Friday Night Lights alum Grey Damon is returning to NBC to co-star opposite David Duchovny in drama series Aquarius, and Emma Dumont (Salvation, Bunheads) has joined the cast as a series regular. Written by John McNamara and produced by ITV Studios America and Marty Adelstein Prods, the gritty 1960s cop drama focuses on a cop (Duchovny) who goes undercover to track Charles Manson and the Manson Family before their infamous murder spree. The project, envisioned as an event series, received a 13-episode straight-to-series order. Damon, repped by Paradigm and Toni Benson, will play Duchovny’s partner. Dumont, repped by Gersh and Untitled Entertainment, will play Emma Karn, the daughter of Grace Karn and her influential husband Ken.
Niko Pepaj has joined MTV’s Awkward as a recurring guest star. On the comedy, which has its midseason finale Tuesday, he will play Sergio, a confident and unflappable young man who works with Sadie (Molly Tarlov) on the food truck. Pepaj recurred on the ABC Family ballet dramedy Bunheads, and other TV credits include The Protector and the MTV telefilm My Super Psycho Sweet 16: Part 3. He next appears in The 420 Movie: Mary And Jane. Pepaj is repped by BCH Entertainment and JKA Talent Agency.
Focus Features has picked up an untitled feature spec by Amy Welsh, who most recently was supervising producer on the ABC Family series Bunheads, and who has written on sitcoms from Roseanne to It’s Like You Know and Men Behaving Badly. They are keeping the logline under wraps. JC Spink, Jake Weiner, and Chris Bender are producing for Benderspink, which recently exec produced Ride Along and Hangover 3, and produced We’re The Millers and the just-wrapped Horrible Bosses 2. Welsh is repped by ICM Partners.
Candy Spelling is in New York this week, promoting her latest autobiography Candy At Last and checking in on the fourth Broadway show she’s taken on, following Promises, Promises; How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying and Nice Work If You Can Get It. Her current show is After Midnight, which started out as an Encores! concert at City Center and features Wynton Marsalis’s Jazz At Lincoln Center All-Stars playing the music of Duke Ellington and others, in a setting reminiscent of the Cotton Club.
“I grew up loving jazz, and I wanted to be Fred Astaire when I was a little girl,” she says. In this case, she also wanted to work with After Midnight’s vast phalanx of producers led by veterans Scott Sanders and Roy Furman. “Doing this one took me beyond what I’ve done before,” Spelling told me. “I wanted to be part of really producing it. Any time you invest in anything, it’s a risk, and each producer has a different style. They were very welcoming — Scott really makes it a family.”
Broadway’s two most acclaimed new musicals — the gritty Neil Patrick Harris starrer Hedwig And The Angry Inch and the Sutton Foster bus vehicleViolet – will not be eligible for Tony Award nominations in the all-important Best New Musical category. Instead, they’ll be eligible in the category of Best Revival of a Musical. The decisions were announced today after the final meeting of the Tony Awards Administration Committee, which determines eligibility in all of the Tony categories. Nominations – and, ultimately, wins — in the Best Musical and Best Play categories typically carry the most weight at the box office.
Both Hedwig and Violet were mounted previously off-Broadway, the reason cited for declaring them no-goes in the top categories. Widely considered the best new musicals in a season short on critical and customer consensus, the result is likely to mean a slew of less popular shows will float to the top of the Best-dressed list when nominations are announced Tuesday.
EXCLUSIVE: Hilary Duff is set to star opposite Sutton Foster in Younger, TV Land’s single-camera comedy pilot written and executive produced by Sex And the City creator Darren Star. Based on the novel by Pamela Redmond Satran, Younger centers on Liza (Foster), a 40-something woman who reinvents herself and starts living a double life; one as a suburban mom and another as a 29-year old working girl in the city, after her husband leaves her and her child goes to college. Duff will play Kelsey, a smart ambitious 20-something who welcomes Liza to the publishing firm, treats her as a contemporary and makes a concerted effort to integrate her into her social life, having no idea that Liza is a decade older. Lizzie McGuire and Gossip Girl alumna Duff, repped by Gersh and Curtis Talent Management, recently appeared on Two And A Half Men and Raising Hope.
