TheWrapTheWrap Covering Hollywood Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:11:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Gigi Hadid’s Attacker Goes After Kim Kardashian’s Ass (Video) Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:11:10 +0000 Tim Kenneally That Vitalii Sediuk is such an ass-kisser.

Fresh off of his run-in with model Gigi Hadid in Milan last week, the red-carpet menace had a run-in with Kim Kardashian — or, rather, Kardashian’s rear-end — in Paris on Wednesday.

In footage published by TMZ, Sediuk took a run and a kneel at the callipygian reality star, planting a kiss on her backside.

The lip-puckering interloper was quickly taken down by security — though, as TMZ noted, it was unclear whether he was arrested for the ass-ault.

This isn’t Sediuk’s first encounter with the “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” star.

He allegedly shoved Kardashian outside the Balmain Fashion Show in Paris in 2014, then went on to hug Ciara at Valentino’s Paris Fashion Week show a few days later, clad only in a thong.

In last week’s encounter with Hadid, Sediuk approached the model from behind and lifted her up, only to earn an elbow to the face from the self-defense advocate.

Kardashian took to Twitter to praise her security detail for the swift reaction following the dustup, writing, “My security @PascalDuvier is a G.”

Watch Sediuk get cheeky with Kardashian here.

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Jennifer Beals to Produce Dance Series ‘The Edge’ in the Works at Fox Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:07:30 +0000 Reid Nakamura A dance drama executive produced by “Flashdance” star Jennifer Beals and the director of Fox’s “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” adaptation, Kenny Ortega, is in development at Fox, TheWrap has learned.

The drama, titled “The Edge,” is set in the L.A. dance world, where it’s survival of the fittest. And no one is fitter than this ensemble of ambitious, sometimes ruthless women and men who have trained their whole lives to be the best and won’t let anything — or anyone — get in their way.

Written by the creator of VH1’s scripted cheerleading series “Hit the Floor,” James Larosa, the project hails from Sony Pictures Television, and has a script commitment at the network.

Annie Burgstede and Joanna Colbert will serve as co-executive producers.

Jennifer Beals, who recently held a recurring role on the NBC medical drama “The Night Shift” and will next star in the network’s “Taken” adaptation, is not expected to act on “The Edge.” She is repped by APA. Ortega, whose previous credits include Disney’s “High School Musical” and “Descendants,” is repped by Paradigm.

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Hitchcock Anthology Series in the Works at Universal Cable Productions Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:45:05 +0000 Linda Ge A new anthology series inspired by the works of Alfred Hitchcock is in the works at Universal Cable Productions, the company announced Wednesday.

UCP signed a deal with the Alfred Hitchcock Estate to develop “Welcome to Hitchcock,” which will focus on a single, season-long mystery or crime in the spirit of the classic Hitchcock style and legacy. Plans are in place for the studio to continue collaborating with the Hitchcock Estate to design a series that will “entertain Hitchcock enthusiasts and entice an entirely new generation of fans.”

In the style of “Hitchcock Presents,” the new series will seek out premiere filmmakers and talent to pay homage to the Master of Suspense.

“Our grandfather always collaborated with the best and the brightest to help shape his vision,” said Katie O’Connell-Fiala on behalf of the Hitchcock Trust and MTK Corporation, which was founded by O’Connell-Fiala and her sisters. “We’re confident that Universal Cable Productions will take great care in helping us to continue preserving his legacy.”

UCP will collaborate on the project with Vermilion Entertainment, the newly formed television production company from the founders of Cross Creek Pictures, as well as Chris Columbus‘ 1492 Pictures/Ocean Blue Entertainment.

This marks Vermilion’s first project for scripted television.

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Donald Trump Says He Was ‘Holding Back’ on Hillary Clinton During Debate (Video) Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:13:04 +0000 Tim Kenneally Apparently, Donald Trump is more chivalrous and charitable than people make him out to be. Just ask Trump himself.

Following a presidential debate Monday night that Trump is generally perceived to have lost, the GOP presidential nominee addressed supporters in Florida on Tuesday night, explaining that he was going easy on his political rival in an effort to spare her feelings.

“For 90 minutes, I watched her very carefully. And I was also holding back — I didn’t want to do anything to embarrass her — but I watched her,” Trump explained.

We guess that makes him smart?

As with most things, Trump was short on specifics about how, exactly, he went easy on the candidate.

Trump did, however, give himself a pat on the back for laying out his plan for America’s future during the debate, a fact that might come as a surprise to many who watched the event.

“She was stuck in the past. For 90 minutes, on issue after issue, Hillary Clinton defended the terrible status quo, while I laid out our plan, all of us together, to bring jobs, security and prosperity back to the American people,” Trump explained.

Watch The Donald break it all down in the video.

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‘Radioactive Boy Scout’ Movie About Real Teen Nuke Builder in the Works (Exclusive) Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:04:33 +0000 Matt Pressberg After years of fits, starts and close calls, the fact-based indie “Radioactive Boy Scout” — about a 17-year-old American who attempted to build a nuclear reactor in his mother’s garage — is getting closer to the big screen.

Beverly Hills-based OBB Pictures has acquired the option on Ken Silverstein’s book based on a 1998 Harper’s Magazine article about the case, with producer and director Eric D. Cohen angling to start production next fall.

Cohen said when he stumbled upon Silverstein’s magazine story about David Hahn, whose boyhood property became a Superfund site,  his first question was, “Why isn’t this a movie?”

He then turned to OBB President and CEO Michael D. Ratner, a classmate in the graduate film program at New York University’s Tisch School, to figure out how they could get their hands on it.

“I had been a Boy Scout, I grew up as this science-obsessed person,” Cohen said. “I had an engineering degree. It was a natural project for me to sink my teeth into.”

But first, he had to win over Silverstein.

“The film had been optioned a number of times,” the author told TheWrap, mentioning that HBO was the first to pick it up. “Frankly, I was skeptical at first. It moved along pretty far a couple of times. So it was disappointing — there always arose one huge obstacle.”

However, Cohen’s passion for the project soon convinced Silverstein that he and OBB were the right partners. He also had some good fortune: At the time, Silverstein was represented by an agent who worked at the same firm as OBB’s representatives.

“He was really, really attached to the story, clearly loves it, was super motivated,” Silverstein said. “Eric clearly was going to devote his time and energy. It just seemed like a good bet. We tried and failed with bigger places. Let’s try this.”

Ratner will produce alongside Cohen, who is also OBB’s head of content and operations. It will be Cohen’s first time directing a feature film.

Cohen won the 2015-2016 NYU Alfred P. Sloan Feature Grant for $100,000, which will be used for initial production costs. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a major supporter of independent film. Its mandate is to further the public understanding of science and technology.

Since 2010, OBB has created scripted and unscripted content for big names like ESPN, Vice and Verizon’s Go90 mobile network.

Ratner wrote, directed and produced “The 30 Year Old Bris,” an official selection of 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, and executive produced the documentary “In Football We Trust,” which played at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.

OBB is currently producing “The 5th Quarter” for Go90, a sports mockumentary series that follows “the greatest untold and untrue stories in sports history.” The company also recently wrapped production on “One in a Billion,” a feature-length documentary about the National Basketball Association’s first Indian-born player, Satnam Singh.

This year, OBB has forged partnerships with Mandalay Sports Media and Authentic Brands Group, which owns entertainment brands including Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali and Elvis Presley.

Ratner and OBB are represented by United Talent Agency, 3 Arts Entertainment, and Hansen Jacobsen & Teller.

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‘Empire’ Star Taye Diggs Teases His Relationship With Cookie: ‘Be Worried for Lucious’ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 18:03:28 +0000 Joe Otterson “Empire’s” newest star, Taye Diggs, plays a character who appears bound for romance with Cookie, but Diggs isn’t worried about the tendency of Mama Lyon’s boyfriends to disappear.

“I think you need to be worried for Lucious,” Diggs told TheWrap with a hearty laugh. Still though, romance beyond Lucious hasn’t worked out well for Taraji P. Henson‘s iconic character. Remember Malcolm — Empire’s head of security — from Season 1, or Laz Delgado — the shady concert promoter — from Season 2?

Diggs plays Angelo Dubois, a city councilman who comes from an affluent family. He is Harvard educated and was highly sought after in the private sector, but instead chose to devote his time to local politics and working within the community. His character’s background is a far cry from the the Lyon family’s life on the streets.

“It’s part of the brilliance of ‘Empire,'” Diggs said. “I play a politician kind of from the other side of the tracks. So it’s been fun playing the yin to Taraji’s yang. But at the same time its interesting to see how two characters from such polar opposite sides of life can actually bond.”

Diggs also said he got the opportunity to work on the show thanks to a longstanding friendship with both Henson and Terrence Howard. That friendship helped calm any nervous feelings the veteran actor had going into the hit Fox show.

“I was very excited,” he said. “Nothing beats working with friends because the chemistry is already there. There’s no need for nerves because I’m familiar with these people, in front of and behind the camera. So it just adds to the excitement and fun of the process.”

In this week’s episode, Dubois is trying to get Empire’s support for an anti-gun violence initiative he is involved in called Woke. Diggs believes it is essential for shows like this to discuss such hot-button issues.

“It’s what is going on today and it’s great that we get a chance to speak to it,” he said. “And it’s great that the show is diverse enough that you get to see how it affects different people in different ways.”

“Empire” airs tonight at 9 p.m./8c on Fox.

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Fox News to Network’s Political Team: Don’t Cite ‘Nonsense’ Internet Polls Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:52:02 +0000 Brian Flood Fox News sent a memo to political show staffers on Tuesday reminding talent and producers that unscientific online polls don’t meet the network’s editorial standards, according to Business Insider.

Donald Trump touted numerous polls that proclaimed him the winner of Monday’s presidential debate, but Fox News vice president of public-opinion research Dana Blanton feels Internet polls are “just for fun” and not worthy of mention on air.

“As most of the publications themselves clearly state, the sample obviously can’t be representative of the electorate because they only reflect the views of those Internet users who have chosen to participate,” Blanton wrote in the memo obtained by Business Insider.

An insider told TheWrap that Blanton, who is well respected in the polling industry, regularly sends memos to the staff of political shows for editorial guidance.

“Another problem — we know some campaigns/groups of supporters encourage people to vote in online polls and flood the results,” Blanton wrote. “These quickie click items do not meet our editorial standards.”

When contacted by TheWrap, a Fox News spokesperson noted that the two hosts who have cited the Internet polls in question, Brian Kilmeade and Sean Hannity, are on the opinion-side of the network.

The theory is that opinion-based shows such as “Hannity” are free to mention Internet polls, while shows such as “Shepard Smith Reporting” are required to meet the network’s editorial standards. CNN’s media guru Brian Stelter published a column on Tuesday detailing the issue with Trump’s claim that he “won every poll.”

“Meaningful national polls seek a diverse sample of respondents. The goal is to accurately represent the views of the country by accounting for differences in age, gender, party affiliations and other factors,” Stelter wrote. “That’s not possible when anonymous web users fill out online surveys. People choose whether to participate, and they can vote multiple times, further warping the results.”

