news digest


AMPAS sets up channel on YouTube

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences launched a YouTube channel Thursday that will provide highlights and exclusive video interviews with members from each of the Academy's branches. The collaboration marks the first time that the Academy has partnered with an online video community.

Katzenberg among ShoWest's openers

DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg is set to address ShoWest 2008 as part of the exhibition confab's opening ceremonies. Katzenberg will deliver his remarks March 11. ShoWest runs March 10-13 at the Bally's and Paris hotels in Las Vegas, with its first day comprising activities aimed at international exhibitors.

'Nip/Tuck' finale weaker for FX

The season finale of FX's "Nip/Tuck" averaged slightly less than 3 million total viewers Tuesday night, making it the show's least-watched finale in its five-season history, Nielsen said. Although the network has emphasized that its viewership often rises as much as 25% when DVR-playback data is factored in, comparing Live+Same Day data for all five finales puts the most recent one at about 30,000 fewer viewers than Season 1, previously the least-watched finale. However, the overall season average does improve by 14% when factoring in DVR data, and likely will improve further once all airings are factored in.

WMA taps agent for real estate sale

WMA has hired Cushman & Wakefield as agent for the possible sale of part of the Beverly Hills headquarters WMA has occupied for decades. Cushman will handle the sale of the two sites, at 150 S. Rodeo Drive and 150-151 S. El Camino Drive, in conjunction with Grubb & Ellis. The potential sale is part of WMA's plan to move its more than 500 employees into a new Beverly Hills site within the next few years. A spokeswoman said there is no asking price.

ABC appeals 'NYPD Blue' fine

WASHINGTON — ABC on Thursday appealed a $1.2 million government fine for airing a woman's bare butt during a 2003 episode of "NYPD Blue," arguing that the FCC action violates the nation's indecency laws and free speech rights. While the broadcaster paid the fine, it told the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York that the commission's decision is "arbitrary, capricious and contrary to law; contrary to the Communications Act, the Administrative Procedure Act and the commission's own rules standards and precedents; and unconstitutional."

PTC calls for 'Dexter' ad boycott

NEW YORK — The Parents Television Council has called for advertisers to boycott CBS' "Dexter" because of its violent nature and asked CBS affiliates to pre-empt the show. CBS has edited the show for free broadcast to take out the most violent parts. However, the PTC feels the network has not edited the show enough.

Hallmark greetings for TWC

Crown Media Holdings said Thursday that it has renewed the distribution agreement for Hallmark Channel with Time Warner Cable for a multiyear term. TWC provides Hallmark Channel to 12 million homes. Separately, Hallmark Channel said that Jacqueline Bisset is set to star in "An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving," an original movie from OFT Prods.