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☀️ Rupert hands keys to Lachlan, as FOX loses WWE Smackdown
WGA talks "promising" going into day 2 / MSG sells individual KNICKS & RANGERS games DtoC / NETFLIX revives Troll!!
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty (connect with me on LinkedIn here if ya like), and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on THURSDAY September 21, 2023.
Where I gotta say… I do love this new study from iHEARTRADIO and podcast production co PUSHKIN INDUSTRIES, polling the awareness of marketers on certain things… vs. “people” (aka the American public) 👏.
Heard of NFTs:
Heard of APEROL SPRITZ:
Knows what ‘charcuterie’ is:
Heard of pickleball:
And… my favorite for Janice:
Heard of the TV show Succession:
I think we now have some new theories on EMMYS ratings.
WHICH BRINGS ME TO… RUPERT, OUT!
Yes, Rupert Murdoch is stepping down as Board Chairman at both FOX CORP and NEWS CORP… although he will remain “Chairman emeritus” at both companies so he still keeps his health insurance. I mean he is 92.
SO: Lachlan can navigate the intricacies of the 2020s cable TV bundle on his own 🥳, continuing as Exec Chair & CEO of FOX CORP, and bumping up to Chairman of NEWS CORP.
The end of an era… we’ll see if other details emerge today.
OH: Just a reminder - you can join Ankler CEO Janice Min for a conversation on the ‘End of the Rupert era’ with author and Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff on Oct 16 (plus a lot of other scoop from his new book The Fall: The End of Fox News and the Murdoch Dynasty) at Zibby’s Bookshop in Santa Monica on Oct. 16.
Details here 👇:
ATTENTION NJ FOLKS: The MONTCLAIR FILM FEST kicks off with A24’s Nic Cage movie Dream Scenario on Oct 23. FOCUS’ The Holdovers, NEON’s Eileen, NETFLIX’s May December and docs Stamped From the Beginning and NETFLIX’s American Symphony will also screen there this year. Tix on sale Oct 6.
PLUS: Troll lives!! Yes, NETFLIX has ordered a sequel to its late 2022 Norwegian hit, which had 97.6 million views in 28 days last year, basically the same as Adam Sandler’s Hustle. Troll ended up with 103 million views in three months, and was its biggest non-English language movie ever.
THEN: More A-List authors have joined a lawsuit against Open AI using their works, including John Grisham, George R.R. Martin, Michael Connelly, and Jodi Picoult.
OH: Covid’s back. The late night host Strike Force Three podcast event in Vegas has been canceled as Kimmel got it, Sherri Shepherd has put her talk show on pause as she was newly diagnosed… and Steve Martin and most of the crew for his Vegas show sound like they have it.
🪧 STRIKE FORCE
Ted, Bob, Donna and Zaz joined the WGA-AMPTP powwow yesterday. I mean somebody’s gotta bring the Sweetgreen. “Promising” is the word that’s emerged from the room, and the groups will meet again today. No word on the take-out orders.
AND: David Faber, the CNBC anchor who also interviews CEOs ‘on the range’ at Sun Valley (including the infamous Iger interview in July) says “people close to the negotiations” told him they hope to finalize a WGA deal today… and that if they don’t - the strike will go through year’s end. No that’s not a veiled threat through a media outlet, why do you ask?
WAKEUP BOX OFFICE POLL
We have Expendables 4 up this weekend, tracking is $15 million… up to $17 million
Your comp is part 3 opened to $15.8 million back in 2014, on its way to $39 million.
IN TODAY’S EDITION:
Pretty quiet day otherwise except for the WWE news below, so this’ll be quick… and free for all to read 🤝.
📽 THE SILVER TV 📺
JUST A FEW THINGS
You can now pay to watch individual KNICKS and RANGERS games on MSG+ this season… for the low, low price of $10 a game 😁. Or you can pay $30 a month, or $310 for a year for the MSG+ streaming RSN.
Or over 2X the price of what MAX costs for a year. #YaySports! /TV Technology
HBO’s Hard Knocks had its most watched season in 13 years, averaging 4.4 million viewers an episode.
MGM+ picked up the Lena Heady sci-fi series Beacon 23, that was made under the old SPECTRUM OP initiative… where the shows would premiere OnDemand for SPECTRUM/CHARTER subs, and then air on another network 9 months later (in this case, it was to be AMC).
MGM+ will premiere Beacon 23 on Nov 12. /THR
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💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
Yes, the WWE has renewed their Cable TV deal with NBCU’s USA Network - but not for their existing RAW and NXT shows…
Rather they’re taking Friday Night Smackdown off of FOX and moving it to USA on Friday nights starting in October 2024.
No word on the future home of RAW or NXT franchises after Sept 2024 when that deal is up - FOX could certainly step back in here.
Could even see TheCW look to up their $$ game and enter the fray if the WWE is really looking to keep a presence on Broadcast TV, given the CW’s penchant for sports in general thus far.
Fright Night Smackdown will also be avail to watch next day on the PEACOCK WWE hub.
PLUS: WWE is coming to NBC!
Well at least 4 times a year, in the form of 4 TBA specials. 🤞 for a Christmas edition.
🏦 STOCK NOTES
Pretty Quiet Weds
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
AMAZON Thursday Night Football: GIANTS at 49ERS 😳
NETFLIX Sex Education final season
HULU Sanctuary pic (was a NEON release)
BET+ Love & Murder: Atlanta Playboy Part One and Two
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
LIONSGATE Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes trailer - IN THEATERS NOV 17
HULU Love in Fairhope docuseries trailer - follows the romantic lives of five women in a “picturesque small town” in ALABAMA. Come for the love, stay for the college football talk. PREMIERES SEPT 27
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
Doing a nostalgia sidebar today… I caught the season 1 Friends finale on mom’s cable TV bundle last night (Rachel waiting for Ross to get back from CHINA at the airport), and not gonna lie - kinda made me a little sad that Gen Z will never have that collective cultural “cliffhanger” feeling of all watching a TV show together at the same time (well except for West Coast folks of course, but there was no internet to ruin anything).… and having to wait 4 months to find out what happens on a TV sitcom.
So, in honor of the Friends season 1 finale, here’s the song that closed the episode from Midge.
If you need some new tunes:
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