TikTok Sale Deadline Extended Again By U.S. Government Committee

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November 25, 2020 12:59pm

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In this photo illustration a TikTok logo is seen displayed on a smartphone with an American flag on the background. On July 31, 2020, according to media reports, Trump told reporters on his special plane “Air Force One” that he will ban TikTok from operating in the United States. (Photo by Sheldon Cooper / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)
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The federal government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has extended the deadline for the arranged sale of TikTok by one week, to December 4.

In a brief legal filing Wednesday, government attorneys disclosed the latest extension, which followed a previous two-week reprieve to November 27. Officials have been in a months-long back-and-forth with TikTok and its China-based parent, ByteDance, due to security concerns centered on the fast-growing social video app.

In August, President Donald Trump signed an order requiring the company to sell TikTok to a “very American” company due to concerns about national security as well as privacy. A month later, Oracle emerged as Trump’s choice to take majority control of a new, U.S.-run entity in which Walmart would also have a stake. Details of the arrangement have not been finalized, however, and Trump’s order has faced numerous court challenges in the months since it was issued. On November 10, attorneys for TikTok asked a federal appeals court to overturn the order, calling it “unlawful.”

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The whole affair has also been eclipsed in recent weeks by Trump’s unsuccessful fight for a second term in office.

While datamining is a concern throughout the tech industry, Chinese companies are required to pass along considerable amounts of the data they collect to the government. That dynamic has raised flags for a number of U.S. officials, especially during a nationalist period of trade war with China and Trump and others blithely referring to Covid-19 as the “Chinese virus.” While ByteDance was founded by a Chinese entrepreneur, the company has maintained that it is not technically based in China.

As the messy situation has dragged on, users have been none the wiser as the app continues to function normally. Trump’s initial threat to leave U.S. users in the dark unless a sale happened has appeared to diminish, and some observers wonder if the delays in the process might continue until Joe Biden is sworn in as president in January. A reconfiguration of TikTok’s ownership could still happen in a new administration, but Biden’s background suggests other scenarios besides the sell-it-or-else approach taken by Trump.

‘Genius: Aretha’ Wraps Production, Set For 2021 Debut On Nat Geo

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November 25, 2020 1:08pm

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Another series whose production was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic has successfully finished its season. Genius: Aretha, the third installment in National Geographic’s anthology series, wrapped production today in Atlanta. The show commemorated the occasion with photos on Instagram featuring star Cynthia Erivo as music icon Aretha Franklin as well as executive producer/showrunner Suzan-Lori Parks, who sent the cast and crew a welcome-back note the day the series resumed production last month, and executive producer/director Anthony Hemingway.

The caption accompanying the photos notes that Genius: Aretha will debut in 2021.

Genius: Aretha, about the legendary singer Franklin, had filmed 5 1/2 episodes of its eight-episode order when production shut down mid-March amid the escalating coronavirus outbreak. Two weeks later, Nat Geo delayed the premiere of the limited series, originally slated for May 25, for “later this year.” An early 2021 debut had been considered a more likely scenario given the lengthy pandemic-related hiatus, and that has now been confirmed. Genius: Aretha, from Imagine Television and Touchstone TV, is expected to premiere before the Aretha Franklin movie biopic Respect, starring Jennifer Hudson, whose release was recently pushed to August 2021.

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After extensive prep work, Genius: Aretha restarted production on October 1 in Atlanta. Three weeks later, filming came to a halt for a couple of days after a background actor tested positive for Covid-19, an issue many productions grapple with amid a new wave of infections. The wrap on the eight-episode series comes almost a year after filming started last December.

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Genius: Aretha is dubbed as the first-ever, definitive and only authorized scripted limited series on the life of the Queen of Soul. Erivo stars as Franklin, joined by Courtney B. Vance, Malcolm Barrett, Patrice Covington, Kimberly Hébert Gregory, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Shaian Jordan, Marque Richardson, Pauletta Washington, Steven Norfleet and Omar J. Dorsey. T.I., Antonique Smith and Tina Fears are recurring. Hemingway is executive producer and director. Parks is executive producer/showrunner. Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Ron Howard as well as Clive Davis and Atlantic Records Chairman and CEO Craig Kallman also executive produce.

