Cannes: Official Selection Buzz Sharpens (& Sprawls) Ahead Of Thursday’s Reveal

22x30_Cannes2014On Thursday, Thierry Frémaux will unveil the lineup for the 67th running of the Cannes Film Festival. Speculation, comme d’habitude, has been rife for at least the past month as to which titles may make the trip to the Croisette. While one exec with movies in contention says, “It’s going to the wire this year,” some contenders are coming into sharper focus. Although nothing is confirmed until Frémaux says so, among the titles I hear consistently cited as near faits-accomplis are DreamWorks Animation‘s How To Train Your Dragon 2; the Dardenne brothers’ Two Days, One Night with Marion Cotillard; Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher; Mike Leigh‘s Mr Turner; Tommy Lee JonesThe Homesman; and David Cronenberg‘s Maps To The Stars. There are many, many more required to fill the Competition, Out-of-Competition, Un Certain Regard, Special Screenings and other sections. Here’s a primer for what’s looking likely, and what isn’t, to make the cut in an official category on Thursday:

Related: Cannes: 67th Fest Poster Celebrates Marcello Mastroianni In Fellini’s ‘8 1/2’

We know that Nicole Kidman-starrer Grace Of Monaco is the opening-night film. French distributor grace of monacoGaumont is planning a classic Cannes soirée which will follow the official screening and dinner on May 14. In other certainties, French debut feature Party Girl is opening the Un Certain Regard sidebar; a less showy title than 2013’s Bling Ring, but one that fits with UCR jury president Pablo Trapero’s take on the section this year. Jane Campion, the only woman ever to win a Palme d’Or (for The Piano in 1993), is president of the Competition jury whose other members will be revealed shortly.

how-to-train-your-dragonAmong the high-profile Hollywood titles expected is DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon sequel, which I hear is getting a special screening. The studio isn’t commenting, but DWA and Cannes have a long history – going back to when Frémaux took over the selection in 2001 and caused a stir by putting Shrek in the Competition. We’ve heard that Frémaux has put a full-court press on Paul Thomas Anderson to get Inherent Vice (Warner Bros) to the festival. But with a release date at the end of 2014, this could be a long shot, and some I’ve spoken with believe it won’t be ready for next month. Some wonder if Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys jersey boyscould make the trip. Eastwood has been to Cannes several times before and is esteemed by Frémaux who gave him the inaugural Lumière Prize in 2009 at the October festival he oversees in Lyon with Bertrand Tavernier. Although I’m told Jersey Boys isn’t a typical Cannes film, I wouldn’t fully rule it out — it’s also got a timely June release. Read More »

Comments (8)

QED International Layoffs Following Box Office Blunder ‘Sabotage’

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 6:16pm PDT

qedQED International has laid off five employees (which includes support staff and a junior lawyer) three weeks after the disastrous opening of Sabotage, directed by David Ayer and led by aging action star Arnold Schwarzenegger. Sabotage-Movie-HD-ImagesThe bloody pic flopped and is hanging on by its fingernails in the Box office Top 20 — it’s No. 18 in its third weekend — having grossed a mere $10M. John Hegeman, president of worldwide marketing, is still on board as he helps prepare the debut of the next Ayer-directed film, Fury, which has some star power in Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf and audience favorite Michael Pena. QED slapped down $1M to buy the WWII spec from Ayer over a year ago; it will bow in November. One insider said that QED is reallocating resources for development spending. To that point, today QED purchased Yellowstone Falls, a 52-page spec script by Dan Kunka, winning what was said to be a heated bidding war. The film, which will be produced by Kevin Misher and QED President Bill Block, is about a mother wolf who must battle to save her cubs after being separated from her mate following an apocalyptic event. The film will have nearly no dialogue and few actors. Sounds a little like Disneynature’s Bears — with mutated humans thrown in. Read More »

Comments 24

QED Buys ‘Yellowstone Falls’; 52-Page Spec About Wolves Battling Mutated Humans

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 11:26am PDT
Mike Fleming

wolfesBREAKING: While we’ve got plenty of projects that mix genre staples from zombies to wolves, the town went wild for a highly unusual combination. In heated bidding, QED emerged victorious and acquired Yellowstone Falls, a spec script by Dan Kunka, who most recently sold his script Bermuda Triangle to Warner Bros, with Charles Roven and Madhouse producing. Deal was six figures against near seven-figure purchase price if the movie gets made.

