17 items from 2014
School’s not out yet “Community,” fans.
The 13 new episodes, featuring original cast members of the canceled NBC series, will be available exclusively on Yahoo Screen.
Dan Harmon, who created the show, will exec produce the new episodes.
“I am very pleased that Community will be returning for its predestined sixth season on Yahoo,” Harmon said in a statement. “I look forward to bringing our beloved NBC sitcom to a larger audience by moving it online. I vow to dominate our new competition. Rest easy, Big Bang Theory. Look out, Bang Bus!”
The news brings the series closer to its goal of #sixseasonsandamovie, a campaign fans backed to bring the show back after NBC cancelled it in March.
Joel McHale, who stars in the series, added: “‘The reports of »
- Alex Stedman
Film legend Warren Beatty has wrapped principal photography on his Howard Hughes project--the director's first feature in almost 20 years--after a 74-day shoot. The film's plot is being kept under wraps, but reportedly focuses on a late-life affair the aviation pioneer (Beatty) had with a much younger woman (Lily Collins). Beatty is 77, Collins 25. It's taken quite some time for Beatty's film to take off: just this February, Deadline reported that billionaires Ron Burkle and Steve Bing, Windsor Media’s Terry Semel, Arnon Milchan’s New Regency and James Packer’s and Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment had finally come together to finance the roughly $27 million production. Beatty wrote the film and will star as the older Hughes, joined by Alden Ehrenreich as Hughes's assistant. In addition, Martin Sheen, Annette Bening and Matthew Broderick will also star, along with Alec Baldwin as Robert Maheu, a confidante »
- Jacob Combs
Beatty is producing, directing and starring as Hughes in the untitled movie, funded by Ron Burkle, Steve Bing, Windsor Media’s Terry Semel, Arnon Milchan’s New Regency and James Packer and Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment.
Maheu, a former spy, said that he never saw Hughes and received all his instructions from notes and telephone. He was dismissed by Hughes in 1970 in a power struggle and later won a libel suit against Hughes that was overturned.
Baldwin is repped by CAA.
News was first reported by Deadline Hollywood. »
- Dave McNary
It's been 10 years since Martin Scorsese's "The Aviator," if you can believe it. The film was one of two dueling Howard Hughes biopics at the time (the other coming from Christopher Nolan), a passion project developed by star Leonardo DiCaprio for director Michael Mann. Mann ended up with biopic fatigue after "The Insider" and "Ali," so he settled into a producer position and DiCaprio convinced his then-newfound colleague Martin Scorsese to direct and the rest was history. But speaking of history, the Howard Hughes story has had its own in Hollywood. During a Santa Barbara Film Festival tribute in February, Scorsese remarked that he had always shied away from it, going on to note that a number of filmmakers had wanted to do it over the years. One of those, of course, was Warren Beatty, and Beatty's version has been slowly clicking into place over the last couple of years. »
- Kristopher Tapley
Yahoo unveiled its first-ever full-length scripted series orders at its Digital Content NewFronts presentation Monday, calling on established Hollywood veterans to deliver half-hour comedies that will bow by year-end and in 2015.
Paul Feig, the writer-producer behind NBC’s critically acclaimed but short-lived “Freaks & Geeks” and director of hit theatrical “Bridesmaids,” will exec produce “Other Space,” eight half-hour episodes chronicling a misfit group of space adventurers who stumble upon an alternate universe.
Mike Tollin, executive producer of the WB hit series “Smallville” and “One Tree Hill,” is teaming with TV director Bryan Gordon (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) for eight half-hour episodes of “Sin City Saints,” which follows the exploits of a Las Vegas-based pro basketball expansion team.
