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Sony WW Creative Advertising Prexy Tommy Gargotta Leaving

By | Wednesday July 30, 2014 @ 4:41pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Sony WW Creative Advertising Prexy Tommy Gargotta LeavingEXCLUSIVE: The internal moves at Sony continue. Deadline hears that Tommy Gargotta is leaving the studio. The president of Worldwide Creative Advertising, he will be replaced. I’m told this is not related to the recent exit of Jeff Blake, whom the studio is in the process of replacing. More details as they emerge.

It might be unrelated to Blake, but from what I hear, Gargotta  is an institution in the Jimmy Stewart building second only to (until last week) Blake and publicity president Andre Caraco. He has long been considered a top creative advertising mind in the business, by studios, networks, vendors. He’s a guy who’d come up with a campaign, and then recut and rescore it over and over, as he did with 007. That process was expensive but the results spoke for themselves, in places like the Key Art Awards, where Gargotta’s work shone.

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Olivia Wilde, Elisabeth Moss, Luke Wilson, Natasha Lyonne Head To ‘Meadowland’

By | Wednesday July 30, 2014 @ 11:01am PDT

Olivia Wilde, Elisabeth Moss, Luke Wilson, Natasha Lyonne Head To ‘Meadowland’Olivia Wilde, Luke WilsonElisabeth Moss and Natasha Lyonne will be headlining the psychological feature drama Meadowland, which marks the directorial debut of DP Reed Morano. Written by Chris Rossi, Meadowland follows a couple, Sarah (Wilde) and New York City cop David (Wilson), who are dealing with the crisis of their son’s disappearance. While David loses his way, Sarah also places herself in dangerous situations following the calamity. Meadowland will go before the cameras in NYC in mid-August.  British Columbia-based Bron Studios is producing the film in association with Creative Wealth Media Finance. Matt Tauber and Wilde also are producing, alongside Bron’s Aaron L. Gilbert and Margot Hand. Executive producers are Jennifer Levine and Jason Cloth. WME and Gersh are representing domestic rights on Meadowland.

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Twitter Shares Up 31% After Hours On Earnings, User Growth

By | Tuesday July 29, 2014 @ 3:36pm PDT

Twitter Shares Up 31% After Hours On Earnings, User GrowthSocial-media service Twitter saw its shares fly skyward, jumping as high as 31 percent in after-hours trading after it reported much better earnings and continued user growth. The shares closed on the NYSE up 66 cents for the day, or about 1.7 percent, at $38.59  a share. Within less than two hours of post-market trading, however, the shares had hit as high as $49.99, a jump of more than $11, or 29.5 percent, just since the market close.

The big rise was fueled by Twitter’s better-than-expected earnings, up more than double for the quarter, and signs that its efforts to attract and keep new users were paying off. Revenues for Q2 hit $312.2M, way up from a year ago’s $139.3M, and also well above its own guidance of $270M to $280M. The company remains unprofitable, however, with losses widening to $144.6 million, up from $42.2 million the previous year, though that included costs such as stock-based compensation. Minus those expenses, the company logged a profit of 2 cents a share, way up from last year’s loss of 12 cents a share.

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EMMYS: Party Season In Full Force As Final Voting Gets Underway And Nominees Turn Out

By | Tuesday July 29, 2014 @ 11:04am PDT
Pete Hammond

EMMYS: Party Season In Full Force As Final Voting Gets Underway And Nominees Turn OutWith still exactly a month to go before the big (Monday) event, the Emmy party season kicked off in style last night on the 3rd floor outdoor deck of the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills with a bash for performer nominees. Showing up to meet and greet potential voters as well as press and other Academy members were Modern Family’s Ty Burrell and Jesse Tyler Ferguson; Minnie Driver, nominated for the Lifetime movie Return To Zero; Veep’s pair of 2013 winners and nominees again, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale; double nominee for Mom and Masters Of Sex, Allison Janney; Scandal’s bad guy Joe Morton;  House Of Cards‘ Kevin Spacey; and Fargo’s Billy Bob Thornton.  Presiding over it all were actors branch Governors Bob Bergen and Lily Tomlin. Academy chairman Bruce Rosenblum and new president Maury McIntyre also made the scene.

