Sunday, May 17, 2009

News Round-up: Chris Hemsworth, Noelle Beck, Ratings

Broadcast's big worry: Skidding ratings
The broadcast networks are facing big challenges as they head into next week’s upfront presentations to media buyers, and the harsh economy is just part of it. A worrisome issue is the prospect that primetime ratings could take a serious tumble next year, falling by as much as 10 percent in adults 18-49, by one prediction, nearly twice the average rate of decline in recent years.

HOME AND AWAY's Chris Hemsworth cast as Thor
Director Kenneth Branagh and Marvel Studios' chief Kevin Feige have chosen Chris Hemsworth for the part of hammer-wielding deity, Thor, in their upcoming film.

Ruggiero and Buchanan in Make the Yuletide Gay World Premiere
Creator of award-winning, gay-themed films such as Long-Term Relationship, Back Soon, and 3-Day Weekend, Guest House Films will be having the World Premiere of its newest film, "Make the Yuletide Gay," at the InsideOut Toronto Gay & Lesbian Film Festival kicking off May 14 through May 24. The film is a gay-themed Christmas comedy starring DEGRASSI's Adamo Ruggiero and former soap actor Ian Buchanan.

INTERVIEW: ATWT's Noelle Beck (Lily)
Beck was a guest on "The Nuke Fancast" on Saturday.

REVIEW: Michael Malone's newest novel, "The Four Corners of the Sky"
"Just as in a TV show, these characters' behavior is comfortingly predictable. Malone is an expert at throwing his characters into high-stakes situations, bringing them perilously close to danger or death before swerving at the last minute and leading them to safety. It's a literary version of turning Molotov cocktails into Shirley Temples."

INTERVIEW: Former soap actor/writer Richard Backus
"[Doug Marland's] death was sudden and unexpected. He lingered for a few days and the executive producer asked Juliet, Nancy Ford and me to continue the lay-out of the week's shows Doug had been working on. When Doug died, we became de facto head-writers, but Nancy didn't want the added demands on her time. The job for me was simply overwhelming. I had never worked for anyone but Doug so I assumed the way he wrote was the way soaps were written... with the headwriter basically dictating everything. Juliet and I laid out each week in detail which was incredibly time-consuming. It was hard coming up with endless material, and stories seemed to just flow from Doug's brain in a way neither of us could easily duplicate. I lasted about 18 months and then, exhausted in pretty much every way, I was fired. It was devastating to get fired but also a relief to be free of the burden. I'm sorry I've never had a second chance at head-writing once I learned the craft better and knew how much more responsibility you could delegate to the breakdown writers, but I moved on happily to other things."

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