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What Is Winning an Emmy Worth?

26 minutes ago

The rough cost of a top-tier Emmy campaign — the kind mounted this year for Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” NBC’s “This Is Us,” and HBO’s “Big Little Lies” — is $1 million. But the value of winning an Emmy is harder to quantify. The payoff comes via intangibles, such as seeing one’s brand burnished on an industry-wide stage. But some see little value in the awards besides ego boost.

Speaking at Variety‘s Entertainment and Technology Summit this month, TNT and TBS president Kevin Reilly asserted that while “it’s been long held that really in terms of perception,” an Emmy win is a positive, “from a bottom-line business point of view, no,” it has no value.

But in the Peak TV era, it can’t hurt. With more than 500 scripted shows projected across broadcast, cable, and streaming this year, according to FX Networks research, programmers on every platform struggle to market successfully.

“Winning »


- Daniel Holloway

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Fox’s ‘Ghosted’ Will Premiere on Twitter Ahead of Broadcast Debut

50 minutes ago

Fox’s new comedy series “Ghosted” will debut on Twitter days before its scheduled linear premiere — part of a new partnership between the broadcaster and the social-media company announced Tuesday.

The premiere episode of “Ghosted,” a half-hour comedy starring Adam Scott and Craig Robinson as paranormal investigators, will stream nightly on Twitter at 9 p.m. Et Sept. 21-24, then make its scheduled broadcast debut Oct. 1. Twitter will also be home to a new nightly pre-show for Fox drama “Empire” set to stream Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. ahead of episodes of the broadcast series at its new 8 p.m. time period. Beginning at 11 p.m. tonight, Twitter will also host a marathon of returning Fox comedy “The Mick.”

“With so much competition out there, it’s more important than ever to create innovative ways to promote our shows and connect directly to our viewers,” said Shannon Ryan, chief marketing officer of Fox Television Group. “From »


- Daniel Holloway

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Jamie Lee Curtis to Star in, Produce Funeral Home Comedy in Development at CBS (Exclusive)

1 hour ago

Jamie Lee Curtis will star in and executive produce a new multi-cam comedy in development at CBS, Variety has learned exclusively.

The project, titled “Quality of Life” is described as a multi-generational sitcom set at a family-run funeral home, tackling life through the unique perspective that growing up in a funeral home gives you. Curtis will play the family matriarch. She and Janis Hirsch came up with the story for the project, with Hirsch writing the script. Both Curtis and Hirsch will also executive produce, along with Eric and Kim Tannenbaum. CBS Television Studios will produce.

The news comes on the heels of the announcement that Curtis will reprise her iconic role as Laurie Strode in the upcoming “Halloween” film. Curtis’ character will have a final confrontation with Michael Myers, the ghoulish masked figure who has plagued her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago. Franchise »


- Joe Otterson

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TV News Roundup: ‘Hollywood Darlings’ Renewed for Season 2

1 hour ago

In today’s roundup, “Hollywood Darlings” has been renewed, and “Tremors” casts its pilot.

Renewals

Pop’s “Hollywood Darlings” has been renewed for a second season. The comedy starring Jodie Sweetin (“Full House,” “Fuller House”), Christine Lakin (“Step by Step”), and Beverly Mitchell (“7th Heaven”) will begin production this fall. “Hollywood Darlings” follows the real life friendship of the former child stars. The trio plays exaggerated versions of themselves as they riff off their current Hollywood lives.

Casting

Emily Tremaine, Megan Ketch, and Shiloh Fernandez will star in Syfy “Tremors” pilot alongside Kevin Bacon. Fernandez is set for the role of Nico Garza, who has been killing time in Perfection, working in Earl’s Graboid Waste Gobbling company, waiting for the right moment to split. The last thing he wants is to turn out like Val (Bacon), who’s stayed stuck in nowheresville all these years. Ketch will play Mindy Sterngood, a »


- Rebecca Rubin

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‘Page Six TV’ Premiere Scores Highest-Rated Launch Since ‘TMZ’

4 hours ago

The syndicated pop culture news show “Page Six TV” enjoyed a strong debut in the overnight ratings on Monday.

