TWITTER pays $810 Million to settle user data fraud lawsuit
SONY casts Bobby Brown role in WHITNEY biopic / CNN pushes office return to 2022 / Maniscalco + DeNiro movie adds cast
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on TUESDAY September 21, 2021.
Where Hollywood was busy yesterday trying to figure out why no people of color won acting EMMYS on Sunday, so it’s a pretty quiet news day today. But a lotta new trailers, including the first promo for Jon Stewart’s new APPLE TV+ show with footage from the show.
ALSO: If you’re up for a QUIBI post-mortem a year later, Jeffrey Katzenberg joined Kara Swisher for her SWAY podcast this week. Link to read or listen here.
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
LIONSGATE adds Leslie Bibb to Maniscalco / DeNiro comedy “About My Father”
Sebastian also co-wrote the movie inspired by his relationship with his father.
Sebastian’s old school Italian dad crashes the weekend at the house of his All-American girlfriend’s family (Leslie), on the weekend Sebastian is planning to propose. So a kinda reverse “Meet The Parents” 🤔. /Deadline
SONY sets Ashton Sanders to play Bobby Brown in Whitney Houston biopic
Ashton plays RZA in HULU’s “Wu-Tang” show and was also in “Moonlight”. Naomi Ackie (most recent season of "Master of None”) already cast as Whitney, Kasi Lemmons (“Harriet”) recently came on to direct. /Deadline
ALSO IN MOVIES
WB’s “Cry Macho” gets about 700k viewers on HBOMAX its opening weekend according to tracking firm SAMBA TV. Roughly on par with “In The Heights” in early June. About 400k went to go see it in theaters this weekend. /Deadline
📺 THE TV SET
SHOWTIME adds Betty Gilpin to Shailene Woodley series “Three Women”
Based on the best-selling Lisa Taddeo book exploring female desire and sexuality through three different characters.
Dewanda Wise (“She’s Gotta Have It” series) will play one of them, Gilpin (“GLOW”) is now the 2nd, 3rd woman is TBD - Shailene is playing the role of the author compiling / chronically the 3 stories. /THR
7.4 Million people watched The EMMYS
The power of“Lasso” continues… that’s up 16% from last year, and above 2019 too, but well below 2018 (10 Million). Does not include any PAR+ streaming #s.
Elsewhere - The NBC SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL game had 20.2 Million viewers & 600k additional folks streaming on PEACOCK, +15 percent from the SNF kickoff. I’d like to think I contributed a little something to both. Ok fine it was mostly football. /Deadline
ALSO IN TV. Well, TV meaning NETFLIX
NETFLIX cancels international action-thriller series “Hit & Run” from “Fauda” creators & star Lior Raz. This despite it ranking high on NETFLIX top 10 lists in many countries, the show’s creators signing a NETFLIX deal after the show premiered, and the season ending on a cliffhanger…. Season 2 not happening. Sounds like budget for the global show may have been a big factor. /Deadline
NETFLIX renews Julia Haart reality show “My Unorthodox Life” for a Season 2. /Deadline
NETFLIX renews “Virgin River” for 2 more seasons (4 & 5). 20 episodes total. /THR
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
TWITTER paying $810 Million to settle shareholder lawsuit
They sued claiming TWITTER misled investors back in 2015/16 by hiding informtaion about slowing user growth… all while execs like Jack Dorsey & former CEO Dick Costolo were selling off shares for big $$ before the arrival of the drop they knew was coming.
The payoff… err payment is one of those we’re “not admiting wrongdoing” situations but looks like there are 810 Million pieces of evidence that say differently. TWITTER has over $4 Billion of cash-on-hand so did the plaintiffs want that in cash or check? (what? yes I still write checks 👨🏻🦳).
#FunFact: One of the 2 lead plaintiffs getting a payout is the National Elevator Industry Pension Fund. /Variety
The world’s largest music label UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP is going public today
On the… Amsterdam exchange - music biz keepin it real 😶🌫️, with a $39 Billion valuation.
No wait - that was before today started… now it’s worth $53 Billion as shares popped 40% on Day 1 this morning. Man that new DRAKE album just keeps on paying dividends…
60% of the company went public on the market for trading
Embattled Chinese media company TENCENT has a 20% stake, so finally some news for them other than the CHINA government cracking down on another aspect of their business.
Investor Bill Ackman bought (up to) a 10% stake earlier this year, so it’s nice to see him finally catching a break.
UMG’s now-former parent company VIVENDI is keeping 10%… although it’s lead investor Vincent Bollore has 7% of that stake personally. Plus - free SPOTIFY. /THR
ALSO IN MEDIA
CNN also pushes official Return To Office to January 10, although offices are currently open/active now and employees are encouraged to return if they like.
FORTUNE hired INSIDER’s #2 editor Alyson Shontell to be their new top editor. /WSJ
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
Not a great day on Wall Street overall - thanks to the potential impending collapse of a Chinese real estate conglomerate called EVERGRANDE, and the 25% of unvaxxed Americans over 12 years-old tanking the pace of the hoped-for full economic rebound as we enter the colder months, that’s causing consumer sentiment about the economy & willingness to fully return to past behaviors to have seemingly peaked in July.
None of that directly affecting the Media Business per se… but media stocks were generally down slightly in tandem with the market dropping 1.7% overall. Well except AMC THEATERS, which was down almost 9%.
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
FOX “The Resident” season premiere (sans Emily Van Camp) at 8p, “Our Kind of People” series premiere at 9p
CBS’s all “FBI”… all the time Tuesday lineup premieres at 8p
NBC’s “New Amsterdam” returns at 10p
NETFLIX “Love on the Spectrum” Season 2. CLICK HERE to Watch or Add to your List
If you were sent this newsletter or… just kinda found it:
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
APPLE TV+ “Finch” trailer. Tom Hanks teams up with a dog and a robot in a post-apocalyptic world torn asunder by a solar flare. Previously was a UNIVERSAL movie set for theatrical release. Premieres Fri Nov 5.
UNIVERSAL PICTURES “Halloween Kills” trailer. Hits theaters and PEACOCK PREMIUM on Fri Oct 15.
LIONSGATE “American Underdog” trailer. Zachary Levi as former NFL QB Kurt Warner. In theaters on Christmas
HULU / MARVEL“Hit Monkey” series trailer. A monkey & a American hitman team up in Tokyo to do some damage. Voices include Jason Sudeikis, Olivia Munn and George Takei. Premieres Wed Nov 17.
NETFLIX “On My Block” Season 4 trailer. This final season drops on Mon Oct 4.
SONY/STAGE 6 “A Mouthful of Air” trailer. Amanda Seyfried & Finn Whitrock in a story of an author and mother, struggling to unlock a dark secret from her past upon the arrival of her 2nd child. Written & Directed by Amy Koppelman. In theaters Fri Oct 29.
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
ALICIA KEYS ft Swae Lee “LALA” - This new song has some killer sultry late night sexy vibes. Or for chillin solo - no judgements.
If you need new tunes:
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