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THE MAGAZINE OF INTERNATIONAL MEDIA • NOVEMBER 2010

www.worldscreen.com

AFM Edition


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contents

NOVEMBER 2010/AFM EDITION

Publisher Ricardo Seguin Guise

departments WORLD VIEW

Editor Anna Carugati

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A note from the editor. UPFRONT

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New content on the market. WORLD’S END

In the stars.

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Executive Editor Mansha Daswani

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Managing Editor Kristin Brzoznowski

spotlight

Special Projects Editor Jay Stuart

DIRECTOR & PRODUCER RIDLEY SCOTT

The award-winning film and television director and producer is embracing a new medium with his YouTube project. —Anna Carugati

Online Director Simon Weaver

FORMATS TAKE CENTER STAGE

Art Director Phyllis Q. Busell

MIPCOM 2010 featured a packed format superpanel, with executives from Endemol, FremantleMedia, Shine Group, Banijay Entertainment and Sony Pictures Television’s Embassy Row in conversation with World Screen’s Anna Carugati. —Mansha Daswani

MOVIE MAGIC

Business Affairs Manager Erica Antoine-Cole

Sales and Marketing Assistant Alyssa Menard

TV movies are seeing a resurgence in popularity, particularly on the U.S. cable networks. —Bill Dunlap

Senior Editors Bill Dunlap Kate Norris George Winslow Contributing Editors Grace Hernandez James Trimaco Lauren Uda

one-on-one

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Sales and Marketing Manager Kelly Quiroz

Sales and Marketing Coordinator Cesar Suero

special report

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Executive Editor, Spanish-Language Publications Rafael Blanco Production and Design Director Matthew Rippetoe

in the news

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Editor, Spanish-Language Publications Elizabeth Bowen-Tombari

LIONSGATE’S JON FELTHEIMER

The independent studio’s co-chairman and CEO is pursuing the successful strategy of targeting niche audiences. —Anna Carugati

Contributing Writers Dieter Brockmeyer Chris Forrester Bob Jenkins David del Valle David Wood

Ricardo Seguin Guise, President Anna Carugati, Executive VP and Group Editorial Director Mansha Daswani,VP of Strategic Development WORLD SCREEN is a registered trademark of WSN INC. 1123 Broadway, Suite 1207 New York, NY 10010, U.S.A. Phone: (212) 924-7620 Fax: (212) 924-6940 Website: www.worldscreen.com

WORLD SCREEN is published seven times per year: January, April, May, June/July, October, November and December. Annual subscription price: Inside the U.S.: $70.00 Outside the U.S.: $120.00 Send checks, company information and address corrections to: WSN INC. 1123 Broadway, Suite 1207 New York, NY 10010, U.S.A.

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©2010 WSN INC. Printed by Fry Communications No part of this publication can be used, reprinted, copied or stored in any medium without the publisher’s authorization.


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world view

A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR ANNA CARUGATI

The Pull of Drama Just as I was, millions of people around the world were riveted by the rescue of the 33 Chilean miners. For some 22 hours we were captivated by the images of the men being hauled up one by one from more than 2,000 feet below the ground. We were enthralled by live images from way down below the surface.We saw the narrow shaft and metal capsule that transported them. And we waited with bated breath as the capsule arrived at the surface and each man stepped out alive and well. It was impossible to resist tearing up at the sight of them rejoining family members after enduring the nightmarish ordeal that had begun on August 5. I found it hard to peel myself away from the TV screen, waiting for each man to emerge. But I had emergency dental work that needed attention, so I had to go to the dentist. Now if there is one place I hate, it is the dentist’s chair. While I’ve had some horrific experiences (including an inexperienced dental student drilling across the roof of my mouth), they of course pale in comparison to what the miners had gone through. So I told myself to shut up, buck up and focus on something other than the sounds and odors and the numerous metal objects coming out of my mouth. CAPTIVATING I concentrated on those miners and replayed the images in my head, forcing myself to focus on anything but the piercDRAMA...STORIES ing shrillness of the drill. And in a split second I recalled another time when I was at dentist, back in high school. I dug deeper AND SCENES YOU the into the memory and recalled sitting in front of the TV one evening, holding an ice pack WILL REMEMBER— to my jaw, trying to relieve the swelling and pain of an abscessed tooth. Back then I had also been riveted by a television drama, but it GOOD TELEVISION wasn’t the unfolding of a live event, it was the TV movie Brian’s Song. was no ordinary TV movie. It aired DRAMA WILL GRAB onThis ABC in 1971 and told the true story of Chicago Bears’ football players Brian Piccolo YOU EVERY TIME. (played by James Caan) and Gale Sayers (Billy Dee Williams). Rivals on the field, they become best friends, their competitiveness bringing out the best in each other. Then Piccolo is stricken with cancer and his will to live inspires Sayers to reach his potential and become one of the NFL’s greats. Brian’s Song touched a cultural nerve with its sensitive depiction of friendship, racial differences and the desire to overcome adversity. That was back in the heyday of made-for-television movies. Brian’s Song was part of the series The Movie of the

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Week, an anthology that presented original movies often featuring top talent. There was Duel, starring Dennis Weaver, which marked Steven Spielberg’s debut as a feature-length movie director; How Awful About Allan, with Anthony Perkins and Julie Harris; The Love War, with Lloyd Bridges and Angie Dickinson; Go Ask Alice, with William Shatner, and the list goes on and on. Barry Diller is credited with developing this popular strand when he was a programming executive at ABC. The Movie of the Week became the most popular movie series in television history and helped ABC catch up to NBC and CBS in the ratings race. Those TV movies, and the convenience of watching them at home, obviously had an impact on me. Consider that today, as an adult, I can close my eyes and still see the opening credits of The Movie of the Week, which featured a precursor to computer-generated graphics, and hear the theme song, Burt Bacharach’s Nikki. I’m not the only one who felt the impact of these movies. Author Michael Karol wrote a book called The ABC Movie of the Week Companion: A Loving Tribute to the Classic Series. In the first paragraph of the preface he aptly explains, “Movies resonate in the same way that songs do, and books do, and television shows do, in one very special way: often, a scene or plot twist or a pivotal character will stay with you, long beyond the first time you viewed it, and become a touchstone in your memory. You can remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when you first saw the movie.” Karol goes on to say that those movies were like a good friend, ready to make you laugh when you needed to but at times also dealing with sobering issues that needed to be exposed. Made-for-television movies have survived many changes in the TV landscape, as the main feature in this issue illustrates. As the U.S. broadcast networks abandoned original movies, several cable channels made them the signature pieces of their schedules. The most successful ones still contain the winning elements of their predecessors from four decades ago: captivating drama, top talent and stories and scenes you will remember—good television drama will grab you every time.

