Steven Moffat is returning for another Doctor Who season, the BBC officially confirmed today. The current series finale aired tonight ahead of a 50th anniversary special slated for November 23 starring Matt Smith, Jenna-Louise Coleman, David Tennant, Billie Piper, and John Hurt. Moffat “is already plotting a brand new run of adventures for the Doctor,” the network announced on their blog. Brian Minchin will executive produce alongside Moffat.
USA Network unveiled its drama development slate today and said it will start production this summer on the pilot Horizon, the period genre drama from The Walking Dead producer Gale Anne Hurd that the network pushed in February. The new slate (see the full list below) includes Complications, the latest from Burn Notice‘s Matt Nix; the new Rob Thomas project Blanco County; and works from Doug Liman and David Semel. The news comes on the heels of the network’s newest original series, the Jeff Eastin-created Graceland, joining the summer drama schedule with a premiere set for June 6.
CANNES: Below I’ve compiled this year’s list of what Cannes films are most often being mentioned by potential buyers. But already there’s been a bit of action in the marketplace, with Warner Bros acquiring domestic on the Ryan Gosling-directed How To Catch A Monster. Sellers feel a good appetite for deal-making is in the air. “This has been the busiest month we’ve had going into a Cannes Film Festival. The frenetic activity has never been this intense,” said Roeg Sutherland, who runs CAA’s independent film operation with Micah Green. “It’s not that a lot of new companies are jumping in like they did last year. But we’re seeing those companies coming back here with good slates, which is the healthiest thing for everybody.” I can tell you that sellers this year are cautiously optimistic this Cannes market will be closer to 2011′s when sales were made on the basis of sizzle reels. (Harvey Weinstein made a big bet on The Iron Lady after watching seven minutes of Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher, and John Hillcoat’s Lawless and Rian Johnson’s Looper sold on the basis of preview reels as well.) Not even rain in the forecast for the next couple of days can depress the upbreat attitudes here. After all, at last Cannes, the sellers market on the Croisette belonged to the umbrella salesman getting 40 Euros a pop in a nonstop torrential downpour that put a figurative damper on the entire market. We all known you cannot measure the success of Cannes the way you can Toronto and Sundance. If buyers don’t buy, sellers are in trouble. Here, a chance conversation with a high net worth individual can make the whole Cannes experience worthwhile. This is a festival of intangibles, and players have to make the time to hustle at the Hotel Du Cap where the billionaire investors roam and the movie stars are stashed until they have to come to the Croisette for premieres. That’s as glitzy as it gets here, but sellers and buyers tell me they do most of their business over a drink at the Carlton and Majestic Hotels, and to a lesser degree the Martinez. Agents especially have “how I won the war” Cannes stories of unexpected encounters that turned into game-changing deals.
“Beyond the competition and the exposure that is so good for the careers of your clients, it is an important place to create a moment that leads to films getting financed,” said UTA’s Rich Klubeck. “Two years ago, we met with the guys at Studio Canal who’d said they missed being in business with Joel and Ethan Coen. We had another meeting in New York and they wrote the check for Inside Llewyn Davis, which premieres here. It could not have been a better situation. They have proven to be perfect partners.” That deal allowed the Coens and producer Scott Rudin to shoot the 1960s folk movie without pressure to find early domestic distribution. The picture went to CBS Films after the filmmakers showed the finished product to a crowd of buyers. “We got to take our time, hear the marketing plans offered by each distributor, and pick the perfect situation,” Klubeck told me. “This is a good place where a lot of stuff happens.”
‘Burn Notice’s Upcoming 7th Season To Be Its Last, Creator Matt Nix Developing New Series For USA: Video
USA Network‘s flagship drama Burn Notice is coming to an end. The upcoming 13-episode Season 7 of the spy series will be its final one (the network makes it official with the promo below). But USA is staying in business with Burn Notice creator Matt Nix and studio Fox TV Studios. I’ve learned that the network has put in development Complications, which is written/exec produced by Nix and produced by FtvS. It tells the story of an ER doctor whose life changes after he is involved in a gang shooting, when he is forced to explore how active a doctor can be in treating the cause of his patients’ medical problems.