Emmy Party 2014Now this was just the first round. There will be an even bigger bash for performers two nights before the Emmys at the Pacific Design Center. Between now and then there will be another 21 of these peer group parties representing every branch of the Academy from Costume Designers (who actually were the first group to party a few days ago) to Make Up and Hairstylists to Writers (I am on the Board Of Governors repping that branch, which will celebrate its nominees August 21). That’s almost one a night. Putting all this together is the indefatigable Barbara Chase and the Academy staff.

Also happening during this period will be the Creative Arts Emmys and Ball on Saturday, August 16 where 94 categories will be presented (up from 80 last year). Just a measly 26 categories will be presented on the NBC telecast August 25th.Whew. August is usually the dog days for the TV industry, but this year it is where all the heat is — at least as far as Emmys go. Voting, which is done by individual volunteers from each peer group , also got underway this week with the first round of ballots due back August 6 (for Creative Arts)  and the final round the next week. Read More »

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Will Cable Companies Slash Taxes By Moving Their Lines Into REITs?

By | Tuesday July 29, 2014 @ 10:56am PDT

Will Cable Companies Slash Taxes By Moving Their Lines Into REITs?That’s the question of the day in telecom after tiny Windstream Holdings said it plans to take advantage of the tax-cutting strategy. That sent its shares up 13.9% in mid-day trading, and boosted most other cable and telecom company stocks on a relatively flat day for the market.

Windstream took everybody by surprise this morning when it said that it will spin off its fiber optic and copper cable lines into a publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT). The TV, broadband, and phone provider plans to pay $650M a year to lease the lines. What’s more, Windstream says it received a “favorable private letter ruling” from the Internal Revenue Service endorsing the gambit. That will enable the company to slash its debt by $3.2B, freeing cash for broadband upgrades, with a REIT that’s “positioned to provide an attractive dividend to shareholders and grow revenue through lease escalation, capital investment and acquisitions.” The Arkansas-based company had 421,100 digital TV customers and 1.2M broadband subscribers in March.

Image (7) verizon-att-comcast__140606182627-275x138.jpg for post 739499“To our knowledge, this is the first instance of telecommunications network assets being contributed to a REIT,” says MoffettNathanson Research’s Craig Moffett. Can others follow suit? Perhaps. Everyone in cable and telecom “will surely look closely at emulating Windstream because the tax savings are potentially so significant,” he says. Moffett’s back-of-the-envelope calculations show possible tax savings of $5.2B for AT&T, $4.2B for Verizon, $2.3B for Comcast (with Time Warner Cable), and $235M for Cablevision. But that would change if Congress jumps to plug what might be seen as a huge loophole in the tax laws. Read More »

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R.I.P. Margot Adler, Singular Voice Of Public Radio

By | Tuesday July 29, 2014 @ 8:42am PDT

R.I.P. Margot Adler, Singular Voice Of Public RadioNational Public Radio on Tuesday morning confirmed the death Margot Adler, a signature voice on NPR for more than three decades. She died July 28 at her home in New York City. She was 68 and had been battling cancer, according to the public radio consortium.

A granddaughter of famed Viennese psychiatrist Alfred Adler, Margot Adler was a journalistic polymath who joined NPR in 1979 as a general assignment reporter. Her stories, invariably suffused with a humanist bent, ranged from the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic to confrontations involving the Ku Klux Klan in Greensboro, N.C., to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“Her reporting was singular and her voice distinct,” Margaret Low Smith, NPR’s VP for news, said in an announcement to staff. “There was almost no story that Margot couldn’t tell.” Read More »

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Comic-Con: ‘American Horror Story’ Cast Gets Candid About Ryan Murphy & Talk ‘Freak Show’

Comic-Con: ‘American Horror Story’ Cast Gets Candid About Ryan Murphy & Talk ‘Freak Show’The hottest panel following Marvel’s one-two punch of Ant-Man and The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, American Horror Story finally made its Comic-Con debut, except way across from Hall H in Room 6DE, one of the smaller rooms at the San Diego Convention Center. AHS exeuctive producer Tim Minear described the fourth season of the series, Freak Show, as ”(director) Douglas Sirk meets the movie Zodiac.”

Bette and DotOne by one, each of the actors revealed their new identities: Emma Roberts is Maggie, Sarah Paulson will play Siamese twins Bette and Dot, Michael Chiklis is Evan del Toreado, Angela Bassett is his wife Desiree Dupre, and Evan Peters will play del Toreado’s son Jimmy Darling. Minear said that there will be “a villain who will rival the rubber man and the minotaur from previous seasons. John Carroll Lynch will play him, and he will scare the shit out of you.”

