CLASSIC: Shrinking profits and rising costs are making movie
studios cautious about their new projects. Variety
REVOLUTION WILL BE BROADCAST: Bill Gates enters interactive
TV big-time with some major alliances. Web TV goal: make interactivity
a must-have for producers and programmers.
UP SITCOMS DOWN: The Big Four TV networks still lost
some viewers for "premiere week" compared to last year - but
the strategy of more dramas/fewer comedies seems sound. Los
Angeles Times 9/29/99
Hispanic-led boycott to blame for ratings drop?
Houston Chronicle 9/29/99
Morning News says if you factor in UPN network, premiere week
audience actually went up a bit.
Dallas Morning News 9/29/99
BACKLASH: This morning TV critics everywhere are bashing
Ally McBeal Lite - the half-hour version of "Ally" that bows
tonight. It's a cynical rip-off calculated to grab more money,
they say. Plus, they're just getting sick of her. The Globe
and Mail puts it succinctly. Globe and
FILMS: The industry is thriving at home - but how to win
bigger audiences - and just what makes a Canadian film anyway?
[Real Audio clip]
MIGHT BE DOWN AT HOME, but American TV shows are raking
in billions selling their wares overseas. This year's international
sitcom bazaar convenes in Cannes. Variety
Record sales are down four percent through the
first half of the year. Digital piracy through the internet
gets the blame.
Hollywood Reporter 9/27/99
IS NOT FOREVER: Thousands of old movies are deteriorating
in their cans, and only a few people are making efforts to save
our moving picture legacy. NPR
- Taller, thinner, prettier:
Staffers at the real White House comment on how the new series
"West Wing" portrays their world. "Everything was more exciting
than it is in real life," says one former White House aide.
LA Times 9/24/99
- When we loved movies: Susan
Sontag recently claimed that cinephilia is dead. With a mass culture
awash in moving images, what happened to the ideal of cinema as
Art? Jean Douchet's sumptuous book about the French New Wave recalls
the days of art. National Post 9/24/99
- VIRTUAL VCR: No going out
in the rain, no late charges...movies on your computer are the
Next Big Thing at what's being billed as the ''world's first virtual
video store.'' You can keep it, says Patti Hartigan, struggling
to decide which of the 67 movies available she wants to see. Boston
NO ARTS COVERAGE ON TV? Seattle arts organizations confront
local stations to demand answers. Seattle
KIDS IN TOWN: Nickelodeon is opening a new $10 million digital
animation studio and development laboratory in Manhattan. The
studio will produce new animated series. Backstage
REPRESENTED? A new report challenges idea that network television
is doing a poor job of representing blacks in primetime and suggests
that things have gotten better, not worse, over the past 20 years.
CBS and ABC, the report says, actually feature more black actors
in leading roles on their primetime series than the 11.8% of the
US population that is African-American.
TALK SHOWS ARE A SCUZZY BUSINESS - not so scuzzy as trying
to make them, though. Here's an inside account of the inner turmoils
of a TV talk show.
- Elton John turns movie critic:Trashes
Benigni's "Life is Beautiful." Elton's new movie (he produced)
was a hit at this year's Toronto Film Festival.
Toronto Globe and Mail 9/18/99
- Colorful TV: The networks
have conceded there aren't enough minority roles in their programming
- they're writing some in.
New York Times 9/20/99[transferred
to NYT paid archive]
of a network boycott by a coalition of Latino groups has broadcasters
scrambling to compile lists of their Hispanic talent. Okay, they're
using short pieces of paper, but "we're trying" they say.
Dallas Morning News 9/12/99
- Last time sitcoms were declared
dead, "Cosby" came along. This time feels different, one critic
says. The sitcom is ailing. Atlanta Journal-Constitution
NETWORKS WERE IN CONGRESS protesting they do have shows with
people of color. Not enough, says NAACP. And by the way - how
come only one percent of those behind the cameras are African
- Music insider takes apart
LA music scene: Music is a cutthroat business says John Doe, talking
about his new indie movie about the contemporary LA music scene.
Los Angeles Times 9/17/99
- Star studded: Midway through
the star-choked Toronto Film Festival, an unexpected star has
emerged - the writers.
Chicago Tribune 9/17/99
- Ray Suarez leaving NPR: Going
to PBS' The Newshour. Melinda Penkava to take over as interim
host of TOTN. Washington Post 9/16/99
COMICS AREN'T LAUGHING: More than 100 comedians have signed
a letter of protest to the BET cable network complaining about
the way they're treated by the network's Comic View show.
- Busted: Digital piracy is
big business. Sony and Electronic Arts are trying to fight back,
alleging a group of Bay Area residents were part of international
video game piracy ring.
San Francisco Weekly 9/16/99
- Why digital film making is
taking over: Work that used to cost $500 an hour in a post-production
facility could be done at home on a Macintosh," says one proud
producer at last week's ResFest
digital film festival in San Francisco.
San Francisco Gate 9/16/99
MILLION PEOPLE DISPLACED, MAJOR DESTRUCTION LOOMING What's
it all mean? Ratings, that's what. The Weather Channel scored
all time records, and - inexplicably - "Martha Stewart Living"
got ten times its usual audience in Miami. Variety
- Fox's new "Action" series
is being billed as a spoof of Hollywood. But critic Tom Shales
says it's so witty and wonderful, he wonders: Is it a satire,
or a documentary? Washington Post 9/16/99
- Short end of the stick: Why
are short films such a neglected art form? The last place you
expect to see them is on the big screen, distributors don't know
how to market them, audiences never liked paying for them, and
critics never review them. But the British Short Film Festival
demonstrates the creativity being passed over.
London Times 9/16/99
- Giant creens/big size dilemma:
he phenomenal commercial success of last year's Everest movie
has the giant screen industry rethinking its fare.
New York Times 9/15/99
- Ratings for the web: They
work for movies, but they're a very bad idea online. Arizona
Daily Star 9/14/99
SWAPPING: An Inspector General's report
has concluded that 53 radio and television stations in the Public
Broadcasting Service and National
Public Radio systems have swapped donor lists with political
organizations. This news as Ervin Duggan -- PBS' president and
chief executive officer for five years -- announced he was stepping
down. Philanthropy News Network 9/14/99
the IG's report
CBS-VIACOM MARRIAGE: Will Simon & Schuster end up an orphan?
Publisher's Weekly 9/14/99
NEW YORK MAGAZINE COLUMNIST says merger isn't about synergy, it's
the stock price.
DIRECTOR ZHANG ZIMOU WON ANOTHER TOP AWARD AT THE VENICE FILM
FESTIVAL for “Not One Less,” the true
story of a rural village schoolteacher who risks everything to
bring back a tyke sent to the city to work. It was Zhang's third
major prize in Venice, and confirms him as one of the most original
film makers working today.
NEW "LORD OF THE RINGS'' MOVIE has a $360 million budget,
making it the second-largest production ever. Think that's scary?
Not only is the Tolkein classic one of the most popular books
of the century, it's become an online cult, so the ways to screw
up are magnified oh, about a million-fold.