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CW Pulls Comedy Series ‘Backpackers’ & ‘Seed’, Moves Up Premiere of ‘Top Model’

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 12:53pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

CW Pulls Comedy Series ‘Backpackers’ & ‘Seed’, Moves Up Premiere of ‘Top Model’The CW is pulling the plug on its latest attempt to launch scripted comedies. Online-to-TV transplant Backpackers and Canadian import Seed are coming off the schedule immediately. Next Monday, the CW’s lineup was already pre-empted for the Young Hollywood Awards. For the two following Mondays, the network will air Arrow repeats behind an original and encore of Whose Line Is It Anyway? On August 18, the CW logo21st cycle premiere of America’s Next Top Model will air in the hour, where the veteran reality series will spend six weeks before moving to its regular Friday 9 PM time slot. (Its lead-in will be Whose Line original and repeat on August 18 and magic series Masters Of Illusion and Whose Line rerun starting the following Monday.) Top Model originally was slated to return on August 22 it its Friday 9 PM berth. It now will  be double-pumped for the first six weeks, with repeats airing on Fridays.

Related: CW Fall Dates: Premieres Begin October 2 After IHeartRadio Music Fest

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Comic-Con: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’,'Flash’,'Avengers’ Composers Panel

By | Wednesday July 23, 2014 @ 10:29am PDT

Comic-Con: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’,'Flash’,'Avengers’ Composers PanelComposers from a number of Marvel and DC film and TV projects will be talking about their craft at the second annual “Musical Anatomy of a Superhero” panel tomorrow, Thursday, July 24th, from 3-4 PM in the Hilton Bayfront Indigo Ballroom.  John Ottman (X-Men: Days of Future Past,Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer), Tyler Bates (Guardians of the Galaxy, Salem) Brian Tyler (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Blake Neely (CW’s The Flash, Arrow) and Christophe Beck (Frozen, Edge of Tomorrow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) will take attendees behind the scenes on their musical process and show clips, some never-before-seen. The event is produced by Costa Communications.

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‘Mice’ Roar More: James Franco, Chris O’Dowd & Co. Will Get ‘NT Live’ Broadcasts

‘Mice’ Roar More: James Franco, Chris O’Dowd & Co. Will Get ‘NT Live’ BroadcastsProducer David Binder, juggling the smash success of two star-driven Broadway revivals — Hedwig And The Angry Inch and Of Mice And Men — added another arrow to his quiver of successful producing tips this morning by announcing a deal has been struck making the Steinbeck drama, starring James Franco, Chris O’Dowd, Leighton Meester and Jim Norton, the first Broadway show to be filmed for telecast under the wing of the UK’s National Theatre Live.

The deal was made in a flurry of activity over the last several days, Wayne Wolfe, a spokesman for the show, told Deadline, including securing the OKs of Broadway’s particularly protective unions. Read More »

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Oscar-Nominated Film Now Aiming To WIN An Emmy For Netflix – How Is It Eligible For Both?

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 11:39am PDT
Pete Hammond

Oscar-Nominated Film Now Aiming To WIN An Emmy For Netflix – How Is It Eligible For Both?The Squarea harrowing documentary about the Egyptian revolution as seen through the eyes of six of its participants, was Oscar-nominated in the 2013 Best Feature Documentary race. So how come it is suddenly a major contender at the Emmys too? Inquiries have come to our attention, including one calling for its withdrawal from Emmy competition, so I decided to check it out.

