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Why the Trump Factor Makes Picking a Debate Moderator a Delicate Job

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With ess than a month left before Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump face off in the first of three general election debates, the presidential debate commission is in the midst of the delicate task of picking moderators. What’s different this cycle is that Trump has said in an interview that he will “demand fair moderators” and that… Read more »

Kerry Washington Developing Female LAPD Drama ‘Patrol’ at ABC (EXCLUSIVE)

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ABC is developing a new drama with one of the networks most trusted stars, Kerry Washington. Variety has exclusively learned that the “Scandal” star is on board to executive produce “Patrol,” a workplace drama about four female LAPD officers who attended the police academy together five years ago and are forced to reconnect after a high-stakes, traumatic… Read more »

Chris Brown Arrested on Suspicion of Assault With a Deadly Weapon

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Chris Brown was arrested Tuesday afternoon on felony assault charges. A spokesperson with the LAPD told Variety the singer was arrested and formally charged for assault with a deadly weapon following an incident early Tuesday morning. Police responded to a call at about 3 a.m. on Tuesday, in which a woman said Brown threatened her… Read more »

‘SpongeBob’ Exec Bob Bacon Joins China-Backed Alpha Animation

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Former Disney and Paramount executive Bob Bacon, who oversaw “The SpongeBob Movie,” has been tapped as chief executive officer of China-backed Alpha Animation. The new division is aimed at development and production of high-quality animated feature content for a worldwide audience, according to Alpha Interactive Entertainment Division CEO Chen De Rong. It’s been established to leverage Alpha Group… Read more »

TV News Roundup: ‘Shameless’ Season 7 Trailer, Zach Braff’s ABC Comedy Return

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In today’s TV news roundup, Zach Braff is developing a comedy with ABC, plus Showtime has released a new trailer for “Shameless” Season 7. Watch here. DEVELOPMENT Zach Braff is eyeing his broadcast TV return, as he’s put into development a single-camera comedy “Start Up” in which he’s attached to star, direct and executive produce. ABC nabbed the project… Read more »

Gene Wilder Talks ‘Willy Wonka’ Remake, Why He Stopped Acting in Last Major Interview

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Gene Wilder lived out of the spotlight and evaded the media up until the end of his life, making his interviews few and far between. Wilder, who died on Monday at age 83 from complications of Alzheimer’s Disease, gave his last major interview on June 12, 2013, to Turner Classic Movies. The iconic interview, which took place… Read more »

BMG Promotes Thomas Scherer to EVP US Publishing

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BMG had upped Thomas Scherer’s roles as EVP of International Writer Services to EVP BMG US Publishing, responsible for BMG’s LA and New York-based publishing creative teams. This announcement comes after Zach Katz took the reins as President, U.S. Repertoire and Marketing, for BMG U.S., overseeing both music publishing and recordings. “We are delighted to promote Thomas… Read more »

‘Donnybrook’ Movie in the Works from ‘Dark Night’ Director

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David Lancaster’s Rumble Films has signed “Dark Night” writer/director Tim Sutton to adapt and direct the crime thriller “Donnybrook,” Variety has learned exclusively. “Dark Night,” which premiered at Sundance in January, will screen at the Venice Intl. Film Festival. The film focuses on the lives of six strangers intersecting at a suburban multiplex where a… Read more »

Viceland Sets Late-Night Talk Show, New Series Orders and Eddie Huang Renewal

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Viceland is marking its six-month anniversary by unveiling plans for a late-night franchise, plus two new series orders and renewals for two other series. “Desus & Mero” is set to premiere in late-night in October. The half-hour show, to air Monday-Thursday, will be hosted by the Bronx-reared comedic duo Desus Nice and the Kid Mero,… Read more »

Actors’ Equity Association Endorses Hillary Clinton for President

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Hillary Clinton has been endorsed by the Actors’ Equity Association, marking the first time in the union’s 103-year history that it has backed any political candidate. “Our union has historically chosen to remain non partisan and above the fray,” said Kate Shindle, president of the association. “But at such a critical time in our country’s… Read more »

‘The Ardennes’ to Represent Belgium in Academy Awards Race

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Belgium will be submitting “The Ardennes” as its official selection for the best foreign-language film Academy Award. The film, by Robin Pront, stars Veerle Baetens (“The Broken Circle Breakdown”), Jeroen Perceval (“Bullhead”) and Kevin Janssens. “The Ardennes” is produced by Savage Film’s Bart Van Langendonck, who produced Michaël R. Roskam’s 2012 Academy Award-nominated “Bullhead.” Roskam is also an associate… Read more »