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3 Reasons Security Experts Are Unconvinced North Korea Was Behind Sony Hack

1 hour ago

The U.S. government accused North Korea of carrying out vicious hacks against Sony Pictures Entertainment on Friday. But several cyber-security experts and hackers are unconvinced there’s evidence to indict Kim Jong-un’s regime.

President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are confident the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is responsible for the breach, which resulted in gigabytes worth of leaked private data and the shelving of Seth Rogen and James Franco‘s assassination comedy “The Interview.”

See photos: Sony Hack Attack Timeline: From First Cyberbreach and Leaks to ‘The Interview »


- Travis Reilly

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‘Better Call Saul’ Teaser Goodman Gets Caught Up in the Cash, Winning in (Video)

1 hour ago

Saul Goodman is seeking atonement in the new teaser trailer for AMC’s “Better Call Saul.”

Well, that’s not entirely correct: It is actually James M. McGill — what Goodman used to be known as — who makes that declaration in the 30-second snippet for the upcoming “Breaking Bad” prequel. And, also, he doesn’t really care about the humanity aspect of the atonement — he just wants the money and the courtroom “W.”

Also Read: Bill Cosby’s NBC Sitcom Is Dead: 10 Other TV Dads Who Adopted a New Family (Photos)

At one point during the short-yet-footage-filled teaser, Goodman/McGill is dumped in the desert, »


- Tony Maglio

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Dana Bash to Fill in on ‘State of the Union’ Following Candy Crowley’s Exit

2 hours ago

CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash will be the first substitute anchor this coming Sunday on “State of the Union” following Candy Crowley’s final show, an individual familiar with CNN’s plans told TheWrap.

“Candy, you can cut through the spin and talking points and translate political speak into real deal English like no one else in our business,” Bash said to Candy Crowley in a special montage that aired Sunday during Crowley’s final show. “You’re my mentor, my friend, and we are all going to miss you.”

Also Read: CNN’s Candy Crowley Gets Touching Sendoff From Top Competitors, »


- Jordan Chariton

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Us Ambassador to Un Calls North Korea ‘Living Nightmare’

3 hours ago

A United States diplomat called North Korea a “living nightmare” Monday, during a United Nations Security Council meeting on the country’s dismal human rights record.

The meeting examined testimony from North Korean exiles and included stories of prison guards routinely raping prisoners, and others who had to dig kernels of corn out of cow dung to eat.

“They [the reports] show North Korea for what it is: a living nightmare,” said Samantha Powers, U.S. Ambassador to the Un.

See photos: Sony Hack Attack Timeline: From First Cyberbreach and Leaks to ‘The Interview’ Dropped (Photos)

Powers and the 15-member Un Security »


- Linda Ge

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Joseph Sargent, Award-Winning Director, Dead at 89

3 hours ago

Joseph Sargent, the director of esteemed thriller, “The Taking of Pelham 123,” as well as more Emmy-winning motion pictures for television or mini-series than any other director, died on Monday as the result of complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at age 89.

In addition to his four Emmy awards wins directing film or mini-series projects and nine nominations in that category, Sargent earned four Directors Guild of America awards and nine nominations.

See photos: Hollywood’s Notable Deaths of 2014 (Photos)

Sargent died at his home in Malibu, California, with his wife of 44 years, Carolyn Nelson Sargent, by his side.

Directors Guild of America president, »


- Jeff Sneider

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Salman Rushdie, Neil Gaiman and Pen American Center Offer to Screen ‘The Interview’ in Open Letter to Sony

3 hours ago

Pen American Center and nearly 50 distinguished novelists, playwrights and authors are the latest group imploring Sony to release “The Interview,” in an open letter posted Monday.

“Pen is appalled at the intrusive, criminal and profoundly menacing reprisals and threats that Sony Pictures has endured as a result of producing and planning to distribute ‘The Interview,'” said the letter, which was signed by the likes of Salman Rushdie, Neil Gaiman, Jennifer Egan and Tony Kushner.

See photos: Sony Hack Attack Timeline: From First Cyberbreach and Leaks to ‘The Interview’ Dropped (Photos)

“Pen has long stood with writers and creators who »


- Linda Ge

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Brandon Stoddard, Former ABC Entertainment President, Dead at 77

3 hours ago

Brandon Stoddard, the former president of ABC Entertainment, who oversaw the groundbreaking mini-series “Roots,” died at his home in Bel-Air Monday following a long battle with cancer, a close friend of Stoddard’s told TheWrap. He was 77 years old.

Stoddard was inducted into the Television Academy’s Hall of Fame earlier this year.

