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HBO Sets Name & Date For John Oliver Debut

By | Wednesday February 12, 2014 @ 10:10am PST

John OliverLast Week Tonight With John Oliver will premiere on April 27, HBO announced today. The new weekly satire show from the former Daily Show With Jon Stewart correspondent and stand-in host will air at 11 PM.  Last Week Tonight will be produced for HBO by Avalon Television, with Oliver, Tim Carvell, James Taylor and Jon Thoday serving as EPs, and Liz Stanton producing. HBO first announced Oliver’s move over from Comedy Central on November 14 last year. The British comedian took over the desk on The Daily Show last summer as Stewart was away directing his first feature film. Oliver took his final Daily Show bow on December 19 to start work on his own show. Not that Oliver will be straying far from the tested and true  – Last Week Tonight will, like The Daily Show, be taking a satirical look at news, politics and current events.

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Channel 4 Orders Comedy Pilot ‘Catastrophe’; Endemol Invests In Social Casino Gaming Firm; More

By | Monday December 16, 2013 @ 10:00pm PST

Channel 4 Orders Comedy Pilot From Rob Delaney, Sharon Horgan
Channel 4 logoThe UK’s Channel 4 has commissioned the pilot Catastrophe from Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan. The pair will write and star in the single-camera comedy about an Irish woman and an American man who make a bloody mess as they struggle to fall in love in London. Catastrophe is an Avalon Production for Channel 4. Adam Tandy will serve as a non-writing producer with Avalon Television UK producing. Delaney won the award for “Funniest Person on Twitter” at the Comedy Central Comedy Awards. His television credits include Comedy Central’s Key & Peele, Fuel TV’s The Daily Habit, and the pilot Movie Nook for TBS. Delaney is repped by Kara Baker at Avalon Management, WME and CAA Touring.

Endemol Bets $13M On Social Casino Gaming Company Plumbee
endemol1Endemol said today that it has invested $13 million in social casino gaming company Plumbee. The digital start-up’s existing investor, Idinvest Partners, also participated in this round. The deal values the business at $40 million. Launched in 2011, Plumbee creates, operates and markets free-to-play online and mobile games on social networks. The two companies will create premium social casino games, exploiting Endemol’s global entertainment brands and building on Plumbee’s worldwide user base. Read More »

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Comedy Central Renews ‘Adam Devine’s House Party’

By | Friday November 22, 2013 @ 9:03am PST

The stand-up series hybrid Adam Devine’s House Party has been renewed for a second season, with eight episodes ordered to air in 2014. The first season currently airs at 12:30 AM Thursdays and revolves around Devine’s massive party in an LA mansion, with up-and-coming comedians stopping by to perform stand-up sets on a backyard stage. Each episode mixes scripted storylines with stand-up. ”Giving Adam Devine money to throw a house party stand-up series proved to be so irresponsible, we couldn’t resist doing it again,” said Kent Alterman, President, Content Development and Original Programming, Comedy Central. The Avalon Television-produced series is exec produced by Devine, Avalon’s Jon Thoday, Richard Allen-Turner, David Martin, Isaac Horne, and Kyle Newacheck, who directed the first season.

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TVGN’s First Development Slate Includes ‘New Kids On The Block’ Series, ‘Celebrity Celebrity’ Game Show

By | Tuesday November 12, 2013 @ 10:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Seven months after CBS Corp. acquired half of TVGN, partnering with Lionsgate, the cable network is announcing its first development slate. The projects on it indicate that TVGN does not plan a major change of course, keeping its focus on celebrity, pop culture and television. Corporate synergy with CBS already has done well for TVGN, which has seen triple-digit ratings increases from its broadcasts of Big Brother After Dark and The Young & The Restless. Following the recent premiere of docuseries Mother Of All Talent, about mother-daughter kids talent agents, and the upcoming debut of Tequila Sisters, about a Miami-based tequila business clan, TVGN has unveiled a development slate featuring seven other unscripted projects. It includes a series featuring New Kids on the Block, produced by band member and star of CBS’ Blue Bloods Donnie Wahlberg, and a game show based on the Celebrity Celebrity parlor game produced by Scandal‘s Joshua Malina.