According to Nielsen data, the show’s premiere on Monday earned a 0.8 primary run average, with 48 markets reporting. That makes it the highest overnight ratings for any access magazine launch since “TMZ” first premiered in 2007. “Page Six TV’s” strongest day-one performance among the major markets was in Baltimore, where it scored a 3.5 and took its 12:30 p.m. time period up 59% from last year on Wbal. TMZ premiered on Sept. 10, 2007 with a 1.7 metered market average, though at the time multi-platform viewing was nowhere near as big as it is today. Also, with the recent hurricane in Florida, there were six Florida markets not reporting on Monday.

Fox Television Stations are the anchor group for the show, which is a cross-Murdoch empire effort involving the resources and buzzy brand name of the New York Post’s iconic gossip »


- Joe Otterson

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Lee Daniels Developing Pair of Drama Projects at Fox with Julian Breece, Peter Mattei

4 hours ago

Lee Daniels will executive produce two drama projects currently in development at Fox, Variety has learned.

The first project, titled “Victory,” is a one-hour drama set in the world of competitive gospel choirs. It tells the story of a prodigal son and a group of forgotten young people who must rise above their personal hardships to save a church and heal a broken community through the power of song. The project has received a put pilot commitment at the network. Julian Breece will write and executive produce, with Daniels also executive producing along with Pam Williams and Kevin Donahue. This marks Breece’s second collaboration with Daniels and Fox, having recently sold the drama project “Mason Dixon.” Breece most recently served as a co-producer on Beau Willimon’s new Hulu series “The First.”

Fox has ordered a script with a penalty attached for the the second project, “East of Hope.” The »


- Joe Otterson

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Fox Developing British Gangster Drama With Jim Piddock, Mark Gordon (Exclusive)

4 hours ago

Fox is developing a new drama series called “Faces” with Jim Piddock and Mark Gordon executive producing, Variety has learned exclusively.

The potential one-hour drama would follow a British gangster who comes to Los Angeles with his family for the funeral of his eldest son. But, when he learns his son didn’t die in an accident–but was in fact murdered–his stay in America becomes indefinitely extended, as he looks to discover who killed him, exact his revenge, and see if he can legitimize his crime family.

Piddock will also write in addition to executive producing. The Mark Gordon Company will produce in association with 20th Century Fox Television. Entertainment One is handling international rights.

This season, The Mark Gordon Company is also developing a comedy series at ABC that boasts Priyanka Chopra among its executive producers. The series is based on the real life of Bollywood star Madhuri Dixit, who »


- Joe Otterson

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International Newswire: San Sebastian Bids to Become Sales Mecca

5 hours ago

In today’s International Newswire, fall festivals like San Sebastian bid to become movie rights biz bazaars; Disney’s Patagonik and Adrián Suar score another box-office victory in Argentina with soccer comedy ‘My Love or My Passion’; and Modern Times Group conspires with Pinewood TV and Eccho Rights on global arms trade thriller ‘Conspiracy of Silence.’

Adding a frisson for copy editors, reputed Spanish screenwriter Jorge Guerricaechevarría and Brazilian cinematographer André Szankowski have joined the main competition jury of Spain’s San Sebastián Film Festival, headed by John Malkovich. The festival kicks off on Friday with Wim Wenders’ “Submergence,” starring James McAvoy and Alicia Vikander.

The highest-profile movie event in the Spanish-speaking world has already 1,611 industry participants, up 3% on 2016’s final figure and 64% on 2010.