Related: TCA: FX’s John Landgraf Talks ‘AHS: Freak Show’ and More

Missing from the panel was Jessica Lange, who is over in Spain shooting the Weinstein Company comedy Wild Oats. Also missing: any teaser or glimpse of Freak Show. Boo! Nonetheless, the fanboy crowd didn’t mind as they stormed the cast for autographs after the panel. Read More »

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Comic-Con: ISIS Spy Team Returns To Form In ‘Archer’s Season 6, ‘Fargo’s Allison Tolman To Guest-Voice

By | Friday July 25, 2014 @ 5:56pm PDT

Comic-Con: ISIS Spy Team Returns To Form In ‘Archer’s Season 6, ‘Fargo’s Allison Tolman To Guest-VoiceTo deafening cheers and laughs, FX showed off the Season 6 opener of Archer, in which the ISIS team returns to a digitized version of their spy office with Lana’s baby in tow. Meanwhile, Archer — in Army fatigues — bonds with a Japanese despot amid bombs and blasts on a stranded island. Addressing the change from Archer‘s Vice drug-running theme in Season 5, creator Adam Reed said the reason was because “we ran out of cocaine!” “We treated Season 5 as a vacation,” he said. “We’re happy to be home, and we’re excited to get back to what we normally do after a fun summer of cocaine.” Season 6 will continue to explore Archer’s resistance to becoming a better person. "Archer" Screening And Q&A - Comic-Con International 2014

Also, ISIS will be working with the CIA more, so Christian Slater will return as a guest voice-over as Slater. In addition Fargo star Allison Tolman will be guest-voicing as Edie, Pam’s sister. Aisha Tyler (Lana Kane) pointed out the whole Vice theme nabbed Archer its first Emmy nomination, for Outstanding Voiceover Performance (H. Jon Benjamin as Archer). Read More »

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Comic-Con Bombshell: WB Wants ‘Batman V Superman’ Scribe Chris Terrio For ‘Justice League’

By | Friday July 25, 2014 @ 2:58pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Comic-Con Bombshell: WB Wants ‘Batman V Superman’ Scribe Chris Terrio For ‘Justice League’EXCLUSIVE: Warner Bros hosts its Comic-Con panel tomorrow morning where Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice is expected to be front and center, but here’s a morsel to nibble on today. I’m hearing that after he absolutely crushed the script on that film, Oscar-winning Argo scribe Chris Terrio is being courted by the studio to come aboard and script its Justice League movie. That superhero mash-up will be DC Comics‘ answer to Marvel’s Avengers juggernaut. Not that well known prior to Argo, Terrio has fast become an A-list scribe, and a favorite of writer-directors. He’s got Bunker Hill with Ben Affleck, and The Foreigner, among several big pics. Terrio’s repped by WME.

Related: Zack Snyder Locked For ‘Justice League’

chris terrioAffleck’s going to star as Batman in the Zack Snyder-directed Justice League and Henry Cavill will reprise Superman, while Gal Gadot will play Wonder Woman and Game Of Thrones alum Jason Momoa is on the docket to play Aquaman. Might be the highest-priority film at Warner Bros for new film division managers Greg Silverman and Sue Kroll.

Related: Comic-Con: Ben Affleck As Batman Shows Up … Sort Of

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Michelle Fairley Joins ABC’s ‘Resurrection’

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 10:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Michelle Fairley Joins ABC’s ‘Resurrection’SPOILER ALERT: This story contains references to story elements and events in Season 3 of Game of Thrones

Michelle Fairley is coming back from the dead. No, this is not a surprise plot twist on HBO’s blockbuster Game of Thrones, where Fairley’s Catelyn Stark faced a spectacular demise. The Northern Irish actress is joining ABC’s drama Resurrection for a season-long story arc. She will play Margaret Langston, the formidable matriarch of the Langston clan, mother of Henry and Fred (Kurtwood Smith, Matt Craven). Dead for more than three decades, she will reappear in Arcadia as one of the returned. Read More »

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‘Manimal’ To Roar With Will Ferrell, Adam McKay & Jimmy Miller

‘Manimal’ To Roar With Will Ferrell, Adam McKay & Jimmy MillerEXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Animation has set Jimmy Miller’s Mosaic and Will Ferrell and Adam McKay’s Gary Sanchez Productions on Manimal, the feature based on the cult 1980s TV show about a man who fights crime using his ability to morph into animals. Miller, Ferrell, and McKay will produce along with original series co-creator Glen A. Larson, and Key & Peele EPs Jay Martel and Ian Roberts already have been tapped to write.

