Preview tomorrow's Daily Variety articles today
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.
YAHOO-DUET: Vivendi U and Sony, through their existing Duet Internet music pact, team with megaportal Yahoo! to market on-demand music subscriptions from the two companies’ labels, which together rep 46% of the recorded music market.
SAG: Screen Actors Guild leaders are still mulling whether they will offer any kind of strike waiver.
STRIKE: Lead negotiators for the actors unions warn members that there’s “no certainty” that SAG and AFTRA will make a deal even if the Writers Guild does.
TNN: Viacom’s TNN cable network has commissioned three new weekly series: “Pop Across America,” “Robot Wars” and “Ultimate Revenge.” TNN has also bought reruns of “Baywatch” covering all of the episodes produced between 1991 and 2001. (Show was “Baywatch Hawaii” in its last two seasons.) TNN starts stripping “Baywatch” in primetime this fall.
FISH: Denzel Washington’s long-awaited directorial debut “Finding Fish” has been greenlit by Fox Searchlight to start production in January.
ABC: ABC will remain a member of NAB, even though all other nets have now abandoned the trade association.
KARZ: Disney’s on-lot producer Mike Karz reups with the Mouse House for two more years. Karz has been a prolific producer in Disney’s TV division and is making his first feature at the studio with “Max Keeble’s Big Move,” due for a fall release.
CORBIN: TV scribe Samantha Corbin (“ER,” “Gideon’s Crossing”) signs development deal with Studios USA TV.
RIAA: Recording Industry Assn. of America holding a roundtable with three indie label heads, highlighting the indies’ role in getting music online.
RATES: ABC’s “My Wife and Kids” remains very impressive with its second outing on Wednesday, while Fox’s “Boot Camp” slides but still looks like a solid player.
TODAY: NBC News’ “Today” finished first-quarter 2000 in first place with a 5.2 rating/20 share, outrating or tying its competish in all key demos. The ayemcast posted its highest first quarter ever in adults 25-54; also: other fringe quarterly news.
FOX: Carolyn Gray is promoted to VP of advertising and online entertainment at Fox, where she’ll oversee the fox.com Web site.
DIGITAL: F/x studio Digital Domain taps Joe Roth’s brother Daniel Roth to head up Digital Domain Solutions, an Internet arm, with Electronic Arts as one of its first major clients.
CYBERBIZ: Rumpus buys Zeeks.com; other briefs.
ARTISAN: Artisan corporate publicist Paul Pflug promoted to exec VP and relocated back to Los Angeles.
KUDLOW: CNBC has hired Wall Street economist Lawrence Kudlow as an economics commentator. The financial news cabler has been aggressively hiring recently, having just signed Jim Cramer, Suze Orman and Louis Rukeyser.
NICHOLL: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is gearing up for their annual Don and Gee Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship competish, calling for all entries to be postmarked by May 1.
PLAYERS: Our column of thesps who get chosen for parts.
LINCOLN: The Film Society of Lincoln Center will honor Andrew Sarris on Tuesday upon the publication of “Citizen Sarris,” a festschrift edited by former Variety critic and film professor Emanuel Levy. Tribute includes a panel discussion with Sarris, Levy, Variety critic Godfrey Cheshire, film essayist Philip Lopate and the Film Society’s program director Richard Pena.
CLOSE: The 2001 Mip TV mart won’t go down as one of the most vibrant in history, with some 200 execs fewer that last year — but exhibitors and participating companies were up, Reed Midem TV chief Michael Weatherseed said at the close of the mart Thursday.
DE ANGELIS: Unveiling yet another event miniseries, Italy’s De Angelis Group has inked with Italian pubcaster RAI and German film fund Victory Media to produce the two-part “Renzo and Lucia.”
PLAN: Planeta Junior, a 50-50 joint venture of Germany’s toon giant EM.TV and Spanish TV and film conglom Planeta 2010 will launch a branded childrens channel, Planeta Junior, May 1, on Spanish DTT operator Quiero TV.
EMUSIC: Troubled music download portal EMusic.com announced it will be acquired by an unnamed “major media company.” It also reports first-quarter results, delisting from Nasdaq.
EM.TV: Leading automakers have again signaled their intention to set up a motor racing circuit rivaling Formula One to keep the sport away from pay TV.
MURDOCH: Rupert Murdoch reiterated Thursday that News Corp.’s worldwide satellite business could make out just fine without a U.S. component.
TMG: German media outfit Tele Munchen Group bested 1999’s record sales figures by 2% in 2000 with revenues of DM 424 million ($194 million). Company also had a pre-tax windfall of $158 million from the sale of its 34% stake in weblet TM3 to News Corp.
TELEPIU: Sources close to Italy’s pay TV Telepiu said Thursday that Vivendi Universal, which owns 99% of the Milan-based operator via Canal Plus, has approached rival pay TV company Stream, controlled by News Corp. and telco giant Telecom Italia, to merge the two loss-making digital platforms.
CALLAS: Veteran French actress Fanny Ardant has signed to play the title role in “Callas Forever,” director Franco Zeffirelli’s film about the final chapter in the life of legendary opera diva Maria Callas; film also stars Jeremy Irons.
TEMPTATION: Satcaster BSkyB is to produce a British version of controversial U.S. reality show “Temptation Island” after acquiring the remake rights from Fox TV.
LOUVRE: Leonardo da Vinci predicted lots of things, but even the great artist and inventor would never have dreamed that his most famous painting would be getting a luxurious new home thanks to a Japanese television network.
RAI: Pubcaster RAI on Tuesday appointed Giancarlo Leone as head of Division One, which includes the network flagship channel RAI1 and RAI2.
VOD: Universal Studios Intl. has agreed to provide U.K.’s Video Networks video-on-demand service with feature films and film and TV library titles for several years.
FILM: Pokemon 3; Just Visiting; All Access; Brigham City
MUSIC: Moreno Veloso (Concert)
LEGIT: Follies (Broadway)