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Sky Deutschland Board Tells Investors Not to Sell to BSkyB

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BSkyB’s takeover ambitions for Sky Deutschland are meeting some resistance after the German pay-TV operator’s board advised minority investors not to sell their shares. The move won’t completely imperil BSkyB’s designs on the company and attempts to expand its reach in Europe. Last July, BSkyB hammered out a deal to buy 21st Century Fox’s majority… Read more »

How an Internet Hoax Inspired Kevin Smith’s ‘Tusk’

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“Oh my Lord, this is gonna be so fun for me because I am so baked!” That was how filmmaker Kevin Smith introduced his latest movie, “Tusk,” to a packed house at the Vista Theatre in Hollywood at a special screening Tuesday night. Fresh off its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival, where critics… Read more »

Playwright Samuel Hunter, Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer Among MacArthur Genius Grant Recipients

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Playwright Samuel Hunter, docu filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer, musician Steve Coleman and cartoonist Alison Bechdel are among this year’s picks for the MacArthur Foundation’s genius grants. The 21 MacArthur Fellows for 2014 will each receive a grant of $625,000, paid out over five years, with no stipulations on how the money is used. The program aims to… Read more »

TV Review: ‘Gotham’

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The title and promotional campaign do “Gotham” no favors, fostering expectations about a stronger link to the “Batman” franchise than can possibly exist — at least, considering the setting, not for another 20 years or so. Taken strictly on its own terms, the Fox series is a handsome, gritty crime drama, with Ben McKenzie as… Read more »

Just For Laughs Launches YouTube Channel Featuring Unseen Footage of Top Comedians (Exclusive)

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Just for Laughs is partnering with Maker Studios to launch a YouTube channel later today featuring never-before-seen stand-up performances from comedians including Dave Chappelle, Louis CK, Chris Rock Jon Stewart and Tracy Morgan. Because JFL’s Montreal Just for Laughs Festival has long been a showcase where up-and-comers get their big break in front of an… Read more »

‘Ellen,’ ‘Wendy Williams’ and ‘Live With Kelly & Michael’ Among Strong Syndie Starters

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Some of daytime’s most popular talkshows are off to strong ratings starts this fall, with “Ellen” having its best premiere-week ever and “Live With Kelly & Michael” attracting its largest opening-frame audience in seven years. Also, “Wendy Williams” returned big as it kicked off its season on Monday of this week, finishing No. 1 among… Read more »

For First Time Ever, Panama Joins Oscar Race, with ‘Invasion’

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MADRID – Panama has joined the foreign language Oscar race for the first time ever with, moreover, an acclaimed film which, as the U.S. considers sending ground troops to Iraq, takes a questioning stance on the efficacy – plus humanity – of American armed intervention in foreign lands. Panama’s first Oscar submission for the Academy… Read more »

Football, FX’s Record-Setting ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Dominate Weekly Primetime Ratings

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Guys were in control of the remote control during primetime last week, as five dude-driven offerings — four NFL games and the record-setting season premiere of FX’s “Sons of Anarchy” — topped the demo rankings. NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,” which was once again the week’s top primetime show, joined the premiere of “Thursday Night Football”… Read more »