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Democrats Call for Hearings on Disney-Fox Merger

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 23:24
Top Democrats on the Senate and House antitrust subcommittees are calling for hearings on the Walt Disney Co.’s proposed acquisition of a large portion of 21st Century Fox, including its film and TV studio, cable networks, and regional sports channels. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, said that […]

Read Warner Music’s Memo Alerting Employees About ‘Inappropriate Behavior’ Among ‘Several’ Executives

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 22:55
A company-wide memo sent out by the head of human resources at the Warner Music Group on Friday warned employees of impending media articles about allegations against WMG employees — and confirmed that “some of the allegations were found to be true,” leading to “appropriate disciplinary actions against the relevant employees.” The employees in question […]

SiriusXM Hit With Big Rate Hike by Copyright Royalty Board

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 22:26
In a victory for SoundExchange, satellite radio service SiriusXM will be increasing by 40% its royalty payments to artists and labels for the period beginning Jan. 1 and extending through 2022. The decision issued Thursday by the Copyright Royalty Board caps a 24-month litigation process that saw SoundExchange arguing that Sirius was underpaying in light of its revenues of […]

Prosecutors Drop Rape Case Against Nelly

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 22:14
Washington state prosecutors say they cannot proceed with a second-degree rape case against rapper Nelly because his accuser has refused to cooperate, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The 21-year-old accuser said the rapper raped her on his tour bus outside Seattle on October 7. Nelly (real name: Cornell Iral Haynes Jr.) was booked on […]

Judith Light Praises Current ‘Truth-Telling,’ ‘Courage’ in Hollywood at New York Women in Film & Television Event

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 21:53
“As always and even more so today, women in our business are taking up the mantle of courage and truth-telling and consciousness and they move and inspire me,” Judith Light said on stage at the New York Women in Film & Television’s 38th annual Muse Awards on Thursday. “We are awake now in a way we […]

XXXTentacion Jailed on New Charges of Harassing Witness

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 21:39
XXXTentacion is back in custody and faces seven new felony charges, according to TMZ and other media outlets. The Florida rapper (real name: Jahseh Onfroy) has been battling domestic-violence charges — including aggravated battery of a pregnant woman and domestic battery by strangulation — and in a separate case, he is facing seven new felonies, charges of witness tampering and […]

Google Home Max Review: Want Some Bass With Those Smarts?

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 21:34
Google’s new $399 Google Home Max speaker, which started to ship earlier this week, is the company’s first real foray into the world of home audio. With the Max, Google is aiming for the living room. Or perhaps the den, next to that turntable that you’ve been meaning to hook up again. Reviewing a product like the […]

Steven Spielberg’s ‘The Post’ to Open Palm Springs Film Festival

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 21:09
Steven Spielberg’s “The Post” has been selected as the opening night film for the 29th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival on Jan. 4. “The Post,” starring Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee and Meryl Streep as Katherine Graham, will receive a limited release from Fox on Dec. 22 and go into wide release on Jan. […]

Remote Controlled: ‘Mr. Robot’ Creator Reflects on Season 3, Previews Season 4

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 21:04
Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera. In this week’s episode, Variety‘s executive editor of TV Debra Birnbaum chats with “Mr. Robot” creator Sam Esmail about the show’s recently wrapped Season 3 and upcoming Season 4. Esmail said he wanted to center […]

TNT Drama ‘One Day She’ll Darken’ Enlists Victoria Mahoney to Direct Multiple Episodes (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 20:53
Victoria Mahoney has been tapped to direct multiple episodes of the upcoming TNT limited series “One Day She’ll Darken,” Variety has learned exclusively. Mahoney will direct episodes three and four of the show, which is inspired by the story of Fauna Hodel, who was given away at birth. As Fauna begins to investigate the secrets to […]

International Newswire: So Where Does Disney-Fox Pact Leave International?

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 20:51
In today’s International Newswire, international players consider the effects of the Disney-Fox marriage; Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz among the nominees in an eclectic Goya contenders list; and International Emmy Award-winning Turkish telenovela “Endless Love” sells to more than 70 territories. One subject, and one subject alone, dominated industry conversation Friday: Disney’s stunning announcement Thursday […]

‘The Goldfinch’ Movie Adaptation Casts Willa Fitzgerald as Pippa (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 20:46
Willa Fitzgerald is in negotiations to play Pippa in Warner Bros. and Amazon Studios’ adaptation of “The Goldfinch.” Ansel Elgort will portray Theo and “Dunkirk” actor Aneurin Barnard is Boris in the film from director John Crowley. Warner Bros. had no comment on the casting. Based on Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Goldfinch” follows a […]

‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Speeds Toward $200 Million-Plus Weekend in the U.S.

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 20:41
The box office Force is with Disney-Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” which is heading for more than $200 million at 4,232 North American sites in its opening weekend, early estimates showed Friday. The tentpole opened with $45 million on Thursday night — the second-largest Thursday night preview gross ever in North America, trailing only […]

Bill Lawrence Developing Space Travel Comedy at CBS

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 20:30
Bill Lawrence is blasting off with a new space comedy currently in development at CBS, Variety has learned. Titled “Spaced Out,” the series is described as a multi-camera workplace ensemble set in the world of commercial space travel. Lawrence will write and executive produce with Jeff Ingold also executive producing. Lawrence and Ingold’s Doozer Productions will […]

EuropaCorp Posts Half-Year Loss of $83 Million

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 20:05
Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp (“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”) has posted a loss of $83 million (€70.6 million) for the first half of its 2017/2018 financial year. The loss figure is nearly three times higher than it was during the first semester of the last financial year — which culminated in record losses […]

Judd Apatow’s ‘Love’ to End with Third Season on Netflix

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 19:48
Netflix is breaking up with “Love.” The streaming service has announced that the upcoming third season of Judd Apatow’s comedy “Love” will be its last. It is set to debut on March 9. Season three will continue to follow the trials and tribulations of Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) and Gus’s (Paul Rust) romance. “I am really […]

Songs for Screens: The Best Ad Synchs of 2017, Featuring Peggy Lee, Sia, Cher, Lil Yachty and More

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 19:18
“Songs for Screens” (formerly known as “Synch This”) is a Variety column written by Andrew Hampp, a VP at New York-based music sponsorship and experiential agency MAC Presents and former branding correspondent for Billboard. Each week, the column will highlight noteworthy use of music in advertising and marketing campaigns, as well as new and catalog songs […]

Vevo CEO Erik Huggers Is Stepping Down

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 19:04
Erik Huggers is stepping down as the president and CEO of the major-label-owned music video platform Vevo, the company announced Friday. CFO Alan Price will be stepping in as interim CEO while the company is looking for new leadership. “We would like to thank Erik for his hard work, dedication and leadership at Vevo, which […]

The 20 Best Albums of 2017

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 18:59
Looking back through the dense media mist of the befuddling and seemingly endless 2017, our mid-year music special notes an unusual if obvious trend: The most popular genres of music — hip-hop/R&B and pop — are also the primary incubators of innovation. Still, it’s fair to say that everyone was surprised by the degree to […]

Aaron Sorkin to Receive Creative Impact in Screenwriting Award at Palm Springs Film Festival

Variety - Front Page - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 18:43
Variety has tapped Aaron Sorkin for the 2018 creative impact in screenwriting award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. The award will celebrate Sorkin’s prolific screenwriting career, which includes an Academy Award for “The Social Network” and multiple Emmy Awards for “The West Wing,” as well as his directorial debut with the upcoming film, “Molly’s […]
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