What Public Figures Should Learn From the Kevin Hart Oscars Debacle (Guest Column)

When social media erupted over Kevin Hart’s anti-gay tweets from years ago, many in the media and the entertainment industry believed he would immediately apologize, LGBTQ people would critique but ultimately accept his mea culpa, and the comedian woul…

When social media erupted over Kevin Hart’s anti-gay tweets from years ago, many in the media and the entertainment industry believed he would immediately apologize, LGBTQ people would critique but ultimately accept his mea culpa, and the comedian would go on to host the Academy Awards. If offenders make a commitment to do better, their […]

Inside Bob Bakish’s Aggressive Turnaround Plan for Viacom

Bob Bakish was days into his job as CEO of Viacom in late 2016 when he began convening meetings with senior executives to execute a triage effort to save the once-mighty media giant. Paramount Pictures had just posted a $445 million annual loss. Viacom…

Bob Bakish was days into his job as CEO of Viacom in late 2016 when he began convening meetings with senior executives to execute a triage effort to save the once-mighty media giant. Paramount Pictures had just posted a $445 million annual loss. Viacom’s cable networks were in danger of being dropped by major distributors […]

Concert Review: 30 Seconds to Mars, Smashing Pumpkins Rock KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas

KROQ held the first night of its annual Almost Acoustic Christmas on Saturday at the Forum, and from new punk to ska to classics from the ’90s, the Los Angeles institution served up a formidable line-up. Smashing Pumpkins got top billing at the c…

KROQ held the first night of its annual Almost Acoustic Christmas on Saturday at the Forum, and from new punk to ska to classics from the ’90s, the Los Angeles institution served up a formidable line-up. Smashing Pumpkins got top billing at the concert, joining groups like 30 Seconds to Mars, Bad Religion, Greta Van […]

Awards Budgets, Streaming Services Shake Up Oscar Documentary Race

There’s no denying the race for documentary Oscar has changed dramatically in the past decade and even more so in the past five years. The reason for the shift? Money. What is debatable is if the shift is for the better. There are many reasons for the …

There’s no denying the race for documentary Oscar has changed dramatically in the past decade and even more so in the past five years. The reason for the shift? Money. What is debatable is if the shift is for the better. There are many reasons for the recent exponential rise in docu campaign budgets. One […]

Freed by the Camera

In a small village in Assam, India, we meet our protagonist, Dhunu, a free-spirited 10-year-old girl with a Styrofoam guitar, playing a song of hope. Undeterred by life’s challenges, Dhunu dreams of starring in her own rock band — except with a real gu…

In a small village in Assam, India, we meet our protagonist, Dhunu, a free-spirited 10-year-old girl with a Styrofoam guitar, playing a song of hope. Undeterred by life’s challenges, Dhunu dreams of starring in her own rock band — except with a real guitar. The onscreen journey of “Village Rockstars’” protagonist embodies the real-life journey […]

Golden Globes: Female Directors Shut Out of Nominations

Once again, the Golden Globes have an all-male line-up of best director nominees. The nominees, announced Thursday morning, are Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”), Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”), Peter Farrelly (“Green Book”), Spike Lee…

Once again, the Golden Globes have an all-male line-up of best director nominees. The nominees, announced Thursday morning, are Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”), Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”), Peter Farrelly (“Green Book”), Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”), and Adam McKay (“Vice”). This comes after Natalie Portman called out the absence of female directors at 2017’s Globes nominations […]

Melissa McCarthy and Lupita Nyong’o Discuss Headlining Movies on Their Own Terms

Melissa McCarthy and Lupita Nyong’o sat down for a chat for Variety’s Actors on Actors. For more, click here.  Melissa McCarthy is best known for creating outsize comedic characters, but this year she took on a dramatic role in “Can You Eve…

Melissa McCarthy and Lupita Nyong’o sat down for a chat for Variety’s Actors on Actors. For more, click here.  Melissa McCarthy is best known for creating outsize comedic characters, but this year she took on a dramatic role in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” Marielle Heller’s story of a forger desperately holding onto her place in a […]