In an interview with Variety prior to its NewFront presentation at Manhattan’s Lincoln Center, chief marketing officer Kathy Savitt said two more longform scripted projects will be announced in the coming weeks. “We want the world’s best showrunners, »
- Andrew Wallenstein
1. Pluto.TV Launches: A new free streaming platform launched today with the idea of bringing the experience of watching television to the web with 100 channels of curated content. There are a lot of competitors out there vying to establish a web video content brand, but this one boasts an impressive pedigree with investors and advisers including Terry Semel's Windsor Media, UTA CEO Jeremy Zimmer, ICM president and partner Chris Silbermann, rapper Nas, Interscope Records co-founder Tom Whalley, former ABC Entertainment president Jamie Tarses and UTA head of digital media Brent Weinstein, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 2. Crowdfunding Tip: There are currently over 33,000 films trying to raise funds on Kickstarter alone. So how does an indie film get attention while crowdfunding? In the case of the independent feature film "The Other Side," the filmmakers created an interactive video to attract attention and stand out from the crowd. Read more about how they used new technology. »
- Paula Bernstein
It started with Elmo. A little over a year ago, web entrepreneur Ilya Pozin was working on his computer with his two-year-old daughter perched in his lap. To keep her entertained, he was searching for online Sesame Street videos. He’d put one on, but after each one ended, his daughter would yell out, “More Elmo, Daddy!” — and Pozin would have to go on the hunt for another video. “I’m sitting there thinking, ‘Why am I having to DJ for her every three minutes?’” Pozin says, laughing. “I should be able to just throw on a channel for my »
- Sean Smith
After about 20 years of trying, Warren Beatty is finally getting his gestating biopic about Howard Hughes off the ground. The last we heard about the project had Beatty rounding up a cast that included Felicity Jones (Like Crazy) signed on for the film along with names like Alec Baldwin, Shia Labeouf, Rooney Mara, Andrew Garfield, Jack Nicholson, Evan Rachel Wood and Annette Bening circling the film. Now with the help of billionaire duo Ron Burkle and Steve Bing, with Terry Semel of Windsor Media and Arnon Milchan of New Regency, Beatty will direct and star, but who else has a role? Deadline says Beatty will play Hughes, but the film will focus on the historical icon's assistant (Alden Ehrenreich of Beautiful Creatures) and his love story with a young girl (Lily Collins of Mirror Mirror). This sounds like it could be similar to Me and Orson Welles where Zac Efron's story took the focus, »
- Ethan Anderton
If any of the films he worked on got the same turnout as his funeral, Tom Sherak would have been one happy distribution exec. The parking lot at Woodland Hills' Temple Aliyah was completely full; there was no parking available for blocks and it was standing-room-only inside the Conservative Jewish congregation's hall. Among the roughly 1,000 seated for the 10 a.m. service were Sony Pictures' Amy Pascal, Disney's Alan Horn, producer Joe Roth, Legendary board member Dick Cook, former Yahoo chief Terry Semel, Fox Filmed Entertainment's Jim Gianopulos, TriStar's Tom Rothman, Warner Bros.' Barry Meyer
- Bill Higgins
About 1,000 friends and family gathered Thursday for a memorial services for Tom Sherak, the longtime film marketing and distribution exec who died Tuesday.
The hour-long service, held at Temple Aliyah in Woodland Hills, highlighted his idealism, humor, warmth and pragmatism and generated both tears and laughter among attendees. Sherak was interred at Mt. Sinai Memorial Park in Simi Valley, Calif.
Sherak’s widow Madeleine spoke movingly at the service, describing how she had met her husband to be on a blind date on May 22, 1967, then received an engagement ring four months later on Sept. 22 and got married on Nov. 22. She was 18 and Sherak was 22.
“The numbers 18 and 22 were always very special for us,” she noted.
She also told the audience that Sherak was happy when he passed away, adding, “He was at peace with his life.”
Sherak’s daughters Barbra and Melissa also spoke, both pointing out his extensive philanthropic »
- Dave McNary
NBCUniversal’s news division has made a minority investment in NowThis News, styled as a next-generation mobile-social video news provider, in a bid to better reach millennials and other digital audiences — which are watching far less TV news these days.
