news digest


'Fairly OddBaby' grows up for Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon's "The Fairly OddParents" had a great holiday weekend. The show's Presidents Day special, "Fairly OddBaby," averaged 8.8 million total viewers from 8-9 p.m. Monday, making it the biggest audience ever for an "OddParents" episode, according to Nielsen Media Research. That includes 5.3 million kids in the 2-11 demo, up 96% compared with the time period a year ago.

Animal Planet, Aardman save the world

Animal Planet has commissioned Aardman Animations to produce a humorous series of 11 shorts (20-40 seconds long) focusing on celebrating and protecting the environment and animal habitats. The series, dubbed "Animals Save the Planet," feature tips from animals on how to live an eco-friendly lifestyle. The shorts will roll out on the network in March in more than 200 million homes throughout the U.S., U.K., Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.

Murdoch, Egan join U.K. Film Council board

LONDON — The U.K. Film Council has appointed Elisabeth Murdoch and Gail Egan to its board, the government-backed organization said Wednesday. Murdoch, chairman and CEO of U.K. indie production company Shine Group, joins the board alongside independent producer Egan following the exit of members after their four-year stints ended. Independent producers Alison Owen, Marc Samuelson and Iain Smith and director Gurinder Chadha all have stepped down from the board after four years of service.

Disney, CineMedia in preshow pact

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment and National CineMedia have entered into a marketing agreement to provide prefeature entertainment content and advertising in movie theaters nationwide. Through the new arrangement, NCM's FirstLook prefeature program will include original behind-the-scenes looks at upcoming home entertainment and other Disney products. The content will be delivered through NCM's Digital Content Network, a digital in-theater network.

New firm for attorney Nelson

Veteran entertainment transactional attorney Peter Nelson has left the firm he founded in 1986 with Patty Felker and formed a new one with longtime law partner George Davis. Los Angeles-based Nelson Davis will continue the practice of repping writers, directors and actors. Joining the two attorneys will be Mark Wetzstein, who also comes from Nelson's former firm.

10 films mark 10th CineVegas

The Cinefamily, an organization of movie lovers that runs the Silent Movie Theatre in Los Angeles, will mark the 10th anniversary of Las Vegas' CineVegas Film Festival with a program of 10 films that kicks off April 4. The first program will screen "The Last Movie," written and directed by Dennis Hopper, who chairs the CineVegas Creative Advisory Board.