Brett Weitz step down TNT, TBS, and truTV as General Manager

Brett Weitz, the General Manager of TNT, TBS, and truTV, is stepping down. In the next 30 days, he will be transitioning out of his role, with his last day marking his 14th anniversary with the TNets.

Weitz’s retirement comes just weeks after the Discovery-WarnerMedia merger, as his post was dissolved as part of a reshuffle of the US Networks Group Division under Discovery’s Kathleen Finch, who added TNets to her portfolio.

“These past 14 years have been the most fulfilling of my career,” Weitz said. “I’ve had the great fortune to create and launch Emmy-winning fan-favorite entertainment, to be a part of powerful life-changing initiatives, and most importantly to have had the privilege to lead the most talented, dedicated, altruistic, and innovative team at the TNets. We made huge profits for shareholders and brilliant content for fans while having the most fun and being better partners with talent than any team I’ve ever been a part of. I will for sure continue to root for you all.”

In October 2019, Weitz, a well-liked senior TV executive, was named General Manager of TNT, TBS, and truTV. He oversaw all three networks in his job, assisting TNT and TBS in maintaining their positions as the #1 and #2 primetime networks among all cable entertainment networks, respectively, and truTV among the youngest and wealthiest. Weitz’s recent achievements include the development and launch of the scripted hits Snowpiercer and Chad; the 300th episode of American Dad; the successful revival of reality series Wipeout; and the growth of two unscripted/sports franchises – AEW, which he expanded into three series across two networks, and Impractical Jokers, which launched multiple series and a major motion picture.

Weitz was instrumental in revitalising TBS’ comedy brand with The Last O.G., which recently wrapped after four seasons, and late-Full night’s Frontal with Samantha Bee in his prior post as EVP Programming. Weitz formerly worked at TBS and TNT as SVP Scripted Development, where he created blockbuster shows like The Last Ship, Rizzoli & Isles, and Dallas.

Weitz also created distinct brand identities for the three TNets – TBS is always up for a good time, TNT is always up for a thrill ride, and truTV is always up for a good laugh – which each year generated six of the top ten comedies, two of the top dramas, and eight of the top ten performing movies. Weitz also championed the MORE project, a complex campaign that highlights material that honours all cultures and features a varied range of perspectives and stories.

TNT and TBS began moving away from original scripted content quickly after the merger was completed, with Warner Bros. Discovery’s leadership making their first major cost-cutting actions at the TNets by dramatically modifying its programming makeup.

Kill the Orange-Faced Bear, a new comedy series starring Damon Wayans Jr., was cancelled a week before it was set to begin production, and new creative development was halted. TBS had ordered Obliterated, a new series from Cobra Kai creators Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg, and Josh Heald, however it was just switched to Netflix. In addition, after more than two decades, TNT and TBS have discontinued the SAG Awards.

Weitz had already started the transformation process for the three linear networks. Over the last year and a half, the TNets have reduced their scripted pilot and series orders as they have increased their unscripted entertainment and sports programmes while continuing to rely on purchased content. Despite this, Weitz, a well-known development executive who had worked at Columbia Tri-Star Television, 20th Century Fox Television, and fox21 before joining Turner, remained devoted to written content.

Warner Bros. Discovery has selected WarnerMedia’s linear basic cable networks as top cost-cutting targets, with further departures and layoffs predicted.


Fornite’s ‘Short Nite’ film festival is returning this week

Later this week, the fourth edition of Fornite’s “Short Nite” film festival will begin. The event, which will feature a range of short animated flicks screened in-game, will take place on May 12th, according to Epic Games. There are ten films in all, three of which are world premieres, and Epic will be selling a popcorn-eating emote for a truly immersive virtual viewing experience.

Short Nite’s first version took place on Fortnite’s party royale island, but it has steadily grown in scale, especially with last year’s Halloween-themed edition. 

This year, players can switch between nine distinct custom-built virtual theatres made in the game’s Creative mode via the explore page. You’ll be able to join up to seven people in a group, and the festival will feature picture-in-picture, so you can watch while playing battle royale or other game modes.

Previous festivals have featured a surprising variety of short films, so it’s a nice chance to catch up on some fascinating animation you might otherwise miss. Short Nite will air from May 12th to 16th at 2 p.m. ET.