Daytime Emmy Awards WinnersThe film, which accounts for four of the impressive 31 Emmy nominations Netflix received this year, was picked up by the streaming service and qualified last year for the Oscar race with a seven-day run, according to the Television Academy, which has assured me they thoroughly examined this one. “The Square was not in general release prior to it TV appearance; rather, it qualified for the Oscars under the ‘one week NY-LA limited screening rule’ which would not have affected Emmy eligibility. Please know that we and the documentary peer group vetted the hell out of this one, and it’s good to Emmy go,” according to John Leverence, SVP Awards for the TV Academy. Read More »

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Sky Falls For ‘Great British Bake Off’ Maker Love Productions

By | Monday July 21, 2014 @ 1:03am PDT

Sky Falls For ‘Great British Bake Off’ Maker Love ProductionsRamping up its strategy to build a broad international content business, Britain’s Sky has acquired a 70% stake in Love Productions. The UK-based maker of Great British Bake Off was founded in 2004 by Richard McKerrow and Anna Beattie. Love has production bases in London, Bristol, NY and LA. Its other credits include Great British Sewing Bee and factual programming Baby Borrowers, Famous Rich And Homeless and the controversial welfare documentary Benefits Street which caused a stir on Channel 4 earlier this year. The indie will continue to operate as a distinct company under its new ownership structure and will produce for all major UK broadcasters. McKerrow and Beattie will continue to run the company with the current senior management team. Sky’s international distribution business, Sky Vision, will become Love’s distribution partner, representing all new finished programs and formats. Sky already has development deals with U.S. and UK production companies including Ugly Brother Studios, back2back productions and Roughcut TV. The acquisition is a further step in the consolidation of the indie TV sector with such companies as ITV, Warner Bros, Red Arrow and Sony acquiring stakes in successful producers on both sides of the Atlantic. The move also highlights Sky’s push to increase its footprint across broadcasting, production and distribution. In May, Sky acknowledged speculation over its potential acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s interests in European pay-TV groups Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia. At the time, it said it had “initiated preliminary discussions with 21st Century … Read More »

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TCA: Fox’s Peter Rice On New Executive Structure; Future Of Pilot Model; More ’24,’ ‘Bones’

By | Sunday July 20, 2014 @ 11:17am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TCA: Fox’s Peter Rice On New Executive Structure; Future Of Pilot Model; More ’24,’ ‘Bones’With the departure of Fox’s previous top programming executive and the network’s new co-heads not in place yet, their boss, Fox Networks Group chairman Peter Rice, took the stage on his own at the network’s executive session at the TCAs this morning. Top question of the day: Fox’s new executive structure, in which the network and sibling 20th TV are both under the oversight of the same executives, Dana Walden and Gary Newman.

“We’d been the odd man out,” Rice said, a reference to the other broadcast networks, which have closely integrated with their studios. “As competition for talent has become more intense, it has put us at a disadvantage, and to have the network and the studio aligned would be helpful.”

Rice was asked to elaborate on the ways the previous setup disadvantaged Fox. “The old structure had a clear advantage for the studio: a big independent studio that was able to sell to everyone, which it has done extremely successfully,” Rice said. “But the network was increasingly disadvantaged. The ability to be reactive only because you are a buyer, that funnel became narrower and narrower as the (landscape) became more competitive… By putting these things together, we’re telling the creative community, we have this great network and a great studio, you can speak to us in a single voice.” Read More »

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TCA: ‘The Flash’ Producers Promise “Most Faithful DC Comic Adaptation Ever”; Wentworth Miller To Play Captain Cold

By | Friday July 18, 2014 @ 12:26pm PDT

TCA: ‘The Flash’ Producers Promise “Most Faithful DC Comic Adaptation Ever”; Wentworth Miller To Play Captain Cold“We’re incorporating almost everything from the mythology into it and have added a whole new backstory” with the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator, Geoff Johns, CEO of DC Entertainment, said today during the panel for the new CW series. The series, starring Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/The Flash, is a spinoff of CW’s Arrow.

"Resident Evil: Afterlife" Japan Press ConferenceThe producers also announced today that Wentworth Miller will guest star on the series as Leonard Snart, aka Captain Cold. The series premieres October 7 in the Tuesday 8 PM slot.