The original 1983 series starred Simon MacCorkindale as Dr. Jonathan Chase, a dashing and wealthy man raised in Africa who was also “master of the secrets that divide man from animal.” It was cancelled after eight episodes, only to live on in the hearts of a devoted cult fandom (flash back with a clip from Manimal below). Sony Pictures Animation’s live-action/animation hybrid will reinvent that concept as an action-comedy with heavy visual effects and animated elements. SPA President of Production Michelle Raimo Kouyate and SVP Michael Lachance are overseeing for the studio. Read More »

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Toronto: What Oscar Clues Are Wrapped In Today’s Massive Announcement Of TIFF Films?

Pete Hammond

Toronto: What Oscar Clues Are Wrapped In Today’s Massive Announcement Of TIFF Films?Well, they are coming hot and heavy now. With Toronto International Film Festival announcing 13 Galas and 46 Special Presentations this morning in what is really just the first wave of their upcoming lineup, and  on top on New York Film Festival’s confirmation of their Opening (Gone Girl), Centerpiece (Inherent Viceand Closing (Birdman), BFI London’s opener of The Imitation Game and Venice Film Festival’s opener (also Birdman)  the awards season landscape is starting to fill in a bit more significantly. Venice in fact will announce their entire lineup tomorrow but today’s TIFF list gives us some further clues as to how the Oscar game is being played on the fest circuit. Of course Telluride is another factor, but they won’t officially announce anything until their fest begins just before Labor Day weekend.

Robert-Downey-Jr_-and-Robert-Duvall-in-The-Judge-2014-Movie-Image-2-750x499One player that I hear won’t be going to Telluride this year,  or it seems Venice, is Warner Bros which has used both fests significantly in the past (Warners had Oscar winners Argo and Gravity at the past two Tellurides and Gravity opened Venice last year). But, as predicted here, they are going to Toronto in a BIG way with World Premieres of three of their Fall films, The JudgeThis Is Where I Leave You and The Good Lie. Will TIFF mean the launch of an Oscar campaign for the trio, or is it just an effective way of getting the most media bang for your buck in releasing these early Fall titles? Certainly The Judge would seem to have acting potential for … Read More »

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TCA: FX’s ‘Fargo’ Coming Back As Prequel Set In ’79, With All-New Cast But Same Cold

TCA: FX’s ‘Fargo’ Coming Back As Prequel Set In ’79, With All-New Cast But Same ColdThe second season of FX’s Fargo will take place in Sioux Falls, S.D., in 1979, creator Noah Hawley said this afternoon at the TCA  Summer Press Tour. “If you were paying attention to Season 1, we made a lot of references to Sioux Falls,” he said told TV critics. Some of the second season also will take place in Luverne, Minn.

The season will be a prequel of sorts, in that the Lou Solverson character, played in Season 1 by Keith Carradine, will be back, only this time he’ll be just 33 years old and recently Fargo TCAback from Vietnam. “That time period is interesting — post-Vietnam, post-Watergate … the best of America versus worst,” Hawley said. “That sense, I think, that this war had come home with people, and the violence and brutality of it.”Lou Salverson went to Vietnam and came home, but now he’s come back and it’s here — it’s domestic.”

Related: TCA: FX Orders Second Installment Of ‘Fargo’, Fifth Season Of ‘Louie’

And while he said he would like nothing more than to see the continuing adventures of Molly and Gus, “I felt it would be disingenuous,” Hawly said of Deputy Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman) and Officer Gus Grimly (Colin Hanks). Molly’s mom will be featured in Season 2 but will not be played by Tolman, despite urgings of several TV critics. “She should be in everything anybody ever made, as far as I’m concerned,” Hawley said. But he added that the idea of casting Tolman to play her character’s mother “seems a little gimmicky to me, and like cheating.” Using the same actors in different roles each season is “a brilliant turn on Ryan’s part, and he owns it — it would be imitative,” Hawley said of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story, with its practice of bringing back actors in different roles each season.

Related: FX’s ‘Tyrant’ To Stay In Turkey For Remainder Of Season 1 Shoot

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TCA: The Gritty Reality Of Sex On FX’s ‘Married’ & ‘You’re The Worst’

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 12:19pm PDT

TCA: The Gritty Reality Of Sex On FX’s ‘Married’ & ‘You’re The Worst’FX‘s one-two punch of frosh summer comedies Married and You’re The Worst are taking different slants toward sex — one grounded and the other a bold, in-your face approach.

