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Oct 13, 2013

Force of ‘Gravity’ foils pirates at North American box office

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, Oct 13 (Reuters) – The 3D outer space
thriller “Gravity” kept a tight grip on U.S. and Canadian box
offices over the weekend, eclipsing the debut of Somali pirate
drama “Captain Phillips” in a battle between two Oscar hopefuls.

“Gravity,” starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as
astronauts stranded in space, held the top spot on movie charts
for a second weekend, grabbing $44.3 million in domestic ticket
sales from Friday through Sunday.

Oct 11, 2013

‘Glee’ says goodbye to Finn in tribute to late actor Monteith

LOS ANGELES, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Television musical comedy
series “Glee” bid farewell on Thursday to Finn Hudson, the
hunky, kind-hearted jock played by the late Cory Monteith,
offering up songs, remembrances and plenty of tears while
sidestepping the question of how his character died.

Fans had waited to see how the Fox television show would
address the loss of one of its founding cast members following
Monteith’s death in July from an accidental overdose of heroin
and alcohol at age 31.

Oct 4, 2013

U.S. TV networks tout video on-demand for catch-up viewing

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The morning after a new episode of the drama “Sleepy Hollow” airs on the Fox broadcast network, a message on the show’s Facebook page encourages viewers to catch up with the show by clicking on their cable operator’s video on demand service.

Fox and other networks are firing up marketing efforts to steer audiences who miss live episodes to free on-demand viewing. As the new television season gets underway, they are putting promotional spots for video on demand, or VOD, in prime time, on their web pages, and on social media.

Oct 1, 2013

‘Mad Men’ star Hamm ditches suave for macabre in ‘Young Doctor’

LOS ANGELES, Oct 1 (Reuters) – Jon Hamm’s new TV role takes
him far from the stylish 1960s Madison Avenue setting of “Mad
Men” to a dreary, isolated and bloody hospital in a small
Russian village during the 1917 revolution.

The backdrop for “A Young Doctor’s Notebook,” a four-episode
series that makes its U.S. debut on Wednesday on the Ovation
cable network, is not a typical one for television, and the show
does not fit neatly into a particular genre. Hamm said he liked
the project for both of those reasons.

Sep 29, 2013

‘Meatballs’ sequel swallows up U.S., Canadian box office

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, Sept 29 (Reuters) – The sequel to
“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” devoured the weekend box
office competition.

The animated 3D “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2,” which
tells the story of monster-sized fruits, vegetables and
cheeseburgers that come to life as “foodimals,” earned $35
million at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to studio
estimates on Sunday, easily beating all competitors.

Sep 23, 2013

HBO, AMC take top Emmy awards, holding off Netflix

LOS ANGELES, Sept 22 (Reuters) – While upstart streaming
service Netflix Inc burst into the Emmy party this
year, it was cable networks with the most to celebrate on Sunday
night as HBO dominated and AMC grabbed the prestigious best
drama prize for “Breaking Bad.”

Premium cable channel HBO, owned by Time Warner Inc,
took home the most primetime Emmy trophies, 27 in total, for
series including “Veep,” “The Newsroom,” and “Boardwalk Empire,”
plus Liberace movie “Behind the Candelabra.” Broadcast network
ABC’s “Modern Family” won best comedy.

Sep 22, 2013

‘Prisoners’ snatches weekly U.S., Canada box office title

LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, Sept 22 (Reuters) – “Prisoners,” a
dark thriller starring Hugh Jackman as a father on a desperate
search for his missing daughter, locked up the weekend box
office title in the United States and Canada, grabbing $21.4
million in ticket sales during its first three days in theaters.

Last weekend’s leader, the low-budget horror flick
“Insidious: Chapter 2,” dropped to second place with $14.5
million, according to studio estimates on Sunday.

Sep 20, 2013

With swords and suds, ‘Game of Thrones’ spurs sales for HBO

LOS ANGELES, Sept 20 (Reuters) – “Game of Thrones,” HBO’s
blood-splattered fantasy series featuring dragons, castles and
warring families, is turning into a franchise for the premium
cable channel that may rival its biggest hit, the mobster drama
“The Sopranos.”

Like “The Sopranos,” “Game of Thrones” has become a revenue
magnet for the Time Warner-owned cable channel,
attracting licenses for T-shirts, games, even its own line of

Sep 20, 2013

Disney and ‘Pirates’ producer Bruckheimer to end film deal

LOS ANGELES, Sept 19 (Reuters) – The Walt Disney Co
and Jerry Bruckheimer, the producer behind the blockbuster
“Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise and the summer flop “The
Lone Ranger,” will end their long-running film deal next year,
the media company announced on Thursday.

The company and Bruckheimer decided not to renew their
current deal which gives Disney first-look rights to the
producer’s films, according to a statement from Disney. They
will continue working together on various projects, including a
fifth installment in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise.

Sep 18, 2013

As TV world shifts, HBO retains its Emmy swagger

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – When fictional columnist Carrie Bradshaw helped HBO grab its first series Emmy award in 2001 for comedy “Sex and the City,” the premium cable network’s main competition came from broadcast networks CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox.

Today, the field fighting for Emmy glory includes contenders from the past few years like basic cable channels AMC and FX, but also the much talked-about rookie, the video streaming service Netflix. And then there’s a resurgent PBS, the U.S. public television channel.