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D3 Telefilm www.d3telefilm.com • • • • •

Locked Down Tales of an Ancient Empire Art of the Heist An Angel for Christmas The Lost City

“All of our new films, both distribution titles and in-house productions, are in-demand genres with proven success in the international marketplace.” —Doug Price

Two new TV movies from D3 Telefilm are headed into production in January: Art of the Heist, described as a Die Hard–like thriller with a female lead, and An Angel for Christmas, about a single mom who helps an angel perform 12 miracles before Christmas. Also on D3’s roster are Locked Down, an action picture starring Vinnie Jones; Tales of an Ancient Empire, a fantasy-adventure movie starring Kevin Sorbo; and The Lost City, an adventure TV movie about discovering the fountain of youth. “As an independent production-distribution company, we are focused solely on projects that meet our buyers’ needs and expectations,” says Doug Price, D3’s co-principal and CEO. As for his goals for AFM, Price notes, “We are looking to sign the presales contracts we’ve been negotiating this month on our upcoming productions and to close out the remaining territories on our returning slate of product.”

Locked Down

Entertainment One Television International www.eonetv.com • • • • •

The Walking Dead Storming Juno The Pig Farm One Angry Juror Goodnight for Justice

Developing new relationships is one of Entertainment One (eOne) Television International’s key priorities for the AFM, with the company showcasing a broad selection of both television and feature film product. “We’re all very excited to be realizing the synergies inherent in eOne’s structure—the group’s potential is limitless,” explains Valerie Cabrera, executive VP at the company. Luke Perry of Beverly Hills, 90210 fame leads the cast of the new TV movie Goodnight for Justice, a Hallmark Channel original directed by fellow 90210 alum Jason Priestley. Another TV movie is the Lifetime original One Angry Juror, which is based on true events. Other highlights include the docudramas Storming Juno and The Pig Farm. In the way of series, there’s The Walking Dead, an AMC original based on the comic book by Robert Kirkman. “A number of deals that we began negotiating at MIPCOM should close during the AFM,” Cabrera says.

The Walking Dead

“This is the first year that eOne Television International will attend as an integrated team with the eOne film group from the U.S., U.K. and Benelux.” —Valerie Cabrera

THE LEADING ONLINE DAILY NEWS SERVICE FOR THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA INDUSTRY. For a free subscription, visit: www.worldscreen.com


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Gaiam www.gaiam.com • Chop Kick Panda • Penguin Movie

Gaiam is heading to AFM touting Chop Kick Panda and the as-yet-untitled Penguin Movie for the kids’ segment. Bill Sondheim, the president of entertainment and worldwide distribution at Gaiam, believes these stories will be “delightful drafting opportunities to the mega theatrical franchises Kung Fu Panda and Happy Feet,” noting that both titles are set to launch new installments in 2011. Chop Kick Panda and Penguin Movie are being produced in the U.S. using a unique 2D Flash animation process. Both are written by Robert Zappia, whose credits include writing for the family series Home Improvement and the 2007 animated holiday feature Christmas Is Here Again. These new titles represent an expansion for Gaiam with children’s programming, as the company previously established a reputation in the lifestyle space. Of the opportunities AFM presents, Sondheim says, “Gaiam has always used AFM as a low-key way to scout new titles and maintain ongoing relationships. We have always found it both easy to navigate and a very productive use of resources.”

Chop Kick Panda

“Gaiam has always used AFM as a low-key way to scout new titles and maintain ongoing relationships.” —Bill Sondheim

German Screenings www.german-screenings.de

Presented this year for the 35th time, the German Screenings is the largest program market for the German-speaking territories. From November 28 to December 2, German United Distributors, Telepool, Deutsche Welle and ORF will be showcasing a range of high-profile programs across a number of genres, including feature films, family dramas, comedies, crime series, children’s programming, music, documentaries and wildlife formats. Some 200 international TV buyers and media executives have been invited to view the latest German-language television titles, with individual screenings in hotel rooms that enable the buyers to have an in-depth look at the productions of their choice. In addition to this, every participant has the possibility of obtaining information on upcoming productions directly from the sales teams. Beatrice Riesenfelder, the head of content sales at ORF, says a highlight of the company’s German Screenings slate is White Beauty. The 13x45-minute family drama is about a woman becoming the overnight manager at the Piber stud farm, and mistress of the worldfamous Lipizzan horses. This puts a million-dollar enterprise in the hands of a woman for the first time ever.

“This year, the market will be hosted by ORF in Salzburg, Austria.” —Beatrice Riesenfelder

White Beauty

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GMA Worldwide www.gmanetwork.com • • • • •

The Last Romance

Muro-Ami José Rizal Batanes When Death Calls The Last Romance

GMA Worldwide, which is making its inaugural outing at AFM, is the program-acquisition and distribution subsidiary of GMA Network, a leading free-to-air media broadcasting company in the Philippines. “This is our first participation at AFM and we intend to meet with content buyers for syndication,” says Roxanne J. Barcelona, the VP of GMA Worldwide. “Since our parent organization is also involved in filmmaking, we expect the market to update us on the latest concepts, trends and insights in filmmaking.” Titles of GMA’s AFM highlights include Muro-Ami, an award-winning, socially relevant film that depicts the worst forms of child labor in the illegal fishing system. José Rizal documents the life of the Philippines’ national hero. There’s also Batanes, a study of a relationship between two cultures. Rounding out the slate are When Death Calls, a horrorsuspense offering, and The Last Romance, which tells a story of love despite all odds.

“Superior production values, exceptional performances and compelling story lines will make these titles appeal to the international market.” —Roxanne J. Barcelona

Opus Distribution www.opusdistribution.com • • • • •

Locked Away

Locked Away Next Stop Murder Space Station Ferocious My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

There’s a mix of TV movies and theatrical films on offer from Opus Distribution, which has been in the market just over a year. Highlights include two new Lifetime titles, with Locked Away and Next Stop Murder. “The Lifetime films are very specific to buyers’ needs,” notes Ken DuBow, the president of Opus.“They are designed for two-hour time slots and can play as well in daytime as prime time.” Opus is also preselling two new theatricals, Space Station, produced by Chris Wyatt (Napoleon Dynamite) and Ferocious. “The theatrical films are action and sci-fi titles, which is a genre that always appeals to international buyers,” DuBow says. Both are in preproduction, with scripts available. Alyssa Milano stars in My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, along with Michael Landes and Christopher Gorham. Opus has already sold the title into more than 60 countries, and counting. DuBow says My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend is a “terrific example of a romantic comedy with strong TV stars, which makes it very promotable to audiences.”

“The Lifetime films are very specific to buyers’ needs.” —Ken DuBow

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RHI Entertainment www.rhitv.com • • • •

Neverland Treasure Island The Other Side Roadkill

Neverland

The Other Side

Following on the success of the mini-series Tin Man and Alice, RHI Entertainment continues its reimagining of classic tales with Neverland. From Emmy-winning executive producer Robert Halmi, Sr., comes this original prequel to author J. M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan.The cast includes Rhys Ifans (as James Hook) and Charlie Rowe (as a young Peter Pan). The four-hour fantasy-adventure is slated for a 2011 premiere in the U.S. on Syfy. Also for Syfy are The Other Side, about a government-commissioned device designed to peek into alternative universes, and Roadkill, which follows a road trip to a high-school reunion. Both are twohour action thrillers. A further highlight in RHI’s AFM lineup is Treasure Island. The event mini-series stars Eddie Izzard as a peg-legged cook on a schooner sailing to a legendary island known for buried treasure.The action follows reckless buccaneers, buried fortunes and a friendship forged in peril on the high seas.