CNN and Fox News don’t normally agree on too many issues, but the rival networks appear to have found a common ground on this topic.

“News networks and other organizations go to great effort and rigor to conduct scientific polls — for good reason,” Blanton continued in the memo. “They know quick vote items posted on the web are nonsense, not true measures of public opinion.”

Blanton added a note about the type of polls preferred by the network: “Fox News policy is to focus on non-partisan telephone polls (with both landlines & cellphones) that use live interviewers, and random digit-dial sampling techniques — a methodology that enables everyone an equal chance of being interviewed.”

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John Krasinski to Executive Produce Fox Family Comedy ‘My Bad Parent’ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:50:26 +0000 Tony Maglio John Krasinski is set to executive produce single-camera family sitcom “My Bad Parent” at Fox, which gave his Sunday Night Productions a script order plus penalty.

“My Bad Parent” hails from “Family Guy” scribe Alex Carter. The project — inspired by the book and blog of the same name — reminds us we’re not alone in our parenting faux pas, per Fox. It follows a blue-collar, loving-yet-imperfect family with a point of view that alternates between the blunt working mother and her pubescent son.

Carter, Allyson Seeger, Todd Hoffman and Dennis Kim will executive produce alongside the “Office” alum. “My Bad Parent” also has roots at 20th Century Fox and Storied Media Group.

Krasinski executive produces Spike’s hit “Lip Sync Battle.” At the end of its run, Krasinski served as a producer for 15 episodes of “The Office.”

The “13 Hours” star is currently in post-production on television series, “Dream Corp, LLC,” per IMDb. That’s an adaption of the 2014 TV film of the same name. He’s executive produced “Manchester by the Sea” and produced “The Hollars.”

He’s not abandoning acting or anything, however. Krasinski is set to star in Amazon series “Jack Ryan,” which is based on the 2014 Chris Pine movie. Both Krasinski and Carter are repped by WME.

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What Is ‘Westworld’ About? A Short Explainer Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:48:27 +0000 Tim Molloy It’s not your fault if you’re totally confused by the advertising for “Westworld,” which premieres on HBO Sunday.

The billboards for the series, an update of a 1973 film starring Yul Brenner, feature a metallic-looking female figure reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” (left)– the name of that image of a man in perfect proportion within a circle — with Western mountains as a backdrop. Which tells you… nothing.

At least, it tells you nothing about the plot of the show. It actually tells you a lot about the ideas behind it. I’ve seen the first four episodes, and I think the show is a lot more interesting for the ideas it explores than for the story it tells, at least so far.


The best imaginable explanation for what “Westworld” is about may come in a single line at the end of the trailer for the 1973 film, in which a recorded voice announces, “We know you’ll enjoy your stay in ‘Westworld,’ the ultimate resort, where nothing, nothing can possibly go wrong… go wrong… go wrong…”


“Westworld” is the name of a Western theme park populated by robots who play all kinds of Western archetypes — bandits, saloon keepers, lawmen, prostitutes. Think of it as “Jurassic Park” with robot cowboys instead of dinosaurs.

Humans pay to visit this world, and act out their gunslinger fantasies — and sexual fantasies. And all kinds of other fantasies. They can do whatever they want to the robots — insult them, have sex with them, kill them. The robots can’t hurt them back.


Exactly. The robots, being robots, aren’t supposed to care. But conflicts arise when the robots do what robots always do in these stories: Seem to become sentient. Feel. Remember.


Yeah. As you may have guessed, there’s a real sense of menace about what might happen if the robots ever broke the first of Isaac Asimov‘s “Three Laws of Robotics”: “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.”


Don’t worry about it. You don’t need to like sci-fi to like “Westworld.”


That’s okay too. Because the show is really about what makes humans human. Hence the da Vinci allusion in the posters. Vitruvian man is supposed to be perfect, physically. And many of the “Westworld” robots close to physical perfection, played as they are by beautiful people like Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, and James Marsden (recently named “the world’ handsomest man”).

But like so many humans, beautiful and otherwise, the robots seem not quite-right, mentally. There are glitches in their programming. They’re complex and complicated and don’t do what we want them to do. Sound like anyone you know?




Great point — they’re robots, so their creators could put them in any kind of setting. In fact, in the 1973 film, there were worlds called, you guessed it, Roman World and Medieval World. But HBO already had a show called “Rome” and a show called “Game of Thrones.”


I’m not in charge, amigo. I’m just saying its possibly that in later episodes of “Westworld” you might visit other kinds of worlds. I don’t know.


Great question, because he’s maybe the best part of the show. He and Jeffrey Wright (also excellent) work for the company that builds and maintains the robots, and I’ll leave it that so as not to spoil the mystery. But suffice it to say, there’s a corporate drama going on behind the scenes of the theme park.


I like it, but I love things that mash up genres. And the scenery is gorgeous.


Thanks for asking with that particular phrasing — it brings in a lot of search traffic from people who Google “When is ‘Westworld’ on?” “Westworld” premieres this Sunday, Oct. 2, at 10/9c. Nothing can possibly go wrong… go wrong… go wrong.

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‘American Horror Story': Best Theories About the Upcoming Twist Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:21:38 +0000 Jeremy Fuster “American Horror Story” has switched things up this year with “My Roanoke Nightmare,” the show-within-a-show in which this year’s tale is being presented. But “AHS” fans are expecting a big twist that will shatter this new framework, and Ryan Murphy is promising that one will be coming. The question is what form this new twist will take.

In the preview for this tonight’s episode, we see more of the interviews from Matt (Andre Holland) and Lee (Adina Porter) as they continue to recount the horrors they witnessed in North Carolina. But for the first time, Lee stops speaking to an off-screen interviewer and looks directly at the camera. “You need to turn off those cameras,” she pleads. “I said turn off the cameras!”

Ryan Murphy has also revealed in an Entertainment Weekly interview that the season’s sixth episode, which airs Oct. 19, will feature a big twist sure to turn the entire season on its head. So how will the eventual collapse of “My Roanoke Nightmare” play out? Here are some theories being bandied about.

The actual production of “My Roanoke Nightmare” will be haunted
What makes the format for this season so promising is that it can lure the audience into a false sense of security. After all, our three protagonists couldn’t have been harmed if they are on this show getting interviewed, right? Perhaps the warning Lee gives in the preview is a hint that whatever evil has been terrorizing them isn’t gone yet, and that they and the production crew are still in danger.

The interview segments aren’t being done by the real Shelby, Lee and Matt
Something strange that critics and fans picked up on right away is that the actors in the interview segments — Holland, Porter and Lily Rabe — are younger than the three main actors in the re-enactment segments, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Sarah Paulson and Angela Bassett. Could it be because both the interviews and reenactments are being done by actors and that the real protagonists suffered a fate too gruesome for TV? It would be a clever way for Murphy and co. to rip away the aforementioned safety net “My Roanoke Nightmare” provides.

Sarah Paulson‘s character is really Billie Dean Howard from “Murder House”
For those of you who haven’t been with “AHS” from the beginning or binge-watched the series, Billie Dean Howard was the character Paulson played in season one. She was a medium who was brought to the Murder House to contact the spirits within it and expel those that wanted to kill its living inhabitants, namely Tate Langdon. In the season’s 11th episode, “Birth,” Billie Dean also mentions the Roanoke Colony on which this season is centered, citing it as an example of spirits being successfully exorcised from a haunted spot.

Billie Dean also mentions that she’s working on a reality show for Lifetime, and we later see her working with a camera crew when she returns to the series in the season finale of “Hotel.” It’s possible that Billie Dean’s experience with the paranormal landed her a job on “My Roanoke Nightmare” playing Shelby in the reenactment scenes. Her presence in the series would also serve as a starting point for “AHS” to start connecting seasons.

The interview segments come from beyond the grave
Finally, there’s the idea that “AHS” is going to reveal that Shelby, Lee and Matt have been killed by the Roanoke colonists. But unlike the “interview subjects are also actors” theory listed above, this hypothesis suggests that the show really is interviewing the three victims, but somehow doing so from the afterlife. This would make “My Roanoke Nightmare” into something similar to ABC’s short-lived true crime drama series “Final Witness,” which showed murders from the perspective of the victims.

Maybe one of these theories will be proven right. Maybe the “AHS” twist will completely blindside us and prove Brad Falchuk right when he told EW that “No matter what you think it is, it’s not that.” Either way, it’s clear that along with the Roanoke Colony, the major theme of “AHS” is the unreliable narrator. Murphy and Falchuk have conditioned their fans to be skeptical about everything the show presents them and to look for cracks in the characters’ accounts of what happened. This season may have opened with the promise that what viewers were about to see was “inspired by true events,” but “AHS” fans know by now that such inspiration can lead to anything.

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Lifetime’s Britney Spears Biopic Casts Its Justin Timberlake, Kevin Federline Wed, 28 Sep 2016 17:15:21 +0000 Linda Ge Lifetime’s Britney Spears biopic “Britney” has rounded out its cast with actors filling roles that were central to the life of the iconic pop princess.

Nathan Keyes will play Justin Timberlake, Clayton Chitty will portray Kevin Federline, and Kelly McCabe will feature as Jason Alexander, the childhood friend Spears married for less than three days in 2004.

Australian actress Natasha Bassett was previously announced to play the pop star.

“Britney” is a two-hour TV movie that will purport to tell the tumultuous story of the pop icon’s rise to fame, fall from grace and eventual resurrection, which firmly secured her status as one of the world’s greatest entertainers.

Well-documented milestones in the singer’s life including her relationship with Timberlake, marriage to Federline and public breakdown will all be included.

Nicole Oliver will play Britney’s mom, Lynne Spears, and Matthew Harrison will play Jamie Spears, the pop star’s dad.

Of the more tangential figures througout Spears’ career, Tamara Thorsen will play Jenna Dewan, now wife of Channing Tatum but apparently an NSYNC backup dancer and reported Timberlake girlfriend back in the day. Markian Tarasiuk will play Wade Robson, Britney Spears‘ former backup dancer with whom she reportedly had a fling.

Production is now underway in Vancouver for a 2017 premiere on Lifetime. Leslie Libman will direct from a script by Anne-Marie Hess.

“Britney” is produced by Asylum Entertainment for Lifetime. Steve Michaels, Jonathan Koch and Joan Harrison are executive producers.

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‘Pepe the Frog’ Declared a Hate Symbol by Anti-Defamation League Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:34:01 +0000 Beatrice Verhoeven The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has declared “Pepe the Frog,” a cartoon character used on social media to “suggest racist, anti-Semitic or other bigoted notions,” as a hate symbol.

According to the organization, the cartoon was added to ADL’s online “Hate on Display” database, because the meme was used on websites like 4chan, 8chan and Reddit to promote “anti-Jewish, bigoted and offensive ideas.”

Pepe the Frog, also referred to as the “sad frog meme,” did not originally have anti-Semitic connotations when he first appeared on the Internet in 2005 in artist Matt Furie’s “Boy’s Club” cartoons. But the ADL said times have changed, the frog is often portrayed with a Hitler-like mustache, wearing a Klan hood or donning a yarmulke. The League also added that images of the frog have become more prominent in recent weeks with hateful messages aimed at the Jewish community.