This script is unusual in that it was 52 pages, with few human characters and essentially no dialogue. The action begins after an apocalyptic event that saps the humanity from most of the mutated humans that remain. At its core, it’s the story of a mother wolf, separated from her mate as the rest of the pack flees to safety, is forced to defend her cubs from the oncoming swarm. It sounds like those spare nature-based movies Jean Jacques Annaud makes, with a little genre thrown in. Telling a story like this with almost no dialogue is a real creative challenge, but movies like Gravity and Life Of Pi sounded shaky, too. This will certainly be different.

wolfThe film will be produced by Kevin Misher, as well as QED’s Bill Block. When Misher was a producer at Universal, Kunka was his personal assistant, later promoted to office manager. Misher developed the spec with Kunka before it his the marketplace. Kunka, … Read More »

Comments 24

New Regency Taps Brad Pitt, David Michod To Tell Gen. Stanley McChrystal Afghan Story ‘The Operators’

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 8:37am PDT
Mike Fleming

pitttBREAKING: Animal Kingdom helmer David Michôd will write and direct The Operators, which will be developed as a star vehicle for Brad Pitt. The project’s backed by Plan B, New Regency and RatPac Entertainment, and it was announced by Brad Weston, New Regency’s president and CEO. Pitt will produce along with his Plan B partners Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner.

Based on the Michael Hastings book, The Operators focuses on the rise and fall of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commanding general of international and U.S. forces in Afghanistan. It portrays the backrooms and politics behind the war, and the high-stake maneuvers and the political firestorm that shook the country.

michodNew Regency and RatPac made a multi-year producing partnership with Pitt’s Plan B late last year after Regency teamed with Plan B on the Best Picture Oscar winner 12 Years A Slave. Michôd is repped by UTA and attorney Alan Wertheimer, Pitt and Plan B by CAA and Brillstein.

Comments (9)

Spoiler Alert: Was ‘Game Of Thrones’ TV’s Best Offing Ever?

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 8:32am PDT
Mike Fleming

gothrones

UPDATE: Our commenters have been beating on me like I owe them money for spoiling the ending of this episode and not immediately blaring spoiler alerts. I had this thing mostly written, meant to store it when a Brad Pitt break came over the transom but hit publish before it was properly polished with disclaimers. I am truly sorry if I spoiled the episode for anyone. I thought it was fair game after reading recaps all over about the events of this episode (and every other hot show such as  The Good Wife, Vikings, Sons Of Anarchy, Boardwalk Empire, take your pick) after a major character is axed. But I’ll know better to be more careful next time.

Related: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Draws 6.3 Million Viewers To Shocker; ‘Silicon Valley’ & ‘Veep’ Steady

SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of Sunday’s episode of Game Of Thrones.

When I first saw the death of the cruel in-bred King Joffrey on Game Of Thrones a month ago, I paused it after that final scene, high-fived my son, and then we watched the scene again three times. When I told this last week to show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (the architects of the George R.R. Martin book adaptation), they tried to temper my enthusiasm going into last night’s episode. We were talking about their feature deal at Fox to write/direct the Stephen Hunter novel Dirty White Boys, but I had to start with Joffrey, and how they played his shocking, and shockingly satisfying, demise. “Didn’t you feel at least a little badly for him,” Benioff asked. “No,” I said. “I could have watched his death scene last the whole episode.” Said Weiss: “But the way we look at it, the actor who plays Joffrey, Jack Gleeson, is such a good guy, and now we don’t get to work with him anymore.” Me: “Sorry for Jack, but that last shot, the bulging eyes, spittle and snot and blood coming out of that nasty little face, I’d wear that on a T-shirt.” They warmed to this idea: “You could do that, and the front could say ‘Spoiler alert,’ and then you have the picture of a dying Joffrey on the back,” Benioff said. Added Weiss: “You could make a whole line of those spoiler T-shirts.”

