guilds in Sun Valley
Google is good at distribution, but “we are not good at content creation,” CEO Eric Schmidt acknowledged. Consumers want more content, and content creators should want broader Web distribution as long as the business model is right, he argued. His colleagues highlighted that complex rights legacies and old-school thinking about distribution are often challenges in content talks.
MySpace Comedy hires content director
News Corp.’s MySpace has tapped comedy veteran Randi Siegel as content and relations director at MySpace Comedy. Reporting to senior vp marketing David Donegan, Siegel will manage the comedy area of MySpace, overseeing strategy and partnerships while working with comedians and other talent. “MySpace Comedy is going to be a force to be reckoned with,” Siegel said. A rollout of new features and a new look and feel is expected to be completed by late fall. Siegel eyes original content — professional and user-created — across formats.
Record industry tries to catch porn industry with pants down
Warner Bros. and a number of other record labels filed a lawsuit last week alleging copyright infringement on the part of an adult entertainment company whose porn videos allegedly featured such spectacles as actors lip-synching to Justin Timberlake’s “Sexyback” while engaging in sexual acts on camera. The defendant in the legal action is a Florida-based company, RK Netmedia, whose websites include realitykings.com and inthevip.com. Damages claimed on the alleged nasty use of copyrighted music could run in the tens of millions of dollars.
Family flicks firing up summer boxoffice
‘Despicable Me,’ others outpacing prerelease projections
Prerelease tracking surveys focus on pic awareness and must-see interest. So asking parents about a kids-targeted release does seem a bit off base. “The nag factor is what drives those kind of movies,” a studio executive mused, a bit indelicately. “The parents might be less inclined than the kids to see a picture, but then the kids pester the parents, and the rest is history.” Studios subscribing to the various movie-tracking services see data on one another’s movies, but only companies set to release a kids pic order tracking surveys tailored to that group. Even there, the kids’ movie interests tend to be expressed by their parents.
- Court details long, strange road to ‘Easy Rider’ sequel
- Jail sentences for U.K. music pirates; Rights collecting society defrauded of license fees
- ‘Inception’ is no dream for marketers; Unusual summer bow for such a cerebral pic
- Miramax sold to Ronald Tutor, Colony Capital; Disney unloads studio, 611-picture library for $650 million
- Don’t YouTube grants put Google in content biz?
Planet of the Odd
Lindsay Lohan sentenced to jail time
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that a tearful Lindsay Lohan was sentenced to 90 days in jail this afternoon for violating the terms of her probation in a drunken driving case. Beverly Hills Judge Marsha Revel is clearly no fan of Lohan, ordering on May 24 that the actress be fitted with a SCRAM bracelet and following that with a June 8 arrest warrant for violating her probation. Today, Revel scolded the actress for being less than truthful about her alcohol and drug intake before sentencing her to the slammer. It’s actually Lohan’s courtroom excuse for her less than diligent adherence to the rules that proved more surprising. In a pre-sentencing address to the court, Lohan said: “I have to provide for myself. I have to work. Having said that, I did everything to balance my jobs and showing up. I’m not taking this as a joke. It’s my life. It’s my career.”
Masked 20-Year Old Fights Crime in the South
Columbia, Tennessee now has a real-life costumed hero to call their own. A 20-year old aspiring comic book writer calling himself Viper was stopped by police last Wednesday for “wearing a mask in public,” which is illegal in the city. According to the local paper, he told the officers he was looking for “crime to report.” He apparently also planned to fight the crime (or fixing something) as he was sporting a utility belt containing a screwdriver, wrench, and a cell phone.
John McTiernan pleads guilty in wiretap case
‘Die Hard’ director admits lying during Pellicano investigation
John McTiernan, the director of such movies as “Die Hard” and “Predator,” pleaded guilty Monday to lying to an FBI agent about hiring private investigator Anthony Pellicano. McTiernan was the biggest Hollywood figure indicted in connection with the Pellicano wiretapping and conspiracy case. Pellicano was convicted of masterminding a long-running wiretapping conspiracy on behalf of his famous Hollywood clients and is serving a 15-year prison term. McTiernan entered a guilty plea in federal court to two counts of making false statements to the FBI as well as one count of perjury for lying to a federal judge while attempting to withdraw a previous guilty plea.
Mel Gibson ouster about more than morals
WME’s decision to drop actor based on the bottom line
When WME dropped Mel Gibson as a client last week, sources at the agency cited the star’s misconduct as the reason. Its revulsion may be genuine, but WME’s decision also was based on the bottom line, a calculation that Gibson no longer has real monetary value to the agency. “There’s nothing to do for Mel Gibson at the moment,” a WME source said. “No one will touch him with a 10-foot pole. He’ll make his own movies, but you don’t commission those anyway.”
Darth Vader actor David Prowse BANNED from Star Wars cons
“It is with regret that I have been informed by my friends at C2 Ventures, Ben and Phillip, that I am not to be invited to C5 this year or any other Lucas Film associated events. After enquiring, the only thing I have been told is that I have ‘burnt too many bridges between Lucas Film and myself’ – no other reason given…I have also been advised by the promoter of Paris Manga in September that LFL (Lucas Film Limited) have requested no photo opportunities with the 501 Squadron, even though I am commander in chief of the 501″
Bits and Pieces
- WME drops Mel Gibson
- The filmmaker who became a legal spy
- Mel Gibson is focus of police inquiry; Actor-director allegedly attacked ex-girlfriend
- ‘Titanic’ actress Gloria Stuart celebrates her 100th birthday
- Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner Will Earn $25-41 Million Each for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn
- Switzerland frees Roman Polanski
- Actor Martin Lawrence weds
- John Krasinski marries Emily Blunt
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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