Late ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Alex Trebek Omitted From Own Memoir’s Grammy Nomination; Ken Jennings Responds: “This Should 100% Be Alex’s Grammy Nomination”

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November 25, 2020 12:46pm

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Late Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek was left off the nominees list for the 2021 Grammy Awards, despite his memoir Alex Trebek–The Answer Is…receiving a nod for the ceremony’s Best Spoken World Album award. Instead of Trebek, who died of pancreatic cancer on Nov. 8, Ken Jennings received the nomination for Trebek’s memoir.

“This should 100% be Alex’s Grammy nomination. He wrote this book and reads so much fo the audiobook!,” the Jeoapardy! champ said on Twitter following the nominations announcement on Tuesday. “Who do I speak to about this.”

Trebek and Jennings both narrated the former’s memoir, published by Simon & Schuster. Despite the publisher submitting both the Jeopardy! host and champion, only Jennings received the nom.

The news of Jenning’s Grammy nomination for Trebek’s memoir came less than two days after Jeopardy! officials announced that the trivia show GOAT will be the first guest host to take over the series when it returns to production on Nov. 30.

Deadline has reached out to Simon & Schuster for comment on Trebek’s omission.

See Jenning’s reaction on social media below.

This should 100% be Alex's Grammy nomination. He wrote the book and reads much of the audiobook! Who do I speak to about this

— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) November 24, 2020

‘Married At First Sight’ Season 12: Lifetime Sets Premiere Date For Three-Hour Opener As Series Shifts To Atlanta

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November 25, 2020 12:38pm

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‘Married at First Sight’ Season 11
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We now pronounce you series and premiere date. Lifetime has set January 13 for the three-hour Season 12 debut of its reality-nuptials stalwart Married at First Sight, which has relocated to Atlanta for 2021.

The cable net also said today that its latest Kevin Frazier-hosted MAFS: Matchmaking Special will premiere December 30, followed by the MAFS: Kick-Off Special on January 6.

Lifetime

Here is the logline for Season 12: Ten brave-but-loveless singles meet their new spouse at the altar and enter a legally binding marriage at first sight. With one groom pushing 40 and another who has been divorced — both MAFS firsts — new insights are brought to a journey that is always full of high-stakes. While some marriages will survive, one couple confronts a bombshell that no one saw coming.

As the season continues, each week will feature two-hour episodes and capture each couple’s emotional journey as they go from wedding to honeymoon, early nesting and eventually dealing with the daily struggles of working on their marriage. After several weeks together, each couple must make a decision: Do they remain together for a happily ever after or decide to divorce and go their separate ways?

Married at First Sight is produced by Kinetic Content, a Red Arrow Studios company. The executive producers are Chris Coelen, Eric Detwiler, Ally Simpson, Montre Burton, Toni Gallagher and Gena McCarthy.

California’s Massive Number Of New Coronavirus Cases Jumps 17% In 24 Hours, Sets Another Record

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November 25, 2020 12:30pm

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As millions of Californians are traveling and gathering for Thanksgiving, the state is experiencing an unprecedented surge in infections and hospitalizations.

The state has seen its three highest tallies of new cases ever in the past five days. On Tuesday, the number of new infections was 15,329. That’s down slightly from what was the all time high of 15,442 on Saturday, but Wednesday’s number dwarfed them both at 18,350. That’s a 17% jump in cases in 24 hours and a rise so steep that the state’s line graph for daily cases is nearly vertical.

“Statewide, I don’t think we’ve ever seen hospital admissions increase like we did just over the past 24 hours,” said California Director of Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly on Tuesday. “I hope but don’t expect that it’s the highest we’ll ever have.”

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Ghaly was right.

