Tuesday, December 22, 2009

NEWS: Bryan Dattilo, Mark Hapka, Apple, China Censors

INTERVIEW: Fired DAYS star Bryan Dattilo (Lucas)
“I really enjoyed my years on DATS and I am grateful for having had the opportunity to travel the world and meet so many great fans in person," Dattilo tells Star. “For the past couple years I’ve had to turn down jobs that would move me to prime-time because I was under contract to DAYS. But now that I am not tied to the show, I can explore some new and exciting opportunities.”

VIDEO INTERVIEW: DAYS star Mark Hapka (Nathan)
Hapka appeared on WSYR's BRIDGE STREET as a "local soap star home for the holidays."

Y&R's Michelle Stafford (Phyllis) is a mom
Following a three-year quest to start a family, Michelle Stafford's biggest wish has finally come true. THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS star welcomed daughter Natalia Scout Lee Stafford on Monday at 11:23 p.m., her rep confirmed exclusively to PEOPLE.

The baby – born via surrogate – weighed 8 lbs., 3 oz. and measured 19 inches in length. "She is healthy, gorgeous, and amazing – Michelle is out of her mind happy," the rep says in a statement.

Report: Apple prepping TV subscription service
Apple is looking at disrupting the cable TV industry much the way it did the music industry. According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is in talks with big TV networks like ABC and CBS to create paid subscription services that package broadcast and cable shows on an either a la carte basis or smaller bundles than are available now on cable.

Subscribers could pay a monthly fee through iTunes and get a more targeted group of networks that they want. One proposal would have subscribers paying $2 to $4 a month for each broadcast network and $1 to $2 per cable network. An earlier initiative involved a $30 bundle for a "best of TV" bundle that would not be accompanied by ads.

Censors in China ban soap opera that was too much like reality TV
The latest runaway success on Chinese television has had to pay the ultimate price, however, for depicting the grubby reality too closely. SNAIL HOUSE, a show featuring shady communist officials, their mistresses and dodgy financial dealings, has fallen foul of the censors.

After the State Administration for Radio, Film and Television (Sarft) issued a notice to all media banning further broadcasts of the series, it promptly disappeared from China’s hundreds of local channels. Sarft objected to the “erroneous guidance” contained in the show.

Five Keys to Branded-Entertainment Success
With the digital revolution -- where every celebrity, publisher, agency or client can produce content relatively quickly -- the competition to play in this space is heating up. However, just because everyone's now in the game, it doesn't mean they are all doing it well.

Almost $490 Million Unused from DTV Coupon Funding
NTIA source says agency returned $241.6 million to Treasury, which Congress has reallocated for appropriations, jobs bills.

TV show pilots getting tested online
"Web video has the potential to do for television what the independent film festivals did for the feature business," Fox Television Studios VP of programming Gabriel Marano recently told Wired.com in an e-mail interview. "It makes the connection between content creators, viewers and distributors much more immediate."

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