SevenOne International www.sevenoneinternational.com • • • • •

Blackout The Frontier The Whore The Sleeper’s Wife The Village

Coming off a strong outing at MIPCOM, SevenOne International has high hopes as it heads to AFM, says Axel Böhm, regional sales director and head of international fiction acquisitions. “At MIPCOM, we received an excellent feedback on our programs, especially regarding the variety in genres and the high production standard,” Böhm notes. “Building on our success over the years, we are positive to strengthen existing partnerships and to start new ones at AFM.” The catastrophe movie Blackout leads off the slate, followed by the big-budget thriller The Frontier. “The political thriller had German viewers glued to the screen,” says Böhm. “Up to 5.34 million viewers witnessed the action-loaded TV event on Sat.1, clearly winning prime time.” Further highlights include the dramas The Whore and The Sleeper’s Wife, along with the mystery The Village.

Blackout

“Big-budgeted events…meet the strong demand for innovative and exciting new programming.” —Axel Böhm

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spotlight

A LOOK AT INNOVATION IN THE MEDIA INDUSTRY BY ANNA CARUGATI

Ridley Scott The Academy Award–winning director Ridley Scott is widely considered one of the best filmmakers alive and is known for his penchant for lavish visuals and meticulous attention to detail. Among his films are Blade Runner, Thelma and Louise, Gladiator, American Gangster and Alien. Besides making movies, his company, Scott Free Productions, produces event mini-series for television such as The Gathering Storm and The Pillars of the Earth and the hit network series The Good Wife. This past summer, Scott embarked on a unique experiment in filmmaking called Life in a Day, the first user-generated film. Through YouTube, he asked people to capture one day in their life, July 24, 2010, on film. Director Kevin Macdonald is in the process of editing the submissions into a featurelength documentary that will premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Scott talks about this innovative project and more.

WS: Tell us about the Life in a Day documentary. How did it come about? SCOTT: Liza Marshall, who runs Scott Free in London, had this idea for Life in a Day and said to me, “What do you think if we get a lot of cheap little cameras, give them to the people who are least likely to ever have the opportunity to do this, and get them to put their day on film in one minute?” And I was thinking, well, that’s kind of an interesting idea, and then Kevin Macdonald [who directed The Last King of Scotland and State of Play] was there and he said, “Well, I think it’s great!” So it started to evolve and then I realized they were right and I better get on board because there is definitely something here. So they got me to [do a video, which was posted on YouTube] and explain how you put your life in a day in one minute. And to really try to make sure it’s one minute

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and not eight minutes or five minutes. Try to encapsulate your day because what I really want is what makes you tick inside. To make it very simple, let’s pick sunrise and then sunset. For sunrise, don’t just film the sun coming up; that is boring as hell, right? Or the sun going down, that is also boring.Tell me what you feel when you are watching the sunrise and tell me what you feel when you are watching the sunset. For example, I’m a morning person so to me a sunrise is a new beginning and I am emotionally affected by that and therefore feel very up. Evening for me has a sadness and melancholy to it—why is that? So tell me, what do you feel when you see the sun go down? That’s the brief for the project. It might be your choice to shoot sunrise and sunset, but it could be anything else. And we got 80,000 documentary submissions and 25 million hits. And right now, Kevin is sorting through the 80,000 submissions with a team of editors in England. [They equal about 5,000 hours of film, from which 100 to 200 hours will be selected] and from that amount the film will be made. WS: That’s an unbelievable job! SCOTT: Isn’t it? I didn’t think YouTube could handle it

either. The most they had received earlier was 6,000 submissions. WS: I saw the short film that was posted on YouTube in

which you called on aspiring filmmakers to participate in the project and at the end you said, “Just do it.” Has that motto guided you through your career as well? SCOTT: That is the best-written advertising line, maybe ever; it’s for Nike, and it’s always been my priority: if something looks intimidating, you better just do it! WS: What feature films are you working on now? You always have a pretty diverse slate in development. SCOTT: We always have movies moving all the time. It’s a bit like the stock exchange, actually—one script will evolve quicker than the others, so it’s always constant movement. The one that’s most likely [to move first] is the Alien prequel. It’s written and budgeted and, frankly, we’ve already booked film stages in England, so I think [it will happen soon]. WS: There are certain images that just stay with you. I remember when I saw the first Alien movie back in 1979 and the creature exploded out of the guy’s chest—that is etched in my mind forever! SCOTT: I was a little bit concerned that I had gone too far! But I think it was relatively good clean fun! [Laughs].

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in the news

MAKING HEADLINES IN THE TELEVISION BUSINESS BY MANSHA DASWANI

Formats Take

Center Stage The Format Superpanel: Formulas for Success was one of the best-attended sessions at MIPCOM this year. Moderated by World Screen’s group editorial director, Anna Carugati, the packed session featured FremantleMedia’s Rob Clark, Shine’s Alex Mahon, Banijay’s François de Brugada, Endemol’s Tom Toumazis and Embassy Row’s Michael Davies discussing some of the key issues facing the format industry, including the quest for the next breakout hit and the role played by social media. The panel kicked off with a conversation about what broadcasters are looking for. Clark, the president of worldwide entertainment at FremantleMedia, noted that demand for what he called “The Holy Trinity”—Idols, The X Factor and Got Talent—“has increased immensely. They [have] become tent pegs in the schedule.” Mahon, the president of the Shine Group, noted that broadcasters are on the lookout for “channel-defining” shows.“It needs to stand for their whole identity. It needs to be versatile for them, flexible, they need to be able to order more of it, they need to work in different configurations.” Toumazis, the chief commercial officer at Endemol, added,“Our sense is you don’t just sell the format anymore. It’s about putting a complete package together of content and IP that connects with your audience.” The conversation moved on to what makes for a good format. Davies, the founder and president of Embassy Row (now part of Sony Pictures Television), said, “The big hits have, on the whole, been very, very original. It’s the shows that knock your socks off and scare people and are incredibly difficult to sell.The only thing that defines all those successful shows is how difficult they’ve been to sell to the initial broadcaster.”