Just 24 hours later, the number of hospitalizations jumped another 5%, with 408 new patients recorded. As Deadline reported Tuesday, the daily number of hospitalizations due to the virus in California had increased 81% in the 14 days prior, to 6,641. Wednesday’s number brought the number of Covid-19 patients hospitalized in the state to 7,049, which is approaching the all-time high of 8,820 hospitalizations seen on July 21.

California COVID-19, By The Numbers:

🔹 Confirmed cases to date: 1,144,049
🔹 Note: Numbers may not represent true day-over-day change as reporting of test results can be delayed

More information at https://t.co/TLLUGx7imH. pic.twitter.com/FNwolraZjj

— CA Public Health (@CAPublicHealth) November 25, 2020

Ghaly reminded that today’s hospitalizations are the result of the number of infections seen two weeks prior. So Tuesday’s patients are based on a case number of 7,000 that we saw on November 10. Tuesday’s daily new case count was 15,329, more than double that from two weeks ago. “We’re concerned,” said Ghaly about what lies ahead.

According to Ghaly and others, Covid-19-related hospitalizations down the road have worked out to be 12% of the daily infections number. That means the number of new hospitalizations resulting from Tuesday’s new case count will be 1,839. The number of new hospitalizations resulting from Saturday’s new cases will be 1,853 in two weeks.

According to Gov. Gavin Newsom, 44,369 of the state’s 73,867 hospital beds were occupied on Monday. That seems like a good cushion, but even just a week of new admissions in the range of 1,800 is another 12,600 beds occupied. Two weeks at that rate is another 25,200 beds taken up. Adding that to the Monday’s total would have about 70,000 of the state’s 73,867 beds full. And those are just Covid-19 cases. That number does not account for the state’s usual daily demand due to other maladies.

Test positivity rates present more evidence of the state’s crisis. In the past week, California is delivering far more tests per day than it ever has, yet the positivity rate continues to grow. That means the actual number of infections in the population is growing.

The 14-day test positivity rate is now 5.9%. That’s up 2% over the past two weeks. California has 40 million residents. A 2% jump in infections in a population that size could represent up to 800,000 additional cases.

Despite pleas from state and local officials urging residents not to travel for Thanksgiving due to the coronavirus, millions of Southern Californians are still expected to do just that, with this afternoon anticipated to be the busiest time on Southland freeways.

The Automobile Club of Southern California estimated that 3.86 million Southern California residents will be traveling for the holiday weekend, a 13% drop from last year.

Health authorities have been recommending against travel this Thanksgiving due to surging COVID-19 cases. The state has issued a travel advisory, urging people who do travel to quarantine for 14 days upon their return.

Travelers coming through Los Angeles International and Van Nuys airports and Union Station beginning Wednesday will be required to sign a form acknowledging California’s recommended 14-day self quarantine in response to rising coronavirus rates.

The form is available at travel.lacity.org.

During a Monday briefing, Mayor Eric Garcetti urged people to not travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, not even to go across town because of how widespread Covid-19 cases have been recently.

We’re asking everyone to cancel non-essential travel. If you must travel, travelers arriving at LAX or Van Nuys Airport from another state or country will be required, starting tomorrow, to fill out an online form to acknowledge California’s recommended 14-day self-quarantine. https://t.co/FEMThw4OnX

— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) November 24, 2020

City News Service contributed to this report.

HFPA Wins Antitrust Suit From Journalist Denied Membership, For Now

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November 25, 2020 12:09pm

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The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has proven successful in having Kjersti Flaa’s ambitious lawsuit against the tightknit group behind the Golden Globes tossed out, for the time being.

“Defendants’ Motion is GRANTED,” wrote Judge Stanley Blumenfeld in a November 20 order that became public late yesterday. “Plaintiff’s right of fair procedure claim and declaratory relief claim are DISMISSED without leave to amend,” the U.S. District Judge added (read it here).

“Plaintiff’s antitrust claims are DISMISSED with leave to amend. Plaintiff may file an amended complaint within fourteen (14) days of this order.”