Johns said “the most faithful DC Comic adaption ever” includes using as many characters from the comic series as possible. He appeared on the panel with executive producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg and cast members. Read More »

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TCA: CW’s Mark Pedowitz “Just Happy To Have Viewers”, Talks ‘Beauty’ Reprieve, ‘Star-Crossed’, ‘Tomorrow People’ & ‘Carrie Diaries’ Cancellation, DC Plans, Diversity

By | Friday July 18, 2014 @ 10:48am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

TCA: CW’s Mark Pedowitz “Just Happy To Have Viewers”, Talks ‘Beauty’ Reprieve, ‘Star-Crossed’, ‘Tomorrow People’ & ‘Carrie Diaries’ Cancellation, DC Plans, DiversityThe CW president Mark Pedowitz likes to set the tone for his TCA executive session with a music theme that plays while he is walking out. Today it was a Buena Vista Social Club tune in honor of the network’s new dramedy Jane The Virgin. Expectations are high for the charming comedic soap in the mold of Ugly Betty, which also put the CW on the list of networks with high marks on diversity this season. A couple of years ago, touting Beauty And The Beast‘s Kristin Kreuk as Asian American was the best Pedowitz could come up with when pressed on the whiteness of the network’s new series. Now, the network has a Latino family show. “I believe shows need to reflect what America looks like,” he said today.

CW logoPedowitz was asked to lay out the distinction between BeautyAnd The Beast, which was renewed, and fellow bubble series Star-Crossed, The Carrie Diaries and The Tomorrow People that wasn’t. “Beauty And The Beast has a very engaged fan base, and it is a very profitable show,” Pedowitz said of the remake, which is a big international seller for sister studio CBS TV Studios. As for those that didn’t make the cut, Pedowitz admitted to having received 90 boxes of pasta from angry fans of cancelled alien romance Star-Crossed. Read More »

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Kinetic Content Ups Two Development Execs In Restructuring

By | Wednesday July 16, 2014 @ 2:50pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Kinetic Content Ups Two Development Execs In RestructuringChris Coelen’s unscripted production company Kinetic Content, backed by Red Arrow Entertainment, has promoted Karrie Wolfe and Katie Griffin, formerly SVP and VP Development, respectively, to co-head the company’s newly created Development and Programming department. In their new roles, Wolfe and Griffin will supervise a staff, including newly promoted Manager of Development Kayleigh Lamb, as well as Kinetic’s in-house casting team. Wolfe and Griffin have shepherded such Kinetic series as Emmy-nominated The Taste (ABC), Little Women: LA (Lifetime), which was just renewed for a second season, Married At First Sight (fyi), and Betty White’s Off Their Rockers (Lifetime).

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Comic-Con 2014: Complete TV Schedule

Comic-Con 2014: Complete TV ScheduleWednesday, July 23 — Preview Night
6-10 PM, Ballroom 20
Warner Bros. TV Pilot Screening: Constantine, The Flash, iZombie, Teen Titans Go!

Thursday, July 24
10-11 AM, Ballroom 20
Fox’s 24: Kiefer Sutherland, EP Jon Cassar returns to Comic-Con to show off highlights from 24: Live Another Day.

10:30-11:30 AM, Indigo Ballroom, Hilton Bayfront
Legends Of TV Land: Betty White (The Golden Girls, Hot in Cleveland) and other TV celebs will answer questions about their work and making history on television. Sneak peek of animated episode of Hot in Cleveland, airing July 30th.

Related: ‘Star Wars – Episode VII’ Not Presenting at Comic-Con 2014

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Elisabeth Hasselbeck: Rosie O’Donnell Told Me She Produced ‘The View’ Reunion Show (Video)

By | Wednesday July 9, 2014 @ 7:59am PDT

Elisabeth Hasselbeck: Rosie O’Donnell Told Me She Produced ‘The View’ Reunion Show (Video)With reports of Rosie O’Donnell‘s return to The View growing louder and more detailed, Fox News Channel this morning had vacationing Elisabeth Hasselbeck call in to say Rosie has not changed from her previous, short, unhappy time on the ABC talk show, and was calling the shots on the episodes leading up to Barbara Walters’ retirement as The View’s on-air Den Mom.