FremantleMedia’s Clark commented, “A format is...a structure in which a story is told.You should have a fantastic way to start the series arc. It needs a great middle bit...and then it needs a fantastic ending.That’s all a format is.” Next on the agenda was social media and the use of Facebook, Twitter and other applications. “The next giant format in the world is going to be something which does naturally tie together all of the social-media functions,” said Davies. Clark added, “It is inconceivable that you could launch a major format...without having a full array of new-media applications available. It is absolutely essential that your format lives beyond a broadcast time.” Banijay’s executive VP of commercial and creative affairs, François de Brugada, pointed to his company’s Dilemma as a successful use of new media, with viewers able to go online and watch footage from ten cameras filming the contestants.“Involvement is key,” he said. Carugati then asked the panelists to discuss successful production models.Toumazis explained how Endemol is using production hubs for big shows like Wipeout. FremantleMedia’s entertainment formats require a different approach, Clark stated, with a system of “bibles, flying producers, control of the IP centrally—and we pass on best practices and quickly stamp out things that don’t work.” Clark stressed the importance of protecting your brands. “The Price Is Right is 55 years old. The important aspect is to make sure that a) it’s not bastardized and b) it’s kept relatively pure and fresh.These shows are not just shows. They’re billion-dollar brands.” Consolidation in the industry was the next topic of conversation. Davies, who sold his indie to Sony in 2009, said, “There are less indies worldwide. More market share has gone to fewer companies. I do think the business is at a creative crossroads.What’s going to be exciting is watching the next generation of true indies come up, with their new ways of working.”

Format majors: World Screen’s Anna Carugati (far left) moderated the Format Superpanel at MIPCOM, which featured, from left, FremantleMedia’s Rob Clark, Shine’s Alex Mahon, Banijay’s François de Brugada, Endemol’s Tom Toumazis and Embassy Row’s Michael Davies. 20

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For more than 40 years, made-for-television movies have survived changes in the TV industry and continued to find loyal viewers.

Movie

Magic

ABC Family’s Wild Child.

By Bill Dunlap

Lately, the hot news coming out of U.S. cable networks has been all about original series—mostly scripted dramas but also reality shows, sitcoms and late-night comedy and talk shows. One might assume that there wasn’t much room left for that longtime programming staple, the madefor-TV movie.That would be a mistaken assumption. The history of the made-for-TV movie is a long one, starting in the days when television was dominated by broadcast networks and titles like Brian’s Song on ABC in 1971, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman on CBS in 1974 and The Burning Bed on NBC in 1984. They started gravitating to cable as more of the country got wired, with titles like The Burning Season and Against the Wall, both on HBO in

1994, and Andersonville and George Wallace on TNT in 1996 and 1997, respectively, all four of which had multi-milliondollar budgets and helped revive John Frankenheimer’s directing career. Today, original series are popping up all over the cable universe, but on channels like Lifetime, ABC Family, Hallmark and Syfy, TV movies are a staple, and they even appear occasionally on channels like MTV and ESPN. “TV movies were our entrée into original programming,” says Barbara Fisher, the senior VP of original programming for Hallmark Channels. “It’s still a very popular genre that was slowly slipping away on the broadcast networks. Our sense was there was still an audience for them. We serve an audience that enjoys more family-oriented programming,

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something they’re seeing less and less on cable and broadcast [television]. TV movies fit well into that because we can tell very emotional stories, we can be heartfelt, we can be optimistic, so we decided to target that genre. People tell us all the time, ‘Please, more and more movies.’ ” Hallmark will commission 24 movies this year and increase that to 26 next year, Fisher says. “Two of those 24 this year will air on the Hallmark Movie Channel. In 2011, four will air on the movie channel. I suspect by 2012 we’ll keep increasing.’” She works closely with the producers, including Larry Levinson Productions and RHI Entertainment, but the movies aren’t coproductions—Hallmark pays a license fee and the producers retain ownership. In addition, the net-

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work acquires several completed movies each year. The ABC Family network is doing nine original movies this year, says Tom Zappala, the executive VP of program acquisitions and scheduling for ABC Cable Networks Group. “Movies are still a big part of what we do,” he says.“We’ve stayed pretty consistent in recent years in terms of the number of original movies we offer annually, generally 8 to 12.” At markets and festivals, Zappala says, he occasionally finds a finished movie, but just as often the takeaways are conversations with producers about movies they are developing or would like to do. “We’re hitting people at different points in the development process,” he says. “We’ve worked with everybody from small independent producers to the major


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studios like Universal, Warner Bros. and Disney. It’s an opendoor policy.” Lifetime, the highest-rated women’s network in the U.S., which was acquired by A&E Television Networks last year, became a leading destination for female viewers thanks to its steady offering of TV movies. It later reduced the volume of TV movies it airs and put more emphasis on big names and higher-profile titles. This year it commissioned or acquired 13 new titles for itself and the Lifetime Movie Network. LIFETIME STORIES

“Lifetime’s leading role in developing and producing original movies is unparalleled,” says Nancy Dubuc, the president and general manager of HISTORY and Lifetime. She and her team are in the process of fine-tuning the channel’s program offering, but TV movies will remain a mainstay of the lineup. They will range from crime thrillers and dramas to true stories inspired by the news—scandals, courtroom dramas and real events featuring women in the spotlight. The emphasis in Lifetime’s TV movies has been on big-name actresses like Stockard Channing, Shirley MacLaine, Cybill Shepherd, Sigourney Weaver, Andie MacDowell and Faye Dunaway.This trend will continue in a new batch of movies, including Tangled (its working title) starring Hayden Panettiere, and He Loves Me with Heather Locklear. What ABC Family, Hallmark and Lifetime have in common is that they emphasize programming for the family and skew toward a female audience. Not so with Syfy. Known as the Sci-Fi Channel until last year, the channel started with off-net series and theatricals from the vaults of its then-owners, Paramount Pictures and Universal Studios. Today, Thomas P. Vitale, the executive VP of programming and original movies, says the network co-produces 24

original TV movies a year and acquires dozens of others. “Most of the movies are done through independents,” Vitale says, “the kinds of companies that make the kind of gritty independent movie that you just can’t find anywhere else. There’s no place for these movies anymore, except on television. We work with these little companies; we make very gritty genre movies.” He points out, too, that the genres of movies that Syfy commissions and acquires cover a wide range. “Everyone thinks we’re just traditional science fiction—space and aliens,” Vitale says. “But science fiction also has alternative history; it has time travel, future speculative fiction, there’s so much. Horror and supernatural are part of Syfy.

High fantasy is part of Syfy. We even do investigative documentaries. We went to Roswell [New Mexico], for example, where, purportedly, the most famous spaceship crash ever happened.” Syfy co-produces so many movies because of what Vitale terms a “scarcity in terms of quality” in the genres it prefers. “There just weren’t enough really good movies out there,” he says. “We do find some gems in the independent marketplace. It’s more a matter of making sure we have enough volume.That’s what our originals do.We want those two original high-profile movies a month.There’s a lot of room on the network for movies.” The executives say that movies play an important strategic role alongside original scripted and reality series.

