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USA, Syfy Lay Off Employees in Reorganization

NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s Entertainment Networks group has laid off 25 employees, part of the reorganization that was initiated in February and saw USA and Syfy align operations under executive Chris McCumber.

The layoff affects fewer than 10% of employees at USA and Syfy.

As part of the continued restructuring, McCumber announced Wednesday in a memo to staff that the division’s programming, scheduling and acquisitions departments would be combined, with a co-productions group spinning off from that newly formed department.

McCumber, formerly USA president, gained oversight of Syfy as part of a shift that saw Syfy content chief Bill McGoldrick move to a content-focused position spanning all 10 of NBCUniversal’s cable entertainment channels and president Dave Howe transition to a strategy position.

Speaking to Variety in February, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment chair Bonnie Hammer said of the new structure, “This is not something where I woke up two weeks ago and said,
See full article at Variety - TV News »

London Stage Star and Olivier Henry V Leading Lady Asherson Dead at Age 99

'Henry V' Movie Actress Renée Asherson dead at 99: Laurence Olivier leading lady in acclaimed 1944 film (image: Renée Asherson and Laurence Olivier in 'Henry V') Renée Asherson, a British stage actress featured in London productions of A Streetcar Named Desire and Three Sisters, but best known internationally as Laurence Olivier's leading lady in the 1944 film version of Henry V, died on October 30, 2014. Asherson was 99 years old. The exact cause of death hasn't been specified. She was born Dorothy Renée Ascherson (she would drop the "c" some time after becoming an actress) on May 19, 1915, in Kensington, London, to Jewish parents: businessman Charles Ascherson and his second wife, Dorothy Wiseman -- both of whom narrowly escaped spending their honeymoon aboard the Titanic. (Ascherson cancelled the voyage after suffering an attack of appendicitis.) According to Michael Coveney's The Guardian obit for the actress, Renée Asherson was "scantly
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

David Giles obituary

TV director whose work ranged from Shakespeare to soap opera

David Giles might be termed a journey- man director of tele- vision drama. He never sought to be the architect of great TV projects such as the BBC's The Forsyte Saga in 1967 or the 13-part The First Churchills two years later, in each case written and masterminded by Donald Wilson, but he saw at least two-thirds of their individual instalments on to the screen. Nor was he associated with one particular author, as the producer Kenith Trodd, for example, was with Dennis Potter, though Giles, who has died aged 83, directed all seven episodes of The Mayor of Casterbridge as dramatised by Potter for the BBC in 1978.

Giles's gift was to make the final outcome of everyone's work – the pictures, the action, the words – all that they had hoped for, whether it was soap opera or Shakespeare. He had spells on two soaps,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

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