ABC Family has greenlighted three new comedy pilots: Mystery Girls starring Tori Spelling, Work Mom and Young & Hungry, exec produced by Ashley Tisdale. The network has been looking to expand its current comedy portfolio, which includes Baby Daddy, renewed for a third season, and Melissa And Joey, picked up for a fourth.
Mystery Girls follows a former starlet (Tori Spelling) who is roped into solving crimes with her former mystery TV show costar when a witness to a crime will only speak to the infamous Mystery Girls. Beverly Hills, 90210 alumna-turned-reality star Spelling and Maggie Malina (Single Ladies) serve as executive producers. The pilot was written by Shepard Boucher based on a story by him and Spelling, who previously toplined another comedy series co-created by her, So NoTORIous on VH1.
TCA Awards: ‘House Of Cards’ Snubbed As AMC’s ‘Breaking Bad,’ FX’s ‘The Americans’ Nab Top Honors – Winners List
Netflix‘s House of Cards – the prettiest dress in the TV store these days – got shut out of the TCA Awards tonight. It had been up for Outstanding New Program and Program of the Year, but those wins went instead to FX‘s The Americans and AMC‘s Breaking Bad, respectively. (Scroll down for the full winners list.)
“Three nights ago we were in New York, and had this New York premiere and we had the pleasure of seeing Warren Buffet shake hands and have his picture taken with Keith Richards and that was fucking awesome,” said Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, picking up his show’s trophy for Program of the Year. He said he remembered at the time thinking, “‘How the heck did it come to this?’ I’ll tell you how it came to this – folks like you guys. A great many of you who, back in season one when our official number was 117 viewers – folks like you guys spread the word about Breaking Bad.”
“Boy this is awfully nice… it is,” said Individual Achievement in Comedy winner Louis C.K., eyeing the trophy and noting if he ever opens a diner he can put the list of cocktail specials on it. “No, it’s beautiful. It’s literally a plastic …
ABC Family has ordered a third season of Switched At Birth and has given back-order pickups to freshmen The Fosters, executive produced by Jennifer Lopez, and Twisted. Charles Pratt Jr. has come in as new showrunner on Twisted, which also is expected to change its writing staff. The orders are said to be in line with ABC’s traditional full-season pickups (20 episodes) and back orders (10 episodes). All three shows will return with new episodes in January 2014. “ABC Family has always been a home for groundbreaking storytelling with iconic characters and families and we’re thrilled to have The Fosters and Twisted join our line-up as breakout summer hits,” said ABC Family president Michael Riley. The drama renewals join ABC Family’s comedy pickups of a fourth season of Melissa and Joey and third season of Baby Daddy. They also come on the heels of ABC Family officially cancelling Bunheads and The Lying Game over the past few weeks.
Five months after the first season of ABC Family‘s Bunheads ended its run, the cable network has officially decided not to order a second season. “Bunheads is a wonderful series that we are very proud to have aired,” ABC Family said in a statement. “The series had amazing storytelling, the most talented cast and a passionate and loyal fan base. Recognizing all of this, we took extra time to try and find ways to bring the series back for another season, but in the end it simply wasn’t possible. We wish the cast and crew the best in their future endeavors.”
Bunheads‘ cancellation comes a week after ABC Family pulled the plug on the other bubble series whose future was bleak, The Lying Game. Amy Sherman Pallandino’s Bunheads has been garnering stronger critical notices of the two series, which both drew about 1.7 million total viewers in Live+7, with The Lying Game doing better in the younger demos, 2.2 vs. 1.4 in F12-34 and 1.7 vs. 1.3 in F18-34. The Lying Game and Bunheads‘ fate was sealed by the solid recent launches of ABC Family’s new dramas The Fosters and Twisted. With the cancellations out of the way, ABC is expected to proceed with picking up more episodes from its new series within the next couple of weeks.