All of which means that Norwegian entertainment journalist Flaa’s efforts to have the HFPA make her a member could live another day – perhaps.

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Determining that the HFPA isn’t a “quasi-public entity” and, in fact, the denial of membership to Flaa seems to have proved little hinderance to the Nordic Oscar Weekend host’s
career, Judge Blumenfeld dealt a death blow to the claims of procedure and declaratory relief. However, the prickly antitrust claim may bedevil the HFPA if Flaa and her One LLP attorneys refile in the next week or so.

Though in truth, the devil will be in the details – literally.

“The Court cannot state that leave to amend the antitrust claims would be futile (in part because the allegations in the complaint are so vague and difficult to comprehend from an antitrust perspective),” the LA-based federal judge writes in what borders on legal verse than one is used to from the bench.

“We’re obviously disappointed that the Court did not allow Kjersti Flaa to seek relief under the California right of fair procedure claim because it stood to benefit all foreign entertainment reporters unfairly excluded from membership in the HFPA but will appeal the Court’s ruling when we can,” says Flaa’s chief lawyer David Quinto, who was one of AMPAS’ main lawyers for many years. “In the meantime, Kjersti will pursue her declaratory relief claim in another court and will amend her existing complaint to address the Court’s criticism of the antitrust claims as pleaded,” Quinto noted.

The 87-member strong HFPA did not respond to request for comment from Deadline on the November 20 order.

Denied membership in the HFPA on several attempts, Flaa sued the group back in August with a five-claim complaint. At the time the then Lorenzo Soria-led HFPA called the move a “shake down.” On October 5, the HFPA and their Latham & Watkins LLP attorneys filed their motion to dismiss.

What the next act in this mini-saga could be remains to be seen – but it will likely come before the Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosted 78th Golden Globes are held on February 28 next year.

The Weeknd Continues To Lash Out On Recording Academy About Ceremony Performance: “In My Opinion Zero Nominations = You’re Not Invited” – Update

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November 25, 2020 11:52am

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UPDATE: The Weeknd continues taking shots at the Recording Academy with a new social media post on Wednesday. This time the singer, whose hit numbers including “Blinding Lights” have scored the past year, accused the Grammys ruling board for supposedly not inviting him to the 2021 awards ceremony.

“Collaboratively planning a performance for weeks to not being invited? In my opinion zero nominations = you’re not invited!,” the singer wrote in an Instagram post.

While The Weeknd (aka Abel Tesfaye) had overtly suggested he had been snubbed for the upcoming awards show, he wasn’t the only Grammy-winning musician to come to the conclusion. On Wednesday, Elton John, who has five Grammy wins under his belt, voiced support for The Weeknd.

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“In my humble opinion… Blinding Lights Song of the Year, Record of the Year,” John wrote, following his caption with the hashtag #GrammySnub.

See the social media posts below.

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A post shared by Elton John (@eltonjohn)

While a number of musicians across the industry celebrated their Grammy nominations as the list dropped Tuesday, The Weeknd called out the Recording Academy for his lack of noms.

“The Grammys remain corrupt,” the Blinding Lights singer said on Twitter. “You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…”

The singer and Uncut Gems actor received no nominations on Tuesday, despite his synth pop earworm breaking the record for the most week spent atop Billboard’s top 10 chart. The snub also come after The Weeknd took home multiple awards at the American Music Awards on Sunday, with a total of three honors including favorite R&B album. The singer also won multiple trophies as the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards back in September.

In the past The Weeknd has won three Grammy Awards, eight Billboard Music and has even been nominated for an Academy Award. In 2016, he received a nomination for his number ‘Earned It,’ which was featured in the Fifty Shades of Grey Soundtrack.

Musicians raking in the most nominations from the Recording Academy’s Tuesday announcement were Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa and Beyoncé, who was nominated for nine categories. Additional artists breaking into the Grammy nominations list were “Savage” singer Megan Thee Stallion, Roddy Ricch, Post Malone and Billie Eilish.

