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Sky sets original films, series for documentary, natural history channels



UK broadcaster Sky has revealed a slate of nine original documentaries and factual series to air as part of its soon-to-be launched factual channels, Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature.

Titles include biographies of Stephen Hawking, Tina Turner and Steve McQueen, as well as two sports-focused films and a Steve Backshall-fronted natural history series.

“These new commissions showcase Sky’s investment in world-class original content and the breadth and range of factual shows our customers will be able to find on Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature. With the launch of these two new services and Sky History, we want to provide viewers with compelling, engaging and informative TV, a place where nature and documentary fans can gravitate to,” Sky’s MD of content, Zai Bennett, said in a statement.

Films airing on Sky Documentaries and Now TV include Hawking (1 x 90 minutes; Atlantic Productions in association with Sky Studios), which chronicles the life of Stephen Hawking, drawing on private family archive — footage and stills — and interviews with family, friends and colleagues.

Elsewhere, the 90-minute film McQueen: The Lost Movie, produced by Associated Rediffusion Productions in association with Sky Studios, examines a 1960s movie starring the late actor Steve McQueen, which was started but never completed.

From the Oscar-winning filmmakers behind Undefeated and Searching For Sugar Man, the Lightbox-produced Tina Turner charts the Grammy-winning performer’s rise to superstardom with exclusive access to the star.

The 90-minute documentary The Go Go’s (pictured) examines how an all female punk band in the 1980s paved the way for future musicians, particularly women, and how the group became a global phenomenon despite the “pressure of fame and painful consequences of success.”

The Go Go’s is produced by Fine Point Films and Fadoo Productions in association with Polygram Entertainment, Universal Music Publishing Group and Interscope Films.

Look Away (1 x 90 minutes; Top Hat Productions), meanwhile, examines the history of statutory rape in the music industry.

Sports films headed to Sky Documentaries include Tyson Bruno (1 x 90 minutes; Workerbee in association with Sky Studios), which charts the highs and lows of two boxing legends; and The United Way (1 x 100 minutes), about the rise of iconic sports dynasty Manchester United.

The United Way is a Matthew Lorenzo Production presented by Ingenious Media in association with Ad Hoc Films, Embankment Films and Cantilever Media.

Sky is also adding the historical film Lancaster to its documentary channel. Produced by Tall Boy Films, the documentary tells the story of the legendary bomber synonymous with the Dambusters and the night raids against Nazi Germany.

Finally, the 3 x 60-minute series Shark with Steve Backshall will premiere as part of Sky Nature and Now TV.

Produced by True to Nature and Sky Studios, the landmark natural history series takes viewers on a global journey from tropical coasts into the open ocean and the depth of the world’s seas to explore what can be done to save sharks.

Sky Documentaries and Sky Nature, alongside the rebranded Sky History, debut May 27. The services will offer on demand libraries with hundreds of hours of factual programming, providing an unmissable mix of premium, original commissions and acquired content.

The new films and series are currently in production and will air at the end of 2020 and into 2021.

The titles have been commissioned by Bennett and Jamie Morris, director of programme strategy. Tina Turner, The Go-Go’s and Lancaster were also negotiated by Jack Oliver, Sky Entertainment’s head of co-productions.

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‘Late Show With Stephen Colbert music booker fired after sex misconduct claims



Giovanni Cianci, music producer of “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” since 2017, has been let go from the company after a woman accused him of sexual misconduct in a 2010 incident, Variety has learned.

“Gio is no longer employed by the show,” says a source with knowledge of the situation. Variety has reached out to Cianci and the show’s network, CBSViacom, for comment.

His exit follows a social media post from musician Paige Stark, who also spoke with Variety about the matter, alleging that an incident took place while Cianci was working at Lookout Management, where he was employed from 2002 through 2014. He had expressed interest in her band and the two met during the CMJ Music Marathon conference in 2010. She says he made advances toward her when the two were alone in an elevator, attempted to kiss her and when she resisted, pinned her against the wall. Stark said his aggressive behavior did not stop after she left the elevator and he continued to follow her and a bandmate to a bar, where a male friend she had called met them and eventually forcefully convinced Cianci to leave. She said he continued to “harass” her on Facebook and via text for several months.

