August 22, 2018: Turner Shuts Down 'Rick and Morty'-Theme Pop-Up Bar After One Day, See Inside the World’s First Beer Hotel, V.M.A.s Ratings Hit New Low

1. TURNER SHUTS DOWN 'RICK AND MORTY'-THEME POP-UP BAR AFTER ONE DAY: Drink Company, a Washington-based mixology and hospitality company known for its elaborate themed pop-up bars—some of which have been inspired by Game of Thrones, the Royal Wedding, and cherry blossoms—had its latest pop-up closed after one day. The Wubba Lubba Dub Pub, a bar themed after Cartoon Network series Rick and Morty, was shut down by Turner Broadcasting. The company sent Drink Company a cease and desist letter and demanded all art made for the bar be destroyed, or they would pay a $100,000 licensing fee. Vice: "Drink Company president Derek Brown told VICE the legal action was completely unexpected. 'It's a six-figure licensing fee. A short-run fan art thing can't spend $100,000,' he said. 'It might make sense for a T-shirt company or a long-term partner, but it's clear this was designed to shut us down.' Wubba Lubba Dub Pub was one drop in an ocean of fan-generated Rick and Morty tributes, from pins and pipes to fanfiction and art shows, but Adult Swim seems to have drawn the line at this pop-up. 'We couldn’t be sure that the experience was going to be up to our standards for... fans, whom we never want to disappoint,'  the company wrote in a statement on Saturday. ... Whether or not it's a net positive for the fans isn't the main issue for Adult Swim. Their statement says they weren’t contacted about the bar in advance, which 'wasn't polite' and, is also illegal. But that's not the case, according to Brown, who says he did inform the network about the bar, and was met with silence until receiving the cease-and-desist less than a week before the original August 9 opening. They delayed the opening for a week, offering to post disclaimers, donate all profits to charity, and pay a manageable licensing fee that would allow them to compensate staff. An agreement seemed possible right up until the bar was shut down on Friday. 'We didn't do anything wrong,' Brown said. He and his lawyer, John Mason, believe the bar is protected by fair use laws, but they’ve been forced to shutter because Turner can outspend them in court. Drink Company had to let their bartenders go and eat the cost of setting the space up over the last eight weeks. Squashing fan pop-up bars is a fairly new activity for entertainment companies trying to protect their intellectual property. Netflix swatted a Stranger Things pop-up last year, and LEGO forced a brick-theme watering hole to change its name. However, the law around these limited-run, ambiguously-branded events is still murky. Sometimes networks let them be."

2. SEE INSIDE THE WORLD€'S FIRST BEER HOTEL: A new hotel in Columbus, Ohio, is offering guests amenities such as beer taps in guest rooms and beer fridges in showers. Scottish brewer BrewDog has opened the hotel, DogHouse, and claims to be the world’s first brewery with lodging. The Telegraph: “Details released so far point to a suitably beer-soaked experience. Guests first enter a lobby dominated by a bar rather than a reception desk, with a bartender to handle check-in while also serving new arrivals with a welcome beer. Each of the 32 bedrooms (including eight suites) features beer on tap, minibars stocked with BrewDog’s craft brews, and views of the facility’s large wooden foeders. Aside from the aforementioned in-shower beer fridges, bathrooms are stocked with hop-infused toiletries. Other facilities at the DogHouse include an interactive museum detailing the brewing process and providing a history of craft beer, a media room, a fitness center, and a coffee bar in the lobby. And while the specifics aren't yet clear, a menu of beer-based spa treatments is also apparently in the works. BrewDog co-founder, James Watt, who launched the company in 2007 in partnership with Martin Dickie, has given thanks to the company's fans who, through a crowdfunding campaign, played a vital part in funding the new hotel. … Watt and Dickie first floated plans for a beer hotel in March 2017, at the same time appealing for donations to their cause with the aim of raising $75,000. Since receiving more than $300,000—four times the original target—from eager beer enthusiasts, the company plans to launch a second hotel at its headquarters in Aberdeenshire, which is slated to open in 2019.”

3. V.M.A.S RATINGS HIT NEW LOW: For the second consecutive year, the MTV Video Music Awards drew its smallest audience ever. Monday's ceremony drew 2.25 million viewers and a 1.1 rating among adults 18-49. The Hollywood Reporter: "Across eight Viacom-owned channels, it drew 4.87 million viewers and a 2.2 in the demo; both sets of numbers fall short of the 2017 VMAs, which set the previous low. The awards also aired on a ninth Viacom network, TV Land, for which numbers weren't immediately available. It is highly unlikely, however, that enough people tuned in there to push the VMAs past their 2017 on-air total of 5.36 million viewers and 2.6 rating in adults 18-49. ... The MTV-only airing is down 15 percent in viewers and 21 percent in adults 18-49 versus 2017. The simulcast is off about 9 percent in viewers and 15 percent in the demo. The VMAs suffered even steeper declines among MTV's core viewership of teens and young adults. In the 18-34 demo, the show's 1.2 rating fell by almost half—47 percent, to be precise—from 2.2 a year ago. It declined by similar percentages in the 12-34 cohort."


CHICAGO:  The Paramount Group has appointed Amy Unell its first-ever chief operating officer. 

LOS ANGELES:  Variety's annual Power of Young Hollywood event will take place August 28 at the Sunset Tower Hotel. Lili Reinhart will be honored with the Variety and H&M Conscious Award. 

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NEW YORK:  The ninth annual New York City Unicycle Festival will take place August 30-September 2. The citywide event will have long distance rides, public shows, a trials course, and more. The event is produced by Bindlestiff Family Variety Arts, Inc. 

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SAN FRANCISCO:  San Francisco Symphony’s 107th Season Opening Night Gala will take place September 5 at Davis Symphony Hall. 

TORONTO:  Art Gallery of Ontario’s Art Toronto Opening Night benefit will take place October 25 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Last year’s event hosted more than 2,300 guests and raised more than $500,000.

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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