See the complete list of Grammy nominees here.

The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…

— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) November 25, 2020

Amazon Cloud Outage Hits Roku, Other Services And Sites

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November 25, 2020 11:42am

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Outages hit Amazon’s cloud service Wednesday, impacting multiple apps and sites, the company said, from Roku to Adobe, Flickr, Twilio, Tribune Publishing and Amazon’s own smart security division Ring, in its region covering the eastern U.S.

“While features of multiple services are impacted, some services have seen broader impact,” according to Amazon’s service health dashboard. The Amazon Web Services’ status page noted problems with Kinesis, which processes large streams of data, causing “increased error rates” for a number of websites.

“We continue to work towards recovery of the issue affecting the Kinesis Data Streams API in the US-EAST-1 Region,” the notice said the issue appeared to be affecting the subsystem responsible for handling incoming requests. It said it has identified the root cause and is working on resolving the issue. The problem “has also affected our ability to post updates to the Service Health Dashboard,” AWS noted.

The outages began in the early morning and Roku in particular was barraged by tweets from users trying to set up new devices and demanding refunds, before it was made clear the issue was not on Roku’s end.

I would like to post on this for everyone who is claiming to want to take their devices back because "Roku isn't working". It's not Roku. AWS is running their services in the cloud… in lamen's terms. Downdetector for AWS: pic.twitter.com/ueiWX716lg

— John David (@Frakce) November 25, 2020

🚨We are aware of a service interruption impacting Roku accounts. We apologize for the inconvenience, find our status update at https://t.co/mxCNxoG36N.

— Roku Support (@RokuSupport) November 25, 2020

 

NFL Shifts Pittsburgh-Baltimore Thanksgiving Primetime Game To Sunday Due To Ravens’ Covid-19 Outbreak – Update

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November 25, 2020 11:40am

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UPDATED with NBC schedule changes. After the Baltimore Ravens had at least 10 positive Covid-19 tests, the NFL postponed the team’s primetime Thanksgiving matchup against the unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers to Sunday.

NBC had been scheduled to carry the game and had been airing heavy promotions of its three notable Thanksgiving events, with the game preceded by the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and the National Dog Show. It wasn’t immediately known which network will broadcast the game or what time it will be played, though a decision on both matters is expected later today.

“The decision was made out of an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel, and in consultation with medical experts,” the NFL said in a statement.

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With the primetime matchup of two longtime rivals wiped out, the Thanksgiving football tradition will come down to a less-than-scintillating doubleheader, at least on paper. The first game will see the Detroit Lions face the Houston Texans on CBS, and the second will feature the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Football Team on Fox. All four teams have sub-.500 records, though the latter game’s outcome will at least have some impact on the playoff picture because all the teams in the NFC East — including Dallas and Washington — have dismal records.

NBC said it had replaced the football game with a repeat of the dog show from 8PM to 10PM and then a repeat of game show The Wall.

NBA, NHL, MLB Commissioners On COVID-19, TV Ratings, Fans In Stands & More

The NFL has managed to play the most conventional season of any of the major U.S. professional sports leagues despite Covid-19, though infection rates have risen significantly since the season began in early September. All but a handful of teams have played in front of no fans. Without the kind of “bubble” setups deployed by the NBA and NHL, teams have had more than 200 positive tests of players, coaches and other personnel. The scale of the sport, with large rosters and the league’s traditional “next man up” philosophy due to frequent injuries, the plan has been to play straight through to Super Bowl LV on February 7.

Steeler players Chase Claypool and JuJu Smith-Schuster expressed their irritation on Twitter. “What a joke,” Claypool tweeted succinctly. “First the NFL takes away our bye week because another team can’t get their Covid situation together,” Smith-Schuster wrote, “now they take away our Thanksgiving primetime game for the same reason. Smh.”