Burn Notice is set to cross the 100-episode mark during its upcoming seventh season, which premieres June 6. “From day one, Burn Notice‘s characters, storylines and mythology have consistently captivated a massive audience, and this final season will raise the stakes even higher, leading up to a spectacular series finale,” said USA co-presidents Jeff Wachtel and Chris McCumber. Joining stars Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell, Sharon Gless and Coby Bell in Season 7 are recurring guest stars Jack Coleman, Adrian Pasdar and Stephen Martines.rtmp://streaming.deadline.com/ondemand/video/594768H_.flv
Arts network Ovation said during its upfront presentation today that it will premiere nine new original series this summer and fall. It also unveiled 16 more series in the works for 2014. The ramp-up will see 236 hours of original fare produced this year compared with 46 hours in 2012, which was double the amount in 2011. With this seismic shift in our programming focus, we are making the leap to become a full-service arts network — America’s only arts network”, said Robert Weiss, Ovation’s Chief Creative Officer, who made the announcements today. The majority of programming will be produced at the network’s new Ovation Studios in Santa Monica. The network also revealed a new tagline: Art Everywhere. Here are descriptions of five of the network’s new shows (the rest will be announced in June) and the development slate:
Global Showbiz Briefs: BFI; ‘Doctor Who’; Yahoo & Dailymotion; Ukraine Piracy; Cineworld-Picturehouse; Televix; Universal & Canada’s D Films
BFI Lays Out Development Funding Recipients
The British Film Institute has identified 20 UK production companies that will receive BFI Vision Awards 2013-15. The grants will provide up to £200K over two years to the companies for investment in slate development. The BFI said the successful companies each demonstrated “a clear strategic vision for their future growth as well as a commitment to nurturing a diverse range of new voices and fresh ideas from across the UK.” There were 170 applicants overall. The project is part of the BFI’s Film Forever plan to foster growth in the UK film biz and keep momentum going after a strong series of local films. Among the companies receiving £100K are 42 M&P (Welcome To The Punch), Cowboy Films (The Last King Of Scotland), Independent (We Need To Talk About Kevin); Warp Films (Submarine) and Wildgaze Films (Quartet). Among those receiving £50K are Inflammable Films (Tyrannosaur), JW Films (Attack The Block), Rook Films (Sightseers) and animation companies Blue-Zoo, Flickerpix. The full list is here.
‘Doctor Who’ Gets New Exec Producer; Opens Pop-Up Shop
Brian Minchin is joining Doctor Who as its new executive producer alongside showrunner Steven Moffat. Minchin is an exec producer in BBC Wales drama, currently working on The Game, a new Cold War spy thriller for BBC One. He had previously been a script editor on both Doctor Who and Torchwood. Separately, the BBC says the first ever Doctor Who pop-up store will open its doors in Sydney, Australia this fall. It will feature exclusive merchandise including the Doctor Who home range, apparel, toys, DVDs, books and replica props.
Hulu said today during its upfront presentation in New York that it set a revenue record in the first quarter of this year with $695M, and that Hulu Plus subscriptions passed 4 million subscribers after doubling in 2012. The service now has almost 2500 TV series and about 57,000 hours of content. Among the talent on hand was Seth Meyers and Michael Shoemaker to promote their animated superhero series The Awesomes, one of four original series that will debut this year. Among Hulu’s four announced exclusive series is the Eva Longoria-starring animated series Mother Up!, about a disgraced former music exec who must transition to a life of suburban motherhood. Other talent working up shows are Mario Batali, Carson Daly and Jay Mohr, who is toplining the new game show Money Where Your Mouth Is. Hulu also is streaming Prospect Park’s revamped soap operas All My Children and One Life To Live, which launched yesterday and were the two most-watched TV episodes of the day. Here is Hulu’s descriptions of its new series:
Global Showbiz Briefs: K5 & ‘Cutie’, ‘Khumba’, Monte Carlo TV Fest, RealD In Rio, ‘Shield Of Straw’, NBCU International, Pinewood Indomina, ITV & More
K5 In The Ring With ‘Cutie And The Boxer’
K5 International has boarded director Zachary Heinzerling’s Cutie And The Boxer which is screening this week in Tribeca. Heinzerling won the U.S. Documentary directing prize in Sundance for the film which is his feature debut. The movie is a New York love story about life and art that explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of renowned boxing painter Ushio Shinohara and his wife and artist Noriko. It will be released Stateside by Radius-TWC in August. King Records will distribute in Japan with Parco and Madman in Australia.
Steve Buscemi, Anika Noni Rose Join ‘Khumba’
South Africa’s Triggerfish Animation Studios has added the voice talent of Steve Buscemi and The Good Wife’s Anika Noni Rose to its 3D animated feature, Khumba. They join Liam Neeson, Laurence Fishburne, AnnaSophia Robb, Jake T. Austin, Loretta Devine and Richard E. Grant. Khumba tells the story of a half-striped Zebra who is blamed for a severe drought by his herd. He teams up with a sassy wildebeest and a self-obsessed ostrich to go in search of the magic waterhole where legend has it the first zebras got their stripes and meets an array of wacky characters on the adventure. Edward Noeltner’s Cinema Management Group has international sales. Millennium Entertainment will release in the U.S. later this year. Buscemi and Rose’s deals were brokered by WME and Ned Lott on behalf of Triggerfish Animation. Buscemi is also repped by The Gotham Group.
