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Hacking Trial Lawyer: Brooks And Coulson Had 6-Year Affair
The phone-hacking trial taking place in London was the source of new revelations Thursday as prosecuting attorney Andrew Edis told jurors that defendants Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson carried on a six-year “secret” affair from 1998-2004. Brooks is the former head of News International (now News UK), the British press arm of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, and Coulson was editor of the now-closed News Of The World before leaving to join Prime Minister David Cameron’s team as his communications director. As part of his opening remarks, Edis stressed that he was not bringing up the relationship between Brooks and Coulson, which the prosecution said was evident from a letter to Coulson that was found on one of Brooks’ computers, to intrude on their privacy or pass judgment. “The point that I’m going to make in relation to that letter is that over the relevant period, what Mr Coulson knew, Mrs Brooks knew too. And what Mrs Brooks knew, Mr Coulson knew too — that’s the point.” He told the court the affair spanned the period covered by the phone-hacking conspiracy charges the pair is facing, according to The Times. “Mrs Brooks and Mr Coulson are charged with conspiracy,” Edis said, “and, when people are charged with conspiracy, the first question a jury has to answer is how well did they know each other? How much did they trust each other?” At the time of the letter in 2004, Brooks was editor of The Sun and Coulson was at NOTW. Read More »

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Warner Bros Sued By Estate Of ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Star’s Heir Over Docu

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 6:16pm PDT

There’s some legal action down that Yellow Brick Road. Just in time for the upcoming 75th anniversary of The Wizard of OzWarner Bros were sued Wednesday by the estate of the Emmy winning late son of the actor who played the Tin Man in the movie. At dispute in the breach of fiduciary duties action (read it here) filed in federal court in Georgia is a documentary on the classic pic that the estate of Jack Haley Jr says WB is choking off unless it is given full rights to. In requesting a jury trial, plaintiff Kelly Brandt of Haley’s estate and trust wants a summary judgment that they are and always have been 50% owners of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: The Making Of A Movie Classic. The estate also wants unspecified damages, all its legal costs covered and an accounting of all profits from the docu plus profits from a new docu that uses some of the same material. The director of 1974’s That’s Entertainment as well as the docu and other films, Jack Haley Jr died in 2001. Making Of A Movie Classic has been distributed with the 1939 original movie on video and DVD since the late ‘80s and has made over $4 million, of which the Haley estate has received $2,083,451 as of August 2013, according … Read More »

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Female Writers Sell Comedies To NBC, ABC

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 5:33pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NBC has put in development Olivia Jones Is My Girlfriend, a multi-camera comedy from Warner Bros. TV. Written/co-exec produced by Laura Gutin (Enlisted, 1600 Penn), it about the unlikely friendship between a girl who’s never had a boyfriend and a girl who has never had any girl friends. Sherry Bilsing-Graham and Ellen Kreamer exec produce. Gutin is with UTA.

ABC has given a script commitment with penalty to an untitled project from Aaron Kaplan‘s Kapital Entertainment and ABC Studios. Written by Laura Solon, it centers on an uncompromising blue-collar nanny who finds the biggest challenge of caring for an 8-year-old boy is living with his self-assured bachelor dad. Gersh-repped Solon won the Perrier Award at the 2005 Edinburgh Fringe Fest.

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Kim Kardashian & Kanye West Sue YouTube Co-Founder Over Proposal Footage Intended For E! Reality Series

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 5:29pm PDT

So for once a Kardashian doesn’t want some video of herself out there – at least not yet. Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ Kim and hubby-to be Kanye West today filed a complaint in LA Superior Court against YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley for filming the rapper’s October 21 marriage proposal to the E! star and putting it online. The breach of contract, fraud and unjust enrichment filing (read it here) seeks a jury trial as well as unspecified damages galore and gate crasher Hurley handing over any profits he might have made from putting the proposal at San Fran’s AT&T Park up on his new Mixbit site. It seems the duo didn’t want anyone but their own crews filming anything because the footage of the event was intended for M Cable Television, an offshoot of Keeping producers Bunim/Murray and E! – which means you likely would be seeing it soonish on the long running reality series.

“Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are entertainers. Entertainers get paid for their work,” says the complaint, at least telling us Kim’s real status. Slagged as a tech one-hit wonder in the complaint, Hurley actually did sign a confidentially agreement when he tagged along to the invite only event with a friend. There’s a pic of him with it in the filing. … Read More »

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ABC Developing Crime Thriller From Charles Randolph & Peter Traugott Based On Swedish Book Series

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 4:22pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: ABC has put in development a crime thriller from writer Charles Randolph (Love and Other Drugs), Peter Traugott’s TBD Entertainment and Sweden-based Yellow Bird Entertainment. The project, from Universal TV where TBD is based, is an adaptation of the best-selling novels by Liza Marklund that also were the basis for the hit Swedish drama series Annika Bengtzon: Crime Reporter, also produced by Yellow Bird (watch the trailer below). Written by Randolph, the drama centers on a dogged, no-nonsense tabloid reporter searching for the truth while also juggling her bosses and her family. Randolph is executive producing with TBD’s Traugott and Rachel Kaplan and Yellow Bird’s Jenny Gilbertsson and Berna Levin. This marks the latest sale for TBD this season for a total of three dramas and six comedies at NBC, Fox and USA. Yellow Bird recently teamed with Chernin Entertainment to develop a series based on another Swedish crime novel, The Swede by Robert Karjel. Yellow Bird, which produced the Millennium Swedish trilogy starring Noomi Rapace, and TBD are repped by UTA; Randolph, who recently did HBO pilot The Missionary, is with CAA and Brillstein Entertainment; Marklund, whose crime novels have sold over 13 million copies worldwide, is with Niclas Salomonsson.

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CNN Falls To Lowest Primetime In Over A Year; Fox’s Megyn Kelly Returns To Cable News Ratings Top Spot

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 3:03pm PDT

A busy news day of combative Congressional Obamacare hearings and Presidential speeches did CNN no favors in primetime last night. The Jeff Zucker-run cable network hit its lowest primetime time result among adults 25-54 in over a year Wednesday despite all the cable newers being up double digits over the day before during Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius’ morning testimony. Between 8 PM and 11 PM last night, CNN had a mere 67,000 viewers among the key news demo. That’s the worst its done in the demo since August 10 last year. With the Olympics were on NBC last August, CNN drew just 62,000 among the 25-54s that Friday. Not only was CNN behind rivals Fox News Channel (396,000) and MSNBC (127,000) but also it did worse than sister station HLN (93,000) and CNBC (79,000). The most watched show on CNN last night was Piers Morgan Live at 9 PM which got a soft 83,000 in the demo and 340,000 viewers overall. Overall CNN had 285,000 viewers in primetime last night compared to MSNBC’s 683,000 and FNC’s 2.312 million.

Related:
Fox Tops October Cable News Ratings With Revamped Primetime
‘The Daily Show’ Slams CNN Over “Dumb” Good/Bad Questions: Video
Read More »

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David O. Russell Gets Tribute Treatment At AFI Fest

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 3:00pm PDT

LOS ANGELES, CA, October 31, 2013 – AFI FEST 2013 presented by Audi, a program of the American Film Institute, today announced a Special Tribute to David O. Russell on Friday, November 8. AFI FEST will take place November 7 through 14 at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre, the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

For the fifth consecutive year, AFI FEST will offer free tickets to all screenings. Free individual tickets to AFI FEST screenings and galas will be available to the general public online and at the AFI FEST AT&T Box Office at The Hollywood & Highland Center starting on November 2. The American Film Institute honors excellence in film artistry annually through AFI FEST, which brings icons, emerging artists and audiences together to experience global cinema in the movie capital of the world.

Read More »

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USA Drama Pilot ‘The Novice’ Casts Its Lead

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 2:32pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Shane Coffey has landed the lead in USA Network’s recently greenlighted drama pilot The Novice, from Fox 21. Written by Hell On Wheels creators Joe and Tony Gayton, The Novice centers on Kyle (Coffey), a charming and highly intelligent recent college graduate who is forced to move back home with his parents and siblings when his job search stalls. However, after a strange quirk of fate proves oddly fortuitous, he lands a position with a Korean crime organization. The Gaytons executive produce with Marty Adelstein, Shawn Levy, Becky Clements, Matt Ochacher, Michael Pelmont and Brian Volk-Weiss. Coffey, repped by New Wave and Pakula/King, has recurred on Pretty Little Liars, Perception and, most recently, The Originals. USA has history of breaking young talent in lead roles, most recently with Patrick J. Adams on Suits and Aaron Tveit on Graceland.