“By having a variety of programming, we’re bringing in more and more different viewers, more women, more younger viewers,” Vitale says. “Reality shows are younger skewing and more female than scripted shows. Even these movies—disaster movies and creature features—they attract a good female audience. On average, they’re about 46 percent female and 54 percent male, almost even.The network has a good array of viewers of all ages.We do well with younger viewers and adults 25 to 54.” ABC Family’s Zappala doesn’t consider a movie to be a pilot for a series, but he does say they work together. “We have Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence who are in a very successful movie for us, My Fake Fiancé, and before that we had Melissa in Holiday

All about women: Lifetime has kept its loyal female viewers happy with a steady supply of TV movies, among them Maternal Obsession, also known as Locked Away, which is sold worldwide by Opus Distribution. 11/10

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internally and taking them to independent producers. Much depends on scheduling and promotion of theme blocks around holidays and seasonal events. For its “25 Days of Christmas” strand in December and “Campus Crush” in August,ABC Family commissions one or more new original TV movies and uses them to anchor the event. “For the upcoming ‘25 Days of Christmas’, we have a movie called Ex-Mas Carol that stars Christina Milian and Chad Michael Murray,” Zappala says. “It’s the cornerstone of our original-event strategy. It’s the focal point of the event. We have movies that we initiate every year. Because we’ve been doing the event over ten years now, we’ve been able to build up a nice arsenal of original movies that get repeated every year. Every year we do at least one original movie, sometimes two or three. The cumulative effect of commissioning these movies is reflected in our schedule.You’ll see movies from years past, like Santa Baby and Holiday in Handcuffs, appear alongside the new movies.” PUTTING IT TOGETHER

Ready to ride: RHI Entertainment is a significant provider of telefilms for Hallmark Channel and its sister service Hallmark Movie Channel, delivering specials such as After the Fall.

in Handcuffs, so she’s done two of our highest-rated original movies and now she’s doing a series for us. [Melissa & Joey, also with Lawrence, from Walt Disney Television]. There are definitely tonal similarities between the movies and the series.We feel it’s an opportunity to open up a new audience, where we might have people who watch the series and who may try the original movie, and then we have people watching the movie who might get turned on to a series by the talent that’s in the movie.They do work together.”

Further, Zappala says the ad-sales group puts a high priority on movies, which they are able to sell at a premium. Hallmark surrounds its movies with off-net series and, in the daytime, The Martha Stewart Show and other talk and cooking shows, but Fisher thinks original scripted series are a natural progression from its movies. “Eventually we’d like to be in both areas,” she says. “We feel there is an audience out there. The same way they respond to the movies, logic would tell you that they 24

would respond to those kinds of stories in series, too. We want to continue with the movies, though. We want to grow as a network, which is why we’re in the daytime business now. For us it’s continuing a tradition that works. But I think scripted series would also work really well on our network.They’re probably in the future for us.” The channels all pull together their movie slates in a variety of ways—fielding pitches from producers, acquiring finished product, and coming up with fresh ideas

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Zappala says that there is no single formula for developing a TV movie. “Sometimes we have material brought to us. Other times we have a group here that develops internally. We may take a script and produce it ourselves or we may take it to someone else to produce it for us. Or somebody will bring us a script that we like that they intend to produce, and we’ll get involved early in the process. Other times we are brought completed movies that we brand as originals. We’re pretty open in the ways we look at movies.” Budgets vary widely, Zappala says. “On the lower end we’re in the hundred thousands and in the high end the millions. It goes back to the production model; it can be a finished movie or a co-production. And then there is the odd movie that was intended to go theatrical.” The number of plays a movie receives depends on audience reac-


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Duck and cover: Syfy is a leading broadcaster of TV movies, offering up titles like Meteor Storm, which is distributed by MarVista Entertainment.

tion. “For Holiday in Handcuffs, we can’t get enough plays in,” Zappala says. “It’s been a tremendous success. Other movies get from four to 15 plays. Generally they’re multi-year agreements.” The movies that Hallmark commissions are mostly the result of pitches from writers and producers, although the network comes up with many of its own film ideas, Fisher says. HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Fisher looks for subject matter that conforms to the network’s strategy of scheduling movies around seasons and holidays. “We look at every month and we try to reflect each month, either with a holiday, something seasonal or a special occasion,” Fisher says. “As soon as November hits we do a Thanksgiving movie. In October we did a movie called Growing the Big One, which is a romance with Shannen Doherty. It’s set in a town that has a pumpkin-

growing contest. In May we’re going to do a Mothers’ Day movie, in June a Fathers’ Day movie. In the summer we might do a wedding. In the summer of 2011 we have A Kiss at Pine Lake, which is a romance set at a summer camp. In February we always do romances for Valentine’s Day.” Hallmark Channel used to be known for its westerns and mysteries, but when it shifted over to the holiday and seasonal approach, those titles were moved to its Hallmark Movie Channel. “We’re doing very different programming on the movie channel,” Fisher says. “The Hallmark Channel movies tend to be lighter, celebratory, where we can do more dramas, period westerns and suspense mysteries on the movie channel. Because it’s about movies, you should have a variety of genres on it.We had a drama called After the Fall in October.We did a movie called The Wild Girl before that, which was a western. Next year we have a great Luke 11/10

Perry western that we’ve just completed called Goodnight for Justice.” Budgets for the Hallmark original movie are generally in the $2 million to $2.5 million range, Fisher says. Vitale says Syfy “dreams up” most of its original movies internally at brainstorming sessions of 20 or so people, fueled by popcorn and other inspirational treats. “At one of those sessions,” Vitale recalls, “a woman named Nicole Sands in Syfy’s marketing department threw out the word ‘sharktopus’ and everybody laughed, and we had such a good time with the word, we thought, ‘Well, Nicole, we’re going to make a movie called Sharktopus.’ Once we had it as an idea, we went to Roger Corman.We worked with Roger on choosing a writer and director and talked about what the movie should be about.” The movie, starring Eric Roberts, aired in September. “From the moment we have an idea for a movie

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to the movie hitting the air is probably about 14 months or so,” Vitale says. “Some movies are ripped from the headlines.We did a movie about the West Nile Virus called Mansquito. Sometimes the movies come from the producers pitching us an idea.We can go through those ideas very quickly. We know on a gut level pretty quickly what will get a rating and what won’t.We’d rather have log lines than fully formed scripts, concepts that we can put Syfy’s unique stamp on as we develop. Sometimes they’re more campy, like Sharktopus, and sometimes they’re more serious, like House of Bones [starring Corin Nemec], a very scary movie that aired earlier this year.” The movies are usually budgeted at around $2 million, with Syfy and its co-production partner splitting the cost. Syfy gets U.S. television rights and the production company gets international and DVD rights.


