Chapek up amid more Dis moves - The Hollywood Reporter
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Chapek up amid more Dis moves - The Hollywood Reporter

Thursday, November 12, 2009 a Nielsen Business Media publication an edition ofChapek upamid moreDis movesBy Carl DiOrioQUINTO PHOTO: CLAIRE GREENWAY/GETTY IMAGES; PRODUCERS PHOTO: DAN BUSTABEST TABLE IN THE HOUSEProducers Lawrence Bender, left, Jon Landau, Laurence Mark, Mace Neufeld,Ivan Reitman and Bill Mechanic gather for the first in The HollywoodReporter’s annual Awards Watch series of roundtable discussions.‘Fright’ redo for‘Mad Men’ scribeBy Jay A. Fernandezand Borys KitLOS ANGELES — Can youdispatch avampire witha martini and cigarettesmoke?“Mad Men”writer-producerMarti Noxon hasNoxonbeen hired to penDreamWorks Studios’revamp of the 1985 horrorcomedy “Fright Night.” Beforeher work on AMC’s “Mad Men,”Noxon was a writer-producer onthe bloodsucker series “Buffy theVampire Slayer” and “Angel,” sofangs and stakes are in her blood.Producers Michael De Luca,Michael Gaeta and Alison Rosen-continued on page 5Quinto’s next frontierTrekker eyes lead in Canadian indie ‘Whirligig’By Steven ZeitchikLOS ANGELES — Zachary Quintocould be taking a new ride.The “Star Trek” co-star is looselyattached to his first post-“Trek” feature,the romantic dramedy “Whirligig.”Quinto would play the lead role inthe Canadian indie, which is aimingto shoot early next year.The actor has been selective abouthis next role, and with no deal in placeand a number of contingencies thatmust be met, it remains possible he’llopt for another project as his firstpost-“Trek” feature.“Whirligig” centers on a manwho, in a misguided attempt towoo an older woman, befriendsher adopted son.continued on page 5ZacharyQuintoLOS ANGELES — RichRoss has opted againstnaming one executive tosucceed ousted Disneyfilm president MarkZoradi, but thenew studio chairmangave a bigattaboy and promotionto homeentertainmenttopper BobChapek in regime Chapekchanges unveiledWednesday.Chapek was promoted to apost overseeing the studio’s distributionactivities. Zoradi hadcontinued on page 5New WBTVdeal for LizerBy Nellie AndreevaLOS ANGELES — “The NewAdventures of Old Christine”creator KariLizer has inkeda rich new overalldeal with theshow’s producer,Warner Bros.Television.Under theLizerthree-year pact,continued on page 5

CLIPSHOLIDAY PLANSNBC has firmed its holidayprogramming, including afour-night run of new realityshow “The Sing-Off,” whichwill debut Dec. 14 and run eachnight at 8. The network alsoordered a “Saturday NightLive” holiday-special clip showto air Dec. 17, plans a special“The Jay Leno Show” onThanksgiving and will haveholiday-themed episodes ofits Thursday comedies Dec. 10.... Meanwhile, ABC said PaulMcCartney and Beyonce willstar in back-to-back one-hourspecials Thanksgiving nightbeginning at 9 EST with aBeyonce concert taped in thesummer in Las Vegas. TheMcCartney special includeshighlights from his July concertat Citi Field in New York.ANOTHER ‘LOOK’TV Land said Wednesdaythat it has renewed “She’sGot the Look” for a third season,which will premiere nextyear. The model competitionalso is moving production toLos Angeles.RYAN’S ‘HILL’Mitch Ryan hasbooked a recurringrole on the CW’s“One Tree Hill.”On the drama’s seventh season,the Australian actor,repped by APA, will playAlexander, a pro surfer-turnedmogul.He next appears in theHBO miniseries “The Pacific.”HALL PASSES ISSUEDCandice Bergen, CharlesLisanby, Don Pardo, GeneRoddenberry, Tom and DickSmothers and Bob Stewarthave been selected as thenext inductees into the TelevisionAcademy’s Hall ofFame. They will be honoredduring a Jan. 20 ceremony atthe Beverly Hills Hotel.INSIDE TRACKShrinkagefor second‘V’ episodeBy James HibberdLOS ANGELES — After lastweek’s record-setting premiere,ABC’s “V” seemeddestined to drop in the ratings forEpisode 2.Driven by 1980s nostalgia andplenty of marketing, viewercuriosity ran high for the debut,a pattern seen during recent yearsfor network remakes of “KnightRider,” “90210” and “AmericanGladiators.” A decline Tuesdaytherefore was not surprising —but it still was pretty steep.The second “V” hour was seenby 10.7 million viewers and drewa 3.8 rating in the adults 18-49demographic, down 27% comparedwith last week. That’s theLiftoff at SyfySyfy is expanding its comedy block withthe premiere of the five-episode series“Outer Space Astronauts.” The half-hourshow, which combines live action andlargest fall from a premiere for ascripted show this season.The rating, though, is solidfor a freshman drama. If “V” canremain in that neighborhood,the show should be fine.The drop put “V” into secondplace at 8 p.m., with CBS’ “NCIS”(21 million, 4.4) resuming controlof the period.CBS won the night, with“NCIS,” “NCIS: Los Angeles”(16.2 million, 3.7) and “The GoodBy Nellie AndreevaLOS ANGELES — Scott Cohenand Stephanie Childers have beentapped to star inABC Family’s untitledMichael Jacobscomedy pilot.Meanwhile,Troian Bellisario andIan Harding havejoined Lucy Hale in Cohenthe network’s dramapilot “Pretty Little Liars.”Jacobs’ single-camera projectrevolves around a recently laid-offarchitect (Cohen) who begins toABC’s “V” drew10.7 millionviewers Tuesday.Wife” (13.4 million, 2.8) all upslightly compared with lastweek.After “V,” second-place ABCaired the “Dancing With the Stars”results show (16.2 million, 3.5),which was up 13%. At 10 p.m., aspecial, “In the Spotlight WithRobin Roberts: All AccessNashville” (9.3 million, 2.3),improved significantly on lastweek’s performance of “The Forgotten”in the slot. ∂ABC Family fills pilot chairsmentor his underdog middledaughter, while his veterinarianwife (Childers) shares a closerbond with their Type-A olderdaughter.“Gilmore Girls”alum Cohen isrepped by Gersh andOne Entertainment.Childers (“Studio60 on the SunsetChilders Strip”) is withDomain andSchachter Entertainment.“Liars,” based on Alloy Entertainment’sseries of novels,2D and 3D animation, debuts Dec. 8. continued on page 5TELEVISIONActing jobs givenew ‘Hope’ to trioBy Nellie AndreevaLOS ANGELES — Chicagobasednewcomer Lucas Neff andMartha Plimpton have beentapped to star in Fox’s comedypilot “Keep Hope Alive.”“High School Musical” co-starOlesya Rulin also has been cast inthe project from “My Name IsEarl” creator Greg Garcia.The singlecamera“Hope”centers on Jimmy(Neff), a 25-yearoldraising an infantwith the help of hisquirky family afterthe baby’s mother,with whom he hada one-night stand,ends up on deathrow.Plimpton willplay Jimmy’s nononsensemother,who got pregnantwith him when shewas 16 and has noNeffPlimptoninterest in raising another baby.Rulin will play a smart waitresswhom Jimmy considers the perfectwoman to help raise his daughter.Michael Fresco is directing the20th TV-produced “Hope.”Plimpton, who appeared in theseason premiere of ABC’s “Grey’sAnatomy,” next recurs on HBO’s“How to Make It in America.” Sheis repped by Innovative andImpression Entertainment.Rulin, best known for her role asKelsi in the “HSM” franchise, hasrecurred on ABC Family’s “Greek.”She is with the Kohner Agency andRain Management Group. ∂11.12.09 THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER 3

CLIPSBUMP AT BERTELSMANNBertelsmann returned to profitduring the third quarter afterslashing about €900 million($1.35 billion) in expenses andmore than 4,500 employees.Net profit at the Germanmedia giant jumped to€87 million ($130 million),compared with €15 millionduring the year-ago period,despite revenue slipping 4.5%to €3.6 billion ($5.4 billion).CAREY’S CUTDirecTV board member ChaseCarey has sold333,000 shares,or $9.5 million, incompany stock.Carey steppeddown as president and CEO ofDirecTV in July to becomeCOO of News Corp.BELO IN CLEARBelo said Wednesday thatit has settled litigation filedagainst the firm when itowned the Dallas MorningNews without having to pay a“material” settlement. Belo,which owns and operates20 TV stations, was accusedof inflating circulation figuresat the newspaper. It sincehas spun off its newspaperbusiness.BACK AT YAGoogle CEO Eric Schmidt toldBloomberg on Wednesdaythat the company will buyback $750 million in stock tooffset dilution caused byits $750 million purchaseof AdMob. It’s the first timeGoogle will offer a buyback.DISCOVERY NEWSDiscovery Communicationshas launched DiscoveryNewsas a stand-alone Web sitefocused on science and technologynews.NBA PHOTO: CHRIS MCGRATH/GETTY IMAGESINSIDE TRACKPink slips atCurrent TVBy Anthony CrupiCurrent TV, the cable channelfounded by former Vice PresidentAl Gore, began overhauling its programmingmodel Wednesday withthe elimination of 80 full-timestaff positions.Originally positioned as a showcasefor shortform user-generatedcontent, Current is shifting towarda more traditional content strategywith plans to run 30- and 60-minute programs, many of whichwill be acquisitions.Current will continue to generatein-house content, but most ofthe cuts were made at the channel’sLos Angeles-based productionand programming facilities.Pink slips also were handed out atCurrent’s New York, San Franciscoand London offices.User-generated contentaccounts for about 30% of Current’sprogramming.