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May 26, 2021
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  • The CW will broadcast prime-time programming seven days a week for the first time, the network announced, kicking off with the first night of the iHeartRadio Music Festival on Oct. 2. The new Saturday night lineup will include “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” and “World’s Funniest Animals,” two programs that have performed well in the past regardless of time slot, Chief Executive Mark Pedowitz said. (Adweek)
  • For the first time, Fox News will make three of its most popular shows — “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” “Hannity” and “The Ingraham Angle” — available on its streaming service, Fox Nation, starting June 2. Sign-ups for Fox Nation, which costs $5.99 a month, are up 40 percent since mid-February, according to Fox Corp. Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch. (Los Angeles Times)
  • CNN President Jeff Zucker told employees that CNN anchor Chris Cuomo “did cross the line” when he participated in strategy sessions with his brother, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and his aides on sexual harassment accusations against the governor, but said Cuomo was not disciplined for the behavior because a suspension would feel like “punishment for the sake of punishing.” (The Wall Street Journal)

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Events Calendar (All Times Local)


What Else You Need to Know


Here Are the Ways the Pandemic Changed Hollywood

Lucas Shaw, Bloomberg

A viewer’s guide to the future of entertainment, where blockbusters no longer require cinemas, studios make sitcoms again, and more.


CNN Can’t Dodge Alan Dershowitz Libel Suit

Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter

Alan Dershowitz will be able to move to discovery after surviving the first round of a defamation lawsuit against CNN over its coverage of Donald Trump’s impeachment.


Major Japan newspaper Asahi calls for Olympic cancellation

Stephen Wade and Kantaro Komiya, The Associated Press

Japan’s Asahi Shimbun newspaper on Wednesday called for the Tokyo Olympics to be canceled with the games set to open in less than two months.


WWE Studios Sees Layoffs As Features, TV & Digital Divisions Consolidate

Mike Fleming Jr., Deadline

Not a happy day in Stamford, CT, today as WWE had a round of layoffs that impact its film, TV and social media divisions in Connecticut and Los Angeles. Trying to find out the exact number, but WWE Studios saw layoffs in features, TV and digital/social media division Advanced Media Group.


Adnan Virk already done with WWE after after less than two months

Justin Tasch, New York Post

The former ESPN star and WWE “have mutually agreed to part ways,” WWE announced Tuesday, after Virk worked only seven episodes as the play-by-play voice of “Monday Night Raw.”


Actor Mark Ruffalo apologizes for posts about Israel-Hamas fighting, stirs backlash

Erik Ortiz, NBC News

Actor Mark Ruffalo’s apology for social media posts that he said suggested Israel was “committing ‘genocide’” amid the recent fighting with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip is drawing praise and backlash — highlighting the delicate and fraught nature of the longstanding conflict.


Baby Girl Sussex is coming, so what’s big bro Archie to do?

Leanne Italie, The Associated Press

Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, the 2-year-old son of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan, will soon have a sister in the California hamlet the decamped royals call home.


A year later, Krasinski’s ‘Quiet Place’ ready to make noise

Jake Coyle, The Associated Press

John Krasinski, whose “A Quiet Place Part II” is one of the biggest studio releases to open exclusively in theaters this year, recently returned to the movies, himself.


Even the Little Movies Are Noisy: Action and Adventure Still Lead the Speciality Box Office

Kate Erbland, IndieWire

Consider it cinematic comfort food: while the box office readies for the sure-to-be massive release of “F9” (already a huge hit overseas) and the VOD space is wall to wall with tough guy-centric action heroes, a similar pattern has emerged in the speciality and indie space.


Niki Caro and Charlize Theron Team for Women’s Big-Wave Surfing Film at Netflix

Angelique Jackson, Variety

Filmmaker Niki Caro and Charlize Theron are teaming up to develop a feature film about women’s fight for equality in big wave surfing for Netflix.


100 Most-Watched TV Shows of 2020-21: Winners and Losers

Michael Schneider, Variety

As another unusual, COVID-compromised TV season comes to a close on Wednesday, Variety has once again compiled the list of the most-watched TV shows of the year, in both total viewers and adults 18-49. If these don’t look like great numbers, well, it’s 2021. There’s no such thing as great numbers anymore.


Triumph of the unhip: ‘NCIS’ tops TV, streaming rankings

David Bauder, The Associated Press

The Nielsen company’s latest rankings of popular television and streaming shows have one thing in common — “NCIS” at the top.


‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ Ends ‘The Tonight Show’s Demo-Win Run As ABC Series Scores Best Ratings In 7 Months

Peter White, Deadline

Jimmy Kimmel Live! had its best ratings run since October as the ABC series topped the late-night demo last week.


Daytime Emmys: ‘General Hospital’ Leads 2021 Nominations

Hilary Lewis, The Hollywood Reporter

ABC’s General Hospital scored the most nominations, with 21, followed by fellow soaps The Young and the Restless (CBS) and Days of Our Lives (NBC), which scored 11 nods each; and CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful, landing nine nods. All four of those shows are up for outstanding drama series.


