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