Related: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Director Talks Shocking Episode, Teases Season 4 Finale

Read More »

Comments 40

MIPTV: Is Turkey As Hot As It’s Cracked Up To Be? Can Formats Really Go West?

By | Wednesday, 9 April 2014 18:37 UK

mip tv logo 2For about six months, the industry has been buzzing about Turkey and its potential as a fresh source of adaptable formats. That’s been spurred on by recent deals with the U.S., a successful export track record in neighboring regions, and a growing need for unique formats on the part of Western buyers. But, in the half-year since 2013’s Mipcom, people are wondering whether Turkey can really emerge as a new proving ground to be cultivated by the West, or if executives have been prematurely excited by some groundbreaking in-roads.

turkish flagTurkey, which straddles Europe and Asia, has historically traded in series and soaps with largely local and historical themes. And its production industry is growing. According to data released at last month’s Discop market, it has surpassed Latin America to be the most prolific drama-producing nation outside the U.S. Other recent data says that a majority of Turkish channels air more than 100 new shows a year. Those are for the most part exported to the rest of the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, bringing in about $150M in 2013.

the end turkeyBut outside those territories there wasn’t much action until October last year. During the Mipcom market, Turkey made a big entrance into the U.S. with the first scripted format set up at a network by American producers when Ghost Whisperer alums Ian Sander and Kim Moses sold the Eccho Rights-repped The End to Fox. Unlike much Turkish output, the story is contemporary and has a universal feel. It centers on a woman who must navigate a web of lies and intrigue as she searches for her husband whom she presumed dead following a plane crash — but it turns out, he never boarded the plane. Produced by local powerhouse Ay Yapim, it aired in the first half of 2012. In the past six months, The End (or Son in Turkish) has been sold into Germany and Russia for local versions, while Shine France took an option and Netflix signed a non-exclusive agreement for the original in Sweden and the UK. The End has also aired on SVT in Sweden, the first time a Turkish drama had been shown in primetime on a national channel — it doubled the slot average. Read More »

Comments (2)

Sony Pictures, Scott Rudin Acquiring Michael Lewis Bestseller ‘Flash Boys’

By | Tuesday April 8, 2014 @ 9:25pm PDT
Mike Fleming

flashboysEXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures and producer Scott Rudin are near a deal to acquire Flash Boys, the hottest-selling book in the country. Michael Lewis’ nonfiction work is about a group of Wall Street guys who grew frustrated by a loophole that gave traders the opportunity to game the stock market. They banded together to reform the financial markets by creating an exchange that rendered impotent the act of high-frequency trading, a growing form of trading that gave insiders an advantage. A story that is the antithesis of the practices that created the 2008 financial crisis, the book traces how the Flash Boys walked away from huge-money jobs to use their expertise to investigate big banks, stock exchanges and high-frequency trading firms. They peeled back the layers to bare why many feel that Wall Street is such a rigged game. The Flash Boys are the kind of guys who would have hated Jordan Belfort, the anti-hero of The Wolf Of Wall Street.

