EXCLUSIVE: ABC Family has teamed with producer Joel Silver to develop I Hunt Killers, a drama series based on Barry Lyga‘s young-adult novel. The project, from Silver Pictures and Warner Horizon, centers on the teenage daughter of an imprisoned notorious serial killer, a likable girl who becomes a suspect after a string of copy-cat murders. (In the book, the teen is a boy). It will be written by Dexter scribe Arika Mittman, which is appropriate as I Hunt Killers has a similar feel, but with a teenage twist. Silver executive produces, with Mittman serving as co-executive producer and Lyga as consultant.
Veteran British actor Mark Ryan has joined Starz’s upcoming series Black Sails, the eight-episode pirate adventure executive produced by Michael Bay that is set 20 years before the events in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Ryan will play Gates, Captain Flint’s (Toby Stephens) right-hand man. Ryan, who has been the on-set presence of the Autobots on all three Transformers movies, is managed by Sandy Oroumieh.
Related: TV Nominees For PGA Awards Announced
LOS ANGELES, CA (November 30, 2012) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today the Documentary Motion Picture nominees that will advance in the voting process for the 24th Annual Producers Guild Awards.
The nominated films, listed below in alphabetical order, are:
A PEOPLE UNCOUNTED
THE ISLAND PRESIDENT
THE OTHER DREAM TEAM
SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been trying to draw younger eyeballs to its Oscar telecast for years. Here’s the latest way to entice them to tune in: make them part of the show. The Academy and mtvU announced today they are partnering for “The Oscar Experience College Search”, whereby college students interested in pursuing careers in film will compete for an opportunity to appear live onstage to deliver Oscar statuettes to telecast presenters during the 85th Academy Awards ceremony February 24 on ABC. Oscar host Seth MacFarlane announced the program as a guest professor on college network mtvU’s series Stand In, taking over a film class at UCLA for an episode that will premiere December 10. The contest runs through January 19 and students can apply through the Academy’s Facebook page.
End Of Watch, which opened to No. 1 at the box office in September, will be back in theaters nationwide December 7 to give awards voters another crack at the LA cop drama written and directed by David Ayer. Distributor Open Road Films said guild members and awards organizations — the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, ACE, ADG, ASC, BAFTA, CAS, DGA, HFPA, MPEG, MPSE, PGA, SAG NOM COM, WGA. — can use their cards to get in free depending on individual theater policy. End Of Watch stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a tough LA cop and Michael Peña as his partner; Peña was just nominated for supporting male actor by the Spirit Awards, which also gave a nom to DP Roman Vasyanov. The pic was produced by Ayer’s Crave Films, John Lesher under his Le Grisbi Productions, and Nigel Sinclair and Matt Jackson of Exclusive Media, which also financed the film, in association with Emmett/Furla Films.
Big life celebrations scored in the ratings last night. The Liz Lemon wedding episode of NBC’s departing 30 Rock drew a 1.3/4 in adults 18-49 and 3.6 million viewers. That was up 8% from its last original two weeks ago and the comedy’s best demo rating since Oct. 11 and largest viewership this season. Meanwhile, ABC’s sophomore drama Scandal (2.2/6) popped 10% from its last episode two weeks ago to hit a season high. (In adults 18-34, it hit a series high). That is with Scandal‘s lead-in, Grey’s Anatomy (3.0/8), dipping 6% from two weeks ago to tie its season low. No dead cat bounce for ABC’s Last Resort. In its first airing post cancellation news, the freshman drama (1.0/3) fell 17% from two weeks ago to a series low.
Fox’s Glee (2.2/6), which featured the latest cover of Psy’s ubiquitous Gangham Style, bounced back 47% following the depressed numbers last week when the network aired originals on Thanksgiving. (Fox’s fast nationals for last night may be slightly inflated because of an NFL preemption in New Orleans). The X Factor (2.7/8) was actually down a tenth from last week’s telecast, which was boosted by a football lead-in.
The returns are in and show that this year’s elections provided a bigger windfall for TV providers than expected by Wells Fargo Securities’ Marci Ryvicker — who’s followed this stuff closer than just about anybody. Campaigns and interest groups spent $2.8B on local TV, $104M at national networks, and $467M on cable she reports this morning based on information from Kantar Media’s Campaign Media Analysis Group. The total TV spending is +23.3% vs. the 2010 elections, and +35.3% vs. the 2008 presidential election year. Television accounted for about 65% of all of this campaign’s political ad spending, which came to $5.19B, +14% from 2010. Ryvicker says that the political outlays for TV were $200M higher than she anticipated.