Trading at Toronto looked slow on not only the U.S. domestic market but also on all but the biggest international titles with many sales agents leaving the Canadian festival still in desperate »


- John Hopewell and Leo Barraclough

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‘Saturday Night Live’ to Continue Airing Live Coast-to-Coast

5 hours ago

Saturday Night Live” will continue its live simultaneous airings in all time zones as it enters Season 43, NBC announced Tuesday.

Each episode will air live at: 11:30 p.m. Eastern, 10:30 p.m. Central, 9:30 p.m. Mountain, and 8:30 p.m. Pacific. For the Mountain and Pacific time zones, “SNL” will be repeated at 11:30 p.m. “SNL” experimented with simultaneous airings last season, when the final four episodes were broadcast in the same fashion. The move came as the show was experiencing a major ratings renaissance thanks to regular appearances by Alec Baldwin as President Donald Trump and Melissa McCarthy as now ex-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

The long-running sketch comedy series picked up nine Emmys this year out of their 22 nominations, including wins for Baldwin, McCarthy, cast member Kate McKinnon, and Dave Chappelle, who hosted the post-election episode in November. The series also picked up the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series and »


- Joe Otterson

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‘The Deuce’ Renewed by HBO for Season 2

6 hours ago

HBO has renewed drama series “The Deuce” for a second season.

Created by David Simon and George Pelacanos, “The Deuce” premiered Sept. 10 on the premium service. Starring James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal, the series tells the story of the rise of the porn industry in New York in the 1970s.

“We are thrilled to continue our creative collaboration with master storytellers David Simon and George Pelecanos,” said HBO programming president Casey Bloys. “Their unique gift for immersing the audience in their dark and edgy worlds brings a brilliant verisimilitude unlike any other. With the remarkably talented Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Franco leading an exceptional cast, we look forward to delving deeper as this captivating story evolves.”

Executive producers for “The Deuce” are Pelecanos, David Simon, Nina Kostroff Noble, James Franco. Richard Price is co-executive producer; Marc Henry Johnson and Gyllenhaal serve as producers.

“Everyone involved with this project is genuinely grateful to HBO for the chance to »


- Daniel Holloway

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Electus Promotes John Pollak to President of Worldwide Television, International (Exclusive)

7 hours ago

Electus has promoted veteran executive John Pollak to the role of president of world television and international.

Pollak, who has served as president of Electus International since 2012, will now oversee the global rollout of Electus’ scripted and unscripted content, including development, production and current programming, as well as international co-productions and deficit-financing of scripted projects. He also will continue to lead Electus International, the company’s distribution business that includes more than 4,000 hours of content sold to over 220 countries around the world. He will report to Electus CEO Chris Grant.

Before joining Electus in 2012, Pollak was executive vice president and head of worldwide sales at Shine International, managing global sales and distribution of programming from across the Shine Group companies, and driving sales for formats like “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?,” “The Biggest Loser,” “American Gladiators,” “The Moment of Truth,” and “MasterChef.” Pollak and Grant, then the head of Shine International, were »


- Joe Otterson

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James Corden Regrets Kissing Sean Spicer at Emmys: ‘I’m Disappointed’

7 hours ago

To say that some viewers were not pleased with former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s cameo on the Emmys Sunday evening would be an understatement. To make matters worse, a photo posted to Variety‘s Instagram account caught late night host James Corden on camera giving Spicer a peck on the cheek at the awards show, which elicited further blowback.

Corden, however, addressed the incident in his opening monologue on “The Late Late Show” Monday night, stating that he was “disappointed” in himself.

After cracking a few Donald Trump jokes, Corden went on to lambast himself. “According to some reports at the after-party, Spicer was the most popular guy in the room,” he began. “And I just wanna say, I think people are forgetting this man lied to the American people and should not be embraced. These Hollywood phonies kissing up to Spicer are disgusting, I mean, who did this, who »


- Erin Nyren

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‘Stranger Things’ Producer Justin Doble Inks Overall Deal at Amazon

8 hours ago

Stranger Things” writer and producer Justin Doble has signed an overall deal with Amazon Studios, Variety has learned.