2013 Critics’ Choice TV Awards: ‘Big Bang Theory,’ ‘Behind The Candelabra,’ ‘American Horror Story,’ ‘Breaking Bad’
The third annual Critics’ Choice Television Awards were doled out tonight by the Broadcast Television Journalists Association at the Beverly Hilton, hosted by Parks & Recreation‘s Retta. HBO nabbed 4 wins including double honors for Best Movie/Miniseries Behind The Candelabra and star Michael Douglas, while FX notched quadruple wins including two acting awards for American Horror Story: Asylum‘s Zachary Quinto and Sarah Paulson and AMC‘s Breaking Bad nabbed Best Drama and Best Actor for Bryan Cranston. HBO’s Game Of Thrones shared Best Drama honors with Breaking Bad in one of the night’s three ties. Full list of winners:
FX’s The Americans leads with four nominations for the 2013 TCA Awards and AMC’s Breaking Bad follows with three. NBC’s Parks And Recreation and Fox’s New Girl nabbed two noms each. The awards will be presented on August 3 at the Beverly Hilton. FX leads the network field with seven total noms. Click over for the complete list:
‘Entourage’ Movie, ‘Justified’, ‘Teen Wolf’ & ‘King And Maxwell’ Among Winners Of California Tax Credit Production Lottery
The Entourage movie, the fourth season of MTV’s Teen Wolf, the fifth season of Justified, the upcoming CBS Studios-produced King And Maxwell and Pretty Little Liars Season 5 are among the 31 projects picked this year in the state’s $100 million film and TV tax credit lottery, the California Film Commission announced today. Also on the list of winners is a previously unannounced sequel of Blumhouse’s upcoming horror/thriller feature The Purge, which debuts on June 7 from Universal.
Given the green light by Warner Bros back in January, the feature version of HBO’s eight season Hollywood series was always going to film a portion of its big screen debut in California but now they have a 20% tax credit to use. Among the others selected, Shane Brennan’s P.I. series King and Maxwell is one of the few new TV series to get subsidies this year and with a 25% tax credit, a move to California as a Relocating Series. Ordered earlier this year for 10-episode season by TNT, the pilot for the series, which stars Rebecca Romijn and Jon Tenney, was shot in Canada. There were a lot of familiar names this year too. This is the second year that Teen Wolf has received an allocation from the state program. It was selected as a Relocating TV Series in 2012, which made it automatically eligible this year under the Film Commission’s rules. TV series Justified and Pretty Little Liars, who already film in the Golden State and received tax credits last year as well, were re-eligible this year under regulations that place previously selected TV series at the top of the queue for future seasons. See the names of all of the winners of the 2013 California Production Tax Credit Lottery after the jump.
Last year, the Broadcast Television Journalists Association might have helped fuel Homeland‘s surprise Emmy win by awarding its top drama prize to the then-rookie Showtime series. But with today’s announcement of nominees for its 3rd annual Critics’ Choice TV Awards, the group might make more noise with what it spurned than what it honored. HBO and FX lead the network tally with 21 and 19 noms, respectively, and CBS’ The Big Bang Theory and FX’s American Horror Story each drew six to top all programs. However, a look at the Best Comedy and Best Drama races reveal some surprising omissions. Missing from the BJTA’s comedy series hopefuls are three-time defending Emmy champ Modern Family (supporting actress Sarah Hyland is the show’s lone nominee), along with recently wrapped perennial 30 Rock and, perhaps most glaringly, HBO’s hipster darling Girls. And conspicuously absent from the drama series combatants is four-time Emmy winner Mad Men, which also earned only a single nom, for lead actress Elizabeth Moss.
Instead, vying for the Critics’ Choice Award for best drama are Homeland, HBO’s Game Of Thrones, PBS’ Downtown Abbey, CBS’ The Good Wife and AMC’s Breaking Bad — all of which also were nominated in the category last year — along with FX’s freshman The Americans. Up for best comedy are Modern Family‘s Wednesday night companion The Middle, landing its first major awards recognition, as well as Big Bang Theory, FX’s Louie, Fox’s New Girl, NBC’s Parks and Recreation and HBO Veep. (No sign of last year’s winner Community, led by new showrunners Moses Port and David Guarascio.) Netflix’s House Of Cards made an entrance into the awards circles with two acting noms, including one for star Kevin Spacey.
