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Director Ed Burns casts his vote in favor of Comcast-NBC Universal merger

January 7, 2011 | 10:56 am

Comcast's the one for Ed Burns.

The filmmaker ("She's the One," "The Brothers McMullen") has sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission supporting the cable giant's proposed merger with NBC Universal.

BURNS While many in the Hollywood community have expressed concern about what the effect of the nation's largest cable and broadband provider controlling a giant programmer would mean for independent programmers, Burns argues the deal will be good for filmmakers.

"I've seen in Comcast a real commitment to independent film," Burns told the FCC. He cited his own experience in working with Comcast to get his new film "Nice Guy Johnny" on the cable system's on-demand channels. "Comcast wants to drive more innovative distribution platforms ... being able to use strong Hollywood content to drive these new platforms become much more viable for indepdents, too."

Not everyone has the same enthusiasm. Producer and director John Wells ("ER," "The Company Men"), who is also president of the Writer's Guild West, told Congress last year that, "over the past several decades, our industry has consolidated from literally dozens of independent entrepreneurs and suppliers, including many writer-owners making innovative and groundbreaking programming, to a handful of large media conglomerates most often controlling content from start to finish."

-- Joe Flint

Photo: Ed Burns. Credit: Jason Kempin / Getty Image

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