MTV’s ‘Awkward’ Up In Second Season Premiere, ‘Snooki & JWoww’ Slips In Week 2

By | Friday June 29, 2012 @ 2:23pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The season two premiere of MTV’s comedy series Awkward in an upgraded 10:30 PM time slot drew 2.2 million viewers and a 2.2 rating among people P12-34 last night. That was up 29% in both total viewers and … Read More »

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‘True Blood’s Stephen Moyer Tied To ‘Devil’s Knot’ In Key Role

By | Friday June 29, 2012 @ 1:31pm PDT

Stephen Moyer Devil's KnotEXCLUSIVE: Stephen Moyer has joined the cast of Devil’s Knot in a lead role. The True Blood star will play prosecutor John Fogelman in the film about the wrongfully convicted and imprisoned West Memphis 3. … Read More »

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Academy Re-Names Art Directors Branch

Related: OSCARS: 176 Invited To Join Academy

The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Science Board of Governors has approved a recommendation from the Art Directors Branch. Moving forward, the branch will be known as the Designers Branch. The branch

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OSCARS: 176 Invited To Join Academy

By | Friday June 29, 2012 @ 12:40pm PDT
Pete Hammond

With the Academy inviting 176 new members, it is interesting to note that being nominated or winning an Oscar may be the easiest way to gain entrance. A total of 47 of the new members announced today were nominated for or won the elusive statuette at the 84th Academy Awards this year — eight actors, including nominees Berenice Bejo, Demian Bichir, Jessica Chastain, Jonah Hill, Melissa McCarthy, Janet McTeer and winners Jean Dujardin and Octavia Spencer, made the roster. The Artist Best Director winner Michel Hazanavicius and Best Picture winner Thomas Langmann and Best Foreign Language Film director Asghar Farhadi (A Separation) were among other 2011 winners invited.

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Also of note: Mathew McConaughey finally became a member (he’s not been a nominee yet, though); and in the writers branch, author Stephen King made the list even though his most recent actual screenwriting credits go back more than two decades for the likes of Pet Sematary and Creepshow – the two credits the Academy lists for him on its press release. Obviously his novels and short stories account for a lot of movies getting made. Also of note is the fact that elusive director Terrence Malick (The Tree Of Life) is among last year’s nominees to gain admittance even though his first two Oscar nominations came 14 years ago for writing and directing The Thin Red Line. Congratulations to all. Here’s the official release: Read More »

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Specialty Box Office: ‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild’, ‘Take This Waltz’, ‘Last Ride’

By | Friday June 29, 2012 @ 12:38pm PDT

A long time in the making, Beasts Of The Southern Wild made a splash at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, taking the top prize amid rumors it would head to Cannes. Sure enough, it did although not in the Official Selection. It won notice there as well, winning one of the festival’s top prizes and it’s hitting theaters this week. Australian feature The Last Ride traveled the festival circuit, but took some time before landing U.S. distribution, though it picked up a high-profile ally here. Take This Waltz is naturally getting attention courtesy of its star Michelle Williams and director Sarah Polley, while Venice-set Unforgivable is also hoping to ride the media wave to solid box office numbers this weekend.

Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Director: Benh Zeitlin
Writers: Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin
Cast: Quvenzhané Wallis, Dwight Henry, Levy Easterly
Distributor: Fox Searchlight

Probably the most celebrated indie of the first half of 2012, Beasts Of The Southern Wild won the U.S. Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival and the Camera D’Or in Cannes last month. Not bad for a project with a director making his feature debut and a cast that sported non-pros across the board. The film did have some friends along the way. The San Francisco Film Society awarded the movie two grants that helped the filmmakers in withr post-production, according to producer Michael Gottwald. Grants organization Cinereach also got involved throughout the process. Read More »

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Sigourney Weaver, David Hyde Pierce Return To Stage In Chekhov-Inspired Play

By | Friday June 29, 2012 @ 12:37pm PDT

The two will play siblings this fall in Christopher Durang’s Vanya And Sonia And Masha And Spike. In the play, Durang takes characters and themes from Chekhov and places them in present-day Bucks County,Read More »

