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Nolan’s ‘Inception’ #1 For 3rd Weekend; Carell’s ‘Dinner For Schmucks’ Opens #2; But Zac Efron’s ‘Charlie St Cloud’ Only #6

SUNDAY AM: As July ended, three opening studio movies — Dinner For Schmucks, Charlie St Cloud (which collapsed 32% from Friday to Saturday because Zac Efron’s High School Musical fans frontloaded the grosses), Cats & Dogs 3D: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore – made for a crowded summer box office what with holdovers Salt, Inception, and Despicable Me still going strong. Here are Friday, Saturday, weekend, and cume U.S. and Canada grosses. This weekend will be the first since June 4th without a $30+ million grossing pic. But overall ticket sales still look to total $135M a point or two ahead of last year:

1. Inception (Warner Bros) Week 3 [3,545 Dates]
Friday $8.1M, Saturday $10M, Weekend $27.5M (-36%), Cume $193.3M

Look at those dreamy legs… Chris Nolan’s original film for Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures just keeps going, and going, with great holds. It’s the No. 1 movie for the 3rd straight weekend after briefly giving way to Dinner With Schmucks Friday.

2. Dinner For Schmucks (Paramount) NEW [2,911 Dates]
Friday $8.4M, Saturday $8.3M, Weekend $23.3M

TParamount, DreamWorks, and Spyglass all financed a third of the $62M budget. (This is the first movie new DreamWorks invested in.) Paramount has worldwide distribution and will roll out international in the fall. The behind the scenes maneuvering to turn this comedy from a mediocre grosser to average moneymaker makes for an always interesting but far from atypical story. Back on June 9th, I reported that the buzz had been “it’s not working” on this pic so Paramount, DreamWorks, and Spyglass delayed Dinner For Schmucks originally … Read More »

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2010 TV Critics Association Awards ‘Glee’

By | Saturday July 31, 2010 @ 9:28pm PDT

Freshman shows on the broadcast networks ruled as the Television Critics Association (TCA), a media organization comprised of more than 200 professional TV critics and journalists from the United States and Canada, tonight announced its awards for outstanding television programming in the 2009-2010 season:

Program of the Year
“Glee” (Fox)

Individual Achievement in Drama
Julianna Margulies (“The Good Wife” CBS)

Individual Achievement in Comedy
Jane Lynch (“Glee” Fox)

Outstanding New Program
“Glee” (Fox)

Outstanding Achievement in Drama
TIE: “Breaking Bad” (AMC) and “Lost” (ABC)

Outstanding Achievement in Comedy
“Modern Family” (ABC)

Outstanding Achievement in Movies, Miniseries and Specials
“The Pacific” (HBO)

Career Achievement Award
James Garner

Heritage Award
“M*A*S*H”

Outstanding Achievement in News and Information
“Life” (Discovery Channel)

Outstanding Achievement in Youth Programming
“Yo Gabba Gabba” (Nick Jr.)

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Sly’s ‘The Expendables’ Tracking Very Big



Lionsgate and Sylvester Stallone could sure use a fresh hit when it opens August 13th. But what an irresistible concept seeing Stallone directing and starring with Jason Statham, Jet Li, Randy Couture, Mickey Rourke, Dolph Lundgren, Steve Austin, Terry Crews, and even Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger (for nanoseconds). It’s the kind of old school camp that the action box office needs. So what will it make? My box office gurus are predicting at the very least $30+M and maybe as much as $40M because it’s R-rated, only 2D, but helped by a short running time of only 1 hour, 43 minutes. Comic-Con: ‘The Expendables’ Panel

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New Trailer: ‘Catfish’

By | Saturday July 31, 2010 @ 12:21pm PDT

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More Talent Agents Becoming Managers

UPDATE: Bill Butler is leaving Gersh to manage his client Melina Kanakaredes, who is moving to WME for agency representation. Also, Karen Forman — a talent agent at Metropolitan, APA and most recently Domain – is partnering with Danielle Del and Didi Rea at D2 Management.

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Regina Hall & Wanda De Jesus Join ‘Law & Order: LA’; Cast Locked In For Monday Start

UPDATE: NBC’s new series Los & Order: Los Angeles has locked in its cast, with one day to spare. CSI: Miami alumna Wanda De Jesus and former Ally McBeal co-star Regina Hall have landed the last regular roles on the crime procedural, which starts production on Monday. De Jesus will play Lieutenant Arleen Gonzales, the cool and authoritative captain of the LAPD Robbery Homicide Division. Hall will play DDA Eva Price, a gorgeous and brainy bombshell with a strong sense of moral rectitude. The two join previously cast Skeet Ulrich, Alfred Molina, Terrence Howard, Corey Stoll. De Jesus, repped by Diverse Talent and manager Bob McGowan, appears on All My Children. One of Hall’s first acting gigs was a guest spot on New York Undercover co-created by Dick Wolf. The actress, repped by ICM and Principato Young, went on to work mostly in features (Scary Movie, Death At A Funeral). Molina and Howard will alternate as Deputy D.A.s, while Ulrich and Stoll play Detective Rex Winters and TJ Jaruszalski, respectively.

