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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

LA Times Company Town Blog links: October 15, 2013




Chad Coleman plays Tyreese on "The Walking Dead."

'Walking Dead' comes alive in ratings for AMC

Oct 14, 2013
Walter who?
"Breaking Bad" is over, but AMC's Sunday nights have come back to life with the new season of "The Walking Dead," which debuted with record ratings for the series, up against heavy competition including NFL games and the MLB playoffs. 
The fourth-season premiere drew 16.1 million viewers, with 10.4 million in the advertiser-desired 18-49 age demographic, according to Nielsen.
That easily tops the numbers for the Season 3 finale, which was the previous record-holder. That episode brought in 12.4 million viewers and 8.1 million in the...
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Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys throws a pass under pressure against the Washington Redskins on Sunday night.

TV ratings: Football and baseball playoff games top Sunday

Oct 14, 2013
Sports dominated Sunday night television ratings, with football on NBC and baseball playoffs on Fox. 
On NBC's "Sunday Night Football," the Dallas Cowboys beat the Washington Redskins 31-16, and the game drew 19.6-million viewers in prime time, according to early numbers from Nielsen, which are less accurate for live sports because they are not adjusted for time zones. 
In metered markets, the telecast received a 13.5 rating, up 7% from last year's comparable Week 6 game. Pending updates, NBC was the highest rated of the networks Sunday night. 
After a...
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Hugh Jackman performs at benefit for film and TV charity

Oct 14, 2013
Actor Hugh Jackman brought his one-man stage show to Los Angeles' Dolby Theater on Saturday in a benefit and live auction that raised $1.85 million for the Motion Picture & Television Fund.
The "X-Men" star performed his critically acclaimed one-man song and dance show for a packed audience of 3,200 people, sharing stories about his life and performing numbers from shows including "Les Miserables," “Carousel,” “The Boy From Oz” and “Guys and Dolls.”
After a surprise 45th birthday celebration for Jackman, the audience participated in a live auction that...
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New MSNBC talk-show host Alec Baldwin.

Alec Baldwin debut sends viewership up at MSNBC, but demo slips

Oct 14, 2013
Alec Baldwin is hosting again, and it's nothing like his gigs on "Saturday Night Live."
The former "30 Rock" star debuted his new MSNBC talk show Friday night with a lengthy, serious interview of Bill de Blasio, the Democratic candidate for mayor of New York City, and it drew an average of about 654,000 viewers.
That's an improvement of 53% compared with MSNBC's Friday night telecast in the hour-long 10 p.m. time slot a week ago — an episode of "MSNBC Investigates." However, Baldwin's show, "Up Late With Alec Baldwin," brought in 172,000 viewers in...
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"Gravity" continues to orbit around the box office.

'Gravity' won't come down. Netflix and cable becoming friends?

Oct 14, 2013
After the coffee. Before wondering why I'm not off today. 
The Skinny: Tough day for my teams Sunday as the Redskins and Tigers took it on the chin. Hopefully the Dodgers lineup will at least wake up Monday night. Also, no "Walking Dead" or "Good Wife" spoilers, please. Today's roundup includes the weekend box office recap, a story about Netflix possibly working with cable operators to distribute its service and the escalating fight between Aereo and broadcasters. If you are off today, enjoy it!
Daily Dose: Here's one for soccer fans. Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox has signed a far-reaching...
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"Gravity," starring Sandra Bullock, was the No. 1 film at the box office for the second weekend in a row.

'Gravity' No. 1 again; 'Captain Phillips' sails to 2nd place

Oct 13, 2013
Nothing blocked the orbit of "Gravity" at the box office this weekend.
The 3-D space drama was No. 1 for a second weekend, collecting an impressive $44.3 million, according to an estimate from distributor Warner Bros. That means its ticket sales dropped only 21% from its debut -- the best second-weekend hold for any movie in wide release this year. After 10 days in theaters, the picture starring Sandra Bullock has already raked in $123.4 million in the U.S. and Canada and is on its way to grossing at least $250 million domestically.
With Alfonso Cuaron's hit still selling tickets at near light...
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Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia

Cablevision blasts broadcasters' Supreme Court filing against Aereo

Oct 11, 2013
Cablevision Systems Corp., a New York-based cable operator, blasted the arguments made by broadcasters in a Supreme Court filing seeking to shut down Aereo, a start-up company that delivers local television station signals to consumers via the Internet.
In a statement, Cablevision said the case that broadcasters including Fox, CBS, ABC and NBC are attempting to make against Aereo is a "willful attempt to stifle innovation."
Specifically, Cablevision is concerned about remarks in the filing regarding its own remote digital video recording service, which also beat back legal challenges when it...
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The Dodgers in the World Series would give Fox something to cheer about.