“Once again, racists and haters have taken a popular Internet meme and twisted it for their own purposes of spreading bigotry and harassing users,” said ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt. “These anti-Semites have no shame. They are abusing the image of a cartoon character, one that might at first seem appealing, to harass and spread hatred on social media.”

ADL founded the “Hate on Display” database in 2000 in an effort to track down hate groups and help law enforcement and educators to identify symbols that were used by extremists and anti-Semites. The Echo symbol, the Swastika and the Blood Drop Cross are already listed in the database.

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Geena Davis’ Bentonville Film Festival Sets 2017 Dates Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:23:15 +0000 Beatrice Verhoeven Geena Davis‘ Bentonville Film Festival will run from May 2 to May 7 in 2017, organizers announced on Wednesday.

Co-founded by the Oscar-winning actress and ARC Entertainment CEP Trevor Drinkwater, the Arkansas film festival champions women and diverse voices in the media.

BFF boasts that it is the “only film competition in the world to guarantee theatrical, television, digital and retail home entertainment distribution for its winners in the following categories: Best Family Film, Audience Award and Best Narrative Selected by Jury.”

“We are so very proud of the progress we’ve made and the response we are getting in support of the mission of BFF,” Davis said in a statement. “Now moving into our third year, I feel more confident than ever that — with the support of our partners — we will create change in the media our children view so that it will reflect the world they actually live in, which is half female and very diverse.”

The 2017 festival will expand its short film competitions and add a commercial competition while attendees can enjoy a lineup of narrative and documentary screenings, discussions and musical performances.

The festival’s second year experienced a 70 percent increase in attendance from the previous year with 63,000 seats filled. Notable guests last year included Meg Ryan, Soledad O’Brien, Nia Vardalos, Bruce Dern, Constance Wu and Darius Rucker.

Films accepted into the 2017 festival will be announced in March.

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Warren Beatty Explains Why He Couldn’t Possibly Have Slept ‘With 12,775 People’ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 16:12:07 +0000 Joe Otterson Warren Beatty was quite the ladies man in his day, but the Hollywood legend is finally putting a rumor about his sexual prowess to bed.

Author Peter Biskind’s biography of the actor and director put the number of young actresses Beatty had slept with in his life at 12,775 —  a number which the actor disputes.

“Think about it, sleeping with 12,775 people,” Beatty said in an interview with AARP Magazine. “That would mean not just that there were multiple people a day, but that there was no repetition.”

While Beatty wouldn’t quote an exact figure, he did address the question of how he managed to sleep with so many Hollywood people and still enjoy a good reputation in the industry.

“Look, I never misled anyone,” he said. “And … and I’m a nice guy.” That must be good news for Annette Benning, Beatty’s wife of 24 years.

“I waited a long time to be married,” he said. “When you don’t get married until you’re 54 … well, as Arthur Miller said, ‘It comes with the territory…’ You’re participating in a profession that, for obvious reasons, needs to heighten elements of sexuality, [especially] if you delay marriage a long time.”

But Beatty’s bedroom antics are not the reason he is back in the news of late. He is preparing for the release of his new Howard Hughes movie, “Rules Don’t Apply.”

Beatty plays the eccentric billionaire in the film, which takes place in 1950s Los Angeles. Aspiring actress Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins) arrives to begin working for Hughes and meets her new driver, Frank (played by the newly cast Han Solo, Alden Ehrenreich).

The two are immediately attracted to each other, but cannot act on it for professional and religious reasons. Before long, Collins’ character and Hughes begin to get closer, much to Frank’s horror.

Beatty produced and directed the film — his first directing project since 1998’s “Bulworth.” He also wrote the screenplay, based on a story by himself and Bo Goldman.

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Viacom-CBS Parent Company to Call for Merger (Report) Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:59:28 +0000 Tony Maglio Viacom and CBS’ controlling shareholder, National Amusements, Inc., is going to call on the two companies to explore re-merging, per a media report.

Here’s what Reuters wrote this morning:
National Amusements Inc (NAI), the controlling shareholder of CBS Corp (CBS.N) and Viacom Inc (VIAB.O), is preparing to call on the two media companies to explore a merger, two people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

NAI may contact the two companies as early as this week to ask them to form independent board committees to explore a combination, one of the people said.

The sources asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential. Viacom and CBS declined to comment, while NAI did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Reps for National Amusements, Inc. did not immediately respond to TheWrap‘s requests for comment.

Viacom declined comment, while all CBS had to say was this: “As we’ve said before, the CBS Corporation will always act in the best interest of all of its shareholders.”

Several media analysts believe that a rejoining of Viacom and CBS is the only way to save the fledging former of the two publicly traded companies. The market may agree: VIAB is currently trading up around 2 percent today.

CBS and Viacom split in 2005. NAI is controlled by the Sumner M. Redstone Trust. The company recently removed Philippe Dauman from atop Viacom and is in the process of turning over the board of directors there. With the recent departure of Viacom interim CEO Tom Dooley, the MTV/Comedy Central/Nickelodeon owner could use some strong leadership.

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CBS Is 'Not in Active Discussions' to Re-Merge With Viacom, Les Moonves Says

Viacom Reveals Extra-Golden Parachute for Philippe Dauman

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Jimmy Kimmel Finds Plenty of Americans to Judge Presidential Debate – Before It Even Happens Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:51:09 +0000 Beatrice Verhoeven

Jimmy Kimmel asked people on the streets for their thoughts on how Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton performed during the presidential debate — hours before the candidates even took the stage.

As the ABC late-night host’s “Lie Witness News” segment usually proves, plenty of Americans were ready and willing to give an opinion on something they know nothing about.

When asked who won the debate, one pedestrian answered, “I think Hillary Clinton, she made a lot more valid points, but Donald Trump had valid points as well.”

When one man was asked if he liked Clinton’s poise, he responded, “I liked her poise, she was very poiseful.”

One girl decided that the peck on the lips between the two candidates (which of course didn’t happen) seemed fake. “It showed that there is peace between the two parties but it kinda was fake,” she said.

“Lind of like the entire debate, which didn’t happen,” added the interviewer.

But the girl just brushed over that tiny revelation and kept agreeing with the interviewer until the latter literally had to tell her the debate did not happen.

Watch the video above to see her reaction when confronted with the facts.

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Madonna Follows Katy Perry’s Lead, Gets Naked to Vote for Hillary Clinton (Photo) Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:33:37 +0000 Beatrice Verhoeven Following Katy Perry‘s Funny Or Die skit in which she voted naked for Hillary Clinton, Madonna also got naked to show her support for the Democratic presidential candidate.

“Im voting naked with Katy Perry!! Vote for Hillary. She’s the Best we got! Nude Voting series # 1,” Madonna captioned a photo she posted on Instagram early Wednesday morning.

In the picture, Madonna appears to be topless, wearing only a gold necklace and grills on her front teeth. The post came around an hour after Madonna posted a picture of herself straddling Clinton.

Perry lent her voice — and body — to the Rock the Vote campaign recently, shooting a pro-poll-attendance video for Funny or Die that caricatures Perry’s lack of understanding of the Constitution and public nudity laws. She says one can show up to vote wearing whatever they slept in — which is legally true, so long as clothing is involved. In the video she fails to meet that last requirement, putting her in dutch with the cops.

Joel McHale also stars in the PSA — as it turns out, he also thought you could vote in the nude.

The short film was part of Funny or Die’s first effort to register and mobilize young Americans to vote. “Funny Or Die’s Everyone Votes!” is spearheaded by co-founder, Judd Apatow, Mike Farah (CEO) and Brad Jenkins, managing director of Funny Or Die D.C.

See Madonna‘s Instagrams below.

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Jennifer Lopez to Judge NBC Competition Series ‘World of Dance’ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:31:04 +0000 Joe Otterson Jennifer Lopez will not only executive produce the new NBC dance competition series “World of Dance,” but will also serve as one of its judges.

NBC announced Wednesday that Lopez is joining the series in front of the camera to help mentor young dancers looking for their big break.

“I identify with the struggles, passion, discipline, competition and exhilaration of dance,” Lopez said. “I am excited that with this show we can skyrocket a dancer’s career and help guide them to success.”

In partnership with global dance brand World of Dance, the series will see solo artists compete against duos and crews in an unlimited range of dance, including hip-hop, krumping, popping, locking, tap, ballet, break dancing, ballroom, clogging, stomping and more.

Handpicked from qualifying events around the nation and thousands of online submissions, competitors are divided into three divisions: Junior (any size act under 16 years old), Upper (groups of 1- 4, over 16 years) and Team (groups of 5+, over 16 years).

After an initial audition round, divisions face off in duels, until only one of each is left standing. A panel of experts score the acts using a precise point system developed by World of Dance, using the following criteria: routine, execution, presentation, and crowd appeal. The finale sees the winners from each division duke it out for $1 million and the title “Best in the World.”

Lopez, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas and Benny Medina will executive produce through Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions banner. Kris Curry, Matilda Zoltowski, David Gonzalez, Matthew Everitt and Al Hassas will also executive produce. The series will be produced by Universal Television Alternative Studios in association with Nuyorican Productions.

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Has Traditional TV Dropped the Ball on eSports? (Guest Blog) Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:30:23 +0000 Dan Schechter In our last post, we looked at the eSports audience and the key online streaming platforms used to consume live gaming content. Now, let’s take a look at what traditional linear TV (where the viewer has to watch a scheduled TV program at a particular time) is doing to offer live gaming viewing and win some of those consumers.

Historically, eSports did not find much success on linear television. In the mid-2000s, a number of leagues, such as the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL) and Major League Gaming (MLG), struck deals with pay-TV networks to air a limited set of specials and episodes showcasing finals. But the CPL ultimately disappeared due to non-payment of prizes, and MLG moved away from carriage on USA and G4 toward online streaming platforms.

Since then, online streaming services like Twitch have boomed, with a format that better fits the genre. With the boom, advertisers are looking to eSports to reach millennial consumers who are increasingly digital and abandoning traditional TV platforms.

Linear TV companies are now taking notice.

In the past few years, TV companies have upped their investments in eSports (see figure below).

TBS worked with WME-IMG to launch its multi-title ELEAGUE in May 2016. It debuted with Valve’s “Counter-Strike,” with matches airing on both TBS and Twitch. The move paid off — the first season of ELEAGUE drew 19 million viewers on TBS, including 3.4 million incremental viewers who had not previously tuned into the channel.

Following this success, TBS announced in September 2016 that it would broadcast a second season of ELEAGUE, focusing on “Counter-Strike.” Additionally, the channel is adding more live-gaming programming by creating a tournament for Activision’s “Overwatch”; finals will be broadcast live on TBS and Twitch on September 30.

Cable, telecom and satellite companies are also entering the space, albeit more tentatively. Since 2015, DirecTV has offered fan access to two days of video from BlizzCon (Blizzard Entertainment’s convention). Meanwhile, Verizon is including a “SportsCenter”-like eSports show as part of its Go90 OTT service.

