news digest


B'way talks might go on Sunday

NEW YORK — The union representing striking Broadway stagehands offered to return to the negotiating table Sunday, but theater owners and producers have yet to respond to the offer. "There is talk of talks, but nothing has been confirmed," said Alan Cohen, spokesman for the League of American Theatres and Producers.

Fox group adds 'Chris' for syndication

The Fox-owned station group picked up syndication rights to the CW comedy series "Everybody Hates Chris" in several markets, including New York and Los Angeles, sources said. The stations group is expected to slot the show on its MyNetworkTV affiliates in the markets for which it secured the rights. The repeats run is slated to begin with the 2009-10 season. The deals are the first to close among a handful in the first round of sales for the show, which is narrated by Chris Rock.

CanWest might raise Alliance stake

TORONTO — Canada's TV watchdog on Tuesday hinted that it might ask domestic broadcaster CanWest Global Communications to raise its stake in Alliance Atlantis Communications to at least 50% to conform to current foreign-ownership restrictions. As public hearings into the takeover of Alliance Atlantis by CanWest Global and equity partner Goldman Sachs wrapped, Canada's top regulator asked the broadcaster how much new equity in Alliance Atlantis would be required to make CanWest Global the deal's majority investor. CanWest Global CEO Leonard Asper told the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission that CAN$110 million ($100 million) would get this company to 50% ownership but to do so would cause undue financial strain.

CW programs Levy, Rosenblatt

Kevin Levy has been upped to vp program planning and scheduling at the CW. Justin Rosenblatt also has joined CW as director of alternative programming. Levy manages all aspects of scheduling series, movies and specials for the CW and serves as the programming executive on "Friday Night SmackDown!" Rosenblatt is involved in the day-to-day production of CW's current and upcoming reality franchises, including "America's Next Top Model."

WE tv parties with 'Mamas'

WE tv has acquired "Party Mamas," a half-hour unscripted series about perfectionist, overdemanding moms who become obsessed with planning outrageous parties for their children. The 13-episode series will premiere Dec. 12 on WE.

THQ plays with 'Ben'

NEW YORK — THQ, publishers of Disney-Pixar's "Ratatouille" video game, is sponsoring Cartoon Network's live-action movie "Ben 10: Race Against Time," providing viewers with tips during the movie premiere tonight and activating promotions across several Cartoon Network platforms.

'Juno,' 'Grace' bookend Santa Fe fest

Fox Searchlight's "Juno" will serve as the opening-night film at the eighth annual Santa Fe Film Festival, which runs Nov. 28-Dec. 2. The Weinstein Co.'s "Grace Is Gone" will be the closing-night gala.