news digest


Woo movie a Perfect game

Chinese game developer Beijing Perfect World is the latest game company to jump on the John Woo bandwagon, announcing an online game based on the action director's upcoming movie "The Battle of Red Cliff." Although the film began production this month and is set for release in 2008, BPW said that the game version will be ready as a massively multiplayer online game in the fourth quarter. Woo already is working with publisher Midway on the upcoming game release "John Woo Presents Stranglehold," based on the director's influential 1992 film "Hard-Boiled."

Dr. Dre sues for rights to 'Chronic'

Rapper-music producer Dr. Dre has filed a lawsuit in bankruptcy court against defunct label Death Row Records over who owns the rights to the 1992 album "The Chronic." Dr. Dre, whose real name is Andre Young, alleges in the suit filed last week in Los Angeles that he owns the copyrights to the influential album. According to the suit, Dr. Dre believes that Death Row's Chapter 11 trustee intends to sell the copyrights and in the past month has solicited bids from potential buyers.

Norsemen on Big Easy police beat

Norsemen Television Prods. has inked a deal with the New Orleans Police Department to film "NOPD: The Last Levee," a documentary about the state of the city post-Hurricane Katrina. Executive producers Mike Sears and Ed Richardson have obtained permission from city officials to offer a look inside the lives of New Orleans police officers and are shopping the project to TV networks.

Lonker moves to A&E

Scott Lonker has been named vp nonfiction and alternative programming at A&E Network, where he will oversee the development and production of nonfiction, alternative and reality series. Lonker most recently worked at WMA's New York television department, where he focused on unscripted and scripted programming, comedy talent and animation.

Elvis specials make TV Land king

Elvis Presley is still a draw 30 years after his death. More than 1.4 million viewers tuned in to the premiere of TV Land's half-hour special "Myths and Legends: Elvis" at 10 p.m. Thursday — the anniversary of the King's death — marking a 124% increase compared with the same time period a year ago, according to Nielsen Media Research. Meanwhile, the two-hour documentary "Elvis by the Presleys" fared even better at 8 p.m. Thursday, averaging nearly 1.5 million viewers, up 64% compared with a year ago. Both telecasts were part of TV Land's "Elvis Month."

Simons off to Nashville for 821 Ent. gig

Carrie Simons has been appointed vp communications at 821 Entertainment Group and will relocate to Nashville to establish Triple 7, a public-relations arm of the company. She joins 821 from BWR Public Relations, where she was senior director of corporate entertainment.