Tag Archives: Fox

SEC probing DWA, Disney over business in China

DreamWorks Animation SKG

Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion SKG

Dream­Works Ani­ma­tion and Dis­ney have received let­ters of inquiry from the United States Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion over their busi­ness activ­i­ties in China, accord­ing to an unnamed per­son famil­iar with the matter.

The SEC wrote to at least five movie stu­dios in the past two months, includ­ing 20th Cen­tury Fox, said the source, who was not autho­rized to speak pub­licly about the letters.

The let­ters ask about pos­si­bly inap­pro­pri­ate pay­ments and how the com­pa­nies dealt with cer­tain Chi­nese gov­ern­ment officials.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of Dream­Works, Dis­ney and News Corp. — the owner of 20th Cen­tury Fox — declined to com­ment. An SEC spokesman wouldn’t com­ment, either.

The state-owned China Film Group, which has long had a firm hold on the Chi­nese film mar­ket, didn’t answer repeated requests for comment.

Although China Film Group had a quota of for­eign films of 20 per year, it relaxed some restric­tions in Feb­ru­ary after Chi­nese leader-in-waiting Xi Jin­ping vis­ited Wash­ing­ton for a week. The agree­ment exempts 14 premium-format films, such as IMAX or 3D, from the quota, along with those films’ 2D versions.

Also in Feb­ru­ary, DWA announced that it had reached a deal to build a pro­duc­tion stu­dio in Shang­hai with some of China’s largest media firms. Last year, the studio’s Kung Fu Panda 2 became the highest-grossing ani­mated movie in China, rais­ing about $100 mil­lion at the box office.

The inquiry comes in the face of inten­si­fied SEC and United States Jus­tice Depart­ment scrutiny into poten­tial vio­la­tions of the 1970s-vintage For­eign Cor­rupt Prac­tices Act, which for­bids Amer­i­can com­pa­nies and indi­vid­u­als from brib­ing for­eign gov­ern­ment officials.

Flintstones Saved From Becoming The Family Guy

The Flintstones

The Flint­stones

Fox Ani­ma­tion has put ani­ma­tion wun­derkind Seth MacFarlane’s mod­ern update of the stone-age fam­ily on hold. MacFarlane’s reboot of The Flint­stones has been put on indef­i­nite hold no word on when (or if) pro­duc­tion will resume.

Reportably the pro­duc­tion was just at the point of ramp­ing up pro­duc­tion, hir­ing writ­ers and pro­duc­ers. Many of the artists and ani­ma­tors from MacFarlane’s Amer­i­can Dad were hop­ing to make the jump over to The Flint­stones as their show winds down production.

It has been spec­u­lated that Mac­Far­lane, whose cur­rent ani­mated pro­duc­tions include Fam­ily Guy, Amer­i­can Dad and The Cleve­land Show as well as Fox’s Cos­mos: A Space-Time Odyssey, is too busy to accom­mo­date the new series. Mac­Far­lane is in post­pro­duc­tion on his fea­ture direc­to­r­ial film Ted, which will hit the­aters on July 13. He wrote, pro­duced and voices a char­ac­ter in the new com­bi­na­tion live-action-CG film.

The Flint­stones have been a pas­sion of Mac­Far­lane for decades. Seth has noted that he began draw­ing Fred Flint­stone at age 2.

The series will be jointly pro­duced by 20th Tele­vi­sion and Warner Bros. Tele­vi­sion, which owns the rights to the orig­i­nal Hanna-Barbera cartoon.

IFC heading “Out There” for 2012–13 season

Out There

Out There

At IFC’s first-ever Upfront event in New York, the net­work unveiled its 2012–13 orig­i­nal pro­gram­ming lineup, which includes a new scripted com­edy, the ani­mated series Out There.

Run­ning for 10 half-hour episodes, Out There pre­mieres next January.

Out There fol­lows the coming-of-age adven­tures of Chad, his lit­tle brother Jay and best friend Chris. Liv­ing in a small town, the boys run face first into the wall of ado­les­cence, the hor­rors of puberty, first loves, mor­tal ene­mies, local leg­ends, and social ostracism. They expe­ri­ence the won­der­ment and frus­tra­tion of that ter­ri­fy­ing limbo between child­hood and adult­hood. Grow­ing up is weird to do… out there.

