Week in Review
EmptyFernando Meirelles' adaptation of Jose Saramago's Nobel Prize-winning novel -- a lighthearted romp about the harrowing emotional trauma that besieges a town when its citizens are struck blind -- is definitely darker than you'd expect from a fest opener. Said Meirelles as the Festival de Cannes kicked off, "It's a big honor, and it's big pressure -- but not perhaps the best film to open a festival with." Now that's modesty.
Getting along: We can all sleep easy again, folks: John Malone's Liberty Media and Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp. have ended a drawn-out legal battle over their respective companies and, presumably, the fate of the galaxy. They unveiled Tuesday an agreement on the planned split of IAC into five entities and how each one would be run. Liberty in the deal agreed to restrictions on growing its stakes in the spun-off firms. The two titans were quick to praise each other in the press. "Now it's really over, and that's great for both of us," Diller said. Malone responded with his own mash note: "I am pleased that we were able to amicably resolve our dispute with IAC."
Kiss them goodbye: It's upfront season once again, and that can only mean one thing: cancellations! As the broadcast networks roll out the shiny new products they hope will dazzle viewers come fall, they bid farewell to the shiny old products that didn't do the trick last year. Among the casualties were ABC's "Women's Murder Club," "Cashmere Mafia" and its walking L.L. Bean catalog "October Road," while CBS let the water out of the "Shark" tank and beheaded the vampire drama "Moonlight." (See what I did there?)
No, Speed Racer, no: It's times like this the Wachowskis probably wish they could plug back into the Matrix. Their latest film, "Speed Racer" -- the $120 million, effects-laden adaptation of an old anime series no one really thought was necessary -- was once a heavy favorite to win the boxoffice battle its opening weekend but instead sputtered to a surprising third-place finish behind "Iron Man" (understandable) and "What Happens in Vegas" (not so much). The next day, Emile Hirsch left UTA, where he'd been for seven years.
McPherson sticks around: ABC entertainment president Stephen McPherson has signed a new multiyear deal that will see him continue in the role. McPherson joined the net in 2004, and his time at ABC has seen the net rise from fourth place to second among adults 18-49, thanks in large part to smart pilot pickups and the unnerving popularity of dancing celebrities. The pact is expected to carry him through another three years and include a generous salary bump, but as long as he keeps "Lost" on the air, it's worth every penny.
But will they bring back Brenda? At the CW's upfront presentation, entertainment president Dawn Ostroff confirmed the net's plans to move further from its teen-based WB/UPN roots and continue "programming to women 18-34." And apparently that demographic is crazy about remakes of 15-year-old teen properties as the biggest buzz at the upfront surrounded the trailer for the CW's updated spinoff of "Beverly Hills, 90210." Ostroff hinted that characters from the original series might pop in occasionally in the new version; the old actors are "interested in one way or another," she said. There's probably a way to predict who'll show up by cross-referencing the actors' careers post-"90210" with the number of projects they've got going currently; either way, look for Brian Austin Green to hang around for at least an entire season.
End credits: Ron Perlmanas signed on to play the villain in writer-director Guy Moshe's "Bunraku" ... Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster are in final negotiations to star in the sci-fi actioner "Pandorum." ... Natalie Portman has bailed out of John Maybury's adaptation of "Wuthering Heights," leaving producers scrambling to fill the role ahead of planned sales at Cannes.