Fox Renews ‘Hotel Hell’ For Second Season

By | Friday August 31, 2012 @ 5:57pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Fox has given Gordon Ramsay’s newest reality series Hotel Hell a second-season order. After having its premiere date pushed a couple of times, Hotel Hell posted the highest-rated series debut of the summer and ranks as this summer’s No. 1 … Read More »

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Ben Affleck’s Latest ‘Argo’ Debuts Big As Major Oscar Contender: TELLURIDE

Pete Hammond

The 39th Annual Telluride Film Festival officially gets underway tonight. But the fest provided a “sneak preview” of its highest profile movie: director/star Ben Affleck‘s pulse-pounding true life thriller, Argo, which made its world debut this afternoon for patron and sponsor passholders and selected press. Although not announced as an official part of the Telluride lineup, it was strongly tipped to come here and Affleck introduced today’s screening: “You are the first paying people to see the film. I know you didn’t literally pay, but in my heart you did. This is actually one of the few film festivals that really is about seeing movies instead of just walking around and talking about them.” Judging from the reaction during the end credits as well as talk on the streets afterward, Warner Bros and Affleck not only have a hit but a slam-dunk major Oscar contender in several categories. At last February’s Oscars Governors Ball, this film was still in post. But a top Warners exec predicted to me that it could be the studio’s best shot at top Oscar attention in 2012. Looks like that bold prediction was right.

Jump-starting the long 6-month awards season, which officially begins with the Venice/Telluride/Toronto film festivals, this supremely well-crafted studio film is the kind that Academy members (and there were several on hand for this screening) eat up. “It’s got my vote as one of the 10,” a voter told me after the screening. It also shows the movie industry in a favorable light, which should further impress Oscar voters. So, unless I am crazy, expect nominations for picture (producers are Affleck, George Clooney, and Grant Heslov), director for Affleck, screenplay For Chris Terrio, and supporting actor for Alan Arkin and possibly Bryan Cranston. Affleck also could figure in the crowded actor contest. Other possibilities are editing, score (Alexandre Desplat), and Rodrigo Prieto’s stirring cinematography.

Related: Hot Trailer: Ben Affleck’s ‘Argo’

Telluride has a recent tradition of debuting at least one solid Best Picture contender. Recent winners Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, and The Artist all started their awards season right here in the Rockies. And Argo has already laid claim to one of those spots if reaction holds. Next stop is Toronto a week from today Read More »

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‘The Hobbit 3′ Scheduled For July 18, 2014

Warner Bros and MGM Pictures jointly announced today that the final film in Peter Jackson’s trilogy adaptation of the JRR Tolkien novel is now titled The Hobbit: There and Back Again. It will be released worldwide on July 18, 2014. … Read More »

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Several TV Series Book Recurring Actors

By | Friday August 31, 2012 @ 4:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Angelique Cabral has booked a recurring role on the second season of ABC’s Don’t Trust The B—- In Apartment 23. She will play Fox Paris, a woman who is also a junior analyst at the financial firm where June … Read More »

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William Petersen Poised To Exit Hitman Drama Pilot ‘Hurt People’

By | Friday August 31, 2012 @ 3:02pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: William Petersen’s return to television is being put on hold. I’ve learned that the CSI alum is leaving the Cinemax/GK-tv drama pilot Hurt People, which he was to executive produce and star in.

Petersen has been a major driver behind … Read More »

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Animation Guild Ratifies Contract With AMPTP

The Animation Guild representING 2,600 artists, writers and technicians employed in the animation industry today announced its Local 839 IATSE membership has ratified the collective bargaining agreement reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). … Read More »

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Fox News Wins RNC Thursday Coverage As Overall Viewership Plunges 31% From 2008

By | Friday August 31, 2012 @ 1:48pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan continue to draw smaller TV crowds than the 2008 Republican Party duo of John McCain and Sarah Palin. The grand finale of this year’s Republican National Convention featuring Presidential candidate Romney’s acceptance speech … Read More »

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Australian Rebecca Breeds To Co-Star In CBS’ Rob Greenberg Comedy Pilot

By | Friday August 31, 2012 @ 1:01pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: In her first US television role, young Australian actress Rebecca Breeds has landed the female lead in Rob Greenberg’s single-camera comedy pilot for CBS opposite Chris Smith, Kal Penn and Tony Shalhoub.

