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Hollywood Breakdown


Kim Masters, host of KCRW’s The Business, breaks down Hollywood's top stories.

Kim Masters, host of KCRW’s The Business, breaks down Hollywood's top stories.


Santa Monica, CA




Kim Masters, host of KCRW’s The Business, breaks down Hollywood's top stories.






1900 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90405 310-450-5183


AMC’s deal with NBCUniversal could bring new movies to viewers’ homes in 17 days

AMC struck a deal with NBCUniversal to allow the studio’s movies to come to video on-demand services 17 days after their theatrical releases. The theater chain was in financial trouble even before the pandemic, and this move could be a lifeline as theaters reopen in some states. Other studios and cinemas are skeptical of the deal, claiming that the model does not make business sense.


Fox Sports debuts ‘virtual fans’ for MLB live broadcast

The Washington Nationals are playing the New York Yankees on Thursday night — in an empty stadium.Fox Sports is using computer animation to add “virtual fans” to the broadcast. Fox also announced that they sold out 90% of ad inventory for the game.


Nick Cannon out at Viacom, keeps deal with Fox

Nick Cannon has apologized for anti-Semitic comments he recently made on his podcast. During the public outcry over his speech, he was fired from VH1, where he hosted the long-running sketch comedy show “Wild 'N Out.” He will continue to host “The Masked Singer” on Fox. Also, Tucker Carlson takes a vacation from hosting his Fox News show after his head writer was fired for online hate speech.


NBC’s free streaming service Peacock hopes to cut through ‘subscription fatigue’

NBC’s Peacock launches on July 15, and one way it hopes to stand apart from other streamers is price. A basic ad-supported version of the service will be free. Peacock will offer classic NBC shows like “Law & Order” and “30 Rock,” plus some Universal movies.


Walt Disney World in Florida set to reopen July 11, despite performers’ safety concerns

As Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered the closures of bars, movie theaters and indoor restaurants in California, Disneyland in Anaheim has yet to announce a new reopening date. In Florida, where coronavirus cases are also surging, Walt Disney World still plans to reopen on July 11. Many Disney World employees don’t want to return to work yet because Disney is not offering COVID-19 tests to employees.


Disneyland delays reopening, ‘Tenet’ and ‘Mulan’ may be postponed

The Walt Disney Company recently announced that Disneyland will not reopen next month as planned, even though Disney World will reopen starting July 11. Meanwhile, with movie theaters still closed across the country, this summer’s release schedule is in flux.


Academy postpones 2021 Oscars, will announce new diversity rules

This week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the Oscars ceremony will be postponed until April 2021, and the eligibility requirement for films has been extended until February 28, 2021. The Academy also said they will unveil new diversity requirements this July.


‘Cops’ and ‘Live P.D.’ canceled following protests against police violence

This week, Hollywood continued reckoning with onscreen depictions of racism and police violence. The Paramount Network pulled its long-running police reality show “Cops,” while A&E canceled its hit show “Live P.D.” Meanwhile, HBO Max has pulled “Gone With the Wind” from streaming for glorifying slavery. The network says it will return at a later date with a disclaimer denouncing the film for portraying slaves who remain loyal to their masters even after the end of slavery.


How is Hollywood responding to George Floyd protests?

As Black Lives Matter protests and marches have continued throughout the week, Hollywood has given mixed responses. Some studios put out bland corporate statements, while others have donated money to social justice causes. Some have shown up to protests, including actors Keke Palmer in Los Angeles and John Boyega in London, who both made powerful speeches.


Apple and Paramount to make a deal for Martin Scorsese’s next movie

Apple is upping their movie game and putting their stamp on an awards-caliber film. The tech giant is planning to partner with Paramount for Martin Scorsese’s next movie, “Killers of the Flower Moon.” The period drama stars Leonardo DiCaprio and carries a price tag of at least $150 million. Scorcese’s last movie, “The Irishman,” went to Netflix. While that film landed nominations for the streamer, it didn’t take home any of the big awards. Apple is hoping this next Scorsese film can bring...


California to announce protocols to resume Hollywood production

A new report from Ampere Analysis says the film and TV industry is set to lose $160 billion over the next five years because of the coronavirus shutdown. Facing such stark losses, the industry is desperate to resume production. California Gov. Gavin Newsom says on May 25, the state will offer protocols for how to start filming again. Newsom estimates 53 of the 58 counties will be able to meet the requirements to restart production.


TV advertisers are changing the channel

Normally, this would be the time of year when the big broadcast networks gathered in New York City for the upfronts. They’d pitch their new shows to companies who would then spend billions of dollars buying TV advertising. This year, the upfronts are virtual, and companies like GM, PepsiCo and General Mills are trying to walk back their ad commitments for later this year.


Shanghai Disneyland reopening, Hollywood still in limbo

Disney announced on May 5 that it lost more than $1 billion from the closure of parks and resorts during the coronavirus pandemic. Its park in Shanghai is set to reopen on May 11, but with significant rules and restrictions. Meanwhile, the rest of Hollywood is eager to reopen as soon as possible. Some filming is happening abroad, but in the U.S., making blockbusters is still a long way off.


Following ‘Trolls World Tour’ kerfuffle, AMC won’t play Universal films

Instead of waiting for movie theaters to reopen, Universal released “Trolls World Tour” through video on demand in early April. NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said it made $100 million, and given the success, they’d be looking at more streaming options in the future. In response, AMC Theatres released a statement saying they would no longer play Universal movies in theaters.


Reopen for business? Movie theaters say not so fast

A handful of Southern states are looking to reopen businesses as soon as possible, while keeping social distancing measures in place. But the National Association of Theatre Owners say that if they’re permitted to open, they don’t want to. They’re wondering who would come to the movies, and what would they show.


Is Bob Iger back as Disney CEO? He abruptly resigned from the helm in February

Hollywood was stunned when Bob Iger suddenly stepped away from his role as Disney CEO in February, handing the reins to Bob Chapek just days before the coronavirus pandemic shut down all the Disney parks. Now a report says Iger is back.


Disney+ streaming service reaches 50 million subscribers in 5 months

Disney announced that after five months, its streaming service Disney+ is now up to 50 million subscribers. The company hit that landmark about two years earlier than most analysts predicted. The numbers come with some caveats, but it's still an impressive feat in the world of streaming.


Ex-Hulu CEO Jason Kilar named chief of WarnerMedia

AT&T has appointed former Hulu CEO Jason Kilar as the new head of WarnerMedia. That means he’ll oversee HBO, HBO Max, CNN, Warner Bros. and other WarnerMedia properties. It’s a bold choice. Kilar is known for being a visionary in the streaming world, but is not as well known in the old-school Hollywood circles.


Will new TV streamers HBO Max, Peacock, and Quibi meet their launch dates?

With a lot of people now stuck at home, TV viewing across the country continues to spike. Viewers may be eager for new content. But for upcoming streaming services such as HBO Max, Peacock, and Quibi, there are questions as to whether they’ll be ready to launch, and if viewers will be willing to pay for them.


Coronavirus and Hollywood: TV production shut down, some movies shift to streaming

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, TV production has almost entirely shut down. Now the industry is scrambling to see if there’s any way to save the big fall season for the broadcast networks. On the movie side -- in an unprecedented move -- some big films like the newest “Trolls” installment are coming directly to streaming, but don’t expect that to be the case for every new movie.