Red Sox vs. Dodgers would be dream series for Fox

Oct 11, 2013
In theory, Fox Broadcasting should have no rooting interest in the upcoming American League and National League Championship Series that will determine who goes to the World Series, which airs on the network.
But theory is not reality and Fox executives are no doubt breathing a small sigh of relief that the small-market Oakland Athletics and Tampa Bay Rays have been eliminated.
However, they are not all the way out of the woods yet.
The dream World Series for Fox is the Los Angeles Dodgers of the National League vs. the Boston Red Sox of the American...
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"Call of Duty: Ghosts" is one of the video game titles published by Activision Blizzard.

Activision Blizzard and Vivendi complete $8.2-billion stock deal

Oct 11, 2013
Activision Blizzard and a group of investors have completed their $8.2-billion buyback of most of Vivendi's majority stake in the company.
This comes just one day after the Delaware Supreme Court reversed an earlier judicial decision that halted the transaction. 
Activision, the world's biggest video game publisher, acquired 429 million shares from Vivendi for about $5.83 billion in cash, or $13.60 a share. Activision Chief Executive Bobby Kotick, Co-Chairman Brian Kelly and their investment vehicle bought about 172 million shares from Vivendi at a cost of $2.34 billion. 
That leaves Paris-...
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Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia

Broadcasters take Aereo to Supreme Court

Oct 11, 2013
The nation's biggest television companies including ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox are asking the Supreme Court to shut down Aereo Inc., a startup distribution service that they view as a threat to their business.
Launched in 2012 and available in a handful of markets including New York City, Aereo transmits the signals of local broadcast stations to consumers via the Internet. Aereo charges its subscribers between $8 and $12 a month for the service, which includes a small antenna to receive the signals and access to a cloud-based digital video recorder that can hold up to 40 hours of programming.
Beca...
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Bill Weir

Bill Weir moving to CNN from ABC News' 'Nightline'

Oct 11, 2013
Bill Weir, who has co-anchored ABC News' "Nightline" since 2010, is moving to CNN.
Weir will start at CNN in November as an anchor and will also cover innovation and technology, the network said Friday. He will be based in New York and work with CNN producers to develop original programming. 
"Bill's range, sensibility and curiosity set him apart,” CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker said in a statement. “He brings a unique storytelling style, perspective and sense of humor to CNN, and he will be a key player as we continue to expand our lineup.”
ABC News' president Ben...
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Teamsters Local 399 candidate Steve Dayan speaks with fellow member and chef Ruben Enriquez at the L.A. Convention Center where they were filming "House of Lies." Dayan defeated Leo Reed to become secretary treasurer of the union.

Steve Dayan beats Leo Reed in Teamsters Local 399 election

4:17 p.m.
In one of the biggest election upsets in recent Hollywood history, Steve Dayan has defeated veteran labor chief Leo Reed to become the new head of Teamsters Local 399.
Dayan said he had won 56% of the votes in the closely watched contest, edging out Reed, who garnered 43% of the vote.
UPDATED at 5:30pm: “I want to thank Leo for his service and I want to congratulate our slate," Dayan said Tuesday. ”I’m really excited and looking forward to getting to work on behalf of our members. Now it’s time for all of us to come back together. We have to move forward as a local.&...
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Co-chief executive of Focus Features Andrew Karpen, left, director John Crowley and then-CEO of Focus James Schamus attend a screening of "Closed Circuit" in August in New York.

Focus Features co-CEO Andrew Karpen departing amid executive changes

4:09 p.m.
As part of its ongoing makeover, Focus Features announced a slew of executive changes Tuesday afternoon, including the departure of co-Chief Executive Andrew Karpen.
Earlier this month, parent Universal Pictures set into motion an overhaul of the specialty imprint, naming FilmDistrict founder Peter Schlessel its new head. 
Schlessel, FilmDistrict's chief executive, will assume the CEO role at Focus in January. James Schamus, Focus' current chief executive, departed the company, whose headquarters are being relocated from New York to the Universal lot.
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Dylan O'Brien rehearses a scene from MTV's TV series 'Teen Wolf,' which relocated from Georgia to LA to take advantage of a California tax credit. The City Council hopes to attract more TV shows by waiving fees for TV pilots.

L.A. City Council approves fee waiver for producers of TV pilots

1:05 p.m.
In a step to help attract more television production, the Los Angeles City Council approved a measure to waive fees for producers who shoot television pilots in the city.
The council Tuesday unanimously supported the resolution, which has been backed by industry trade groups and by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has declared so-called fighting runaway production one of his top priorities.
Garcetti, who must approve the measure before it takes effect, co-authored the original resolution last June, along with Councilmember Paul Krekorian.
"When we support TV pilots being filmed here in Los Angeles,...
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A certificate for a single share of Walt Disney Co. stock.

