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SAG exec director to exit

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Leonard Chassman, executive director of the Screen Actors Guild’s Hollywood branch since 1984, will resign from the post Aug. 1 in a surprise move.

Cirque plans for new London center

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Cirque du Soleil plans to convert London’s landmark Battersea Power Station into a 2,000-seat entertainment complex — the first of four to six such centers it plans to develop around the world in the next 10 years.

Almost Famous

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Coming-of-age tales have always given the Academy a warm, fuzzy feeling, and if voters don’t mind delving into the seedy world of rock ‘n’ roll, “Almost Famous” could pick up a pic nom. The film received excellent reviews but fell short at the box office, one of DreamWorks’ financial disappointments in 2000.

Simpsons’-based Monopoly passes Go

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Forget Boardwalk: The most coveted spot on a Monopoly board could soon be the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. Fox Licensing and Merchandising has struck a deal with USAopoly for a new version of Monopoly based on characters and locations from “The Simpsons.”

Gaul veto victory

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Refusing to bow to pressure from other European countries, the French government has successfully defended the audiovisual industry’s get-out clause from normal international trade rules.

BBC suits up for pay digital sports web

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Attempting to revitalize its ailing sports coverage with fresh revenue, pubcaster BBC is in talks to launch a digital pay TV sports channel next year.

Griffin ‘Undercover’ for U/Imagine comedy

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Eddie Griffin (“Mod Squad”) has nabbed the lead role in the Universal/Imagine laugher, “Undercover Brother.” Malcolm Lee (“Best Men”) is attached to direct pic, which is a live-action adaptation of an Urban Entertainment animated Web series.

Italo uproar over violence in ‘Dinosaur’

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The unrestricted Italian release of Disney’s animated blockbuster “Dinosaur” has kickstarted a ruckus over violent content in children’s films, with Parliament calling for a parental guidance classification similar to the one used in the U.S.

S. Africa net blasted for violent sex pic

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South Africa’s Broadcasting Complaints Commission has rapped commercial television broadcaster e.tv for harming public morals by screening the rape scenes in ’70s sex pic “Emmanuelle.”