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EMMYS: Director, Designer, & Band Named

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA, July 30, 2010 – Four-time Emmy® Award recipient Glenn Weiss and two-time Emmy® Award recipient Steve Bass have been named to the 62nd Primetime Emmy® Awards production team, Executive Producer Don Mischer announced today. Weiss returns as Director and Bass as Production Designer of the telecast, airing live coast-to-coast on Sunday, August 29 (8:00 PM ET / 5:00 PM PT) on NBC from the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles. Also returning to the Primetime Emmys for an encore performance, is the 17-piece “dream team” band under the direction of Steve Jordan and David Paich and comprised of renowned rock, jazz and studio greats, including guitarists Dean Parks and Ray Parker, Jr., keyboardist Michael Bearden, saxophonist Tom Scott, bassist Darryl Jones and percussionist Lenny Castro.

As Executive Producer of seven Tony Awards and Director of the last ten, Glenn Weiss has received four Primetime Emmy Awards. Aside from collaborating with Mischer in 2009 for the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards, the pair has joined forces on many other projects, including working as co-executive producers of the 2007, 2008 and 2009 Super Bowl Halftime Shows with Prince, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen respectively. In addition, Weiss has directed numerous television specials which recently includes The Neighborhood Ball: An Inauguration (2009), the Academy of Country Music Awards (2009, 2010) and the American Music Awards (2008, 2009) among many others. Weiss’ television series credits include The Singing Bee, Wanna

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Emmys: So Many Awards, So Little Time

Ray Richmond in contributing to Deadline’s Emmy and TCA coverage.

Primetime Emmy executive producer Don Mischer expressed some frustration at a TCA session hyping NBC’s 62nd Primetime Emmy Awards telecast: so many awards and so little time. “We’ve got to hand out 27 of them in 2 hours, 6 minutes, and 54 seconds — and we’re already running over,” he said. Mischer was responding to questions about categories already moved from the primetime telecast to the Creative Arts Ceremony eight days before. This includes the top reality host competition as well as writers and directors of comedy, variety and music series. All had been included in 2009 but will now be out of the telecast in favor of writers and directors for specials.

“We also have included the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award for the first time in six years,” Mischer added, “which will take another five minutes during the telecast.” (George Clooney will be receiving it.) Mischer maintained that he and the telecast don’t have nearly as much flexibility as people imagine. “On the longform awards, for example, we didn’t have the option of shifting the writers and directors for contractual reasons. And we really didn’t want to think about taking the made-for-TV movie or miniseries award out. The reality host award was one we didn’t have a commitment to in terms of keeping it in the telecast.” Read More »

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Actresses Still Testing On ‘Dragon Tattoo’ — Now In Costume With Daniel Craig

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Is it an exaggeration to say not since Gone with the Wind has the actress casting search for a studio film captured such attention? The decision on who’ll play Lisbeth Salander in Sony Pictures Entertainment’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo continues. Director David Fincher tested actresses this week and will hold another testing this Sunday. I’ve heard that Fincher will test as many as six actresses this time, and the stakes have been raised. Daniel Craig will read alongside the aspirants, and each of them will get the full hair, makeup, wardrobe, and piercings treatment, which wasn’t done in the earlier tests. This should give Fincher a sense of who is the best match to play the rogue computer hacking genius –  one of the most complex roles to come along for a young actress in a very long time.

Right now the actresses who are being seriously considered may still include Inception’s Ellen Page, Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland), Emily Browning (Sucker Punch), Sarah Snook (Sleeping Beauty), Rooney Mara (The Social Network), Sophie Lowe (Blame) and now French actress Lea Seydoux. Browning and Wasikowska didn’t make test deals, while Page sent in her own. Fish Tank discovery Katie Jarvis is a late entry but she isn’t testing Sunday.

Sony Pictures will release the first filmed installment of Stieg Larsson’s bestselling trilogy of books on December 21, 2011, and will begin production in early fall. Steve Zaillian wrote the script and Scott Rudin … Read More »

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TCA: No ‘Idol’ Judge News On Monday

Nellie Andreeva

Despite speculation about the new judges on American Idol reaching fever pitch, word is that Fox will not make any announcements at its TCA presentation Monday as previously anticipated. On the other hand, new ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee, who had been a question mark for ABC’s TCA session on Sunday, is now confirmed after his appointment was officially announced today.

