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Viacom Activist Investor Slams Philippe Dauman as ‘Defiant and Arrogant,’ Calls for Board Overhaul

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It may not be one of Viacom’s bigger stakeholders, but that hasn’t prevented SpringOwl Asset Management from making a lot of noise about the direction of the company. After Viacom’s stock hit a 52-week low this week, the activist investor called for the embattled media conglomerate to elect six independent board members. SpringOwl, which owns an… Read more »

Kanye West’s Live Stream of New Album (Watch)

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With an album title finally in place, Kanye West is launching his new LP (along with season three of his fashion line Yeezy) Thursday at a sold-out show in Madison Square Garden. Watch the live stream here: The rapper announced the name of his seventh album, “The Life of Pablo,” along with a track list,… Read more »

Hulu Snags Syfy’s ‘12 Monkeys’ Exclusive Rights Under NBCUniversal Deal

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Hulu has acquired exclusive subscription-streaming rights to Syfy’s time-travel thriller “12 Monkeys” under a deal with NBCUniversal. In addition, under the expanded NBCU deal, Hulu has acquired the full library of programming for series “Battlestar Galactica” and “Saved by the Bell,” which are available to stream now. The deal also adds episodes of popular children’s… Read more »

Watch: Tina Fey and Margot Robbie in New ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ Trailer

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Tina Fey has to deal with guns, Afghanistan and Margot Robbie as a foreign correspondent in the new red band trailer for Paramount’s war comedy “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.” The trailer begins with Robbie’s British journalist asking Fey for permission to sleep with Fey’s bodyguard —  which Fey gives after only a brief hesitation. It ends… Read more »

Studio71 Hires Ryan Seacrest Prods.’ Rabih Gholam to Head Unscripted TV

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ProSiebenSat.1’s Studio71 multichannel network unit has hired reality-TV veteran Rabih Gholam as president of unscripted television. Gholam most recently served as executive VP, head of unscripted programming for Ryan Seacrest Prods., which he joined in June 2014. In the newly created role at Studio71, Gholam will develop TV opportunities and intellectual property for Studio71’s top… Read more »

Berlin: Jackie Chan-Johnny Knoxville Action Comedy ‘Skiptrace’ Nabbed by Saban

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Saban Films has picked up the U.S. distribution rights to “Skiptrace,” the action comedy starring Jackie Chan, Johnny Knoxville and Fan Bingbing, directed by Renny Harlin. Saban will release the film in theaters during Q3 this year. Pic was produced by Talent Intl. Films and Dasym Media along with Jackie Chan, Esmond Ren, Charlie Coker,… Read more »

Bruce Springsteen Releasing Autobiography in September

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We always knew the Boss was “Born to Run,” but Bruce Springsteen has solidified that fact with a new autobiography. Springsteen is releasing a memoir, titled “Born to Run” (after his hit 1970s song and album) — on Sept. 27 in hardcover, ebook and audiobook editions. The book — available in the U.S., U.K., Canada,… Read more »

Q&A: ‘Spotlight’ Screenwriter Josh Singer Discusses Papal Commission

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Josh Singer earned his first Oscar nomination for original screenplay (with director Tom McCarthy) of “Spotlight.” The pair spent countless hours of research to craft the story of the Boston Globe journalists who investigated the cover-up of child sex abuse within the Catholic church. Singer, who is also favored to win the WGA Award this… Read more »

Bento Box Animation Studio Launches Digital Division (Exclusive)

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Bento Box Entertainment, the animation studio best known for Fox’s “Bob’s Burgers,” has formed a digital studio division with a slate of millennial-targeted programming including animated virtual-reality content. Bento Box Digital Studios plans to distribute its content across multiple digital and mobile platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Snapchat and Instagram, as well as via live-streaming. For the new digital studio, BBE also… Read more »

Lionsgate Inks Overall TV Deal with Comic K.P. Anderson of ‘The Soup’

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Lionsgate has signed an overall television deal with writer, producer and comic K.P. Anderson, Variety has learned. Under the new pact, Anderson — who served as head writer and exec producer on “The Soup” for 11 years — will create original new series and formats though his Pygmy Wolf Productions banner, giving Lionsgate the rights to all alternative… Read more »

How YouTube Red Stacks Up to Netflix Et Al.

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With the launch of YouTube Red’s first slate of original programming this week featuring stars like PewDiePie and Lilly Singh, it’s time for the inevitable comparisons to Netflix begin. Variety co-editor-in-chief Andrew Wallenstein offered his perspective via Periscope below. LIVE on #Periscope: Let's talk live about YouTube Red! https://t.co/rNgxnHJP1r — Andrew Wallenstein (@awallenstein) February 11,… Read more »