The BBC is marking a lot of anniversaries with its upcoming specials. Later this year, the broadcaster will celebrate 50 years of Doctor Who and will also remember The Great Train Robbery 50 years on with a serial starring Luke Evans. Mr. Selfridge creator Andrew Davies, who recently signed on to adapt Leo Tolstoy’s War And Peace for the BBC, has also just committed to A Poet In New York, a drama he’ll write about Dylan Thomas and his death in New York in 1953 at the age of 39. Broadcast is set for next year, the centenary of Thomas’ birth. The story kicks off with the Welsh poet’s arrival in Manhattan on his fatal visit and covers the last days of his life as well as his stormy relationship with wife Caitlin. Aisling Walsh will direct A Poet In New York. Shooting starts this summer. Modern TV is producing the movie for the BBC.
Twitter has notched another deal in its bid to expand from a microblogging site to a full-fledged media platform. BBC America on Thursday evening tweeted it had signed with Twitter for the first “in-Tweet branded video synced to entertainment TV series.” The companies offered no further information, nor did they say which shows would be involved, but the tweet noted that BBC America is home to Doctor Who and Top Gear. Earlier this week, a report surfaced that Twitter may be close to deals with Viacom and NBCUniversal for the site to stream videos and split ad revenue with the networks. The scant info on the BBC America deal reads like the tweet-branded video could be add-on content. Around 32M people tweeted about TV shows in 2012. Twitter already has partnerships with ESPN, Weather Channel and Turner Broadcasting System.
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Bates Motel’ In UK; ‘Not Another Happy Ending’ To Close Edinburgh; BBC Worldwide & Foxtel
In a significant first-run deal, Universal Channel has acquired A&E Network‘s Bates Motel for the UK. Handled overseas by NBCUniversal International Television Distribution, the series is a contemporary prequel to the Alfred Hitchcock feature Psycho and stars Vera Farmiga, Freddie Highmore, Max Thieriot, Olivia Cooke, Nicola Peltz and Nestor Carbonel. It debuted in the U.S. on March 18 and was renewed for a second run last week. Universal Channel acquired both seasons. Bates Motel is produced by Universal Television for A&E. Carlton Cruse, and Kerry Ehrin are exec producers.
EXCLUSIVE: Michael Caine, Ben Kingsley and Jim Sturgess have joined Kate Beckinsale in Eliza Graves, the Brad Anderson-directed film that Avi Lerner’s Millennium Films has green lit to start shooting June 24. Based on an Edgar Allan Poe short story, the film is a turn of the century thriller about a young doctor who comes to apprentice at a remote mental institution. He meets a beautiful patient, with whom he falls in love under circumstances which may be much more complicated than they seem.
The fact that Sherlock is back in production and filming around the UK has drummed up a fan frenzy. Stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman recently shot in Bristol and Cheltenham with photos popping up across the Internet, leading to potential spoilers. Now, as the show heads to London, producer Sue Vertue has sent a plea to Sherlock lovers to let the team get on with its “punishing” schedule and ask that people avoid posting spoilers or daily locations. On the other hand, Sherlock network the BBC yesterday released official videos of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special shooting in Trafalgar Square. I hear the reasoning for getting in front of Doctor Who was because the shoot was “bang in the center of London” so already very public. But even a well-placed BBC insider says the Sherlock locations are something of a mystery. Click over for Vertue’s note:
BBC controller Ben Stephenson announced two big new projects this morning in Cannes. BAFTA-winning writer/producer Jimmy McGovern will make an epic eight-part serial about the origin of Australia after Britain sent its unwanted citizens there in the late 1780s. Shooting in Oz next year, the drama will be produced by McGovern’s RSJ Films. The BBC is in talks with co-producing partners and distributors on the as-yet untitled story that begins several months after the first fleet of petty thieves, whores, orphans and highwaymen arrives and is told through the eyes of three convicts. Stephenson tells me the drama will examine the theme of second chances. It’s not yet cast, but name talent is expected to board.