Up for discussion at the network’s TCA Married panel was how the show changed dramatically between its pilot and subsequent episodes in terms of implementing hanky panky in its storylines. In Episode 1 of the Andrew Gurland-created show, Ross Bowman (Nat Faxon) hits an intimacy wall with his wife Lina (Judy Greer), to which she suggests that he venture out and find a mistress. (Spoiler: He failingly does.)

Related: TCA: FX Orders Second Installment Of ‘Fargo’, Fifth Season Of ‘Louie’

fx_connectedTalking with Deadline after the panel, Gurland said: “The show will became less about their sexual relationship. I found that a good jumping-off point for the series would be a husband saying, ‘We don’t have the intimacy we use to have,’ and there’s this element of, ‘Well, go have sex with other people.’ I wanted to put that to rest by the pilot because that’s not really the answer. That’s not a long-term solution if you want intimacy from your wife, so moving forward we wanted to keep the intimacy between the two of them but not restricted to their sexual relationship. I wanted to keep the show grounded and not go to this paper reality of here’s all this crazy stuff that this normal married guy is going to do.” Read More »

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TCA: FXX’s Historic 552-Episode ‘Simpsons’ Marathon Has A Start Date; Brass Touts Immersive App

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 11:40am PDT

TCA: FXX’s Historic 552-Episode ‘Simpsons’ Marathon Has A Start Date; Brass Touts Immersive AppFXX said in April that it will air the longest marathon in TV history when it welcomes The Simpsons repeats, and today the network announced that it’ll run August 21 through September 1. During the course of the mega-marathon, FXX will air in chronological order all 25 seasons — 552 episodes — of the Fox animated series that’s the longest-running scripted series in TV history. The Simpsons Movie will be included in the marathon and also will air chronologically within the stunt, after episode No. 400. The marathon begins at 10 AM ET/PT on August 21 and ends at midnight ET/PT on September 1.

Related: ‘The Simpsons’ To Debut On FXX With 552-Episode Marathon

FXX logoReminding TV critics about the stunt at the TCA Summer Press Tour, panelists also walked them through plans for a new interactive digital and online experience that’s billed as the ultimate Simpsons digital experience. Simpsons World — named after, and incorporating, Matt Groening’s published show bible of same name — offers a premium Simpsons fan experience, including access to their entire catalog of full-length episodes for the first time ever via FXNOW App and SimpsonsWorld.com, in October.

Related: TCA: FX’s John Landgraf Talks ‘AHS: Freak Show’ & ‘Fargo’, Freshman Renewals, W. Kamau Bell

Beginning September 2, FXX will regularly schedule The Simpsons episodes in fringe, primetime and late-night dayparts on weekdays and weekends. Additionally, every Sunday the network will broadcast a thematic mini-marathon consisting of eight Simpsons episodes beginning at 4 PM ET/PT and leading into the 8 PM ET/PT broadcast on Fox. Read More »

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TCA: FX’s John Landgraf Talks ‘AHS: Freak Show’ & ‘Fargo’, Freshman Renewals, W. Kamau Bell

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 11:24am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TCA: FX’s John Landgraf Talks ‘AHS: Freak Show’ & ‘Fargo’, Freshman Renewals, W. Kamau BellAt TCA today, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf sent a love letter to creators. “I love artists. I really, genuinely do. I want us to be the wind in their sails,” he said during the network’s executive session. Landgraf also assured critics that he plans to continue to take risks with concepts that are off-mainstream. “We’d rather fail spectacularly & nobly than succeed in a quiet, middling way,” he said. He gave an update on the evolution of FX and its up-and-coming sibling FXX, which has been running only comedy programming since its launch last fall. That may change. “It’s going to take awhile for the two brands to shake out… There wil be drama on both channels I think,” he said.

Related: TCA: The Gritty Reality Of Sex On FX’s ‘Married’ & ‘You’re The Worst’

Landgraf revealed details about the latest installment of American Horror Story, which has been flirting with Neil Patrick Harris for a part. “It will be set in 1950s and has a very different look from a designer standpoint. Some years, the show is big, brash and campy like Coven, some are dark and brooding like Asylum. Freak Show is half-way between these two.”