The project, from CBS TV Studios and the … Read More »

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Venice: Spike Lee On His Michael Jackson Documentary ‘Bad 25′

By | Friday August 31, 2012 @ 12:12pm PDT

Spike Lee was on the Lido today with Michael Jackson documentary Bad 25, and producer John Branca who reps the late singer’s … Read More »

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Venice: Zac Efron Draws Crowds To The Lido

Clouds rolled into Venice on Friday, but that didn’t stop the crowds from finally turning up. After a few sluggish days in sky-high temperatures and a sort of meh attitude towards the films, the Lido was awash in fans lining … Read More »

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Venice: ‘Wadjda’s Haifaa Al Mansour On Directing By Phone In Saudi Arabia

By | Friday August 31, 2012 @ 12:10pm PDT

This morning, Saudi Arabian filmmaker Haifaa Al Mansour shared details of what it’s like to be the first female director of a Saudi film which is also the first-ever feature shot entirely inside the Kingdom. Speaking of Venice Horizons entry … Read More »

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‘American Idol’ Judging Panel Takes Shape

By | Friday August 31, 2012 @ 11:58am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Chatter about the the judges on the upcoming 12th season of American Idol intensify as Fox is expected to start completing deals and announce talent right after the Labor Day holiday weekend. Despite all the speculation, Mariah Carey … Read More »

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CBS Buys Drama From Original Film

By | Friday August 31, 2012 @ 11:01am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

A character-driven drama from Neal Moritz’s Original Film has been bought by CBS. The untitled project, penned by actor-turned-writer Grant Thompson, centers on an FBI agent from Nebraska who single-handedly prevents a major domestic terrorist attack while on a family vacation and instantly becomes an American hero. He then takes on a new job leading a DC task force. Steve Maeda (Lie To Me), Neil Moritz and Vivian Cannon executive produce, with Thompson co-executive producing. Sony TV, where Original Film is based, is producing. Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Pre-Season Football Affects Primetime, RNC Coverage Down

By | Friday August 31, 2012 @ 9:38am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

With pre-season football pre-empting programming on all major broadcast networks (Fox was pre-empted in almost 20% of the country), fast nationals for ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC were likely inflated. Add to that live coverage of the final night … Read More »

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Zac Efron To Star In ‘Are We Officially Dating?’

By | Friday August 31, 2012 @ 9:27am PDT
Mike Fleming

Zac Efron will star in the romantic comedy Are We Officially Dating, which Tom Gormican wrote and will direct for TreeHouse Pictures. Script, which made the 2010 Black List, concerns three friends in New York City who make a pact … Read More »

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CBS Corp. And AT&T U-Verse Renew Carriage Agreement

By | Friday August 31, 2012 @ 7:41am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

AT&T U-verse TV and CBS Corp. today announced renewal of their content carriage agreements, which covers retransmission consent for the CBS Owned Stations, and carriage of Showtime, The Smithsonian Channel and The CBS Sports Network. “We are pleased to have reached these comprehensive renewal agreements which recognize the value our … Read More »

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Venice: Michael Cimino Raises New ‘Heaven’s Gate’, ‘The Iceman’ Cometh

“Being infamous is not fun. It becomes a weird occupation in and of itself.” Michael Cimino spoke those words at the Venice Film Festival on Thursday as he introduced a digitally remastered version of Heaven’s Gate. One of the most notorious box office flops of all time, the film is credited with contributing to the demise of United Artists and halting the auteur movement of 70s Hollywood. Cimino was coming off Best Picture and Best Director Oscars for The Deer Hunter when Heaven’s Gate came out in 1980 and cratered his career. On the Lido Thursday to accept a life achievement award along with debuting the updated pic, he said he at first didn’t want to revisit it, “I’ve had enough rejection for 33 years.” Cimino oversaw the digital remastering and said technology had advanced enough that seeing it now was like seeing a new movie. It’s also a longer movie. The new version runs 216 minutes.

Meanwhile, a lot of heat surrounded Ariel Vroman’s out of competition title, The Iceman. Michael Shannon has drawn great notices for his take on real-life contract killer/family man Richard Kuklinski. Reaction was also positive for strong performances by Winona Ryder and Ray Liotta. Ryder, who’ll next be seen in Gary Fleder’s Homefront, said she’s scaling back on work in general. “I want to have a good life and so a film has to be pretty great to make me want to leave my life. I’m not in a place where I want to keep working just to work,” she said. Read More »

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‘Seven Psychopaths’ Red Band Trailer

By | Friday August 31, 2012 @ 12:35am PDT

Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson, Abbie Cornish, Tom Waits, Olga Kurylenko, Zeljko Ivanek and Gabourey Sidibe figure in this CBS Films tale that revolves around an LA gangster’s dognapped Shih Tzu. Written and directed by Martin McDonagh, Seven Psychopaths opens October 12th:

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Apple Loses Case Vs. Samsung In Japan

By | Friday August 31, 2012 @ 12:05am PDT

Coming off a major U.S. copyright victory against the same rival just a week ago, Apple lost a case today in Japan when a Tokyo court ruled that Samsung‘s mobile devices did not infringe on an … Read More »

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