The circus is taking to Hollywood's streets when it comes to town next month. Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue will be the site of what's being billed as the world's biggest pie fight.

On Aug. 1, Feld Entertainment Inc.'s Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus will stage the event in front of the Guinness Museum. It will benefit the local nonprofit organization L.A.'s BEST Better Educated Students for Tomorrow an after-school enrichment program serving more than 23,000 underprivileged children. The program provides after school care for youths ages 5 to 12 at 147 elementary schools at no cost to parents.

As befits a circus-sponsored event, the secondary goal is a fun one to break the Guinness Book of Records record for pie throwing.

Contestants must raise or donate $25 to participate and Coco's, owned by Catalina Restaurant Group Inc., is using its local bakeries to provide more than 5,000 pies for the messy charity event.

The stunt coincides with July 19-23 run of Ringling Bros.' revamped circus show at the Staples Center.

Class Project
Burbank schools are getting ready for their close-up.

The Burbank Unified School District Board of Education will contract with FilmL.A. Inc. to coordinate on-location film production at the district's 20 school campuses. The private, nonprofit film office will handle all on-location production permits, fee collection and marketing services based on the one-year renewable contract.

School district officials said revenue generated by location fees will be used to fund individual schools and district-wide programs, with 75 percent of the net profit to be given to the schools where filming occurs, and the remaining 25 percent to be used to support the district's "Arts for All" program.

FilmL.A. has handled on-location film permits for the Los Angeles Unified School District's more than 800 facilities since 2002, and has helped the district expand the number of campuses that have hosted production more than 12-fold, from 19 to 250 campuses.

In won't be a debut for Burbank schools. Among other productions, the ABC series "The Wonder Years" was shot there from 1988 to 1993.

Lions Gate Growing
Entertainment studio Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. has purchased independent television distributor Debmar-Mercury LLC, and will use the company as the in-house distributor for Lions Gate's TV content.

Debmar-Mercury owns distribution rights to Comedy Central's off-color animated sitcom "South Park," the Lions Gate drama "The Dead Zone" and the Sci-Fi Channel's "Farscape" series, which is produced by Hallmark Entertainment and the Jim Henson Co.

The acquisition follows Lions Gate's fall acquisition of U.K.-based distributor Redbus, since rechristened Lions Gate UK, which gave the studio an international distribution arm.

The Debmar deal will allow the studio to syndicate its own TV programming and feature film packages, rather than relying on a third party, and could bring in new television distribution revenue stream from third-party franchise properties.

Onboard for Billboards
Nielsen Media Research's Nielsen Outdoor division announced last week it has received support from Publicis Groupe Media including Starcom MediaVest Group, one of the world's largest brand communications groups and ZenithMedia, a unit of ZenithOptimedia, the world's sixth largest media agency for its GPS-based ratings service measuring outdoor advertising in Los Angeles.

The test period kicked off this summer, with study participants carrying cell phone-like devices to measure their potential viewership of the 26,000 signs around Los Angeles. The service uses 24 satellites to track travel patterns in 20-second increments, enabling Nielsen to measure participants' exposure to billboards and other forms of outdoor advertising.

Staff reporter Anne Riley-Katz can be reached at or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 225.

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