The awards will be handed out June 10 at the Beverly Hilton — not coincidentally during Emmy voting season. Parks and Rec‘s Retta will host. See the complete list of nominees, along with the breakdown of noms by show and network, after the jump:
Last year, the Broadcast Television Journalists Association likely helped fuel Homeland‘s surprise Emmy win by awarding its top drama prize to the then-rookie Showtime series. But with today’s announcement of nominees for its 3rd annual Critics’ Choice TV Awards, the group might make more noise with what it spurned than what it honored. HBO and FX lead the network tally with 21 and 19 noms, respectively, and CBS’ The Big Bang Theory and FX’s American Horror Story each drew six to top all programs, though the latter is not among the six finalists for Best Drama Series. However, a look at the Best Comedy and Best Drama races reveal some surprising omissions. Missing from the BJTA’s comedy series hopefuls are three-time defending Emmy champ Modern Family, along with recently wrapped perennial 30 Rock and, perhaps most glaringly, HBO’s hipster darling Girls. And conspicuously absent from the drama series combatants is four-time Emmy winner Mad Men, which earned only a single nom, for lead actress Elizabeth Moss.
Instead, vying for the Critics’ Choice Award for best drama are Homeland, HBO’s Game Of Thrones, PBS’ Downtown Abbey, CBS’ The Good Wife and AMC’s Breaking Bad — all of which also were nominated in the category last year — along with FX’s …
It’s been more than a month since The Lying Game aired its second season finale and six months since the series wrapped production. But ABC Family is yet to make a decision on the future of the show based of Sara Shepard’s books. Complicating things is the fact that the options on the cast are up this week. I hear ABC Family asked The Lying Game producer Warner Horizon to extend the options on cast as the cable network wants to see how its summer series launch before making a decision on The Lying Game. That is easier said than done as the extension process involves a slew of actors with virtually no assurances that the extra hold will lead to a renewal. I hear all actors passed on Warner Horizon’s initial offer. I hear the efforts focused on the leads, with Alexandra Chando, now signed, and Blair Redford, who is in negotiations. The rest of the actors are in various stages of talks with the studios. I hear the hold is only until July, so ABC Family will have to make a decision shortly after its new and returning scripted series debut (between May 29 and June 11). Also unknown is the status is of Chuck Pratt who developed The Lying Game as serves as executive producer/showrunner. While the majority of the writers on the show have three-year deals, I hear Pratt’s contract was up at the end of Season 2.
ABC Family is launching four new series this summer — family drama The Fosters, mystery drama Twisted, reality competition series Dancing Fools and docu-soap The Vineyard. That is up from three last summer, when the network introduced drama Bunheads and comedy Baby Daddy, both renewed for second season, and docuseries Beverly Hills Nannies, which was not. Like last summer, ABC Family will have three nights of original programming (Monday-Wednesday). They will feature new episodes of eight original series including returning Pretty Little Liars, Switched At Birth, Baby Daddy and Melissa & Joey. Here is a list of the network’s summer premiere dates:
Jeanine Mason, who won Season 5 of Fox‘s competition series So You Think You Can Dance, has been cast in the network’s drama pilot Delirium. The project, from 20th Century Fox TV and Chernin Entertainment and based on Lauren Oliver’s book trilogy, is set in a world where love is deemed illegal and is able to be eradicated with a special procedure. With 95 days to go until her scheduled treatment, Lena Holoway (Emma Roberts) falls in love. Mason will play Lena’s best friend Hana, who also faces the procedure. An apparently flirty girl who lives next door to Julian Fineman (Gregg Sulkin) and enjoys messing with his head, she is ultimately less rebellious than she appears. Billy Campbell, Corey Reynolds and Daren Kagasoff co star in the pilot, written and executive produced by Karyn Usher. Peter Chernin, Katherine Pope and Paula Mazur are also exec producers. Mason, whose recent credits include a turn on ABC Family’s Bunheads, is repped by ABA Talent and 3 Arts.