news digest


Winfrey bows YouTube channel

Oprah Winfrey is going viral. The talk show host's Harpo Prods. has announced a partnership with YouTube to launch an Oprah channel on the viral video site. The channel, which went live Friday, features a collection of supplemental videos from "The Oprah Winfrey Show." To help kick off interest in the partnership, Winfrey has booked YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen to appear on her show Tuesday.

Bell raises voice for 'Creed' game

"Heroes" star Kristen Bell has been tapped to appear as a lead character in the highly anticipated video game "Assassin's Creed." Game publisher Ubisoft is keeping details of her character under wraps, but it will play a key role in the story line, set during the Crusades in the 12th century. Available on Sony's PlayStation 3 and Microsoft's XBox 360, "Creed" marks the first video game project for Bell, who also voices the narrator in the CW series "Gossip Girl."

CMT, FMNA 'Duet' with weekly series

CMT has greenlighted a duet-themed music competition show from FremantleMedia North America. The network has ordered 11 hourlong episodes of the series titled "Can You Duet?" from FMNA, which also produces Fox's "American Idol" and NBC's "America's Got Talent." The weekly series, set to debut in the spring, is designed to find the best country music duet in America.

'Men' first to film at USAF Academy

The Pentagon on Friday gave permission to Utah-based indie film production company SummitWorks to film "Bring Me Men" at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. It's the first time a motion picture has been allowed to film at the academy. Principal photography is set to begin in the spring on the film, which tells the story of the first female cadets who entered the academy in 1976.

EMI to be 'more selective'

The owner of EMI Group said he will drop artists the music group believes are not working hard enough and will overhaul its own executives' pay packages, the Financial Times reported Friday. EMI, home to Coldplay and the Rolling Stones, also threatened to withdraw stars' lucrative advances if album sales are disappointing, the FT said, quoting an internal memo from the CEO of the private-equity firm that bought the company in August. Terra Firma Capital Partners CEO Guy Hands said he would be "more selective in whom we choose to work with."

.2 has plans for unused multicast channels

A new venture aiming to launch a multicast digital broadcast network has reached a licensing deal with Sony Pictures Television that covers more than 300 films. .2 Network is negotiating with affiliates nationwide to program unused multicast channels with a customizable feed of programs. Among the titles Sony will deliver are "Stuart Little 3," "The Pink Panther" and "RV." Backed by Guardian Enterprise Group, .2 expects to launch Feb. 3.