Related: Sony Closes Slate Co-Fi Deal With Lone Star Capital, CitiBank

Read More »

Comments (3)

Sony Closes Slate Co-Fi Deal With Lone Star Capital, CitiBank

By | Tuesday April 8, 2014 @ 8:04pm PDT
Mike Fleming

UPDATE: The funding commitment is $200 million, with half of that debt and the other half equity. It’s a multi-year agreement to co-finance the majority of Sony’s film for the next several years, $45 billion 20-year fund out of Texas, and this is a big move for Sony and reinforces Amy Pascal’s ability to put together powerhouse slates. That doesn’t include the films that Jeff Robinov is expected to make at Sony with his own funding, big films that Sony can co-finance or merely distribute. The money actually comes from LStar Capital, the credit lending affiliate of Lone Star, and CitiBank. Studio’s getting good notices on both the second installment of Amazing Spider-Man and 22 Jump Street, and this is a big shot in the arm for Pascal and Michael Lynton. Many lamented when Sony weathered a tough time last summer with White House Down and After Earth and Smurfs 2,  and then got criticism from minority shareholder Daniel Loeb. Some of that criticism, that Sony spent too much on its successes and didn’t protect its downside risk, is being addressed through belt tightening and this, but the Sony team, and Pascal in particular, takes risks and makes tasteful ambitious films. In an era where television has emerged as an enterprising medium, while there is a sameness in studio films, empowering Pascal to take big swings is something many feel is good for the movie business.

sony_logo__121101084843-200x133__130207090832__130530213852__131031103916 EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures has closed a slate co-financing deal with Lone Star Capital and CitiBank that will cover the full slate for multiple years. I get the distinct impression this covers the entire slate, which includes plum franchises like The Amazing Spider-Man and its future spinoffs. They won’t get James Bond films, which are owned by MGM, but there are great titles. They included 22 Jump Street, Think Like A Man Too, Sex Tape, The Equalizer with Denzel Washington, The Interview, a piece of the Brad Pitt starrer Fury, the untitled Cameron Crowe film shooting in Hawaii with Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone and Rachel McAdams, a new animated Popeye, Annie, The Kitchen Sink, Wedding Ringer with Kevin Hart, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, the Adam Sandler pic Pixels, The Smurfs 3, and Hotel Transylvania 2, Goosebumps and the Dan Brown novel Inferno. Beyond Bond being off the table, it’s likely not getting the Men in Black reboot because other companies have options on it.

Related: Sony Looking At Other Suitors For Slate Co-Financing Deal

Read More »

Comments (12)

Syfy Orders Zombie Action-Horror Series From ‘Sharknado’ Producers

By | Monday April 7, 2014 @ 9:17am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Syfy is entering the hot zombie genre with Z Nation, sharknado-attacka 13-episode series from Asylum, the company behind the network’s hit schlocky horror franchise Sharknado. Executive produced/showrun by Karl Schaefer (Eureka), Z Nation is set three years after the zombie virus has gutted the country, and a team of everyday heroes must transport the only known survivor of the plague from New York to California, where the last functioning viral lab waits for his blood. Although the antibodies he carries are the world’s last, best hope for a vaccine, he hides a dark secret that threatens them all. syfylogo1With humankind’s survival at stake, the ragtag band embarks on a journey of survival across three thousand miles of rusted-out post-apocalyptic America. “Z Nation is a unique new journey into the long established zombie genre,” said Syfy SVP Chris Regina. “Instead of existential despair, the series offers hope that somehow, some way, humanity will not only survive, but triumph.” Added Schaefer, “Our everyday heroes take the fight to the zombies.” Z Nation, set to premiere this fall, will be produced by Asylum, in its debut doing a regular series, and sold internationally by Dynamic Television. Schaefer is repped by APA and Myman Greenspan Fineman Fox & Light LLP.

Related: Syfy Picks Up 13-Part Mythological Drama ‘Olympus’

Read More »

Comments 23

Brad Pitt Circling Steven Knight-Scripted WWII Tale

By | Tuesday April 1, 2014 @ 12:12pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Brad Pitt World War II MovieEXCLUSIVE: Brad Pitt is circling an untitled WWII romantic thriller which Steven Knight has scripted for Graham King‘s GK Films. While it’s not a done deal yet and not yet set with a distributor, I’m hearing it’s serious and that a big director will be set with an eye toward starting production early next year.

