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GMA looks strong

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No. 2 network GMA-7 is riding high despite the bad Philippine economy. It recorded sales revenues of 400 million pesos ($7.6 million) in August, its highest for a single month and it’s challenging market leader ABS-CBN in the ratings.

Friday fare lacking flair

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Having already abandoned Saturday due to decay and disuse, the networks say they won’t turn their back on Friday — yet. But as they attempt to reinvigorate the night, web execs face an uphill battle. If they’re not careful, Friday could follow Saturday as network TV’s next ghost night.

Gov’t beefs up toon biz

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Taiwanese animation houses will receive a massive shot in the arm as politicos begin to implement a $1.1 billion plan to stimulate the industry, with the ultimate goal of positioning Taiwan as a key provider of animated and digital content.

Agents in fast company

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If your agent called to tell you he wanted a commission before he got you a job, you’d probably fire him. Traditionally, agents get paid only when they land work for clients. Yet a burgeoning breed at CAA, William Morris and Endeavor doesn’t work that way: Their role is to move the goods, not to get the gigs.

Moreno presides at ‘West’ reunion

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“My nostrils were as big as my kitchen,” Rita Moreno told a packed American Cinematheque audience at the Oct. 9 screening of United Artists’ 70mm print of “West Side Story.”

Pic biz going postal

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Filmmakers have made an indelible stamp on pop culture, and ya can’t lick ’em. But now you can. On Oct. 9, the U.S. Postal Service and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences unveiled 10 commemorative stamps, celebrating “American Filmmaking: Behind the Scenes.”

B’way mulls trials of tryouts

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Are tryouts worth the trouble? Following the sour initial reception for the Broadway-bound “Movin’ Out” in Chicago — in particular a Chicago Tribune review that caused a mild ruckus when it ran in New York’s Newsday — there was speculation that the era of the tryout could soon be over, victim of the Internet age and the expense.

Kennedy’s largesse

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The Kennedy Center will dole out more than $100,000 to five theaters and seven playwrights in the latest round of grants under its Fund for New American Plays program.

Review: ‘Dark Cities’

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Powerful, raw and exhausting, “Dark Cities” is a hyper-real excursion into an underprivileged neighborhood of Mexico City. Pic’s excesses on practically all counts¬†—¬† a departure for helmer Fernando Sarinana- is, however, mitigated by technical wizardry that pulls the whole thing back into focus. Pic opened in Mexico, where B.O. has been solid; offshore, arthouse play is possible.

Review: ‘Damsels in Distress’

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Alan Ayckbourn is at both his near-best and his laziest in “Damsels in Distress,” the second in an ad hoc sequence of London theatrical trilogies. Three unrelated plays using the same cast on the same Roger Glossop set, “Damsels” finds Ayckbourn pandering to his public in one play, taking them on a typically challenging journey the next. The writer-director deserves credit for widening perceptions of commercial theater.