Afternoon News Update for Thursday, 5/29/14.


Sons of Anarchy Casts Marilyn Manson in FX Drama’s Final Season
Marilyn Manson will recur as a white supremacist in Sons of Anarchy‘s upcoming seventh and final season, FX announced Thursday.

Sons of Anarchy: The Bridge’s Annabeth Gish Joins Season 7 Cast
The FX smash has tapped Annabeth Gish to join Season 7 as Charming’s smart and edgy new sheriff.

(video) Mistresses Preview: ‘Honey, Balls Is What I Do Best’
Soleil Moon Frye
will pop up on Monday’s premiere of ABC’s totally addictive sudser (10/9c) playing her entrepreneurial self — and a new employer for Jes Macallan’s Joss, who’s making the transition from realtor to party planner.


‘Rising Star’ Producers Consulted Mathematicians Over Time Zone Dilemma
Executive producers Ken Warwick (American Idol) and Nicolle Yaron (The Voice) spoke about how they’re handling the quandary, and the biggest part of the solution is that the show will be airing live in a vast majority of the country. ABC will tweak the West Coast airings to show real-time voting particular to those viewers and a comparison to how the earlier time zones voted.


Vimeo joins Netflix, Amazon with first original series
"High Maintenance,"
a popular Web series that launched in 2013 and follows a cannabis dealer delivering products to clients around the city they live in, will now be available exclusively on Vimeo On Demand. The show has already aired 13 episodes on Vimeo, which are available for free viewing right now. Vimeo has ordered another six episodes to premiere later this year. "High Maintenance" has become Vimeo’s first original series, putting the video service in direct competition with some of its chief streaming competitors, including Netflix and Amazon.


(rumor) Wrap: Kevin Reilly Replacement Likely to Come From Outside Fox Network
Top executives from within the Fox family including COO Joe Earley and FX President John Landgraf immediately became objects of speculation. But TheWrap has learned that Earley is not getting the position, and it appears that Landgraf isn’t either. Dana Walden, who runs Fox television studios with Gary Newman, has long been known to covet the top programming job at Fox. However, Newman is believed to be planning on retiring at the end of his next contract, which would leave Walden as the top dog at the studio.

Silicon Beach Power 25: A Ranking of L.A.’s Top Digital Media Players
Hollywood is transforming into a two-industry town fast as tech migrates south from the Valley (as in Silicon) to the Beach. The Hollywood Reporter’s inaugural list breaks down the city’s top players.

(q&a) Hitfix: Bill Lawrence and Adam Sztykiel on ‘Undateable’ and The State of TV Comedy
HitFix: You have your cable shows. Has that made you want to say, "OK. Screw this network stuff"?

Bill Lawrence: No! I just think that you have to embrace the other side, which is that if you’re a content creator, there’s no better time. Your content on Comedy Central or TBS or FX or USA is just as viable as ABC, CBS, NBC. It really does shift you business-wise to go, "Hey, it’s network, so I’m gonna try and make a multi-camera pilot for CBS. Or I’m just gonna try to make something I’m passionate about and sell it to the person that’s the most passionate with me."

Shonda Rhimes is live-blogging the National Spelling Bee
Shonda Rhimes
is a woman of many talents. When she’s not busy running her production company, the Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal creator is known for her ability to craft some of television’s greatest characters. Oh, and she’s live-blogging the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Like, right now.


(rumor) Would Marvel Really Cancel Fantastic Four To Snub Fox?
I’m being told from a Marvel source that Marvel are intending to put the Fantastic Four comic books on hold. The characters will still appear, but in other folks’ books such as Inhuman and Avengers. Twentieth Century Fox pretty much has an eternal claim on Fantastic Four and X-Men movies, if they keep making them. The belief inside the higher echelons of Marvel is that promoting these properties in comics only benefits Fox’s movies at the expense of those from Marvel Studios. Which is why the Inhumans are being pushed as mutant replacements in the Marvel Universe.


Nielsen to increase size of sample audience for TV ratings
plans to add an additional 300 homes to its Los Angeles panel next year. Currently there are about 1,000 homes in the Los Angeles region included in the sample, which is sometimes referred to as "Nielsen Families." During the next few months, Nielsen expects to increase its audience sample by 200 homes each in Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami and Washington, D.C. The expansion should continue to other cities in 2015, including San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia.

Report: 80% of Consumers are Binge Viewing
Binge viewing, second-screen purchasing, DVR usage and multiscreen/room consumption are on the rise, according to the ARRIS 2014 Consumer Entertainment Index. The latest index finds that broadcast TV remains the staple of in-home entertainment, at a nearly universal 96 percent penetration rate. The majority of consumers are engaged in binge viewing, with 80 percent now reporting watching multiple TV episodes or even an entire season in one sitting; 14 percent admit to binge viewing at least once a day.

Upfronts 2014: TV Networks, Advertisers Cling To Pricing Debate
According to executives on both sides of the table, advertisers and their representatives are pressing for TV networks to accept a lower rate of CPM increase, while the networks are pushing for CPM rates to stay on par with those of 2013 – or even move a little higher.

FiveThirtyEight: How Worried Should We Be About the Negative GDP Report?
U.S. gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced in the economy, fell at an annual rate of 1 percent in the first three months of 2014, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Thursday. That’s worse than the awful 0.1 percent growth rate the government reported in its preliminary estimate last month; it’s also worse than most economists had expected. This kind of contraction isn’t unheard of, but it is unusual. This is just the 10th time since World War II that GDP growth has been negative outside of a recession.

WSJ: The Shawshank Residuals
In a shifting Hollywood landscape, film libraries increasingly are the lifeblood of studios. "Shawshank’s" enduring appeal on television has made it more important than ever—a reliable annuity to help smooth the inevitable bumps in a hit-or-miss box-office business. When studios sell a package of films—many of them stinkers—a "Shawshank" acts as a much-needed locomotive to drag the others behind it.