UPDATE: According to Breaking Bad producer Sony TV, the studio has not closed a deal with Univision for a Spanish-language adaptation. The studio had shot and shopped a Spanish-language Breaking Bad pilot for the U.S. and Latin American markets but has not decided what network(s) it would go with or whether it would proceed with the series at all.
PREVIOUS, 1:31 PM: Spanish-language versions of Breaking Bad and Gossip Girl are among the new shows coming to Univision next season. Ahead of the network’s upfront Tuesday, Univision today unveiled its programming slate for next season. Along with a number of returning series, Univision itself will launch 21 new series plus eight new series on its youth-focused UniMás network and three on its sports-heavy Galavision outlet. The Univision shows include two new big telenovelas, La Tempestad (The Storm) and Mentir para Vivir (Lie So You Can Live). In addition to a lot of sports and 10 documentaries made with Participant Media, Univision will also for the first time adapt English-language series for the Hispanic market. UniMás, Univision’s second broadcast network, will be airing Metastasis, a U.S.-based series patterned on AMC’s Breaking Bad, and Gossip Girl Acapulco, a look at the scandalous lives of Acapulco’s elite based on the CW series. Both are set to debut in 2014, said Univision Communications president and CEO Randy Falco on a conference call today. Falco also said there were a few surprises left to be announced next week in NYC including some new awards shows and a musical reality series set to air in 2014 that Univision Studios is co-producing. Here are the details about the new shows: Read More »
All exhibition chains struggled with the weak box office in early 2012. But Carmike suffered from a triple whammy in Q1 as it recorded $12.3M in interest expenses — due in part to the additional leverage to finance its acquisition of Rave’s theaters at the end of 2012 — as well as about $3.1M in charges to cancel leases for underperforming theaters. The company ended up with a net loss of $5.8M, down from a $3.2M profit in the period a year ago, on revenues of $130.1M, +0.1%. The top line was right about where analysts expected. But the net loss of 33 cents a share contrasts with forecasts for a seven cent profit. Revenues from admissions fell 1.4% to $81.5M as the rise in the price of the average ticket — to $7.02 from $6.68 — was offset by the 4.6% drop in attendance to 11.6M. Even so, concessions revenues rose 2.7% to $48.6M, as the average concessions sales per patron rose 27 cents to $4.18. The company says that the increase reflects the success of its experiments and efforts to promote high-margin goodies. “Last year’s first quarter box office benefited from a strong and well-balanced film slate, creating a challenging year-over-year comparison for the industry,” CEO Dave Passman says. But Q2 “is off to a strong start,” he adds, and “we expect the positive momentum to continue throughout the summer as the upcoming release calendar features a … Read More »
CBS was the most nominated network at the 40th Annual Daytime Entertainment Emmy Awards announced this morning with 50 nominations, almost half of them for soap The Young And The Restless, which was the most nominated program with 23. All surviving soaps on the broadcast networks received a best drama series nomination, plus One Life To Live for its final episodes on ABC. (The Daytime Emmy Awards cover the previous calendar year. OLTL and All My Children‘s reboots by Prospect Park will be eligible next year.) Among talk shows, stalwart The Ellen DeGeneres Show again leads the way with 10 noms and will square off for best talk show with Live!, The View and The Talk. Katie Couric’s freshman syndicated talk show was the only newcomer in the top talk show categories, nominated for best talk show/informative alongside The Doctors and Dr. Oz. However, fellow rookie talk show host Steve Harvey snagged a nomination for his game show host duties on Family Feud.