Los Angeles Places New Limits On After-Hours Filming: It’s “Taillights At Ten” As FilmLA Rescinds Existing Overnight Permits

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November 25, 2020 11:10am

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With the coronavirus surging in the state, the City and County of Los Angeles have placed new limits on after-hours filming. FilmLA, the local film permit office, said that these new limits prohibit after-hours on-location film activity in conformance with the state’s Limited Stay at Home Order.

Starting today, permissible filming hours will be restricted to 7 a.m.-10 p.m. in residential areas and from 5 a.m.-10 p.m. in commercial areas. “Local officials also clarified that pursuant to this action, no setup activity may begin earlier than the permissible time, and at the end of the day, activity must wrap to ensure it’s ‘taillights at ten,’” FilmLA said in its latest update.

FilmLA Urges Filmmakers To Follow Covid Protocols, Limit Shoots “Likely To Invite A Negative Community Response”

All previously issued permits for filming after these hours on or after November 26 now have been rescinded, though filming in remote and unpopulated areas of unincorporated L.A. County might be exempted, FilmLA said. “So if there are any permits out there meeting that specific criteria, they would not be rescinded,” it noted.

“These limits will apply until lifted, and for at least the duration of the State of California’s Limited Stay at Home Order, which currently expires on Dec. 21, 2020,” FilmLA said, noting that the permitting office’s production coordinators and the solution services teams are standing by to assist all customers affected by this change.

FilmLA Reports October Monthly Applications +24%, But Feature Film Production Still Low

Barack Obama Memoir ‘A Promised Land’ Breaks House Record With 1.7M First-Week Sales

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November 25, 2020 10:49am

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Barack Obama’s A Promised Land has sold 1.7 million copies in the U.S. and Canada during its first week of publication, the largest week-one sales total for any book ever published by Penguin Random House, according to the publishers.

The figure includes 887,000 in first-day sales, another record-breaking for Penguin Random House. The sales numbers represent all formats.

The memoir, published by Crown, a division of Penguin Random House, was released worldwide November 17. An unabridged audio edition of the book read by the author was published simultaneously by Penguin Random House Audio.

The sales figure compares favorably to two recent presidential memoirs, George W. Bush’s Decision Points (775,000 first-week copies) and Bill Clinton’s My Life (about 1 million in its first eight days).

As for his wife Michelle Obama’s 2018 memoir Becoming, Obama told Stephen Colbert on CBS’ Late Show last night that the contest was “hopeless,” and that he’s “already waved the white flag.” Even as Becoming has sold more than 10 million copies globally since its publication, the former president might have been overly humble in his estimates: A Promised Land sold about 165,000 copies more than Becoming in reported first-day sales.

RELATED: Barack Obama Recounts Ribbing Donald Trump At White House Correspondents’ Dinner & And Why The Mockery Didn’t Matter: “He In Fact Had Never Been Bigger”

‘SNL’: Jason Bateman, Timothée Chalamet & Kristen Wiig To Host Final Three Episodes Of 2020; Morgan Wallen Gets Second Chance As Musical Guest

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November 25, 2020 10:38am

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Saturday Night Live is getting ready to wind down after a busy and unusual year and has set Jason Bateman, Timothée Chalamet and Kristen Wiig as its final three hosts of the year.

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Morgan Wallen and Dua Lipa are set as the musical guests for the episodes, which will air December 5, 12 and 19, the show said Wednesday.

It marks the first time that Timothée Chalamet, who is set to star in Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch and Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, will host the show. Ozark star Bateman returns for his second hosting performance, while former cast member Wiig makes her fourth appearance.

It also sees Wallen appear on the show after his invitation was yanked earlier this year when he flouted Covid-19 rules. Dua Lipa is returning for her second appearance, and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will perform as musical guest for the third time.

Bateman and Wallen will appear on December 5, Chalamet and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will appear on December 12, and Wiig and Dua Lipa will appear December 19.

Saturday Night Live is produced in association with Broadway Video with Lorne Michaels as exec producer.