Pitt produced and co-starred in Best Picture Oscar winner 12 Years A Slave, and he just finished another WWII battlefield film, the David Ayer-directed Fury, which Sony Pictures releases November 14. Pitt also worked the WWII terrain in the Quentin Tarantino-directed Inglourious Basterds. He also starred in and is prepping a sequel to World War Z. He’s repped by CAA and Brillstein.

Knight scripted Eastern Promises, and more recently the British series Peaky Blinders, the Helen Mirren-starrer The Hundred Foot Journey for DreamWorks, and he wrote and directed Locke with Tom Hardy. He’s repped by CAA and United Agents.

Comments (13)

CinemaCon: ‘Spider-Man’, Singing Orphans And Sex Tapes Highlight Sony’s Show For Theatre Owners

By | Thursday March 27, 2014 @ 1:58am PDT
Pete Hammond

Wednesday afternoon it was Sony‘s turn at bat to strut its stuff at CinemaCon in a no-frills, slickly produced reel that ran the gamut of the kind CinemaCon2014_badgeof movies the studio is known for. There were no stars on hand as is custom for many of these presentations, but Sony prefers instead to serve up cocktails at a pre-reception and let the movies do the talking for themselves. And leading the pack was certainly Spidey as the studio prepares to launch yet another Amazing Spider-Man flick with Andrew Garfield reprising the role for a second time. Set to launch it in some markets mid-April, and domestically as the official start to Hollywood’s lucrative summer season on May 2nd, Sony showed off about 30 minutes of footage from the new film and exhibitors were obviously happy to see it. Anything that’s made as Sony-Pictures-Worldwide-Acquisitions__140208020736much money as this franchise is always a welcome guest at this convention. And distribution chief Rory Bruer was not shy in touting its virtues, even mentioning that the studio plans to further milk the franchise by launching a number of spin-off films including an Avengers-style Sinister Six edition as well as a movie toplining Spidey villain Venom. Oh what a tangled web they are weaving in Culver City, but after a weak 2013 summer, Sony is hoping to come roaring back strongly in this year’s hot weather months. … Read More »

Comments (4)

Paramount Taps ‘Anchorman’ Helmer Adam McKay To Adapt And Direct Michael Lewis’ ‘The Big Short’ About Economic Meltdown

By | Monday March 24, 2014 @ 10:12am PDT

BigShortBREAKING: Paramount Pictures and 12 Years A Slave producer Plan B said that writer-director Adam McKay will take on Michael Lewis‘ bestselling book The Big Short: Inside The Doomsday Machine, adapting and directing the book about the housing and credit bubble that was published in 2010. It marks the adam mckaylatest tie-up betweento Paramount for McKay, who co-wrote and directed two Anchorman movies for the studio, including last year’s sequel that has grossed more than $170M worldwide. McKay, repped by WME and Mosaic, co-runs Gary Sanchez Prods and Funny Or Die with Will Ferrell but the bet here is this will not be a comedy. “There are those rare literary treasures — as with The Big Short — that park in the harbor and you just wait, with hope,” Plan B said in announcing the hire. “Adam McKay is a singular voice and talent and a ferocious mind — the vector of Adam and this book is what a producer dreams of.” Plan B principal Brad Pitt starred in Sony’s Moneyball, another Lewis adaptation which earned six Oscar noms in 2012 including a Best Actor nom for Pitt.

Comments (3)

2013 Most Valuable Blockbuster – #5 ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire’ Vs. #12 ‘World War Z’; #4 ‘Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug’ Vs. #13 ‘Oz The Great And Powerful’

Mike Fleming

Hunger Games Catching Fire Hobbit Smaug ProfitThe second of four posts today in Deadline’s Most Valuable Blockbuster tournament. The subsequent rounds will play out next week.

