news digest


Jones tapped for S.B. kudos

Tommy Lee Jones will be honored at the 23rd annual Santa Barbara Film Festival with the American Riviera Award. The prize recognizes an actor who has had a strong influence on American cinema. The tribute, which will include a multimedia presentation produced by Paul Fagen, will take place Feb. 1 at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, Calif.

'Imaginationland' a Comedy hit

Comedy Central scored big with the conclusion to "South Park's" "Imaginationland" trilogy, which aired Wednesday. Nearly 4 million total viewers tuned in at 10 p.m., making it the network's most-watched telecast of the year. Wednesday's episode also was the night's most-watched program in all of television among men 18-24 and men 18-34 and was the No. 1 program among the 18-49 demo in all of cable, according to Nielsen Media Research.

IFC looks at death, punks, goth

IFC said Monday that it will premiere three new original documentaries next year. In May comes the debut of Steve James' feature docu "At the Death House Door," which examines the death penalty in Texas. Also debuting next year are "Heavy Load," which follows a punk band made up of musicians with and without learning disabilities, and "Goth Cruise," which takes a look at the Goth lifestyle and culture.

Logo makes its own news

NEW YORK — Gay and lesbian network Logo is moving into the network news business, planning to televise a half-hour weekly newscast produced by CBS News. The "CBS News on Logo" newscast at 7 p.m. Mondays is growing out of a partnership the MTV Networks-owned channel has had for two years with CBS News. A dedicated CBS News crew working out of its West 57th Street broadcast center had been producing three-minute interstitials that aired daily on Logo. The "CBS News on Logo" interstitials will be replaced by the half-hour newscast, which will be executive produced by Court Passant and anchored by Jason Bellini.

Radar has busy slate for fall

Independent syndicator Radar Entertainment on Monday announced a slate of 11 original first-run projects in development for fall 2008 for all dayparts (both weekday and weekend) that will be sold on a barter basis. The news comes less than two months after the launch of its first syndicated series, "Jury Duty." There are five themed programming blocks: "Happy Hour," "The Awareness Hour," "Justice Hours," "The Empower Hour" and "Star Power Hour." In addition, Radar also is introducing two stand-alone half-hours: "Teen Talk With India Oxenberg" and "Godfrey Live."

Filmanthropy scholarship set

The Philanthropy Project, designed to promote philanthropy in America and backed by a $10 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation, is sponsoring a Filmanthropy Scholarship Competition among first-year fellows at the AFI Conservatory. Competitors will create short films about the leaders of small foundations as well as citizen philanthropists. Based on the results, 10 scholarship recipients will be announced in April.