news digest


Pure Madness: CBS, YouTube pact for vids

NEW YORK — CBS Corp. and YouTube announced a partnership Thursday that will place an NCAA men's basketball March Madness channel with CBS Sports content on YouTube. The CBS Sports NCAA Tournament Channel will feature highlights of games, news conferences and clips produced by CBS Sports and CSTV, all quickly uploaded to allow the YouTube community maximum interactivity. That interactivity will include the normal applications of commenting on clips and the ability to e-mail them, and users also will be able to post their own video clips and in effect create their own highlight reels.

Magnolia digs Zobel's 'Sound' for N. America

NEW YORK — Magnolia Pictures nabbed North American rights to Craig Zobel's satirical black comedy "Great World of Sound," an entry in this week's South by Southwest Film Festival. "Sound," which had its premiere in January at the Sundance Film Festival, revolves around two Southerners who unwittingly become part of a record industry scam operation. The feature combines narrative filmmaking with lead actors Patrick Healy and Kene Holliday and documentary-style "auditions" from aspiring performers unaware at the time that they were part of a film. "Sound" is a GWS Media and Plum Pictures presentation.

Russian 'SVU' rates high in series debut

A new Russian version of "Law & Order: SVU" premiered in primetime this week on Russia's NTV network, marking the first scripted procedural format of a U.S. series to air overseas. The premiere Monday scored a 20.5 share/8.1 rating, making the series No. 1 in its time slot and winning the night overall. A second original episode aired Tuesday, scoring a 23.2/8.9, also winning its time slot and the night.

Gersh adds Cho post-Aspen

The Gersh Agency has signed comedian Henry Cho after his recent performances at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. A Korean-American born and raised in Tennessee, Cho's act covers his background, marriage and relationships and golfing, among other things. Cho has appeared in such films as "Material Girls" and "Say It Isn't So." He also is represented by MacDonald-Murray Management.

Choice deal: Promo pact for Wal-Mart, Nick

Wal-Mart and Nickelodeon announced a first-time advertising, promotions and merchandising partnership surrounding Nickelodeon's 20th annual Kids' Choice Awards, which are set to air March 31. As the first and exclusive retail sponsor for the show, Wal-Mart this month has launched a substantial advertising campaign on Nickelodeon that runs through mid-April. Additionally, it will sponsor a new and exclusive category within this year's KCAs — the Favorite DVD category — and also will have a sponsored area and dance floor at the KCA after-party.

Gilbert back on 'Prairie' for musical

NEW YORK — Patrick Swayze and Melissa Gilbert will star as Pa and Ma in an April workshop presentation of "Prairie," a musical version of Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House on the Prairie." Gilbert played Laura in the long-running NBC television series from 1974-83. Beth Henley, who won a Pulitzer for "Crimes of the Heart," wrote the book, Donna DiNovelli wrote the lyrics and Oscar winner Rachel Portman ("Emma") composed the music. Francesca Zambello will direct. The workshop will run April 16-17 in New York and be closed to the public; the producers are hoping for a national tour in spring 2008.