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First off today, Andrew R. Chow at The New York Times reports that NBCUniversal is closing its comedy-oriented SeeoSo streaming service sometime later this year.
Launched in January 2016, the service was meant to be a home for comedy-related shows including next-day streaming of popular NBC programs such as Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show. The service also featured a lineup of original programming and offered an unusually low price of $3.99 per month.
However, following a round of layoffs in June, the service is shuttering its doors and transferring at least some of its original content to VRV, a larger but more expensive service.
Next up today, Ken Stone at the Times of San Diego reports that the Conan O’Brien joke theft lawsuit is in limbo as a court date today was abruptly cancelled to give both sides a chance to figure out if one of the jokes at issue was properly registered with the U.S. Copyright Office.
The lawsuit was filed by writer Robert Alex Kaseberg, who accused O’Brien of stealing at least three of his jokes for his opening monolog. This included the “Tom Brady Joke”, which Kaseberg had posted on his Twitter before O’Brien told a similar one to it. However, a dispute over whether or not the joke was successfully registered had erupted, in large part because of multiple attempts, rejections and appeals to get the U.S. Copyright Office to accept it.
The issue came to a head when Kaseberg’s attorney withdrew the application for registration only to later learn it had been granted. Now, instead of a August 10 trial-scheduling conference, Kaseberg has until August 18 to explain what the registration status is before the case can move forward.
Finally today, Lily Janiak at the San Francisco Chronicle reports that playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis has revoked the Shelton Theater’s license to perform The Last Days of Judas Iscariot citing script cuts and an ongoing dispute over them.
According to Guirgis, the theater took his 2-3 hour script and cut it down to under 80 minutes, also reducing the number of actors from 15 to 9 and made other changes to the script. After learning about the changes, Guirgis sent a letter to the theater that demanded they place a notice in their programs indicating that the changes were made without permission.
The theater did so but, when a friend of Guirgis went to see the play, he found that the insert superimposed the word “WARNING” over the text. Feeling that the theater was still attempting to divert responsibility, Guirgis revoked the theater’s license to put on the performance, bringing the run to an early close.