Video game companies are also beefing up their internal TV capabilities. Activision Blizzard has announced ambitious plans: CEO Bobby Kotick has stated that he intends to build the ESPN of eSports, focused on premium content. The company has hired Steve Bornstein, a former CEO of ESPN, to run its eSports division.

Despite these developments, there is still plenty of white space out there, with many top eSports properties not yet benefiting from linear TV carriage (see figure below).

TBS’ early success with ELEAGUE will likely draw more traditional media companies into the fray. This represents an intriguing opportunity, as blue-chip brands seek to reach core millennial consumers who are tuning into eSports.

So what does the future hold for eSports — is this a momentary bubble, or will eSports continue to grow? We’ll take a look at this key question in our next post.

This is Part 4 in a series on eSports by Dan Schechter, Gil Moran and Francesco Di Ianni from L.E.K. Consulting’s Media & Entertainment consulting practice.

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Ratings: NBC’s ‘This Is Us’ Stays Strong in Week 2 Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:24:04 +0000 Tony Maglio “The Voice” and “This Is Us” handed NBC another easy Tuesday win in primetime’s key 18-49 demographic, but “NCIS” and “Bull” carried CBS to a total viewer victory.

NBC was first in ratings with a 3.0 rating/11 share in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and second in total viewers with an average of 10.8 million, according to preliminary numbers. “The Voice” at 8 p.m. scored a 3.2/12 and 11.8 million total viewers. At 10, “This Is Us” earned a 2.6/10 and 8.8 million viewers.

CBS was second in ratings with a 1.8/6 and in viewers with 13.1 million. “NCIS” at 8 posted a 2.1/8 and 15.2 million viewers. At 9, “Bull” landed a 1.9/6 and 13.5 million viewers. “NCIS: New Orleans” at 10 put up a 1.5/5 and 10.7 million viewers.

ABC was third in ratings with a 1.2/4 and in viewers with 6.4 million. “Dancing With the Stars” at 8 received a 1.4/5 and 8 million viewers. At 10, “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” had a 0.9/3 and 3.1 million viewers.

Fox was fourth in ratings with a 0.9/3 and in viewers with 2 million. “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” at 8 got a 1.0/4 and 2.4 million viewers. At 8:30, “New Girl” had a 1.0/4 and 2.1 million viewers. “Scream Queens” at 9 received a 0.8/3 and 1.8 million viewers.

Telemundo was fifth in ratings with a 0.7/3 and in viewers with 1.8 million.

Univision was sixth in ratings with a 0.6/2 and in viewers with 1.7 million.

The CW was seventh in ratings with a 0.2/1 and in viewers with 707,000. Following a rerun, the “MADtv” season finale at 9 managed a 0.2/1 and 570,000 viewers.

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‘High Maintenance’ Smokes Out Season 2 Order at HBO Wed, 28 Sep 2016 15:15:30 +0000 Joe Otterson HBO has renewed “High Maintenance” for a second season, the network announed Wednesday.

The series is based on the popular web series of the same name, which explores the private lives of New Yorkers connected by a common thread: their weed deliveryman.

Ben Sinclair stars as the deliveryman, known as The Guy. The series was created by Katja Blichfeld and Sinclair, who write and direct every episode of the first season, and executive produced by Blichfeld, Sinclair and Russell Gregory. Janky Clown Productions produces the series.

“The response to the new episodes exceeded all of our expectations,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys said. “Ben and Katja are brilliant, unconventional storytellers and we’re excited to see what they dream up for us in our second season.”

“High Maintenance” kicked off its six-episode first season on Sept. 16. The first episode was among the top five assets on HBO’s digital platforms in its first week of availability, and has a gross audience of two million viewers to date. The Sept. 23 audience for the second episode was up 6 percent over the premiere.

In addition to the six new episodes, HBO made the currently existing 19 episodes, which previously ran on Vimeo, available on HBO, HBO NOW and HBO GO.

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MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski Rips Fox News for ‘Awkward’ Donald Trump Interview About Ex-Miss Universe (Video) Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:59:32 +0000 Brian Flood

MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski ripped “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday morning for the way it handled a Donald Trump phone interview about former Miss Universe Alicia Machado.

Brzezinski lost it following a clip of Trump calling into the Fox News morning show on Tuesday morning to double down on controversial comments that Hillary Clinton used against him during Monday’s presidential debate.

“That person was a Miss Universe person, and she was the worst we ever had. The worst. The absolute worst,” Trump told “Fox & Friends” hosts about Machado. “She gained a massive amount of weight. And it was a real problem.”

A visibly stunned Brzezinski’s responded, “That conversation went on; and no one said to him, ‘What? Excuse me, did you just say, what? Did you just say she gained a lot of weight and that was a problem?’ Well, I’ve never seen a more awkward interview in my life, and quite frankly, the most unfulfilling interview in my life.”

“How could they not ask him, how could two men and a women in this day and age, who know this world that we live in, not say, ‘That is incredibly inappropriate. Would you like to rephrase yourself?'” she continued.

Brzezinski’s co-host, Joe Scarborough eventually chimed in and said, “OK, OK, this is about Donald Trump… let’s focus on Donald Trump.”

Scarborough went on to call Trump’s comments “unbelievable.”

Watch the video above.

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James Corden Joins Backstreet Boys for One-Time, 6-Man Performance (Video) Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:40:44 +0000 Tony Maglio

Backstreet’s back? Alright. (Fine.)

James Corden is bringing boy bands back — one cute one, one funny one, one nice one, one “other” one, and one maverick at a time. The CBS “Late Late Show” host misses the old days of *NSYNC, O-Town, 98 Degrees — heck, maybe even you, LFO. (Not so fast, 5ive.)

“I want matching outfits, synchronized dancing and WAY over-budget music videos,” Corden explained last night.

So he swung for the fences on Tuesday, welcoming the top-selling boy band of all time to his set. The Backstreet Boys blew away the studio audience with “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back).” The crowd only got more into it when Corden grabbed a mic for verse No. 2. He, of course, picked the “Am I sexual?” line. The answer was, of course, “Yeah.”

The fellas didn’t miss a beat with the new guy added to all that choreography. Watch the video above — good stuff for anyone of a certain age. Speaking of which, TheWrap just wants to point out that these “boys” now range in age from 36-years-old (Nick) to 44 (Kevin).

The Backstreet Boys’ “Larger Than Life” tour will take up residency at The AXIS Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas in March — tickets go on sale Saturday, October 1.

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Amy Schumer Named Most Dangerous Celebrity Online Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:36:20 +0000 Joe Otterson Amy Schumer is many things — funny, smart, and fearless — but now she can be described with one more adjective: dangerous.

Schumer topped the 10th annual list of most dangerous celebrities online, compiled by Intel Security. According to the official release, the list tracks “which celebrities, musicians and TV hosts generate the most dangerous search results, potentially exposing consumers to malware.”

Schumer knocked EDM DJ Armin van Buuren off the top spot this year, with 16.11 percent of searches for her name leading to sites that could infect your computer with viruses or expose personal information.

That puts the “Trainwreck” and “Inside Amy Schumer” star a head above No. 2 on the list, Justin Bieber, who clocked in with 15 percent. Other celebrities who made the top 10 list include Will Smith, Miley Cyrus, and Selena Gomez.

“With this craving for real-time information, many search and click without considering potential security risks,” said Gary Davis, chief consumer security evangelist at Intel Security. Cybercriminals know this and take advantage of this behavior by attempting to lead them to unsafe sites loaded with malware. As a result, consumers need to understand what precautions to take to enable safe online experiences.”

Check out the full list below.

1 Amy Schumer 16.11%
2 Justin Bieber 15.00%
3 Carson Daly 13.44%
4 Will Smith 13.44%
5 Rihanna 13.33%
6 Miley Cyrus 12.67%
7 Chris Hardwick 12.56%
8 Daniel Tosh 11.56%
9 Selena Gomez 11.11%
10 Kesha 11.11%

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Trump Supporter Flips Out on CNN Reporter at Rally: ‘You Don’t Have a Heart!’ (Video) Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:23:04 +0000 Brian Flood A Donald Trump supporter was caught on camera flipping out at CNN reporter Randi Kaye at a Florida rally on Tuesday, calling the media “vultures” and “cowards.”

The enraged Trump supporter tried to force Kaye to interview a military mom.

“If you’re not here to interview military, leave,” the Trump supporter said. “You’re here about Hillary Clinton. We’re here about Trump and our military. Leave.”

Kaye tried to explain that she was there to cover Trump, but the woman repeatedly told her to “leave” the rally. Police eventually stepped in as the woman yelled, “You don’t have a heart.”

Kaye spoke with a variety of other Trump supporters at the Melbourne, Florida, rally and most of them appeared to think the GOP nominee can do no wrong. One supporter in the video calls climate change a “hoax and a half” while another said it would be “awesome” if Trump didn’t pay his taxes. One supporter even said she still wants additional proof that President Obama was born in America, and refused to believe the current POTUS released his birth certificate in 2011.

Kaye could’t find anyone at the rally who planned to vote for Clinton, but managed to find multiple people who thought Trump won Monday’s presidential debate.

Meanwhile, Trump tweeted about the rally on Tuesday night.

Watch video below.

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Jon Favreau to Direct Disney’s Live Action ‘Lion King’ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:08:09 +0000 Beatrice Verhoeven After the success of Jon Favreau‘s “The Jungle Book,” the director is teaming up with Disney to create a live-action version of “The Lion King,” the studio announced Wednesday.

No release date has been announced yet for “The Lion King” or the sequel to “The Jungle Book,” which was announced in April.

1994’s “The Lion King” is one of the biggest animated films of all time, having grossed $968.8 million globally over its lifetime. It won an Academy Award for the original song, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” as well as its original score by Hans Zimmer.

“The Jungle Book” was a smash hit, earning $965.8 million worldwide after it hit theaters in April. Other Disney live-action films based on iconic properties include “Maleficent,” “Cinderella” and next year’s “Beauty and the Beast,” starring Emma Watson as Belle.

Earlier this month, Favreau was recruited to return to the Marvel Universe in the upcoming “Spider-Man: Homecoming” as Happy Hogan. Another Marvel project seems to be in the works for Favreau: Robert Downey Jr. posted a photo to Twitter earlier this month that features the actor along with “Avengers: Infinity War” directors Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, Favreau and Tom Holland, celebrity chef Roy Choi, and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.

Favreau can also be next seen as an actor with frequent collaborator Vince Vaughn in “Term Life.”

Favreau is repped by CAA.

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‘Hamilton’ Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda to Host ‘SNL’ Next Month Wed, 28 Sep 2016 14:06:00 +0000 Tony Maglio History in the making? “Hamilton” composer, lyricist and star Lin-Manuel Miranda has been booked to host the October 8 “Saturday Night Live.”

The Emmy, Grammy, Tony and Pulitzer Prize-award winner will be joined by Twenty One Pilots, which is also making their “SNL” debut as musical guest that evening.

That duo — Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun — recently became the first alternative group ever with two simultaneous singles in the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100: “Ride,” from their multi-platinum studio album “Blurryface,” and “Heathens,” from “Suicide Squad: The Album.”

