news digest


'Nip/Tuck' adjusts well to life in L.A.

FX's "Nip/Tuck" got off to a good start with its Season 5 premiere Tuesday, drawing 4.3 million total viewers at 10 p.m. That marked a slight drop-off from the series' Season 4 bow in September 2006 (4.8 million) but was an improvement over the fourth-season finale (3.8 million), which aired in December. The episode, which featured Dr. Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) and Dr. Sean McNamara (Dylan Walsh) adjusting to their new lives in Los Angeles, also averaged 3.5 million total viewers in the adults 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Redman promoted at CBS Par TV

Leigh Redman has been upped to vp drama development at CBS Paramount Network Television. Redman will work with senior vp drama development Julie McNamara and executive vp Maria Crenna in developing drama series for the broadcast networks. She reports to McNamara. Redman has been at CBS Prods. and CBS Par TV since 2001, most recently serving as director of drama development. She helped develop such series as "Jericho," "Threshold," "Cane" and the midseason "Swingtown."

Cumming, Romijn put on 'Hatter'

Alan Cumming and Rebecca Romijn will team for the first time since "X2: X-Men United" to play adversaries Matt Hatter and Alice Allyson in "Hatter," based on the Mad Tea Party scene from "Alice in Wonderland" from U.K.-based PureFilm. Cumming, who is producing the project with the film's writer James Killough and Angad Paul, will play a hedonistic fashion designer. Romijin will play a journalist who knows about his shady past. Production is scheduled to begin in the spring.

'Eden Log' drawn to Magnet

Magnet, the new genre arm of Magnolia Pictures, has acquired North American rights — including English- and French-speaking Canada — to Franck Vestiel's sci-fi horror movie "Eden Log." Scheduled for release in 2008, the French-language film follows a man trapped in a cave who must make his way through a maze constructed by the mysterious Eden Log corporation. The deal was negotiated by Magnolia's Tom Quinn and Jason Janego with Elisabeth Perlie of BAC Films, which also has presold rights in such territories as Japan, Korea, the U.K., Germany and Spain.

Beal tops new National Geographic Ent.

National Geographic has consolidated its media divisions under one banner, National Geographic Entertainment. Andy Beal, president of National Geographic music and radio, has been promoted to president of the new entity, which also includes the cinema ventures, feature films, kids entertainment and home entertainment units.

DWA sets $24.5 million stock buyback

DreamWorks Animation said Wednesday that it has agreed to buy back about $24.5 million of stock from Wunderkinder Foundation, a charitable organization originally established by director and DreamWorks founder Steven Spielberg. The company agreed to repurchase about 769,500 shares of common stock at a price of $31.79 per share. The shares were donated to the foundation by Spielberg, who is the beneficial owner of more than 5% of the company's outstanding Class A common stock.