The Cannes 2017 Buzz Titles

Cannes kicks off today and signs are good that deals will start popping quickly. Here are the titles that could make 2017 Cannes memorable. Some of these are finished films, some are promos and others are pre-buys. The intel here is raw, and some of the projects might not have come together in time for the Cannes market.
BUBBLES — Director: Taika Waititi, Mark Gustafson. Writer: Isaac Adamson. The Black List-topping script looks at the story of iconic singer Michael…

TV News Roundup: EPIX ‘Get Shorty’ Series Sets Premiere Date

In today’s roundup, EPIX “Get Shorty” gets a premiere date, while Telemundo signs partnership with VICE media. DATES EPIX set the premiere date for “Get Shorty,” its 10-episode original series from MGM Television. The dark comedy, based on the 1990 novel by Elmore Leonard, will debut Sunday, August 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The show, led by Ray Romano… Read more »

Studio Insiders Say No Major ‘Justice League’ Reshoots

Contrary to reports, Warner Bros. and DC Films’ “Justice League” has not undergone massive reshoots, multiple people with knowledge of the film tell TheWrap.

“There has been no additional photography to date on ‘Justice League,’ we have planned and will shoot additional pickups early summer,” says one studio insider.

“Additional photography has always been planned like most pictures in general but certainly for a tentpole of ‘Justice League’s’ size and scope,” the source continued.

The report, which first appeared his morning on the website Splash Report, cites an anonymous source who claimed the Zack Snyder-directed tentpole has undergone “serious” reshoots, with more planned, that are so significant the film has essentially been “remade twice.”

Set to hit theaters Nov. 17, “Justice League” stars Ben Affleck as Batman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as The Flash, and Ray Fisher as Cyborg. Zack Snyder directed the film, which is produced by Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder. Chris Terrio, who wrote Affleck’s 2012 Best Picture winner “Argo,” handled the script.

DC Films next has “Wonder Woman” which will be released in theaters on June 2, 2017.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Justice League’ Actor Ray Fisher Signs With CAA

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No, ‘Justice League’ Is Not 170 Minutes Long

Here’s Jimmy Kimmel’s Letter Apologizing for Missing ABC Upfronts

ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel couldn’t make the network’s upfront presentation on Tuesday because he was too busy taking care of his newborn son.

Kimmel traditionally opens the presentation with a monologue roasting the network, ad buyers and pretty much everyone else. But after revealing that his son Billy had to undergo emergency heart surgery in a tearful monologue on his show earlier this month, Kimmel skipped Tuesday’s presentation to be with his family.

Instead, Kimmel sent a letter to attendees that was read on stage by Disney|ABC Television Group President Ben Sherwood, who was introduced by “Black-ish” star Anthony Anderson as “the man who signs my checks and the whitest person in America.”

Also Read: Katy Perry Set as a Judge on ABC’s ‘American Idol’

“Of course the elephant in the room and — come on, admit it — one of the only reasons you come here, is the annual masochistic tradition of Jimmy Kimmel insults,” Sherwood said before reading the letter. “We were really looking forward to it this year, but Jimmy is where he should be, taking care of his family.”

Read the message Kimmel sent, as read by Sherwood, below:

Dear friends,
As many of you know, I’m boycotting the ABC upfront this year to protest the cancellation of “Dr. Ken.” I’m very sorry I can’t be there with you this year. And if you believe that, you’re just the kind of ad buyer we’re looking for. On behalf of my family, thank you for the good wishes. My son Billy is doing really well, and I promise to be there next year with you on the off chance broadcast television continues to exist.

Your friend,
Jimmy Kimmel

Related stories from TheWrap:

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iHeartMedia Could Be a Thriving Business – If It Didn’t Have $20 Billion in Debt

Being America’s largest radio station owner doesn’t mean as much as it used to in the era of podcasts and YouTube, but iHeartMedia’s business model still works. The 850-plus AM and FM stations held under its iHeartRadio subsidiary reach more than 110 million listeners weekly, and the company hauled in $6.3 billion in revenue last year with $1.5 billion in operating income, clearing $1 billion in operating income each of the past 5 years.

However, iHeartMedia had to pay $1.8 billion in interest expenses last year, after paying more than $1.5 billion in each of the past 5 years. That’s because when the company was acquired by private equity firms Bain Capital Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners in 2008, just as the financial crisis was in full swing, it was loaded up with more than $20 billion in debt that it hasn’t been able to grow its way out of. The company hasn’t turned a profit since 2007 – the year before it was saddled with all that debt, and it warned investors earlier this year it may not last another 12 months as a “going concern.”

Furthermore, a whopping $8.3 billion in senior debt comes due in 2019, which the company has no hope of repaying and has engaged its creditors in attempts to refinance, offering equity in healthier iHeartMedia subsidiary Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings. Further down the debt table, iHeart has $1.7 billion in 14 percent notes due 2021, which is not the type of interest rate businesses with other options tend to pay.

Also Read: Irving Azoff Resigns From iHeartMedia Board

IHeartMedia’s capital structure, where its brutal balance sheet lives, is distinct from its operating businesses. Any refinancing or capital raise would only change who owns the company’s debt and equity, not determine whether iHeartMedia continues to operate.

A spokesperson for iHeartMedia declined to comment for this story.

While iHeartMedia is certainly facing structural challenges with the emergence of streaming music services like Spotify and Pandora, those competitors haven’t completely prevented it from running a viable business. Revenues have shrunk from their mid-2000s peak, but radio remains a tremendously relevant source of news and entertainment for millions of Americans, and iHeartMedia has contracts with some of the biggest names in radio including Steve Harvey and Ryan Seacrest. It also recently reported its 16th consecutive quarter of year-over-year revenue growth.

Also Read: iHeartRadio Parent May Not Survive One More Year as ‘Going Concern’

To be fair, the company hasn’t always made the most forward-looking business decisions in its history, as iHeartMedia’s predecessor sold off live events company Live Nation in 2005 — the one part of the music business fairly immune to digital disruption. Live Nation Entertainment, which was formed in 2010 when Live Nation and Ticketmaster merged, has a healthy $7 billion market cap and its stock has nearly tripled over the last five years. IHeartMedia’s market cap is less than $200 million.

But what really killed the radio star was finance, which brings to mind another mid-2000s private equity-backed acquisition where a major media brand buckled under the weight of a massive debt load. Sam Zell bought Los Angeles Times parent Tribune Company in 2007 in a deal that involved $13 billion of debt, right at the time newspapers were starting to get cannibalized by the internet. Tribune filed for bankruptcy protection a year later.

Legendary music manager Irving Azoff, who left iHeartMedia’s board this month, called the business a “great company” with a “terrible balance sheet” in a February interview. But in 2017, there’s probably no radio company great enough to overcome $20 billion in debt.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Irving Azoff Resigns From iHeartMedia Board

Los Angeles Chargers Sign Multi-Year Broadcasting Deals With KABC-TV, iHeartMedia Los Angeles

iHeartRadio Parent May Not Survive One More Year as ‘Going Concern’