The end of NBC shows on iTunes?
NBC may stop offering shows on iTunes
After the companies failed to come to an agreement over pricing strategy, NBC Universal has declined to renew its contract with Apple’s iTunes — and unless one of the parties blinks by December, when the current contract ends, NBC Universal will no longer offer its television shows — including The Office, Heroes, and Battlestar Galactica — for download, the New York Times reports. NBC Universal is the largest supplier of video content to iTunes, and is the second major supplier to have a big rift with Apple (Universal Music Group decided last month to end its contract with iTunes). According to the Times, at issue in the contract negotiations are piracy controls and NBC Universal’s desire to package content at higher prices (Apple’s stance: complicated pricing will squelch demand). (The New York Times)
New Britney Spears single hits the Web; album due Nov. 13
As reported by EW earlier this week, the new single is an up-tempo dance track titled ”Gimme More,” produced by Nate ”Danjahandz” Hills; it debuted Thursday night on New York radio station Z100’s website. ”It’s Britney, bitch,” says Spears at the top of the song, which features the breathy vocals her fans have come to expect, along with electronic bleeps and some hot-and-bothered moaning in the background. As for the new album, Jive Records told People.com that it is scheduled for release on Nov. 13. (Z100.com and People.com)
Emmys credit crackdown softened
After much criticism, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has back-pedaled somewhat on last week’s decision to cap the number of producers eligible to be nominated for Emmys in the series, specials, and long-form categories. The initial cap was meant to address complaints of credit inflation, but the backlash over producers who were deemed ineligible — like The Office‘s Mindy Kaling and 30 Rock‘s exec producers David Finkel and Brett Baer — led the Academy to add them back on the ballot. ”It was never meant to be an arbitrary exclusion of someone who has functioned in an eligible way,” awards senior VP John Leverence said. ”It’s been an ongoing review and discussion.” (Variety)
Ugly Betty gets Posh
Victoria Beckham will guest-star as herself on an episode of ABC’s Ugly Betty, the network said Thursday. On the episode, Beckham will be someone’s celebrity bridesmaid. It’s her first acting role on U.S. prime-time TV. (Reuters)
Telluride reveals lineup
On the slate for the 34th annual film festival, which runs Labor Day weekend in the Colorado town: first looks at Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There (his tribute to Bob Dylan); Noah Baumbach’s Margot at the Wedding, starring Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Jack Back; and the big-screen adaptation of the book Into the Wild, directed by Sean Penn. (Variety)
Shakeup at CBS’ Early Show
Shelley Ross, a former exec producer on ABC’s Good Morning America, will be announced as the new honcho at CBS’ third-rated morning broadcast. She is expected to replace news vice president Steve Friedman and senior exec producer Michael Bass. (Variety)
G.I. Joe gets a writer
Stuart Beattie, whose credits include Collateral and the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, has been tapped to pen the script of Paramount’s toy-based action flick. Stephen Sommers (the Mummy movies, Van Helsing) is already on board to direct the movie, eyed for a summer ’09 release. (Variety)
George Strait, Brad Paisley lead Country Music Awards noms
Strait and Paisley got five nods each; other nominees include Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Josh Turner, Alison Krauss, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, and Reba McEntire. The ceremony will be held Nov. 7 in Nashville. (Variety)
More 24 castings
Jeffrey Nordling (Dirt) will be a regular next season on Fox’s real-time thriller, and John Billingsley (The Nine) will be a recurring player. Nordling will play an FBI agent named Larry, but details on Billingsley’s character, Latham, have not yet been revealed. (Hollywood Reporter)
People.com: More Britney news… The pop star’s former manager, Larry Rudolph, has been subpoenaed by Kevin Federline’s team in the divorced couple’s ongoing custody battle.
Page Six: Brit actor Steve Coogan is vehemently denying allegations — including one by his ex-girlfriend Courtney Love — that he was a bad influence on Owen Wilson.