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Sony/ATV Becomes Top Music Publisher With Acquisition of EMI Catalog

By | Friday June 29, 2012 @ 12:36pm PDT

It’s a big day in music publishing with the closing of the $2.2B cash and debt deal by a consortium led by Sony/ATV — Sony’s partnership with Michael Jackson’s estate — for one of the industry’s crown … Read More »

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Justin Long In Talks For Stephen King’s ‘The Ten O’Clock People’

EXCLUSIVE:  Justin Long is in negotiations for the lead role in The Ten O’clock People. The Live Free Or Die Hard actor would play Brandon Pearson in the modernized adaptation of the Stephen King short story. As … Read More »

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George Clooney Headlining Obama Geneva Fundraiser

By | Friday June 29, 2012 @ 12:19pm PDT

George Clooney is raising more money for Barack Obama – but in Geneva this time, not Hollywood. After a May 10 dinner at his LA home raised a record-breaking $15 million for the president’s reelection campaign, Clooney is now … Read More »

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Video From WME Quarterly Staff Meeting

By | Friday June 29, 2012 @ 11:55am PDT

WME client Mo Mandel trades places with his agent for one day to find out whose job is more difficult. Bizarre truths and inside jokes ensue. Directed and edited by Oren Kaplan for WME’s quarterly staff meeting:

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UPDATE: TNT Renews ‘Dallas’ And ‘Rizzoli & Isles’

By | Friday June 29, 2012 @ 11:31am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TNT has started its renewals with a fourth season order to its new flagship series, Rizzoli & Isles, and a second season pickup of freshman Dallas. Both have received 15-episode orders to air in 2013.

Related: … Read More »

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Charlie Sheen’s ‘Anger Management’ Opens Strong On FX, Boosts ‘Wilfred’ & ‘Louie’

By | Friday June 29, 2012 @ 11:16am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Anger Management Ratings Charlie SheenAfter a big marketing blitz, Charlie Sheen’s Anger Management opened with 5.47 million viewers and 2.65 million adults 18-49 (2.1 rating) at 9 PM last night on FX. While that was far from the numbers Sheen used to pull in on Two And A Half Men, it was a very strong cable performance. Anger Management ranked as cable’s most-watched primetime scripted comedy series premiere in total viewers and 18-49, eclipsing Tyler Perry’s House Of Payne on TBS, which opened with a 5.2 million. Like House Of Payne, which grew to 5.8 million for the second episode of its two-episode premiere, Anger Management gained too, averaging 5.74 million total viewers and 2.89 million adults 18-49s for its 9:30 PM episode. House Of Payne was the first sitcom produced under the 10-90 model employed by Anger Management, which includes a 10-episode initial order by a cable network, followed by a substantial (as many as 90 episodes) renewal that takes the series to broadcast syndication levels. Given the fact that House of Payne went on to produce 264 episodes, Anger Management‘s ratings start is promising for the series’ prospects. Distributor Debmar-Mercury already has been running ads for the show, which is expected to be taken to the station market immediately after its 10-episode run on FX ends. If the ratings levels hold, FX also is expected to move with a pickup quickly.

Related: ‘Anger Management’ Promo Campaign Bets On Conceptual Trailers Over Show Clips Read More »

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ABC Invokes First Amendment In ‘Bachelor’ Racism Lawsuit

By | Friday June 29, 2012 @ 10:48am PDT

The Bachelor LawsuitABC says allegations that The Bachelor and The Bachelorette are racist are “demonstrably false and unsupportable.” In a motion filed yesterday (read it here) seeking dismissal of the April 18 lawsuit against the shows, their producers and the network, ABC said the lawsuit “violates the First Amendment, which protects Defendants’ creative choices concerning the content — including the casting — of the television series that they produce and broadcast to the public.” The network goes on to cite legal precedent to say “it is well settled that ‘[e]ntertainment, as well as political and ideological speech, is protected’ fully by the First Amendment.” Back in April, football players Nathaniel Claybrooks and Christopher Johnson filed a class-action lawsuit against the reality shows for racial discrimination. The suit stated that over the course of both series a person of color has never been the finalist or the one picking their potential mate on the shows. The duo, both African-Americans who unsuccessfully auditioned to be on The Bachelor, named ABC, Bachelor executive producer and Bachelorette creator Michael Fleiss, Warner Horizon Television, Next Entertainment, and NZK Productions as defendants. Read More »