The Peacock’s unified news group owns a 10% stake of NowThis News, the New York-based startup founded in September 2012 by Huffington Post co-founder and former chairman Ken Lerer and former Huffington Post CEO Eric Hippeau. Other investors include Bedrocket Media Ventures, Oak Investment Partners, Lerer Ventures and SoftBank Capital.
Under the pact, the two companies will coproduce original short-form news videos out of NowThis News’s Gotham studio. Those will be distributed across multiple properties including NBC’s “Today” show, MSNBC, NBC News and CNBC. The video will fall into two buckets: mashups, covering daily political, entertainment or business news; and “explainers” analyzing business and political news.
The deal comes »
- Todd Spangler
In his first executive appointment since taking on the position of president and chief content officer at NBCU Cable Entertainment, Jeff Wachtell has tapped Dawn Parouse Olmstead to head its scripted development. Olmstead will serve as executive vice president of development. In the post, she’ll oversee the development and sale of all scripted series for Ucp. Richard Rothstein will now head current programming for the cable production group. Both Omstead and Rothstein will report to Wachtel. Also read: NBCU, Terry Semel Back New Kara Swisher, Walt Mossberg Venture Revere Digital “It’s a real coup for us to land »
- Jethro Nededog
Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg are still in their first 24 hours of launching Recode.net, the venture replacing their long-time perch at AllThingsD. In an exclusive interview with TheWrap, they discuss what led to becoming entrepreneurs, the bidding war won by NBCU and Terry Semel’s Windsor Media and the fate of the red chairs. Sharon Waxman: Congratulations on a successful launch. What is the difference between Recode and AllThingsD? Walt Mossberg: The truth is that at the very beginning, other than an utterly new design, there won’t be an enormous difference. We are in the process of hiring a half dozen. »
- Sharon Waxman
NBCUniversal's NBC News Group late Wednesday confirmed its investment in Revere Digital, a technology media company started by AllThingsD founders Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg. Former Warner Bros. and Yahoo boss Terry Semel’s investment firm Windsor Media is also investing in Revere. Financial details of the investments were not disclosed, but expectations have been for investors to acquire minority stakes in the new venture. Swisher and Mossberg last year ended their AllThingsD partnership with Dow Jones & Co., which is now part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. They said that the name of their new site was Re/code. "We are thrilled to announce
- Georg Szalai
Re/code, the new website from former AllThingsD editors Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg launched shortly after midnight Thursday as part of a new media venture with NBCUniversal News Group and Terry Semel’s Windsor Media. Swisher and Mossberg announced the formation of the new company, Revere Media, along with the site’s launch. Also read: AllThingsD Creators Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg Reveal New Venture: Re/code “We are thrilled to announce that we are forming our own new and independent media company, Revere Digital, with a pair of respected investors and partners — the NBCUniversal News Group and Terry Semel’s Windsor Media, »
- L.A. Ross
NBCUniversal News Group confirmed its investment in Revere Digital, the tech media company started by journalists Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, who ended their partnership with Dow Jones & Co. for the now-defunct AllThingsDigital last month.
On Wednesday, Swisher and Mossberg launched a new site called Re/code (at recode.net). NBCU said it will incorporate Revere Digital’s content across multiple media platforms.
Revere Digital has already planned out the lineup for its first big conference, the Code Conference, set to run May 27–29, 2014, in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast — which owns NBCUniversal — is among skedded speakers, along with Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Intel topper Brian Krzanich.
“Kara and Walt »
- Todd Spangler
NBCUniversal and Terry Semel’s Windsor Media have backed Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg’s new business venture, called Revere Digital, the media company announced on Wednesday evening. Swisher and Mossberg’s new company, slated to launch on Thursday at midnight, will manage a digital media and technology news, reviews and analysis web site called Re/code.net. (Photo above from Swisher’s Instagram feed) As part of the deal Swisher, Mossberg and other Revere journalists will appear on-air across all of the News Group properties including CNBC, MSNBC, the Today show, and “Nightly News with Brian Williams” and will »
- Sharon Waxman
17 items from 2014
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