Related: Matt Passmore Set As Lead In USA’s Sean Jablonski Pilot

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Ratings Rat Race: World Series Ends With A Bang; What Comedies Will ABC Pick Up?

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 2:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATE 2:30 PM: The finals are in, and Game 6 of the World Series went up to 19.2 million viewers and a 5.7 in 18-49. World Series 2013 averaged 14.9 million viewers and a 4.2 in 18-49, both up 17% from last year. Also, Super Fun Night and CSI went down a tenth to a 1.7. The Middle and Arrow were adjusted up a tenth.

PREVIOUS 9:30 AM: First off, congratulations to the Boston Red Sox for winning their first World Series on home turf in almost a century. Fox sure wouldn’t have minded a seventh game in this highly rated series, but the six games it got were two more than the last time the Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals faced off in the Series nine years ago — a 4-0 sweep for Boston. Last night’s Game 6 drew 18 million viewers and a 5.4 rating in 18-49 in the fast nationals, a high for the series that will go even higher in the finals (Game 5 was adjusted up 5%). It gave Fox a big nightly win in viewers and 18-49 and total viewers to log Fox’s most watched Wednesday in more than year.

Outside the World Series decider, the most intriguing developments last night were on ABC where The Middle (2.1) and Back In The Game (1.7) held onto their fast nationals ratings from last week when they faced Game 1 of the World Series, while Super Fun Night (1.8) fell 14% to a new low following a Modern Family repeat vs. an original last week. The results are significant because ABC is nearing a decision on which freshman comedies to pick up for the rest of the season. Read More »

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Ewan McGregor To Make Broadway Debut In Tom Stoppard’s ‘The Real Thing’

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 2:07pm PDT

Previews begin October 2, 2014, at the American Airlines Theatre for The Real Thing, the Tom Stoppard play that originally premiered in 1982 in London. It won the 1984 Tony Award for Best Play and most recently was produced on Broadway 14 years ago. Sam Gold is directing the latest incarnation, which will open October 30, 2014, and run through January 4, 2015, and is from the Roundabout Theatre Company. Ewan McGregor will play Henry, a playwright not so happily married to Charlotte, the lead actress in his play about a marriage on the verge of collapse. When Henry’s affair with their friend Annie threatens to destroy his own marriage, he discovers that life has started imitating art. After Annie leaves her husband so she and Henry can begin a new life together, he can’t help but wonder whether their love is fiction or the real thing. The rest of the cast has not been announced. McGregor recently wrapped production on Jane’s Got A Gun and is now filming Mortdecai opposite Johnny Depp and Gwyneth Paltrow. He’s also in the ensemble cast of another Tony winner — the adaptation Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer-winning August: Osage County which hits theaters on December 25. He is repped by UTA and United Agents in the UK.

Related: ‘An American In Paris’ Musical Has Eye Read More »

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Comedian Moshe Kasher To Create & Star In Autobiographical Half-Hour For Showtime

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 2:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Showtime has put in development a dark comedy project created by and starring Moshe Kasher, from 3 Arts Entertainment and Matt Tolmach Prods. Based on the comedian’s stand-up and his 2012 memoir, Kasher In The Rye: The True Tale Of A White Boy From Oakland Who Became A Drug Addict, Criminal, Mental Patient … And Then Turned Sixteen, the project chronicles Kasher’s teenage years in Oakland in the 1990s and his deaf mother’s struggles to raise him. Kasher will write and executive produce alongside former film executive-turned-producer Matt Tolmach (The Amazing Spider-Man franchise) and 3 Arts’ Dave Becky and Josh Lieberman. Tolmach, repped by UTA for TV, recently served as producer on Sony Pictures Classics’ upcoming The Armstrong Lie. Last year, Kasher, repped by WME and 3 Arts, was a writer on NBC’s The New Normal and released his first stand up special, Moshe Kasher: Live In Oakland, on Netflix. He co-hosts The Champs podcast, is a frequent guest on Chelsea Lately and has appeared on Showtime’s Shameless.