Related: TCA: Casting Directors Say They’re Color Blind When Choosing Actors

Landgraf gave AHS co-creator/executive producer Ryan Murphy props for introducing the “analogical miniseries” genre that has “created new opportunities for writers and creators” like Nic Pizzolatto with HBO’s True Detective and Noah Hawley with FX’s Fargo. Read More »

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TCA: FX Orders Second Installment Of ‘Fargo’, Fifth Season Of ‘Louie’

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 9:20am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TCA: FX Orders Second Installment Of ‘Fargo’, Fifth Season Of ‘Louie’It was a risky proposition, but Noah Hawley’s take on the Coen brothers classic Fargo was deemed a critical success, landing 18 Emmy nominations, and it drew a sizable total audience when time-shifted viewing and encores are factored in. Not surprisingly, FX is ordering a second 10-episode installment, with Hawley back as writer/executive producer for MGM TV and FX Prods. The new chapter of the Fargo story will feature an all-new cast of characters, a brand new cast, a new time period and a new “true crime” story, and it may be filmed in the same location in Calgary. “Noah’s audacious, bordering on hubristic riff on my favorite Coen brothers film earned 18 Emmy nominations – the most for a single program in our history,” FX Networks CEO John Landgraf. While Ryan Murphy has been using a core group of actors in multiple installments of American Horror Story, “Fargo demands a different level of realism, and we felt we couldn’t introduce these actors as new characters.”

louieMeanwhile, it was a long wait for Season 4 of Louis C.K.’s comedy series Louie but Season 5 is expected to arrive in time, albeit in an abbreviated form. FX has renewed Louie for a fifth season, which will consist of seven episodes — half the size of Season 4 — to premiere in spring 2015. “Louie’s fourth season was once again groundbreaking. Sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking — always thought provoking,” said … Read More »

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TCA: Networks Urge Press To Abandon Live + Same Day Ratings Reports

By | Saturday July 19, 2014 @ 3:19pm PDT

TCA: Networks Urge Press To Abandon Live + Same Day Ratings Reports“If you were a sports reporter, you would not report the winner based on the third-inning score – that’s what you’re doing if you use Live + Same Day ratings,” CBS Research guru David Poltrack chastised Reporters Who Cover Television this morning. He was one of four number crunchers who ran the reporters through a “bar chart gauntlet” at Summer TV Press Tour 2014, by way of trying to convince them not to report on next day ratings for their networks’ programs. They came to preach the value of using Live + 3 stats at the very least, in light of how popular delayed viewing has become – particularly of scripted primetime series, with drama series leading the way.

“We all provide projections [for Live + 3 Day]. We understand your skepticism about using our projections,” Poltrack said. “The one thing you can be sure about our projections is that if one of us starts giving you a lot of bullshit, the other ones are going to let you know. You’ve got us to check each other,” he said.

Among the mind-numbing array of charts used in this morning’s pitch was one showing that, among the major broadcast networks, the demo ratings growth from Live + Same Day to Live + 7 averaged 40%. “What’s interesting is how long the tail has become,” Fox Research SVP Will Somers said. He displayed the numbers for his network’s fall-launch drama Sleepy Hollow, showing an overnight audience of 10.1 million viewers that … Read More »

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TCA: Casting Directors Say They’re Color Blind When Choosing Actors

By | Saturday July 19, 2014 @ 2:17pm PDT

TCA: Casting Directors Say They’re Color Blind When Choosing ActorsAmid gripes from American actors about the lack of diversity in TV and film, as well as the industry’s penchant for selecting British and Australian thespians for prolific roles, the casting directors at FX’s “Casting 101″ TCA panel assert they’re just looking for the best person for the part – and often it doesn’t matter how famous the person is.

Cami Patton, the casting director for Justified said, “Producers, showrunners and studio executives are used to looking at tape from other actors in other parts of the world.  You don’t need an actor with an entire history (of credits).”  One candidate, as pointed out by the group, was Matthew Rhys who plays the lead Soviet undercover spy Philip Jennings on FX’s The Americans. Largely known to U.S. audiences through his turn on Brothers & Sisters, Rhys bowled casting directors over with his Broadway performance in Look Back in Anger. Patton added that when she cast a fresh-faced British actor by the name of Damian Lewis in the role of U.S. Army Lt. Richard Winters in 2001′s Band of Brothers, “We were trying to match actors with the photos that we had of these real people. At the time he was doing Hamlet on stage with Ralph Fiennes. That’s how he got on our radar.” Read More »

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