Doble will develop genre television projects exclusively for Prime Video. In addition to his writing on both seasons of the “Stranger Things,” Doble has also written for Jason Katims’s “The Path,” and Millar and Gough’s “Into the Badlands.” He began his career as a writer on “Fringe” after taking part in the Warner Bros. Television Writer’s Program. He is a recipient of two WGA nominations for his work on “Stranger Things.”

Doble is repped by UTA and the Shuman Company.

“We have long admired Justin’s ability to create stories and characters that stoke fans’ passion,” said Sharon Tal Yguado, head of event series for Amazon Studios. “He has contributed to some of the best genre out there, and we are excited to collaborate with him as we build a slate of high-profile shows.”

Doble »


- Joe Otterson

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TV Ratings: ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Returns Down, Still Tops Monday

8 hours ago

Dancing with the Stars” opened its 25th season on Monday down in both key ratings measures from last fall’s premiere, but the ABC competition series still topped the night.

According to Nielsen data, the two-hour premiere averaged a 1.7 rating in adults 18-49 and 10.8 million viewers. Compared to the Season 23 premiere (2.1, 12.2 million), that is a drop of approximately 19% in the key demo and 11% in total viewers.

Later on ABC, “To Tell the Truth” (0.9, 5.2 million) saw a significant increase in both measures airing behind the “Dancing with the Stars” premiere.

On NBC, “American Ninja Warrior” (1.5, 5.9 million) was even, while “Midnight Texas” (0.8, 2.8 million) was up in both measures.

For Fox, back-to-back episodes of “So You Think You Can Dance” at 8 p.m. (0.6, 2.3 million) and 9 p.m. (0.6, 2.1 million) were both even.

CBS and The CW aired only repeats.

ABC won the night with a 1.4 and 9 million total viewers. NBC was second with a 1.3 and 4.9 million. CBS »


- Joe Otterson

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Bill O’Reilly Says His Firing From Fox News Was ‘Political and Financial Hit Job’

8 hours ago

In his first TV interview since being fired from Fox News in April, a defiant Bill O’Reilly called his dismissal “a political and financial hit job” and asserted that accusations of sexual harassment leveled against him were unfounded.

O’Reilly broke his silence in a lengthy interview with NBC NewsMatt Lauer that aired Tuesday on “Today.” He insisted that there was no “smoking gun” to prove the allegations of inappropriate behavior, despite the more than $13 million settlements paid to multiple women since 2006.

“In 42 years, I’ve been in this business. I’ve worked for 12 companies,” O’Reilly told Lauer. “Not any time have I had any interaction with Hr, any complaints filed against me. Nobody is a perfect person but I can go to sleep at night very well knowing that I’ve never mistreated anyone on my watch in 42 years.”

Since he was fired from Fox News, O »


- Variety Staff

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Snapchat Execs to Deliver Keynote at Mipcom; Tencent, Wme Among New Participants

9 hours ago

Snapchat is set to have a large presence at next month’s Mipcom, the international TV showcase, as the social-media network increasingly steps into scripted entertainment.

Two top content executives from Snap Inc. – Nick Bell, the VP of content, and Sean Mills, senior director of content programming – will deliver a keynote speech on how the company is diving into content creation for mobile. The pair will discuss collaborations Snap has started with TV networks, film studios and indie producers to produce scripted shows including horror, documentary and animated series. A popular app for millennials, Snapchat currently boasts more than 173 million daily active users.

Mipcom will also turn the spotlight on Facebook, another social-media leader venturing into scripted content. Ricky Van Veen, the head of global creative strategy and Daniel Danker, video product director, will give a joint keynote.