Andy Warhol’s iconic Marilyn Monroe portraits becomes most expensive 20th-century artwork

One of Andy Warhol’s renowned Marilyn Monroe pictures has set a record for the most expensive 20th-century artwork ever sold at auction.

At Christie’s in New York on Monday evening, the 40-square-inch “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn,” one of dozens of photographs the artist took of Monroe in the 1960s, sold for a record $195 million.

Christie’s described “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” as “one of the rarest and most transcendent images in existence” before the auction. It has previously been displayed in the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Tate Modern in London.

The auction company had previously stated that bids “in the vicinity of” $200 million were expected.

Along with his famous paintings of Campbell’s soup cans, Warhol’s vivid copies of Monroe’s photo portrait — originally a publicity still from her 1953 film “Niagara” — are among his most recognized works.

He began making them in 1962, shortly after Monroe’s death, using a method called silkscreen printing, which duplicates images on paper or canvas using a layer of fine-mesh silk as a stencil. The Pop artist created multiple variations of Monroe’s portrait in various colours and configurations, as he did with other renowned individuals such as Elvis Presley and Chinese leader Mao Zedong.

“Marilyn Diptych,” owned by British gallery organisation Tate, is one of the most well-known, with Warhol printing a grid of 50 portraits across two canvases. Other works include “Gold Marilyn Monroe” at the Museum of Modern Art, which shows a single image printed against a gold background, and “Shot Marilyns,” which included the artist shooting photographs of the actress through the skull with bullets.

According to Christie’s, he created a “more refined and time-intensive” new procedure in 1964 that was “antithetical to the mass production he was best known for.” Before abandoning the technique, he employed it to make a small number of portraits that year — a rare collection of works to which “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” belongs.

While a handful of paintings are thought to have sold for more than $200 million in private sales (including works by Abstract Expressionist painters Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock), Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi,” which sold for more than $450 million in 2017, is the only painting to have done so at auction. The previous auction record for a 20th-century artwork was set in 2015 when Pablo Picasso’s “Les Femmes d’Alger (Version O)” sold for $179.4 million.

“Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster),” which depicts the damaged aftermath of a road crash and sold for more than $105 million almost a decade ago, holding the previous auction record for a Warhol work. Several other Marilyn portraits by the artist have sold for large sums at auction in recent years, with “White Marilyn” from 1962 selling for $41 million in New York in 2014.

Meanwhile, “Shot Sage Blue Marilyn” passed through the hands of a number of prominent gallerists and collectors until being acquired by the late Swiss art dealer Thomas Ammann. According to a press statement, the image was auctioned off by the Thomas and Doris Ammann Foundation Zurich, a charity organisation established in his (and his sister’s) names that will utilise the earnings to finance health and education projects for children around the world.

Christie’s chairman of 20th and 21st century art, Alex Rotter, characterised the work as “the absolute pinnacle of American Pop” and “the most significant 20th century painting to come to auction in a generation” in a press statement prior to the sale.

“Warhol’s ‘Marilyn,’ which stands with Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus,’ Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa,’ and Picasso’s ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,’ is definitely one of the greatest paintings of all time,” he continued.

The painting was one of four Warhols in the Ammanns’ collection that went up for auction on Monday evening. One of his iconic “Flowers” silkscreen prints sold for $15.8 million, while “GE/Skull,” which he created with the late Jean-Michel Basquiat, sold for more than $4.6 million. Meanwhile, Warhol’s artwork “Heinz Tomato Ketchup Box” sold for $478,000.

Works by Robert Ryman, Alberto Giacometti, and Lucian Freud were also auctioned off. Paintings by American artist Cy Twombly, “Untitled” and “Venere Sopra Gaeta,” which sold for $21 million and over $17 million respectively, were among the top sellers.


‘Doctor Strange’ provides a glimpse into Marvel’s next major creative challenge and opportunity

The strongest scene in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” takes place in an alternate reality, but it foreshadows the biggest chances and problems that Marvel will face in this one.

In the film’s most popular scene, the main character encounters a ruling council from another universe, which includes Reed Richards (John Krasinski), the Fantastic Four’s leader, and Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart, reprising his role from the “X-Men” movie).

The inclusion of those two properties, both of which were under the stewardship of 20th Century Fox before Marvel’s parent Disney acquired its entertainment assets, points to what is likely to be a big part of the studio’s next chapter: capitalising on two mistreated comic-book properties with deep, deep roots in lore.

