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‘The Dark Knight Rises’, ‘Hunger Games’ Win Big At Golden Trailer Awards

By | Thursday May 31, 2012 @ 11:00pm PDT

The first official trailer for The Dark Knight Rises snared the top prize of Best In Show at the 13th Annual Golden Trailer Awards tonight at a mansion in Bel-Air. TDKR‘s trailer also took the trophy for Best Summer 2012 Blockbuster. It was a good year for women, organizers noted, with trailers and print promotions successfully promoting female protagonists in typically male-led genres. Snow White And The Huntsman took the prize for Best Action. The Bridesmaids red-band trailer (R-rated) earned Best Comedy and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo took Best Drama. Those two as well as all the other winning trailers are available to watch here. A print promotion displayed a similar pattern. The Hunger Games nabbed five Golden Trailers: Best Teaser Poster, Action Poster, Animation/Family Poster, Best Standee for Feature Film and Most Innovative Advertising for a Brand/Product.
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EMMYS: Drama Series Overview

By and | Thursday May 31, 2012 @ 10:25pm PDT

Since its debut, Mad Men has had a lock on the Emmys marquee drama series category. Last year, it fended off a formidable challenge from another period drama, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, which was coming off a best drama series at the Golden Globes. In doing that, Mad Men matched The West Wing and Hill Street Blues’ record four consecutive Emmys in the top drama category.

Mad Men’s quest to become the first drama series ever to win five years in a row is becoming even more difficult this year with several hot series gunning for the prize. Showtime’s acclaimed Homeland has been on a roll, winning for best drama series at the Golden Globes, PBS’ pop culture phenom Downton Abbey is entering the drama series fray after winning the Miniseries or Made for Television Movie category last year, and AMC’s Breaking Bad is back at its best after skipping last year’s Emmys because of a long hiatus between seasons. Add to that a surging Game Of Thrones and still potent Boardwalk Empire, and we get a very competitive best drama series Emmy race this year. Here’s our assessment of the chances for drama series (in alphabetical order) and their stars:

Boardwalk Empire
Although HBO’s Prohibition-era Mob drama was received warmly enough in its first season to earn it a nomination, it really hit its stride in its second season. So, not only is it certain to be given another nod, but so are prior nominees Steve Buscemi (lead actor) and Kelly Macdonald (supporting actress). Furthermore, since it was the dazzling downward spiral (and eventual murder) of Michael Pitt’s Jimmy Darmody that proved to be the shot in the arm that the show needed, maybe this year he won’t be left out of the supporting actor race.

Kelsey Grammer’s new political drama delivered underwhelming ratings for Starz, which had renewed it before the premiere. However, Boss landed Golden Globe nominations for drama series and lead actor, and won for the latter. Its leading man is such an Emmy mainstay — the erstwhile Frasier Crane has won five statuettes over the course of his small-screen career — that it would be a mistake to count him out.

Breaking Bad
This intense drama is a top contender to steal away the drama series Emmy from Mad Men. After a long hiatus kept AMC’s other prestige drama out of the running in 2011, Breaking Bad returned with its strongest season to date. In its wake, nods are all but guaranteed for co-stars Bryan Cranston (who took home the lead actor prize three years in a row) and Aaron Paul (who won supporting actor the last time he was eligible). Plus, thanks to the year’s most talked-about swan song (and one riveting performance after another before it), Giancarlo Esposito is also looking good for a supporting actor in a drama series nomination.

Since the legal thriller’s penultimate season, its first on DirecTV, flew so far under the radar that it scarcely generated a blip, it’s a bit of a long shot for a drama series nod. Its stars, however, are another story. Glenn Close has been up for lead actress every year since the show’s debut except the last (and took home the prize in 2008 and 2009). (She also won in 1995 for the NBC movie Serving In Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story.) Meanwhile, two-time supporting actress contender Rose Byrne is likely to benefit from the raised profile that she has enjoyed post-Bridesmaids. Read More »

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Hot Trailer: ‘Premium Rush’

By | Thursday May 31, 2012 @ 7:43pm PDT

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Harvey Weinstein Guest-Hosting CNN’s ‘Piers Morgan’ With Bill Clinton: Live-Blog

By | Thursday May 31, 2012 @ 6:00pm PDT

Multi-Oscar winning indie studio chief Harvey Weinstein is guest-hosting CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight and spending the hour interviewing former President Bill Clinton. The show was pre-taped in New York this afternoon. The appearance by Weinstein, a long time Clinton supporter and big time donor to Democrats including President Obama this election cycle, comes as part of Guest Host Week on the primetime CNN talk show. With CNN’s primetime ratings hitting 20-year lows this month, Harv’s presence could be a good move for the network. Or not.

