UPDATED: Chris Conroy has booked a series regular role on ABC’s The Club (fka untitled Susannah Grant) from CBS TV Studios and ABC Studios. The drama, already greenlighted straight to series with a 13-episode order, is an upstairs/downstairs soap set at a private country club. Gersh-repped Conroy will play rich and handsome Forty Holbrooke, who was doing OK until his mother killed herself, leaving him everything. Since then he’s been staggering through life with too much money and too little real support.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
Comedy Central resident roastmaster Jeff Ross and Jayson Blair (The New Normal) has signed on to ABC‘s multi-camera untitled Kevin Hart comedy pilot. Written by Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan based on Hart’s life and stand-up, the project takes a candid look at the post-divorce life of a couple, Derek (Romany Malco) and Lorraine (Bresha Webb) Read More »
Here’s a much more revealing look at Nicole Kidman-starrer Grace Of Monaco than any we’ve had before. The film, directed by Olivier Dahan, takes place during the early 1960s when Grace Kelly (Kidman) was married to Monaco’s Prince Rainier III (Tim Roth), and during a political dispute between the principality and France. The trailer below provides a take on the struggles the former Hollywood star faced over her role as Princess Grace. Frank Langella, Derek Jacobi, Paz Vega, Parker Posey and Milo Ventimiglia also star. Produced by Pierre-Ange Le Pogam’s Stone Angels, Uday Chopra’s YRF Entertainment, and Arash Amel (and written by Amel), the movie makes its world premiere as the opening-night film of the Cannes Film Festival on May 14. It also goes out in France on that same day and Warner Bros releases in the UK on June 6. The Weinstein Co has the movie Stateside.
Bresha Webb, who was among the finalists for the new cast member spot on SNL, has landed the female lead opposite Romany Malco in ABC‘s multi-camera comedy pilot Keep It Together, from actor-comedian Kevin Hart. Written by Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan based on Hart’s life and stand-up, the project takes a candid look at the post-divorce life of a couple, Derek (Malco) and Lorraine (Webb), who are trying to forge a friendship for the sake of their kids, despite their differences. Webb, repped by Greene & Assoc., Mosaic and Karl Austen, is recurring on Grey’s Anatomy and next will be seen in the feature Home.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
Brianna Brown (Devious Maids, Homeland) has been added to in ABC drama pilot The Visitors, from Amblin TV. Penned by Soo Hugh, it chronicles the race against the clock to defeat an unseen alien enemy out to destroy the world. Brown will play Lena, who discovers that her daughter is being turned against her by a covert alien operation. She refuses to play victim and joins forces with her husband Wes (Barry Sloane) and Claire (Lily Rabe), revealing herself as the most ruthless fighter of all in order to get her daughter back. Brown, repped by Pakula/King & Assoc., manager Gladys Gonzalez and attorney Marcy Morris, recurs on USA’s Graceland.
CBS Films’ mirco-budget horror pic Afflicted played well at last year’s Fantastic Fest and Toronto and is getting an April 4 limited release along with a VOD bow. It centers on a pair of buddies (Clif Prowse and Derek Lee, who also wrote and directed) who plan to document their around-the-world trip. But things go wrong after one of them hooks up with a mysterious woman in Paris and begins to change. It’s a cool twist on the found-footage genre, which continues to have plenty of legs thanks to the relatively low exposure for studios. Check it out:
Fresh off their gold-medal win at the Sochi Olympics, ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White will headline the all-star lineup of ABC‘s competition series Dancing With The Stars when it returns for its 18th season – part of a celebrity lineup that’s heavy on athletes. Davis and White, who have been skating partners since 1997, will compete against each other on Dancing. They’ll be joined by double-amputee snowboarding champ Amy Purdy – a world-champion adaptive snowboarder and the show’s first Paralympian to compete. And, Sean Avery will be the first former hockey player in Dancing history. Also in this year’s celebrity cast: swimmer Diana Nyad, who became the first person to complete a historic 110-mile swim from Cuba to Key West in September of 2013 on her fifth attempt.
Joining the athletes in the battle for the mirrorball trophy: The Wonder Years star Danica McKellar, comedian turned game show host Drew Carey, actor Billy Dee Williams, former Full House actress Candace Cameron Bure, Real Housewives reality star NeNe Leakes, Australian pop singer Cody Simpson, and Big Time Rush actor-singer James Maslow. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: English actor and writer Jim Piddock has been cast in the dark comedy Kill Your Friends, based on the novel by John Niven. BAFTA-nominated Owen Harris (Holy Flying Circus) directs the pic about an A&R man (X-Men‘s Nicholas Hoult) during the Britpop music wave of the late ’90s who goes to extremes to find the next hit. Piddock, a frequent Christopher Guest player, will play Derek Sommers, the managing director of the record label. Author Niven adapted his own screenplay for Kill Your Friends, which Gregor Cameron and Will Clarke are producing. Piddock next appears in Think Like A Man Too with Kevin Hart. He and Guest co-created last year’s HBO original series Family Tree, in which they also appeared opposite Chris O’Dowd. Piddock is repped by Lighthouse Entertainment, United Agents, and AEF.