Skydance Marketing Re-Org: Rebecca Mall In Final Talks To Join In Newly Created Exec Position; Vets Anne Globe & Jack Horner Exiting

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November 24, 2020 1:15pm

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EXCLUSIVE: There is a marketing re-structuring which is going on at Skydance Media, and we can tell you first that WME Senior Marketing Exec and former Paramount Pictures co-President of Domestic Marketing Rebecca Mall is in final talks to join the David Ellison-run studio in a newly designed head of marketing role that oversees all aspects of the company including streaming, games/interactive, animation, theatrical and TV. It is assumed that Mall will start in early 2021. We hear that talks in the final 24 hours for Mall’s transition have heated up. Skydance Chief Marketing Officer Anne Globe and EVP of Corporate Communications and Publicity Jack Horner are departing in the near term.  I hear Globe’s departure is amicable and she’s agreeing to stay on for six months to consult and ensure a seamless transition during the re-org.

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“The Old Guard”
Netflix

Mall’s hire by Skydance is one which is response to the booming D2C entertainment landscape, a sector which she has great expertise in, and one which the studio has seen successes with, i.e. its Netflix streaming Charlize Theron feature The Old Guard (one of the streamer’s top 10 most watched movies in 72M households WW) and Amazon series Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan as well as the company’s footprint in videogames and the interactive sphere.  While Skydance remains committed to theatrical with movies like Paramount’s Top Gun: Maverick and Mission: Impossible 7 on the horizon, they are building more franchises for more platforms as it relates to consumers’ wants.

Mall’s new position will entail brand building, specifically in regards to data that is additive to Skydance partners as the studio reaches consumers globally.

Mall cut her teeth in drama development at ABC and NBCUniversal. Following her MBA, she arrived at Google during the infancy of direct-to-consumer marketing and digital when it was a small part of the tech company, and saw its rise to being a single largest line item for the company. There she worked with Google’s digital partnerships with film studios and TV networks. She joined Paramount in 2016 as Co-President of Marketing, handling digital, media, brand strategy, analytics and public relations for the studio’s releases that included Arrival, Fences, Daddy’s Home 2, Book Club, A Quiet Place, What Men Want, Bumblebee, Mission: Impossible – Fallout and Rocketman. Mall joined WME in July 2019 in newly created Senior Marketing Executive position where she worked on behalf of the talent agency’s clients who had projects at such studios as Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Disney, getting into the nuts and bolts of their marketing campaigns among many others including hit TV series Jack Ryan on Amazon, and Grace and Frankie on Netflix.

Prime PR

Globe, a revered vet of theatrical marketing, arrived at Skydance in March 2015 in the Chief Marketing Officer role, coming from DreamWorks Animation where she was the Chief Marketing Officer, overseeing the worldwide marketing and consumer products-promotional campaigns for such franchises as Shrek, Madagascar and How to Train Your Dragon. During her tenure at Skydance, she has overseen the marketing for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation and Mission: Impossible – Fallout, the latter becoming the Tom Cruise franchise’s highest grossing installment at $791.1M WW (both pics together grossing $1.47 billion).

Warner Bros

Horner came to Skydance in Sept. 2018  as SVP of Corporate Communications and Publicity. He was promoted this past spring to EVP. Prior to Skydance, Horner was at Warner Bros. Entertainment where he handled media relations and strategy for the studio as VP Worldwide Corporate Communications. Prior to that, he served as chief spokesman and media strategist for Warner Bros Pictures for six years. At Warners he handled corporate issues related to more than 100 releases including tentpoles Batman V. Superman, It, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; award winners such as Mad Max: Fury Road; and more challenging titles such as King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Pan. The Yale grad is also a vet of News Corp where he served as VP Corporate Affairs and Corporate Communications in New York where he was integral to the media conglom’s crisis management, acting as a senior spokesman, during its UK subsidiary hacking scandal.