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one on one He went on to explain that today most shows reach much smaller audiences than they used to but that these are more passionate audiences. Viewers will not only watch a show when it airs, they will also record it on their DVRs, download it from iTunes, buy it on DVD and watch it on cell phones. In order to adapt to this new world, new business models are necessary. More than that, courage is necessary for taking risks and even making mistakes. Feltheimer cited the example of Mad Men, for which the Lionsgate team stitched together a patchwork of basic cable, DVD sales, iTunes downloads, international sales and half a dozen other distribution platforms, resulting in “a formula that will ultimately deliver millions of dollars per episode.” Another new business model is represented by Epix, Lionsgate’s pay-TV venture with Viacom, Paramount and MGM. Epix became profitable after only ten months of operation. The company has made a deal with Netflix and carved out a new window for streaming movies 90 days after they premiere on traditional premium pay TV. And recently, once again focusing on underserved niches, Lionsgate partnered with Televisa, the largest Spanish-language media company in the world, to form Pantelion Films, a joint venture that will cater to Hispanic moviegoers in the U.S. Farther from home, Lionsgate formed another joint venture, Tiger Gate Entertainment, with Saban Capital Group, and is launching pay-TV channels in Asia. What has been guiding Feltheimer and his team as they navigate through the new media is the knowledge that what hasn’t changed is consumers’ demand for content, and he is confident that the digital explosion we are witnessing will continue to provide new opportunities to produce and distribute movies and TV shows in creative ways. Anna Carugati, the group editorial director at World Screen , sat down with Jon Feltheimer after his speech for a question-and-answer session. Here is an edited transcript of that conversation.

s co-chairman and CEO of Lionsgate, Jon Feltheimer has pursued the successful strategy of targeting audience niches that were not served by the major Hollywood studios. As a result, movies such as the Academy Award–winning Crash, Monster’s Ball, Precious, and the horror franchise Saw, in addition to the hit television series Mad Men and Weeds, have made Lionsgate the leading independent studio. Feltheimer was named MIPCOM 2010 Personality of the Year. During his keynote address, he focused on today’s rapidly evolving media landscape, in which the only constant is change, and gave numerous examples of how Lionsgate looks at change, responds to it and turns it into a strength. “In a world where advertiser-supported models of big audiences are migrating towards hundreds of affinity niches where the traditional linear progression of windows is increasingly challenged and the emergence of digital online video is threatening the traditional way we monetize our content, we have plenty of questions that are keeping us all awake at night,” said Feltheimer.

Jon Feltheimer Lionsgate

WS: When you joined Lionsgate, how did the strategy to

focus on underserved audience segments come about? FELTHEIMER: The studios had done a good job at fig-

uring out how to do broad-based entertainment. It seemed to me that people—even ten years ago—were watching television and movies more in large affinity groups than they had before, and it seemed like an interesting opportunity for us to [produce and distribute content] with less capital and perhaps a more focused approach to how to reach those individual audiences. WS: Mad Men, Weeds, Nurse Jackie and Running Wilde are not ordinary shows in any sense of the word. What kind of creative environment do writers and producers find at Lionsgate? FELTHEIMER: We have a much smaller staff than most studios, and the kind of empowerment that we 11/10

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one on one main thing is to make sure that you just do shows that you know you can produce efficiently.There were a couple of shows this year that Kevin [Beggs, the president of Lionsgate Television Group] brought to me and we talked about them. They seemed like great shows but they really weren’t for us, [they wouldn’t allow us to] do the best that we could do. And so we said to the creator, you may be better off someplace else. It’s very much about picking the shows that you know how to do, and know where you can do them, so that they can be efficient, profitable and great shows. WS: There was a time when a

Style of the times: Mad Men has been Lionsgate’s biggest television hit to date, delivering viewers, critical acclaim and buzz to AMC as well as to broadcasters around the world.

try to attract the money as much as get the show right and then we’ll figure out how to bring the money in through various platforms.

FELTHEIMER: The interesting thing is that you can’t be that much smarter than anybody else, but we do use a lot of tax credits; we’ve made interesting deals in New Mexico and Pennsylvania. We’re pretty mobile about where we shoot our shows. We don’t have a big studio lot. We don’t feel compelled to use a studio lot. The

distributor could sell a show to a U.S. network and cover most of the production costs, and then make a profit through international sales and a syndication deal. How long did that process take compared to how long it takes today to piece together a business model for a show which includes not only broadcast or cable, but also iTunes, digital channels, Netflix and whatever other piece is necessary to make the show work? FELTHEIMER: Surprisingly, it could just be that the old model was slower in some ways because you did have to look all the way

give our executives is very similar to how we treat showrunners.We want the writers and showrunners to do what they do. We try to guide them and work with the networks.We try to make sure we can market the shows and get them out to the right audience at the right time. At the end of the day, our showrunners are given a lot of freedom to create.

WS: Lionsgate is known for being very cost-conscious. How do you ensure you get the quality on screen—whether in film or television—and still keep costs in check?

WS: Given the success of those shows, what reputation does Lionsgate have in the creative community? FELTHEIMER: You are only as good as your last hit, and people look at Nurse Jackie and Mad Men and Weeds, so we have a reputation as a company that cares about quality and gives showrunners and talent the opportunity to be empowered and follow their own creative direction. I think we have a very good reputation, an entrepreneurial reputation. We’ve been mostly involved with shows that I’m proud of, and certainly we always try to do the best that we can and perhaps not always

In the spotlight: World Screen’s Anna Carugati (right) interviewing Feltheimer following his keynote address at MIPCOM 2010. 28

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WS: What is your

management style, and how do you get the best out of your team? FELTHEIMER: At the end of the day, it’s not how much you pay people, it’s how much you respect them. And the way you show how much you respect them is by letting them make decisions, giving them the ability to make mistakes. At more established organizations that have big legacies of 50, 60 or 70 years, there is perhaps less of that—it’s a little more mechanized. I tend to let people make mistakes and sometimes afterwards if it is a mistake I kick myself and say, Why didn’t I exert more influence over that decision? But I think Family ties: Lionsgate is utilizing numerous platforms to maximize revenues from its that is where the magic TV properties like Weeds, a brand-defining series for Showtime in the U.S. comes from.The magic through to syndication to even WS: The last two years have not comes from entrepreneurial people believe that there was going to be been easy for independent studios, who can take ideas that other peoa profit. Even if you had a show with the credit crunch, the bad econple haven’t thought of, and thereon the air for four years, you omy and sluggish ad market. How fore look like they are probably a might never get there or your did Lionsgate weather the storm? mistake, and make them work. back-end value would be so FELTHEIMER: We took our That’s the whole game as far as I diminished. Right now we are lumps like everybody else. 2008 am concerned. looking at the possibility of being and early 2009 were pretty rough profitable well before then. It just years, but the key thing for us was WS: In previous interviews we’ve requires a lot more arm wrestling diversification. We never set out to done, one of my last questions has with a lot of different platforms. be a film company; we never set always been, “Are you satisfied with [If you take] Running Wilde as an out to be a television company.We Lionsgate’s growth and performance?” example, the reason that we built a very large library early on and you’ve always answered that you decided to go ahead and produce that throws off about $100 million are never satisfied. Well, I’ve got to that show was that we had seen of free cash flow every year, and it ask again, are you satisfied? how significant the DVD business enables us to actually make sure FELTHEIMER: I’m definitely not had been with the series Arrested that we can pay everybody and satisfied. I love the growth we’ve Development. We thought if we fulfill all our obligations. And it had in our television business. I could keep Running Wilde on for has worked pretty well. Some love the growth we’ve had in our a couple of years we could actually quarters, the film business carried channel platforms. The internabe in profit significantly earlier.The us, and the next quarter maybe it tional marketplace is very exciting old way was perhaps safer, or at was the television business. DVD right now, and as I’ve certainly least it was simpler, but it wasn’t has been actually pretty solid for said before, I think there is a dignecessarily a faster way to reach us. So I think diversification has ital explosion about to happen. profitability. been the key. There’s our Netflix deal, the NBC 30