NBC Sets ’30 Rock’ Finale, ‘Do No Harm’ Premiere Date; ‘Do No Harm’ Gets Thursday 10 PM Slot; ‘Rock Center’ Moves To Fridays
NBC‘s experiment with a newsmagazine in the iconic Thursday 10 PM time slot is over. The network just announced that midseason drama Do No Harm will move into the time period on January 31, following the hourlong series finale of 30 Rock, which will air the same night from 8-9 PM, The Office and newbie 1600 Penn. The low-rated Rock Center With Brian Williams will move to Fridays beginning February 8 and air in the “newsmagazine” 10 PM slot, bumping Dateline to 9 PM. Dateline will take over Grimm‘s slot while the supernatural drama is on a hiatus. When Grimm returns to its 9 PM berth March 8, I hear Dateline will either get off Fridays (by then the Sunday edition will already have launched post-football), or replace Rock Center if the show does not get any traction on its new night. “January 31 will be a special night as one classic series will mark its finale with a great hour-long sendoff episode while a promising new drama will make its debut on Thursdays,” said NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt.
That’s one of the details disclosed by web site GigaOm, which found a help page for people beta testing the streaming service that’s due to launch next month — with hopes to challenge Netfllix and Amazon Prime. (The help page now requires a password to access.) To be sure, things could change by the time Redbox Instant By Verizon launches; possibly December 17 based on info on the page. Still, the disclosures are interesting because Redbox and Verizon have been unusually tight-lipped about their plans. The report says they tentatively expect to charge $6 a month for unlimited access to videos. The joint venture has only disclosed one supplier: Warner Bros. But screen grabs show that beta users can access films from Lionsgate (including Killers and Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family), Paramount (Rango, Iron Man 2, and Thor), Universal (Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax), and Roadside Attractions (The Conspirator and The Last Godfather). Last month Coinstar CEO Paul Davis, whose company owns Redbox, told analysts that they’re “getting the content secured” and “making great progress.” Users reportedly will be able to stream to devices powered by Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS as well as Microsoft’s Xbox. For an additional $2 a month, subscribers receive four credits, which expire at the end of each month, to rent DVDs at Redbox kiosks. There’ll also be opportunities to rent and download content via the web.
Carrie Underwood is following into Julie Andrews’ footsteps. In her first major acting gig, the Grammy winner has been tapped to star as Maria von Trapp in NBC’s live broadcast of The Sound Of Music. It’s based on the original Broadway musical and is executive produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, producers of NBC’s Smash and the 2013 Academy Awards. The three-hour event will air near the holidays in 2013. “Speaking for everyone at NBC, we couldn’t be happier to have the gifted Carrie Underwood take up the mantle of the great Maria von Trapp,” said NBC’s chairman Bob Greenblatt. “She was an iconic woman who will now be played by an iconic artist.” Added Zadan and Meron, “It’s a particular joy to us as producers to see this amazing artist stretch into new territory with this classic musical.”
I am endlessly fascinated by the number of artists who damage their careers with dumb, self-important expressions of thought on Twitter, Facebook and other viral outlets. You don’t have to be Jack Kevorkian to see that the misguided need to service ego with viral expression is becoming a fantastic way to attempt career suicide. This week alone, we’ve seen Two And A Half Men’s Angus T. Jones flat-line his professional future like he was drinking tiger blood, after condemning as “filth” the show that pays him over $8 million a year. He did this in a taped testimonial for something called the Forerunner Christian Church.
Then, writer-director James Gunn found himself hoping Marvel won’t fire him from its next big superhero franchise Guardians Of The Galaxy because obscure bloggers dredged up a two-year old Tumblr blog post Gunn wrote in jest. In it, he described in detail which superheroes he would most like to bed, mixing in homophobic references for good measure. Finally, British actor Jason Flemyng, most often seen in films directed by Guy Ritchie and Matthew Vaughn, got into a playful conversation with some website guys with a camera-phone. As he cagily parried a question on whether Vaughn might direct the next Star Wars and hire him as an actor, Flemyng might have validated all the speculation. Or did he?
Celebrities have been strung up forever for saying dumb things in interviews while out promoting projects, but I find myself shaking my head when they fashion the noose themselves in web postings delivered when they have nothing to gain. Maybe it’s because I push words around for a living and maybe it’s because I’m lazy, but if I wasn’t being paid to write, I wouldn’t scribble a grocery list. For the life of me, I just don’t get the obsession with Twitter, Facebook and these other viral forms that celebs use to validate and sometimes snare themselves. I was taught long ago that it is fine to write stuff while your emotions are high and when you are riled up, but you should never publish until you’ve stepped away and taken the opportunity to consider all the angles, the potential for shrapnel, and consider the people your words might offend or alienate. I did find it interesting to observe this week’s blowback from celebs who didn’t do that.
ABC‘s Good Morning America won the November sweeps, as expected, for the first time in nearly two decades. GMA won in both total viewers averaging 5.31 million and adults 25-54 (2.023 million), according to Nielsen Media Research. GMA scored its first sweeps victory in the important adult demo since July 1994. In addition, GMA led a November sweep in total viewers for the first time in 17 years – since November 1995. GMA surpassed NBC’s Today‘s 4.847 million and 1.995 million by 467,000 total viewers and 28,000 in the 25-54 demo. For the month, GMA’s margins over Today were its largest in total viewers during any sweep in more than 17 years and biggest in adults 25-54 in more than 18 years – since May 1995 and May 1994, respectively. Additionally GMA was up over the year-ago sweep (4.950 million and 1.944 million) in total viewers and Adults 25-54.
