Showbiz Sandbox 243: United They Stand – SAG-AFTRA Forges Ground-Breaking Contract

Two years after merging their unions, and with their current contracts set to expire within hours, SAG-AFTRA reached an agreement with studios and producers for a new three-year contract. Jonathan Handel, an entertainment attorney and contributing editor at the Hollywood Reporter, discusses the proposed deal and what improvements actors managed to secure.

Music sales, on the other hand, aren’t improving at all. Nielsen reports that album and digital download sales for the first half of 2014 are down significantly. Could the increase in on demand music streaming be the cause?

Movies aren’t faring much better so far this year, at least not in North America and Germany where box office is down 12% and 8% respectively. Is something amiss with this summer’s blockbuster releases, or is setting new earnings records every year simply unrealistic?

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including how the characters from “Frozen” are crossing over to television, why cable set-top boxes gobble up so much energy and The Who plan on saying a long, slow goodbye during yet another one of their farewell tours.

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Showbiz Sandbox 135: Is The SAG-AFTRA Merger Good For Hollywood?

After years of humoring the idea it looks as if two of Hollywood’s largest labor unions may actually merge. Detailing the history of SAG and AFTRA, Jonathan Handel, a contributing editor at The Hollywood Reporter and an entertainment attorney, explains the reasons behind why the unions might want to merge and what it all means for the entertainment industry.

The telecast of Super Bowl XLVI proved to be another ratings winner and as in previous years, is expected to be the most watched show of the year, if not all-time. Were audiences tuning in for the game or to watch Madonna’s extravagant half-time show?

Despite gaining a million subscribers last year the minuscule royalties paid by Spotify to independent musicians barely budged at all. Some industry veterans have grown weary of subscription music services and are advising they be used for promotional purposes only.

We also cover the week’s top entertainment headlines including a new CEO at Sony, why you won’t see Bon Iver perform at the Grammys and how Facebook might turn U2’s Bono into a billionaire.

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Showbiz Sandbox 78: The Fight Over Streaming Television Online

As if broadcast and cable networks didn’t have enough to worry about with online streaming offerings from Apple and Google, they now have startups such as ivi.TV to contend with. The company recently launched an online service that retransmits signals from broadcast television stations in New York and Seattle with more cities coming online soon. Though networks and movie studios are trying to shut the company down, its CEO, Todd Weaver, explains that ivi.TV is operating legally under current copyright laws.

Another media company dealing with legal issues is MGM who filed for bankruptcy protection last week. Fortunately the restructured studio won’t have to worry about an actor’s strike since the two unions representing thespians agreed to a new contract with studios and networks. The Hollywood Reporter’s Jonathan Handel fills us in on the key deal points as well as what the news means for writers and directors as they begin their own contract negotiations.

This week also marks the return of Conan O’Brien to late-night television as he kicks off his new show on TBS.

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Showbiz Sandbox 1: The Replicability Podcast

SAG President Alan Rosenberg

Talks to merge the William Morris and Endeavor talent agencies continue, while the Screen Actors Guild and the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers may have finally reached an agreement on a new contract.  Critically acclaimed movies tank at the box office.  Fox closes Atomic, reshuffles release dates and hires Angelina Jolie for a biopic.  David Slade is selected for the third “Twilight” film.

MPAA visits Washington D.C., script doctors are kept busy writing for Tom Cruise.  Cannes unveils it’s festival lineup and Francis Ford Coppola is not in it (though he is down the street at the Fortnight).  Jay Leno visits the hospital and Rod Blagojevich visits Hollywood (but not Costa Rica like he wanted).

A classic Pedro Almodovar film gets remade for the small screen, PBS goes online with its content and Oprah learns Twitter etiquette.

WMA Finds Devil In The Details
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002694.html?categoryid=29&cs=1

SAG National Board of Directors Approves Tentative Television and Motion Picture Contacts
http://www.sag.org/press-releases/april-19-2009/sag-national-board-of-directors-approves-tentative-television-and-motio

Flush times for theatrical movies? Don’t tell A.O. Scott
http://www.riskybusinessblog.com/2009/04/good-movies-struggle-at-box-office.html

Down Economy = Dumbed Down Movies/TV? Stop the Inanity!
http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20269754,00.html

Fox Folding Atomic Label
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002584.html?categoryid=13&cs=1

http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/exclusive-fox-atomic-shutting-down/

Fox Shuffles Film Schedule
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002645.html?categoryid=13&cs=1

Angelina Jolie Teams With Fox 2000
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002704.html?categoryid=1238&cs=1

Slade Slated For Third Twilight
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002751

MPAA Reaches Out To Lawmakers
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002688.html?categoryid=18&cs=1

Script Doctor’s In For Tom Cruise
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002702.html?categoryid=1236&cs=1

Digital Governator Set For Termininator
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002743.html?categoryid=13&cs=1

Robert Rodriguez Wields “Machete”
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118002792.html?categoryid=1237&cs=1

Cannes Unveils Lineup
http://www.variety.com/index.asp?layout=festivals&jump=story&id=1061&articleid=VR1118002762&cs=1

Coppola’s Thinking Outside The Cannes
http://www.riskybusinessblog.com/2009/04/by-steven-zeitchik-we-remember-interviewing-francis-ford-coppola-last-year-upon-the-release-of-his-slightly-lugubrious-you.html

Coppola’s “Tetro” To Open Fortnight
http://www.variety.com/index.asp?layout=festivals&jump=story&id=1061&articleid=VR1118002806&cs=1

Leno Misses First Tonight Show in 17 Years
http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE53N0BE20090424

Blagojevich Says Still Wants Piece Of Reality Show
http://weblogs.redeyechicago.com/showpatrol/2009/04/blago-to-be-part-of-im-a-celebrity-.html

Pedro Almodovar On “Verge” Of TV Series
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i360cdd62fc9ca5a8db5e24f4b2b51779?imw=Y

ABC Announces Several Renewals
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/television/news/e3i202b681b4f137513e078e67f0d29aa46

Watch PBS Online? You Can If You Visit Its New Video Portal
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/tv/la-fi-ct-pbs22-2009apr22,0,56403.story

Oprah Gets Pwned By Shaq On Twitter
http://news.cnet.com/oprah-gets-pwned-by-shaq-on-twitter/?part=rss

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