Corporate synergy is again on full display, with a show about CBS’ Watch! Magazine and two series from Lionsgate TV — a magazine based on celebrity tweets and posts, and a show about the cutthroat Hollywood tour business. TVGN also is paying homage to its roots as a TV guide service with a show about the stories behind television’s biggest hits. “We have commissioned a slate of original projects that capture compelling and exciting stories of Hollywood, fandom and obsession,” said Brad Schwartz, TVGN’s President of Entertainment and Media. Here are details about TVGN’s projects in development:

Rock The Boat: New Kids On The Block: Obsessed fans take the vacation of a lifetime when they board a cruise for a weeklong party on the high-seas with America’s favorite bands. The first group to headline this all-new series franchise is New Kids on the Block (NKOTB), one of the hottest bands in music history.

Related: ‘Big Brother: After Dark’, ‘Y&R’ Boost TVGN Status

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2013 Primetime Emmy Nominations (LIVE)

By | Thursday July 18, 2013 @ 5:22am PDT

BREAKING… The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards nominations announcement took place at 5:40 AM PT live at Emmys.com. All the nominees will be named here. Kate Mara Host Neil Patrick Harris wound up joining Aaron Paul and Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Chairman/CEO Bruce Rosenblum for the announcement at the Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood. The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards telecast will air live coast-to-coast on Sunday, September 22nd (8 PM ET/5 PM PT) on CBS from the NOKIA Theater L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles.

Nominations cover the eligibility period of June 1, 2012 through May 31, 2013. This year featured the first ever Emmy nominations in the series and performer categories for programs delivered to television viewers online with the nomination for House of Cards in the Outstanding Drama Series category and performer nominations for both House of Cards and Arrested Development. Emmy rules were amended in 2007 to allow qualified broadband programming to submit along with cable and broadcast programming in all categories. But this is the first year that online programming has been recognized in such highly visible categories.

Programs receiving 10 or more nominations are American Horror Story: Asylum (17), Game Of Thrones (16), Behind The Candelabra (15), Saturday Night Live (15), Breaking Bad (13), 30 Rock (13), Downton Abbey (12), Mad Men (12), Modern Family (12), Homeland (11), Phil Spector (11) and Boardwalk Empire (10).

This year’s Outstanding Drama Series performer categories (lead and supporting) feature a mix of first time nominees as well veteran performers in new roles, including: Morena Baccarin in Homeland, Jonathan Banks in Breaking Bad, Connie Britton in Nashville, Bobby Cannavale in Boardwalk Empire, Emilia Clarke in Game Of Thrones, Jeff Daniels in The Newsroom, Vera Farmiga in Bates Motel, Mandy Patinkin in Homeland, Kevin Spacey in House of Cards, Kerry Washington in Scandal and Robin Wright in House of Cards.

Similarly, the Outstanding Comedy Series performer categories (lead and supporting) have new nominees as well as several performers who are back in the Emmy race this year, including: Jason Bateman in Arrested Development, Anna Chlumsky in Veep, Laura Dern in Enlightened, Adam Driver in Girls, Tony Hale in Veep, Jane Krakowski in 30 Rock, Matt LeBlanc in Episodes and Jane Lynch in Glee.

Additionally, this year’s nominations recognize new writing and directing talent some primarily known for their work in film. A total of 537 separate nominations were made:

Refresh for latest…

Academy of Television Arts & Sciences 65th Primetime Emmy Award Nominations

Outstanding Drama Series
Breaking Bad • AMC • Sony Pictures Television

Downton Abbey • PBS • A Carnival / Masterpiece Co-Production

Game Of Thrones • HBO • Bighead, Littlehead, TV 360, Startling TV and Generator Prodns with HBO Ent

Homeland • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Teakwood Lane Prods, Cherry Pie Prods, Keshet, Fox 21

House Of Cards • Netflix • Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Prods with Media Rights Capital for Netflix

Mad Men • AMC • Lionsgate Television

Outstanding Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory • CBS • Chuck Lorre Productions with Warner Bros Television

Girls • HBO • Apatow Prodns and I am Jenni Konner Prodns with HBO Entertainment

Louie • FX Networks • Pig Newton, Inc.