Weinstein starts off with an approach as measured and understated as his black suit and black tie. Quentin Tarantino would be proud.  After introducing Clinton (“The things I do for you, Harvey,” the ex-Prez says), Weinstein asked him right off what his favorite movie is. Clinton says High Noon is his flick pick – though he really likes Casablanca. Clinton tells Weinstein that Brad Pitt and George Clooney are too good-looking to play him in a movie, though Clooney is about his size. The former President thinks Meryl Streep should play Hillary Clinton. Harvey plugs The Weinstein Co’s  Iron Lady with the Streep reference. Clinton starts talking about how much The Lion in Winter and Tom Jones meant to him.

There was plenty of gooey-gushing by Weinstein, who tells Clinton he was the first President that “was cool”. Weinstein and Clinton also talk politics. The back to Hollywood. Weinstein says “in his world” everyone supports gay marriage and asks Clinton if Obama took a risk by … Read More »

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Is Fox News Producer Who Made Scathing Obama Video Out Of A Job?

By | Thursday May 31, 2012 @ 5:59pm PDT

Fox and Friends Anti Obama VideoIs Chris White now a producer without a network? CNN isn’t hiring him and Fox News isn’t talking, a day after a scathing Fox & Friends video segment on President Obama ran that White, an associate producer at the network, put together. A source told Deadline that CNN, who had already been talking to the producer, contacted White after the video aired and offered to double his Fox News salary. CNN would not confirm whether or not they had offered White a job, and today a network spokesperson said it isn’t hiring him. Fox News was quick to distance itself for the widely criticized video, despite Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy’s on-air “hats off to Chris White” for producing the heavily annotated segment (see the video below). The network released a statement saying the segment “was not authorized at the senior executive level of the network” and “this has been addressed with the show’s producers.” It is unknown whether White is actually still working at FNC. A Fox News spokesperson did not return Deadline’s requests for comment.

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FilmDistrict Hires Trio Of Marketing Execs

By | Thursday May 31, 2012 @ 5:37pm PDT

Following a busy Cannes Film Festival and hires of Christine Birch as president of marketing and Jim Orr as president of distribution, FilmDistrict has brought aboard three additional marketing executives: Tracy Pollard as SVP creative advertising, Brad Goldberg as SVP media and Anna Baxter as SVP digital marketing. Along with those appointments FilmDistrict veteran Adrian Alperovich has been promoted to chief operating officer. Alperovich most recently was president of acquisitions and operations. Pollard’s diverse resume includes campaigns for It’s Complicated, Despicable Me, and more recently Limitless, Haywire and Immortals. Goldberg has worked media on the studio and agency side, most recently SVP media and promotions at Sony Pictures Entertainment. Baxter most recently worked at Universal McCann.
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‘Castle’ EP Laurie Zaks Starts Production Company, Signs Deal With ABC Studios

By | Thursday May 31, 2012 @ 5:36pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Castle executive producer Laurie Zaks is putting down roots at ABC Studios, which produces the ABC dramedy. Zaks has signed an overall deal with the studio, her first overall pact, and has launched her own production company, Second Season. Under the one-year deal, which has an option for a second year, Zaks will develop new projects. The name she chose for her company is a reference to “what you want to get for your show, a second season,” Zaks said. But also, “the second season is spring which is time for renewal. This is new for me, and I love that spiritual meaning.” Zaks has been at ABC Studios since 2006 when she left the network executive ranks to become president of Armyan Bernstein’s Beacon Television, which had a deal at the studio (then Touchstone TV). At Beacon, she developed Castle and has spent the past four years as an executive producer on the crime procedural starring Nathan Fillion. While she will keep her executive producer title on the show, Zaks will scale back her day-to-day involvement to focus on development this coming season. “I have to find the next Castle,” she quipped. Read More »

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Universal Close To ‘Kick-Ass 2′ Deals With Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz, Others

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: After Deadline revealed that Universal Pictures was stepping in to finance Kick-Ass 2 with Jeff Wadlow directing his script, the big question was whether the original Kick-Ass cast of Aaron Johnson, Chloe Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse, among others, would be back for an encore. There has been a lot of rumors lately that Johnson, who stars in the upcoming Oliver Stone-directed Savages, would leave and that other actors were being lined up for a recasting. This has been exacerbated by the fact that the original cast didn’t have sequel options, which meant that returning cast members from the Matthew Vaughn-directed 2010 original would require new negotiated deals. The original cost $28 million and grossed $103 million worldwide.

Related: Universal Talks ‘Kick-Ass 2′ To Build Franchise; Jeff Wadlow Eyed To Direct

Here’s what I am hearing. Johnson is nearly done with his deal to reprise as the title character. Moretz in a similar situation as is Mintz-Plasse. Also in talks is Nicolas Cage to return in a cameo role (his reps say he has yet to receive an offer). There are several other star roles for new characters, and it’s sure looking like it will work out well for a fall shoot.

