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Kasich signs expanded movie-production credit for Ohio

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 29, 2016

Since productions have come to Ohio because of the credit ("Draft Day" would have been in Buffalo without it), this is good news for the economy and film fans. The official word from the Greater Cleveland Film Commission:

The Greater Cleveland Film Commission (GCFC) is excited to announce that Ohio Governor John Kasich has signed into law a revised Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit, passed last month by the Ohio General Assembly, which raises the annual incentive cap to $40 million, removes the $5 million per project cap, and changes the incentive rate to a flat 30% on all production dollars spent in Ohio.

"The changes to Ohio's incentive will help us bring thousands more jobs, and hundreds of millions of dollars to the state, and is one more step toward making us more competitive with other states that are leaders in media production like Georgia and Louisiana," said GCFC President Ivan Schwarz. "We are grateful to Governor Kasich, the Ohio House, and the Ohio Senate for giving us this opportunity to continue to grow a thriving and adaptive media industry in Northeast Ohio. I'd also like to thank Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, Rep. Kirk Schuring, and Sen. Tom Patton, who have championed this legislation, and know just how much a sustainable media industry can benefit Ohio."

The changes to the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit are the latest in a line of recent successes for Northeast Ohio's media industry. In April, officials from the State of Ohio and Cleveland State University announced $7.5 million in funding for a new School of Film, Television, and Interactive Media, Ohio's first standalone school of the sort. On June 10, second unit shooting wrapped in Cleveland for Universal's "Fast 8", which was expected to create more than 380 direct jobs for Ohioans, book almost 9,000 hotel room nights and engage over 200 Ohio businesses for a range of goods and services.

An economic impact study prepared by Cleveland State University in June 2015 reported that since July 2011, the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit has accounted for the creation of the equivalent of 1,729 full-time jobs, over $400 million of total economic impact, and a return on investment of $2.01 (for every $1 spent by the state through the incentive, $2.01 went into the state's economy). Since 2009, over 65 productions have shot in Northeast Ohio, and in the last two years examined by the study, 71% of all Ohio production dollars were spent in Northeast Ohio.

The Greater Cleveland Film Commission is the only 501(c)(3) non-profit organization committed to fostering economic development in Northeast Ohio by attracting media production and businesses that can make a significant economic impact on the local economy, advocating for continued support of the Ohio Motion Picture Tax Credit and other public policies that promote and support media production and developing our local workforce by providing programs designed to provide local talent with the training, experience and professional connections to enable them to succeed in the film industry.

Promote the increase of media production in Northeast Ohio using effective strategies for attraction and workforce development including building an artistic infrastructure through film.

Achieve increased economic development in Northeast Ohio by using the artistic and culturally enriching activities of film and other media production to strengthen the workforce, support the media production industry and attract media production to the region.

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ABC prime-time premiere dates for Fall '16

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 28, 2016

The official list:
Monday, September 12
8:00-10:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars” (Season 23 premiere)

Sunday, September 18
7:00-8:00 p.m. “68th Emmy Awards Arrival Pre-Show” (live from Los Angeles)
8:00-11:00 p.m. “68th Emmy Awards” (live from Los Angeles)

Tuesday, September 20
8:00-10:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars Results Show”
10:00-11:00 p.m. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (Season 4 premiere)

Wednesday, September 21
8:00-8:30 p.m. “The Goldbergs” (Season 4 premiere)
8:30-9:00 p.m. “Speechless” (Series premiere)
9:00-9:30 p.m. “Modern Family” (Season 8 premiere)
9:30-10:00 p.m. “black-ish” (Season 3 premiere)
10:00-11:00 p.m. “Designated Survivor” (Series premiere)

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LeBron's "Cleveland Hustles" details; Akron Honey Co. involved

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 24, 2016

The official word:

CNBC announced LeBron James’ and Maverick Carter’s selection of local judges and globally recognized c-suite host for the network’s highly anticipated unscripted primetime series, “Cleveland Hustles,” premiering ‪Wednesday, August 24 at 10pm ET‪/PT. The series teams four successful Cleveland business leaders with local entrepreneurs looking for an investment to launch their own brick-and-mortar stores. The series is set in the Gordon Square Arts District, a once troubled neighborhood that’s working to rebuild.


“This show is special to me because it’s about giving hard-working people a life-changing opportunity to make their dreams a reality while creating real change in the Cleveland community,” said Maverick Carter. “I’m proud that SpringHill Entertainment is behind a project like this that is more than a TV show – it’s a transformational series that can lift up all of Northeast Ohio and one that will resonate with people across the country.”