“We are as keen as ever on participatorymedia,” COO JoannaDrake Earl said, adding that thechannel is likely to program morethemed compilation shows ratherthan blocks of stand-alone viewersubmissions.The move comes soon afterformer MTV president and COOMark Rosenthal was named CEOof Current Media, replacingfounding CEO Joel Hyatt in July.Current, in 55 million U.S.households, said the reorganization“was not the result of a needto cut costs.” Rather, it has electedto place greater emphasis onlicensing and acquisitions.Anthony Crupi is senior editorat Mediaweek.Stat-tracking and trash-talking will bestaples of the new NBA TV Companion.NBA double-doublefor TV and the WebBy Mike ShieldsWith more sports junkieswatching games on TV while tetheredto the Web to check statistics,monitor fantasy teams and talktrash with friends, the NBA isseeking to embrace the multiscreenexperience.The league has launchedNBA TV Companion on,which offers content customizedto complement each game, includingreal-time statistics and charts,video highlights, analysis andpregame media notes.NBA TV Companion also isdesigned to facilitate social interactionduring live games. Via thesite, users can access Facebook,Twitter, MySpace and Yahoofriend networks to comment onthe game, and they occasionallywill get to interact with team officialsor broadcasters.Mike Shields is senior editor atMediaweek.By Paul BondLOS ANGELES — RupertMurdoch is more powerfulthan the pope.On its inaugural list of theworld’s most powerful people,Forbes has the News Corp. chiefat No. 7, ahead of such luminariesas King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia(No. 9), Pope Benedict XVI(No. 11) and Secretary of StateHillary Clinton (No. 17).Topping the list is PresidentObama, followed by China PresidentHu Jintao, Russia PrimeMinister Vladimir Putin, FederalReserve chairman Ben Bernankeand Google founders Sergey Brinand Larry Page.Bill Gates, the world’s richestman, is No. 10.By Nellie AndreevaLOS ANGELES — The Academyof Television Arts & Sciences andthe Television Academy Foundationhave hired public relationsfirms BNC and Beck Media &Marketing to represent them.They will replace the LippinGroup, which in August opted topart ways with its clients of 12years. Lippin will handle ATAS andits foundation until year’s end.BNC will oversee media relationsfor ATAS and its eventsincluding the Primetime EmmyAwards, Creative Arts EmmyAwards, Los Angeles Area EmmyBUSINESSMurdoch is Forbes’No. 1 media playerMurdoch is the only puremedia mogul to crack the top 10,though Brin and Page dabble inmedia, as does sixth-ranked CarlosSlim Helu, the Telmex CEOwho recently purchased a 6.4%stake in the New York Times.Other media bigwigs onForbes’ list of the 67 most powerfulpeople include No. 13 JeffImmelt, chairman and CEO ofNBC Universal parent GeneralElectric.Media mogul and Italy PrimeMinister Silvio Berlusconi isNo. 12, and New York MayorMichael Bloomberg, founder ofthe businessnewsservicethat bearsFor the full list his name, isNo. 20. ∂ATAS will double up on repsAwards, Television Hall of Fameceremonies and TV AcademyHonors.Beck will handle the TV AcademyFoundation and its programs.“There was tremendous interestin representing our account,”ATAS chairman and CEO JohnShaffner said.Added COO Alan Perris: “Thistwo-agency strategy just madesense. The past few years haveseen a tremendous simultaneousexpansion of programs and activitiesfor the television academy andits foundation as well as the needto properly address and servicenew-media platforms.” ∂11.12.09 THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER 4

FROM THE FRONTMore Dis retoolingcontinued from page 1overseen marketing and distributionoperations at the film studio;Disney said a top marketing execwould be named soon.Disney marketing presidentJim Gallagher, who reported toZoradi, is leaving the company.Among other promotions,Disney business-affairs bossAlan Bergman will take on additionalresponsibilities involvingpostproduction and some otheroperations, and productionpresident Oren Aviv gains oversightof physical production.Pixar technology head GregBrandeau was upped to Disneychief technology officer andexecutive vp.All four promoted execs willreport to Ross.“The way today’s audiencesand consumers experience ourmovies, home entertainmentand other multiplatform programmingis rapidly changing asnew technology offers moreoptions than ever before,” Rosssaid. “The studio restructuringwill embrace new possibilitiesand opportunities and findinnovative ways to providequality entertainment that isreadily available.”Ross, who topped DisneyChannel before his Oct. 6 elevationto succeed the ousted DickCook, said “a certain amount ofchange is inevitable” as hedevelops a new strategy for filmproduction and delivery at Disney.He downsized the Miramaxspecialty unit and accepted theresignation of Miramax presidentDaniel Battsek.In tapping Chapek, Rossinvests faith in a 16-year Disneyveteran who in July addedsupervision of digital distributionto his packaged-mediaresponsibilities. Chapek tookover as president of homeentertainment in 2000 afterholding several exec posts onthe lot in home entertainmentmarketing.Chapek was an early championof Blu-ray Disc in its highdefinitionformat battle withnow-defunct HD DVD, advocatedby some rival studios.