news digest


Shhh … Silverman lands 'Library' rights

NEW YORK — The Fred Silverman Co. has won the rights to "Silent Library," a comedy segment on a long-running Japanese TV show from Nippon Television that it has developed into a one-hour U.S. series. In its Japanese version, "Library" features a group of players pulling off a series of physical stunts in a library setting, with each stunt's "victim" decided by the luck of the draw. The Silverman Co. said its U.S. show pitch uses the "library" concept as its core and adds additional content around it. Sources said the auction for the rights was competitive; financial terms were not disclosed. "Library" videos on YouTube have attracted more than 3 million hits.

Yee is SAG diversity director

SAG staff counsel Rebecca Yee was promoted Thursday to national director of affirmative action and diversity at the guild. Yee replaces Angel Rivera, who had held the post since 2002 and resigned "to pursue other opportunities," SAG spokeswoman Adria DeBaca said. Yee will oversee the enforcement of SAG nondiscrimination contract provisions.

CBG-NATO takes big digital step

The Cinema Buying Group/NATO has issued a request for proposals in digital-cinema equipment and service providers. The request was made on behalf of the group's members — small- to medium-size independent theaters in the U.S. and Canada. Through the RFP, CBG-NATO members seek to acquire digital-cinema equipment and service, funded in whole or part through virtual print fee arrangements, in order to provide high-quality and reliable digital exhibition service. CBG management intends to select a vendor for its members before year's end.

Lenders give Movie Gallery more time

Video rental firm Movie Gallery Inc. said Thursday that some senior lenders agreed not to exercise their rights arising from the company's defaults under a credit facility until Aug. 27. CEO Joe Malugen said Movie Gallery continues to work with lenders and plans to operate normally "as we work through this challenging period." The company has struggled with about $1.1 billion of debt since acquiring larger rival Hollywood Video in 2005.

'48 Hours' finds another home at Ion

NEW YORK — The CBS newsmagazine "48 Hours" will get a second life on Ion Media Networks. A multiyear rights agreement will put "48 Hours" on the Ion schedule five nights a week beginning this year. It will be hosted by Erin Moriarty, who will supply new narration for the Ion episodes. CBS will update the graphics and wraps for the older episodes of the show but will keep the same storytelling techniques.

Kongregate gathers $5 mil in venture funds

Social games site Kongregate said Thursday that it has secured more than $5 million in venture funding. Greylock Partners, whose Web 2.0 investments include Digg, LinkedIn and Facebook, led the round of funding. Kongregate plans to launch a development program that will fund the creation of original, large-scale Flash games by independent developers.