Known as the “father of the miniseries,” Stoddard oversaw the production of “Roots,” “The Winds of War,” “The Thorn Birds,” “Rich Man, Poor Man,” “Masada,” “East of Eden” and “North and South.”

See photos: Hollywood’s Notable Deaths of 2014

In 1970, Stoddard joined ABC  as director of daytime programs. »


- Itay Hod

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The Jawdropping Year of Shonda Rhimes: Cell Phone Penis Pics, Bitch Babies, Ice Cream Orgasms (Video)

3 hours ago

ABC’s Thursday night lineup is on a winter break, and as much as it hurts to say goodbye to television this riveting, it’s not altogether a bad thing. The hiatus allows viewers of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder” a moment to catch their collective breaths.

But before you get too comfortable, TheWrap invites you to sit back and remember all those moments that left you clawing at the edges of your couch and gasping in disbelief each Thursday night in 2014 with a video compilation of all three shows’ producer Shonda Rhimes’ most outrageous moments. »


- Jason Hughes

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Alcon Hires Angela and Catherine Paura as Co-Presidents of Worldwide Marketing

4 hours ago

Angela and Catherine Paura have joined Alcon Entertainment as co-presidents of Worldwide Marketing, it was announced by Alcon co-founders and co-ceo’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson. The sisters will report directly to Kosove and Johnson.

The Pauras join Alcon from their partnership in Capstone Global Marketing & Research Group, Inc., a marketing research and consulting firm. Prior to Capstone, Catherine co-founded the National Research Group, Inc. (Nrg) with Joseph Farrell in 1978 and served as its Chief Executive Officer for fifteen years. During her time at Nrg, Catherine worked with every major studio on the design and strategy of their marketing campaigns. »


- Jeff Sneider

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Pee-Wee Herman Movie Produced by Judd Apatow Heading to Netflix (Exclusive)

5 hours ago

What should you get a Pee-Wee Herman fan for the holidays? How about a subscription to Netflix, which is nearing a deal to distribute the Pee-Wee Herman movie that Judd Apatow is producing, multiple individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.

While a Netflix spokesperson cautioned that there’s no deal in place yet, an individual close to the project told TheWrap “it moved to Netflix a gazillion months ago.”

The Pee Wee Herman movie had previously been set up at Universal, though a studio spokesperson told TheWrap the “Pee-Wee project is no longer with Universal.”

Also Read: ‘Dark »


- Jeff Sneider

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‘Star Trek 3′ Beams Up ‘Fast and Furious 6′ Director Justin Lin

5 hours ago

Justin Lin is set to direct “Star Trek 3″ for Paramount, Skydance Productions and Bad Robot, multiple individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.

Lin replaces Roberto Orci on the sci-fi sequel, which he’ll direct after wrapping the first two episodes of the second season of HBO’s “True Detective.”

Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana and Zachary Quinto are returning for “Star Trek 3″ along with Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin and John Cho.

Star Trek 3″ will be produced by Bad Robot’s J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk as well as Orci, while Skydance’s David Ellison »


- Jeff Sneider

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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings Takes $2 Million Pay Cut

5 hours ago

Netflix has slashed executive pay for CEO Reed Hastings and Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, though both have the opportunity to earn far more in total compensation through stock options.

Hastings’ salary will be cut from $3 million per year to $1 million. This comes just one year after the board upped Hastings’ salary by $1 million, according the company’s regulatory filing on Monday.

Also Read: Mike Colter Cast as Luke Cage for Netflix and Marvel’s ‘Jessica Jones,’ Eventual Spin-off

Sarandos also takes a $1.8 million dollar salary cut.

Hastings could see more compensation in the form of annual stock options totaling $13.7 million, »


- Itay Hod

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Dish to FCC: Comcast Deal Would Cause Competitors ‘Irreparable Harm’

6 hours ago

Dish Network is insisting on its opposition to Comcast’s deal to buy Time Warner Cable, telling the FCC the deal would cause “irreparable harm” to the entertainment industry and consumers while providing “no discernible benefits.”

“Everyone who likes to watch high-quality online video has particular reason to worry about the proposed merger,” Jeff Blum, Dish’s Svp and deputy general counsel, said in a statement on Monday. “More than 54 percent of the country’s high-speed broadband connections would be controlled by the combined company, and all online video distributors would be at the mercy of Comcast-twc.”

See photos: The »


- Ira Teinowitz

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CNN Fires Back at Bill Cosby’s Attorney for Remarkable ‘Dishonesty’

7 hours ago

CNN fires back at Bill Cosby‘s attorney’s claims that the news network isn’t conducting a fair investigation of the claims against the comedian.