The Fantastic Four has been adapted twice previously, once in 2005 (followed by a sequel) and again a decade later with a mediocre reboot attempt. But now Marvel Studios has announced plans for a reboot of the series that launched Marvel’s renaissance in the 1960s, with writer Stan Lee and artists Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko at the lead.

Indeed, Lee frequently referred to Fantastic Four as the “granddaddy” of Marvel’s silver-age resurgence, the comic he created for himself when he was on the verge of abandoning the medium. Lee’s idea came from his wife Joan encouraging him, “Why not write a book the way you want to do it?” in his latter years.

Lee’s epic creative output with Kirby — which encompassed Thor, the Hulk, X-Men, the Avengers, Ant-Man, and restoring Captain America — and Ditko, his colleague on Spider-Man and Doctor Strange — was paved by the success of the cosmic-ray-altered quartet.

On screen, however, the Fantastic Four has been a source of frustration, with a misguided low-budget Roger Corman-produced film that was never formally released in the 1990s, and an animated series that replaced the Human Torch, whose TV rights had been optioned away, with a wisecracking robot for contractual reasons.

X-Men, on the other hand, has had considerable success since the 2000 film directed by Bryan Singer, but the franchise has recently suffered from a pair of commercial and critical flops: “Dark Phoenix,” which mishandled a storied comic-book saga and underperformed at the box office; and “The New Mutants,” a horror-tinged offshoot hampered by Covid-related release delays, not that the film would have thrived under perfect situations.

The 2019 Disney-Fox deal sparked immediate speculation about a grand reunion incorporating the Fantastic Four and X-Men into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, much like Marvel has aided Sony in assuming creative control of Spider-Man through its partnership with Sony, the longtime holder of those rights.

Still, movie production takes time, which is why seeing Mr. Fantastic and Professor X in “Doctor Strange” seems like a substantial appetiser for the meal to come.

Marvel has already confirmed a Fantastic Four film, but the project has recently been hampered by the departure of Jon Watts, the director of the most recent “Spider-Man” trilogy.

Looking ahead, Marvel faces high expectations from fans who want to see the X-Men resurrected and the Fantastic Four upgraded to a cinematic status worthy of its legendary status in comic books. However, the benefits might be enormous.

Marvel has demonstrated a penchant for creating intricate puzzles, having created its formula of interconnected movies and now TV shows. While “Doctor Strange’s” tease brilliantly depicts the universe as a realm of unlimited possibilities, the excitement over introducing the X-Men and Fantastic Four into the mix may easily turn into disappointment if they get those pieces incorrect.


Peacock cancels ‘Saved By The Bell’ after two seasons

The Peacock Theatre’s revival of “Saved by the Bell” has been cancelled.

The sitcom aired on the streaming service for two seasons, the most recent of which premiered in November 2021. In November of 2020, the first season premiered.

When California governor Zack Morris finds himself in deep trouble for closing too many underfunded high schools, he recommends that the affected pupils be sent to the state’s most well-funded schools, including Bayside High. The inflow of new students provides a much-needed dose of reality to the pampered Bayside students (who never have an issue that can’t be fixed in 22 minutes).

Stars from the original series The show starred Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Mario Lopez, with Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani Thiessen, and Lark Voorhies all appearing in regular roles. John Michael Higgins, Haskiri Velazquez, Mitchell Hoog, Josie Totah, Alycia Pascual-Pea, Belmont Cameli, and Dexter Darden were among the new primary cast members.

Tracey Wigfield wrote and executive produced it, with Franco Bario and Peter Engel also exec producing. Universal Television was in charge of the production.

Peacock does not provide viewership figures, so there’s no way of knowing how well the show did for the streamer during its run. Critics, on the other hand, praised the show’s young cast members and gave it largely excellent reviews. Caroline Framke, a TV critic for Variety, named the show in her annual top ten list of the finest shows on television for 2021.

In a statement, Peacock said, “We are so proud to have been the home of the next iteration of ‘Saved by the Bell’ for both new and OG fans.” “‘Saved by the Bell’ has been a cultural mainstay for more than 30 years and the new series, led by Tracey Wigfield’s superfan enthusiasm and signature witty humor, seamlessly continued the show’s legacy, all while allowing more audiences to feel seen. We’re grateful to Tracey, Franco Bario, our partners at UTV, the beloved cast, and the fans who have continued to champion one of the most iconic shows of all time.”