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Specialty Box Office: ‘5 Broken Cameras,’ ‘Pink Ribbons, Inc.,’ ‘Wish Me Away’

By | Thursday May 31, 2012 @ 4:29pm PDT

Movies Opening This WeekendA trio of docs are among this weekend’s new specialty offerings. Kino Lorber Films’ 5 Broken Cameras began when a Palestinian farmer decided to record Israeli soldiers in his village over a number of years and recruited an Israeli to pull the footage together into a film. First Run Features’ Pink Ribbons, Inc. takes a critical look at an organization that has been a leader in the fight against breast cancer, but some wonder whether it has lost sight of its primary purpose. And just in time for June’s round of gay pride events in the U.S., Wish Me Away captures the emotional “coming out” of country music star Chely Wright who tapped a pair of documentary filmmakers to chronicle the lead-up to her public acknowledgement on network television.
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Nick Wechsler Acquires Michael Koryta Novel ‘The Prophet’, ‘Magic Mike’ Scribe Reid Carolin To Adapt

By | Thursday May 31, 2012 @ 3:46pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Producer Nick Wechsler has acquired The Prophet, the upcoming Michael Koryta novel that will be published in August by Little, Brown and Company. Wechsler hasn’t yet set it up for financing, but he has already attached Reid Carolin to adapt it. Carolin wrote the script for Magic Mike, the upcoming Steven Soderbergh-directed male stripper pic that was hatched by Channing Tatum and Carolin, who are partners in Iron Horse Entertainment. Wechsler produced Magic Mike with Tatum, Carolin and Gregory Jacobs.

The Prophet is a tale of two distant brothers in a small Ohio town whose torment over the murder of their sister in their teens is compounded when another teenaged girl is killed. One of the brothers is determined to avenge that killing, even if it means committing murder himself. “We’ve been fans of Michael’s masterful writing for some time, and know that this powerful new novel is perfect for the screen,” Wechsler said. “We were drawn to its themes of family, faith and fear, all set against the backdrop of a gripping serial killer mystery. This story is a perfect mix of thrills, strong characters, and unbreakable bonds.” Read More »

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Kate Walsh Poised To Depart ABC’s ‘Private Practice’ After 13 More Episodes

By | Thursday May 31, 2012 @ 3:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: It looks like Dr. Addison Montgomery, who left Seattle Grace five years ago to move to Los Angeles, will be packing again. I’ve learned that Private Practice star Kate Walsh plans to leave the medical drama after 13 episodes of the upcoming sixth season.

There had been speculation that Walsh, who has played the character of Addison for 7 years, starting on Grey’s Anatomy before she segued to spinoff Private Practice, had been looking to move on. Her deal was up at the end of last season and, after intense negotiations, she agreed to return but committed to only 13 episodes. That paved the way to ABC’s sixth-season renewal of the series, which also was for 13 episodes. I hear that Walsh is now ready to move onto other things after she completes her contractual obligation.

It is unclear whether Private Practice, which was built around Walsh’s character, would continue without her. When ABC renewed Private Practice earlier this month, speculation was that the sixth season would be the show’s last, but ABC has stopped short of announcing an end date for the series.

Related: ABC Eyes 13-Episode Final Season Of ‘Private Practice’ Read More »

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Nicolas Winding Refn In DreamWorks Talks For ‘Button Man: The Killing Game’

By | Thursday May 31, 2012 @ 3:18pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Drive helmer Nicolas Winding Refn is in talks with DreamWorks to direct Button Man, an adaptation of the graphic novel Button Man: The Killing Game by John Wagner and Arthur Ranson. Wagner created Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog. The action revolves around Harry Exton, a hired gun who’s offered a fortune to take part in a game organized by bored millionaires that sets trained killers against one another in a fight to the death. The fat cats bet on the proceedings, and when Exton gets disgusted and opts out, his only exit strategy might be to off the millionaires funding the competition. The film is produced by Roger Kass, Josh Braun and Michael De Luca. Read More »

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Gregg Mettler Signs Overall Deal With 20th TV, Joins ‘How To Live With Your Parents’

Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Comedy writer-producer Gregg Mettler has signed a two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. Under the seven-figure pact, he will join the studio’s new ABC comedy series How To Live With Your Parents For The Rest of Your Life as a co-executive producer while also developing and supervising new projects. “Gregg’s reputation is that he is super smart and funny with a great comedic voice of his own,” 20th TV chairman Gary Newman said. “We believe that he would be a great addition to any of our existing series and that he has a great show in him.” Mettler cut his teeth at Carsey-Werner with stints on 3rd Rock From The Sun as well as That 70’s Show, on which he worked for seven seasons, working his way up the ranks to co-executive producer. The writer-producer, repped by UTA and Ken Richman, most recently served as a co-executive producer of ABC’s Cougar Town.

