‘Heroes’ Alumna Hayden Panettiere To Star In ABC Drama Pilot ‘Nashville’

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 8:27pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Former Heroes star Hayden Panettiere is heading back to primetime with a starring role in ABC’s drama pilot Nashville. Written by Callie Khouri, directed by R.J. Cutler and produced by Lionsgate and ABC Studios, Nashville is described as a family soap about love, country music, family, politics and sex set against the backdrop of the Nashville music scene. It centers on 40-year-old Nashville superstar Rayna James who is stunned to find that her star is fading and her label requires her to team up with teen sensation Juliette Barnes (Panettiere) on tour–or else face the loss of her own tour and the label’s promotion of her latest record, whose sales have been underwhelming. On Nashville, Panettiere, repped by WME and Brookside Artist Management, joins previously cast Robert Wisdom, Powers Boothe, Clare Bowen and Jonathan Jackson. The actress, best known for her role as cheerleader Claire Bennett on the NBC drama Heroes, recently toplined the Lifetime telefilm Amanda Knox: Murder On Trial In Italy and co-starred in the feature Scream 4. In addition to acting, Panettiere also has done singing on the side, recording several songs. Here is the music video for her debut single, the 2008 Wake Up Call: Read More »

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Fox 2000 Taps ‘Downton Abbey’s Brian Percival To Direct ‘The Book Thief’

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 7:18pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Fox 2000 has set Downton Abbey helmer Brian Percival to direct The Book Thief, the Michael Petroni-scripted adaptation of the Marcus Zusak novel that has been on the Children’s Chapter Paperback New York Times bestseller list for 228 weeks. … Read More »

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Elizabeth Perkins To Co-Star In ABC’s Claudia Lonow Pilot Starring Sarah Chalke

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 6:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Weeds alumna Elizabeth Perkins is set to star opposite Sarah Chalke in Claudia Lonow’s ABC comedy pilot How to Live With Your Parents For The Rest Of Your Life. The multi-camera/hybrid comedy, from 20th TV and Imagine, centers on Polly … Read More »

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Chris Nolan Exits CAA; Will Follow Agent Dan Aloni Wherever He Goes

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 6:01pm PST
Mike Fleming

SHOCKER: Chris Nolan’s Agent Dan Aloni Fired From CAA

EXCLUSIVE: Chris Nolan has just left CAA, in the wake of the firing of Dan Aloni. A source close to the situation tells me that Nolan and his producer/wife Emma Thomas, … Read More »

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Christopher Lloyd Among Pilot Additions

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 6:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Veteran Christpher Lloyd has been tapped to star opposite John Leguizamo and Dustin Ybarra in ABC’s multicamera comedy pilot Only Fools And Horses. Based on the British format, the multicamera comedy chronicles the misadventures of two streetwise brothers, Del (Leguizamo) and Rodney (Ybarra), and their aging grandfather (Lloyd) as they concoct outrageous, morally questionable get-rich-quick schemes in their quest to become millionaires. Also cast in the pilot is BJ Bales (Happy Endings) as Trigger, a ghetto-talking con man who is Del and Rodney’s perpetual enemy. Lloyd is with Gersh and Freedman Management; Bales is with APA and Principato-Young,

Majandra Delfino (The Great State Of Georgia) has been cast in ABC’s single-camera pilot starring Mandy Moore and directed by Shawn Levy. The project, written by Bob Fisher and Stacy Traub, centers on newlyweds Annie (Moore) and Ben, who get the opportunity of a lifetime to run a hip, new restaurant in Annie’s hometown bringing her closer to her needy and high-maintenance family. APA-repped Delfino will play one of Annie’s sisters, who is divorced and living at home. 20th Century Fox TV is producing with Shawn Levy and Marty Adelstein’s studio-based banner. Read More »

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Romeo Miller Re-Teams With Tom Lynch For Musical Sitcom

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 5:32pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Almost a decade after Romeo Miller first teamed with Tom Lynch for the Nickelodeon series Romeo!, the actor/rapper is back in business with the pre-eminent producer of comedy series for the tween and teen set. The two are collaborating … Read More »

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‘Killer Joe’ Gets NC-17; Planning To Appeal Rating