As previously announced, “SNL” returns Oct. 1 with host Margot Robbie and musical guest The Weeknd. This year, “SNL” added new players Alex Moffat, Melissa Villaseñor and Mikey Day to the cast. The trio effectively replaces Taran Killam, Jay Pharoah and Jon Rudnitsky. “Wild ‘N Out” alum Day was actually a writer on the show, ironically penning plenty for Killam in the past.

Fired fan-favorites and “SNL” veterans Killam and Pharoah leave big shoes to fill, though Rudnitsky was one-and-done as a featured act — he struggled for camera time on the highly competitive program. Don’t feel too badly for Killam and Pharoah, they both landed on their feet over at Showtime.

Saturday Night Live” is produced in association with Broadway Video. The creator and executive producer is Lorne Michaels.

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New ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ Trailer Offers First Look at Magical Creatures (Video) Wed, 28 Sep 2016 13:57:00 +0000 Joe Otterson

The first “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” full-length trailer definitely does not skimp on the magical creatures.

The trailer gives us our first look at just some of the strange beings that wizard/cryptozoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) brings with him to 1920’s New York.

But when some of the creatures escape, Scamander must team up with two American witch sisters and one muggle (or “no maj” as they’re called in America) and find them before anything bad happens.

The film also stars Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, and Colin FarrellJ.K. Rowling wrote the screenplay for the film, which is set in the same universe as “Harry Potter.” David Yates, who directed the last four “Harry Potter” films, is directing this project.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” will enchant theaters on Nov. 18.

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Usain Bolt Smokes Owen Wilson, James Corden and Entire Show Staff in Race (Video) Wed, 28 Sep 2016 13:30:42 +0000 Tony Maglio

Last night, we found out who the actual fastest man in the world was. Spoiler alert: It was still Usain Bolt, and by a lot.

James Corden challenged the Jamaican sprinter to a foot race in the CBS campus parking lot, one that somehow Owen Wilson weaseled his way into. At that point, all bets were off, so the entire “Late Late Show” staff showed up to give it a go.

The starting blocks were pretty crowded, and Wilson tried his best to cheat into a victory. It didn’t throw off the Olympian one bit.

Bolt cruised for pretty much the entire second half of the run, goofing around and still not being challenged by anyone. For what it’s worth, Wilson ultimately beat Corden — though the “Masterminds” star didn’t podium overall. Immediately after the finish, the “Wedding Crashers” actor shared a ton of excuses for exactly what must have gone wrong.

“I just flew in from Europe, so, you know jet lag,” Wilson said. “Nursing a bit of a cold.”

The 10th-or-so place finish was nothing to be ashamed of, Owen. On the other hand, a slow-motion instant replay was certainly not kind to Corden’s body. Watch the video above.

“Masterminds” breaks into theaters this Friday.

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Hillary Clinton Wins Presidential Endorsement From Arizona Republic Wed, 28 Sep 2016 04:38:53 +0000 Tim Kenneally The Arizona Republic is with her. And it’s a stunning change of direction for the paper.

The Republic announced Tuesday that it had endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton — the first time the paper has endorsed a Democrat in a general election since it launched in 1890.

In making its endorsement, the Republic called Clinton “the only choice to move America ahead.”

Meanwhile, the paper said, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump “is not conservative and he is not qualified.”

“The challenges the United States faces domestically and internationally demand a steady hand, a cool head and the ability to think carefully before acting.” the paper continued. “Hillary Clinton understands this. Donald Trump does not …. Clinton has the temperament and experience to be president. Donald Trump does not.”

The endorsement comes the day after Clinton’s first presidential debate with Trump, in which the topic of Trump’s temperament played a prominent part. Clinton was largely believed to have won that debate.

The paper went on to hail Clinton’s ability to withstand scrutiny. Trump? Not so much.

“She has withstood decades of scrutiny so intense it would wither most politicians. The vehemence of some of the anti-Clinton attacks strains credulity,” the paper noted. “Trump hasn’t even let the American people scrutinize his tax returns, which could help the nation judge his claims of business acumen.”

The Republic did concede that Clinton has her flaws, but “is the superior choice.”

In particular, the paper criticized Trump’s hard-line immigration stance, saying that Arizona had tried that approach before, without success.

“Arizona understands that we don’t need a repeat of that divisive, unproductive fiasco on the national level,” the paper stated. “A recent poll shows Arizonans oppose both more walls and the mass deportations Trump endorses.”

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Shimon Peres, Former Israeli President and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Dies at 93 Wed, 28 Sep 2016 03:50:33 +0000 Tim Kenneally Shimon Peres, former Israeli president and winner of the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize, died Tuesday, the Jerusalem Post reports. He was 93.

After suffering a massive stroke on September 13, Peres, the last surviving member of Israel’s founding fathers, suffered severe organ failure on Tuesday. He also suffered irreversible brain damage a a result of the stroke.

Peres, who held many offices in the Israeli government including prime minister, defense minister and foreign minister, received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, along with  then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, for their work creating the Oslo Accords peace deal.

Born August 2, 1923 in Poland as Szymon Perski, Peres moved to Palestine with his family at 11, growing up in Tel Aviv.

In a statement, President Obama called Peres “the essence of Israel itself.”

“Shimon was the essence of Israel itself — the courage of Israel’s fight for independence, the optimism he shared with his wife Sonya as they helped make the desert bloom, and the perseverance that led him to serve his nation in virtually every position in government across the entire life of the State of Israel,” Obama said, according to USA Today.

In 1997, he established the Peres Center for Peace, hoping to advance Arab-Israeli joint ventures.

Peres also authored 12 books during his lifetime.

He is pre-deceased by his wife Sonya, who died in 2011. They had three children together.

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‘This Is Us’ Recap: ‘The Big Three’ Introduces a New Mystery Wed, 28 Sep 2016 03:00:59 +0000 Linda Ge Looks like “This Is Us” isn’t done with twists quite yet.

After the big time-jump reveal at the end of the series premiere last week, the second episode of NBC’s hit new drama, titled “The Big Three,” delves deeper into the lives of Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and their three children, Kate (Chrissy Metz), Kevin (Justin Hartley) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown).

Harsh reality is settling in, with everyone now facing the consequences of everything that went down in the pilot.

Kevin may have quit “The Manny,” but contracts and a hardass agent (Katey Sagal) make things slightly more complicated for him, and before long he’s getting ready to humiliate himself in front of the network exec (Brad Garrett) and beg for his job back at a fancy party. But with a little emotional support from Kate and Randall, he makes a huge decision to leave LA and try theater in New York.

Still not making any progress in losing weight, Kate has a freakout moment during her weight-loss support group, then reluctantly agrees to go to Kevin’s fancy Hollywood party, and even ends up having fun once Tony (Chris Sullivan) gets her drunk. Flashbacks reveal that her weight issues began early.

Meanwhile, on the East Coast, Randall’s biological father William (Ron Cephas Jones) has all but moved into his house, and Beth (Susan Kelchi Watson) is disturbed by it, especially when William begins borrowing money and disappearing for hours at a time every day. Turns out, he’s not back on drugs – he just has a pet cat at his place, and since he can’t bring the feline over due to their kids’ allergies, he’s been taking the bus three hours every day to feed it.

In flashbacks, Jack and Rebecca are now the parents of three rambunctious eight-year-olds, and Jack’s drinking is taking a toll on their marriage. She needs them to be at a 9, but he’s bringing their average down to 7.

Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, in the second whopper of an ending in as many episodes, Randall’s children answer the door and greet “grandma and grandpa,” who turn out to be Rebecca and Miguel, Jack’s best friend.

Thus, “This Is Us” leaves the audience with a new mystery: What happened to Jack?

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TheGrill 2016: Can Data Drive Storytelling? Van Toffler and Charlie Corwin Weigh In Wed, 28 Sep 2016 02:47:01 +0000 Oriana Schwindt Data-driven journalism has gotten a lot of attention of late thanks to the prognostication prowess of predictors like Nate Silver. But thanks to Netflix, the concept of data driving what you watch has achieved true en vogue status.

“Big data can help you, like a GPS system, triangulate the location, but it can’t help you decide what to build there,” Endemol Shine North America co-CEO Charlie Corwin said at a panel on the relationship between data and storytelling on Tuesday at the 2016 edition of TheGrill, TheWrap’s annual entertainment and media conference at the Montage Beverly Hills.” Obviously it would be nice if data told me what would be a hit,” he added.

Van Toffler, former head of MTV Networks’ music and Logo group and current CEO of digital video shop Gunpowder & Sky, had a more specific request: “I’d like to see data that told Netflix a show about lesbians in prison would be a hit.”

Gunpowder & Sky is just beginning its journey into developing content. Toffler and G&S president Floris Bauer, formerly of Endemol, co-founded the company in January. The company recently snapped up distribution company FilmBuff and expanded its executive team with hires from YouTube, MTV and Meerkat.

“It’s scary,” Toffler said. “The scary part is it may fail miserably, but it’ll be fun. I’m more comfortable with chaos. It felt all this creativity was happening in the digital ecosystem — like the next Ridley Scott is living there.”

Endemol Shine began as a traditional player that has since expanded into digital, creating digital network Endemol Beyond, and now producing the next season of “Big Brother” exclusively for CBS’ subscription service CBS All Access. It’s currently developing a “Talented Mr. Ripley” series written by “Luther” creator Neil Cross.

“We will pitch to everyone it makes sense to,” Corwin said. We like Hulu a lot, Hulu’s a great company, right now they’re looking for American rights so we get to exploit their business model and then go sell global rights.”

Endemol Shine also produces pitch-dark anthology series “Black Mirror.” The show has flipped from a first-run on BBC’s Channel 4 and a second-run on Netflix to a Netflix global original series — the company has opted to simply distribute the show via Netflix the first time around.

“How does our current borderless world affect the format question?” Corwin asked, bringing up “Black Mirror” as an example of a show that doesn’t need its format exported — the British version is what the people want. “More and more ‘that UK show’ is already here,” he added.

And yet throughout all this talk of data and algorithms ran another, older thread: “Content is king.”

“I think there’s still a need for curation,” Toffler said. “Tech allows you to get what you want when you want, but it’s a black hole.”

Watch video from the panel below.

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‘Amanda Knox’ Review: Gripping True-Crime Doc Separates Facts From Hype Wed, 28 Sep 2016 02:27:45 +0000 Robert Abele Framed against a grey backdrop, facing the camera directly, the interviewees in the true-crime documentary “Amanda Knox” — which include the subject herself — could be sitting for portraits at Sears. Some, oddly enough, even manage the occasional photo-friendly smile. They just come at different times in their personal narratives.

For Knox, it’s when she describes being newly in love in Italy; in other words, life before being painted as a bloodthirsty, sexually deviant American college student who collaborated with her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito in the murder her British roommate Meredith Kercher in 2007. For tabloid journalist Nick Pisa, his smile represents life after helping paint Knox as said orgiastic murderer, front page bylines goosing his career to prideful heights.