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TCA: Is ‘Outsourced’ Funny Or Offensive?

By | Friday July 30, 2010 @ 5:21pm PDT

Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

At today’s TCA session on NBC’s Outsourced, the producers and actors made the claim that the already controversial sitcom about a U.S. company that outsourced its call center to India, serves as a “point of departure” for what is essentially a comedy about character rather than ethnicity. One questioner asked pointedly: “If a person were to say that this show traffics in a very large number of Indian stereotypes, would that person be wrong?”

“I would say wrong,” replied a slightly testy Robert Borden, executive producer. “I think where we approach this is certainly not a mean-spirited place. A third of the writing staff is Indian. We’re not wallowing in that kind of stuff that you are insinuating, but we are going to have a lot of fun with relatable characters in a workplace comedy.” The producers also addressed questions about whether Americans, faced with massive unemployment stateside, would find outsourcing a less than amusing subject. Replied Borden, “That’s not what the show is about. It’s workplace comedy with a big fish-out-of-water component. If there’s a little bit of risk, is that good? Yeah, I think so.” Earlier in the day, NBC’s president of primetime entertainment Angela Bromstad said that Outsourced which is set in Mumbai but filmed at Radford Studios in Studio City, will in the future “need to make it less like an office … Read More »

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TCA: ‘Undercovers’ Producers Reluctant Trailblazers For Casting Two Black Leads

Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

Is a spy drama with two black actors as the male-female romantic leads a revolution for network television? At TCA today, the producers of NBC’s upcoming Undercovers, which is just such a show — hemmed and hawed in answering the question that really shouldn’t be a question in 2010 but, well, still is.

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President Obama Visit Breaks Ratings Records For ‘The View’; 6.6 Million Tune In

Nellie Andreeva

Yesterday’s much-hyped edition of The View with President Barack Obama drew the largest audience ever in the history of the ABC’s daytime talk show. The program, which also featured the return of co-host Barbara Walters from heart surgery, was watched by 6.6 million viewers. The View‘s previous audience record was 6.2 million, logged on the day after the 2008 Presidential Election, which was won by Obama.

“A historic interview leads to historic ratings,” said Brian Frons, President, Daytime, Disney/ABC Television Group. “It was wonderful to have Barbara Walters back for the interview with President Barack Obama, her first interview since her heart surgery, and together all five co-hosts did what they do best, ask the questions that are on our viewers’ minds.”

In the interview, President Obama was quizzed about Chelsea Clinton’s wedding, Mel Gibson’s outbursts, Lindsay Lohan’s jail sentence and Jersey Shore star Snooki.

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EMMYS: Writers For Variety/Comedy Series Invited Back To Primetime Emmys …Sort Of

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Writers on TV’s late-night comedy shows are still angry at the news that for the first time their category won’t be part of the Primetime Emmy telecast. Instead, as part of last year’s agreement between the TV Academy and Writers Guild, their category will be presented at the Creative Arts Awards the week before. Now those same scribes have been invited to write pre-taped bits for the shows nominated in the Best Variety, Music, or Comedy Series category. “Kinda insulting, no?” said one of the nominated writers approached for the gig.

A spokesman for the TV Academy explained: “While we are upholding our current agreement with the WGA, we still wanted to find a way to include the VMC writers in the telecast as it is always an entertaining part of the show. [So] the producers of this year’s telecast have reached out to the VMC Series writers to contribute to the nomination packages which are a highlight of the ceremony.”

In the past, when there was one writing for VMC series/special category, it was usually highlight of the ceremony. “It has always been one few moments during the Emmys to contain actual entertainment, because the writers come up with those funny pre-taped bits that roll while all those Jewish surnames are being read,” one writer said.

As part of the agreement last summer following the split of the variety music or comedy categories in two, series and specials, the far-less-prominent writing for a VMC special category will be presented at the Primetime Emmy ceremony, slated to air Aug. 29 on NBC. Read More »

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Richard Branson Venture’s Virgin Film Has Raunchy Laughs, Lotta Stars

Mike Fleming

The first film that gets Richard Branson’s Virgin Produced film shingle off the tarmac–it was innocuously mentioned as an untitled Peter Farrelly film in the announcement of Branson’s joint venture with Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity–has a bigger concentration of first class cabin-caliber actors than any under-$8 million film I can remember. And the cast is still growing. Deadline was first to reveal the Kentucky Fried Movie-style laffer when Kavanaugh replaced Overture Films as financier and the film started production. They had a good cast then, but the filmmakers keep bolstering by showing prospective talent the raucous segments shot so far, especially the Farrelly-directed seg with Hugh Jackman and Kate Winslet that is especially outrageous and R-rated. Aside from Jackman and Winslet, the cast now includes Richard Gere, Anton Yelchin, Gerard Butler, Naomi Watts, Anna Faris, Johnny Knoxville, Julianne Moore, Liev Schreiber, Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell, Kate Bosworth, Josh Duhamel, Justin Long, Seann William Scott, Emma Stone, Jack McBrayer, Chloe Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Uma Thurman. 14 segments are in the can, with 5 to go. Steve Brill, Steve Carr and James Gunn have joined a director roster that already had Peter and Bobby Farrelly, Brett Ratner, Banks and Griffin Dunne. The pic, a co-production between Greene Street and Relativity, is produced by Kavanaugh, John Penotti, Peter Farrelly and Charlie Wessler. Tim Williams and Tucker Tooley are exec producers.

