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Discovery’s David Zaslav Talks Skinny Bundles, Layoffs and International Growth

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Traditional cable programmers are coming to a strategic crossroads when it comes to navigating the emerging world of OTT channel distribution, Discovery Communications president-CEO David Zaslav said Thursday during his keynote address at Variety’s Entertainment and Technology Summit in New York. Zaslav was asked about the burst of activity among digital entrants into the traditional… Read more »

Ryan Murphy Lands Another FX Anthology, ‘Feud,’ Starring Jessica Lange & Susan Sarandon

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Third time’s another charm. Ryan Murphy is staying in business with FX — and not just with “American Horror Story” and “American Crime Story” — but with an entirely new anthology series, titled “Feud,” Variety has learned. Marking his third anthology with the cabler, Murphy has landed a straight-to-series eight-episode order for the “Feud” themed project… Read more »

Jonah Hills Upgrades in New York City

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BUYER: Jonah Hill LOCATION: New York City, NY PRICE: $9,164,250 SIZE: 3,280 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms YOUR MAMA’S NOTES: Though the deal went down on the down low quite some time ago — last October, to be exact — it’s only now been sussed out by the intrepid property gossip gal at the… Read more »

‘Dear White People’ Series Ordered at Netflix

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Netflix has given a series order to “Dear White People,” an adaptation of writer and director Justin Simien’s 2014 feature film of the same name. Simien will write all 10 half-hour episodes and direct the premiere. The series will begin production later this year and debut worldwide on Netflix in 2017. “Dear White People” tells… Read more »

TV Shows Are Finally Ready to Have a Serious Talk About Religion

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Rape, murder, incest, violent crime, drug peddling, human trafficking — the stuff of television drama is much more about vice than about virtue and its expression as religious faith. But two new series are tackling head-on the subject that has long been considered taboo for TV. Hulu’s “The Path” revolves around practitioners of the fictitious… Read more »

Nickelodeon Animation: ‘Rugrats,’ ‘Doug’ and ‘Ren & Stimpy’ Carved Studio’s Niche

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“Milestone” is a word that gets kicked around a lot, but it actually applies to the launch of Nickelodeon Animation Studio 25 years ago. When “Rugrats,” “Doug” and “The Ren & Stimpy Show” made successful debuts in 1991, Nick hit a trifecta that still impresses. Even the creators of those shows couldn’t have predicted that…. Read more »

Nickelodeon Animation Studio: Pop-Culture Powerhouse Got an Unlikely Start

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While it’s hard to imagine a large entertainment entity beginning this way now, back in 1990 it was a Nickelodeon contractor who got Nickelodeon Animation Studio off the ground. Vanessa Coffey was hired as a creative consultant to develop NickToons, which became the trio of animated series, “Doug,” “Rugrats” and “The Ren & Stimpy Show.”… Read more »

Geena Davis: ‘Films With More Diversity Make More Money’

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Academy Award-winner Geena Davis, recently cast in the pilot of Fox’s “The Exorcist” reboot, is one of Hollywood’s fiercest activists for women and minorities, pushing the biz to recognize that mainstream media need not be male-dominated to be commercially successful. In addition to the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, Davis founded the Bentonville… Read more »