Skydance Interactive, launched in 2016 through the acquisition of The Workshop Entertainment, creates and publishes original and IP-based virtual reality, PC, and console games. Skydance Interactive’s first VR game Archangel was awarded “Best VR Game” Awards at E3 2017 from Geek Citadel, MMOGames, and MEUPS4. The 2017 game was followed up by Archangel: Hellfire which debuted in July 2018. Skydance, in partnership with Skybound Entertainment, also released The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners” a VR game based on the global television phenomenon. The game went on to become the most downloaded PlayStation VR title in May across both European and US territories and was recently nominated for The Game Awards’ Best VR/AR Game of the Year.

Skydance’s theatrical movies including but not limited to the recent Star Trek franchise, True Grit, Mission: Impossible’s Rogue Nation, Fallout, and Ghost Protocol, have amassed over $6 billion WW. Skydance Animation’s first feature length animated movie Luck is currently in production for a Feb. 18, 2022 release through Paramount. Following Luck, Skydance Animation plans to release one feature length film per year into theaters around the globe. Animated films in development include Spellbound (11/11/22) and Pookoo (est. 2023). The division launched in 2017 and recently acquired Spain’s Ilion Studios, doubling the studio’s capabilities and employee footprint for a 24-hour, global production pipeline.

 

Showtime & Sony Pictures Television Setting Pilot Commitment For ‘Homeland’s Howard Gordon & Alex Gansa On Nathan Englander Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Novel ‘Dinner At The Center Of The Earth’

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November 24, 2020 1:08pm

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EXCLUSIVE: Showtime may have found its next Homeland. The network is tying up a preemptive deal to acquire and turn the Nathan Englander Israeli-Palestine conflict novel Dinner At The Center Of The Earth into a series that Homeland architects Howard Gordon & Alex Gansa will write and run as Executive Producers. Deal is being made through Sony Pictures Television Studios, where Gordon & Gansa made a four-year overall deal last year. Showtime isn’t commenting, but Deadline hears the commitment is for a pilot that will be written by Gordon & Gansa, who steered Homeland through eight solid seasons. The hope is for this to be the next major series for the duo.

The novel is a sprawling drama that has some basis in real players in the Israeli Palestinian conflict, set in the Middle East and Europe, but the simplest way to describe it is a spy thriller in the vein of Homeland and The Night Manager.

Exec producing alongside Gordon and Gansa are Bill Collage and his partner, Mick Hurbis-Cherrier, Cliff Roberts, and Sameh Zoabi (director of Tel Aviv On Fire. The author will be a co-EP. WME is putting the pieces together on behalf of Gordon & Gansa.

 

FilmLA Urges Filmmakers To Follow Covid Protocols, Limit Shoots “Likely To Invite A Negative Community Response”

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November 24, 2020 12:45pm

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With coronavirus cases surging in Los Angeles, FilmLA is urging filmmakers to strictly observe guidelines established by the County’s Department of Public Health, and through the end of the year “to voluntarily limit and/or avoid activities likely to invite a negative community response.”

“Inattention to these protocols – even in just a handful of situations – could jeopardize community confidence in our ability to operate safely,” FilmLA, the City and County’s film permit office, said today. Examples of “high-impact activities” that should be avoided include “any activity requiring Community Filming Surveys, activity that affects customer access to retail businesses, significant prep, strike or filming on secular and religious holidays, and requests that involve extended street parking, overnight filming, street closures, or aircraft use.”

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“We realize that bringing filming to our communities always involves balancing a variety of stakeholder needs,” FilmLA said. “As of today, applications for complex shoots will continue to be processed by FilmLA and reviewed by permit authorities on a case-by-case basis. But we also urge customers to keep community concerns in mind. The decisions we make today could determine the welcome we’ll receive tomorrow.”

Since June, when on-location film production resumed in Los Angeles under modified public health orders, the state has viewed workers supporting the film, television and commercial production industry – who number in the hundreds of thousands in Greater Los Angeles – as essential for the state’s critical infrastructure.

FilmLA said it is “unaware of any plans to revisit or modify the state’s essential worker definitions, but new Stay at Home orders this week remind us that the COVID-19 pandemic’s progress is unpredictable, and new business regulation can affect any industry at the state, county or city level, at any time.”