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Official: Tom Cruise & Katie Holmes Divorcing

By | Friday June 29, 2012 @ 10:38am PDT

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are splitting after 5 years of marriage. Holmes’ attorney released an anouncement. Deadline plans no coverage of this matter unless it impacts the actors’ professional lives.

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NBC To Air Live Broadcast Of ‘The Sound Of Music’ Musical Produced By Craig Zadan & Neil Meron

By | Friday June 29, 2012 @ 10:35am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Sound Of Music NBC SpecialNBC is looking to bring back to broadcast television event musical programming with The Sound Of Music, a live broadcast of a new production of the original Broadway musical to be produced by Smash executive producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “There used to be a tradition of broadcasting musicals live back in the 1950s and we’re thrilled to do it once again with a musical that has been a family classic for five decades,” said NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt. “There is no more talented and creative producing team than Craig Zadan and Neil Meron to bring Rodgers and Hammerstein’s final — and most beloved — collaboration to network television in this groundbreaking live telecast.” Casting will begin immediately and an air date will be announced shortly. Read More »

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It’s Official: Savannah Guthrie Named ‘Today’ Co-Anchor

By | Friday June 29, 2012 @ 10:19am PDT

Savannah Guthrie TodayThe expected news came this morning, one day after Ann Curry’s tearful goodbye on Today. Savannah Guthrie‘s upgrade is effective immediately, putting her on the NBC morning show’s anchor team of Matt Lauer, Al … Read More »

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U.S.-Based Endemol Studios Acquires First Third-Party Scripted Format ‘Les Hommes De L’Ombre’

By | Friday June 29, 2012 @ 10:17am PDT

Endemol Studios has signed a deal with French fiction producers Tetra Media Studio and Macondo to adapt the French political-themed, character-driven hit series Les Hommes De L’Ombre for U.S. television. Les Hommes De L’Ombre was created by … Read More »

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Hot Trailer: James Cameron’s ‘Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away’

Paramount‘s Cirque Du Soleil: Worlds Away has the scope of the group’s live performances covered thanks to the tech contributions of executive producer James Cameron and Vince Pace. Andrew Adamson directed the hybrid concert pic, which is set for a December 21 release.

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USA Network Picks Up Jeff Eastin Pilot ‘Graceland’ To Series

By | Friday June 29, 2012 @ 10:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

USA Network is doubling its bet on Jeff Eastin. The cable network has picked up to series Graceland, the new pilot from White Collar creator/executive producer Eastin. The one-hour drama, from Fox TV Studios, follows a group of diverse agents — from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and U.S. Customs — whose worlds collide while forced to live together in an undercover beach house in Southern California. Sean Daniel served as executive producer on the pilot, which was directed by Russell Fine. “Graceland is very much in our sweet spot — it has that fantastic and rich look associated with most of our shows, but we also want to go to very edgy and dark places with it,” USA co-president Jeff Wachtel said. “The characters’ day job takes them to places we haven’t gone with our original series.”

Eastin will run both Graceland and White Collar, whose fourth season premieres July 10, on the heels of what is shaping up to be a big opening for Magic Mike, which features White Collar star Matt Bomer. Because both series are with the same network, USA, and the same studio, FtvS, their schedules will be synched up so Eastin can give his full attention to both. That is the reason Graceland was picked up off-pattern. Eastin is already assembling a writing staff for the new series, with the goal to go into production shortly after filming on Season 4 of White Collar winds down. Graceland brings the number of FtvS-produced series on USA to three, along with White Collar and Burn Notice. Read More »

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