☀️COMCAST, VERIZON, AT&T choose to quickly settle film copyright lawsuit
Zuck's huge 2022 net worth loss / Anne Hathaway gets on-the-rise AMAZON co-star / SNL loses another cast member
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on TUESDAY September 20, 2022.
Where the “DWTS” hosts did a live on-air toss on ABC at 8pm sharp last night, right to their… DISNEY+ live-streaming premiere - while also promoting a special $2 DIS+ teaser offer that expired at Midnight last night. They also casually dropped that ahem - there will be no commercials in the show on DIS+ (well, maybe until December). 🔥
The subsequent ABC“Monday Night Football” pre-game then very quickly cut to 5+ mins of the early NFL MNF game that was live on… ESPN, thus DISNEY made full corporate utility out of ABC last night. It’s a new era we’re living in folks. #flywheel Too bad both games were blowouts throughout. 😴
ALSO: Still waiting for our AMAZON PRIME Thurs Night Football NIELSEN ratings… ahem. 🥱
PLUS: Sean Hayes is coming to BROADWAY in April as the lead in “Good Night, Oscar” which has been in doing shows in Chicago. Hayes plays pianist & actor Oscar Levant.
AND: The conviction of Adnan Syed (of 2014 “Serial” fame) was overturned in MARYLAND yesterday, after being incarcerated for 23 years.
Here’s a brand new 17 minute podcast episode on the matter from the (now NY Times-owned) Serial pod.
IN TODAY’S EDITION:
Eh it’s a pretty straightforward day so this should be an efficient scroll - let’s go free for everybody.
But definitely recommend the NY Times TIKTOK read down in the MEDIA BIZ section.
AND: If you like getting The Wakeup every morning as part of your Ankler subscription… and want to share that with someone who works or interns for you, here’s a button:
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
AMAZON sets Nicholas Galitzine to co-star with Anne Hathaway in “The Idea of You” pic
Nicholas of course starred in one of the biggest movies of the Summer… anyone? No? 🤔 He was the male lead in NETFLIX’s hit military romance pic “Purple Hearts”. He was also “Prince Robert” in AMAZON’s (nee SONY’s) “Cinderella”.
This one is about a mom who takes her daughter to COACHELLA when her deadbeat dad flakes, and ends up meeting the 24 year-old singer of a hit boyband group and… well things go from there.
Michael Showalter is directing, Jennifer Westfeldt (”Kissing Jessica Stein”) adapted the book into a script and it shoots next month. /Deadline
ALSO IN MOVIES
A24 doing an online ‘A24 Screening Room’ one-night-only event on Thursday, screening a double feature “Bodies Bodies Bodies” and director Halina Reijn’s previous 2019 erotic thriller “Instinct”. A24 also bought the overall rights for that film. /Variety
SONY adds Darren Barnet (NETFLIX’s “Never Have I Ever”) to their “Gran Turismo” pic which… apparently just started shooting. Nice job with the casting drips there SONY. /THR
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📺 THE TV SET
HBOMAX sets Sarah Paulson to play cult figure Gwen Shamblin in limited series
It’s an adaptation of their docuseries “The Way Down: God, Greed, and the Cult of Gwen Shamblin”. Gwen led a Christian-based diet program called the WEIGH DOWN WORKSHOP who was accused of emotional, psychological & physical abuse and exploitation, before dying in a plane crash with her husband last Summer.
Michelle Dean (HULU’s “The Act”) will be the showrunner here, although this is still technically in development. /Deadline
ALSO IN TV
Chris Redd is the latest cast member to depart SNL. Season premiere is next Saturday. /Variety
EP of “The Talk” Heather Gray died at the age of 50, no clear details given other than she was battling an “unforgiving disease”. /Variety
📝 IN OTHER WORDS…
“I was enthralled, then disturbed, then so unsettled that I had trouble getting to sleep. But I couldn’t stop watching.”