“Bob Chapek has been at theforefront of new technology formany years and has the expertiseand track record to guide andconsolidate our future distributionefforts,” Ross said.Disney domestic distributionpresident Chuck Viane andinternational distribution presidentAnthony Marcoly willreport to Chapek. The restructuringwas expected to result inturnovers of several exec positions,but the top execs in physicalproduction and postproduction— Bruce Hendricks andJeffrey Miller, respectively —will remain in place and alsoreport to Chapek.Borys Kit in Los Angeles contributedto this report.‘Christine’ creator gets 3-year dealcontinued from page 1said to be for high-seven figures,Lizer will focus on developingprojects for the studio.She also will continue as executiveproducer/showrunneron “Christine” should the comedyseries starring Julia Louis-Dreyfusbe picked up for a sixth season.For the past two seasons,“Christine,” which was assignedthe tough job of opening asecond comedy night for CBSon Wednesday, was on the bubbleat the Eye but given last-minuterenewals.Both years, ABC offered to stepin and pick up the series, whichearned Louis-Dreyfusan Emmy for playing divorcedmom Christine Campbell.Following its most recentrenewal by CBS in May, “Christine”hit a milestone, with broadcastand cable syndication sales toLifetime and several stationgroups, including Tribune andWeigel.Lizer began collaborating withWBTV during the 2004-05 developmentseason. ∂‘Dollhouse’ in doghousecontinued from page 2cials in “Hank’s” Wednesday 8p.m. slot. ABC pre-empted theshow for a Charlie Brown Halloweenspecial.“Hank” was the odd duck inABC’s all-new two-hourWednesday comedy block as itwas the only traditional sitcom ina field of single-camera series. Itmostly was bashed by critics.Smart play at Foxcontinued from page 2already unbelievably entertaining.”The show has received a seriesorder from “5th Grader” producerMark Burnett Prods. in associationwith Zoo Prods.With “5th Grader” now in syndicationafter shooting 167episodes for Fox and “Genius” onzweig set up the “Fright” projectin May. DreamWorks executiveMark Sourian is overseeing forthe studio.The original “Fright,” releasedin 1985, was written and directedby Tom Holland and starredChris Sarandon, RoddyMcDowall and William Ragsdale.Ragsdale played a teenager whoQuinto eyes indie piccontinued from page 1Chaz Thorne is directing thepic, based on a screenplay byMichael Amo, creator of theCanadian supernatural series“The Listener,” which aired onNBC in the summer. Thorne,Amo and David MacLeod areproducing.The UTA-repped Quinto wasbest known for his role as Sylaron NBC’s “Heroes,” as well as arecurring role on “24,” beforebreaking out as the new Spockin “Trek.” He’s signed on toreprise his role as the deadpanVulcan in a sequel. ∂ABC already has picked up itsother three new comedies —“Modern Family,” “Cougar Town”and “The Middle” — for full seasons.“Dollhouse” and “Hank”join recent casualties “Eastwick”on ABC, “Trauma” onNBC and “The Beautiful Life”on the CW. ∂deck, the former series seems lessthan-likelyto return to the network.The new show was born fromBurnett and Darnell working on“5th Grader,” trying to combinekids and a game show.Burnett, Barry Poznick and JohnStevens serve as executive producersof “Genius.” A host and premieredate have not beenannounced. ∂Noxon returns to scary rootscontinued from page 1discovers his neighbors are vampires.The new version will keep thecomedy-horror tone while modernizingthe effects.The WME-repped Noxon alsohas been a writer-producer onABC’s “Private Practice” and“Grey’s Anatomy” and Fox’s“Prison Break.” ∂ABC Family pilotscontinued from page 3revolves around teenagers Aria(Hale), Emily, Spencer (Bellisario)and Hanna, who begin to receivemysterious messages, seeminglyfrom their girlfriend who disappearedthree years before.Harding, who graduated fromCarnegie Mellon University in thespring, will play a recent collegegrad who becomes Aria’s highschool teacher and gets in a relationshipwith her. He is repped byGersh and Authentic.Bellisario is the daughter ofwriter-producer Don Bellisarioand actress Deborah Pratt. ∂11.12.09 THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER 5

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