news digest


Globetrotters join Smith's team for TV

Harlem Globetrotters CEO Kurt Schneider is reteaming with A. Smith & Co. CEO Arthur Smith in an exclusive TV development deal centering on the world-famous hoopsters. The pair, who worked together at Fox Sports (Schneider as vp marketing and Smith as programming and production head), signed on to produce programming based on the popular basketball franchise, which is preparing for its 2008 world tour. Smith's reality TV factory is responsible for the summer's No. 1 hit in the 18-49 demographic, Fox's "Hell's Kitchen," starring chef Gordon Ramsay. A. Smith & Co. is developing "Kitchen Nightmares," also for Fox. Its other credits include "Skating With Celebrities," "The Swan," "Paradise Hotel" and "American Gangster."

CAS sounds off on Moskowitz

Edward Moskowitz has been named president of the Cinema Audio Society, outgoing president Richard Lightstone said Monday. Lightstone has held the post for four years. The other new officers of the organization, which represents the industry's sound professionals, are David Bondelevitch, vp; R.D. Floyd, treasurer; and Peter Damski, secretary. The new directors are Agamemnon Andrianos; Brydon "Beau" Baker, Richard Branca, James Coburn IV, John Coffey, Chris Elam, Ed Greene, Melissa Hofmann, Sherry Klein, Michael Minkler and Fred Tator. the alternates are Joe Foglia, Paul Vik Marshall, Ken Polk and Greg Watkins.

ABC puts end to 'Knights,' 'Nine'

Canceled series "The Nine" and "The Knights of Prosperity" had a short second life on ABC. The network pulled the well-reviewed shows after two low-rated airings for "Nine" and one for "Knights." "Knights," which aired at 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, will be replaced by repeats of "According to Jim." "Nine," which ran in the 10 p.m. Wednesday slot, will be replaced by ABC News' new documentary series "NASCAR in Primetime," which was originally slated to air at 9 p.m. Wednesdays beginning this week. ABC News' "Primetime: The Outsiders" will fill the 9 p.m. hour. It is not clear where the unaired episodes of "Nine" (four) and "Knights" (two) will be available.

Kino brings Israeli, Turkish films to U.S.

NEW YORK — Art house distributor Kino International has acquired all domestic rights to Joseph Cedar's Israeli war feature "Beaufort" and Reha Erdem's Turkish drama "Times and Winds." The fact-based "Beaufort" looks at an Israeli army unit during the final days of its withdrawal from the Lebanese border after nearly two decades of occupation. The film earned Cedar best director honors at this year's Berlin International Film Festival and is nominated for next month's Israeli Film Academy best feature award. "Winds" follows three adolescents in a small Turkish village as they struggle against traditional parents. The film won the best Turkish film award at the 2006 Istanbul Film Festival. Kino plans an early 2008 platform release of "Beaufort" beginning in Los Angeles, New York and Boston. It will release "Winds" in New York in November.

Retirement beckons to Hirschhorn

G4 Network founder Charles Hirschhorn has been appointed COO at Retirement Living TV, a cable network targeting viewers 55 and older. Hirschhorn will oversee programming, production and marketing for the network, the only one with programming specifically tailored to the rapidly growing senior citizen consumer group.