- SCORSESE posting a highly praise-filled column / review in /Film about Ti West’s new “X” prequel “Pearl”. Who wants to warn Marty there’s a third pic coming? 😳
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
COMCAST, VERIZON and AT&T settle copyright lawsuit with production outfit VOLTAGE PICTURES
VOLTAGE filed it only about a month ago, essentially saying the internet providers declined to ban / prevent their customers who were illegally downloading VOLTAGE pictures (“Dallas Buyers Club”, “I Feel Pretty” etc) using their internet service, even when the ISP’s were notified of the infractions. /THR
COX and CHARTER fought previous similar lawsuits in the past from Music Labels, and in COX’s case - lost badly. Like $1 Billion badly (which is still on appeal at COX)… and CHARTER recently settled a similar major lawsuit against their subsidiary BRIGHT HOUSE.
AT&T said that no payment was made to VOLTAGE as a part of the dismissal, but no other comments were available/made public from the other parties here.
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT: The 2019 COX ruling from the music business hasn’t spurred too many similar lawsuits from the movie business to date about previous inaction to stop piracy, but clearly the broadband companies know their legal footing here is tenuous at best.
It’s doubtful the Studios would ever actively pursue something like this (not to mention the country’s largest ISP COMCAST, ya know, owns one of those Studios), but it’s certainly possible other smaller copyright holders could bring cases in the future, necessitating payouts at a time where the Broadband business is already feeling a pinch of subscriber saturation.
A #goodread on the increasing popularity of TIKTOK as a search engine
Especially among younger demos of course, even if this is mostly anecdotal.
But there is a research stat cited by GOOGLE in that 40% of GenZ’ers went to TIKTOK or IG to look for a restaurant reco instead of traditional search. 🍕
Certainly an interesting perspective shift to keep in mind about TIKTOK as a burgeoning utility, and not just an entertaining time suck. /NY Times
ALSO: TIK TOK parent BYTE DANCE bought back $3 Billion of existing shares out there to try and up existing investor morale (And employee morale), as it sounds like growth may finally be hitting the “not explosive” stage, putting a big question mark around an IPO situ. 🧐 The company’s valuation is still around $300 Billion. Granted, this is a private/not public market given valuation. /Reuters
META is currently around $400 Billion. NETFLIX is at about $110 Billion, and DISNEY around $200 Billion these days.
TWITTER and SNAP aren’t even in the conversation here.
ALSO IN MEDIA
Zuck’s wealth has decreased more than half this year - down $71 Billion in case you need to feel a little better about your 401k. I mean he’s still worth $56 Billion so… maybe this isn’t the best example for that. /Bloomberg
BUSTLE MEDIA GROUP shutters INPUT tech news brand, lays off 10 staff at MIC music & entertainment site. /Adweek
DIRECTV will reimburse NFL SUNDAY TICKET streaming customers who experienced service outages on Sunday for a weekend’s worth of charges. (Satellite TV customers were unaffected). So I guess around $20 or so. /Deadline
AND JUST SOMETHING BIGGER TO WATCH AS WINTER APPROACHES…
I generally don’t get into too many trending things in the economy at large, but this piece from the New York NY Times newsletter this morning may cause many Americans to look a little closer at the number of Streaming services they’re currently paying for on their credit card bills this Winter (among other things):
While yes, car gas prices have returned to a state of “normalcy” - get ready for “Home heating energy prices skyrocket this Winter” headlines to start in about 2 months.
US National average heating costs are expected to be +12%, with likely heavy regional spiking - see NYC, where heating costs are expected to explode +22% or higher. #ThanksNaturalGas. I take a September prediction that “Winter will be colder and snowier than usual” about as far as I can throw it these days (yes, I know I shouldn’t be throwing anything with my bad knee Grace), but regardless - the temperature may very well have an outsized effect on whatever killer content lineups hit the services in Q4 and especially Q1 2023.
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🏦 STOCK NOTES
A slightly up day for most, as a the street had a late day push after a pretty quiet start.
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
CBS Tuesday night lineup premiere (“FBI” shows)
NETFLIX “We All Scream” Payton Oswald special - STREAM HERE
HULU “Reboot” series - STREAM HERE
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
Little new country from ASHLEY COOKE, “back in the saddle”.
If you need some new tunes:
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note: This post was revised to include AT&T’s confirmation that they made no payment to VOLTAGE on the matter.