Other Matchups:
#1 ‘Iron Man 3′ Vs. #16 ‘The Conjuring’
#2 ‘Frozen’ Vs. #15 ‘The Great Gatsby’
#3 ‘Despicable Me 2′ Vs. #14 Star Trek Into Darkness’
#6 ‘Fast & Furious 6′ Vs. #11 ‘The Croods’
#7 ‘Monsters University’ Vs. #10 ‘Thor: The Dark World’
#8 ‘Gravity’ Vs. #9 ‘Man Of Steel’

 

DeadlineBracket_1stRound

SWEET 16

#5 THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Vs. #12 WORLD WAR Z

HungerGames-WWZHow They Got Here: Talk about two completely paths to success. When Lionsgate’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was released last Thanksgiving, the only question was how high Katniss Everdeen would soar. She didn’t disappoint, as the film blew past the holiday record for three-day and five-day totals, and it was just about as strong domestically as it was foreign. Contrast that to World War Z, the Marc Forster-directed Brad Pitt- survives-a-zombie-plague movie had all kinds of troubles during its production, and the last act of the movie got scrapped after it was shot because test audiences and Paramount Pictures didn’t like it. It was redrafted and reshot. That added $20 million or more to an already highWorldWarZ budget, but worse, the buzz around the film was that it was going to be awful. Surprise. The film’s ending worked very well, and the action shots of zombies collectively swarming over walls like insects made it the most visually compelling zombie film since Night Of The Living Dead. Is that enough to topple The Hunger Games sequel?

The Bottom Line: When it was released, many thought Catching Fire would burn long enough to surpass the billion-dollar gross mark. It didn’t come that close with an $864 million worldwide gross, but it did improve upon the first film’s tally, which is exactly what the second leg of a continuing story is supposed to do. Considering all its hardships, World War Z is lucky just to be in this tournament. Usually, when you hear a film is going to be a train wreck, it usually turns out to be just that. Catching Fire Box officeIt was laudable to see a studio be willing to pull a film out of a prime release slot, and throw more money into it to rescue it, even if naysayers questioned why it took everybody that long to realize it didn’t work and needed to be fixed. Paramount was happy enough with the results to put elements on a sequel, even if that became creatively complicated by the first film essentially solving the zombie problem.

The Winner: It’s Hunger Games in a walk. Our experts peg the World War Z budget around $269 million, though Paramount argues it was considerably less. Tack on another $160 million to market it, and Pitt’s first-dollar gross deal, and, according to our experts, this film barely broke even. You don’t invest $430 million to make and market a film just to break even, especially when it became the biggest opening of a film starring Pitt, and the biggest-grossing film in his career. Good luck on that sequel. Read More »

Comments (3)

Specialty B.O. Preview: ‘Enemy’, ‘Bad Words’, ‘Le Week-end’, ‘On My Way’, ‘Teenage’, ‘Big Men’, ‘Dark House’, ‘Shirin In Love’

By | Thursday March 13, 2014 @ 6:38pm PDT

boxoffice-specialty__111212022432-200x150 (1)The shadow of the Oscar season and last weekend’s record shattering theatrical debut of Fox Searchlight’s The Grand Budapest Hotel hang over the coming weekend’s releases. Some competitors hailed its success and said they hoped to ride in its wake as they head to theaters this Friday and beyond. A24 will roll out Jake Gyllenhaal starrer Enemy by Denis Velleneuve who has had success in both the studio and indie space. Jason Bateman takes the director’s chair for the first time with TIFF and SXSW feature Bad Words for Focus. Music Box Films will open U.K.’s Le Week-end after delaying its roll out post awards-season. France’s On My Way starring Catherine Deneuve opens in theaters following its premiere at an annual French film series in NYC via Cohen Media Group. Abramorama is opening doc Big Men with the support of Brad Pitt who executive produced. Jason Schwartzman also exec produced a doc opening this weekend, the hybrid Teenage from Oscilloscope. And Paladin and Cinedigm are teaming on indie thriller Dark House, while Shirin In Love takes a bilingual approach as it heads to theaters in the Specialty space this weekend.