Out There is cre­ated, writ­ten and exec­u­tive pro­duced by Emmy-winning ani­ma­tion direc­tor and pro­duce, Ryan Quincy, who was the long­time ani­ma­tion direc­tor for South Park. The series is pro­duced for IFC by 20th Cen­tury Fox Television.

Homer The Father” winner of Writers Guild Awards

One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish (1991) - The Simpsons

One Fish, Two Fish, Blow­fish, Blue Fish (1991) — The Simpsons

Homer The Father,” writ­ten by Joel H. Cohen, won a Writ­ers Guild Award in the Ani­ma­tion cat­e­gory Sun­day, defeat­ing — among oth­ers — three other episodes of Fox’s The Simp­sons.

Homer The Father tri­umphed over “Bart Stops to Smell the Roo­sevelts,” writ­ten by Tim Long; The Blue and the Gray, writ­ten by Rob LaZeb­nik; and Don­nie Fatso, writ­ten by Chris Cluess.

Also nom­i­nated in the Ani­ma­tion cat­e­gory were the Ben 10: Ulti­mate Alien episode “Moon­struck,” writ­ten by Len Uhley, and the Futu­rama episode The Silence Of The Clamps, writ­ten by Eric Rogers.

In the cat­e­gory of Tele­vi­sion Graphic Ani­ma­tion, the win­ner — and sole nom­i­nee — was “CBS News Ani­ma­tions” (CBS News), Graphic Ani­ma­tion by David Rosen.

For Orig­i­nal Screen­play, the win­ner was Mid­night in Paris, writ­ten by Woody Allen. The Descen­dants, with screen­play by Alexan­der Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, won for Adapted Screen­play; it was based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings.

Bet­ter This World, writ­ten by Katie Gal­loway and Kelly Duane de la Vega, won for Doc­u­men­tary Screenplay.

Pre­sented by the Writ­ers Guild of Amer­ica, the Writ­ers Guild Awards were held at simul­ta­ne­ous cer­e­monies at the Hol­ly­wood Pal­la­dium in Los Ange­les and at B.B. King Blues Club in New York City.

Fox forges new unit for Saturday night animation

Fox Animation Studios

Fox Ani­ma­tion Studios

Build­ing on its more than 20 years of ani­ma­tion dom­i­na­tion, Fox Broad­cast­ing Com­pany has cre­ated a new unit to over­see the devel­op­ment and pro­duc­tion of alter­na­tive ani­mated series, shorts and user-adapted mate­r­ial for a brand new late-night ani­mated pro­gram­ming block and new dig­i­tal multi-platform net­work, FOX pres­i­dent of enter­tain­ment Kevin Reilly announced Sunday.

To run this new unit, FOX has inked an exclu­sive deal with Nick Wei­den­feld, for­mer head of pro­gram devel­op­ment for Adult Swim and exec­u­tive pro­ducer of acclaimed series Children’s Hos­pi­tal and The Boon­docks. The net­work has also tapped pro­ducer Hend Bagh­dady (War­ren The Ape, The Andy Milon­akis Show) as the exec­u­tive in charge of pro­duc­tion for the new division.

Under their lead­er­ship, the unit will develop and pro­duce an ambi­tious slate of orig­i­nal ani­mated shorts and series to run both on-air and online. The late-night pro­gram­ming block will air Sat­ur­days (11 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. ET/PT) on FOX and will fea­ture four new ani­mated series per sea­son, start­ing in Jan­u­ary 2013.

The dig­i­tal chan­nel will extend across plat­forms such as Web, mobile apps, game con­soles and Video on Demand. It kicks off this year and will fea­ture 50 orig­i­nal short-form pieces per year, online win­dows of FOX ani­mated shows, and user-adapted content.

It will cre­ate a unique oppor­tu­nity for fans and up-and-coming tal­ent to engage with pro­fes­sional FOX-curated con­tent, which they could pos­si­bly plat­form into their own series. FOX will also use its exper­tise and cross-promotional power to nur­ture these new assets through this pipeline.

This may be the first time a net­work is build­ing a clear bridge for tal­ent to develop and grow ideas in the digital/alternative arena and organ­i­cally move them into the main­stream,” said Reilly. “These new late-night series will be assets in their own right — but the clear pos­si­bil­ity exists for a break­out dig­i­tal suc­cess to grad­u­ate to primetime.