“Here in comes to The View the very woman who’s spit in the face of our military, spit in the face of her own network, and, really spit in the face of a person who stood by her and had civilized debates for the time that she was there –  coming back with a bunch of control, ready to regain The View with a seat at that table, Hasselbeck said this morning on Fox & Friends.
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Global Showbiz Briefs: Nigerian Censor OKs ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’ Release; ‘My Man Can’ Headed To France; More

Global Showbiz Briefs: Nigerian Censor OKs ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’ Release; ‘My Man Can’ Headed To France; MoreNigerian Censor OKs ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’ Release
Nigeria has given a greenlight to the distribution of Chiwetel Ejiofor starrer Half Of A Yellow Sun. The drama will be released August 1, after being certified by the National Film and Video Censors Board. It previously was due to open in April, but some scenes were deemed objectionable at the time, the BBC notes. Thandie Newton also stars in the adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel. Set in 1960s Nigeria, the story brings audiences into a country torn apart by civil war and shows how the interwoven lives of four central characters intersect during a struggle to establish an independent republic of Nigeria. Biyi Bandele is the director. In a statement, Shareman Media and FilmOne Distribution thanked Nigerians for their “patience and support”.

‘My Man Can’ Game Show Headed To France
my_man_can_logoFrench television network NRJ 12 has ordered a local version of Red Arrow International’s game show format My Man Can. The premise sees four women gamble with the abilities of their partners, putting their man’s courage and skills to the ultimate test. It’s been sold to more than 30 countries worldwide. In France, Enibas Productions will produce it under the moniker, Cheri T´es Le Meilleur (Sweetie, You’re The Best).

Two Weeks In, Conan O’Brien Has 3M Hits In China
2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter - ArrivalsConan Read More »

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TCA: NatGeo Documentary Looks At September 10, 2001

By | Tuesday July 8, 2014 @ 3:05pm PDT

TCA: NatGeo Documentary Looks At September 10, 2001National Geographic Channel announced this afternoon it will re-trace the day before the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon — what it calls “the last day of innocence” — in a two-hour documentary premiering Sunday, September 7, called 9/10: The Final Hours.

Here is NatGeo’s announcement, setting up the premise:

Few images in history are as seared in America’s consciousness as that of American Airlines Flight 11 crashing into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in 2001. In the days, months and even years following the attack, the horrific events of that day and the aftermath have been relived through the media — so much so that it’s hard to remember a time before Sept. 11.

Premiering Sunday, Sept. 7, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, 9/10: The Final Hours takes us moment by moment through the day before everything changed, before the “war on terror” became a part of the world’s everyday vernacular. We’ll hear from those who worked inside the World Trade Center, whose snap decisions resulted in narrow misses of the attack, as well as men and women who confronted the terrorist mastermind of the operation, Mohamed Atta, during his sudden — and still unexplained — detour to Portland, Maine.

We also see the World Trade Center from another unique perspective, that of the artists who lived and worked on the 91st and 92nd floors of the North Tower. This combination of perspective brings this last day of innocence into new — and

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Brandon Routh Back In Superhero Mode, Will Play The Atom On ‘Arrow’

By | Monday July 7, 2014 @ 8:47am PDT

Brandon Routh Back In Superhero Mode, Will Play The Atom On ‘Arrow’Brandon Routh, who played the Man of Steel on the big screen in Bryan Singer’s 2006 tentpole Superman Returns, has joined the cast of the CW’s superhero drama Arrow as this season’s main recurring guest star. He will play Ray Palmer, a scientist and inventor who will play an unexpected role in the lives of Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak as the new owner of Queen Consolidated. In the DC Comics mythology, Palmer is known as The Atom, making Routh a two-time DC superhero. We hear the deal will span 14 episodes and that he will be a love interest for Felicity.

