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Trump Hints He Will Pardon Controversial Sheriff, Bashes Media at Arizona Rally

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/23/2017 - 04:05
President Donald Trump hinted strongly Tuesday night that he would grant a presidential pardon to recently convicted former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio during a Phoenix campaign rally. “I’ll make a prediction,” Trump after invoking Arpaio’s name to thunderous applause. “I think he’s going to be just fine. I won’t do it tonight because I... Read more »

5 Joker Stories to Tell Instead of an Origin Film

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/23/2017 - 01:42
As one of the most infamous names in all of comic book history, the Joker has bedeviled Batman across platforms including movies, video games, and television — so it’s only natural that he might get his own movie. News broke on Tuesday that a Joker origin film is in the works with “The Hangover” filmmaker Todd... Read more »

Robert De Niro’s Comedy ‘War With Grandpa’ Gets February Release

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/23/2017 - 01:24
TWC-Dimension Films has set a Feb. 23 release date for its family comedy “The War with Grandpa,” starring Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken. Tim Hill directed the movie, which also stars Uma Thurman, Rob Riggle, Cheech Marin, Oakes Fegley, Jane Seymour, and Faizon Love. The film was written by Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember,... Read more »

SAG-AFTRA Election Ending Bitterly With 2000 Strike Still in Dispute

Variety - Front Page - Wed, 08/23/2017 - 00:35
Voting is ending for a particularly acrimonious SAG-AFTRA presidential election with results due to be announced as early as Thursday afternoon. The counting of the ballots, with about a quarter of the 144,000 dues-current members expected to vote, will begin at 6:30 a.m. on Thursday. The contest has featured accusations of election fraud and bungling... Read more »

TV News Roundup: Jerry Seinfeld’s Netflix Stand-Up Special Sets Premiere Date

Variety - Front Page - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 23:22
In today’s roundup, Jerry Seinfeld announces his Netflix debut stand-up special, and “Real Housewives of New Jersey” lands a premiere date. DATES Jerry Seinfeld is making his Netflix debut on Sept. 19 with the original stand-up special “Jerry Before Seinfeld.” In the hour-long special, Seinfeld returns to The Comic Strip in New York City, the... Read more »

Chef Dave Beran Talks Dialogue, His Inventive New Santa Monica Restaurant

Variety - Front Page - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 23:21
Chef Dave Beran spent 10 years cooking at cutting-edge Chicago restaurants Alinea and Next, where he racked up awards and recognition for modern cuisine in the molecular vein. Now he’s ready to try something a little more Californian at Dialogue, which opens in a small remodeled space in a former food court on the Santa... Read more »

Activist Jerry Rubin’s 1970s Protest Boogie With Bob Dylan, John and Yoko Chronicled in New Biography (Excerpt)

Variety - Front Page - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 23:15
For the uninitiated, the late Jerry Rubin was a Yippie— a politically active hippie — best known for theatrical anti-war activism during the 1960s and usually associated with his more famous counterculture collaborator, Abbie Hoffman. While there have been several books written about Hoffman and numerous tomes devoted to the Yippies and ’60s protest, there... Read more »

‘Web Therapy’ to Get British Remake by Channel 4, Stephen Mangan

Variety - Front Page - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 23:01
Channel 4 has announced a raft of new commissions, including a new comedy series from “Episodes” star Stephen Mangan that’s based on “Web Therapy” and a thriller from “Boardwalk Empire” staff writer Bash Doran. Mangan will co-write and star in the British adaptation of the Emmy-nominated “Web Therapy.” Doran is writing period thriller “Jerusalem,” her... Read more »

Joker Origin Film in the Works With ‘Hangover’ Director Todd Phillips

Variety - Front Page - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 22:45
The Joker may be getting his own origin tale. Sources tell Variety that “War Dogs” and “The Hangover” director Todd Phillips is in talks to co-write and direct an untitled movie centered on the origins of the most iconic Batman villain, the Joker. Martin Scorsese is in talks to have some sort of role on the... Read more »

‘Dear Evan Hansen’: Noah Galvin, Taylor Trensch to Replace Ben Platt in Title Role

Variety - Front Page - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 22:30
Ben Platt is waving goodbye to “Dear Evan Hansen” (presumably through a window). His temporary replacement beginning Nov. 21 is Noah Galvin, who previously starred on the ABC sitcom “The Real O’Neals.” Galvin is expected to play Evan through January of 2018 when Taylor Trensch will take over, following his run in “Hello, Dolly!” “Evan... Read more »