“Your letter is remarkable for its dishonesty,” CNN Worldwide’s senior vice president of legal, David Vigilante, write in a letter obtained by TheWrap.

In the letter to CNN president Jeffrey Zucker, Martin Singer said that CNN decided not to use an interview with Beverly Johnson’s live-in boyfriend from 2006-2009, Mark Burk, because he didn’t corroborate her story of being drugged by the “Cosby Show” star for an upcoming special planned by the cable news network. »


- Jethro Nededog

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Disney, Cable Companies Strike Retrans Deal for ABC-Owned Stations

7 hours ago

The National Cable Television Cooperative and The Walt Disney Company have entered their first longterm retransmission consent agreement for the latter’s eight local ABC stations — and everyone is “pleased.”

Also Read: ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 35 Eye-Popping Stills From ABC’s Superhero Drama (Photos)

Judy Meyka, Nctc executive vice president of Programming, said, “We are pleased to have reached, for the first time, a retransmission consent agreement with the Walt Disney Company that supports our Members’ efforts to competitively offer their customers the ABC-owned broadcast station programming in these critical television markets.”

“We are pleased for the first time »


- Tony Maglio

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Sony Hack Attack: Playing Possum is Pathetic (Guest Blog)

7 hours ago

Sony’s decision to terminate its plans to release “The Interview” is many things. Short-sighted. Cowardly. Illogical. Self-defeating. Above all, it’s a credibility killer for both Sony and Amy Pascal. The decision to capitulate — not the initial attack — will be a turning point that will define both for years to come.

It’s easy for Sony to shift the cancellation’s focus to the exhibitors, to claim that its hand was forced. The theater owners are understandably disturbed by the potential for violence in their establishments. The legal teams at AMC, Carmike, Cinemark and Regal didn’t have to »


- Brad Chase

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‘Unbroken’ Star Jack O’Connell Says His Raging Days Are Fading (Photo)

7 hours ago

Jack O’Connell displays remarkable stamina as star of Angelina Jolie‘s “Unbroken,” but one thing he can’t seem to commit to these days? Partying.

Modeling slick suits in the January issue of GQ, O’Connell reveals his childhood nickname was “Jack the lad,” with an impish reputation to match.

But now, with his full slate of films and award-season campaigning, he’s more content in his garden.

“I’m not trying to have the most fun I’ve ever had ever, anymore, you know? That used to be the mentality every time I left the house,” he said. »


- Matt Donnelly

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Sony’s Plan to Release ‘The Interview’ On Dish Network Falls Apart

8 hours ago

A plan to distribute “The Interview” over Dish Network fell apart after talks between Sony and the satellite TV provider broke down over the weekend.

According to Fox Business Network, the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy at the center of the Sony hacking could have been streamed into living rooms as early as Christmas Day.

However, Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen declined the deal for unspecified reasons.

Sony declined to TheWrap‘s request for comment.

Also Read: Sony Hack Attack Timeline: From First Cyberbreach and Leaks to ‘The Interview’ Dropped (Photos)

Dish emerged as a possible distribution partner after »


- Linda Ge

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New York Times Calls for Dick Cheney’s Criminal Prosecution Over Torture Report

8 hours ago

In an editorial board piece published Sunday, The New York Times called for criminal prosecution of former Vice President Dick Cheney and others featured in the recently released Senate Intelligence Committee’s report that details the post-9/11 torture program that went on during the Bush administration.

In a piece titled, “Prosecute Torturers and Their Bosses,” the Times implores President Obama to prosecute:

But any credible investigation should include former Vice President Dick Cheney; Mr. Cheney’s chief of staff, David Addington; the former C.I.A. director George Tenet; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, the Office of Legal Counsel »


- Jordan Chariton

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‘What’s the Deal?’ With Jeff Sneider’s Best and Worst Movies of 2014 (Video)

8 hours ago

What’s the Deal with Jeff Sneider’s Best & Worst Movies of 2014? Well, you’ll have to watch both videos to find out, but here are some hints.

Sneider’s Top 10 video above features a documentary, a made-for-tv movie, an Indonesian martial arts sequel, two future midnight movie classics, a handful of acclaimed indie films and a good old-fashioned studio picture based on a bestseller. These films feature a range of fascinating characters including a pair of very different journalists, a civil rights leader, a Golden Eagle, the next Buddy Rich, a military veteran, a Hammer Girl and a woman scorned. »


- Jeff Sneider

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