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Georgia Towns Sue Netflix To Make Them Pay Cable Fees

Three municipalities in Georgia are suing Netflix, Hulu, and other streaming video providers for as much as 5 percent of their gross revenue in the district — joining a nationwide group of towns and counties that want these services regulated more like cable TV. It’s a small but growing front in the war over cord-cutting, challenging regulators to decide which matters more: the increasing role streaming services play in American media diets or their significant practical differences from traditional TV. - The Verge

Cannes Film Festival 2021 Will Happen, But May Be Postponed To July

"With the Cannes Lions still on track to run June 21-25, it’s feasible that the Cannes Film Festival could be assembled in time to roll out in early July. One industry insider says it would take only a few days or roughly a week to set up the film festival." - Variety

When They Make A Movie About Your Wife’s Illness And Death, And Critics Hate It

Journalist Matthew Teague made his career covering war and disaster zones, but it was a longform essay for Esquire about his wife's terminal cancer that got him a National Magazine Award, legions of new fans, and a movie deal. "What he didn' account for was just how cruel Hollywood can be when a movie does come together, an experience he is still coming to terms with." - The New York Times

Late-Night TV Writers Dish On The Hard Work Of Writing Jokes About Trump

"Ahead of Biden's inauguration, Vulture spoke with multiple late-night writers who either still work or previously worked for Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Trevor Noah, Jimmy Kimmel, Samantha Bee, Jim Jefferies, and John Oliver about what it was like inside the Trump-joke trenches — and how they see the next administration affecting their jobs. … In every interview, two themes emerged: Writing Trump jokes sucks, and those who are still working in late night are exhausted." - Vulture

BBC Faces ‘Financial Risk’ As Viewers’ Habits Change

The UK's national broadcaster is funded by mandatory license fees, charged annually to every household that owns a television set. But as more and more Britons, especially younger ones, consume all their video via streaming on their computers and phones, fewer and fewer of them have televisions to pay license fees on. And so, says a report from the UK National Audit Office, the BBC "faces considerable uncertainty" in its future and needs to prepare "a long-term financial plan … as soon as possible." - BBC

Streaming Giants From U.S. May End Up Saving Canadian TV Industry

"Canada forcing Netflix and other foreign streamers to pour $800 million annually into local Canadian content will be a lifeline for world-beating creators, say Bill C-10 supporters." - The Hollywood Reporter

Canada Gets A 24/7 Inuit-Language TV Channel

The new network's executive director sounds hopeful. "As our elders pass away, we are fighting against time to keep Inuit culture and language alive for our children and grandchildren. TV in Inuktut all day every day is a powerful way to keep a living language for future generations." - CBC

Motion Picture Academy Changes, And Expands, The International Shortlist

The Academy concluded that there was no way to keep the larger executive committee's deliberation process secure on Zoom or other platforms - so the "preliminary committee," a smaller group, is now the only arbiter of what movies will be nominated for Best International Feature. Unrelated (or so they claim), the shortlist has expanded from 10 to 15. - The Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood, Like Many Americans, Has Been Looking For Villains In All The Wrong Places

And casting villains, that is to say law enforcement and others deeply committed to white supremacy, as heroes. But the new documentary MLK/FBI isn't confused: it "weaves a deeply troubling portrait of King being hounded and harassed by the FBI, while the murders of his fellow activists went strangely unsolved." - Washington Post

The Biggest Mystery Of Bridgerton Is About That News Pamphlet

What's Lady Whistledown's business model? Seriously: To produce and print enough scandal sheets to feed the appetite of the ton, surely Lady Whistledown owns a printing press or something. And how does she pay her workers? Also, let's talk about that typeface. - Slate

Can TV Writers Help Curb The Pandemic?

TV writers have helped changed public opinion on drunk driving, cigarette smoking, and - in the opposite direction - marriage equality. Why not mask-wearing, social distancing, and getting vaccinated? - Los Angeles Times

The True Events That Inspired The Movie One Night In Miami

The film is based on a one-act play by Kemp Powers (a long one-act play), and the playwright calls it "a work of fiction powered by the truth" - the truth being that Malcolm X, Cassius Clay before he was Muhammed Ali, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown, "four modern legends, really did hang out for one night in Miami, and yes, they really did bond over vanilla ice cream. - Vulture

Why Have Sea Shanties Become A TikTok Sensation?

Why sea shanties, and why now? I do not have any concrete ideas about this; all I can tell you is that it’s happening. Apparently we’re doing sea shanties now. It makes as much and as little sense as anything else. - The Cut

Ten Takeaways From Variety’s Entertainment Summit

"A common misconception is that niche shows geared toward specific audiences will not fare as well as more universal programs, but Lucinda Martinez, executive vice president of HBO and HBO Max brand marketing, says fan marketing is more focused on quality of connection rather than quantity." - Variety

With Michael Apted Gone, Can His ‘Up’ Documentaries Keep Going?

Beginning in 1964 with Seven Up!, Apted made a series of nine films, shot at seven-year-intervals, following the lives of a group of 14 Englishmen and -women from ages 7 through 14, 21, 28, etc. (63 Up was released in 2019.) After his death last week, the 12 remaining subjects and several longtime crew members are considering whether to proceed on to 70 Up, and, if so, how. - The New York Times

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