Today in show business news: Judge Judy has just signed a new long-term deal, Disney is doing some layoffs, and new details about Captain America's next movie.
CBS Television Distribution has just signed a deal with Judy Sheindlin to keep her show Judge Judy on the air through 2017. Why? Because apparently an average of nine million people watch her show every day. NINE MILLION. Can that be right? I mean, I'm sure that's spread out over lots of broadcasts per day, but still! Eat that, Mad Men! That is really amazing. So, sure, yeah, renew the hell out of Judge Judy. With numbers like that, NBC would be saved! Too bad it's not their show. Anyway, Judge Judy is now even richer than she already was. All for doing just 52 days of work on the show a year, according to Wikipedia, anyway. Pretty nice racket that lady's carved out for herself. And she'll be doing it for at least another four years, or 208 days depending on how you look at it. We should all be so lucky. Or so judgy. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Disney makes a lot of money too — net profits were $5.7 billion last year, up 18 percent from the year previous — and yet they're about to lay off 150 employees. The long-suspected cuts will be across all divisions, from films to music to theater. This is all the result of an "internal review" commissioned by CEO Bob Iger last year. After $5.7 billion in profits they're still not making enough money, so they're letting people go. Woof. I mean, I know John Carter was bad, but do they still have to be punishing people? Look, I'm not naive, I know companies have to make money to stay afloat and that cost-cutting should be done even when a company's making billions of dollars in profit a year, but man... That's rough. And this is after cuts elsewhere within the sprawling company: LucasArts, the video game department of Lucasfilm, canned everyone last week and shut its doors, while a bunch of animation people at Lucasfilm lost their jobs when Disney pulled the plug on Star Wars: The Clone Wars last month. So things are weirdly dark at Disney, even though their stock is high and the profits are rolling in. Sucks for those people who are losing their jobs. At least they can take comfort in the fact that their big boss man made $42 million last year. At least there's that. [Deadline]
A&E has renewed its seriously weird new show Bates Motel for a second season. Meaning they'll probably have to drag out the whole will-they/won't-they thing with Norman and his mom, Norma, for a little while longer. Which is probably a good thing. Right? I mean, the longer they can delay that the longer we have before we have to watch that and then cry a little and never watch the show again, because ick. So, renew that thing for longer than Judge Judy's show, A&E! 2017 and beyond! Delay the terrible inevitable forever! [The Hollywood Reporter]
Some new Captain America: The Winter Soldier details have been released, chief among them that Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow will feature prominently in the sequel. So wait, is she a love interest? Because I thought she was Hawkeye's love interest? Though I guess Hawkeye is never getting his own movie, so maybe Marvel didn't deem him worthy of Black Widow. (Who also isn't getting her own movie, which seems unfair.) I mean I know that she and Iron Men ultimately weren't love interests in Iron Man 2 so there's no reason that she has to be a love interest in this movie, but Tony Stark has Pepper Potts. Captain America had Hayley Atwell in his first movie, but she's an old lady now. (The sequel takes place in the present day, for the most part.) So might they be matching him up with ScarJo? You know, a little return to some Nanny Diaries action? Here's hoping that she slips and calls him Harvard Hottie by accident. That'd be exciting. [Deadline]
Todd Field — who made the wonderful In the Bedroom and the just-OK Little Children — is directing and co-adapting (with the author) a movie version of Jess Walter's acclaimed novel Beautiful Ruins. Which people seem very excited about! I haven't read the book yet — I know, I know, it's next on my list, it is, I swear — but it certainly sounds interesting. It's all about old Hollywood and new Hollywood and Italy and California and lots of other stuff. This seems like slightly big and sprawling territory for Field, whose movies have been pretty small in scale up to this point, but he's a smart and artistic guy, so he's most likely a much better choice for this than, say, Lasse Hallström. Or, hm. Who else might be attracted to this movie, at the very least the sun-kissed Italian part? Richard LaGravenese, maybe? Who, yes, admittedly did a pretty nice job with Beautiful Creatures, but that's Y.A. We're talking about literature. Ruins, not creatures. Todd Field's probably a better choice for that. [Vulture]
Here's the first trailer for Rush, Ron Howard's based-on-a-true-story car racing movie. It looks kinda cheesy and not terribly unlike wobbly vroom-vroom predecessors like Driven or Days of Thunder, but maybe the true-story aspect will make it a bit sturdier. Though it is frustrating that they don't show any of the clips where Chris Hemsworth is driving so fast that his shirt blows off. I mean, that is a big part of the movie, right? Right?