Alex Ben Block

Comcast’s $3.8 Billion DreamWorks Animation Deal Is Transformative

In the global race to provide family entertainment to theaters, parks and to spin off merchandise, Comcast has leveled the playing field with Disney The Kung Fu Panda characters are now ready to fight for Comcast; especially in China where DreamWorks Animation has become a major player When Walt Disney bought Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, there were those in each case who thought the home of Mickey Mouse had overpaid. Instead those deals became huge new profit centers that provide a perpetual bonanza of profits. Comcast’s $3.8 billion deal to acquire DreamWorks Animation is similarly transformative. Years from now it will be looked upon as a bargain for the Philadelphia-based conglomerate tha

The Untold Story: How A Member of the Memphis Mafia Shaped “Elvis & Nixon”

Jerry Schilling at first refused to cooperate with the filmmakers because he didn’t like the way his relationship with Elvis was portrayed. His objections led to changes, and then he got involved. Second of two parts Elvis with his Memphis Mafia (shown in a circle with Jerry Schilling). Their motto was TCB (Take Care of Business) Part II: Making Something “Classy and Cool,” Not “Cheesy and Plastic” The original writers and the key producer behind the new movie, Elvis & Nixon, were often at odds, and before principal photography began essentially stopped communicating, as related in the first installment of this two part article. However, one thing they always agreed on was that Jerry Schil

With Move To GMA, Is Michael Strahan Leaving Money On The Table?

He might be. Although morning TV is lucrative, being a syndicated TV star can pay even more. But by being a team player right now, the former football star could reap greater dividends down the road from Disney/ABC Michael Strahan (far left) with Robin Roberts, George Stephanopoulos and Lara Spencer on Good Morning America UPDATE APRIL 20, 2016 - The story of Michael Strahan's move to Good Morning America took a nasty turn the day after ABC's big announcement, as Kelly Ripa suddenly took a day off from work at Live With Kelly & Michael, amid reports she feels dissed by her soon to exit co-star. "The longtime host of Live! was hurt she had to hear at the same time as the rest of the world," r

The Untold Drama Behind the Origin of “Elvis & Nixon”

The original writers of the upcoming film "Elvis & Nixon" (coming out April 22nd) share the true Hollywood story of how they conceived the movie but were later cut out of the production (Part I) Richard Nixon, Elvis Presley in 1970 and Kevin Spacey and Michael Shannon in the movie UPDATE (April 19, 2016) - There are good movie reviews, raves, and pans and then there are money reviews, when you know this picture is headed for a box office gold medal. That is the case with Elvis & Nixon, which opens nationwide on Friday, April 22, distributed by a smallish New York company Bleecker Street, for Amazon, the online giant which bought domestic rights at Cannes a year ago from Cassian Elwes, the pr

Why "The Real’s" Renewal Is Significant

Warner Bros. multi-cultural syndicated talk show featuring Loni Love and four co-hosts has out-lasted high profile competitors with a bold, sassy attitude, a modest budget, and a lot of help from the Fox TV Stations From its start in the summer of 2013, The Real was an unlikely show to survive and thrive in a business that made road kill in recent years out of daytime gabfests fronted by big names like Katie Couric, Jeff Probst, Arsenio Hall, Ricki Lake, Queen Latifah, Bethenny Frankel and Anderson Cooper. This past season super model Tyra Banks was the latest to get a lesson in humility when she abruptly departed Disney’s daytime show, The Fab, shortly before it ended after only one year. T

Googling Hollywood’s Next Epic Disaster

The FCC’s pending rules to deregulate the market for cable TV set top boxes is sparking fears among content creators that they won’t be fairly compensated while the Silicon Valley tech giants get a free ride on their creativity. The FCC calls it the “unlock the box” proposal. Critics call the FCC’s pending action to deregulate the market for cable TV set top boxes a disaster for Hollywood, niche cable channels, producers and distributors of indie movies and TV, and many others. It sparks fears among content creators that they won’t be fairly compensated while the Silicon Valley tech giants get a free ride on their creativity. The rule making is expected to come up for a final vote on April 2

Acclaimed show business historian, journalist, author, broadcaster, and talk show host.  Read bio here.


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