Larenz Tate To Star In Indie Comedy ‘Business Ethics’

EXCLUSIVE: Larenz Tate has been set to topline Business Ethics, an indie dark comedy from Innis Lake Entertainment and Know Rules Media. The pic, to be directed by Nick Wernham (No Stranger Than Love), is based on his short film of the same name about a man who sets out to run a Ponzi scheme. The production is eyeing an October shooting start in Toronto.
Tate plays Zachery Cranston, an ambitious and unethical financial tycoon who will stop at nothing to climb the ladder…


‘Louisiana Rising’ Flood Relief Concert Set To Air On Raycom Stations

Raycom Media will present Louisiana Rising: A Benefit Concert for Flood Relief, which will raise money to help victims of the “1,000-year rain” that swamped the southern part of the state this month. American Idol alums and Louisiana natives Harry Connick Jr and Randy Jackson as set to co-host the event, which will air live September 5 on all Raycom stations and Bounce TV.
More than a dozen local artists will play at the concert, including Better Than Ezra. Sonny…


‘The Affair’: Guy Burnet Joins Season 3 In Recurring Role

Guy Burnet (Ray Donovan) is joining Season 3 of Showtime drama series The Affair in a recurring role.
Burnet will play Mike Cornwall, a graduate student and campus Lothario, who crosses paths with Noah Solloway (Dominic West).
The Affair follows an extramarital situation as seen through distinctly different perspectives: the man, the woman and their respective spouses. Ruth Wilson, Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson also star in the drama exec produced by creators Sarah…


Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War Love Story ‘Shape of Water’ Casts Nick Searcy

“Justified” star Nick Searcy has joined the cast of Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming fantasy film “The Shape of Water” for Fox Searchlight, Variety has learned exclusively. Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Octavia Spencer have already been announced as cast members. The film is being produced by del Toro and… Read more »

Donald Trump’s Candidacy Is Taking a Toll on Political Ad Spending

Donald Trump’s controversial candidacy is already dampening political ad spending, and there are reasons to believe the negative Trump effect could get worse. All the major TV station owners have reported second-quarter results, and the political-spending sector was a mixed bag. The pattern is quite different this year from 2012. During the Barack Obama vs…. Read more »

This Nielsen Study Commissioned by Google Says YouTube and Linear TV Help Each Other

YouTube and TV—two competing mediums fighting for the same eyeballs and advertising dollars—might actually be able to find common ground.

A Nielsen case study commissioned by Google found that TV reach seems to drive YouTube engagement, and in turn, YouTube engagement drives TV reach. In other words, according to the report, people who view a TV program’s content on YouTube are more likely to tune in to the actual show. Because of that, as TV audience increases, so does YouTube viewership.

According to Nielsen, digital advertising in the U.S. has been rising 15 percent every year since 2012 with no signs of slowing down. (In fact, according to eMarketer, digital ad spending will surpass TV as soon as next year.) But the seemingly symbiotic relationship could be a sign for advertisers that both mediums might be better than just one.

“The notion that YouTube can bring new people into a show while also keeping current fans connected presents a big opportunity for both programmers, as well as advertisers, who seek to capture audiences whenever and wherever they watch premium content,” said Jonathan Zepp, Google’s head of North American partnerships for YouTube.

To conduct the study, Nielsen evaluated 30 TV shows—including genres such as comedy, competition, drama and talk shows—while analyzing historical data from YouTube and TV currency data from Nielsen’s own sources. Researchers then looked to see how the two formats moved in relationship with each other apart from promotions, seasonality, brand effect and show engagement. Researchers also studied habits of those who watched TV content on YouTube and compared it to those who didn’t.

The results were “significant,” according to the case study of Nielsen’s findings. For example, there was an 18 percent increase in tune-in on TV for leading talk shows amongst an audience that watched YouTube content of the shows.

“As digital video viewership continues to grow on platforms such as YouTube, advertisers, agencies and TV programmers have an opportunity to leverage the connection between digital views and TV audiences,” according to Nielsen’s report. “Nielsen’s research shows that YouTube engagement through views and uploads is connected to TV reach or bringing more people to trial the show, and in general playing a part in keeping viewers connected to the TV program.”

That’s not to say everything is destined to be all rosy. In fact, the digital giant has been increasingly at odds with its linear ancestor. In May, Time Warner Cable pushed back on YouTube’s claim that it reached more mobile viewers between the ages of 18 and 49 than any TV network. Days before that, Magna Global announced its plans to spend $250 million on YouTube advertising to become Google Preferred’s biggest upfront deal yet.

So will YouTube and Big TV become closer frenemies than previously thought? Only time—and maybe Nielsen—can tell.

$6 Million Reasons Why Tickets Should be Sold Directly to Fans

“As a manager and as a fan, I’ve never bought a ticket on the secondary market.  I don’t agree with it.”  Dice CEO Phil Hutcheon. Startup live music discovery and mobile ticket seller Dice has only one thing in mind: getting you to the best gigs, clubs, and even festivals.  What’s the difference, you ask, between […]

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