news digest


Insurance companies sue ICM

Four insurance companies sued ICM on Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming that their personal injury policies do not include coverage of a purported class-action age-discrimination lawsuit filed by writer Larry Mintz. The insurance companies want ICM to repay any legal fees it already has paid out. The underlying litigation by Mintz is part of several proposed class-action lawsuits filed against agencies, studios and others in the industry by writers who claim they were discriminated against because they are older than 40.

Older set gets new 'Look' from TV Land

TV Land has partnered with Wilhelmina Models to round up a new crop of would-be supermodels with a little more life experience for their reality series "She's Got the Look." The series, shooting in New York, will spotlight 20 women over age 35 as they compete for a modeling contract and a photo spread in Self magazine. Kim Alexis will host, and supermodel Beverly Johnson, celebrity stylist Robert Verdi and Wilhelmina president Sean Patterson make up the panel of judges. It is slated to air in the summer.

Reveille gets Diggy with it for Web

NEW YORK — Reveille is partnering with digital media studio Diggywood to produce ad-sponsored interactive Web content, the companies said Wednesday. The content will feature Diggywood technology that presents clickable sponsored links in online videos. The technology, dubbed DiggyActive, showcases items and products that when clicked on take the user to the sponsor's Web site. With the partnership with Reveille, the companies will focus on creating original content. The deal spans the digital and broadcast worlds, and the pair also could partner to develop Web properties for Hollywood talent.

Diddy sips Ciroc Vodka

NEW YORK — Sean "Diddy" Combs is adding liquor to his list of mogul accolades and branding relationships. Combs unveiled Wednesday what he called a "strategic alliance" with Ciroc Vodka, which is owned by Diageo, the world's largest spirits company. Combs will make all brand-management decisions and get 50% of the brand's profits, which could be worth more than $100 million, according to Diageo. Under the partnership, Combs will lead marketing, advertising, public relations, product placement and events.

Freestyle takes the 'Fifth'

NEW YORK — Freestyle Releasing has nabbed domestic theatrical rights to writer-producer-star Rick Yune's martial arts flick "The Fifth Commandment" and plans to kick it into more than 1,000 theaters nationwide in March. Boll AG will handle international sales at AFM, and Freestyle is in negotiations with a U.S. DVD distributor for a home video release.

Celtic Rose books 'Thumps'

Celtic Rose Entertainment has optioned the rights to Obert Skye's young-adult fantasy book series "Leven Thumps." Leven Thumps is a 14-year-old boy who learns that his fate is to save the ailing world of Foo, which allows mankind to dream and imagine. The deal includes "Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo," "Leven Thumps and the Whispered Secret" the recently released "Leven Thumps and the Eyes of the Want" as well as two more planned novels.