Enemyenemy2
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writers: Javier Gullón, José Saramago (novel)
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini, Joshua Peace
Distributor: A24

Québécois filmmaker Denis Villeneuve won acclaim and an Oscar nomination for his 2011 feature Incendies, which Sony Classics released with a cast unknown in the States, taking in $2 million-plus domestically. His next feature was crime-thriller Prisoners with Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, a studio film that grossed over $61 million domestically. Gyllenhaal returns with Enemy, a mystery-thriller about a man who seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie. A24, which had multiple box office hits in the Specialty arena in its first year, including Spring Breakers, The Bling Ring and The Spectacular Now, first caught Enemy at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Read More »

Comments (2)

RATINGS RAT RACE: Strong Start For ABC’s ‘Resurrection’, Fox’s ‘Cosmos’ Solid

By | Monday March 10, 2014 @ 1:12pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

LOGO_-ONAIR_Resurrection_57778_302UPDATE 1:20: Cosmos‘ premiere totals came in. Across the 10 Fox-owned US networks, led by FBC, the science program drew 8.5 million total viewers and a 2.9 in adults 18-49.

PREVIOUS: This is the type of premiere ratings ABC had been praying for. After a string of disappointments – Lucky 7 and Betrayal in the fall and most recently The Assets, Killer Women and Mind Games – new drama Resurrection last night opened to a 3.6 rating in adults 18-49 and 13.3 million total viewers, the highest rating for a midseason drama launch in two years and the highest-rated and most-watched broadcast program last night. A lot had been riding on Resurrection, with ABC going all in on promoting the supernatural drama it considered its last and best hope for a ratings success. (Had it failed, all those Am I Dead? #ABC billboards would’ve taken on a whole new meaning.) 

Related: ABC Hopes For Ratings ‘Resurrection’ With New Drama Amid Freshman Show Struggles

abc46The best news for Resurrection was that it broke out on its own at 9 PM, spiking from its lead-in, Once Upon A Time (2.3 in 18-49, 7.3 million), whose midseason premiere was up 21% in the demo from the fall finale on December 15. That is a great number given that it fell on the first night of daylight savings time when viewers are still adjusting. At 10 PM, Revenge (1.9, 6.5 million) didn’t take advantage of its big Resurrection lead-in, though riding its coattails was enough for a 46% jump in 18-49 from the show’s most recent original on January 19. Resurrection‘s strong premiere marks another success for the pilot’s director Charles McDougall, who previously helmed the pilot for another ABC Sunday 9 PM series that helped changed the network’s fortunes, Desperate Housewives (as well as CBS’ The Good Wife). McDougall is back at ABC this season, helming pilot Secrets & Lies. Resurrection also marks a successful first series launch for Brad Pitt’s Plan B, which is producing with Brillstein Entertainment, just a week after the company landed a Best Picture Oscar for 12 Years A Slave. Paced by Resurrection, ABC posted rare Sunday night ratings wins in 18-49 and total viewers with regular programming for a second Sunday victory in a row, following the Oscars the previous week. Read More »

Comments 53

ABC Hopes For Ratings ‘Resurrection’ With New Drama Amid Freshman Show Struggles

By | Friday March 7, 2014 @ 3:41pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

LOGO_-ONAIR_Resurrection_57778_302NBC’s ads for midseason drama series Believe feature front and center its mastermind, newly minted Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón, touting his best director statuette for Gravity. Meanwhile, the promos for another heavily marketed midseason drama that premieres within a day of Believe, ABC’s Resurrection, don’t even mention the fact that it comes from the producers of best picture Oscar winner 12 Years A Slave. Brad Pitt’s Plan B is behind Resurrection, with the company’s two other principals, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, who shared in the best picture Oscar with him, executive producing the series. Just like Plan B’s 12 Years A Slave managed to top Gravity and seven other movies to land the biggest prize, ABC probably hopes its show would spark some ratings magic. And boy, does the network need some of that.

