news digest


India welcomes MGM unit

NEW DELHI — The Indian government has cleared MGM Studios to establish a wholly owned subsidiary in the country. An MGM representative said Friday that India's Foreign Investment Promotion Board has permitted MGM Programming Service India of Mumbai to invest foreign equity of up to 100%, amounting to $3.8 million. The MGM channel is distributed here via Zee Telefilms' DTH company Dish TV.

Fox cuts 'Jezebel' order to 7

Fox has cut the episode order for its midseason comedy "The Return of Jezebel James" from 13 to seven, including the pilot. The series, from creator/executive producer Amy Sherman-Palladino, stars Parker Posey as a single successful book editor who learns that she is physically unable to conceive and asks her estranged younger sister (Lauren Ambrose) to carry her baby for her. "We have always planned to launch 'The Return of Jezebel James' in midseason, and seven episodes are all we need to allow us to program the series through the current broadcast season," Fox said Friday.

Kaplan scores with NFL Net

Dena Kaplan has been named senior vp marketing at NFL Network, overseeing areas including consumer, affiliate, research and on-air and off-air promotion. Kaplan's duties will include working to distinguish the NFL Network brand; drive audience tune-in and grow subscriber distribution by developing cross-platform marketing strategies; and conceive and execute campaigns with NFL Network affiliates. Kaplan, who assumes her new role today, joins the network after 10 years with GSN, where she most recently was senior vp marketing.

'Fall' rises at Sitges fantasy fest

MADRID — Tarsem Singh's fantastical epic "The Fall" won the top honor for best film at Sitges' International Film Festival of Catalonia, a fantasy film event, organizers announced Saturday. The Indian/U.S./U.K. co-production tells of the relationship between a little girl with a broken collarbone who meets a bedridden man in a hospital. The man starts telling her a story that intertwines fiction and reality. Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza's horror film "REC" did well at the festival, earning its directorial team the best director nod and star Manuela Velasco the best actress award. The Sitges festival began Oct. 4 and concludes Wednesday.

Current uploads news site

NEW YORK — Current TV, the Al Gore-founded independent cable news channel, is set to launch a Web site today at with a focus on user interaction. will be a relaunch of Current.TV and will feature all the short news segments, called "pods," that run on the cable network. In addition, the site will have commenting options showcasing picture and video links and users will, at times, be asked to help reporters with various assignments. The site's front page will feature Current content along with links to news stories on other sites.