Monday, October 19, 2009

News Round-up: Sumpter, Vaughan, Bierdz, FNL

Sad scenes on FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS premiere
Kristin Do Santo previews the opener will include... "one of the saddest, most demoralizing scenes in the history of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. Jason Street's paralysis will always be the worst, but these scenes are a strong contender for second place."

Tectonic shift coming for biz
You ain't seen nothing yet. That was the refrain at Variety's inaugural entertainment and technology summit Monday at the Loews Hotel in Santa Monica. A roster of showbiz heavyweights marveled at the speed of technological change, and predicted the pace would increase in the months ahead as companies try to reshape old economic models, rethink megamergers like NBC U and Comcast -- and, crucially, redefine their own goals and their relationship with audiences.

"I think the competitive landscape one year from now is going to be nothing like we know it today because everybody's going to buy something -- and they are going to buy it cheap," said Media Metrics' managing director Laura Martin during the summit's global strategies session.

The Wall Street maven also forecast doom for the Peacock if Comcast does not take control from its current owners. "It is our view with GE that they will destroy the NBC network if they hold onto it," she flatly predicted. "Under Brian Roberts they will have a chance."

Advocate's Soapside: Tika Sumpter, Thom Bierdz, Ilene Kristen and more
Tika Sumpter on equality: "Look, every one has their own opinion but that is just how I see it. Listen, back in the '50s African-Americans did not have rights. And every person, if you are gay, straight, or transgender, deserves rights. It’s about equality. Who cares who you are kissing at night?"

Thom Bierdz on the support he has received on Y&R: "Jeanne Cooper has been so cool about gay people and has forever. Jess Walton has a lot of gay friends and is very into spirituality like I am. She is a cool lady. Tricia Cast is the coolest, and to have those women support me has been tremendous. I want to acknowledge them because they are so gay-friendly. Everybody has been great, even Eric Braeden (Victor) has been so gay-accepting, and it’s been great. Personally, everyone could not have been more wonderful, but we will see what the business behind that feels!"

Bierdz on Y&R's cold feet with Phillip's storyline: "I can tell you this, the people directly in charge of me, such as Maria Arena Bell [co-exec prod and head writer, Y&R] are so gay-affirmative and friendly, but I don’t know what their bosses are like. Here is the thing; I know I am on in eight episodes in November and then the truth is, I sort of disappear. My six-month contract is up. And I really want to support the gay community, and I want the gay community to support me. I would like the gay community to write to CBS and say, ‘We want a gay character on the air,’ and I want to be that."

Ad Report Predicts 19% Increase in Spending on Web Video
Ad spending on internet video is forecast to grow by 19% in the U.S. this year, according to a new global ad forecast from media agency ZenithOptimedia. Ad spending on social media is expected to grow by 45% and on mobile by 69%, say forecasters who predict that the Internet is the only medium to see an uptick in advertising in 2009. The Internet is slated to take a 12.3% share of global ad dollars in 2009, up from 10.2%. Globally, television is also expected to grow slightly up from 38.2% in 2008 to 39.3% in 2009.

INTERVIEW: GH's Greg Vaughan (Lucky)
"There was a guy who was coming on the show who is recurring, and he is there now, and he said, 'How are things going?' And I said, 'You know what? I think my days are numbered.' And he said, 'No. You’re Lucky Spencer!' and I said, 'You know what? I know how this system works, and I know how this show works.' I have been here long enough, and its not that I wanted it to happen, but sometimes things happen for the right reasons. Doors close and others open."

SAG taps David White for permanent post
The Screen Actors Guild's national board approved White's appointment to the post of permanent national executive director Oct. 18. White had served as the guild's interim director since January.

Bafta nominees announced
A drama set on Lewis the day Elvis died and a Scottish soap opera are among the nominees announced for this year's Bafta Scotland awards. EILBHEAS, which explores Elvis's influence on a young punk, competes with RIVER CITY in the drama category.


  1. Sad to see Thom Bierdz leave again. I kept hoping that the writers would do something for Phillip/Bierdz. But nothing happened.

    I wonder if Sony just got cold feet about having a gay storyline.

  2. I doubt they had cold feet. Probably didn't know what to do with the character once the whole Cane-Phillip storyline wrapped up. It's just as well. While Bierdz seems like a nice guy, I didn't think he was that good of an actor.