Thomas Meehan, Co-Writer of Broadway’s ‘Annie’ and ‘The Producers,’ Dies at 88

Variety - Front Page - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 22:20
Thomas Meehan, the co-writer of Broadway hits “Annie,” “The Producers,” and “Hairspray,” has died. He was 88. The winner of three Tony Awards, Meehan was one of Broadway’s most prominent librettists. He won his first Tony Award for the book to “Annie,” the iconic 1977 smash on which he collaborated with composer Charles Strouse and... Read more »

National Latino Media Council Vows ‘Militant’ Action Toward Big Four Networks, Sets Diversity Pact With CBS

Variety - Front Page - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 22:00
The National Latino Media Council is vowing to unleash a year of militant action in its quest to increase the representation of Latinos across the Big Four broadcast networks. CBS Corp. has pledged to boost employment of Latino actors and creatives following an Aug. 17 meeting in Los Angeles. The gathering at CBS’ West Coast... Read more »

Billy Joel Wears Star of David on Jacket to Protest Neo-Nazi Activity

Variety - Front Page - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 21:56
On Monday, Billy Joel made a political statement during an encore at his concert in Madison Square Garden. Joel donned a black jacket with a yellow Star of David on the front and back in protest of the recent neo-Nazi and white supremacist activity, referencing the stars that Jewish people were forced to wear in... Read more »

‘Stranger Things’ Creators Want to End Series After Four Seasons

Variety - Front Page - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 21:02
Brothers Matt and Ross Duffer — creators of Netflix’s streaming hit “Stranger Things” — have done like “Game of Thrones’s” D.B. Weiss and David Benioff and slapped an expiration date on their popular series. During an interview with Vulture, the Duffer brothers explained that they envision “Stranger Things” ending after four seasons. According to the... Read more »

Dr. Phil’s Stage 29 Productions Inks First-Look Deal With CBS TV Studios, Names Julia Eisenman Head of Scripted TV

Variety - Front Page - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 21:00
Stage 29 Productions, led by Dr. Phil McGraw and his son Jay McGraw, has entered into a first-look development deal with CBS Television Studios, Variety has learned. With this deal, Stage 29 will exclusively develop programming for new scripted dramas and comedies for broadcast and streaming platforms. The McGraws currently serve as executive producers of the hit... Read more »

Watch ‘Sesame Street’ Parody Luis Fonsi’s ‘Despacito’

Variety - Front Page - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 20:40
Justin Bieber was the first to have a hand in remixing Luis Fonsi’s summer jam “Despacito,” and now “Sesame Street” is taking a crack at it. The latest “Sesame Street” production features Ernie parodying the hit single to be about his pal Rubber Duckie: “El Patito.” (“That’s Spanish for rubber duckie!”) In the kid-friendly music... Read more »

Eclipse Coverage Draws 5.1 Million Viewers to Cable News

Variety - Front Page - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 20:00
Cable news coverage of the total solar eclipse on Monday drew an estimated 5.1 million total viewers, according to Nielsen data. The eclipse was at its peak from approximately 2-2:45 p.m. ET for most of the country. From 1-3 p.m. ET, Fox News led cable news coverage of the historic event in total viewers with... Read more »

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 Finale to Be Longest Episode Yet

Variety - Front Page - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 19:56
For many fans, the latest “Game of Thrones” episode, “Beyond the Wall,” was an emotional roller coaster. It’s teased deaths, major plots developments, and hinted at budding romances that left social media reeling. Unfortunately, though, Season 7 is shorter than the usual 10 episodes, but fans can take solace in one thing: the finale, airing... Read more »

Premium VOD Paralysis Reflects Poorly on Studios, Exhibitors (Analysis)

Variety - Front Page - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 19:44
It’s been a rough summer for the movie business. Box office for the season is down by double digits versus last year, and by single digits year-to-date. Exhibition stocks are getting hammered. And some analysts believe the third quarter of the year could be just as woeful. Which makes recent reports suggesting the major studios... Read more »

Endemol Shine North America Names Spike TV Vet Sharon Levy President of Unscripted, Scripted TV

Variety - Front Page - Tue, 08/22/2017 - 19:15
Endemol Shine North America has named Sharon Levy as its new president of unscripted and scripted television, the company announced Tuesday. “Sharon is one of our industry’s most well-respected executives and brings with her a tremendous amount of experience developing and producing hits across a wide array of genres,” said Cris Abrego, chairman of Endemol... Read more »
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