The National Academy Of TV Arts & Sciences kept with tradition in the morning show category, nominating the three broadcast network morning programs including the embattled Today. Speaking of embattled, Kevin Clash, subject of multiple sexual abuse lawsuits, landed his last nomination as Elmo puppeteer. This year’s Daytime Entertainment EmmyAward for lifetime achievement will be presented to game show veterans Monty Hall and Bob Stewart. The 40th Daytime Emmys will he held June 16 at the Beverly Hilton and air on HLN. Here is a full list of the nominees and tallies by network and by program: Read More »
Beginning in 2014, LA residents will no longer able to hear the sound of snapping fibulas and ulnas echoing throughout the basin on hot summer days. That’s because ESPN announced today it is officially ending the 10-year run of its made-for-TV extreme-sports event X Games Los Angeles and moving it to one of four cities: Austin, Chicago, Detroit, or Charlotte, NC. The shift comes as the latest four-year LA deal, with AEG, is set to expire after this year; with the company pondering a sale (it eventually reconsidered), no new deal could be reached, the network said today. ESPN whittled down qualifying bids from nine (including Pasadena and Long Beach) to these four, with a winner to be announced this summer. This year’s X Games Los Angeles runs August 1-4 and is part of an expanded schedule of 2013 events that includes overseas stops in France; Brazil, which just wrapped; Spain, the next games on the calendar May 16-19; and Germany. The Winter X Games Aspen were in January and that longtime home likely will shift too after the current contract expires after next year.
EXCLUSIVE: James Franco, whose film As I Lay Dying screens in the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes next month, has locked in his next directorial outing. He’ll helm and play a starring role in Garden of Last Days, an adaptation of the bestselling book by House Of Sand And Fog author Andre Dubus III. Shooting will begin July 8 in New York. Millennium Films is financing.
The film is being produced by Gerard Butler, Alan Siegel, Danielle Robinson and Hanna Weg. Weg, who scripted the Michael Apted-directed Enigma, wrote the script. Longtime Franco collaborators Vince Jolivette and Miles Levy will also produce. Pic is a contemporary thriller set in the seamy underside of American life about three interwoven and ultimately explosive stories: A stripper out of options who brings her 3-year-old daughter to work; an angry, lonely man who gets thrown out of the club; and a foreigner with an endless supply of cash on the brink of committing a terrifying act. Read More »
Over a year after Nicollette Sheridan saw her wrongful termination suit against Desperate Housewivesended in a mistrial, the actress today got a new trial date. Sheridan and defendants Touchstone Television will be back in court on December 2, LA Superior Court judge Michael Stern ruled today. Stern’s ruling came after denying a motion by the defendants to have the case dismissed. Sheridan’s lawyers filed an amended complaint for their client under a section of the California Labor Code that is designed to protect employees from losing their jobs if they make a complaint about workplace safety. This amended complaint follows a three-judge appeals court panel ruling last August that Sheridan could pursue claims that she was retaliated against after complaining that creator Marc Cherry struck her in the head during an on-set argument in September 2008. The lawsuit over Sheridan’s original claims that her Housewives character Edie Britt was suddenly killed off in early 2009 and she was wrongfully fired from her starring role on the ABC drama resulted in a deadlocked jury on March 19th of last year. That trial saw ABC executives past and present as well as Sheridan and Cherry among others take the stand. Cherry and ABC always insisted the departure of the character and the actress had been decided months before the hitting incident, which the producer has … Read More »
Calendar Girls producer Nick Barton is gearing up for a summer shoot on family film Swallows And Amazons. Downton Abbey alum Dan Stevens is in talks for the key role of James Turner, aka Captain Flint. Swallows And Amazons is the first book in the children’s series by Arthur Ransome. Set in England’s Lake District in the summer of 1929, the books center on the Walker kids and the Blackett kids whose respective sailboats are dubbed Swallow and Amazon. When the adventurous and imaginative children meet, they join forces against their common enemy – the Blacketts’ uncle James whom they call Captain Flint.
Casting is underway for the children who are aged from six to 13. The Guard brothers Charles and Thomas, who directed the DreamWorks/Paramount suspense pic The Uninvited in 2009, are helming. Andrea Gibb is scripting the co-production from Barton’s Harbour Pictures and BBC Films. The books were previously adapted for the screen in 1974. Read More »
Time Warner’s talks with Meredith Corp about combining their magazines in a separate company collapsed today. But here’s Plan B for the media giant: It will spin off its publishing arm into an independent, publicly traded entity, likely by year end. Until recently, Time Warner execs scoffed when asked whether they’d consider mimicking News Corp, which is spinning off its newspaper assets. Now, though, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes says the idea provides “strategic clarity” that will enable his company to “focus entirely on our television networks and film and TV production businesses.” Read More »
We’re four days into the EFM and so far action has been fairly slow. But just this afternoon, The Weinstein Co. picked up U.S. rights to IM Global’s Blood Sisters: Vampire Academy, one of the hotter projects coming into the market. It’s not a given that the deal will kickstart further movement, but other projects understood to be generating domestic interest include Nicole Kidman-starrer Grace Of Monaco, repped by CAA, and Diana, with Naomi Watts, which Embankment is handling.