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 4:56pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Another movie has gotten an NC-17. Killer Joe, the Billy Friedkin-directed adaptation of the Tracy Letts play just got an NC-17 rating. That is one of the first releases by LD Entertainment, the new distribution company started by Mickey … Read More »

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Writer-Producer Rina Mimoun Signs Overall Deal With ABC Studios

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 4:39pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: After a decade at Warner Bros TV, writer-producer Rina Mimoun is moving to ABC Studios where she has signed a two-year overall deal. Under the rich seven-figure pact, Mimoun will develop new projects for the studio and join its upcoming series Mistresses as an executive producer. The soap, based on the British format, was recently given a straight-to-series order for a summer 2013 launch. It was written by The Nine co-creator KJ Steinberg, who is executive producing with Bob Sertner, Ecosse Films’ Douglas Rae and now Mimoun. With Steinberg busy working on her ABC/ABC Studios pilot Gilded Lilys, Mimoun and Sertner will oversee day-to-day operations on Mistresses for the time being. Mimoun’s deal with ABC Studios starts in June, but I hear she is been loaned out by Warner Bros TV so that she can start work on Mistresses right away. Read More »

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UPDATE: Nicollette Sheridan Will Be First On Stand As ‘Desperate Housewives’ Trial Wraps Opening Statements

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 4:35pm PST

Freelance writer Dominic Patten is a Deadline contributor

3RD UPDATE, 4:35 PM: Stephen McPherson killed Edie Britt. That’s according to defense lawyer Adam Levin in his opening statement late this afternoon. Levin claims that the former ABC Entertainment president gave Desperate Housewives creator/executive producer Cherry the OK to kill off Nicollette Sheridan’s character on the series — months before an alleged head-slapping incident between the actress and Cherry. Levin told jurors that on May 22, 2008, Cherry along with fellow Housewives exec producer Bob Daily went to then-ABC Studios boss Pedowitz and asked him if they could kill off Sheridan’s character in a “tentpole” Season 5 story arc. Pedowitz agreed, and that same day the group went to McPherson with the idea. “The evidence will show,” Levin said, “that Mr. McPherson agreed”. Along with Sheridan and Cherry, who were both in court today, Pedowitz, Daily and McPherson are scheduled to testify in the two-week trial. “People die all the time on television”, Levin said, citing the collective decision. “It can increase buzz and revenue”. Levin also all but claimed that Sheridan’s assertion that Cherry hit her on set in September 2008 was the actress attempting to generate buzz and revenue for herself. Sheridan, “suffered no injury” when Cherry “lightly tapped” her on the head while giving her on-set direction that day. “She didn’t even have a red mark; she didn’t even take an aspirin,” Levin told the jury, dismissing the plaintiff’s contention that the actress was “hit hard,” as her lawyer claimed earlier. “The evidence will show she went to her trailer and the first call she made was to check her voicemail”. Concluded Levin: “Ms. Sheridan was not battered nor wrongfully terminated”. The trial continues Thursday.

2ND UPDATE, 4:15 PM: Both opening arguments have ended. Sheridan is schedule to be the first witness on the stand tomorrow morning at 9:15 and is expected to testify all day Thursday and the entire half-day session Friday. Read More »

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Dane Cook To Star In NBC Comedy Pilot ‘Next Caller Please’

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 4:15pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Dane Cook is set to star in the NBC’s single-camera comedy pilot Next Caller Please. The Lionsgate/Universal TV project, written by Stephen Falk, centers on Cam Doherty (Cook), a brash, hard-drinking, no-filter maverick DJ of a satellite radio show whose … Read More »

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Simon & Schuster Shifts Pub Date Of ‘Savages’ Prequel To Coincide With Film Release

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 4:06pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Simon & Schuster has moved the publication date of the Don Winslow novel The Kings Of Cool from fall to June 26. The move was made to bring the book closer to the launch of Savages, the Oliver Stone-directed … Read More »

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Sony Classics Takes Worldwide Rights to ‘West Of Memphis’

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 3:52pm PST

The high-profile documentary directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Amy Berg (Deliver Us From Evil) debuted at the recent Sundance Film Festival. Fran Walsh and Peter Jackson produced the film with first-time producers Damien Echols (a subject of the film) and … Read More »