Joe Utichi contributes to Deadline’s UK coverage
EXCLUSIVE: G.I. Joe: Retaliation up-and-comer Elodie Yung has been signed to star alongside Evan Rachel Wood in 10 Things I Hate About Life, from the producer-director duo of 1999′s 10 Things I Hate About You. It’s a romantic comedy about a young couple who meet while each is attempting to commit suicide, and has no connection to the earlier film. Writer-director Gil Junger will produce with Andrew Lazar and Intandem Films CEO Gary Smith. Production is set to start in LA in December. Yung is currently finishing up a role alongside Aiden Gillen in British indie Still, and plays Jinx in the G.I. Joe sequel that arrives in theaters in March. She broke through internationally in David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo adaptation playing Miriam Wu after a string of roles in her native France that included the Luc Besson-scripted District 13: Ultimatum. Her reps say she’s expected to reprise her Dragon Tattoo role when the follow-up The Girl Who Played With Fire begins production in 2013. Yung is repped by Gersh and Caliber Media Co in the U.S. and Claire Hoath in the UK.
Ramping up its event drama output, BBC One has commissioned three new series for 2013. Period fantasy drama Jonathan Strange And Mr Norrell is a six-part series based on the best-selling novel by Susanna Clarke and adapted by Wallander‘s Peter Harness. The book is an alternate history of England set during the Napoleonic Wars and focusing on a magician and his apprentice who use their powers to help the government but who are ultimately pitted against one another. New Line optioned the movie rights back in 2005 with Christopher Hampton adapting, but the film was never made. The series is produced by Cuba Pictures in association with Feel Film and Farmoor. Cuba recently produced Rufus Norris’ well-received festival title Broken. Toby Haynes, who directed the Season 2 Sherlock finale, The Reichenbach Fall, is helming. Nick Hirschkorn and Nick Marston are producers, Justin Thomson-Glover, Patrick Irwin and Matthew Read are exec producers.
Don Groves is a Deadline contributor based in Sydney
Australia’s free-to-air TV networks will get a permanent 50% reduction in the license fees they pay to the government in return for a local content quota imposed on their multi-channels. While that may be welcome news for broadcasters, Australian producers have reacted angrily to today’s announcement. “There is little incentive to encourage new Australian content on the multi-channels under the new rules…which fail to address the increasing amount of foreign content on our screens,” says Screen Producers Association of Australia executive director Mathew Deaner. Deaner contends the networks can now meet their obligations by showing repeated Australian content on their multi-channels and that there is no imperative to create new Australian content.
In a symbolic passing-of-the-baton move, less than a week after Nickelodeon‘s veteran comedy iCarly ended its five-season run, the cable network is greenlighting a spinoff series from iCarly creator Dan Schneider starring series standout Jennette McCurdy. Nickelodeon has given a 20-episode order to comedy Sam & Cat, toplined by McCurdy and her close friend Ariana Grande, co-star of another Schneider-created Nickelodeon comedy ending its run, Victorious. Both are reprising their roles in Sam & Cat, in which the feisty Sam Puckett (McCurdy) and daffy Cat Valentine (Grande) become best buddies and unlikely roommates. They love their freedom and independence but quickly realize that fun and adventure do not come cheap. Rather than get traditional after-school jobs, Sam and Cat become teen entrepreneurs by starting their own baby-sitting business. Production on the series begins in January for a 2013 premiere.
Claire Forlani is joining writer-director Isabel Coixet’s Panda Eyes. Project is described as a paranormal thriller about a young girl (Sophie Turner from Game Of Thrones) haunted by her past. Forlani will play the mother of Turner’s character. The movie also stars Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Rhys Ifans and Gregg Sulkin. Production is taking place in Wales for Fox International Film. Forlani is repped by Paradigm, Principal Entertainment and London’s Independent Talent.
China Theaters Offered Rebates To Boost Local Film Market Share
Worried about competition from U.S. and other foreign titles, China’s movie industry regulators have created financial incentives for any theater chain that takes in at least 50% of its annual box-office revenue from Chinese films. Tian Jin, deputy director of China’s State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, complained recently that the market share of Chinese films in China had dropped to 41.4%. The incentive will be in the form of a rebate of the fees — 5% of all ticket sales — that theater owners pay to the National Film Development Funds Management Committee. If half of a theater owner’s revenue comes from domestic films, the entire fee is refunded. If 45% of sales come from Chinese films, 80% of the fee is returned. If the percentage falls below 45% but exceeds the domestic market share in the previous year, the rebate is 50% of the fee.