news digest


Syler exiting 'Early Show'

"The Early Show" anchor Rene Syler is leaving the CBS morning show to pursue "other media opportunities." "Rene has been an important and wonderfully spirited part of 'The Early Show' anchor team from the start," CBS News and Sports president Sean McManus said. Syler has been an anchor on the third-place morning show since October 2002, when it debuted in its current four-anchor format. Her last day will be Dec. 22.

Slava tapped at Ovation Net

Kris Slava, a former programming executive at Bravo and Trio networks, has been named head of programming at arts channel Ovation Network, which is expected to relaunch in third-quarter 2007. Slava has taken the title of senior vp programming and production at the network, which was acquired this year by a group of investors that includes the Weinstein Co. and Hubbard Media Group. He will report to CEO Charles Segars. Slava was vp digital content and acquisitions at Bravo, where he was instrumental in moving the company into new content areas.

'Young' clears major markets

On the heels of renewing its court show "Judge Maria Lopez" for a second season, Sony Pictures Television has cleared the new court series "Judge David Young" in 55% of the country for a fall 2007 launch. The half-hour strip features Young, a circuit court judge in Miami-Dade County. He will continue as circuit court judge until next year, when he will step down from the post he was elected to in 2001 to host the court show.

MGM cooking with 'Breakfast'

TORONTO — MGM said Monday that it has acquired worldwide rights to "A Dog's Breakfast," a low-budget dark comedy shot in Vancouver by the cast and crew of MGM's "Stargate Atlantis" and "Stargate SG-1" while on production hiatus. The film, directed by David Hewlett, who plays Dr. Rodney McKay on "Stargate Atlantis," recently garnered about 100,000 views when clips from the project were uploaded on YouTube. The movie was shot for about $1 million in January at a house adjoining Deer Lake in Vancouver. Hewlett wrote and directed the comedy, which stars Christopher Judge, Rachel Luttrell and Amanda Byram, with Jane Loughman and John G. Lenic sharing producer credits. "Breakfast" follows a brother (Hewlett) attempting to thwart a new relationship involving his sister (Kate Hewlett) and her TV star fiance, Ryan (Paul McGillion). MGM acquired all rights for the film, including TV, new media and home video. "We are delighted to be working with David Hewlett and Kibble Prods. on this hilarious comedy," MGM executive vp Charles Cohen said.