Roundup: Lionsgate to acquire eOne, Scott Cam and Shelley Craft on The Block


Fran Drescher, US Writers to meet with Studios, William Shatner

Business of Media

Lionsgate closes deal to acquire eOne from Hasbro for $500 million

Lionsgate has acquired Entertainment One’s (eOne) TV and film operations from Hasbro for approximately $500 million. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, reports Variety’s Angelique Jackson and Ellise Shafer.

News of the sale — which broke just ahead of Hasbro’s Q2 2023 earnings call, scheduled for Thursday morning — comes nearly four years to the date when Hasbro announced their intent to acquire eOne in a $3.8 billion deal in August 2019.

According to a press release from Hasbro, “The sale will include a talented team of employees, a content library of nearly 6,500 titles, active productions for non-Hasbro owned IP like The Rookie, Yellowjackets and Naked and Afraid franchises, and the eOne unscripted business, which will include rights for certain Hasbro-based shows like Play-Doh Squished.” The sale also includes Hasbro’s interest in the Canadian film & TV operations of eOne Canada Limited.

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Fran Drescher visits New York picket lines, tells producers: “Yield to our deal”

SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher joined the picket lines in New York on Thursday, armed with a new slogan that suggested the actors will not back down, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Caitlin Huston.

“We’re in it to win it. And our new hashtag is, ‘Yield to Our Deal,’” Drescher said.

Speaking in front of the Netflix offices near Union Square, and flanked by former SAG presidents Melissa Gilbert and Richard Masur, Drescher urged the gathered union members to keep up their morale as the strike goes on, while touching on key issues such as residuals and the use of artificial intelligence.

“We have to keep up our resolve. We are not going to back down. We are not going to be stepped on anymore for CEO greed and Wall Street greed at our expense when they can’t do it without us,” Drescher said.

“We are the foundation of the wheel. Nobody can own our likeness,” she continued, referencing AI. “And our minimums have to meet with inflation. None of this other B.S. And we must get a piece of the platform that we are building for them.”

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US Writers to meet with Studios over strike, Aussie crews show support

Hollywood studios and the Writers Guild of America are headed back to the negotiating table in the first known talks since the nearly 100-day strike brought production of most television shows and movies to a halt, reports TV Tonight.

The meeting, sought by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) is scheduled for Friday. It marks the first formal communication between the AMPTP and the WGA since negotiations broke down on May 1.

But there is -at best- cautious optimism about whether it may lead to the end of the strike.

“It’s a meeting to discuss meeting,” said John Rogers, a member of the WGA negotiating committee told Variety. “We’re trying to urge members to remember that this is a great first step, but not to get your hopes up too much.”

Meanwhile Australian crews remainin solidarity with US comrades.

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William Shatner opens up on filming reality TV show Stars on Mars in Coober Pedy

Hollywood legend William Shatner says he had a “blast” filming a new reality TV show in Outback South Australian opal mining town Coober Pedy, reports News Corp’s Riley Walter.

Shatner was part of a star-studded cast who called the iconic opal mining town home during the filming of Stars on Mars, a reality TV show similar to the hugely popular I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!

“I had a blast filming Stars on Mars in the amazing town of Coober Pedy in Outback South Australia,” Shatner, who hosted the series, said in a recent video posted online by the South Australian Film Corporation.

“The South Australian desert was a totally out of this world filming location like nothing I’ve seen on Earth.

“It was like we really were on Mars.”

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Shelley Craft’s brutal Block diss: ‘F**king disaster’

Longtime The Block presenter Shelley Craft had some surprisingly strong words about a couple of last year’s contestants during a radio interview, reports News Corp’s Nick Bond.

Speaking on Hit Breakfast with Maz & Matty, Craft was asked about the comparative lack of renovation experience among this year’s crop of contestants.

While there are a builder and an architect among their ranks, several teams this season have virtually no reno experience at all.

Craft said the show’s producers generally cast for “characters,” rather than previous experience.

“I always thought the best team would be an accountant and an HR manager, because you have to be able to manage your money and manage your trades,” she said, revealing her own personal pick for a successful Block couple.

“[But] we sort of had that last year and it was an absolute f***ing disaster. That was the worst team that there is, it’s not the recipe!” she continued, to laughter from the radio hosts.

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Scott Cam reveals details on The Block apartment he bought under a deal with Nine

Scott Cam has shared behind-the-scenes details on one of The Block apartments he purchased from a previous season, reports News Corp’s Christine Estera.

The host of the hit renovation series opened up this morning during an appearance 2DAY FM’s Hughesy, Ed & Erin, revealing that he scored the Port Melbourne apartment after striking a deal with Nine.

“I own a Block house,” he told hosts Dave Hughes and Erin Molan.

“Because I live in Melbourne for four months in the year [to film The Block] and I don’t like living… obviously you can’t live in a hotel when you’re doing that. So every now and then on The Block we do a Challenge House.”

Cam explained that in 2016, during season 12 of the show, contestants were asked to renovate an old soap factory in Port Melbourne and turn it into five modern apartments.

But there was a sixth apartment in the building, which was left for the special Challenge House project.

It was this apartment that the long-running host would buy the following year for a reported $2.2 million.

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