news digest


Nick adds star-power to 20th KCA

As it prepares to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its annual Kids' Choice Awards, Nickelodeon on Wednesday unveiled a star-studded lineup set to appear during the ceremony, airing live at 8 p.m. ET (tape-delay PT) on March 31 from UCLA's Pauley Pavilion. Joining host Justin Timberlake will be Beyonce, Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Queen Latifah, Jon Heder, Shia LaBeouf, Hayden Panetierre and Masi Oka, among others. In addition, Gwen Stefani will perform. Bob Bain, Mike Burg and Marjorie Cohn are executive producers of the awards show.

Tsuda steps in as SPE HR vp

Sony Pictures Entertainment has named Kesa Tsuda senior vp worldwide human resources. Tsuda will lead SPE's human resources department, including its offices in Culver City, Hong Kong, London, Miami and New York, and will report to Beth Berke, senior executive vp and chief administrative officer at SPE. Tsuda joins SPE after six years as vp human resources at Idealab.

Epstein goes digital for NBC Uni

David Blair Epstein has been tapped to oversee the digital endeavors for all of NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution's online properties. In his new role as vp digital strategy, New York-based Epstein will dedicate much of his day-to-day responsibilities toward expanding all digital endeavors for the distribution division's online properties.

Cool DTV for MGM, 'Stargate'

MGM is teaming with the U.S. Navy and heading for the North Pole for one of two direct-to-video movies based on the "Stargate SG-1" TV series. Cast members of "Stargate: Continuum" will travel to the Arctic on March 23 for a weeklong shoot at the Navy's Applied Physics Laboratory Ice Station. "Stargate: Continuum," co-financed by MGM and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, will shoot a variety of scenes in the ice station, located about 200 nautical miles north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. "Stargate: Continuum" is one of two direct-to-videos, based on the series, that MGM greenlighted in January. The other, "Stargate: The Arc of Truth," also co-financed by MGM and Fox, begins production April 15. It will actually be released on DVD prior to "Stargate: Continuum," which after a week in the Arctic will resume filming May 22. MGM DVDs are distributed by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. No release dates for the two "Stargate" movies have been set.

ClickStar adds to management team

ClickStar, the broadband entertainment company founded by Morgan Freeman and Lori McCreary, announced several new executive hires Wednesday. Among ClickStar's new management team is Stuart Halperin, an entrepreneur and veteran marketing executive in the film and digital sectors who has joined the company as chief marketing officer. Also joining the company as chief technical officer is Sam Edge. ClickStar's Dan Graham has been promoted from senior vp operations to COO. McCreary stepped in as the new CEO, replacing James Ackerman, who served as the company's CEO during its December launch period.

AFI sets music docu lineup

AFI on Wednesday unveiled the lineup for this year's music documentary series. Now in its sixth year, the series will run every Wednesday from April 4-May 9 at the ArcLight Hollywood in Los Angeles. The six music-themed docus will take an in-depth look at some of music's most vibrant artists via such films as "Pink Floyd: The Wall" and "The Buena Vista Social Club."