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Disney Shifts ‘Lone Ranger’ and ‘Thor 2′ Release Dates On Heels Of Alan Horn Hiring

By | Thursday May 31, 2012 @ 1:48pm PDT

Disney just said that it is moving Lone Ranger to the Fourth of July holiday in 2013, securing a July 3, 2013 date for the update of the Western hero starring Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp. It originally was scheduled for May 31, 2013. The studio also said it is moving Thor 2 up a week to November 8, 2013. In addition, it confirmed that Disney-Fox-DreamWorks’ Steven Spielberg-directed Robopocalypse is moving to April 25, 2014, a move Fox announced earlier in the day.

Alan Horn Named Disney Studios Chief

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New Trailer: ‘The Expendables 2′

By | Thursday May 31, 2012 @ 1:41pm PDT

What’s another trailer among old friends and new? The Lionsgate release opens August 17th. Here you go:

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‘American Idol’s’ Randy Jackson Sells Siblings Show To MTV

By | Thursday May 31, 2012 @ 1:40pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Randy Jackson has sold a siblings singing competition show to MTV. Basing itself off groups with siblings like the Jackson 5, the Beach Boys, Hanson and The Jonas Brother, the untitled series will feature groups with siblings in them competing against each other. The Jackson-produced show, which is early stages of development, is getting ready to start casting and looking for family bands and groups, a source said. The American Idol judge’s Dream Merchant 21 Entertainment has partnered on the project with DiGA, the production company of former top MTV executives Tony DiSanto and Liz Gately, which is backed by Ben Silverman’s Electus. The sibling series expands Jackson’s relationship with MTV, where he executive produces America’s Best Dance Crew, currently in its seventh season. Read More »

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RealD Revenue Falls In Fiscal Q4 But Not As Much As Expected

By | Thursday May 31, 2012 @ 1:26pm PDT

Shares are up slightly in after market trading as the 3D technology company served up results that it sees as a win for the quarter that ended in March. It reported net income of $5.5M, up 32% vs the same period last year, on revenues of $50.0M, down 14.5%. The revenue decline is partly due to an $8.1M drop in international product revenue which the company says reflects how overseas movie goers are re-using their RealD 3D glasses. Still, revenues beat analysts’ predictions of $46.2M. And profits, at 10 cents a share, were well ahead of forecasts for a 7 cent loss. It was helped, though, by a $2.1M income tax benefit — which equals about 4 cents a share. The company says it made 49% of its licensing revenue from overseas vs 64% last year, which benefited from titles including Tangled, Chronicles of Narnia, Tron Legacy, Megamind, and Gulliver’s Travels. In addition to the financial results, RealD says that it plans to repurchase $50M of its stock. Also the company announced a deal with China’s HNA Vigor Film Investment to install its 3D technology at 500 screens. Looking forward, CEO Michael Lews says that “the record-setting opening of The Avengers further demonstrates the strong consumer demand for premium presentations in RealD 3D as well as the compelling economics of 3D film making for our studio and exhibitor partners.”

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Lionsgate/WWE Studios Sets Scribe For ‘Leprechaun’ Remake

By | Thursday May 31, 2012 @ 1:03pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate and WWE Films are moving forward with their reboot of Leprechaun, the 1993 horror movie infamous for the vulgar green-tinged title character and for launching the screen career of Jennifer Aniston. Lionsgate and WWE Films have hired Harris Wilkinson to write the script. They already set the WWE wrestler Hornswaggle to play the creature when the project was unveiled as the first in a two-film deal between Lionsgate and WWE Studios. Wilkinson last year sold the spec Ink to Paramount and developed a pilot with Len Wiseman at Fox two seasons ago. The scribe is repped by Paradigm and 3 Arts.

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Sirius XM Says It’s Talking To Liberty Media About Its Takeover Plans

The discussions, disclosed in a Sirius XM filing today at the SEC, suggest that CEO Mel Karmazin is concerned about Liberty’s renewed effort to control a majority of Sirius’ board seats. There’s no agreement yet, and Sirius XM says in its filing that it does not “expect to disclose developments with respect to these discussions.” But Karmazin’s determined to try to get John Malone’s Liberty, which owns preferred stock convertible into 40% of Sirius XM’s shares, to pay a takeover premium as it pursues its effort to buy additional shares and wage a proxy battle for the satellite radio company. Liberty told the FCC and SEC that it plans to renew its effort to win a majority of Sirius’ board seats. It still has to jump through several hoops. Liberty wouldn’t be able to elect new directors until next year’s shareholders’ meeting, unless the company calls for a special meeting. “Stockholders are not permitted to call a special meeting,” Sirius says. What’s more, Liberty would need “the consent of a majority of our outstanding common stock.” Sirius XM shares are up about 1% in mid-afternoon trading.

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