17 Film Directors Walk Into A Bar…

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TCA: ‘Event’ Team Asks For Viewers’ Trust

By | Friday July 30, 2010 @ 1:48pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The panel for NBC’s The Event often evoked 24 and Lost and understandably so as the new NBC serialized thriller about a government conspiracy is touted as a potential successor to the iconic dramas that bowed out in May.  It also has 24 veteran Evan Katz as showrunner. “The show won’t be as dark (as 24) but there will be the same intensity, the same roller-coaster ride that provokes visceral response to what you watch.”

Producers fielded a lot of questions about how they will sustain viewers’ interest in a dense serialized drama. The biggest questions in the pilot will be answered in the second episode, Katz said. (The Event received strong reaction at Comic-Con last week.) Creator Nick Wauters, who admitted to being influenced by Lost and 24, stressed that “we will try and reveal as many answers as we can as we go and set up more mysteries. “But you have to go on faith that we know what we’re doing,” he said. “As a viewer myself and a fan of Lost, I ask for people’s trust.”

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RATINGS RAT RACE: MTV’s ‘Jersey Shore’ Returns Huge

Nellie Andreeva

MTV’s reality hit Jersey Shore broke series records with its second season premiere last night, which drew 5.3 million viewers and a 5.1 rating in people 12-34. This marks the top cable telecast of the year in 12-34 and MTV’s best season premiere rating in more than seven years, since the Season Two launch of  The Osbournes. The Season 2 premiere of Jersey Shore was up 292% over its series debut last year in 12-34 and up 280% in viewers. It was also up 10% from the show’s blockbuster Season 1 finale.

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TOLDJA! Disney Names ABC Family’s Paul Lee To ABC Entertainment Group President

The Network Builder: Former War Reporter Paul Lee
ABC Family’s Paul Lee Taking Over ABC Entertainment Group

Burbank, CA – Anne Sweeney, Co-Chairman Disney/ABC Media Networks and President, Disney/ABC Television Group today announced today that former ABC Family President Paul Lee has been named President, ABC Entertainment Group, effective immediately.

In his new role with the ABC Entertainment Group, Lee has oversight of all creative and business operations for ABC Studios, as well as all development, programming, marketing and scheduling operations for ABC Entertainment.

In discussing the announcement, Sweeney stated: “Paul was hired six years ago because of his great creative instincts and his ability to identify an audience and develop programming that resonates with them, and those same strengths are why he was tapped for this new responsibility. Paul’s success at ABC Family is as amazing as it is indisputable, and I’m looking forward to his continued success on ABC.”

Lee added: “I’m proud of everything we achieved at ABC Family, and I’m looking forward to working with another great team at ABC Entertainment Group to bring even more compelling stories to viewers. ABC is a great network defined by creativity and known for delivering some of the best shows on television. I’m excited to be part of

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TCA: Dick Wolf Confirms Mothership ‘Law & Order’ Series Is Dead

Nellie Andreeva

“I can confirm that (Law & Order) has moved into the history books, the franchise creator Dick Wolf said at the opening of the TCA session for the latest spinoff, Law & Order: Los Angeles, putting an end to any speculation that the show still may find a new home. He opened the LOLA session with a statement:

“We were extremely disappointed that Law & Order is not coming back for a record 21st season. But that’s life. All series start with a death sentence, they just don’t give you the date of execution. The past is the past, and this (LOLA) is a new show.”

After the panel, Wolf also squashed speculation about a possible Law & Order movie, stressing that this indeed was the end of Law & Order as we know it and saying that he was able to tell all stories he had wanted to tell within the framework of that show.

During the session, he refused to discuss whether financial issues led to the cancellation of the veteran series on NBC, only stressing that “in the 23 years I’ve been continuously on the air, we’ve never failed to make a deal when there was a deal to be made.”

The new series, LOLA, will be closer to the mothership than fellow spinoffs Law & Order: SVU and Law & Order: CI, in terms of having the police and legal side play equal parts.I’m not paying (Alfred Molina and Terrence Howard) to be secondary characters,” Wolf said. Read More »

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