A friend of Stark’s who spoke to her at the time of the alleged incident, corroborated that the account provided on Instagram was what Stark described shortly after the 2010 incident.

Stark says she kept quiet for nearly a decade because she was “too scared to come forward publicly.” She said in 2017 she emailed Cianci’s former boss at Lookout — and included a screen shot of the email in her Instagram post — but received no reply.

Soon after the Instagram post, lawyers from ViacomCBS reached out to Stark directly for her account, according to a source, emphasizing that the company takes such matters very seriously.

Cianci also worked as a manager at the Creed Company and his own Bassline Management before joining Colbert in 2017. He was featured in Variety‘s “Who’s Who in TV Music Booking” in 2018.

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Maddie & Kenzie Ziegler’s Apologies For Their Old Offensive Videos Are An Important Step



More and more celebrities are being taken to task about offensive content they posted online in the past, and Maddie and Kenzie Ziegler are the latest. Over the past week, old videos of the sisters making racist jokes have been circulating on Twitter, and fans called for them to apologize. Now, Maddie and Kenzie Ziegler’s apologies for their old offensive videos acknowledge their past mistakes, and promise to stand against racism moving forward.

The videos of Maddie circulating on Twitter depict her making racist jokes about Asians, including mocking their accents and facial features, when she was 9 years old. Maddie, now 17, acknowledges her past behavior was unacceptable. On Aug. 4, the former Dance Moms star took to Twitter to issue a lengthy apology, promising she’s grown as a person since she made those jokes.

“There are a few videos some of you have seen from when I was about 9 years old where I thought it was funny to mock people and accents,” she began. “I’m honestly ashamed and I’m truly sorry for my actions. The decisions I made then are absolutely not decisions I would make today. What I thought was silly humor when I was younger I know was actually ignorant and racially insensitive. We have all made mistakes in our lives and as we grow up we educate ourselves and learn to be better people.”

Maddie acknowledged being a high-profile celebrity means she needs to do better. “Growing up in the public eye has its challenges and also comes with the responsibility to set a good example which I failed to do in these videos,” she explained. “I hope you will forgive me and also hope you realize I have in fact grown up and would never act this way now.”

Maddie concluded by acknowledging her apology may not be enough for some people, but she’s OK with that. “I know some of you are hurt and may not accept my apology,” she said. “But I want to ask all of you to please be kind to each other on socials. There is no need to attack each other or try to defend me. I don’t want anyone to feel bullied and think we can all learn from my mistakes and spread love during these times when we need it most.”

You can see the apology post in full below.

Meanwhile, her younger sister Kenzie issued an apology of her own after fans discovered an old video in which she made racist jokes about Black people on an application form when she was around 10 years old. On Aug. 3, the younger Ziegler sister broke down in tears during an Instagram livestream, saying she’s sorry and she’s grown to understand the true weight of the words she used back then. She followed her livestream up with an additional text post, taking full responsibility for her actions.

Maddie and Kenzie’s apologies are an important step in acknowledging past racist behavior and being better role models and anti-racism allies for their fans moving forward.

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Artist Illustrates The Dogs She Encounters In “The Good Boy Report” (125 Pics)



Kasey Williams describes herself as ‘a wannabe punk who can make a mean curry’. But she’s more than that. Kasey is also a comic artist and professional colorist for animation. Right now, she’s working on Animaniacs at Warner Bros, but she also makes her own art and comics on the side. One of which is The Good Boy Report.

The premise is simple: every Friday, Kasey shares illustrations of the dogs she had spotted that week. And one could say that even the pictures are ‘simple’. However, I think that’s the beauty of the series.

The Good Boy Report doesn’t have intricate world-building or a dramatic plot. Heck, it doesn’t even have colors. What it does have is a collection of charismatic dogs that take up the central role in every weekly edition. Combine that with Kasey’s cute and witty captions and you’ve got yourself a wholesome project that’s absolutely pawsome the way it is.

More info: Instagram

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