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At 84, Carol Bur­nett ready for re­turn to TV com­edy

Carol Bur­nett typ­i­cally spends her morn­ings do­ing cross­word puz­zles with her hus­band, but the com­edy leg­end could re­turn to a full-time work sched­ule if the pi­lot she re­cently shot for ABC be­comes a reg­u­lar se­ries. In “House­hold Name,” pro­duced by Amy Poehler, Bur­nett plays an ec­cen­tric, ag­ing movie star who ar­ranged to con­tinue liv­ing in her old man­sion even though the home’s new own­ers, a young fam­ily, have al­ready moved in. Bur­nett says Poehler would play her daugh­ter in fu­ture episodes. Bur­nett also con­tin­ues to ap­pear on­stage in live Q&A ses­sions around the country, and she’s de­vel­op­ing a screen­play by her late daugh­ter, Car­rie Hamil­ton, into a movie with CBS Films.

Writ­ers Guild of Amer­ica reaches agree­ment

Hol­ly­wood can fi­nally breathe a sigh of re­lief. The Writ­ers Guild of Amer­ica early Tues­day morn­ing reached a ten­ta­tive deal with the ma­jor stu­dios and net­works for a new film and TV con­tract for the union’s nearly 13,000 mem­bers. In a state­ment to mem­bers, guild lead­ers said the agree­ment pro­vides gains in min­i­mum pay as well in­creases in con­tri­bu­tions to the union’s health plan that “should en­sure its sol­vency for years to come.” The three-year con­tract also pro­vides for a 15 per cent in­crease in pay-TV resid­u­als, job pro­tec­tion for pa­ter­nity leave and resid­u­als for com­edy-va­ri­ety writ­ers who work in pay TV. The last-minute agree­ment averts a po­ten­tially dev­as­tat­ing strike that would have af­fected pro­duc­tion through­out the in­dus­try and buf­feted Los An­ge­les’ en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try that em­ploys about 240,000 peo­ple. The cliffhanger an­nounce­ment comes after sev­eral weeks of tense and some­times con­tentious ne­go­ti­a­tions that in­cluded dis­cus­sions over how much writ­ers should be paid at a time of dra­matic changes in the in­dus­try, in par­tic­u­lar in­creases in pay and stream­ing resid­u­als to coun­ter­bal­ance the ef­fects of shorter TV sea­sons. The talks also fo­cused on the guild’s health care plan, which has come un­der fi­nan­cial strain. The WGA was set to strike if the two sides hadn’t reached a deal by May 1.

Net­flix re­brands CBC’s Anne TV se­ries

Net­flix is re­brand­ing the lat­est “Anne of Green Gables” TV drama, which re­cently wrapped up air­ing on CBC-TV. When the show de­buts on the stream­ing ser­vice on May 12 in other coun­tries, it will be called “Anne With an ‘E,’ ” rather than “Anne.” “Out­side of Canada, ‘Anne’ will be called Anne with an ‘E,’ ” which is a ti­tle we are able to use glob­ally.

Satel­lite ra­dio’s Sir­iusXM is de­but­ing Bea­tles chan­nel

Sir­iusXM satel­lite ra­dio said Tues­day it will de­but a chan­nel de­voted to the Bea­tles later this month. The Bea­tles Chan­nel launches May 18, a week be­fore the band’s new­est archival project is re­leased: a box set keyed to the 50th an­niver­sary of “Sgt. Pep­per’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Backed by the band, the chan­nel will fea­ture mu­sic from the Bea­tles, its mem­bers’ solo projects and artists who in­flu­enced them. Its suite of pro­grams will in­clude “My Fab Four,” where other mu­si­cians and celebri­ties talk about their favourite Bea­tles songs.

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