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CBS sets new-season premiere dates

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 21, 2016

The breakdown:

Thursday, Sept. 15


8:25 PM, ET THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL (NY Jets @ Buffalo Bills)

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"Believeland" getting revised ending; the women question remains

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 21, 2016

As I've mentioned elsewhere, ESPN is updating its "Believeland" documentary about Cleveland's history of sports frustration, thanks to the Cavs winning the NBA championship. Here's the official announcement:

With the Cavaliers delivering Cleveland its first major championship in over 50 years, ESPN Films has decided to update the 30 for 30 documentary “Believeland” with an ending focused on the 2016 NBA Finals and the immediate aftermath. The new version of the film will premiere Thursday, June 30, at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.

“Believeland,” which originally debuted May 14, focuses on the struggles of Cleveland’s major sports franchises over the last half-century. Director Andy Billman and his production team were in Cleveland for Game 7 and will be there through the championship parade to capture the historic celebration. The Ohio native will also record a new introduction to the film based on the events of the last month.

John Dahl, ESPN Films VP told me this in a phone call today:

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More "Frozen" tie-ins

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 21, 2016

Disney announced "Frozen Northern Lights," an original story from the kingdom of Arendelle spanning a collection of books, animated shorts from the LEGO Group and new digital extensions. Beginning in July, "Frozen" fans can follow Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff and Sven on an epic adventure to restore the glimmer of the Northern Lights.

Credit: ©Disney*
Click here for photo and video assets including an interview with Josh Gad.

"Natural phenomenon meets cultural phenomenon in this all new story, 'Frozen Northern Lights,'" said Andrew Sugerman, executive vice president, Disney Publishing Worldwide. "We're excited to share this new adventure and offer fans great new ways to connect with their favorite characters thanks to a host of related books, digital games and activities."

The story titled, "Disney Frozen Northern Lights: Journey to the Lights," published by Random House, will be introduced as a deluxe novelization in July ahead of an extended collection of books featuring the familiar characters fans know and love, as well as a brand new protagonist named, Little Rock. The storyline will be reimagined by the LEGO Group with four new animated shorts and a full compilation airing on Disney Channel this fall. The shorts will bring the unique brand of stylized animation and witty LEGO humor to the world of "Frozen," with the voice talent from the movie reprising their roles.

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Two Guys Talkin': Stephen A. Smith and mansplaining Ayesha Curry's tweet

By staff Published: June 17, 2016

In this edition of Two Guys Talkin', Rich Heldenfels Malcolm X Abram take on comments made by the ever controversial Stephen A. Smith.

The setup: Smith called out Ayesha Curry, Steph's wife, for her "rigged" tweet during Game 6. During his rant, he goes to compare Ayesha to LeBron James' wife, Savannah. 

The response: Rich and Malcolm break down the sexist comments with a rant of their own.  

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CW sets fall premiere dates

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 17, 2016

The list:


8:00-9:00pm THE FLASH (Season Premiere)

9:00-10:00pm NO TOMORROW (Series Premiere)

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Cleveland Museum of Art sets festival of boxing movies before "Rocky." Lots of knockouts!

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 14, 2016


"Champion." "The Harder They Fall." "Requiem for a Heavyweight." "Fat City." More. Lots of cinema to love here. The official word:

Lords of the Ring: Boxing Films before Rocky and Raging Bull

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CMT makes deal for new "Nashville" season

By Rich Heldenfels Published: June 10, 2016

Interesting details about the deal are in this story. 

The official word: Nashies rejoice! On the heels of tremendous outcry from legions of devoted fans, CMT, Hulu, Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF) and ABC Studios today announced that the critically acclaimed and fan darling series “Nashville” will return with a brand new season on CMT. Long-time SVOD partner Hulu will continue to bring fans their favorite series 24/7 by making all “Nashville” episodes available to stream the day after they air on CMT.


The series is produced by Lionsgate, ABC Studios, and Opry Entertainment. Production will commence in Nashville with Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz (the creators of “Thirtysomething”)at the helm. The deal, negotiated by Lionsgate Television Group President Sandra Stern on behalf of Lionsgate and ABC Studios, Sarah Levy of Viacom Kids and Family Groupon behalf of CMT, and Hulu executives, is an orchestrated initiative to ensure that “Nashville” fans will continue to have the same level of access to their favorite show.

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