Modern Family • ABC • Picador Prodns & Steve Levitan Prodns with 20th Century Fox Television

30 Rock • NBC • Broadway Video and Little Stranger with Universal Television

Veep • HBO • Dundee Prodns with HBO Entertainment

Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series
Breaking Bad • AMC • Sony Pictures Television
Bryan Cranston as Walter White

Downton Abbey • PBS • A Carnival / Masterpiece Co-Production
Hugh Bonneville as Robert, Earl of Grantham

Homeland • Showtime • Showtime Presents, Teakwood Lane Prodns, Cherry Pie Prodns, Keshet, Fox 21
Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody

House Of Cards • Netflix • Donen/Fincher/Roth and Trigger Street Prods with Media Rights Capital for Netflix
Kevin Spacey as Francis Underwood

Mad Men • AMC • Lionsgate Television
Jon Hamm as Don Draper

The Newsroom • HBO • HBO Entertainment
Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy
Read More »

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Comedy Central Orders Stand-Up Series Starring ‘Workaholics’ Adam Devine

By | Thursday April 11, 2013 @ 8:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Comedy Central has given an eight-episode order to stand-up series Adam Devine’s House Party, which will spotlight 24 of Adam Devine’s favorite up-and-coming comedians and is slated to premiere this fall. Produced by Avalon Television, the company behind Workaholics, Adam Devine’s House Party is executive produced by Devine, Avalon’s Jon Thoday, Richard Allen-Turner, David Martin, Isaac Horne and Workaholics’ Kyle Newacheck, who will also direct the series. Combining stand-up and narrative sketches, House Party is set inside Devine’s Los Angeles mansion where each week three of his favorite comedians hang out at his massive house party and do stand-up in the backyard. “I don’t know how I convinced Comedy Central to give me another show, a Hollywood mansion and a paycheck for hanging out with my friends,” said Devine.  “I hope they have a good lawyer and the fire department on speed dial.”

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Avalon Management Acquires UK-Based Agency Artists Rights Group

By | Friday December 7, 2012 @ 8:00am PST

Founded in 2001, Artists Rights Group‘s client roster includes Daniel Radcliffe, Romola Garai, Richard E. Grant, Rupert Penry-Jones and Imelda Staunton. The London-based talent agency will continue to act independently within the Avalon Management Group, which acquired it from ALL3MEDIA. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Avalon Group includes Avalon Management and TV producers Flame Television, Liberty Bell Productions, Tinderbox Television and Topical Television. Its Avalon Television division produces Comedy Central’s Workaholics and John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show and the BBC’s Good News and Not Going Out, among others. Avalon Management’s clients include Oliver, Kristen Schaal and Russell Howard. ARG managing director Sue Latimer said of the deal, “We’re very excited about joining Avalon and expanding the areas of expertise and personal representation that we can provide to our clients.”

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BAFTA TV Noms: ‘Sherlock’, ‘Appropriate Adult’, Maggie Smith For ‘Downton Abbey’

ITV1′s serial-killer drama Appropriate Adult leads this year’s Arqiva British Academy Television Awards nominations with four including lead actor for Dominic West and lead actress for Emily Watson. BBC One’s Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch is also among the top mentions, scoring nods for the acting duo of Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Downton Abbey, however, came up with only one nomination: for Dame Maggie Smith who plays the formidable Dowager Countess. The ceremony will take place in London on May 27. Nominees in the major categories follow; full list to come: Read More »

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IFC Unveils 2012-13 Programming Slate

By | Tuesday March 20, 2012 @ 5:11pm PDT

IFC has picked up a third season of breakout Portlandia, the cable network announced at its first ever upfront presentation today in New York on the heels of becoming an ad-supported network earlier this year. IFC  also unveiled a programming slate that includes several new comedies. Among newcomers are the animated coming-of-age series Out There; the unscripted comedy/talk show Comedy Bang Bang, based on comedian Scott Aukerman’s podcasts; the comedy game show Bunk; and the tentatively titled Maron, inspired by the life of edgy comedian Marc Maron. In addition to Portlandia, other returning shows on the IFC slate include Whisker Wars, from Original Productions and a new installment of rapper R. Kelly’s “hip hopera” Trapped In The Closet (the original aired in 2007). Here is the release:
Read More »

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IFC Greenlights 2 Scripted Comedy Series

By | Monday January 9, 2012 @ 8:28am PST
Nellie Andreeva

IFC has picked up two new scripted comedy series, Comedy Bang! Bang! and Bunk (working title). Both have received orders for 10 episodes to premiere back-to-back in June as a one-hour original comedy block. “With popular shows like Portlandia and Todd Margaret currently on our air and now the addition of Comedy Bang! Bang! and Bunk, IFC is quickly becoming known as a destination for top comedic talent,” said IFC’s SVP oroginal programming Debbie DeMontreux.