Therein lies the burning strength of this substantive, even-handed and eye-opening film from Rod Blackhurst (“Here Alone”) and Brian McGinn (“Chef’s Table”), premiering in theaters and on Netflix September 30: for a crime to grab headlines around the world — as the grisly, opaque, and bizarre story of Knox’s ordeal did — parts have to be played and, in some cases, those roles must be vigorously sold.

Knox herself calmly tells us the rundown of her situation at the beginning of the film; you either believe she’s a psychopath, or you see her as the persecuted innocent who could easily be any of us given the circumstances. It’s an undeniably chilling prospect either way, and Blackhurst and McGinn do a vise-tightening job with the unpacking the facts as we now know them, as we never knew them (including rarely seen court documents and police video), and as they were originally distorted beyond all reason.

It all amounts to a categorically fair hearing for someone who was neither the perfect suspect (due to a shoddy investigation and to physical evidence that mostly pointed to someone else) nor the ideally presented victim of wrongful prosecution (thanks to a chilly vibe post-arrest that unfairly branded Knox). The mere fact that Italy’s justice system convicted her twice, and exonerated her twice, says wonders about the murk of perception and facts at work, and “Amanda Knox” delivers its own justice by covering all the complexities of its ever-fascinating true crime tale.

The personality throughline here is fraught with cause and effect — how a rosy-cheeked Seattle teenager who only wanted to spend time with her shy Italian beau was flayed in public for being a sexual person, and how the vilified figure referred to as “Foxy Knoxy” in lurid coverage of the murder became the lonely-looking, exonerated-but-hardened woman captured by the filmmakers back home.

The mining of Knox’s MySpace page (where “Foxy Knoxy” came from) became an early instance of a social media footprint infecting the narrative of a case. It’s persuasively juxtaposed with how the actual evidence was used and abused in the buildup toward presenting Knox as everything short of a supernatural she-beast.

If you’re in the “she’s innocent” camp (and it’s safe to say the filmmakers lean that way), the story has two antagonists — prosecutor Giuliano Mignini and reporter Pisa, of Britain’s Daily Mail — and it’s to the film’s benefit that they’re onscreen giving their side of things. One of the movie’s strengths is how its original interviews are small in number yet stick to the central players, which keeps the focus from drifting off into talking-head land.

Mignini offers up a handful of deductive head-scratchers, like his on-the-spot judgment that a murder victim covered with a sheet indicated a female perpetrator. His poetic confidence in his psychological acuity (“we are all between good and evil”) suggests he finds a theory first, then ignores the facts that don’t support it.

Pisa, meanwhile, is a real piece of work, a breezy opportunist who brags about his cozy relationship with the prosecution, yet gets defensive about how little time there was to scrutinize every bizarre theory they gave the media before he needed to beat the competition with a new headline. At times he sounds more like his readership — entertained by the theories, shocked at the twists and turns — than the steward who’s supposed to vet this stuff for actual information.

Though there’s no new interview with the Kercher family, it’s heartbreaking to see footage of Meredith’s mother telling a reporter she hasn’t received any closure from it all. Meanwhile, the beautifully shot vistas of hilltop Perugia in “Amanda Knox” are in some ways an apt visual metaphor for the other trajectory of this case: the lure of a picturesque, ancient country leading to the treatment of a young woman that can only be described as medieval.

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TheGrill 2016: Innovators Discuss How Mobile Platforms Changed the Game Wed, 28 Sep 2016 02:09:45 +0000 Linda Ge That mobile technology was crucial to the success of “Pokemon Go” is a no-brainer, but the rise of the smartphone has been a game-changer for other Hollywood innovators as well.

“Without it, we definitely wouldn’t exist,” “Pokemon Go” inventor Niantic’s CEO and CTO Phil Keslin said Tuesday at TheGrill conference at the Montage Beverly Hills.

Keslin was one of 11 figures named to TheWrap’s Innovators List of people and companies disrupting Hollywood and the digital media landscape.

Keslin told TheWrap CEO Sharon Waxman that the smartphone and GPS technology made it possible for “Pokemon Go,” and its predecessor, “Ingress,” to become a reality. “Mobile mapping is the basis of what we do,” he said.

“We use public artworks as a foundation for pretty much everything we do, and without mobile platforms to take pictures of that, to provide to us for the game, it would have been impossible.”

Augmented-reality games that require smartphones, but consumers are increasingly accessing all sorts of media on their phones.

Tim Staples, CEO of viral content creating company Shareability, revealed numbers that are undeniable to people trying to attract eyeballs.

“We have these big hit videos, probably 25 of them, and 50 to 60 percent of views come from mobile,” he said. “The mobile side is going through the roof. If 60 percent of your audience is coming from mobile, it gets your attention real quick. It also provides a real-time element, where every time something goes out, it explodes it even further, people grabbing it in real time and sharing with their friends. So it’s kind of the spark that went boom for us.”

Mirriad CEO Mark Popkiewicz, whose company provides product placement and brand integration into existing video content, agreed. “There’s massive adoption of the mobile device for video,” he said. “In China, the video market there is going to grow four times,  and it’s largely on mobile. There needs to be a better way of monetizing that experience if we’re going to continue to create content to feed that appetite.

“The way we do what we do works very well on mobile devices,” he said. “All the research is very positive. In music videos, it’s twice as effective as having pre-roll, and most music videos are consumed on mobile.”

YouTube creator and Instagram star Chantel Jeffries noted, “You have to be immersed in what’s going on around you.”

Her advice, based on amassing 6 million followers across various social media platforms: “In a sense, stay young. See what the younger generation is doing, and to be able to adapt to that… You have to be constantly changing.”

“Timing is so key,” Staples agreed. “There’s a lot of people that tried to do what we’re doing now but they tried to do it 10 years ago. Honestly, they could have been a lot smarter than we are, but all the market dynamics need to add up. In my space, brands are just now ready to change for the first time, and it’s because they have to.”

For some, being an innovator is about having the kind of personality geared towards taking leaps of faith.

“It’s part stupidity, part ego, maybe less a fear of failure than your average person,” said Rob Goldberg, CEO and founder of Fresno Inc., whose digital video company is bridging the gap between Silicon Valley and Hollywood.

“I started a company when I was 22, literally had no idea what I was doing, and then I spent two years running the business into the ground, lived with my parents, paid off the debt and then started again,” he said.

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‘Dancing With the Stars’ Eliminates Second Couple of Season 23 Wed, 28 Sep 2016 02:01:27 +0000 Reid Nakamura “Dancing With the Stars” eliminated the second couple of Season 23 on Tuesday.

Rick Perry and partner Emma Slater were sent packing at the end of the night, based on a combination of judges’ scores and audience votes.

“I did this for all the veterans out there, and I hope everyone will go out there and find a group to support those guys,” Perry said after host Tom Bergeron announced the elimination.

Week three of the ABC ballroom dance competition show pitted the contestants against one another in head-to-head challenges, with the winners walking away with immunity.

After Monday night’s performances, Jana Kramer & Gleb Savchenko, Vanilla Ice & Witney Carson, James Hinchcliffe & Sharna Burgess, Calvin Johnson Jr. & Lindsay Arnold, Maureen McCormick & Artem Chigvintsev, and Laurie Hernandez & Val Chmerkovskiy were the six couples safe from elimination.

That left Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Ryan Lochte, Terra Jolé, Amber Rose and Marilu Henner as the six celebrities on the chopping block Tuesday night.

Henner and her partner Derek Hough, as well as Babyface & Alison Holker and Ryan Lochte & Cheryl Burke were revealed to be safe throughout the night thanks to the audience voting. At the end of the two-hour show, Perry was cut from the competition.

Perry, the lowest-scoring competitor of the season to-date, took a beating from the judges on Monday night over a stiff paso doble that was deemed inferior to that of Vanilla Ice, who won immunity.

“Dancing With the Stars” airs Monday and Tuesday nights at 8/7c on ABC.

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Did Neil Cavuto Change His Tune on Whether Donald Trump Opposed Iraq War in 2003? Wed, 28 Sep 2016 01:59:58 +0000 Itay Hod and Jordan Burchette

Fox News is scrambling to explain why host Neil Cavuto appears to have changed his tune on whether he believes Donald Trump was against the war in Iraq when Cavuto interviewed him in 2003.

In a segment taped back in February, the host of “Your World With Neil Cavuto” claimed that he did not get the impression from the interview, conducted roughly two months before the war began, that Trump opposed the invasion of Iraq.

“Donald Trump has been campaigning largely on the theme: ‘I saw the ills and woes of going into Iraq before anyone else,'” Cavuto said. “Yet when I interviewed him back in January of 2003, a couple of months before we formally got involved in Iraq, he could have left you with a different impression.”

But on Monday night, after the first presidential debate between Trump and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, Cavuto introduced a clip from the 2003 interview — which has been used recently by Trump’s supporters to prove that he opposed the Iraq War — and appeared to sing a different tune.

“It is very unfair for those in the mainstream media to say that he never had any reservations before we went into that war,” he said on Fox Business Network. “In fact, he did.”

The discrepancy in Cavuto’s recollections was discovered when Fox News released a clip of the interview via Twitter on Tuesday, accompanied by the plea “WATCH: 2003 clip backs up @realDonaldTrump on Iraq War opposition.”

In the 2003 interview, Trump said to Cavuto of President George W. Bush, “Well, he has either got to do something or not do something, perhaps, because perhaps he shouldn’t be doing it yet and perhaps we should be waiting for the United Nations, you know?”

Trump continued: “[Bush is] under a lot of pressure. I think he’s doing a very good job. But, of course, if you look at the polls, a lot of people are getting a little tired. I think the Iraqi situation is a problem. And I think the economy is a much bigger problem.”

While the comment does express skepticism about the invasion, many in the media have noted that it does not indicate opposition. The use of the word “yet” also suggests Trump may have had an issue with the timing rather than the invasion itself.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning folks at PolitiFact weighed in the matter saying, “So Trump put the economy ahead of confronting Iraq, but he didn’t speak against going to war. At most he suggested waiting for the United Nations to do something.”

Media watchdog Media Matters called the Fox maneuver a “sham,” while media blog Mediate went a step further, calling it “bulls-t.”

When TheWrap reached out to Fox News seeking an explanation for Cavuto’s seeming flip-flop, a rep for the network simply referred us to Monday night’s video but did not elaborate further.

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TheGrill 2016: Hollywood Lawyers on Putting Holograms in Your Living Room (Video) Wed, 28 Sep 2016 01:56:34 +0000 Matt Donnelly

The biggest challenge of bringing dead stars like Bob Marley and Prince to life in holograms may not be technological, but legal .

“There are a lot of legal issues involved in bringing back dead celebrities — it’s been very, very complicated,” Bonnie Eskenazi, Entertainment Partner at Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger, said Tuesday at TheGrill conference at the Montage Beverly Hills.

“Holograms and bringing back dead celebrities to live with us and be present with us is something that’s all over the news,” said Eskenazi, who is currently working on an open case with the Marley estate for a hologram of the late reggae star.

