Thursday 2.13: News to Know

/ Feb 13, 2014


‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ Rockets to Netflix

In a move that’s reminiscent of what Netflix did with “Arrested Development,” the streaming service is resurrecting the Emmy-winning animated series “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” for a sixth and final season.


The Verge


The Wrap



Deadline Hollywood



Opinions & Analysis

The Promise of Chromecast and the Future of TV

Being a lover of all things tech and media — and an admitted TV fanatic — I was an early adopter of Chromecast, Google’s $35 dongle that allows you to use your computer or mobile device to stream content to your TV. And not just “smart” TVs, but any TV with HDMI input, over a Wi-Fi connection.



Deals & Signings

Defy Media Exec Jordan Levin Close to Joining Xbox

Jordan Levin, one of the top executives at Defy Media as well as the current chairman of the board at NATPE, could be bound for Xbox.According to multiple sources familiar with the situation, Levin is close to accepting a new gig at Xbox. It’s described as a senior-level position that includes oversight of programming for the Microsoft unit.



IFC Ups Blake Callaway To EVP Marketing & Digital Media

IFC has promoted Blake Callaway to the newly created position of EVP of marketing and digital media.

Deadline Hollywood


Streaming Video News

Amazon Approves Second Season of ‘Alpha House’

“Alpha House,” an original political comedy series from “Doonesbury” creator Garry Trudeau, has been picked up for a second season by Amazon Studios.


Watch the New Amazon Originals, Presented by GEICO

If you haven’t had the time to check out Amazon’s new crop of “primetime” (read: not for kids) original series, you really should. There’s some decent stuff in there.


Comcast claims competition from Google Fiber, Netflix & Hulu are reasons to approve merger

The $45.2-billion Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger sure is good for the two cable companies, who were already the #1 and #2 cable providers in the U.S. and will now have about 30 million customers combined. But the deal, which the companies hope to close by the end of 2014, will face scrutiny from the FCC under its new chairman, Tom Wheeler (a former cable industry lobbyist), and the U.S. Department of Justice.



The Haps With Apps

Kaltura Raises $47 Million to Expand Internationally

NY-based video startup Kaltura has raised $47 million for continued product development and expansion into more international markets.



Aereo Updates

CBS Chief Raises Retransmission Revenue Estimate, And Says Aereo’s No Threat

CEO Les Moonves told analysts this evening that by 2020 CBS should collect at least $2B a year from cable and satellite companies that want to distribute its programming — up from his previous projection of $1B by 2017

Deadline Hollywood


YouTube News

Base79 Adds Paid Channel from The Jim Henson Company to Network

Base79, which claims to be the largest MCN outside of North America, has signed The Jim Henson Company to its growing network of content partners.



SoulPancake Jumps into Scripted Half-Hour Entertainment

SoulPancake and its founder, actor/producer Rainn Wilson, have premiered the channel’s first scripted comedy series, “The Impression Guys.”


Simple Pickup Starts Up New YouTube Prank Channel: Simple Misfits

The last time we ran into our friends Simple Pickup, they were involved in a motorboating controversy, and not the kind that involves docking your ship in the wrong harbor … well, not literally anyway.



Media News

Jerry Seinfeld’s Internet Love Affair: Creating a Show to ‘Put in Your Pocket’

Even former television giants get the power of online series. Jerry Seinfeld, whose television show grossed over $3 billion since its final episode, has moved on to online content with “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”


New PBS Digital Series Gives You ‘Everything But the News’

PBS Digital Studios is launching a new series called “Everything But the News,” a companion show of sorts tied to PBS’ flagship news program “PBS NewsHour.”


Computer-based Video Consumption Climbed 157% in Past Five Years

Nielsen recently dropped their The Digital Consumer Report – Feb 2014, which is where the 157% growth number comes from.


Why TV Networks Are Interested in Adapting Online Series Again

Six years ago, NBC took a chance and gave the web series quarterlife a second life on the TV screen. The dramedy about post-college bohemians was a colossal flop, premiering to only 3.1 million viewers before quickly being ushered onto sister network Bravo to finish out its six-episode run. But despite the failure, quarterlife served as an early pioneer for TV programmers seeking to simultaneously appeal to and draw from a younger demographic raised on web video. Now there is new momentum behind the effort, even if Hollywood still hasn’t quite figured out how to use this new talent.


Disney Plans to Encourage Digital Start-Ups

The Magic Kingdom is letting 10 technology start-ups inside its walls as part of an effort to find new digital growth. The Walt Disney Company on Wednesday announced a partnership with TechStars, which tries to accelerate early-stage companies by pairing entrepreneurs with established executives. Ten start-ups focused on media and entertainment ideas will receive $120,000 and work with Disney leaders for three months starting June 30. At the end, Disney and TechStars may take a stake in one or more of the companies.


How Netflix and Google Could Lead the Fight For Net Neutrality

As the President’s Day weekend approaches, Americans are preparing to show their patriotism by binge-watching the new season of House of Cards, the hit political drama served up by Netflix. And according to new data from the video streaming outfit, there’s no faster way to watch than Google Fiber.



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