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NBC Adapting New Chelsea Cain Book Series With Matt Lopez & Sara Colleton

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 1:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: NBC has put in development One Kick, a drama based on the upcoming book series by Chelsea Cain, the best-selling author of the Archie Sheridan/Gretchen Lowell series of thriller novels. Feature writer Matt Lopez will write the adaptation and will executive produce with former Dexter executive producer Sara Colleton, who was with the hit Showtime drama for its entire eight-season run. One Kick tells the story of Kick Lannigan, who made national news as a child after being abducted, and later rescued, in an Elizabeth Smart-type kidnapping. Determined to never fall victim again, Kick has trained herself in martial arts and firearms. She finds her calling when a mysterious billionaire offers her the resources and high-tech tools she needs to hunt down predators and rescue other abductees. Read More »

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Lady Gaga, Josh Hutcherson Make ‘SNL’-Hosting Debuts in November

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 1:12pm PDT

Lady Gaga and Josh Hutcherson will guest host Saturday Night Live during the November sweep. November 16 will mark Gaga’s Lady Gagafirst appearance as host — she’ll also be the musical guest that night, which comes five days after the release of her new album ARTPOP; it’s her third time performing on the NBC late-night show. Hutcherson’s also an SNL-hosting virgin; he makes his debut on November 23 — which, not coincidentally, is the night after The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, in which he stars, debuts in theaters. That night, HAIM comes to Studio 8H for their first time as musical guest, about nine days after embarking on their European tour with Phoenix in support of their album, Days Are Gone.

Related:
‘SNL’ Camp’s Latest Theory On Cast: Black Comediennes Aren’t “Ready”

Strap In For ‘SNL’ Rebuilding Year
‘SNL’ Season Debut Best In 3 Years Demo-Wise And 2 Years Overall

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‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Finds Its Jose: Victor Rasuk Plays Christian Grey Romance Rival

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 12:44pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: They’ve cast one of the final major roles in Fifty Shades Of Grey, the Universal Pictures and Focus Features adaptation of EL James’ global bestseller that stars Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele and Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey. Victor Rasuk has been set to play Jose, the aspiring photographer and classmate of Anastasia, whose close friendship with the young girl — he’d like it to be more — pits him as rival for her affections with Grey, the wealthy businessman whose warped past leaves him with a need to dominate his partners and unable to accept Anastasia on equal terms (yes, I read the damn book).

Related: Another Grey Casting In ‘Fifty Shades’
Read More »

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Cult ’80s Slasher ‘Sleepaway Camp’ Eyed For Franchise Reboot

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 12:44pm PDT

EXCLUSIVE: The 1983 slasher pic Sleepaway Camp earned a spot in horror history with its infamous shocker of a twist ending, which I won’t spoil here. But like many an ’80s horror franchise, its staying power petered out with a string of subsequent sequels. Now ex-Fox/New Line exec Jeff Katz is trying to inject new blood into the Sleepaway Camp franchise by reviving the summertime screamer for a new generation. He’s optioned remake rights from the original movie’s trio of makers and rights holders: Writer/director-turned-lawyer Robert Hiltzik, producer Michele Tatosian, and actress Felissa Rose, who starred in the 1983 pic as Angela, the bullied teen protagonist whose summer turns into a bloodbath when a killer begins offing campers. Producing alongside Hiltzik, Tatosian, and Rose, Katz aims to reboot the Sleepaway Camp mythos in a modern setting with a new film series that echoes its legacy and the psychosexual elements that made the first pic such a memorable cult favorite. Meanwhile, Shout Factory used the Halloween holiday to announce that it will release the original pic to Blu-ray for the first time in the spring. Read More »

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Google Unveils Nexus 5 Phones And Android KitKat Upgrade

