This is “a new, developing phenomenon,” AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan told investors this morning at the Barclays’ Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference. Although advertisers still crave ratings points, they also increasingly want to reach people who say that “there are only two or three shows I watch and I live and die for them.” The trend is gaining momentum as viewers discover opportunities to binge view shows on pay TV video on demand and streaming services including Netflix and Amazon Prime. In addition, young viewers become obsessive about programs when social networks such as Facebook and Twitter help to connect them with others who share their passion. As a result, “that favorite stuff in media is emerging as the most important [driver] of value,” Sapan says. That’s encouraging for networks such as AMC — which has high-engagement hits with dramas including Mad Men, Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad. But it’s hard to build a business around the trend: “Good dramatic TV shows aren’t known until they’re on,” he says. And nobody has perfect pitch. “There are many shows that have spectacular television pedigree and the show doesn’t work” while others from untested producers or stars “take off like crazy.” Sapan says’s he’s encouraged by his upcoming shows including Low Winter Sun (a police drama), Turn (about Revolutionary War spies), Halt & Catch Fire (about the computing boom in the 1980s), and Line Of Sight (a sci-fi drama the ... Read More »
After months of virtual silence on Spike Jonze's long-awaited next film "Her," there's been a relative flurry of activity in the last 24 hours. The sci-fi romance, which stars Joaquin Phoenix as a man who falls in love with his operating system, has been under radars until now, but hot on the heels of the announcement that the film's release date, Warner Bros have spilled the beans on two previously unrevealed cast members on the project (which shot last year). According to the studio, Scarlett Johansson and Chris Pratt are both in the cast, joining Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara, Samantha Morton and Olivia Wilde. For Johansson, it's the latest smart choice on the top of Jonathan Glazer's "Under The Skin" and Jon Favreau's "Chef" to counterbalance her superheroic duties on "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" and "The Avengers 2," while it's another marker in the ascendance to stardom for Pratt. The actor's spent the last couple of years balancing brilliant comedy in "Parks...
OREKHOVO-ZUYEVO, Russia (Reuters) - As Russia congratulated its forces for foiling an alleged Islamist plot on Moscow, the discovery of the plan also pointed to the growing security threat before the 2014 Winter Olympics.
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The right-hand man of Russia's most wanted insurgent was killed by security forces on Tuesday, officials said, as Moscow tries to contain militancy in its Caucasus region before it hosts the Winter Olympics near there next February.
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