Other domestic deals include Sony Pictures Classics‘ acquisition of The Invisible Woman, a film to star Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones and Fiennes’ English Patient partner Kristin Scott Thomas. Fiennes also directs. And, The Weinstein Co. announced a deal for Wong Kar Wai’s opening night (out of competition) film The Grandmaster at the start of the fest. It’s fair to say that Berlin is not traditionally about the kind of big business that’s seen in Sundance, Toronto or Cannes. Read More »
The 20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, honoring acting performances of calendar year 2013 in film and TV, has been set for Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. That it the earliest the SAG Awards have taken place. After starting off as a late February/early March awards show, the SAG Awards have been held on the last Sunday of January since 2006 with the exception of the 2010 event, which took place on Saturday, Jan. 23. TNT and TBS, which just renewed the SAG Awards for three more years, will once again simulcast the 2014 show live, marking the 17th consecutive year the SAG Awards have been telecast on TNT and the ninth year on TBS.
Before the European Film Market kicked off today in Berlin, sales execs had a handful of issues on their minds. As usual, the weather and the EFM’s position on a jammed calendar were concerns. The length of time that packages are taking to come together was another, bigger one.
Prior to arriving in Germany, a refrain from sales companies was that this year the time between the AFM, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Sundance and Berlin was more condensed and had an impact on dealmaking. Hollywood agencies didn’t reopen after the holidays until January 7, and with a frenzied Sundance falling a mere 10 days later followed by Berlin 10 days after that, it made for some pretty hefty juggling. The Solution’s Lisa Wilson told me agents were saying, “Contact us after Sundance.” But at a week before Berlin, she said, “There’s a limit to how late we can go.” Read More »
In 2001, BAFTA chief executive Amanda Berry spearheaded an initiative to move the ‘British Oscars’ ahead of the Academy Awards, cementing their place on the season’s roadshow. This year, a calendar of events highlights their increasing importance. The organization and its sponsors now conduct a suite of pre- and post-awards events, with several studios expected to throw big after-parties next Sunday night following the official ceremony at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Just tonight, Idris Elba deejayed at a pre-celebration of the EE BAFTA Rising Star prize at the Savoy, and I hear Harvey Weinstein will toast his nominees – who this year include Quentin Tarantino, Christoph Waltz and Joaquin Phoenix – with an intimate dinner in Mayfair on Friday.
As hopefuls fly in, Bond Street jewelers Asprey hosts the official Nominees’ Party on Saturday night for the fifth consecutive year. Guests are expected to decamp from there to a party thrown annually by Charles Finch at Annabel’s in Berkeley Square. After Sunday’s kudos, an official dinner and after-party follow at the Grosvenor House Hotel. The Weinstein Company’s annual post-BAFTA bash will also happen in Mayfair, while Universal – with hopefuls Les Misérables and Zero Dark Thirty – will host an after-party nearby, too. Sources suggest other studios with large nominations hauls – including Warner Bros. and Fox, with headliners Argo and Lincoln and Life Of Pi – would have events planned this week also. Read More »
UPDATE, 11:16 AM: “Sizable” layoffs are coming. It’s just a matter of how many, and when. DreamWorks Animation may cut up to 500 employees in the next few months, sources tell Deadline. That’s potentially 23% of its 2200-strong animators, tech, and support staff, axed in the wake of a flop and key release date changes for Mr. Peabody And Sherman (moved off the 2013 calendar and into 2014) and Me & My Shadow (sent back into development). Those calendar shifts created a workload deficit for the studio, which will have to trim production staff as a result. Just last month, DreamWorks Animation made Fortune’s Best Companies To Work For list.
