Showbiz Sandbox 224: How Leno’s Departure Will Affect Late Night and Los Angeles

February 10, 2014

When Jay Leno signed off as host of “The Tonight Show” last week he left late night television and the city of Los Angeles in different states than when he first began the job 22-years earlier. Scott Collins, TV reporter for the Los Angeles Times, discusses the legacy Leno leaves behind in a late night landscape that now includes two dozen shows, along with what “The Tonight Show’s” move to New York City means for L.A. production jobs.

If you weren’t one of the more than 14 million viewers tuning in to Leno’s last late night stints, then maybe you’re watching the Winter Olympics. Networks such as NBC in the United States are making it easier to stream the Olympic Games online… sort of. The catch is that you must already be a subscriber to cable or satellite television services.

Meanwhile the Berlin Film Festival is currently taking place in Germany though the person making most of the headlines at the event is an actor who claims to no longer be famous. Can you guess who it is? (Hint: It’s Shia Labeouf).

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including singer Clay Aiken’s run for seat in Congress, Fox puts an end to the “X Factor” and the Red Hot Chili Peppers get called out for miming their Super Bowl halftime performance.

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Showbiz Sandbox 159: Raiders of the Lost Email

August 20, 2012

We are incredibly proud of our audience here at Showbiz Sandbox and believe our dedicated listeners are the most important members of our team. Imagine how upset we were upon discovering some listener email hadn’t been making it to our inbox for the past few months. We rectify that situation on this episode, revisiting a few of the popular topics from past shows.

We debate the merits of bringing “Raiders of the Lost Ark” to the big screen again… the incredibly big screen. In fact, it’s been restored for presentation in Imax theatres.

Turns out the Olympics was the most watched television event in U.S. history, but even with that success NBC confirmed that they were lowering the salary of popular late-night talk show host Jay Leno, and laying off two dozen staff members from his show.

We also cover the week’s top entertainment headlines including saying goodbye to “The Closer” , the untimely death of filmmaker Tony Scott, a Nordic expansion for Netflix and why YouTube is where all the cool kids discover new music.

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Showbiz Sandbox 122: The Real Story Behind Steve Jobs And Pixar

October 10, 2011

Millions mourned the loss of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs this past week when the innovator behind the Macintosh computer,  the iPod and others died at the age of 56. Though the endless eulogies of Jobs always mention Jobs Pixar tenure, they rarely provided any real detail. Truth is Jobs lost money with Pixar for ten years trying to turn the company into a successful computer hardware business. We’ll dive into the story of how Jobs came to own Pixar and how the company stumbled upon success in computer animation.

Of course, there has never been a Pixar film that didn’t make money. However, we often blithely dismiss one movie as being a box office loser and another as a hit even though they might seem similar in budgets and box office. When we consider a film a hit or a flop, we’re making numerous assumptions on various factors. It’s always a judgment call, but to try and explain what sort of judgments we’re making, we’ve decided to look at several different movies and explain why we consider them a hit or miss.

It’s not as hard to tell when a new television series is a flop, especially after the network cancels it. A number of new shows (“Playboy Club”) got axed this past week, while others (“New Girl”) were picked up for an entire season. One series which nearly didn’t make the cut was “The Simpsons”. After its 23rd season the animated show was nearly canceled over a contract dispute with the cast providing voices for its lovable characters.

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Showbiz Sandbox 114: Hollywood Overflows With Streaming Content Deals

August 1, 2011

Digital distribution of television shows, movies and music has become quite trendy in Hollywood. Not a week goes by that companies such as Netflix, Spotify, Hulu and others aren’t in the news cutting some sort of deal with a big studio, television network or record label. This past week retail giant Amazon and online video portal YouTube made big additions to their streaming content libraries while Fox decided to limit those who could view their shows online. We provide a rundown of all the recent announcements and what they might mean for you, the consumer.

We are also joined by Roger Goff, an entertainment attorney with Wolf, Rifkin, Shapiro, Schulman & Rabkin. He helps us understand a few recent lawsuits filed by television producers, especially one in which the producer of “American Idol” is suing Fox over not being made an executive producer on the upcoming reality series “X-Factor”.

Speaking of legal issues, it turns out the NBCUniversal Comcast merger wasn’t as much of a done deal as everyone thought. A federal judge is threatening to hold up approving the union claiming it may not be in the “public interest”.

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Showbiz Sandbox 104: ‘Pirates’ Proves The Importance Of A Global Box Office

May 23, 2011

Despite earning more than $90 million in North America during its debut weekend, the opening of “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” did not live up to many industry insiders lofty expectations for the movie. However, considering the film made an additional $260 million in more than 100 international territories, its impossible to consider the latest installment of the Jack Sparrow franchise anything other than a success.

Even so, some analysts believe any muted box office returns for “Pirates” in North America are due to the public’s rejection of 3D movies. Have audiences grown tired of viewing films in 3D? Is the once flashy new technology now passé or is the surcharge for 3D and Imax causing moviegoers to opt-out?

The Cannes Film Festival came to an end this past week with Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life” taking home the Palm d’Or. Will winning the festival’s top prize help the film’s financial prospects? If history is any guide, probably not.

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Showbiz Sandbox 4: Yes We Cannes!

May 18, 2009

Entertainment journalist Michael Giltz joins the conversation to discuss everything from the Cannes Film Festival to who might win American Idol (he’s voting for Kris Allen).

Many members of the press, as well as festival-goers, took a pass on Cannes this year, but we recap some of the films that have screened thus far. Mariah Carey showed up in Cannes with a body double to confuse the paparazzi. Carey and Lenny Kravitz personally tell us about their festival film “Precious”. Meanwhile Lars Von Trier shocks the festival with his misogynistic “Antichrist”. The good news is Roger Ebert is back in Cannes.

“Angels & Demons” makes $48 million domestically and $104 million internationally in it’s first weekend. MGM is fighting for it’s life, but the remake of “Fame” may just save it. This week in New York the television networks hold their upfront and we take a quick look at what is rumored to be on the fall TV schedule. ABC has already announced they have picked up another season of “Scrubs” though Zach Braff will only show up for six episodes. Fox has said yes to another season of “Bones”. It also looks like the “Gossip Girl” spinoff may be picked up. The New York Times throws a few punches at NBC programming head Ben Silverman and but in the end it may not matter since the website Hulu is making most networks question their business model.

Speaking of Hulu, they’re going to start showing Bollywood films. Elizabeth Edwards writes a tell all book about her breast cancer and her husband Senator John Edwards’ romantic affair. Farah Fawcett discusses her own bout with cancer s well as fighting the tabloids in a stark interview which appeared in the Los Angeles Times. Finally, Jerry Lewis is planning a comeback. . . at 83-years old!

Trade Journos No Shows At Cannes

MGM Fights To Survive

A Lot At Stake At TV Upfronts

ABC Renews Scrubs

Bones Renewed For Fall

Is the Gossip Girl spin off back on?

NBC Hired A Hitmaker. It’s Still Waiting

Hulu’s Tug of War With TV,0,5771665.story

Bollywood Goes Hulu

Elizabeth Edwards: John “Made One Mistake”

Farah Fawcett: “Under A Microscope” And Holding Onto Hope,0,5790379.story

Jerry Lewis To Announce Comeback