Related: TCA: ‘Resurrection’ Producers Sort Out Crowded Resurrection Landscape

ABC is on an unenviable streak of three consecutive new drama entries hitting a 0.6 rating in adults 18-49 — an all-time low on a Big 4 network: The Assets (which was billed as a limited series), Killer Women and Mind Games. That, coupled with the 0.7 low marks for the long-forgotten Lucky 7 and Betrayal and the 0.8 for Once Upon A Time In Wonderland makes for a very dismal freshman drama record this season. Read More »

Comments 43

MTV Movie Awards Nominees Unveiled

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 4:00am PST

A pair of flicks that were shut out at the Oscars on Sunday lead the field for the erstwhile music network’s film nods. American Hustle and The Wolf Of Wall Street snagged eight noms apiece for the 23rd MTV Movie Awards. Close behind are The Hunger Games: Catching Fire with seven and MTV Movie AwardsWe’re The Millers with six, including a coveted Best Shirtless Performance nom for Jennifer Aniston. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Dallas Buyers Club, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, This Is The End and Best Picture champ 12 Years A Slave are next with four apiece. Conan O’Brien will serve as host of this year’s festivities, which air live on April 13 at the Nokia Theatre in L.A. The show — which last year switched from its longtime post-Memorial Day date to April — again relishes is such signature categories as Best Kiss, Best Scared-As-S**T Performance and #WTFMoment, The telecast is exec produced by Jesse Ignjatovic. Here are the nominees: Read More »

Comments (6)

UPDATE: Homer Simpson Photobombs Ellen’s Record-Breaking Oscars Selfie

By and | Tuesday March 4, 2014 @ 5:42pm PST

homer oscar selfie2nd UPDATE, 5:42 PM: Trust The Simpsons to go for the big picture when they weighed in on Ellen DeGeneres‘ mega-retweeted Oscars selfie – literally. Today, Homer’s official Twitter feed threw up this perspective on the now famous pic (retweeted more than a record-breaking 3.209 million times so far) from the front row of the 86th Academy Awards. “The ugly true story of that Oscar® selfie can finally be told! Let’s break Twitter again. Look for Bart,” said the tweet. All we can say is Bradley Cooper, be kind. BTW – Ellen and fellow selfie star (and Oscar winner) Jared Leto are helping Homer in his goal: Both retweeted the pic.

Oscars selfie EllenUPDATE, SUNDAY PM: In less than an hour, Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres beat President Obama‘s Twitter record for Twitter retweets. Ellen’s on-the-fly pic with Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Kevin Spacey, and more is racking up the Twitter love with over 1M RTs and over 720K favorites and counting. Read More »

Comments 49

Is Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscar Selfie A Game-Changer For Trophy Show Product Placement?

selfie2Awards ceremony broadcasts may have been changed forever at last night’s Oscars when Ellen DeGeneres took a selfie of herself and a dozen A-listers in the theater. She broke the record for most retweets – 3 million-plus and counting — causing a brief service issue with Twitter. “We just broke Twitter,” DeGeneres announced during ABC’s broadcast of the Oscars after word got out.

Related: Ellen Gets Mixed Reviews For Oscars

“The envelope please … to @TheEllenShow — this is now the most retweeted tweet with over 1 million RTs. Congrats!” chimed in Twitter when DeGeneres’ selfie hit that retweeting threshold. (According to Poptip, a platform that analyzes and synthesizes social conversation in real time, among last night’s Oscar highlights, four of the top 15 phrases about the Oscars were about the Samsung selfie.)

Related: OSCARS: A Selfie-Important Academy Awards Honors Past And Future

Read More »

Comments (14)
More Deadline | Hollywood »