PREVIOUSLY, TUESDAY PM: On Tuesday, distributor Fox delayed DreamWorks Animation’s 3D pic Mr. Peabody and Sherman to spring 2014, reducing the company’s 2013 slate from three wide releases to two. At the same time, Me & My Shadow, an animation planned for 2014 featuring the voices of Kate Hudson, Josh Gad, and Bill Hader, was taken off the schedule altogether and reverted into development. “[We] are adjusting our operating infrastructure costs accordingly,” CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said in a statement. Read More »
David Garrett’s Mister Smith Entertainment will debut Love, Rosie at the European Film Market this week in Berlin. Principal photography starts in May on the project, based on the novel Where Rainbows End by P.S. I Love You author Cecelia Ahern. Calendar Girls‘ Juliette Towhidi wrote the script and German helmer Christian Ditter (Wickie And The Treasure Of The Gods, French For Beginners) is directing.
Lily Collins plays Rosie in the romantic comedy with Sam Claflin as her best friend and star-crossed lover, Alex. The pair are planning to head to the States for college together when Rosie discovers she’s pregnant after a crazy night out with the most popular boy in school. She encourages Alex to go without her and over the next 12 years their lives change but an undeniable connection remains. Read More »
The company’s stock is up about 10.3% this morning, to $41.86 — an all time high — as the smart money bets that CBS will repurchase shares after it carries out the complicated plan announced last night to restructure its billboard ad sales operation. But some wonder whether CEO Les Moonves will use the proceeds to hunt for acquisitions. An independent cable network or TV studio would “boost the company’s ability to create more owned content,” Nomura Equity Research’s Michael Nathanson observes. Moonves has said he’d be interested in Sony Pictures, although Sony insists it’s not for sale. Other possible targets include Hallmark, TV Guide Network, and AMC Networks, says Bernstein Research’s Todd Juenger. What about Starz, which Liberty Media just spun off into an independent company? While there’s “plausible industrial logic” for CBS to go after the premium cable service, Juenger notes that “CBS flatly denies any interest.” Meanwhile Pivotal Research Group’s Brian Wieser wonders whether Moonves’ decision to offload billboards suggests he might sell other seemingly non-core assets such as the Simon & Schuster book publishing division. Read More »
PGA Awards‘ weird eligibility window on the TV side made for another field with an outdated feel, like the comedy series nomination for HBO‘s Curb Your Enthusiasm, which has not aired originals for the past year and a half. The PGA Awards follow the Primetime Emmys calendar despite taking place six months later, honoring programs that aired between June 1, 2011-May 31, 2012.
With that in mind, there were only minimal surprises in the series nominations this year, most notably the omission of HBO’s freshman comedies Girls and Veep and last year’s best drama series winner Boardwalk Empire. Modern Family has a shot at a third consecutive PGA Award with another best comedy series nom alongside returning nominees 30 Rockand The Big Bang Theory as well as FX‘s Louie. This extends Louie‘s momentum. After largely flying under the radar for the first two seasons, the series’ third season earned a first Emmy award in September, its first SAG and Golden Globe nominations last month and now a first PGA nomination. Missing the cut this time are last year’s nominees Parks & Recreation and Glee, though Glee co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk landed a TV movie/miniseries nom for the first season ofAmerican Horror Story.Read More »
WESTFIELD, N.J. & VISTA, Calif.– Digital Cinema Destinations Corp. (NasdaqCM: DCIN), a fast-growing motion picture exhibitor dedicated to transforming movie theaters into digital entertainment centers, together with its new joint venture partner, Start Media, LLC, today announced the closing of the purchase of seven theaters with an aggregate of 74 fully digital screens from UltraStar Cinemas.
The acquisition includes six theaters located in the Southern California/San Diego market and a seventh theater based near Phoenix, AZ. Digiplex now operates 16 theaters with 159 screens located in CA, PA, CT, NJ and AZ.
Just in time to commemorate the Mayan calendar prediction that the world will end tomorrow, Sony Pictures has released a teaser trailer for This Is The End, a movie that contemplates the apocalypse. I nominate it as the craziest and most irreverent movie trailer I’ve ever seen, nuts enough that maybe it is a sign the apocalypse is near. Does it make you want to live past tomorrow to see it next summer? Well, I remember that the red band trailer for The Watch looked pretty damn funny, and that movie fell flat and didn’t even gross its production budget.