Routh just completed an arc on TV Land’s The Exes and recently wrapped the indie 400 Days opposite Dane Cook, Tom Cavanagh and Ben Feldman. Arrow‘s Season 3 premiere is October 8.

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UPDATE: Details Emerge About SAG-AFTRA’s “Historic” New Film And TV Contract

By | Friday July 4, 2014 @ 11:26am PDT

UPDATE: Details Emerge About SAG-AFTRA’s “Historic” New Film And TV ContractUPDATED, 12:50PM: Leaders of SAG-AFTRA, calling their new film and TV contract “historic,” have something to celebrate this Fourth of July. The tentative new contract, reached early this morning after two months of hard bargaining, achieved the major goal of the union going into the talks: the merger of its two separate TV contracts.

When SAG-AFTRA merged in 2012, it was stuck with two separate pension and health plans and two separate TV contracts, which allowed TV producers to shop for the best terms. This anomaly created a landslide of producers rushing to shoot their projects under AFTRA’s TV contract, which was threatening to dry up employer contributions to SAG’s pension and health plan.

The new contract also achieved the first industry-wide agreement for performers in basic cable production, which now will be incorporated into the new Television Agreement.

In short, it’s a huge victory for the union, and a major milestone on the road to completing the merger of the two unions that was started two years ago.

“Unifying the legacy SAG and AFTRA contracts was essential, and I am very pleased that we were able to achieve that,” SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard said in a statement. “As important, we have established an industry-wide, basic cable agreement – something we have wanted for two decades. We’ve also secured a very competitive wage package for members and a large bump in our pension, health and retirement contributions. This is a great package with real, measurable gains in numerous areas of our … Read More »

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Amazon Narrows Gap With Netflix In Hit TV Shows, But Not Movies: Report

Amazon Narrows Gap With Netflix In Hit TV Shows, But Not Movies: ReportThe changes might not surprise those who closely follow the streaming video deals that seem to hit every day, but it’s illuminating to see a statistical measure of the shift in the top providers’ content libraries. That’s what Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson served up this week in a look at how Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, and Redbox Instant compare in their offerings of top 50 movies available for streaming over the past three years and top 75 TV shows available from the past four years.

AmazonPrimeInstantVideo__140423194249-575x164Amazon “caught up significantly” to Netflix in TV, Olson says — though both trail Hulu, which is owned by the major broadcast networks. Hulu Plus had 51% of the available hit TV shows in June, up from 44% a year ago. Yet while Netflix had 32%, down 1 percentage point, Amazon increased from 7% to 12%. (Redbox had zero both years.)

The story’s different for movies. Netflix had 12% of the available hits this year, down from 14%. But Amazon dropped from 12% to 6%. Redbox Instant also lost ground, falling to 7% from 10%. Hulu just had 1%, up from zero. Read More »

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UPDATED: ‘Midnight Rider’ Filmmakers Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter In Death Of Sarah Jones

By and | Thursday July 3, 2014 @ 7:38am PDT

UPDATED: ‘Midnight Rider’ Filmmakers Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter In Death Of Sarah JonesUPDATED: Prosecutors in Georgia’s Wayne County today charged filmmakers Randall Miller, Jody Savin and Jay Sedrish with involuntary manslaughter and criminal trespass in the February death of 27-year-old camera assistant Sarah Elizabeth Jones. Jones was killed on a train trestle while filming a scene for the Gregg Allman biopic Midnight Rider.

The accident happened on February 20, when Jones was struck by a freight train. The film’s crew members were on the tracks of the Doctortown train trestle for the shoot by Unclaimed Freight Productions Inc., the production company owned by Miller and Savin.

