OSCAR: First Academy Screeners Arrived

Pete Hammond

And we’re off…  I received emails and calls from a couple of recently inducted Academy Award voters who reported that the first two screeners of the season arrived in their mailboxes Wednesday from Sony Pictures Classics. The studio beat the competition by … Read More »

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Chris Ball Hatches Wrekin Hill, Will Release Peter Weir’s ‘The Way Back’

Mike Fleming

Chris Ball, Newmarket president and co-founder, will leave to form Wrekin Hill Entertainment, a new specialty film production and distribution label. Ball will continue his association with Newmarket’s owner, Exclusive Media Group, getting the new shingle started by releasing the … Read More »

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MTV CHANGE-UP: Tony DiSanto & Liz Gateley Exit For ProdCo Backed By Ben Silverman; David Janollari To Get Upped

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: I hear that MTV’s president of programming Tony DiSanto and his top lieutenant, SVP series development Liz Gateley, will be leaving the network to form a production company that will focus on film as well as scripted and unscripted television. I hear Ben Silverman’s Electus, backed by Barry Diller’s IAC, will own a stake in the new company which has already lined up a number of commitments, including some from MTV. Meanwhile, former WB entertainment president David Janollari, who joined MTV in January as EVP scripted development, will most likely be elevated to a top programming position at the channel. Janollari, who may not inherit DiSanto’s president of programming title, would probably oversee series but not specials, news and events. I hear Janollari has been offered the job and has until tomorrow to accept, which he is expected to do. DiSanto and Gateley are expected to stay through the end of the year to help with the transition. Read More »

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WME Signs Kelsey, Reba, Little Big Town

By | Thursday September 30, 2010 @ 5:14pm PDT

Kelsey Grammer, the 5-time Emmy winner and Tony nominee, is moving from CAA to WME where he’ll be repped by the same half-dozen agent team who handle Tyler Perry. Grammer has a … Read More »

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Julia Roberts And Meryl Streep To Team In ‘August: Osage County’ For John Wells

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: In a power pairing, Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep are in talks to star for The Weinstein Company in the bigscreen adaptation of the Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer and Tony-winning play August: Osage County. I hear Roberts and Streep have agreed to the project and they are now working out deals and locking a production start. John Wells will direct the film from a script written by the playwright. Production will start by next summer. Streep will play Violet, the drug-addicted matriarch of the working class Weston clan. Roberts will play Barbara Fordham, the oldest daughter in the family. While mom’s problems and her penchant for revealing family secrets is a big issue, Barbara is melting because her husband is cheating with a college student. They are brought together when Violet’s husband goes missing and all three of their daughters come home to rally around mom. In the process, a lot of family secrets get revealed. The film has been developed for several years by Harvey Weinstein, who was involved Read More »

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Ryan Gosling Is George Clooney’s Choice For ‘Farragut North’

By | Thursday September 30, 2010 @ 3:38pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: George Clooney is close to finding his star for Farragut North. I’m told he’s negotiating with Ryan Gosling to play the lead role of a young communications director who works for a fast rising presidential candidate. During the course … Read More »

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Emma Thompson Joins ‘Men In Black 3′

Mike Fleming

Men in Black 3 is casting up. I’m told that Emma Thompson will be taking a lead role of Oh, the head of MIB. She’ll join Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin in the Barry Sonnenfeld-directed film for Sony Pictures Entertainment.  She’s negotiating. Principal photography begins in mid-November.

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Lifetime Greenlights ‘Meet Jane’ Pilot

By | Thursday September 30, 2010 @ 2:18pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Lifetime has handed out a pilot order to Meet Jane, a drama from writer Andi Bushell and executive turned producer Mark Pedowitz. This is the first pilot order for Pedowitz, who segued into producing early this year with a … Read More »

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Oxygen Greenlights Paris Hilton Docu-Series

By | Thursday September 30, 2010 @ 2:17pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Oxygen Media has ordered a new docu-series starring socialite and tabloid fixture Paris Hilton from veteran reality producer Arthur Smith (Hell’s Kitchen, Kitchen Nightmares). Here is the show’s official description:  “With Hollywood on one side and real life on the other, this series follows Paris and four important women in … Read More »