Fellow panelist Lindsay Conner, partner and Chair in the Media and Entertainment Group at Manatt, Phelps & Phillip, took things a step further and said that markets like China are much more equipped to release something like a hologram — something the U.S. is only just finding legal language for.

“When most of us were growing up, what a theater offered was a chance to see movie on a big screen,” Conner said. “It’s gotten to be so much more than that. [China is] building extremely high quality theaters and a business that’s an enhanced version of that.”

Eskenazi is already ahead of him — just wait until the hologram comes to your house.

“It’s be interesting to see the challenges for theatrical when holograms come to home theater,” she said. “We talk about these holograms playing  right in your own living room. I think that’s a hard thing to replicate.”

TheGrill 2016 welcomed a panel of such legal aces to discuss the increasingly nebulous task of structuring deals for talent, studios and other creatives as companies begin to disseminate content across more platforms than ever before.

Eskenazi and Conner were also joined by Nina Shaw, partner at Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano,  Schuyler Moore, partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, and Susan Zuckerman Williams, partner at Loeb & Loeb.

Watch the clip above for more.

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TheGrill 2016: Media M&A Is All About Locking Down Prime Content (Video) Wed, 28 Sep 2016 01:47:12 +0000 Matt Pressberg

Any conversation about media and entertainment companies getting acquired seems to begin and end with China. But there’s plenty of M&A intrigue beyond headline deals coming from across the Pacific, such as Dalian Wanda Group’s $3.5 billion purchase of Legendary Entertainment. What else is for sale? Who’s buying? And why?

At a panel Tuesday at TheWrap’s TheGrill media and entertainment leadership conference at the Montage Beverly Hills, four veteran dealmakers weighed in just that.

The group saw a prime motive of recent M&A being a direct result of content becoming so much more valuable as downstream providers proliferate — and the fact that there’s not a limitless supply of it that resonates.

“If you look at the landscape, content has really transformed companies,” Carlos Jimenez, a managing director at M&A advisory firm Moelis & Co., told the panel’s moderator, CAA Head of Global Client Strategy Brian Weinstein.

Jimenez highlighted the way “The Hunger Games” and “Breaking Bad” boosted the profiles of Summit Entertainment (now a Lionsgate subsidiary) and AMC Networks, respectively.

“Content is playing such a critical role in the ecosystem,” he said. “You can use content as a differentiator.”

Panelists also addressed the challenges of doing the right deal, and speculated about what four of America’s biggest, richest companies — Amazon, Google parent Alphabet, Facebook and Apple — are likely to do next. They all have plenty of balance sheet cash and differing media ambitions.

Andrew Siegel, the executive vice president of media giant Advance Publications, said Facebook has been able to build a massive business leveraging other people’s content, but he expects the economics to eventually force the social network to invest in its own.

“Ultimately they will have to bite the bullet and get into the content business, and the Oculus acquisition makes that more likely,” he said.

“The interesting thing for both Apple and Google is do they get in the content business at all?” Dan Schechter, a managing director at L.E.K. Consulting said. “Do they use control of a large content service to drive their business?”

Andy Howard, a partner at private equity firm Shamrock Capital Advisors, was extremely bullish on Amazon.

“What they have is extraordinary, and what they will have in three to four years,” he said. “Everything we’re talking about is delivery of content. And they have their hands in all of it. That’s their backbone.”

The panel also addressed the challenges of trying to make a deal from a financial perspective, rather than as a company looking to buy a complementary piece, such as NBCUniversal’s acquisition of DreamWorks.

Howard said that being a financial buyer like Shamrock can be a challenge if a target is pursued by a strategic investor like a fellow media company that might have a different investment calculus.

Private equity funds want to generate a certain return to their investors within a window of time, while strategic investors can take a longer view.

“When strategics are involved, it’s tough for us,” Howard said.

Siegel said it’s critical to stay on top of generational trends when looking at media and entertainment companies to potentially buy.

“It’s so important to hear what the 21-year-old is doing over the weekend,” he said. “What are they watching? What are they spending their disposable income on?”

It would be impossible to have a talk about media M&A without bringing up the Viacom saga, especially now that the deal to sell a minority stake in Paramount Pictures is off the table. The panelists agreed that Viacom still has a stable of good brands, and the new, “fresh” slate of directors could help turn the company around.

The group finished with a brief discussion of virtual reality. Everyone saw promise, but the consensus was that it’s way too early to invest in individual VR companies.

“This is like trying to buy a car company in 1920,” Siegel said.

And of course, Jimenez also hinted at more international Hollywood deals to come.

“Some of the things I can’t announce are some of the big production companies that are on the block that might be acquired by foreign buyers,” he said.

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‘Empire’ Star Blasts ‘Weirdo’ 50 Cent: ‘He Needs a Hug’ (Video) Wed, 28 Sep 2016 00:38:38 +0000 Tim Kenneally There’s nothing wrong with 50 Cent that a warm embrace — and maybe some time on a therapist’s couch — can’t fix. At least, that’s the word from “Empire” star Ta’Rhonda Jones.

Following the “Get Rich or Die Tryin'” rapper’s latest outburst comparing his Starz show “Power” and Fox’s “Empire,” Jones told TMZ that 50 Cent is a “weirdo.”

“I think on this side, we’re more mature. It’s just 50, though. It’s him. he’s a weirdo,” Jones opined. “I think he needs a hug, you know what I mean? Dude needs a hug, because he just keeps it going on and on and on.”

In his latest shot against “Empire,” the rapper — who has accused the show of lifting from his own in the past — posted an image of “Empire” star Taraji P. Henson, along with an image from an article stating that the ratings for “Empire” fell after its Season 3 premiere.

“Well look at the bright side at least,” the rapper wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post. “You can eat your trophies.”

Henson replied with an Instagram post of her own, touting “Empire” as the top-rated scripted program on broadcast television in the key 18-49 demographic.

Referring to the rapper as “loose change,” Henson encouraged people to do “REAL research!!!”

But as far as Jones is concerned, there’s no comparison between the two series, and 50 Cent needs to cool his jets.

“These are two different shows talking about two different things; why is it that you’re always trying to compare your show with ours?” Jones asked of the rapper, before offering her theory on the cause of his ongoing beef.

“I think it’s an insecurity issue. It’s always something with him,” Jones offered. “I just say he’s a weirdo, and if he needs help, I know a good therapist and, you know, he’ll listen.”

Watch the analysis go down in the video below.

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Colin Kaepernick Slams Both Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump as ‘Racist,’ ‘Proven Liars’ Wed, 28 Sep 2016 00:21:54 +0000 Beatrice Verhoeven San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick slammed both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump as “proven liars” with “racist” tendencies following the first presidential debate on Monday.

“To me, it was embarrassing to watch that these are our two candidates,” Kaepernick said, according to the Associated Press. “Both are proven liars and it almost seems like they’re trying to debate who’s less racist. And at this point, talking with one of my friends, it was, you have to pick the lesser of two evils, but in the end, it’s still evil.”

On Tuesday, Kaepernick also retweeted a tweet that read, “I’m watching the , like NEITHER ONE OF YOU gives a damn about Black folks. They BOTH sound uncomfortable talking about Black issues.”

Trump and Clinton’s performances, not surprisingly, were the subject of great debate on Monday night, with most observers declaring Clinton the winner. A poll of debate watchers conducted by CNN/ORC scored the event 62 percent for Clinton to just 27 percent for Trump.

A similar poll administrated by Public Policy Polling was much closer, but still awarded the night to Clinton, 51 to 40.

Kaepernick has sparked much attention this season by taking a knee during the national anthem before 49ers games in a silent protest against racial inequality and police brutality in the United States.

On Tuesday, the athlete also responded to Trump’s comments from last month that his anthem protest wasn’t “a good thing” and that he “should find a country that works better for him.”

The 29-year-old athlete said it was “a very ignorant statement, that if you don’t agree with what’s going on here and that if you want justice and liberty and freedom for all that you should leave the country.”

Last season, Kaepernick lost his quarterback starting position to Blaine Gabbert.

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TheGrill 2016: Michael Lynton Recalls ‘Extremely Unfair’ Criticism of Sony Hack Tue, 27 Sep 2016 23:44:31 +0000 Matt Donnelly

Sony Entertainment was unfairly criticized for its response to a devastating cyber attack two years ago, CEO Michael Lynton said on Tuesday.

After the 2014 hack on servers and systems at the Culver City, California, Sony Pictures lot, Lynton and the organization at large were condemned for a lack of preparedness — from podiums as high as President Obama’s.

“What we’ve seen is that nobody is adequately prepared,” Lynton told TheWrap CEO Sharon Waxman during a keynote conversation at TheGrill 2016 conference at Montage Beverly Hills.

“And certainly not when a sovereign comes after you,” he added, referring to the revelation that North Korea was responsible for the security breach over objections to the depiction of its leader, Kim Jong-Un, in the Seth Rogen comedy “The Interview.”

“That felt extremely unfair at the time,” Lynton continued.

Lynton said that many were distracted by the disclosure of executive emails and the controversy they created. “They didn’t properly understand the nature of the attack and the degree of vulnerability anyone would’ve had,” he said. “I haven’t seen one instance post-Sony of a whatever institution being criticized for having inadequate security, which is bizarre.”

So why was the distributor of “The Interview” singled out? “I supposed it’s because we were the first,” Lynton said.

The CEO spoke at length in a wide-ranging interview that touched on everything from a steep recent decline in DVD sales to unpacking motives of Chinese investment in Hollywood.

Watch the video above for his full remarks.

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Brad Pitt Skips ‘Voyage of Time’ Screening Due to ‘Family Situation’ Tue, 27 Sep 2016 23:43:44 +0000 Tim Kenneally Brad Pitt won’t be on hand to promote “Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience” during the film’s screening on Wednesday, due to his “family situation.”

The actor told Access Hollywood that he was skipping the premiere for the Terrence Malick film, on which Pitt served as a producer, so as to focus on the personal issues he’s currently experiencing, and to not draw attention away from the film.

“Terrence’s ‘Voyage of Time’ is an incredibly beautiful and unique experiential IMAX film for children and families chronicling the birth of time,” Pitt said. “I’m very grateful to be part of such a fascinating and educational project, but I’m currently focused on my family situation and don’t want to distract attention away from this extraordinary film, which I encourage everyone to see.”

The documentary, which is narrated by Brad Pitt, is an “exploration into our planetary past and a search for humanity’s place in the future,” according to a synopsis published by IMDb.

Last week, Pitt’s wife, Angelina Jolie, filed for divorce from the actor, after two years of marriage and more than a decade together.

Jolie cited “irreconcilable differences” in court documents, adding that their date of separation was September 15.

She also requested sole physical custody of their six children, offering Pitt visitation rights and joint legal custody. Pitt officially adopted three of Jolie’s children, while Jolie gave birth to three more children over the course of their relationship.

Pitt said that he was “deeply saddened” by the split in a statement following the filing.

“I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the well being of our kids,” the actor said in a statement to People. “I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time.”

Jolie’s rep said that the actress filed for the divorce “for the health of the family. She will not be commenting at this time, and asks that the family be given their privacy during this difficult time.”