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Natalie Zea Cast In Kevin Williamson’s Fox Pilot, Robert Wisdom Joins ABC’s ‘Nashville’

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 3:45pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Justified alumna Natalie Zea has joined Fox’s untitled Kevin Williamson drama pilot. The project, from Warner Bros TV, is a thriller about ex-FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon) who leads the search to catch diabolical serial killer Joe Carroll (James … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘John Carter’

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 3:28pm PST

Previous: ‘John Carter’ Tracking Shockingly Soft

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Former NBC Executives Elisa Roth & Marc Hirschfeld Join Katie O’Connell At Gaumont

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 3:09pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: With two drama series orders under its belt, Hannibal at NBC and Hemlock Grove at Netflix, five-month-old Gaumont International Television is staffing up. The company, a Los Angeles-based TV production division of French movie studio Gaumont, has hired veteran executives Elisa Roth, Marc Hirschfeld and Andy House in top executive positions under Gaumont CEO Katie O’Connell and COO Richard Frankie. This marks a reunion for O’Connell, Roth and Hirschfeld who worked together at NBC as head of departments: NBC drama (O’Connell), Universal TV drama (Roth) NBC/Universal casting (Hirschfeld). All 3 left in the big executive shakeup at the network in December 2008.

At GIT, House will serve as Head of Production, Elisa Roth as Head of Creative Affairs and Marc Hirschfeld will supervise casting. Also on board is Alison Engel as VP of Creative Affairs. “As part of our growth strategy it was the perfect time to bring Andy, Elisa and Marc on board,” said O’Connell, while Franke called them “highly respected senior television executives with deep relationships in the global television community.” The deal with Hirschfeld is non-exclusive. Read More »

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Weinstein Co’s Radius In Talks For Ryan Gosling-Nic Refn Pic ‘Only God Forgives’

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 2:31pm PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Radius-TWC, the upstart distribution company that The Weinstein Company started with Tom Quinn and Jason Janego at the helm, is in negotiations to acquire U.S. distribution rights to Only God Forgives, the re-team of Drive helmer Nicolas Winding Refn … Read More »

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Former Showtime Exec Dianne Hatlestad Joins NBC As VP Talent Management

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 2:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

In his first executive hire, NBC Entertainment’s EVP Communications Richard Licata has brought in a former member of his team at Showtime. Dianne Hatlestad, who exited Showtime in the recent restructuring of the network’s communications department under new head … Read More »

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Where Did Sacha Baron Cohen Go Oscar Night After Being Grabbed By Security? Dinner At Vanity Fair!

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 2:27pm PST
Mike Fleming

Sacha Baron Cohen Signs First Look With Paramount; Studio Gets His Next Pic

If you were watching the Oscar Red Carpet arrivals on Sunday, you saw Sacha Baron Cohen’s character from The Dictator get handled roughly by two burly security guys after dumping what he said were the ashes of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il over Ryan Seacrest’s tuxedo. It looked like he was going to be carted off in handcuffs, but what happened after?

Baron Cohen wasn’t removed. He was merely hustled away from the ash-covered Seacrest, and while he was relieved of his urn, Baron Cohen continued to parade in character for a quarter mile of Red Carpet soundbites. He didn’t attend the Oscars, but that wasn’t the Academy’s choice. I’m told the Academy bent over backwards to welcome Baron Cohen. Aside from okaying his Dictator garb choice, they set aside a dressing room so that he could change into a tux after and attend the ceremony. Once he completed that lap, Baron Cohen then entered the dressing room and emerged in his tux. But he did not use the Oscar tickets; he ducked out, got in a limo and headed right over to Vanity Fair’s viewing dinner party at the Tower Hotel. He never even sat down in the auditorium. Read More »

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Kevin Zegers To Star With Laurence Fishburne And Bill Paxton In ‘The Colony’

By | Wednesday February 29, 2012 @ 2:25pm PST

EXCLUSIVE: Kevin Zegers has been cast as the lead in the independent film The Colony, directed by Jeff Renfroe. Renfroe co-wrote the script with Patrick Tarr and Pascal Trottier. Zegers, Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton star in the feature … Read More »

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