Here’s a preview of the stories we’re working on for Daily Variety tomorrow. These stories will be available on the Variety Web site after midnight Pacific Time. Sign up now to have the top stories emailed to you each day.
ABC: News from ABC’s upfront programming preview given to advertisers mid-morning Wednesday.
SAG: Screen Actors Guild may give some guidance soon on whether members will be allowed to do promo and publicity if the union is on strike. In response to raucous internal battles, SAG has hired a parliamentarian to keep its upcoming national board meeting running smoothly.
ADS: In a surprise move, the U.S. Senate, in a 70-30 vote, passes amendment tightening FCC rules requiring broadcasters to offer discounted rates to candidates. Lawmakers say TV industry has done an end run around rules, and that ad rates are the main reason why candidates rush to raise so much money. Even Hollywood darling Hillary Clinton votes in favor of the measure, saying broadcasters are taking advantage of their public trust. Amendment is tacked on to larger campaign finance reform measure.
HARPER: In high seven-figure deal, HarperCollins ties up rights to lion’s share of “Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe” author C.S. Lewis books, gains rights to develop new books based on existing titles.
WOLTERS: John J. Wolters has been appointed executive VP, ABC Broadcast Group, reporting to Robert Callahan and Alex Wallau. It was widely expected that he would be leaving the network because he didn’t want to relocate to the West Coast.
WGA: Latest speculation has Writers Guild of America agreeing to extend their contract expiration to match SAG’s on June 30, but officials deny it.
DEEDS: Alliance Atlantis picks up worldwide rights excluding Spain, Italy and Australia to “Dirty Deeds,”
SPORTS: Sports Emmy nominations.
KOCH: Ilana Porat Koch has been appointed senior VP and general manager of Universal CityWalk.
CARNIVALE: Radio City Music announces replacement of its annual Easter show with “Carnivale,” due onstage in spring 2002. RCM’s Easter pageant was last seen in 1997. RCM’s other annual stage shows are its Christmas spectacular at RCM and “A Christmas Carol” at Madison Square Garden.
SOUNDSCAN: Music charts were riddled with high-ranking new releases this week (including Eric Clapton’s latest at No. 5), but top-200 veteran Shaggy reclaimed the No. 1 throne, unseating Dave Matthews.
OPERA: The American Guild of Musical Artists has launched an assault on the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists and AFTRA’s jurisdiction over some broadcasts of operas and ballets.
PRESERVE: National Film Preservation Foundation announces 23 cash awards to preserve “orphan” films not protected for commercial interests, including D.W. Griffith’s “Fighting Blood,” colored footage of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s opening festivities, news outtakes from the 1925 National Colored Golf Tournament, short narratives by Charles Burnett and avant-garde works by Jordan Belson, Jules Engel, David Lamelas and Harry Smith.
SYNDIE: Most of syndie’s ratings perfs continued to be lackluster in the first full week following the February ratings sweep, as reruns kicked in and promo commitments waned. The exception was the mag genre, which by virtue of being the day-and-date genre, offered fresh episodes.
SUNDANCE: The Sundance Channel and home entertainment distrib the Criterion Collection have joined forces to present a 13-week Classic World Cinema series starting June 7. Michelangelo Antonioni, Jean Renoir, Roman Polanski, Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa and Federico Fellini will be among featured directors.
CYBERBIZ: Barry Diller’s Ticketmaster inks distribution deal with AOL, RealNetworks unveils major gaming initiative, Loudeye buys Tune-In.
DISINCOME: Analyst speaks, Disney stock reacts. Jeffrey Longsdon predicts “Pearl Harbor” could reach $500 mil worldwide; speaks to other Mouse House income possibilities.
FARM: U’s FarmClub.com, one of the premier music sites on the Web, may merge with BMG’s GetMusic.
RTL: RTL Group has posted mixed results for the year, with pre-tax profits more than halved to 293 million euros ($263.7 million) on the back of one-off disposals.
CONTEND: Despite being previously announced as a March title to open through the local division of 20th Century Fox, Oscar-nominated political melodrama “The Contender” now appears likely to bypass Italian theatrical release and premiere directly on national television.
AUNA: In an early suggestion of European telcos’ waning interest in the media, Spain’s second-largest telco operator Auna is shopping around its controlling 49% stake in Spanish digital terrestrial television operator Quiero TV.
ENSUENO: Telefonica Media’s Spanish broadcaster Antena 3 (A3) has created pic production house Ensueno Films.
CNN: CNN has expanded its Mexico City bureau into a full-service TV and Internet newsroom, its first for Latin America.
WHEEL: “Wheel of Fortune” — in Cyrillic — will soon start spinning in Vietnam in a first-of-its-kind deal put together by distribbery King World Intl.
LEGIT: Bat Boy
MUSIC: MxPx, Palace