Mahershala Ali, John David Washington on Pushing Past Stereotypes in Hollywood

Mahershala Ali and John David Washington sat down for a chat for Variety’s Actors on Actors. For more, click here.  Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”) and John David Washington (“BlacKkKlansman”) have catapulted into the awards season conversation wit…

Mahershala Ali and John David Washington sat down for a chat for Variety’s Actors on Actors. For more, click here.  Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”) and John David Washington (“BlacKkKlansman”) have catapulted into the awards season conversation with two searing films about race in America. Both movies are based on true stories. Ali, who won the supporting actor […]

Michael B. Jordan, Charlize Theron Exchange Secrets on Their Acting Transformations

Charlize Theron and Michael B. Jordan sat down for a chat for Variety’s Actors on Actors. For more, click here.  Charlize Theron and Michael B. Jordan start talking before the cameras are even rolling. They are exchanging secrets about how they b…

Charlize Theron and Michael B. Jordan sat down for a chat for Variety’s Actors on Actors. For more, click here.  Charlize Theron and Michael B. Jordan start talking before the cameras are even rolling. They are exchanging secrets about how they both disappear into character, undergoing dramatic physical — and emotional — transformations. That’s certainly been the […]

‘Daredevil’ Canceled at Netflix After Three Seasons

Netflix is ready to say goodbye to Matt Murdoch. The streaming service has canceled “Daredevil” after three seasons, Variety has learned. The superhero action-drama debuted its third season in October. It’s the latest casualty in Netf…

Netflix is ready to say goodbye to Matt Murdoch. The streaming service has canceled “Daredevil” after three seasons, Variety has learned. The superhero action-drama debuted its third season in October. It’s the latest casualty in Netflix’s Defenders universe. The move to cancel the drama, produced by Marvel Television and ABC Studios, comes on the heels […]

‘Rocko’s Modern Life’ Creator: Stephen Hillenburg ‘Changed the Face of TV Forever’

Joe Murray, the creator of Nickelodeon series “Rocko’s Modern Life,” remembers “SpongeBob Squarepants” creator Stephen Hillenburg, who died on Monday at the age of 57.  I first met Steve through the big screen at the Ottaw…

Joe Murray, the creator of Nickelodeon series “Rocko’s Modern Life,” remembers “SpongeBob Squarepants” creator Stephen Hillenburg, who died on Monday at the age of 57.  I first met Steve through the big screen at the Ottawa Film Festival in 1992. His film “Wormholes” was in competition and, after watching it, I immediately knew we would […]

Why Bidding Is About to Heat Up Over Tribune Stations, Fox’s Regional Sports Networks

Bidding on two prime collections of local TV assets — Fox’s 22 regional sports networks and Tribune Media’s 42 TV stations and WGN America — will heat up this week in separate auctions that are expected to be concluded by year’s end. The nature of the …

Bidding on two prime collections of local TV assets — Fox’s 22 regional sports networks and Tribune Media’s 42 TV stations and WGN America — will heat up this week in separate auctions that are expected to be concluded by year’s end. The nature of the players lining up for these properties, which include Amazon […]

White House’s New Rules Prove the Fight for Free Press Is Far From Over

It’s undeniably great that CNN political ace Jim Acosta got his press pass fully restored after the Trump administration yanked his credentials, claiming the journalist had disrupted a Nov. 7 press conference by insisting on asking the president a foll…

It’s undeniably great that CNN political ace Jim Acosta got his press pass fully restored after the Trump administration yanked his credentials, claiming the journalist had disrupted a Nov. 7 press conference by insisting on asking the president a follow-up question. But, the victory may be short-lived — and is somewhat overshadowed by the fact […]

An Oral History of Maroon 5’s Eleventh-Hour Hit ‘Girls Like You’

Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” was fast-tracked onto the album “Red Pill Blues” at the eleventh hour and ascended almost as swiftly to the top of the charts. The song’s participants and stakeholders retrace the road to the finish line. Starrah (songwriter…

Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” was fast-tracked onto the album “Red Pill Blues” at the eleventh hour and ascended almost as swiftly to the top of the charts. The song’s participants and stakeholders retrace the road to the finish line. Starrah (songwriter): I was examining my feelings for a girl. Jason Evigan and Cirkut played around […]