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 12:07pm PDT

In contrast to Apple, Google eschewed the usual new product event hype today as it released its its long-awaited new flagship phone and the KitKat upgrade to its Android operating system. The company says in a blog post that its Nexus 5 phone, made by LG, is available today online. While it has high-end specs — I’ll get to that in a sec — the big selling point is the price: $349 with 16 GB of memory, and $399 for 32 GB, unlocked — and before any subsidies from wireless carriers. (It’ll work with AT&T, TMobile, and Sprint but not Verizon.) The Nexus 5′s low price could make it attractive to people who’d prefer to buy their own phone and not lock themselves into a two-year contract with a wireless carrier. Consider that the iPhone 5s with 16 GB costs $649, and $749 with 32 GB, without a subsidy. As for the specs: The Nexus 5 has a 5 inch screen and is 8.59 mm thick. It’s powered by a Snapdragon 800, 2.3GHz processor. The rear-facing camera has 8 megapixels and Optical Image Stabilization, while the front-facing one has 1.3 MP. It’s also the first device to come with Android KitKat. The company says the operating system upgrade uses 16% less memory than the previous version. As a result it can “run comfortably on the 512MB of RAM devices that are popular in much of … Read More »

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Warner Bros Talk Show ‘The Real’ To Launch In Fall 2014 On Fox Stations & BET

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 12:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The Real Talk Show Fall 2014 LaunchAnother daytime player is entering the fray for fall 2014. Following a successful four-week test on seven Fox owned-and-operated stations this past summer, Warner Bros TV Distribution/Telepictures’ syndicated daytime panel talk show The Real will get a nationwide rollout next fall with the Fox TV Stations as a launch group. Additionally, the show, hosted by Tamera Mowry-Housley, Tamar Braxton, Loni Love, Adrienne Bailon and Jeannie Mai and executive produced by Sally Ann Salsano (Jersey Shore), will get a second window on BET following the model of The Wendy Williams Show, which also airs on the Fox stations after a successful summer test run, as well as on BET. The two-year deal for The Real comes on the heels of WBTVD signing a three-year pact with the Fox stations for TMZ On TV offshoot TMZ Live. Insiders say the two shows could easily co-exist (TMZ Live does not require a national footprint), and The Real pickup also does not interfere with the renewal chances of WBTVD’s other talk show strip on the Fox stations, Bethenny. While the show has been slow out of the gate, I hear the Fox stations see some growth potential and want to monitor its performance for several more weeks before making a final decision on a second season. Read More »

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‘The Glades’ Matt Passmore Set As The Lead In USA’s Sean Jablonski Pilot

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 12:00pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The Glades star Matt Passmore is set as the lead of another potential basic cable drama series. Passmore will topline USA Network’s untitled Sean Jablonski pilot, which centers on Neil Truman (Passmore), an investment banker who attempts to satisfy his married midlife crisis by quitting his job and redefining himself and his relationships. UCP is producing, with Jablonski and Russ Krasnoff executive producing. USA had its eye on Passmore for a while but could not lock him in until he had been released from The Glades. Following The Glades’ cancellation by A&E, producer Fox TV Studios explored other potential homes for the series including Ion, though an deal could not be closed, making Passmore available. He is repped by WME, ROAR, and RGM in Australia.

Related: USA Drama Pilot ‘The Novice’ Casts Its Lead

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‘Thor 2′ Begins International Rollout: Stronger Starts In UK & France Than First

By | Thursday October 31, 2013 @ 11:46am PDT

Thor Dark World Box Office InternationalEXCLUSIVE… UPDATE: Disney and Marvel StudiosThor: The Dark World opened in a handful of territories on Wednesday taking in $8.2M. The pic starring Chris Hemsworth was the #1 film in each market which represented only 28% of its eventual international footprint. It had stronger starts in the UK and France than the 2011 first installment. The North American opening is November 8th. Disney and Marvel see what they call “tremendous room for growth” at the box office from the first Thor which grossed just under $450M worldwide. “All signs indicate we’ll have a much higher result,” an exec tells me. “I can’t put a number on it, but by the time we report domestic numbers on November 10th, we should be in really great shape.” Thor opened to $65M in May 2011 and went on to earn $181M domestic and $268.3M international. By contrast, the Thor sequel opens in November in the majority of its international footprint this weekend starting with major territories UK, France and Korea, then Australia, Germany, Spain, Taiwan and Hong Kong a day later, and Russia, Mexico and Brazil on Friday. Next week China and India open day and date with the domestic opening November 8th. The overseas release follows the world premiere on October 22nd and global press junket in London with director Alan Taylor, producer Kevin Feige, and stars Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgard, Kat Dennings, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and more. The U.S. … Read More »

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