Meghan Markle’s animated series ‘Pearl’ has been cancelled by Netflix

In an effort to save money, Netflix has cancelled the development of Pearl, an animated series developed by Meghan Markle.

The show, which was announced last year, is one of several projects that the streaming giant has cancelled.

Netflix announced a dramatic drop in members last month, warning that millions more are on the verge of abandoning the service.

The company’s market value dropped by more than $50 billion, and analysts warned it would be difficult to get back on track.

Meghan will serve as an executive producer on Pearl, according to Archewell Productions, the firm founded by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The series was supposed to follow the exploits of a 12-year-old girl who is inspired by historical figures.

Netflix did clarify, however, that it will continue to collaborate with Archewell Productions on a variety of projects, including a documentary series called Heart of Invictus.

The series will centre on athletes competing in the Invictus Games for injured veterans, which will be held in The Hague in 2022 and was founded by Prince Harry.

A Popular television request for comment was not immediately returned by Archewell Productions.

Netflix also announced that two animated children’s series, Dino Daycare and Boons and Curses, would be cancelled.

Netflix announced in April that its overall number of subscribers had fallen by 200,000 in the first three months of this year, far short of its goal.

It also predicted that two million more subscribers would abandon the service in the three months leading up to July.

Some analysts worried that the company has run out of easy methods to build the business after a period of rapid expansion during the pandemic.

Consumers who are strapped for cash are cutting back on streaming services to save money, while others believe there is too much content to pick from in the face of fierce competition from companies like Disney and Amazon.


Robert Pattinson set to return for ‘The Batman’ Sequel

“The Batman” will be followed by a sequel, with Robert Pattinson reprising his role as Gotham’s most ferocious defender.

During its Tuesday evening presentation at CinemaCon, the annual trade convention for cinema owners, Warner Bros. announced its plans for a new Caped Crusader plot. Matt Reeves, the director of “The Batman,” was on hand to announce that he will write and direct the sequel, although he did not elaborate on what the film will involve.

In March, “The Batman,” a dramatic three-hour superhero tale, debuted in theatres, grossing $134 million domestically. Following “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” those ticket sales still rank as the highest opening weekend of 2022, as well as the only second pandemic-era film to exceed the $100 million mark in a single weekend. “The Batman” is presently the year’s top grossing film, with $759 million in worldwide box office.

Following the simultaneous release of Warner Bros.’ entire 2021 slate on HBO Max, “The Batman” signalled the studio’s return to exclusive theatrical releases. In the future, Warner Bros. aims to keep new films in theatres for 45 days before releasing them on HBO Max. “Elvis” (June 24), “DC League of Super-Pets” (July 29), “Creed III” (Nov. 23), and “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” are among the upcoming releases (Dec. 16).

“The Batman” depicted Bruce Wayne’s early days as “the world’s greatest detective” in a bleak (but PG-13) light. The young Dark Knight uncovers corruption in Gotham City while following the insane killer known as the Riddler in his quest for justice (Paul Dano). Catwoman was played by Zoe Kravitz, Batman’s butler Alfred Pennyworth was played by Andy Serkis, the crime-lord known as Penguin was played by Colin Farrell, and Gotham City’s police chief James Gordon was played by Jeffrey Wright. In addition to box office success, the film was well received by critics (it received an 85 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) and viewers (it received a “A-” CinemaScore).

Reeves was singled out by Variety’s top film critic Peter Debruge for doing “something relatively unique here, at least by comic-book-movie standards.”

“This grounded, frequently brutal and nearly three-hour film noir registers among the best of the genre, even if — or more aptly, because — what makes the film so great is its willingness to dismantle and interrogate the very concept of superheroes,” he wrote.


J.J. Abrams and Warner Bros. are developing on a live-action Hot Wheels film

J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot is teaming together with Warner Bros. for a live-action Hot Wheels film, indicating that Mattel is taking the filmmaking business seriously.