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Netflix deal, every day now you’re reading about Netflix. And it’s not just Netflix, it’s Amazon, Microsoft and Google. You are going to start seeing significant deals being made by these companies. It’s not necessarily a replacement for the traditional distributors, but there’s big, big, big money there and these companies have huge installed [subscriber] bases and a tremendous connection with the consumer. Once we tap into this together there is an amazing amount of money on a worldwide basis that we can generate. I think that is very exciting so, no, I’m not satisfied, but I’m happy! WS: Are there areas of opportunity you see as you steer the company forward in what is very much uncharted territory—today it’s Twitter and Facebook and the iPad, and who knows what it will be tomorrow. FELTHEIMER: When we made our deal with Netflix for Epix, who knew that there was another billion dollars sitting there that we left on the table? You don’t know because you can’t compare it to some other deal. So it’s the uncharted territory that is so exciting, that is going to be so interesting, and that’s really the new frontier of what we are talking about. As I said, the demand is there. You always hear people say, “Oh, television used to be better 10 or 20 years ago.” No, television has never been better; it’s the best it’s ever been by far. You’ve got great content being created all over the world. We are going into a tremendous period of growth for the business and for our company, and I’m very excited about it. There are other entrepreneurial, like-minded companies out there that we’d be interested to do other deals with, that would be interesting to partner with, and to be in business with, and those are the things we are looking at.


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american network scorecard Source: The Nielsen Company, September 20, 2010, to October 10, 2010. A rating point represents 1,159,000 TV households; shares are the percentage of sets tuned to a particular program or station. Courtesy of ABC.

Rank Program

Network

Distributor

Average Share

Kids

Teens

M18–49

F18–49

M25–54

F25–54

M50+

F50+

1

Dancing with the Stars

ABC

2

NCIS

CBS

BBC Worldwide

13.4/20

2.1

2.4

2.6

7.4

3.4

CBS Studios Intl.

12.1/19

1.1

2.1

3.9

4.6

5.4

9.0

8.4

18.4

6.3

13.1

3

Dancing with the Stars: Results

ABC

BBC Worldwide

11.3/19

1.6

1.6

2.6

5.2

15.0

3.5

7.2

7.8

15.5

4 5

NCIS: Los Angeles

CBS

CBS Studios Intl.

10.2/16

0.8

1.8

3.4

The Mentalist

CBS

Warner Bros.

9.9/17

0.6

1.6

3.0

4.1

4.7

5.5

10.7

12.0

4.0

4.1

5.4

9.5

12.4

6

Criminal Minds

CBS

Disney Media Distribution

9.1/14

1.0

1.7

7

Two and a Half Men

CBS

Warner Bros.

9.0/13

0.9

1.7

3.2

4.8

4.1

6.2

7.6

10.5

4.8

5.3

5.9

6.6

7.8

8

Grey’s Anatomy

ABC

Disney Media Distribution

9.0/14

1.4

7.8

2.0

2.5

8.1

3.1

8.6

3.5

8.7

9

CSI

CBS

CBS Studios Intl.

8.8/14

10

Hawaii 5-0

CBS

CBS Studios Intl.

8.8/15

0.9

1.8

2.9

3.9

3.9

5.2

8.1

10.4

0.5

1.0

3.8

4.3

5.1

5.7

7.8

11

60 Minutes

CBS

CBS Studios Intl.

9.4

8.8/14

0.8

1.1

3.1

2.8

4.1

3.7

10.1

12

Desperate Housewives

ABC

9.6

Disney Media Distribution

8.5/13

1.4

1.8

2.8

6.2

3.4

7.0

4.3

9.0

13

The Good Wife

CBS

CBS Studios Intl.

8.3/14

0.5

0.7

1.9

3.2

2.6

4.5

6.9

11.5

14 15

The Big Bang Theory

CBS

Warner Bros.

8.2/14

1.2

2.3

4.6

5.1

5.5

6.2

6.0

7.4

Blue Bloods

CBS

CBS Studios Intl.

7.8/15

0.4

0.5

1.7

2.7

2.4

3.9

7.9

11.2

16

Modern Family

ABC

Twentieth Century Fox

7.6/12

1.2

2.3

4.2

6.2

4.8

6.9

4.0

6.2

17

Undercover Boss

CBS

ALL3MEDIA International

7.6/13

0.9

1.5

3.5

4.5

4.3

5.6

5.8

8.1

18

Mike & Molly

CBS

Warner Bros.

7.5/11

0.7

1.2

3.5

4.5

4.5

5.7

5.9

7.2

19

Castle

ABC

Disney Media Distribution

7.5/12

0.7

1.2

1.9

4.1

2.4

5.1

5.1

9.3

20

Glee

FOX

Twentieth Century Fox

7.4/12

2.1

4.7

4.1

7.4

4.3

6.8

2.7

4.5

21

Survivor: Nicaragua

CBS

CBS Studios Intl.

7.3/12

1.6

1.9

3.4

4.6

4.4

5.9

5.9

7.1

22

The Defenders

CBS

CBS Studios Intl.

7.1/12

0.4

0.9

2.4

3.0

3.3

4.1

6.7

8.2

23

The Amazing Race 17

CBS

Disney Media Distribution

6.8/10

1.4

2.0

3.2

4.6

4.0

5.5

4.9

6.7

24

$#*! My Dad Says

CBS

Warner Bros.

6.8/11

0.8

1.5

3.2

3.8

4.3

4.9

5.5

6.8

25

House

FOX

NBC Universal

6.7/10

1.2

1.9

3.5

5.3

4.0

5.6

4.3

5.3

26

CSI: Miami

CBS

CBS Studios Intl.

6.7/13

0.5

1.0

2.5

3.4

2.9

4.3

5.2

7.7

27

Law & Order: SVU

NBC

NBC Universal

6.7/11

0.7

0.9

2.2

4.4

2.6

4.7

4.4

6.8

28

CSI: NY

CBS

CBS Studios Intl.

6.6/12

0.5

0.6

1.5

2.7

2.0

3.6

6.0

9.1

29

Brothers & Sisters

ABC

Disney Media Distribution

6.4/11

0.7

1.0

1.7

4.5

2.1

5.3

2.8

7.3

30

Bones

FOX

Twentieth Century Fox

6.3/11

0.9

1.3

2.2

3.6

2.7

4.1

5.3

6.6

31

Law & Order: Los Angeles

NBC

NBC Universal

6.2/11

0.5

0.8

2.0

3.6

2.4

4.3

4.1

6.8

32

The Event

NBC

NBC Universal

6.0/9

0.8

1.4

3.4

3.2

3.9

4.0

4.9

5.2

33

Detroit 1-8-7

ABC

Disney Media Distribution

6.0/10

0.5

0.8

1.8

2.5

2.4

3.6

5.1

6.9

34

Private Practice

ABC

Disney Media Distribution

6.0/10

0.8

0.9

1.4

5.2

1.7

5.8

2.1

6.0

35

No Ordinary Family

ABC

Disney Media Distribution

5.9/9

1.7

1.6

2.8

3.1

3.4

4.0

4.1

5.8

36

How I Met Your Mother

CBS

Twentieth Century Fox

5.5/9

0.8

1.0

3.8

4.1

4.1

4.6

3.5

3.6

37

The Middle

ABC

Warner Bros.