Nick had an incred­i­ble track record at Adult Swim and is a dynamic guy with the instincts to cul­ti­vate and pro­duce inven­tive and irrev­er­ent series that ani­ma­tion fans love. Together with Hend, they are the per­fect part­ners for us in this excit­ing new ven­ture,” Reilly continued.

Prior to team­ing with FOX under his Friends Night pro­duc­tion com­pany ban­ner, Wei­den­feld served as the head of pro­gram devel­op­ment for Adult Swim. Over the last eight years, Wei­den­feld helped grow the late-night block of pro­gram­ming on Car­toon Net­work — fea­tur­ing break­out hits such as Robot Chicken and Aqua Teen Hunger Force — into the No. 1 cable enter­tain­ment chan­nel among young men. He executive-produced a vari­ety of ani­mated and live-action shows, includ­ing the Peabody Award-winning The Boon­docks, Children’s Hos­pi­tal, NTSF:SD:SUV::, Met­alo­ca­lypse, Super­jail! and China, IL.

In 2009, Wei­den­feld co-created and co-wrote the ani­mated hour-long car­toon Freaknik: The Musi­cal, star­ring Grammy Award-winning singer T-Pain as well as Cee Lo, Lil Wayne, Andy Sam­berg and Bill Hader. The musi­cal is cur­rently being adapted for the stage. Most recently, he adapted the fea­ture film Black Dyna­mite into an ani­mated series and built a sketch show around the rap group and Inter­net sen­sa­tion Odd Future.

Bagh­dady began her career in New York work­ing on the first sea­son of Crank Yankers with Jack­hole Indus­tries. Since then, she has devel­oped, pro­duced and cre­ated pro­duc­tion for­mats and tem­plates for live-action and ani­mated com­edy series for MTV, Com­edy Cen­tral and Adult Swim. Her most recent cred­its include the Com­mu­nity stop-motion Christ­mas spe­cial “Abed’s Uncon­trol­lable Christ­mas”; the first strip ani­mated show, DJ & The Fro; The Andy Milon­akis Show; War­ren The Ape; and Kanye West’s pilot Alli­ga­tor Boots.

Marge Vs. The Monorail (1993) — The Simpsons Cartoon Episode Guide

Marge Vs. The Monorail (1993) - The Simpsons

Marge Vs. The Mono­rail (1993) — The Simpsons

CotD: In one of the great early Simpsn’s episode titled “Marge Vs. The Mono­rail” has the whole town up in arms when Leonard Nimoy comes to town.

Marge Vs. The Mono­rail (1993) — The Simp­sons Car­toon Episode Guide

After get­ting $3 mil­lion from a fine due to Mr. Burns’ ille­gal dis­posal of nuclear waste, the town decides to spend money on a need­less mono­rail… built from shoddy materials.

Watch “Marge Vs. The Mono­rail” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

4 “Simpsons” episodes up for Writers Guild Award

Treehouse Of Horror III (1992) - The Simpsons

Tree­house Of Hor­ror III (1992) — The Simpsons

Four of six nom­i­na­tions for the Writ­ers Guild Award in the Ani­ma­tion cat­e­gory are for sep­a­rate episodes of Fox’s The Simp­sons.

The Writ­ers Guild of Amer­ica, West and the Writ­ers Guild of Amer­ica, East announced on Wednes­day nom­i­na­tions for out­stand­ing achieve­ment in TV, news, radio, pro­mo­tional writ­ing and graphic ani­ma­tion dur­ing the 2011 season.

Simp­sons episodes up for the WGA Award are “Bart Stops to Smell the Roo­sevelts,” writ­ten by Tim Long; The Blue and the Gray, writ­ten by Rob LaZeb­nik; Don­nie Fatso, writ­ten by Chris Cluess; and Homer The Father, writ­ten by Joel H. Cohen.

Also nom­i­nated are the Ben 10: Ulti­mate Alien episode “Moon­struck,” writ­ten by Len Uhley, and the Futu­rama episode The Silence Of The Clamps, writ­ten by Eric Rogers.

In the cat­e­gory of Tele­vi­sion Graphic Ani­ma­tion, the sole nom­i­nee is “CBS News Ani­ma­tions” (CBS News), Graphic Ani­ma­tion by David Rosen.