Related: The Death Of Sarah Jones: Safety Concerns Raised Over ‘Midnight Rider’ Crew’s Previous Film In Georgia

Image (10) randall-miller-jody-savin__140331235341-275x343.jpg for post 707163Under Georgia law, a manslaughter conviction would carry a sentence of 10 years in prison. Criminal trespass is a misdemeanor and carries potential sentence of one year. Miller was the director of the film, Savin (his wife) was the producer, and Sedrish served as the unit production manager and executive producer. Other crew members on the shoot were injured but survived. The film was to be distributed in the U.S. by Open Road Films. Production was shut down, and attempts to restart the shoot in LA were rebuffed.

Related: Hollywood Adopted Railroad Safety Guidelines Shortly Before Sarah Jones’ Death

The Wayne County Sheriff’s office has been investigating the accident since it occurred. A grand jury was impaneled and Detective Joe Gardner presented before that panel yesterday. The indictments followed this morning. “After the indictment, the DA can issue an arrest warrant or negotiate an informal surrender through their attorneys,” said criminal defense attorney Mark Geragos. “An arraignment will come first, and then after that, the defense will have a chance to challenge the indictment on procedural issues and or the substance of the charges.” Normally what happens is the DA will immediately turn over grand jury testimony and all evidence to defense attorneys so they can work on any challenges to the indictment.

This is reminiscent of on-set The Twilight Zone helicopter crash in 1982, where director John Landis, his associate producer, unit production manager, helicopter pilot and special effects coordinator were charged with manslaughter in the on set-deaths of actor Vic Morrow (the father of Jennifer Jason Leigh) and two children when a helicopter stunt went tragically awry. A sensational trial resulted in their acquittals, but during a preliminary hearing, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gordon Ringer scolded Hollywood for putting children’s lives at risk just to make a movie. “This isn’t nickelodeon-time anymore,” he said from the bench. “I would have thought that after 75 years, somebody might have thought it inappropriate to put Lillian Gish on an ice flow and send her into the middle of Niagara Falls to make a movie.” Gish was seriously injured while filming that scene for the 1920 silent film Way Down East.

Prior to today’s charges numerous lawsuits have been filed against Miller, Savin, Sedrish, and over a dozen other parties. Richard and Elizabeth Jones, the parents of Sarah Jones, filed a wrongful death suit on May 21 claiming that the filmmakers “operated without minimum safety precautions and contrary to standard industry practices for productions of this scale and for productions involving dangerous filming conditions.” Read More »

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Karl Yune Cast In CW’s ‘Arrow’; James Callis Joins El Rey’s ‘The Matador’

By | Thursday July 3, 2014 @ 7:10am PDT

Karl Yune Cast In CW’s ‘Arrow’; James Callis Joins El Rey’s ‘The Matador’Karl Yune has joined the cast of the CW drama Arrow. He will recur as Maseo Yamashiro, a skilled martial artist who is married to Katana (Devon Aoki). The character will be introduced in flashback as Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) handler — a teacher and a friend who advises and helps the Arrow become a superhero. Yune’s credits include Real Steel, Speed Racer and upcoming thriller The Invitation. He is repped by Global Artists and Zero Gravity Management.
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Indie Comedy ‘Worst Friends’ Lands At Level 33

By | Wednesday July 2, 2014 @ 2:34pm PDT

Indie Comedy ‘Worst Friends’ Lands At Level 33EXCLUSIVE: Indie comedy Worst Friends has been acquired by Level 33 Entertainment, which is planning a multiplatform September 16 release. Richard Tanne, Noah Barrow, House of CardsKristen Connolly, Magic Mike‘s Cody Horn, Geoffrey Arend, and Larry Fessenden star in the pic from writer-director Ralph Arend, who conceived the story with Tanne and Barrow. Tanne stars as self-involved prankster Jake, who’s left in a wheelchair after a car accident with only his childhood friend Sam (Barrow) and his no-nonsense physical therapist (Horn) to care for him. When Sam’s high school crush Zoe (Connolly) moves back to town, old rivalries resurface. Tanne produced for his October County Films banner with Arent, Barrow, and Erika Hampson. Debbie Von Arx struck the deal on behalf of the filmmakers. Tanne is repped by WME and Dobré Films.

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