Comedy Bang! Bang! is a sketch variety show featuring celebrity guests, comedy sketches, and animation.  The series is hosted by Scott Aukerman (Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis) and based upon his podcast of the same name. Music will be provided by the show’s resident one-man bandleader Reggie Watts. Comedy Bang! Bang! is produced for IFC by Abso Lutely Prods; Aukerman, Dave Kneebone and Leo Allen serve as executive producers.

Bunk, which came out of the New York TV Festival, is a game-show parody featuring a rotating lineup of comedian contestants performing absurd comedy challenges, created by Ethan T. Berlin and Eric Bryant and hosted by stand-up comedian Kurt Braunohler. The series is produced for IFC by Avalon Television; Eric Bryant, Ethan T. Berlin, David Martin, Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner serve as executive producers.  Kurt Braunohler and Dan Lubetkin serve as co-executive producers.

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NBC Developing Comedy Series Version Of British Film ‘The Infidel’ Starring Omid Djalili

By | Monday October 24, 2011 @ 8:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NBC will tackle the thorny issue of Muslim-Jewish relations in a sitcom. The network has put in development a comedy series based on the 2010 British comedy feature The Infidel, with British-Iranian actor-comedian Omid Djalili, who starred in the movie, attached to reprise his role. Mark O’Keefe (Bruce Almighty, The O’Keefes) will write the adaptation, which is being produced by Avalon Television and the company behind the film, Slingshot Prods. The Infidel centers on a devoutly Muslim family man (Djalili) who is shocked to discover upon the death of his mother that he was adopted, and was actually born a Jew. Trying to make the best of his new identity, he places himself in the hands of a cab driving mentor, played in the movie by The West Wing alum Richard Schiff. Also co-starring in the cross-cultural feature comedy was The Good Wife‘s Archie Panjabi (trailer below). Djalili and O’Keefe will executive produce the series version with the film’s writer-producer David Baddiel, producer Arvind Ethan David and Avalon’s Jon Thoday. (O’Keefe, Avalon and Baddiel are with UTA.) In the U.S., the film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was picked up by Showtime. It is unclear if that happened under Bob Greenblatt, who now bought the TV series project as head of NBC. Read More »

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Comedy Central Developing ‘Evil Genius’ Comedy Starring Paul F. Tompkins

By | Friday March 11, 2011 @ 7:02am PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Comedy Central has put in development Evil Genius, a high-concept scripted comedy starring actor-comedian Paul F. Tompkins. The show, which Tompkins will write with Tom Scharpling (Monk), stars Tompkins as Professor Tiberius Lynch, an evil genius who has successfully taken over the world, achieving global domination. The only problem is — what should he do next? Being a genius doesn’t make it easier to navigate the everyday situations of office life, especially when that office is responsible for running absolutely everything on Earth. Lynch must contend with the quirks and foibles of his cohorts as well as the demands of the entire population of the planet, trying to pull off the ultimate balancing act.

Tompkins and Scharpling are executive producing Evil Genius with Avalon Television’s David Martin, John Thoday and Richard Allen Turner. Tompkins, repped by CAA and Avalon Management, hosted VH1′s Best Week Ever. Scharpling is with Rothman Brecher.

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Comedy Central Orders Pilot Starring Comedian Matt Braunger

By | Friday December 3, 2010 @ 2:40pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Comedy Central has handed out a pilot order to a half-hour project from comedian Matt Braunger and The Office writer-producer Brent Forrester. The two co-created and co-wrote the untitled comedy, which stars MadTV alum Braunger as a nice guy who works a crappy day job as a closed-captioner and at night gets into crazy escapades with his curmodgeony friend. Forrester is slated to direct the pilot and serve as showrunner. Avalon Television (Comedy Central’s Workaholics) is producing. Forrester, whose credits also include The Simpsons and King of the Kill, and Braunger are repped by UTA. Braunger, a frequent panel guest on Chelsea Lately, is also with Avalon Management.

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