MIPTV Briefs: ITV Studios Nabs ‘Poirot’ Pre-Sales; Fremantle Shops ‘Blake’s 7′; KidsCo Acquires ‘Matt Hatter Chronicles’; Venevision International & More
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ITV Studios Global Entertainment has secured pre-sales for the 13th and final series of ITV Studios’ iconic detective drama Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Based on crime writer Agatha Christie’s famous novels, series 13 of Poirot has been acquired by eight broadcasters worldwide: TMC (France), ABC (Australia), Prime (New Zealand), Chungwa (Taiwan), Latvian Television, RTV (Slovenia), HRT (Croatia), Sanoma (Hungary) and Digiturk (Turkey). WGBH in the US will co- produce and air two of the Poirot films – The Big Four and Dead Man’s Folly. The deals were brokered by David Wilcox, VP North West Cluster; Jennifer Ebell, VP South East Cluster; Nancy Wang, Senior Sales Executive, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan; Dan Edwards, Senior Sales Executive, Australia and Jemma Losh, Sales Executive, New Zealand for ITV Studios Global Entertainment.
BBC America announced today debut dates for the final season of Being Human and the new zombie mini-series In The Flesh later this year. Both shows will be part of the channel’s Supernatural Saturday block. Still full of vampires, ghosts and werewolves, Season 5 of Being Human will start on June 8 at 10 PM. A Doctor Who and Torchwood alumnus, Toby Whitehouse is the head writer of Being Human with Polly Buckle producing the show’s final season. Being Human is produced by Touchpaper Wales, a Zodiak Media Company, for BBC Cymru Wales and BBC America. As one Beeb show ends, another begins, at least for the short term. The three-part In The Flesh premieres on August 3 at 10 PM. The mini-series drama deals with zombies being reintegrated into their living families and communities. Now called PDS (Partially Deceased Syndrome) sufferers, zombie teenager Kieren Walker is dealing with the same problems fitting in as his living peers, plus a whole lot more scarier issues. In The Flesh is a co-production between BBC Drama Production North and BBC America. Jonny Campbell directs with Ann Harrison-Baxter producing and Hilary Martin as executive producer
UPDATE, WRITETHRU, 9:23 AM PT: The seventh season of Simon Cowell‘s Britain’s Got Talent kicks off in the UK on April 13 and has set the scene for yet another showdown with The Voice UK, shifting timeslots and pitting the two shows head-to-head. The Voice debuted on BBC One on March 30 in the 7-8:35 PM slot, the same space it occupied last year. Then yesterday, it was revealed that ITV would air BGT at the identical hour when it debuts, despite traditionally starting an hour later. The BBC in turn has confirmed that it will back The Voice up by 15 minutes to 6:45 PM starting on April 13 to avoid a direct clash (this also moves Doctor Who back to about 6 PM). Given the flexibility of British broadcast schedules – and how much jostling there was last year – this is unlikely to be the last change in the ongoing battle between the two competition shows. A BBC insider calls ITV’s move “disappointing” saying “it’s not in the best interest of the fans.” An ITV source contends that the BBC “deliberately” slotted The Voice in the spring, where BGT has been since 2006 meaning an overlap was inevitable. To avoid a clash, ITV “would have had to go late” and risk losing the family audience.
Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary celebrations have added David Tennant who will reprise his role as the tenth Doctor for the first time since 2010. Billie Piper and John Hurt are also coming on board. They will join current Doctor, Matt Smith, and Jenna-Louise Coleman, who joined the series this season as the new companion. The latest Doctor Who series picks up again tonight in both the UK and the U.S.
Tennant, currently starring in ITV drama Boradchurch – which will air on BBC America Stateside – was the tenth Doctor over three series. He’ll next be seen on BBC America in the two-part Spies Of Warsaw that starts April 3. Piper played companion Rose Tyler for two series following the reboot in 2005.
The Doctor Who anniversary special will form part of major celebrations planned by the BBC for November. The special is produced by BBC Cymru Wales for BBC One, written by Steven Moffat and directed by Nick Hurran. Filming starts this week.
Athens, Ga. – Thirty-nine recipients of the 72nd Annual Peabody Awards were announced today by the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. The winners, chosen by the Peabody board as the best in electronic media for the year 2012, were named in a ceremony in the Peabody Gallery on the UGA Campus.
The latest Peabody recipients reflect diversity in content, genre and sources of origination.
They include “Girls,” Lena Dunham’s HBO comedy-drama about the young and the feckless in New York; “Putin, Russia and the West,” a compelling portrait of a modern-day czar; “Rapido y Furioso (Fast and Furious),” Univision’s Mexican perspective on the infamous Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive gun-tracking debacle; “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” a sterling magazine series that springboards from athletics; “Robin’s Journey,” a public-service campaign created around “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts’ treatment for a rare blood disease; and “Design Ah!,” an imaginative Japanese series aimed at developing children’s creative vision.