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Aspiring directors won't have a six-month respite from bidding against prolific comedy shooter Noam Murro after all. After signing on to direct the sequel to Dreamworks' 2002 thriller The Ring in November, Murro split with the project in March in what Shawn Lacy Tessaro-executive producer at Murro's production company Biscuit Filmworks-describes as a "very amicable parting. Ultimately they just saw two different films," she says. ... John Garland, head of broadcast production at J. Walter Thompson/New York, has reshuffled his department to form four autonomous production "pods," led by executive producers Terry Brogan, Bill Finnegan, Darcey Cherubini and Jill Rothman-the last of whom returns to JWT from DDB/New York. ... Greg Caplan, managing director and co-founder of Final Cut, has sold his stake in the bicontinental edit house and left the company to devote more time to London visual effects house-and Final Cut sister company-Clear. ... Shuffle, a production company with offices in L.A. and Tokyo that specializes in commercials for the Japanese market, has announced the launch of Shuffle USA-a unit devoted to producing commercials for the U.S. market. COO Alan Bresnick will head the new venture. London's Therapy Films has linked with Anonymous Content for representation in the U.S. In addition to Therapy co-founder Malcolm Venville-who is already repped by Anonymous-the deal will provide stateside representation for directors Guy Manwaring, James Haworth, Simon Levene and Therapy partner Mark Denton. ... L.A. music house Mophonics has announced its expansion to the East Coast via an alliance with New York's Integrated Studios. ... American Express and O&M/N.Y. have launched the first of two "webisodes" in The Adventures of Seinfeld and Superman, an online mini-series that takes off from a 1998 AmEx campaign. Produced by @radical.media and shot by Barry Levinson, the first episode has Seinfeld and Superman sauntering around New York, when Jerry's new DVD player is damaged, as a crook bounces it off Superman's chest. AmEx, of course, provides a replacement. See www.americanexpress.com/jerry.
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