news digest


'Family' writers sue Fox

Seth MacFarlane and 15 other "Family Guy" scribes, including Alex Borstein, sued 20th Century Fox TV on April 10 in Santa Monica, claiming breach of contract and deceit. The writers claim that Fox has violated the WGA contract for not paying them for 12 minutes of additional footage they wrote for the 2005 DVD "Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story." They also claim that Fox failed to give them proper on-screen writing credit for the project. A Fox TV spokesman declined comment.

Schulberg tapped for WGAW prize

Budd Schulberg, the Oscar-winning writer of "On the Waterfront," will be honored with the WGA West's 2008 Laurel Award for Screen at the guild's annual awards luncheon Wednesday. The award honors lifetime achievement in writing for motion pictures and making outstanding contributions to the profession of the screenwriter. The WGA plans to further salute Schulberg with an evening discussing with scribe Thursday night at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills.

Henning integrated at FCN

Pamela Henning has been named senior vp integrated and emerging media at Fox Cable Entertainment Networks. Henning joins Fox Cable Networks' advertising sales group after having served as senior vp global integrated marketing at the Weinstein Co. She will be based in FCN's advertising sales headquarters in New York and is charged with working with the sales force and network executives to create product-integration opportunities within FCN's entertainment networks.

Fox, Debmar team for 'Wendy' previews

Fox Television Stations and Debmar-Mercury have partnered for a six-week preview of "The Wendy Williams Show." Starting July 14, the sneak peek will be available on the Fox-owned stations in New York (WNYW), Los Angeles (KTTV), Dallas (KDFW) and Detroit (WJBK). "Wendy" will be a daily one-hour talk show starring the New York DJ.

Stathakes lines up for Golf Channel

Golf Channel has named Tom Stathakes senior vp programming, production and operations. Stathakes joins the network from Comcast SportsNet. He begins his new position May 28, reporting to Golf Channel president Page Thompson.

Cloud Ten updates exec suite

Andre van Heerden has been promoted to CEO of Cloud Ten Pictures, the Canada-based production company that specializes in faith-based movies. Katherine Kunberg is joining the company as president, while Michael Walkere has been named vp marketing and operations. Van Heerden, who has been with the company since its founding in 1996, has written, directed or produced seven of Cloud Ten's features. Kunberger will oversee Cloud Ten's international structure and agreements and serve as in-house counsel. Walker has worked with CFA Communications in Toronto.

Sundance Channel adds 11 from Canada

Sundance Channel has acquired 11 films from the National Film Board of Canada — three feature documentaries and eight short films. The docus are "The Wild Horse Redemption," "Triage: Dr. James Orbinski's Humanitarian Dilemma" and "Confessions of an Innocent Man." The shorts include the Oscar-nominated animated "Madame Tutli-Putli."