America: A Tribute to Heroes raised more than US$150 million in pledges last Friday. The special event received help from the stars on hand and in the audience, with Julia Roberts offering up $2 million; Jim Carrey, Rosie O’Donnell, Sandra Bullock, and Dr. Dre pledging $1 million; and Britney Spears promising $1 for each ticket sold on her next tour, a donation estimated to be worth $2 million.
No resources were spared to comfort the victims in New York last week – even the victims who couldn’t speak for themselves. The Animal Planet Rescue vehicle was on hand to collect needed supplies and offer help to the American Humane Association, as they cared for the many animals that owners were forced to abandon during the disaster.
In the U.K., BSkyB is getting ready to pull the plug on its analog signal. As of Thursday at midnight, an estimated 100,000 viewers will be left staring at static, in spite of the channel’s best efforts at converting them to digital. Sky Digital has more than 5.5 million subscribers.
Toronto’s ChumCity International has sold 130 hours of programming to TRIO, a USA Networks broadcast outlet.
Florida stock house Broadcast Quality will rep the 100-hour collection of Dr. Guy Harvey, a renowned marine artist and biologist.
October 1 is the deadline for docs headed to the 74th Academy Awards. For a full list of entrance criteria, visit //www.oscars.org
The Extreme Sports Channel launched into France on the Noos TV network. The channel can currently be seen in 48 countries in Europe and the Middle East.
German broadcast regulators have settled on the Multimedia Home Platform standard for digital reception. All German viewers will soon be able to receive the same digital programming and interactive multimedia regardless of their receiver.
In Germany, ARD and ZDF have unveiled plans for German Television, a new digital service offering programming in German with a special focus on news and current affairs.
U.S. studio Universal has decided to forgo floor space at next year’s NATPE in favor of hotel space at the Venetian. Universal joins Warner Bros., Carsey-Werner-Mandabach, Buena Vista Television and King World in similar moves.
Toronto’s Hot Docs will begin a monthly doc screening series at the Royal Ontario Museum. Dubbed Doc Soup, the effort will bring the doc community together for screenings, talks with the filmmakers and audience discussions. The inaugural screening will take place October 12, and will feature Laurie Gwen Shapiro and David Shapiro’s Keep the River On Your Right.
Montreal’s TVA Group is looking to sell its 70% interest in TVA International.