5.3/9

1.1

1.4

2.2

3.2

2.6

3.9

3.4

5.5

38

Rules of Engagement

CBS

Sony Pictures Television

5.3/8

0.7

0.9

3.1

3.5

3.9

4.2

3.7

3.8

39

Family Guy

FOX

Twentieth Century Fox

5.2/8

1.9

4.4

5.5

3.5

5.0

3.1

1.5

2.2

40

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

ABC

Endemol Worldwide Distribution 5.2/8

1.3

1.3

1.8

3.1

2.2

3.8

2.9

5.9

41

Cougar Town

ABC

Disney Media Distribution

5.0/8

0.5

1.0

2.6

4.1

3.0

4.6

2.6

3.8

42

Undercovers

NBC

Warner Bros.

5.0/8

0.5

0.7

1.4

2.2

2.0

2.8

4.5

5.7

43

The Office

NBC

NBC Universal

4.7/7

0.6

1.7

4.4

4.1

4.3

4.0

2.0

2.2

44

Better with You

ABC

Warner Bros.

4.7/8

0.8

1.0

1.9

3.0

2.2

3.7

2.7

4.7

45

Dateline Friday

NBC

NBC Universal

4.7/9

0.3

0.2

1.2

1.9

1.6

2.6

3.2

5.9

46

The Simpsons

FOX

Twentieth Century Fox

4.5/7

2.1

2.9

4.4

3.0

4.3

2.8

1.8

1.2

47

The Biggest Loser 10

NBC

Shine International

4.4/7

1.2

1.1

2.0

3.7

2.3

4.2

1.9

3.7

48

Chase

NBC

Warner Bros.

4.4/7

0.5

0.8

2.0

2.4

2.5

2.9

3.6

4.0

49

Raising Hope

FOX

Twentieth Century Fox

4.3/7

1.0

2.0

2.5

3.7

2.7

3.8

1.8

2.7

50

48 Hours Mystery

CBS

CBS Studios Intl.

4.3/8

0.3

0.3

1.0

1.7

1.4

2.5

3.2

5.5

For a complete list of the top U.S. network shows, visit www.worldscreen.com.

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world’s end

IN THE STARS

Almost every national constitution forbids the establishment of an official state religion. But this secular bent doesn’t stop people from looking to the heavens for answers to life’s most troublesome questions: Will I succeed? Will I find love? Will George Clooney let me spit on him? Every day, papers and magazines

Katherine Heigl

David Beckham

Adam Lambert

David Arquette

David Arquette

Katherine Heigl

Global distinction: Scream king. Sign: Virgo (b. September 8, 1971) Significant date: October 11, 2010 Noteworthy activity: Following his split with

Global distinction: Rom-com sweetheart. Sign: Sagittarius (b. November 24, 1978) Significant date: October 12, 2010 Noteworthy activity: Police are called to the home

Courteney Cox, his wife of 11 years, the actor goes on Howard Stern’s radio show and candidly discusses the separation. He reveals embarrassing details of their sex life and admits to having been intimate with another woman. Arquette took to Twitter later to apologize for “saying too much.” Horoscope: “The best thing you can do this year is not taking your partner for granted and the rest will fall in place. A little bit of pampering will help your relationship stay strong.” (mydearvalentine.com)

of Heigl and her husband, Josh Kelley, after receiving a noise complaint from a neighbor. The two had been out in their hot tub, so the actress answers the door for the officers half-naked. “I wore my most ridiculous bikini; it was awesome,” she says of the incident. Horoscope: “You can’t always live up to your squeaky-clean image. Even the quiet ones don’t shrink from life and from experience.” (cafeastro logy.com)

sight occasionally prove prophetic.

Adam Lambert

George Clooney

But rather than poring over charts

Global distinction: American Idol runner-up. Sign: Aquarius (b. January 29, 1982) Significant date: October 13, 2010 Noteworthy activity: Prior to his performance in

Global distinction: Hollywood leading man. Sign: Taurus (b. May 6, 1961) Significant date: October 10, 2010 Noteworthy activity: The Hollywood superstar and

Malaysia, Lambert is informed by the government that he needs to calm down his flamboyant act. He agrees to restrictions against stripping, jumping, and kissing on stage and says that he is doing it out of respect. Horoscope: “Aquarius is this year’s wild child who makes tremendous changes and frees themselves from anyone and anything that tries to hold on to them. Enjoy your personal freedoms.” (astrologyinsight.com)

U.N. Goodwill Ambassador travels to South Sudan to raise awareness about a brewing conflict in the region. He gets an unexpected culture shock when a local woman “blesses” him by spitting on his head and hands. Horoscope: “Those born under this zodiac sign are kind and caring, loyal and affectionate to those close to them. They make friends easily with people of all cultures and classes.” (suite101.com)

David Beckham

Paris Hilton

Global distinction: English football hunk. Sign: Taurus (b. May 2, 1975) Significant date: October 2, 2010 Noteworthy activity: The sports heartthrob, mar-

Global distinction: Scandal-prone party girl. Sign: Aquarius (b. February 17, 1981) Significant date: September 30, 2010 Noteworthy activity: The blonde socialite/heiress

ried to former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, sues a call girl who claims to have had a threesome with him. The prostitute countersues for her “emotional and physical injuries” as a result of the stress she says the event has caused. Horoscope: “You should be careful about excessive behavior this month. There are many who would like to see you fall, and there’s no quicker way to do so than by indulging yourself.” (indastro.com)

and her boyfriend, Cy Waits, are leaving a popular restaurant as paparazzi start snapping pics. Trying to exit, Waits runs over a shutterbug’s leg with his Bentley. Police and an ambulance arrive at the scene shortly thereafter. Horoscope: “Aquarians are usually gifted in drama. Even if you try to avoid the spotlight, it follows you. Remember that over-activity can lead to a trouble.” (kamalkapoor.com)

worldwide print horoscopes—projections for people born in a specific month, based on the positions of the stars and planets. While many people rely on these daily, weekly or monthly messages for guidance in their lives, some readers skip over them entirely. The editors of WS recognize that these little pearls of random fore-

of the zodiac to predict world events, our staff prefers to use past horoscopes in an attempt to legitimate the science. As you can see here, had some of these media figures remembered to consult their horoscopes on significant days, they could have avoided a few surprises.

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Over 12,000 magazines competed worldwide.

We won!

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