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Scooter Braun, Manager of Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Ariana Grande, to Deliver Keynote at Midem Conference

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 15:59
Scooter Braun, founder of SB Projects and Variety’s Industry Hitmaker of 2017 will receive the first-ever Hall of Fame Award at the Midem conference in Cannes, France in June. Braun, whose management clients include Justin Bieber, Kanye West and Ariana Grande, will also give a keynote address. The award is “in recognition of his outstanding […]

Spotify Launches Visual-Podcast Strategy in Bid to Expand Beyond Music

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 15:58
Spotify is jumping deeper into the world of podcasting: The company has unveiled Spotlight, a new initiative to bring visually-enhanced audio programming about news, politics, sports and entertainment to the service. Spotify has pacts for the audio content with partners including BuzzFeed News, Cheddar, Crooked Media, Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner’s Lenny Letter, Gimlet Media, Genius, […]

EuropaCorp Being Circled By Potential Buyers, Investors (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 15:48
Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp is being circled by potential buyers and investors as it struggles to climb out from under a mountain of debt. Among the suitors, sources say, is business tycoon Tarak Ben Ammar, a shareholder in The Weinstein Co. and a board member of Vivendi. Hit by the disappointing performance of last year’s “Valerian and […]

Grammy Awards to Honor Victims of Gun Violence With Performance by Maren Morris, Eric Church, Brothers Osbourne

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 15:18
The Grammy Awards will honor the victims lost to gun violence and terrorism at various live music events with a special performance by three artists who appeared at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Brothers Osborne, Eric Church and Maren Morris. During a shooting that took place at that festival, 51 people were […]

Simon Pegg, Nick Frost Talk Stolen Picture and Their First Series, ‘Truth Seekers’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 15:14
British film and TV stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost formed indie producer Stolen Picture last year, and with their first movie coming out this year, a TV series in the offing, and a growing development slate, they talked to Variety about their plans to take their inimitable brand of comedy and drama to the big […]

Will Packer Media Acquires Women’s Lifestyle Site xoNecole

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 15:00
Entertainment production firm Will Packer Media has acquired xoNecole, a lifestyle website focused on urban millennial women created and run by blogger Necole Kane. WPM founder and CEO Will Packer, whose producing credits include “Girls Trip,” “Ride Along,” “Think Like a Man” and “Straight Outta Compton,” said the addition of xoNecole ( is aimed at […]

Justin Timberlake Brings #MeToo, Trump, Racism, David Bowie Into Dystopic New Video for ‘Supplies’

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 14:58
Despite the down-home vibe Justin Timberlake has described for his forthcoming album “Man of the Woods,” the songs and videos he’s released thus far are futurist, from the electronic throb of the first track “Filthy” to the latest, “Supplies,” which he dropped this morning. The song is a Pharrell-helmed, trap-ist groove that has a much […]

To Win Olympics, NBCU Must Lure Big Crowds – and Small Streamers

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 14:45
Whenever NBCUniversal broadcasts an Olympics, the massive media company is eager to make a big splash. To succeed, however, executives must increasingly sweat the small stuff. Yes, NBC has lined up Katie Couric to co-anchor the usual colorful primetime broadcast of the Opening Ceremonies from PyeongChang, South Korea, on February 9th. But the company will […]

Dylan Farrow Details Sexual Assault Allegation Against Woody Allen in Emotional Interview

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 14:22
Dylan Farrow detailed her allegations of sexual assault at the hands of her father, Woody Allen, in a lengthy interview with Gayle King that aired on Thursday’s edition of “CBS This Morning.” Farrow, 32, recounted her story of being touched by Allen, her adoptive father, in August 1992. She also said she experienced other incidents […]

Natpe: Javier Olivares, Showrunner at Globomedia, Pays Tribute to BBC Drama, Spanish Film-TV Classics (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 14:05
One of Spain’s best-known TV showrunners, Javier Olivares has kicked-off a new stage in his professional career, inking an exclusive deal with TV giant Mediapro’s production house Globomedia to develop new TV fiction projects. Olivares was the showrunner on pubcaster RTVE’s La 1 TV drama “Isabel,” one of the biggest Spanish fiction hits in recent […]