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TheGrill 2016: How Marketing Is Adapting to Mobile-First Consumers Tue, 27 Sep 2016 23:36:10 +0000 Meriah Doty As mobile marketing currently enjoys a period of exponential growth, the new name of the game is engagement — deep engagement — executives in the field said on Tuesday at the 2016 edition of TheGrill, TheWrap’s annual entertainment and media conference at the Montage Beverly Hills.

“React” video series creators Benny and Rafi Fine (a.k.a. The Fine Brothers), VoteBlast CEO Ardy Falaki, YouNow CEO Adi Sideman and Seriously CEO Andrew Stalbow appeared on a panel where they discussed this brave new world.

The ability to gain and interpret real-time metrics, they agreed, gives mobile marketers a massive edge over traditional television and movie marketers.

“Fox doesn’t know who saw ‘Avatar,'” Stalbow said of the highest-grossing movie of all time. “Being directly connected to our audience is an amazing position to be in.”

“It helps us figure out how to make content people want to consume on their devices,” added Rafi Fine, who recalled observing user behavior shift dramatically over the past few years. “It’s amazing to literally see the ratio swap over time — now 70 percent of our users are on mobile and 30 percent are on laptops/desktops.”

The ad spend on mobile marketing is expected to grow to 32 percent of the global ad pie, or $84 billion, by 2020, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

One way the Fine Brothers engage audiences is to let fans choose an ending to a show. “We shot two different endings,” explained Rafi Fine about one project.

The Fine Brothers have also cultivated 175 of their show stars through the popularity of their franchise. “Every one of them literally are fans … 4,000 submissions to audition for a part came from the Los Angeles area alone — from millennials, teen fans. They come in crying and shaking,” he said of their excitement level.

“We transitioned to mobile in 2012, 2013 and saw traffic grow literally overnight,” said YouNow’s Sideman, who said added that consumption of his company’s live stream video chat product among teenage users is now 70 percent mobile. He argued that the prerequisite for creating a mobile company is first putting “strong social ecosystems” in place — for example, ones that “the broadcaster can push out with push notifications.”

“It’s about the power of being engaged anywhere you are,” said Falaki. “The quality is good now — audio, visual and also from a content perspective. There’s so much out there a typical TV doesn’t give you.”

As Sideman noted of YouNow’s user-incentive campaign, which has consumers vying to get on air as guest broadcasters, “People were leaning back, they were leaning forward, and now they literally want to jump in.”

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Annette Bening Braves the ’70s as a Single Mom in ’20th Century Women’ First Trailer (Video) Tue, 27 Sep 2016 23:25:27 +0000 Umberto Gonzalez

Annette Bening looks to make another bid for Oscar gold in “20th Century Women,” with A24’s release of the film’s first teaser trailer (watch above).

Director Mike Mills’ “20th Century Women,” starring Bening as a single mother raising a teenage son in 1979 Southern California, will make its world premiere as the centerpiece of the 54th New York Film Festival.

The comedy will screen on Saturday, Oct. 8 at the NYFF.

“I was taken aback by ’20th Century Women,'” NYFF Festival Director Kent Jones said in a statement announcing the film’s selection. “It’s made with an extraordinarily unusual level of craft and attention to detail, human and visual, which is now all but extinct. As someone who actually lived through 1979 in middle-class America, I will testify to the fact that Mike Mills and his remarkable cast approach the level of the uncanny.”

Mills, whose last film was the Oscar-winning “Beginners,” wrote and directed “20th Century Women,” which also stars Billy Crudup, Greta Gerwig, Elle Fanning and newcomer Lucas Jade Zumann as the Bening character’s son.

The story takes place in Santa Barbara, with Bening already picking up Oscar buzz as a woman presiding over what NYFF refers to as “a sprawling bohemian house.”

The film will be released in December by A24, which last year released the Oscar-winning “Room.” It was produced by Megan Ellison, Anne Carey and Youree Henley.

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Britney Spears Almost Eats It Onstage at Apple Music Festival Tue, 27 Sep 2016 23:24:35 +0000 Tim Kenneally Britney Spears‘ performance at the Apple Music Festival drew a mix of delight and concern — because at one point the “Oops, I Did It Again” singer almost fell on the floor.

A momentary panic washed over the crowd and Spears’ Twitter army when an attempt by a backup dancer to lift the singer went awry, nearly sending the “Womanizer” songbird tumbling. While Spears recovered unscathed, fans’ nerves were clearly rattled.

“Omg that scared me. She was going too early but thank god nothing bad happened,” one Spears devotee fretted.

“When every heart of the entire Britney Army just stopped for a second,” another said, posting a GIF of the near-disaster.

Aside from the near-spill, Spears’ show at the Roundhouse in London got plenty of good reviews.

“You know Britney Spears is truly a legend when she’s still able to top the game 20 years into her career,” one fan gushed on Twitter.


Didn’t catch the live stream of Spears’ performance? Read some of the best reactions below.

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Howard Dean Doubles Down on Trump Cocaine Tweet: ‘Something Funny Was Going On’ (Video) Tue, 27 Sep 2016 22:44:04 +0000 Itay Hod

Howard Dean says he’s not apologizing for his controversial tweet Monday night, which insinuated that Donald Trump may have a drug problem.

On Tuesday, Dean appeared on MSNBC, telling anchor Kate Snow that he doesn’t believe Trump has a cocaine “habit,” but insisting “something funny was going on.”

“I don’t make diagnosis on the television — it’s medically improper,” he told Snow. “But I don’t think this was a ridiculous idea. Something funny was going on with Trump last night.”

Dean then went on to list the symptoms of cocaine abusers that he says were visible during Trump’s presidential debate performance, including sniffling, grandiosity, delusions and pressured speech.

Trump’s incessant sniffing became a trending topic on social media, igniting memes and the hashtag #TrumpSniffle. A mashup of Trump’s sniffles has been viewed more than 18,000 times on YouTube.

Dean, a physician turned politician, mused on Twitter, “Notice Trump sniffing all the time. Coke user?”

Ironically, Trump has been suggesting for months that Clinton has been sick, pointing to her coughing fit as evidence that “something’s going on.”

The Trump-Clinton face-off,  which took place at Hofstra University and was hosted by NBC’s Lester Holt, broke the previous Nielsen record for a presidential debate set in 1980 when Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan drew 80.6 million total viewers.

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‘This Is Us’ Scores Full Season Order at NBC Tue, 27 Sep 2016 22:38:53 +0000 Joe Otterson “This Is Us” has been ordered to a full season at NBC.

NBC has ordered an additional five episodes of the new Dan Fogelman-created drama series, bringing the full season order to 18, the network announced on Tuesday.

“It’s a rare moment in this business when a show so instantly delivers both critical acclaim and hit ratings, but ‘This Is Us’ is just such an extraordinary achievement,” said Jennifer Salke, president of NBC Entertainment. “Creator Dan Fogelman, along with co-directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa and the gifted producers, cast and crew, has delivered the kind of heart and depth that resonates with every segment of the audience, and we’re proud to extend its presence on our schedule.”

The new series scored one of the best premieres for any new show so far this season, pulling in 10.1 million viewers and a 2.9 rating on Sept. 20.

The cast includes Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Justin Hartley, Chrissy Metz, Sterling K. Brown, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Sullivan and Ron Cephas Jones.

Dan Fogelman serves as writer and executive producer with Don Todd. Jess Rosenthal, Charlie Gogolak and directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra also executive produce. “This Is Us” is produced by 20th Century Fox Television.

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TheGrill 2016: Bundling Is Going Nowhere, TV Execs Say Tue, 27 Sep 2016 22:00:30 +0000 Linda Ge The TV landscape may be changing, but bundling is not going anywhere, three top television executives agreed.

Appearing on a panel Tuesday at the 2016 edition of TheGrill, TheWrap’s annual entertainment and media conference at the Montage Beverly Hills, FX boss John Landgraf, BBC America president Sarah Barnett and Showtime CEO David Nevins discussed the changing landscape of their businesses and whether TV could be heading toward a purely a la carte model, wherein consumers buy channels and content individually rather than through cable-company bundles.

Nevins was the first to disagree with that notion.

“People want the breadth of programming,” Nevins told TheWrap’s TV Editor Scott Collins. “A lot of the same people who want ‘Ray Donovan’ also want a show that John gives them, also want a show that Sarah gives them. I think the vast majority of bundling is useful to consumers. They don’t want what they don’t want, but they also don’t want only a very narrow slice of the pie.”

“We’re in this fascinating place, we really don’t know how the organization of TV is going to shake out over the next few years,” said Barnett. “I think a la carte seems unlikely.”

Landgraf, who famously coined the term “Peak TV” about the overflowing amount of content available across TV platforms right now, also sees relative stability in terms of distribution models in the near future.

He cited a mere two percent decline in big-bundle subscriptions year over year and the fact that the big-bundle model caters to the needs of families and larger groups of people.

“What you see is a relative state of stasis,” he said. “It could change, but it’s not surprising to me, having seen the research on who the actual people are who aren’t bundling. It’s pretty logical, it’s kind of who you think it is.”

The panel also took a subtle dig at Netflix, especially Ted Sarandos’ revelation that the company would be spending $6 billion on content this year.

“It’s an interesting thing to not have $6 billion to spend on programming in a year, or anything close to that,” Barnett quipped, praising her sister network SundanceTV’s “Rectify” as an example of a smart choice, and touting her network’s “Orphan Black” and the upcoming “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency.”

“It’s about developing [material], who’s talented and where to place the right bets, and not having an infinite sum of money makes you place better bets,” agreed Nevins. “If you spend enough money, you’re going to hit something good once in a while. But also you get paid for batting average.”

Landgraf also disagreed with Netflix’s model of ordering projects straight to series, eschewing the traditional TV development process.

“For me personally, I’m just not very interested in buying a show the way a movie is bought: The entire package is put together and you’re simply the pipeline that buys it and distributes it,” he said. “I’m more interested in having a dialogue with the people who are making [the show]. But I think, for the most part, that wages have gone up for directors, writers, actors — that’s a good thing.”

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Ryan Lochte ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Protesters Charged, Could Face Prison Time Tue, 27 Sep 2016 21:50:18 +0000 Itay Hod Los Angeles prosecutors filed misdemeanor charges against two men accused of interrupting Ryan Lochte’s performance on “Dancing With the Stars.”

Sam Sotoodeh, 59, and Barzeen Soroudi, 25, are each charged with two misdemeanors: leaving a spectator area and entering the stage and interrupting a performance. They could each face a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office told TheWrap.

Their arraignment is set for October 4.

During the season premiere of “Dancing With the Stars,” Sotoodeh and Soroudi charged the stage screaming “liar” at Lochte — after the Olympian’s claim that he was robbed at the Rio Summer Olympics was proven false.

Lochte later apologized for “over-exaggerating” the story and was later banned from professional swimming for 10 months by the United States Olympic Committee.

Sotoodeh and Soroudi were arrested on misdemeanor trespassing charges and released the following day on  $1,000 bail.

The show says it conducted “a full evaluation of security procedures” following the incident.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report. 

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