Disney recommends investors reject stock-purchase proposal

11:50 a.m.
The Walt Disney Co. has recommended that its investors reject an offer from TRC Capital Corp. to purchase shares of the Burbank entertainment company's stock at a price that is below their market value.
Investment firm TRC made the unsolicited mini-tender offer of $61 per share on Oct. 9 -- the day after shares of Disney closed at $64. Shares of Disney were down 0.36% to $66.59 in midday trading on Tuesday.
Disney noted in a statement that the Securities Exchange Commission has issued an "investor alert" on mini-tender offers. The SEC has warned that "some bidders make mini-tender offers at...
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Per the NFL, the networks that carry football will continue to use the name Redskins.

NFL and TV networks sticking with Redskins

13 hours ago
NBC's Bob Costas weighed in Sunday that it is time for the Washington Redskins to change their name.
But don't look for the networks that carry the National Football League, including NBC, to follow his lead just yet. Even if NBC wanted to, its contract with the NFL would make such a move difficult.
In a statement, an NBC Sports spokesman said, "although we are sensitive to the fact that some may find this situation offensive, we are contractually obligated to use current NFL team names. If a name changes, we’ll adjust accordingly and immediately.”
That was echoed by the other...
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Tina Fey, left, and Amy Poehler at the 65th annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are Golden Globes ratings boosters

13 hours ago
Tina Fey and and Amy Poehler are returning to host the 2014 and 2015 Golden Globe Awards, and based on the ratings last time, it's a good move by NBC, which will broadcast the awards show in January. 
The two NBC TV sitcom stars -- from the network's "30 Rock" and "Parks and Recreation," respectively, were widely praised by critics. And their audience numbers were significantly higher than those that English comedian Ricky Gervais drew hosting the previous three years.
Before the show tapped the less-well-received Gervais for hosting duties, the awards program hadn't used a host since 1995.
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Singers Jacquie Lee and Briana Cuoco battle on "The Voice."

TV ratings: 'The Voice' and 'Blacklist' win Monday for NBC again

14 hours ago
Boosted by the first round of battles on "The Voice," NBC was the Monday night ratings victor again, according to early numbers from Nielsen. 
The network drew 13 million viewers and a rating of 4.0 in the key 18-49 age group demographic, though NBC's numbers may be adjusted downward later because some NBC programming was preempted by the "Monday Night Football" game in Indianapolis. Assuming the numbers hold, that's the fourth straight Monday night win for NBC. 
"The Voice" was the most watched telecast of the night with an average of 13.8 million viewers and an 18-49 rating of 4.5, down...
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How YouTube and music companies reach Generation C

16 hours ago
To promote its new song from platinum-selling country music artist Hunter Hayes and Grammy winner Jason Mraz on Tuesday, Warner Music Group didn't book its stars on "Good Morning America" or "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon."
It made a video for YouTube.
YouTube has elbowed out radio, MTV, Yahoo and Myspace as the leading way to reach young music listeners, and some of its personalities have emerged as tastemakers, serving much the same role as KROQ-FM's Kevin and Bean have.
"For teens through age 24, YouTube is where people listen to the most music," said David Bakula, a senior vice president at...
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"The Walking Dead" came back to life.

'Walking Dead' rises! Sony bets on Netflix. Snowden is a tough sell.

16 hours ago
After the coffee. Before auditioning for "Fifty Shades of Grey." 
The Skinny. Am I the only one who thinks that if Yasiel Puig hadn't stopped to admire his big hit he could have had an inside-the-park-home-run? Hopefully if he hits another one like that tonight he'll run first and stare later! Today's Fix includes a look at those amazing "Walking Dead" numbers, a new series from Netflix and a movie about Edward Snowden may prove to be a hard sell. Oh, not included here but news nonetheless is that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will host the Golden Globes for the next two years.
Daily Dose: It looks...
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The fourth-season premiere of AMC's zombie drama "The Walking Dead" sent real-life humans scrambling for their Twitter accounts.  It ranked as the most social TV show on Twitter.

'The Walking Dead' shows life on Twitter

Oct 14, 2013
"The Walking Dead" sent more than a few humans scrambling to their Twitter accounts during its fourth season premiere Sunday.
The AMC drama, set in a post-apocalyptic world in which humans seek to evade flesh-eating zombies, placed at the top of the Nielsen's Twitter TV rankings for the week of Oct.  7. 
The show attracted a television audience of 16.1 million viewers — a record for the series. It also generated a ton of chatter on social media, with some 1.2 million tweets attracting a Twitter audience of nearly 7.5 million, according to Nielsen's SocialGuide unit.
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DreamWorks Animation's "The Croods."

'The Croods' and 'Little Mermaid' top DVD and Blu-ray sales chart

Oct 14, 2013
A new Stone Age children's comedy and a Disney classic have debuted at the top of the DVD and Blu-ray sales chart.
"The Croods," the DreamWorks computer-animated movie about a prehistoric family, was the top-selling title in its first week in release after bringing in big numbers at the box office earlier this year. The movie, distributed by 20th Century Fox, drew more than $187 million in ticket sales domestically and $585 million worldwide.
In second place was the new Diamond Edition of Disney's 1989 hit "The Little Mermaid." The edition includes the film's first Blu-ray disc, a DVD version...

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