WILDsound's ONE PAGE SCREENPLAY FINALISTS
The ONE PAGE SCREENPLAY FINALISTS have been announced. SEE WHO THE 30 FINALISTS ARE!.
The 10 WINNERS will have their scripts read at WILDsound's popular November Screenplay Festival. Then the audience will vote on their favorite script, and that script will be made into a film.
CABLE NETS TAKE AIM AT ONE ANOTHER
The gloves have come off.
The cable news wars are getting more personal as Fox News, CNN and MSNBC increasingly take aim at one another, feeding off controversies, real and imagined.
The latest salvo took place Thursday morning when Fox News' "Fox and Friends" crew threw a slap at CNN's "God's Warriors" series.
Two days after calling the series "anti-Semitic," Fox News' morning crew piled on the series, which first aired in August.
"There have been a number of religious organizations who said that CNN absolutely got this story completely wrong," said co-anchor Steve Doocy.
Gretchen Carlson crowed that one group "is asking people to call CNN, even urging themthey are giving out the phone numbers of one of the top people of CNN, president of CNN Worldwide."
The CNN series, part of an ambitious slate of docs rolled out at the TCA press tour over the summer, provided the news net with a rare ratings bright spot, beating Fox News all three nights it aired.
The series, whose three segments were "God's Jewish Warriors," "God's Muslim Warriors" and "God's Christian Warriors," averaged 2 million viewers per night.
Since then, Fox News has reported on criticism of the series for implying a moral equivalency between acts of violence committed in the name of Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
The news hook for the most recent attack was an ad criticizing the series placed in the New York Sun by the pro-Israel Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.
"CNN strongly disagrees with some criticism that there was a 'moral equivalency' between the three programs," a rep said, noting that the network segregated the three pieces to avoid putting them on equal moral footing.
Call it reporting, debunking or simply attacking, it's become par for the course in cable news. Even CNN, which doesn't air opinion shows and doesn't typically engage with its opponents on the air, is increasingly getting into the act.
Rick Sanchez, who took over Paula Zahn's normally sedate 8 p.m. show in August, targeted Fox News' Bill O'Reilly last week following comments the latter made during a radio show on race.
The dust-up, which began when Media Matters circulated quotes from O'Reilly's radio show, served as ample programming grist for both O'Reilly and Sanchez, who each brought on "experts" with various opinions on the issue.
"We reacted because Bill O'Reilly is a huge nameit had nothing to do with competition," said Victor Neufeld, who has left CNN but was exec producer of the show when it reported on O'Reilly.
"People like Bill O'Reilly, Lou Dobbs or Wolf Blitzer are household names, and they have as much stature as major political figures. If any of these individuals say anything that's controversial, it's equal to Sen. Biden calling Barack Obama 'articulate.' "
Far from trying to kill the issue, O'Reilly kept it alive, scheduling the Rev. Al Sharpton, who admitted he hadn't listened to the original radio show, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who hadn't appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor" in 11 years.
O'Reilly went on to call out reporters he felt had treated him unfairly on the story. On his radio show, he played a recording of a conversation he had with the Washington Post's Paul Farhi, who told him, in what he believed to be an off-the-record aside, "You are getting so dragged into something you don't deserve. ... It's ridiculous."
STILLER LOOKING TO TOP BOX OFFICE WITH 'HEARTBREAK'
The Farrelly brothers will look to break Judd Apatow's recent hold on R-rated comedy with Ben Stiller laffer "The Heartbreak Kid," which DreamWorks-Paramount opens this weekend in 3,229 theaters.
"Heartbreak" has a clear shot at winning the frame. Whether it can match the $22.5 million opening for the Farrellys' Jack Black-Gwyneth Paltrow starrer "Shallow Hal" or the $24.2 million bow for their Jim Carrey laffer "Me, Myself & Irene" is the question.
New on the family front is Fox Walden's fantasy-adventure "The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising," which 20th Century Fox unspools in 3,141 locations. Movie is the first released under the Fox Walden banner, a marketing partnership between Fox and Philip Anschutz's Walden Media.
"Seeker" could have a tough time taking out Disney holdover "The Game Plan," which opened to a surprisingly strong $22.9 million last weekend.
The race for No. 2 could well be between "Game Plan," starring Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson, and Universal holdover "The Kingdom."
The weekend's other new wide opener is "Feel the Noise," a reggaeton music-dance drama produced by Jennifer Lopez's Nuyorican Prods. Sony bows the pic in 1,015 locations.
On the specialty side, new entries include George Clooney starrer "Michael Clayton," a drama-thriller written by Tony Gilroy, who is making his directorial debut. Warner Bros. opens the film, also starring Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton and Sydney Pollack, in 15 theaters in New York and Los Angeles before going wide on Oct. 12.
With "Heartbreak Kid," DreamWorks and Paramount are looking to ride the wave of success enjoyed recently by R-rated comedies, including "Knocked Up," directed by Apatow, and "Superbad," produced by Apatow. U's "Knocked Up" opened to $33 million in June, Sony's "Superbad" to $30.7 million in August.