Film Review: ‘Den of Thieves’

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 14:00
Ambition isn’t a bad quality to see in a January movie. The simplest thing to call “Den of Thieves” would be a heist thriller, but it’s a relatively elaborate one, an underworld action drama that sprawls and digresses and for a while, at least, appears to have something on its mind. The movie is set in […]

Universal Kids Picks Up U.S. Second Window Rights on Cottonwood, ZDF Tween Series ‘Find Me in Paris’

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 13:57
The highly-anticipated time-traveling ballerina series for tweens, “Find Me in Paris,” co-produced by Cottonwood Media, part of France’s Federation Entertainment, and Germany’s ZDF and ZDF Enterprises, has reached a second-window broadcast deal with Universal Kids in the U.S. The show had previously been sold to Hulu in the U.S., France Télévisions in France, Disney in […]

Peak TV Brings New Models, Windows, Problems and Opportunities for TV’s Busiest Producers

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 13:55
MIAMI — In this Peak TV moment, the dearth of new first-run product for sale at NATPE speaks volumes about the fragmented state of the content marketplace. Yes, it’s the best of times for producers who have no shortage of outlets hunting for distinctive original content. But it’s not the best of times for finding […]

TV Entrepreneurs Still Roam the Halls at NATPE

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 13:40
MIAMI — Dave Mech of Springfield, Mass., donned his “Potsquatch” suit and headed for Miami this week. Mech has an idea for an unscripted TV show set in the booming cannabis business. It’s a branding initiative for the recreational marijuana dispensary he hopes to open in Springfield later this year. He figured he’d try his […]

Berlinale Sets TV Drama Series Days Lineup

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 13:38
Australian drama “Picnic at Hanging Rock” and AMC series “The Terror” are among the seven scripted TV projects that will feature in the Drama Series Days running alongside the Berlin International Film Festival. The TV component of the Festival has been growing in size and importance, and Israeli series “Sleeping Bears,” German-originated drama “Bad Banks,” […]

Pharrell and N.E.R.D to Perform at NBA All-Star Game, Fergie to Sing National Anthem

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 13:29
The National Basketball Association announced today that Pharrell Williams and his band N.E.R.D will headline the 2018 NBA All-Star halftime show on Sunday, Feb. 18 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Fergie will sing the U.S. national anthem prior to tip-off, and long-running Canadian rock band Barenaked Ladies will sing the Canadian national anthem. The game will […]

Capitol Christian Music Group Elevates Brad O’Donnell, Hudson Plachy

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 13:00
Capitol Christian Music Group has elevated Brad O’Donnell (pictured at right) to chief creative officer and Hudson Plachy to chief marketing officer. The appointments follow the promotion of Peter York from president to chairman and CEO of the leading Christian music hub. Both O’Donnell and Plachy report to York and are based out of Nashville. […]

Harry Potter Role-Playing Game Trailer, New Details Released

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 13:00
The creators of “Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery” — the first game in which players create their own avatar as a Hogwarts student — have released the first teaser trailer and additional details of the title. The free-to-play mobile game — set for release this spring — is being developed by mobile games studio Jam City […]

Huffington Post Kills Off Unpaid Contributor Blogger Program

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 12:10
Huffington Post announced that it will immediately cease its unpaid contributors program — which led to its rise as a media brand — to improve the editorial quality of the news site and cut down on unvetted reporting. HuffPost’s blogger network has ballooned to some 100,000 contributors. The decision to end the program by the […]

Telefonica’s Movistar + New Head Sergio Oslé on First Series Results, Cinema, Engaging Audiences (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety - Front Page - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 12:07
MADRID — The office of Sergio Oslé, the new head of film and TV at Spain’s Telefonica, one of Europe’s biggest telecoms, sports a dazzling red-toned painting of a bowl of fruit. Otherwise the walls are bare. “I must put something of my own up on the walls,” Oslé jokes. He might not have the […]
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