news digest


Shelly group OKs grants

NEW YORK — The Adrienne Shelly Foundation has announced a series of awards and initiatives dedicated to help female filmmakers and honor the memory of the slain actress-director. The American Film Institute's Los Angeles-based Directing Workshop for Women is launching the ASF Production Grant in the spring; ASF will underwrite an Adrienne Shelly Master Class in Directing as part of the program. The Columbia University School of the Arts Film Division is launching an annual Adrienne Shelly Award for best female director to new filmmakers. In the fall, the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television division of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts will begin an annual ASF scholarship.

'Idol' results shows to be longer sooner

Fox will switch to one-hour "American Idol" results shows a month earlier than planned. The results editions of the singing competition scheduled for April 11, April 18 and May 2, which were supposed to be half-hours, now will run from 9-10 p.m. The change was made upon request from the hit show's producers, sources said.

Blueprint has plans for TV exec pair

Two leading international television veterans have joined the creative ranks of Blueprint Entertainment as the production and finance house ramps up its production and development volume. Marla Ginsburg joins Blueprint as senior vp and will be responsible for developing, packaging and managing a slate of content targeting both traditional television and new-media platforms. In addition, Ellie Hannibal has been tapped senior vp creative affairs, where she will primarily focus on development and production of television series for U.S. cable and broadcast networks.

'Voicemail' rings true to

NEW YORK — launched its first shortform original series Monday titled "Voicemail," a series of videos chronicling a decade of a twentysomethings' phone messages. "Voicemail," inspired by the saved voicemail messages of co-creator Michael Wilde, is based on a 2005 film of the same name that he wrote and directed. Currently, three episodes are up on the Walt Disney Co.-owned portal, and several new episodes will debut each week through mid-June.

Gore, Lipton to receive Emmy honors

Former Vice President Al Gore has been tapped to receive the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' 2007 International Emmy Founders Award at the 35th International Emmy Awards Gala on Nov. 19 in New York. Meanwhile, James Lipton, host of Bravo's "Inside the Actors Studio," will receive the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Lifetime Achievement Award during the Creative Arts & Entertainment Emmy Awards on June 14 in Hollywood.

NATAS: ATAS too late on b'band nods

In response to the lawsuit filed last week by the Los Angeles-based Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, New York-based National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences filed a reply Monday objecting to ATAS' request for seeking an injunction to prevent NATAS from launching new broadband awards. In its reply, NATAS argued that ATAS waited too long before taking action against NATAS' plans for new-media Emmy Awards and that the case should've gone to arbitration, not federal court. A ruling on the issue is expected by midweek.