The CW Proud Of Diversity Efforts But Still Striving For More Authentic Voices

Peter White, Deadline

Mark Pedowitz revealed during the CW’s upfronts press call today that 67% of its showrunners, writers and directors this season are diverse and/or women, while 53% of its series regulars are people of color and 49% are women.


‘This Was Just a Miss’: Why The CW’s ‘Powerpuff Girls’ Pilot Is Being Reworked

Elaine Low, Variety

The CW’s pilot of “Powerpuff,” the live-action series based on the popular Cartoon Network animated show “The Powerpuff Girls,” is being overhauled and re-shot because the initial pilot was “too campy” and not as rooted in reality as network execs would have liked.


Streaming Rules, Dick Wolf Doesn’t Sleep and 8 Other Things We Learned From 2021 Upfronts

Tony Maglio et al., The Wrap Pro

During the 2021 event, we found out that broadcast TV really loves its crime procedurals (as does Dick Wolf’s bank account), streaming is now welcomed in as a begrudging roommate and Jimmy Kimmel can provide more laughs in seven minutes than NBC will this fall.


Upfronts 2021: Studio Chiefs On Broadcast Comedies’ Viability, Light Fare’s Rise Post-Covid & Pandemic’s Permanent Effect On Development & Production

Nellie Andreeva, Deadline

For the first time since start of the Big Four era in broadcast TV, two of the four networks, NBC and Fox, will have no live-action comedies on the fall schedule amid a challenging period for the genre and efforts to redraw the decades-old broadcast comedy model for the streaming age.


Jimmy Kimmel and Ted Cruz Rekindle an Old Feud

Trish Bendix, The New York Times

Jimmy Kimmel on Tuesday rehashed the details of a new feud with Senator Ted Cruz. It began, Kimmel explained, when the Texas Republican posted a tweet in which he referred to the U.S. military as “woke” and “emasculated.”


David W. Zucker Upped To Chief Creative Officer At Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions, Jordan Sheehan & Clayton Krueger Named Co-Presidents Of Television

Nellie Andreeva, Deadline

Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions has promoted longtime President of Television David W. Zucker to Chief Creative Officer. Zucker’s top lieutenants of nearly a decade, Jordan Sheehan and Clayton Krueger, have been elevated to Co-Presidents of Scott Free Television.


With ‘Younger’ and ‘The Bold Type’ Ending, Will TV Turn the Page?

Alexis Soloski, The New York Times

Series have long depicted media jobs as glitzy and aspirational. But with several such shows wrapping up as much of the news and publishing business craters, is this the end of an era?


Netflix Is Launching a Series Inspired by a ProPublica Story About a U.S.-Triggered Massacre in Mexico

Ginger Thompson, ProPublica

Netflix will release a series next month inspired by ProPublica’s 2017 story “How the U.S. Triggered a Massacre in Mexico,” which revealed the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s role in setting off a 2011 massacre in northern Mexico, leaving dozens of people dead or missing.


Elizabeth Banks to Produce, Direct, Appear in Series Adaptation of Victoria Aveyard’s ‘Red Queen’ at Peacock

Joe Otterson, Variety

Peacock is developing a series adaptation of the Victoria Aveyard novel “Red Queen” with Elizabeth Banks attached to executive produce, direct and appear in a major supporting role.

Technology and New Media

Media dealmaking hits highest level since dotcom boom

James Fontanella-Khan and Dave Lee, Financial Times

Media dealmaking this year has hit levels not seen since the dotcom boom with more than $232bn worth of transactions announced so far as Amazon closes in on a $9bn takeover of MGM, the storied film studio behind James Bond and Rocky.


HBO Max Hit With Technical Problems, Streaming Outages

Todd Spangler, Variety

WarnerMedia’s HBO Max was hit with scattered technical issues for more than an hour Tuesday, with users nationwide reporting problems streaming video.


Vimeo Stock Slips 13% in Debut as Public Company Following IAC Spinoff

Todd Spangler, Variety

Shares of video-hosting provider Vimeo fell 12.85% on Tuesday, its first day of trading as a publicly traded company after being spun off from Barry Diller’s IAC internet conglomerate.


Netflix Sets Contemporary ‘Anna Karenina’ Series Adaptation as First Russian Original

Naman Ramachandran, Variety

“Anna K” (working title), a contemporary retelling of Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel “Anna Karenina,” will be Netflix’s first Russian original drama series.


New BTS summer hit ‘Butter’ melts YouTube and Spotify records

Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times

As K-pop continues its smoothly choreographed dance to world domination, BTS’ latest juggernaut hit, “Butter,” has already shattered records since its release Friday.


Smooth Like Burger: BTS-McDonald’s Collaboration Arrives

Michele Amabile Angermiller, Variety

BTS’ collaboration with McDonald’s arrives as participating restaurants in the United States today and includes the BTS meal, a variety of merch and four weeks of digital content featuring the band.


Doja Cat, John Legend, Other Top Artists Sign Up for Quincy Jones-Backed NFT Platform

Chris Willman, Variety

An NFT music platform backed by mogul Quincy Jones has secured the support of artists including Doja Cat, John Legend, H.E.R., Jacob Collier and the Kid Laroi to release more environmentally friendly non-fungible tokens, the newly formed company, OneOf, announced Tuesday.

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