JAMES GUNN, FIRED FROM ‘GUARDIANS,’ TO WRITE NEW ‘SUICIDE SQUAD’
NEW YORK (AP) – James Gunn was fired from Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy,” but now he’s headed to DC Comics. Warner Bros. on Tuesday confirmed that Gunn will write the script to the studio’s next “Suicide Squad” installment. In July, Disney fired Gunn from the “Guardians” franchise he shepherded after jokes he wrote involving rape and pedophilia on Twitter from 2009-2012 resurfaced. The creative force between the two hugely popular “Guardians” films, Gunn’s firing prompted its own backlash. The cast issued a statement of support for Gunn, imploring Disney to reinstate him. But instead, Gunn will take over “Suicide Squad,” the DC supervillain team-up franchise. The first film earned $747 million in 2016 but drew withering reviews. Gunn is expected to take an entirely new approach, and potentially direct.
TV ACADEMY’S FIRST BLACK CHAIR TO STEP DOWN AFTER 2 YEARS
LOS ANGELES (AP) – The TV academy’s first African-American chairman is stepping down after two years. Hayma Washington told Variety he decided against seeking a second two-year term so he could focus on his work as a producer and promote diversity. Washington also has served as chief executive officer of the academy, which administers the Emmy Awards. An academy spokesman said Tuesday that Washington’s replacement will be chosen at upcoming elections for new officers and governors. Washington was elected in November 2016. He succeeded Bruce Rosenblum, who held the post for five years. Under Washington, the academy reached a new eight-year contract with the four major networks that air the Emmys in rotation. Viewership hit a record low with last month’s ceremony. Washington won seven Emmys as an executive producer of “The Amazing Race.”
FOX NEWS DRAWS A BIG AUDIENCE FOR FINAL KAVANAUGH VOTE
NEW YORK (AP) – The U.S. Senate’s vote confirming Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was a time to celebrate at Fox News Channel. The network recorded its biggest Saturday audience in more than a decade. The Nielsen company said Fox reached 4.34 million viewers for the Senate vote, the biggest Saturday audience since Hurricane Katrina coverage in 2005. Saturday’s prime-time lineup did even better, drawing Fox’s largest crowd since the Iraq War in 2003. CNN and MSNBC viewers found something better to do. The two networks combined on Saturday reached just over 2 million viewers for the Senate vote. Things were a little closer between the three news channels on Friday, when Maine Sen. Susan Collins announced her decision to back Kavanaugh and ended the suspense.
NBC’S ‘SONGLAND’ CONTEST TO SEARCH FOR HIT TUNESMITHS
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Songwriters get the spotlight in a new NBC talent contest. The network said Tuesday that its 11-episode series, “Songland,” will give undiscovered songwriters the chance to create a hit. In each episode, five contestants will work with music producers and a recording artist to perfect their tunes. One winner per episode will have his or her song released as the artist’s next single, NBC said. The first episode includes Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, songwriter Ester Dean, country singer-songwriter Shane McAnally. Charlie Puth is the recording artist. Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine are among the executive producers of “Songland.” NBC said that would-be contestants will be able to apply at an upcoming website. A series debut date wasn’t announced.