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Fox ‘Connected’ With Family Comedy From ‘American Dad’ Producer Nahnatchka Khan

By | Thursday September 30, 2010 @ 2:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

After a bidding war, Fox has handed out a put pilot commitment to Connected, a single-camera family comedy from from American Dad! executive producer Nahnatchka Khan and  documentary filmmaker R.J. Cutler. Khan will write and executive produce the project, an … Read More »

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Leno Narrowly Wins Premiere Week

Nellie Andreeva

Maybe it doesn’t matter who sits in the Tonight Show chair after all. NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno posted a 1.0 rating among adults 18-49 during premiere week, matching the performance of The Tonight Read More »

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Writer Sascha Penn Sets Up Series Projects With Directors Brett Ratner & Marcos Siega

By | Thursday September 30, 2010 @ 12:20pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Writer Sascha Penn has landed 2 premium script deals: one at Fox for Unknown, a drama with Brett Ratner attached to executive produce, and one at the CW for Confessions of a Back-Up Dancer with Marcos Siega attached to … Read More »

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Paramount Restructures Licensing/Consumer Products

By | Thursday September 30, 2010 @ 11:49am PDT
Mike Fleming

Paramount has restructured its Licensing and Consumer Products division. They’ve laid off 53 people worldwide and will save $10 million annually. Here is the memo just issued:

To: Paramount Employees
From: Frederick Huntsberry and Rob Moore
Date: Sept. 30, 2010

We wanted

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HOT PROPERTY: Overbrook & ‘Proposal’ Writer Shopping ‘Hitch’ Series Adaptation

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Will Smith and James Lassiter’s Overbrook Entertainment and The Proposal writer Pete Chiarelli are behind a series adaptation of the hit 2005 romantic comedy Hitch, which has several networks bidding on it. Chiarelli will pen the series project, described … Read More »

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Gotham Indie Awards Fete Actor Foursome

Mike Fleming

 

 

New York, NY (September 30, 2010) – The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the nation’s oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers, announced today that director Darren Aronofsky, actors Hilary Swank and Robert Duvall, and Focus Features CEO, James Schamus, will each be presented with a career Tribute at the

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Law & Order: LA’ Solid In Debut, ‘Undercovers’ Takes Plunge

Nellie Andreeva

The new Law & Order spinoff Law & Order: Los Angeles did OK in its debut on what was a down night all around, with all other series except Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen posting double-digit declines from last week. Topping the list … Read More »

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Paradigm Signs Actor William Fichtner

By | Thursday September 30, 2010 @ 8:57am PDT

I’ve often wondered why William Fichtner isn’t a household name since his face is so recognizable and his acting is always memorable. He came over to Paradigm from Gersh. Fichtner recently wrapped filming on Summit’s Drive Angry 3D penned by … Read More »

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Denis Leary And Jim Serpico’s Apostle Is Launching N.Y.-Based Management Division

By | Thursday September 30, 2010 @ 8:37am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCUSIVE: Denis Leary and Jim Serpico’s Apostle is branching out into management. The duo’s New York-based film and TV production company is launching Apostle Management, whose main focus will be shaping up the careers of stand-up comedians who aspire to … Read More »

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It’s Official: Anderson Cooper To Host Warner Bros TV-Syndicated Daily Daytime Strip But Also His CNN News Show

Anderson Cooper has signed a deal to host a new one-hour NYC-based daily daytime strip for Warner Bros Domestic Television Distribution, set for national syndication launch in Fall 2011. This should be very successful: one week, I caught Cooper co-hosting with Kelly Ripa — and he was a natural. Cooper will continue to anchor CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360″ airing weeknights at 10 PM ET. And, geez, is troubled CNN relieved he’s staying even though his ratings have plummeted. Luckily, both CNN and Warner Bros TV syndication sit under the same Time Warner banner. Said Jim Walton, the president of CNN Worldwide, “I am pleased that Anderson Cooper has extended his relationship with CNN and will be with us for years to come. I am also pleased to congratulate Anderson on his new relationship with Telepictures. We think it will be good for Anderson, good for CNN and good for Time Warner.”  And Cooper had this to say, “I remain as committed as ever to my program on CNN, and will be with CNN for years to come.” Here’s the news release: Read More »

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