news digest


CFTPA asks judge to stop ACTRA letters

TORONTO — Canada's producers association on Tuesday asked an Ontario judge to prevent striking Canadian actors from working on film and TV sets under ACTRA-approved continuation letters. The Canadian Film and Television Production Assn. asked the Ontario Superior Court for a restraining order against the use of "unlawful" continuation letters that spare producer signatories picketing or other on-set disruption in return for a 7% wage increase on struck film and TV sets. The letters essentially have produced a strike without work stoppages. Oral arguments are expected to end today.

Paley TV fest lineup set

A celebration of the phenomenon that is "American Idol" will kick off the 24th annual William S. Paley Television Festival, presented March 1-15 in Los Angeles by the Museum of Television & Radio. This year's festival plans include an evening with "Star Wars" guru George Lucas on March 3 and panel sessions on NBC's "The Office" and "Heroes," ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" and "Ugly Betty," CBS' "Jericho," TNT's "The Closer," Showtime's "Dexter," FX's "Nip/Tuck" and Fox's "Prison Break." The Paley Festival will close with a tribute to Fox's animated comedy "The Simpsons" on the occasion of its landmark 400th episode.

CBS Interactive ups Snyder

Stephen Snyder has been promoted to chief operating officer at CBS Interactive, the company said Tuesday. Snyder, who most recently was senior vp and general manager of CBS, will oversee all operations of the unit's Web sites, including, and CBS He will report to Quincy Smith, president of the newly formed division, who announced Snyder's appointment.

Starz titles streaming to Vongo platform

Starz Entertainment said Tuesday that it will make more than 250 Starz Media titles available for video-on-demand rental and electronic sell-through via their Vongo broadband video download platform. Vongo, which offers more than 1,000 films for download to its subscribers and streams the Starz TV channel on its site, anticipates launching sell-through in the future.

TV Guide's 'Idol' extends into Season 2

TV Guide Channel wants to make sure "American Idol" fans who just can't get enough of the show are satiated. The network has greenlighted a second season of "Idol Tonight," the exclusive preshow for Fox's "Idol," set to air at 8 p.m. Wednesdays starting in March, after the contestants have been whittled down to 12 finalists. Justin Guarini, runner-up on the first season of "Idol," has been tapped to serve as co-host alongside Season 3 finalist Kimberly Caldwell and Rosanna Tavarez, one of the winners of WB Network's "Popstars."

Warner/Chappell eyes Euro license plan

CANNES — Warner/Chappell Music is setting up a system for pan- European licensing for digital and mobile uses of its Anglo-American repertoire, sources said. The publisher has been in talks with European collecting societies, offering them nonexclusive rights to handle the licensing if certain standards of the publisher are met. The publisher discussed its second set of standards during a meeting held Monday by Warner/Chappell with most of the European societies at MIDEM.
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