Warner Bros. and Mattel Films announced today that Bad Robot has signed on to create a live-action Hot Wheels feature film, which will feature “some of the world’s hottest and sleekest cars, monster trucks and motorcycles,” according to a press statement. Mattel Films’ executive producer Robbie Brenner would not reveal any narrative details about the cooperation, but did hint that the new film would appeal to a wide range of Hot Wheels fans.

“As the global leader in car culture, Hot Wheels has been igniting the challenger spirit in auto enthusiasts for generations,” stated Brenner. “Fans of all ages are now in for the ride of their lives with the incredible talent of J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot joining us alongside Warner Bros. Pictures to transform Hot Wheels’ legendary IP into a thrilling story for the big screen.”

Unlike Mattel’s planned Barbie film, which already has a few stars committed and a focal character who lends herself more easily to cohesive plots, there are few information about Hot Wheels, a film about cars you move around with the force of your imagination. Hot Wheels, on the other hand, could be a picture to keep an eye on, especially if Warner Bros. and Mattel intend for it to be their response to Universal’s Fast & Furious franchise.


The baby name of Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra has been revealed

The name of Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra’s child has been revealed.

Malti Marie Chopra Jonas is the entire name of the couple’s first child, according to TMZ. The publication received the child’s birth certificate, which states she was delivered in a San Diego hospital shortly after 8 p.m. on Jan. 15.

It’s unclear what inspired the name, although “Malti” is a Sanskrit word that roughly translates to “moonlight” or “small fragment flower.”

The couple made the announcement on social media on January 21.

“We are overjoyed to confirm that we have welcomed a baby via surrogate. We respectfully ask for privacy during this special time as we focus on our family” According to their statement.

The singer of the Jonas Brothers, 29, and the actress, 39, married in two ceremonies in India in 2018. One was Hindu, while the other was Christian.

The pair experienced reports of marital problems in November, but Chopra quickly debunked them. She started by leaving a thirsty comment on her husband’s Instagram exercise image before doubling down on debunking rumours that she and the boybander’s marriage is in trouble.

The actress from “Quantico” then resorted to social media once more, this time to share a video clip of herself performing on stage during Netflix’s “Jonas Brothers Family Roast.”

Chopra remarked in a video footage of herself onstage during the roast, “I am honoured and so thrilled actually, and tickled to be here tonight to roast my husband, Nick Jonas, and his brothers, whose names I can never remember.”

Chopra captioned the video with, “Brought my husband and his brothers a nice roast for dinner,” joking that the Jonas Brothers “clearly” never made it big in her home country of India.

She captioned the photo, “Perks of being a Jonas.”

Chopra suggested to Vanity Fair earlier this month that she and Jonas were ready to start a family again.

“That’s a big part of our desire for the future,” she said. “By God’s grace, when it happens, it happens.”


Multi-instrumentalist Hasten Mercy Is Making Waves With His Latest Track, ‘You Don’t Leave Me’

Hasten Mercy of Head Fake offers a music video for the track, ‘You Don’t Leave Me.’ The composer masterfully integrates an appealing range of tempos into ‘You Don’t Leave Me’ while also using electronic instruments to create meaningful, motivating, and engaging sounds. Innovative, well-crafted, and set to music, “You Don’t Leave Me” combines cinematic and symphonic loops with kick beats to create a dramatic and harmonious experience. ‘You Don’t Leave Me’ is accompanied by an appealing video that is sure to pique the interest of Hasten Mercy’s fans. As has been the case with his previous projects, Hasten Mercy’s new track is set to make ripples in the music business.

Michael Baker, professionally known as Hasten Mercy, is a native of Canada who now resides in New Jersey. Baker married at a young age and had no idea what his future had in store for him. He was born with natural musical ability, seeing that his mentors even encouraged him to pursue a career in music. Contrary to the advice of his mentors, he continued his studies at law school and eventually landed in New York City. Music ultimately found its way into his household as he rocked his children to sleep and exposed them to a variety of genres and styles. He is known to have composed film soundtracks and independent singles and collaborated on a range of projects. His method is enigmatical, and he has effectively integrated a diverse variety of unique musical genres, all accompanied by word-based melodies, into a cohesive whole. Baker’s soulful music and enticing lyricism are certain to make him a household name in the industry.

“You Don’t Leave Me” is now available on all major platforms, including Spotify and YouTube. You can follow Hasten Mercy by visiting Head Fake’s website and Instagram to know more details on his upcoming projects.

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