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Jan 9, 2013

Eager to build buzz, online sites hope to impress TV critics

LOS ANGELES, Jan 9 (Reuters) – The Web comedy series “Old
Jews Telling Jokes” has been viewed more than 18 million times
since its 2009 launch on online video network Blip, but the show
hasn’t generated the level of media attention bestowed on big
broadcast or cable TV programs.

This week, Blip’s CEO and three producers will descend on
Pasadena, Calif., where reporters and critics will gather for
the Television Critics Association Press Tour, a must-stop for
any show to get the kind of publicity that helps grab eyeballs
among the growing array of TV and digital content.

Jan 8, 2013

With Kimmel move, ABC aims to copy morning success late at night

Jan 7 (Reuters) – After toppling NBC’s “Today” show in the
morning show ratings for overall viewers for the first time in
16 years, ABC is now taking aim at NBC’s iconic “Tonight Show”
franchise.

The network, owned by the Walt Disney Co, launches
on Tuesday evening its most ambitious – and riskiest – effort to
grab a slice of television’s late-night audience, moving “Jimmy
Kimmel Live” to the 11:35 p.m. time slot and displacing the
hour’s top-rated show, news program “Nightline.”

Jan 6, 2013

NBC chief braces for ratings drop after strong fall season

, Jan 6 (Reuters) – NBC Entertainment
Chairman Robert Greenblatt said he expects the network’s ratings
to slip in the coming months after an unexpectedly strong fall
season, though he hopes some coming new shows will break out to
help stem the decline.

The Comcast-owned network made a surprise comeback
in the final months of 2012 after years in the ratings basement.
The network’s viewership jumped 24 percent among the 18- to
49-year-old age group that advertisers crave, the only increase
among the four major TV broadcast networks.

Jan 6, 2013

HBO extends Universal deal, keeping films from Netflix

LOS ANGELES, Jan 6 (Reuters) – Home Box Office said Sunday
it extended its deal with Universal Pictures for the rights to
the studio’s movies through 2022, allowing HBO to keep them away
from video-streaming rival Netflix, which is aiming to compete
with HBO, Showtime and TV outlets.

Further details of the agreement were not provided by HBO, a
unit of Time Warner, or by Comcast’s Universal
studio.

Jan 6, 2013

HBO extends Universal studio deal, keeping films from Netflix

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Home Box Office said Sunday it extended its deal with Universal Pictures for the rights to the studio’s movies through 2022, allowing HBO to keep them away from video-streaming rival Netflix, which is aiming to compete with HBO, Showtime and TV outlets.

Further details of the agreement were not provided by HBO, a unit of Time Warner, or by Comcast’s Universal studio.

Jan 6, 2013

‘Texas Chainsaw’ movie kills rivals at North America box office

Jan 6 (Reuters) – The return of the bloody “Texas Chainsaw”
franchise sliced up movie box office rivals with a surprise win
over the weekend, grabbing an estimated $23 million in U.S. and
Canadian ticket sales.

The new “Texas Chainsaw 3D” pulled past Quentin Tarantino
Western “Django Unchained,” the second place film from Friday
through Sunday with $20 million. No. 3 movie “The Hobbit: An
Unexpected Journey” grabbed $17.5 million.

Jan 5, 2013

HBO’s Liberace film aims to humanize through love story

PASADENA, California (Reuters) – Michael Douglas takes on larger-than-life entertainer Liberace as he plays the singer in an HBO film about a secret love affair in the 1970s that Douglas on Friday called “a great love story.”

Director Steven Soderbergh said he chose to tell Liberace’s story through the lens of his romance with Scott Thorson – a young man who walked into the singer’s Las Vegas dressing room in the summer of 1977 – in part to expand public perception beyond his outsized personality and lavish lifestyle.

Jan 5, 2013

Al Pacino inhabits Phil Spector in Mamet’s HBO film

PASADENA, California (Reuters) – Playwright David Mamet had little interest in legendary music producer and convicted murderer Phil Spector, dismissing him as a “freak” – until he watched a documentary that shed light on a complicated personality.

Now, the “Glengarry Glen Ross” writer is bringing to HBO a movie inspired by Spector’s life that imagines his relationship with the attorney who defended him against charges of killing actress Lana Clarkson in Los Angeles in 2003.

Dec 18, 2012

Participant Media plans cable TV network targeting millenials

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Entertainment company Participant Media, one of the backers of the hit historical drama “Lincoln”, will launch a cable TV network next summer with programming that focuses on social issues of interest to the millenials generation of teens and young adults.

The channel’s original programming, films and documentaries will be aimed at viewers age 18 to 34 in the large demographic group known as millenials, Participant Media CEO Jim Berk said in an interview on Monday.

Dec 16, 2012

‘Hobbit’ film sets December record in US, Canada debut

Dec 16 (Reuters) – “The Hobbit” brought home a big box
office treasure over the weekend, setting a December movie
record with $84.77 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales as
legions of fans turned out for the long-awaited big-screen
return to Middle Earth.

The 3D movie directed by Oscar-winning “Rings” filmmaker
Peter Jackson is the first of three films based on a 1937
classic novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. Warner Bros. is aiming to build
on the success of the “Rings” series, one of Hollywood’s biggest
franchises with $2.9 billion in global ticket sales.