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Hollywood largely quiet about voting law; Showtime’s “First Ladies,’ Bret Baier, ‘Coming 2 America,’ Martha Zoller


ViacomCBS, which airs Atlanta-produced “MacGyver” on CBS, on Wednesday expressed direct opposition to the new law: “We unequivocally believe in the importance of all Americans having an equal right to vote and oppose the recent Georgia voting rights law or any effort that impedes the ability to exercise this vital constitutional right,” the media giant said in a statement.

Tyler Perry, who is one studio owner who has zero plans to go anywhere no matter what happens at the state legislature, said in a statement earlier this week that he hopes producers don’t turn their backs on the state now.

“I’m resting my hope in the DOJ taking a hard look at this unconstitutional voter suppression law that harkens to the Jim Crow era,” Perry wrote. “As some consider boycotting, please remember that we did turn Georgia blue, and there is a gubernatorial race on the horizon — that’s the beauty of a democracy.”

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Showtime’s anthology “The First Lady” is starting production in Atlanta featuring Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford, Viola Davis as Michelle Obama and Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt. Fox (left)/AP photos (middle and right)

Credit: Fox/AP

Credit: Fox/AP

In the meantime, Showtime is shooting its upcoming anthology series “The First Lady” in metro Atlanta.

The series is executive produced by Emmy, Tony and Oscar winner Viola Davis, who will play Michelle Obama. Gillian Anderson of “X Files” and “The Crown” fame will play Eleanor Roosevelt. And Michelle Pfeiffer (”Dangerous Liaisons,” “The Fabulous Baker Boys”) will play Betty Ford.

According to Showtime, the first season “will peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of three unique, enigmatic women, tracing their journeys to Washington through interweaving storylines with an enlightening intimacy.”

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Bret Baier will be at the Fox News election night desk again on Nov. 3, 2020. Credit: Fox News

Bret Baier will be at the Fox News election night desk again on Nov. 3, 2020. Credit: Fox News

Credit: ALEXANDER DRAGO

Credit: ALEXANDER DRAGO

Bret Baier, who started his Fox News career as a correspondent out of Atlanta in the late 1990s, has signed an extension to his contract that guarantees him an anchor chair through at least 2026.

“Bret has masterfully covered some of the most consequential news stories of our time, and we’re thrilled to have him continue his extraordinary journalism career at Fox News for many years to come,” said Suzanne Scott, the CEO of Fox News Media, in a statement.

He has been an evening anchor for 12 years, and his current show airs nightly at 6 p.m. He draws more than 2 million viewers a night.

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Martha Zoller, candidate for the 9th congressional seat, shakes hands with Terry Dawson with his wife Marie Dawson looking on while working the crowd for votes at the Dahlonega-Lumpkin Chamber After Hours event on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012.

Martha Zoller, candidate for the 9th congressional seat, shakes hands with Terry Dawson with his wife Marie Dawson looking on while working the crowd for votes at the Dahlonega-Lumpkin Chamber After Hours event on Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012.

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

Martha Zoller’s political talk show will get an extra hour, as WDUN-AM in Gainesville reshuffles its lineup after the death of Rush Limbaugh. Todd Starnes will take over Limbaugh’s slot from noon to 3 p.m.

Zoller’s “Morning Talk with Martha Zoller” will be rebranded as “The Martha Zoller Show” and air from 9-11 a.m. starting Monday, April 5.

“I love what I’m doing,” Zoller said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Friday. “I think it’s hard to get everything in an hour.” And though she is a Republican and her coverage area is heavily conservative, she was able to recently nab an interview with Democratic Sen. Jon Osoff.

Zoller is one of the few female political talk show hosts in the arena. She started her career at WDUN in 1994 and was a regular fixture there until she left in 2009. She ran for Congress in 2012. In 2014, she worked for U.S. Sen. David Perdue and then-Gov. Brian Kemp, where she worked as a policy advisor and outreach director. In May 2019, she returned to WDUN.

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Eddie Murphy, right, and Arsenio Hall, far left, star in "Coming 2 America" (Courtesy of Amazon Studios/TNS)

Eddie Murphy, right, and Arsenio Hall, far left, star in “Coming 2 America” (Courtesy of Amazon Studios/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Nielsen reports that Amazon Prime’s “Coming 2 America” was the most popular streamed film or TV series the first week of March when it came out.

The film, shot in metro Atlanta in 2019, drew 1.413 billion minutes of total viewing among U.S. viewers, based on Nielsen’s SVOD Content Ratings estimates. Black viewers accounted for 40% of the film’s audience.

“The premiere of ‘Coming 2 America’ has far exceeded any of our wildest expectations,” Jen Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said in a statement. “It’s clear an entire new generation of fans have joined the enormous loyal fanbase who already adored the magical world created by global phenom Eddie Murphy, the incredibly talented filmmaking team and the hilarious, all-star cast of existing and newly-cemented legends.”

This is the first time Amazon Prime has topped the top 10 weekly list, which is usually dominated by Netflix titles. “WandaVision,” a Disney+ series shot partly in Georgia, came in fourth place, behind only the relationship series “Ginny & Georgia” and repeats of “Criminal Minds” on Netflix.

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