news digest


AFL-CIO to referee SAG-AFTRA

The AFL-CIO stepped into the SAG-AFTRA fray Monday to mediate the bickering between the actors unions as they gear up for talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers. The result: a promise to the AFL-CIO on Tuesday that both unions "are fully committed to jointly negotiating and jointly administering the television/theatrical contract pursuant to their bargaining agreement," the AFL-CIO said.

'John Adams' gets popular vote

HBO's seven-part miniseries "John Adams" averaged 2.5 million viewers in its premiere at 8-9 p.m. Sunday, according to Nielsen Media Research. Part 2, airing at 9 p.m., improved on that by 300,000 viewers, making it the most-watched original movie/miniseries on HBO since 2004's "Something the Lord Made" (2.6 million). Meanwhile, the premiere of the ABC Family original movie "The Cutting Edge 3: Chasing the Dream" won its slot (8-10 p.m. Sunday) among all of cable in total viewers (3.1 million) and key female demographics.

BBC going to 'Circus'

BBC America has acquired a remastered version of the sketch comedy show "Monty Python's Flying Circus," which will make its U.S. premiere in a 10-hour marathon starting 9 a.m. EDT/6 a.m. PDT May 26. In addition, the network has acquired the third season of "The Graham Norton Show" and the Christmas special "Not Going Out." "Norton's" third season debuts at 10 p.m. EDT/PDT April 26, while "Not Going Out" premieres at 9:20 p.m. EDT/PDT May 2.

'Heart,' 'County' clean up at SXSW

NEW YORK — Sascha Paladino's world music documentary "Throw Down Your Heart" and David Pomes' drug-themed drama "Cook County" won the final audience awards at Austin's South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival. "Heart" won over the crowds in the rockumentary 24 Beats Per Second category, as did "County" in the Lone Star States section for new Texas filmmakers. The fest wrapped Saturday with a screening of Stephen Walker's docu "Young at Heart."

'Teen' to get BAM fest under way

NEW YORK — The Sundance Institute and the Brooklyn Academy of Music will open the third annual Sundance Institute at BAM fest with Nanette Burstein's documentary "American Teen." The portrait of five Indiana high school students was acquired by Paramount Vantage at January's Sundance Film Festival. It will screen May 29 and open nationally July 25. The event runs at BAM in Brooklyn through June 8.

Greater feature role for Rosenthal at Par

Lee Rosenthal has been promoted to executive vp feature production management at Paramount Pictures. Bark Bakshi, Paramount president of feature production management, announced the promotion Tuesday, saying Rosenthal will oversee day-to-day production activities, including scheduling, budgeting and staffing. Rosenthal, who joined Paramount in 1994, has served as a senior vp since 2006.