Mipcom, whose conference theme will be “The Global Race for Creative Connections,” will »


- Elsa Keslassy

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Scripps Networks Launches ‘Genius Kitchen’ Online Food Network, Folding Food.com Recipes Into the Mix

11 hours ago

Scripps Networks Interactive, owner of Food Network and Cooking Channel, needed a new way to reach hungry millennials — many of whom have tuned out cable TV.

So the company built Genius Kitchen: a multiplatform digital-media brand aimed at young adults (ages 21-35) who are passionate about food, cooking and culture. Genius Kitchen will comprise original short-form programming, plus licensed food shows and content repurposed from Food Network and Cooking Channel.

In addition, Genius Kitchen’s videos will be integrated with a database of more than 500,000 recipes culled from Food.com, which Scripps Networks plans to phase out. When you’re watching a Genius Kitchen show and there’s a relevant recipe being featured, you can have it delivered directly to your smartphone.

“It’s a desire to create content for younger audiences, who are consuming it in different ways,” said Rich Lacy, senior VP of digital brand creative at Scripps Network Interactive.

Scripps Networks »


- Todd Spangler

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Fox News Seeks to Dismiss Controversial Rod Wheeler Suit

13 hours ago

Fox News on Tuesday moved to dismiss a controversial lawsuit levying the wild allegation that employees of the 21st Century Fox-owned cable-news network fabricated quotes in a now-retracted article about a murdered Democratic National Committee operative and helped spark a furious round of speculation about Fox News’ role in potentially spreading false information.

In filings made in United States District Court in the Southern District of New York, Fox News and  Ed Butowsky and Malia Zimmerman, who were involved in the matter, claim the allegations are “overloaded with sensationalistic allegations,” and suggest “his case is one in search of a viable legal theory.” Fox News also sought to move the matter to arbitration, claiming its agreement with Wheeler required disputes to be handled by mediation.

The filings are the latest twist in a case filled with outlandish charges and counterclaims.

In August, private detective Rod Wheeler filed suit alleging Fox News was working with the Trump administration »


- Brian Steinberg

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Paramount Channel Latin America Snags Exclusive Latinamerican Rights to Multi-Emmy Winner ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ (Exclusive)

13 hours ago

Eight Primetime Emmy Award-winner “The Handmaid’s Tale” will soon be available in Latin America, thanks to Paramount Channel Latin America, which grabbed the exclusive Pay TV and VOD rights for the show in the region.

Set to bow in early 2018 across Latin America, the 10-part series is based on Margaret Atwood’s eponymous novel, a bestseller in Argentina and Brazil in particular, which takes place in the dystopian nation of Gilead where a totalitarian and fundamentalist regime has seized control. Faced with a near zero birth rate, the authorities have subjected the country’s fertile women to sexual servitude in a last twisted attempt to repopulate the world.

“We’re thrilled to be adding the massive success that is ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ to our programming roster, reinforcing our commitment to bringing the best, high-quality entertainment to our audiences throughout the region,” said Tiago Worcman, senior vice president, Music and Paramount Brand Head, Vimn »


- Anna Marie de la Fuente

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HBO Nordic Moves Into Originals With Comedy Drama ‘Gosta’

14 hours ago

HBO Europe is moving into originals in the Nordics with “Gosta,” a comedy drama about a child psychologist who moves from the city to small-town rural Sweden. He sets out to be the kindest person in the world, with both good and bad consequences.

“I want ‘Gosta’ to be a mix of comedy and Dostoevsky: as funny as possible and as serious as possible,” said Lukas Moodysson, the Swedish filmmaker behind the series. It is his first effort in TV, and he has written all eight episodes and will direct. Memfis Film will produce the series, and Lars Jönsson, Moodysson’s long-term collaborator at Memfis, will produce.

The series shoots in Sweden next year, before a 2019 release on HBO Europe’s channels and digital services. TrustNordisk will distribute “Gosta” outside HBO Europe’s footprint.

The project is a landmark for HBO as its first commissioned drama series out of Scandinavia. It »


- Stewart Clarke

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