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.