news digest


MacFarlane, Cherry, Star are 'Funny!'

Seth MacFarlane, Marc Cherry and Darren Star are among a panel of writers-producers who will discuss "That's Not Funny! Turning Life's Little Tragedies Into Comedy," a benefit for the WGA Foundation and Industry Support Fund presented by Humanitas on Monday at the WGA Theater in Beverly Hills. Rob Lotterstein will moderate. The evening includes five-time Humanitas Prize winner Gary David Goldberg signing copies of his recent autobiography, "Sit, Ubu, Sit: How I Went from Brooklyn to Hollywood With the Same Woman, the Same Dog, and a Lot Less Hair."

Mattel in ring for WWE toys

NEW YORK — World Wrestling Entertainment and Mattel announced a multiyear licensing agreement, effective January 2010, naming Mattel as WWE's master toy licensee covering all global territories upon the expiration of WWE's current toy license. Mattel will develop and market products in such toy categories as action figures, accessories and playsets, games and puzzles, activity toys, plush products, vehicles and role play products. The first line of products will be available in 2010.

'CW Now' isn't forever

The CW has canceled its experimental "CW Now," an entertainment newsmagazine originally presented without commercial interruption upon its launch in the fall. "CW Now" relied heavily on product placement, with MediaVest buying all the sponsorships in the show that failed to strike a chord with the network's target demo of young adults. Two new episodes are set to air in the show's 7 p.m. Sunday slot through Feb. 24 (for a total of 21 aired episodes); after that, "CW Now" will be replaced by "America's Next Top Model" repeats.

Licensing show on the move

NEW YORK — Licensing International Expo will relocate from New York to Las Vegas in 2009 but will remain at the Jacob Javits Convention Center this year. The 2009 Licensing Show will be held June 2-4 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. "The move will ultimately provide greater growth opportunities for the show and enable us to expand in new directions to include more of the categories our industry represents," said Charles Riotto, president of LIMA, the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Assn.