IFP/Gotham Awards Became an Oscar Bellwether Under Outgoing Joana Vicente’s Watch

Since becoming the Independent Film Project’s executive director in late 2009, Joana Vicente has made her mark. In addition to increasing IFP’s grant support, she also helped found the Made in NY Media Center and transitioned the org from a film-based …

Since becoming the Independent Film Project’s executive director in late 2009, Joana Vicente has made her mark. In addition to increasing IFP’s grant support, she also helped found the Made in NY Media Center and transitioned the org from a film-based foundation to an org that supports various media including film, television, web, podcasts and […]

Watch the First ‘The Lion King’ Live-Action Teaser Trailer

The first look at the live-action/CGI remake of “The Lion King” is finally online. Disney released the teaser trailer on Thursday as part of the Thanksgiving football festivities, replicating the opening scene of the beloved 1994 original a…

The first look at the live-action/CGI remake of “The Lion King” is finally online. Disney released the teaser trailer on Thursday as part of the Thanksgiving football festivities, replicating the opening scene of the beloved 1994 original animated film. “Everything the light touches is our kingdom,” says Mufusa (James Earl Jones, reprising his role from […]

Dean Ween to Open Pot-Friendly Music Venue in Denver (Report)

Alt-rocker Dean Ween is about to take the Mile-High City even higher. The founder of the eponymous band with “brother” Gene Ween plans to open a marijuana-friendly concert venue in Denver dubbed Dean Ween’s Honeypot Lounge right near Coors Field, accor…

Alt-rocker Dean Ween is about to take the Mile-High City even higher. The founder of the eponymous band with “brother” Gene Ween plans to open a marijuana-friendly concert venue in Denver dubbed Dean Ween’s Honeypot Lounge right near Coors Field, according to a report in the Denver Post. The proposed venue’s COO Michael Polansky announced […]

Mark Burnett, Roma Downey Recall Their Terrifying Malibu Evacuation

Mark Burnett and Roma Downey were getting ready to go to the gym early on the morning of Nov. 9 when the reverse-911 call came in. The message was dire: Evacuate immediately. The couple looked around their home off Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, and …

Mark Burnett and Roma Downey were getting ready to go to the gym early on the morning of Nov. 9 when the reverse-911 call came in. The message was dire: Evacuate immediately. The couple looked around their home off Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, and saw the billowing clouds of smoke to the north. In […]

Why Channing Dungey’s Exit From ABC Is a Sign of the Times

Channing Dungey’s time as president of ABC was short. But it was certainly memorable — both for moves she made and for shockwaves she and her network attempted to absorb. As the head of the network, Dungey made several canny decisions meant to reframe …

Channing Dungey’s time as president of ABC was short. But it was certainly memorable — both for moves she made and for shockwaves she and her network attempted to absorb. As the head of the network, Dungey made several canny decisions meant to reframe ABC as the default choice for Middle America. What was until […]

How a Tight-Knit Malibu Community Banded Together in the Face of Wildfires

Rita Cossette was in Nashville last week when she got word that her home of 33 years had been ravaged by fire. A friend called to say she had checked on her residence at Point Dume, and there was nothing left except a Buddha statue and a stone figurine…

Rita Cossette was in Nashville last week when she got word that her home of 33 years had been ravaged by fire. A friend called to say she had checked on her residence at Point Dume, and there was nothing left except a Buddha statue and a stone figurine. The friend retrieved the Buddha and […]

How Nicole Kidman and Her ‘Work Husband’ Lined Up Blossom Films’ High-Powered Slate

Nicole Kidman readily admits she has two husbands. She’s been happily married to country star Keith Urban for 12 years, but then there’s the man she affectionately calls her “work husband”: Per Saari, her partner in Blossom Films, the production banner…

Nicole Kidman readily admits she has two husbands. She’s been happily married to country star Keith Urban for 12 years, but then there’s the man she affectionately calls her “work husband”: Per Saari, her partner in Blossom Films, the production banner they launched in 2010. Blossom boasts a carefully curated but high-powered lineup across film […]