The 2012 Writ­ers Guild Awards will be held Sun­day, Feb­ru­ary 19 at simul­ta­ne­ous cer­e­monies the Hol­ly­wood Pal­la­dium in Los Ange­les and at B.B. King Blues Club in New York City. For more infor­ma­tion about the 2012 Writ­ers Guild Awards, visit www.wga.org or www.wgaeast.org.

Gone Nutty (2003) — Blue Sky Studios Theatrical Cartoon

Gone Nutty (2003) - Blue Sky Studios Theatrical Cartoon

Gone Nutty (2003) — Blue Sky Stu­dios The­atri­cal Cartoon

CotD: Nom­i­nated for an Acad­emy Award, “Gone Nutty” was spun off from the pop­u­lar Ice Age film series; some say it is bet­ter than the fea­ture films.

Gone Nutty (2003) — Blue Sky Stu­dios The­atri­cal Cartoon

Scrat crams one final nut into the cen­ter of his gigan­tic stash… and the result is cat­a­clysmic.
Watch “Gone Nutty” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Treehouse Of Horror III (1992) — The Simpsons Cartoon Episode Guide

Treehouse Of Horror III (1992) - The Simpsons

Tree­house Of Hor­ror III (1992) — The Simpsons

CotD: Its not quite Hal­loween until we get our yearly dose of Simp­sons Scaries in shows like Sea­sons 4’s “Tree­house Of Hor­ror III

Tree­house Of Hor­ror III (1992) — The Simp­sons Car­toon Episode Guide

The Simp­sons hold a Hal­loween Party, in which three sto­ries are exchanged:

  • Clown With­out Pity- Bart receives, as a birth­day present, a talk­ing Krusty doll.…from the ‘House of Evil ‘Your One Stop Evil Shop”
  • King Homer- King Kong Klone.
  • Dial ‘Z’ For Zom­bies- After being assigned to read a another book, Bart picks out an item from the occult sec­tion, and tries to raise the dead Snow­ball I, but instead cause the dead peo­ple to rise up.

Watch “Tree­house Of Hor­ror III” on video at Big Car­toon DataBase

Simpsons” cast reaches two-year deal with Fox TV

The Simpsons

The Simp­sons

Voice actors for “The Simp­sons” came to a two-year agree­ment Fri­day with 20th Cen­tury Fox Tele­vi­sion, the stu­dio that pro­duces the long-running ani­mated hit for the Fox network.

Although terms were not dis­closed, the deal ended an impasse of sev­eral days between the two sides. The Simp­sons will run for a total of at least 25 seasons.

Fox Tele­vi­sion ini­tially had sought to cut the actors’ pay­checks by as much as 45%. The main cast mem­bers now make $440,000 per episode. “Peo­ple close to the sit­u­a­tion not autho­rized to talk pub­licly about the mat­ter” said that the stu­dio wanted the actors to keep doing the show for about $250,000, the Los Ange­les Times reported.

In a state­ment released Fri­day before the new deal was reached, Harry Shearer (voice of Mr. Burns and Ned Flan­ders) said that cast mem­bers’ salaries “pale in com­par­i­son to what the show’s profit par­tic­i­pants have been tak­ing home.”

The stu­dio had resisted an offer to accept smaller salaries in return for part of what is known as the back-end. The cast had sug­gested that it would agree to a major pay cut in exchange for a por­tion of the company’s income from reruns and other related rev­enue sources.

Shearer said in his state­ment that he’d take a salary cut of as much as 70% if the net­work gave a share of back-end prof­its. How­ever, Fox has still adamantly refuses to do so, he said.

Accord­ing to ana­lysts and com­pany insid­ers, News Corp. — the par­ent com­pany of Fox Tele­vi­sion and the Fox net­work — has made over $1 bil­lion in profit from the show. But the stu­dio claimed that it had to cut the actors’ salaries to keep pro­duc­tion affordable.

The Fox net­work pays over $5 mil­lion for each Simp­sons episode. “Two peo­ple with knowl­edge of the sit­u­a­tion” say that Fox is los­ing money on the new episodes its broad­cast­ing, the Los Ange­les Times said.

Asked on Fri­day if she wanted the series to con­tinue, Nancy Cartwright (voice of Bart) said in a state­ment: “Absolutely! The Simp­sons is a remark­able chron­i­cle of our times. I’ve wanted to do this since I was 16! And I want to keep doing it until I am 86! Long live the Simpsons!”