Related: Jim Piddock Cast In E! Pilot ‘The Royals’
EXCLUSIVE: Vincent D’Onofrio and Indian star Irrfan Khan will star in Universal‘s franchise reboot Jurassic World. D’Onofrio will play the bad guy in the pic that Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt are also attached to star in. D’Onofrio, repped by UTA, Silver Lining Entertainment and attorney Ken Richman, recently wrapped The Judge opposite Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall. He will next be seen in Pelé as the coach and in Run All Night starring opposite Liam Neeson. Khan’s role remains under wraps, but his credits include Life Of Pi and The Amazing Spider-Man as well as last year’s Cannes success The Lunchbox. He is repped by Gersh and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
Colin Trevorrow is directing Jurassic World from a screenplay he wrote with Derek Connolly. Steven Spielberg, Frank Marshall and Pat Crowley are producing, and it is set for a 3D release June 12, 2015.
Australian actress Indiana Evans, who toplined Lifetime’s Blue Lagoon reboot, rounds out the regular cast of ABC’s drama pilot Secrets & Lies, which has a series penalty. It centers on Ben (Phillippe), a family man who becomes the prime suspect in the murder of a young boy when he finds the body. Evans will play Natalie, Ben and Christy’s (KaDee Strickland) teenage daughter. Set as recurring in the project are Charles Dutton as Kevin Williams, one of the neighbors; and Steven Brand (Magic City) and Kate Ashfield (Shaun Of The Dead) as fellow neighbors, married couple Joseph and Vanessa Turner. Dutton is with Greene & Assoc. and Lighthouse, Brand is with Global Artists Agency; Ashfield by Resolution, iManage and UK’s 42.
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Kenneth Choi (Ironside) has landed a regular role in the NBC drama pilot Coercion, from Universal Television and Keshet Media Group. Based on the Israeli format The Gordin Cell, the high-octane thriller revolves around the O’Connor family and their extremely intelligent son, Alex (Gavin Stenhouse), a decorated American war hero and newly minted CIA analyst. Choi, repped by Mosaic, TalentWorks and Derek Kroeger, will play Sam Luttrell, the CIA station chief for New York.
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Comedy Central’s Key & Peele stars Michael Key and Jordan Peele have been tapped for a 4-episode guest arc on FX’s first limited series Fargo, executive produced by Joel and Ethan Coen. The duo will appear in the final four episodes of the 10-episode limited series. Inspired by the Coens’ 1996 film, FX’s Fargo features an all-new true crime story, with the series following a new case and new characters. Key and Peele will play FBI partners Webb Pepper (Peele) and Bill Budge (Key), who, after a violent run-in with Lorne Malvo (Billy Bob Thornton), become obsessed with finding him again. Key and Peele are repped by UTA and Principato-Young Entertainment.
Related: 2014 FX Pilots
Fox‘s Night of Comedy showcase at the Improv last fall featured then-19-year-old comedian Pete Davidson. The network brass loved him and quickly signed him to a talent holding deal. After a small guest-starring role on Fox’s freshman comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which marked his first TV acting gig, Davidson got his first network test for Fox’s comedy pilot Sober Companion and landed the role on the spot, with Fox casting executives bullish on his breakout potential.
A native of Staten Island, NY, Davidson started his career in comedy at a young age, using it as a therapeutic outlet after losing his father, a New York City firefighter, on 9/11. Making his rounds in the New York comedy scene, he was spotted by Nick Cannon who took him under his wing. Davidson was a semi-regular on the revival of Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out improv comedy series on MTV2 last year, leading to a gig on the MTV2 comedy/reality show Guy Code. Davidson, who dropped out of college, made his film acting debut in Cannon’s direct-to-video School Dance. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Viggo Mortensen is in talks to star in Captain Fantastic, a drama written and to be directed by Matt Ross. Production will begin this summer. Lynette Howell and Jamie Patricof of Electric City Entertainment are producing. Lest you think that Mortensen is being fitted for spandex for a superhero role, think again. While unforgettable for his trilogy turn as Aragorn in The Lord Of The Rings, that’s probably as close to superhero as he’ll get. In Captain Fantastic, Mortensen will play an idealistic father who, after a decade of living off the grid in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, must return with his six young kids to assimilate back into society. What does it mean for a young filmmaker to land an actor like Mortensen, who is so particular in the roles he plays? ”Viggo Mortensen’s dedication to his craft and to the world of the story he’s telling have been an inspiration to me for years,” said Ross. “There is a depth to his art that I greatly admire. Any film he’s in is a film I want to see. He’s one of the greats. Getting to collaborate with him on Captain Fantastic is quite literally the best thing that’s happened to me since my wife asked me to marry her.”
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Amber Stevens is set to co-star opposite Romany Malco in ABC‘s multi-camera comedy pilot Keep It Together, from hot actor-comedian Kevin Hart and former Community executive producers Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan. Hart, on whose life and stand-up the project is based, had been eying a potential recurring role, but that was subject to availability with his feature career taking off in a big way. I’m happy to report that Hart is now set to appear in the pilot and in multiple episodes after that, playing a trouble-making character created for him.
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Greta Lee (Girls) is set to co-star opposite Natasha Lyonne in NBC‘s single-camera comedy pilot Old Soul. Co-created by Amy Poehler, Josh Bycel and Jonathan Fener and directed by David Wain, Old Soul centers on a reformed wild child Nadia (Lyonne) who has a business caring for the elderly and feels she has more in common with her colorful old clients than she does with people her age. Lee, repped by CAA, Regarding Entertainment and Kimberly Jaime, plays Alix, Nadia’s loyal friend with a type A personality and “will not fail” attitude. She will be seen in Fox’s M. Night Shyamalan’s event series Wayward Pines and features St. Vincent de Van Nuys and While We’re Young.
Related: 2014 NBC Pilots
Derek Webster (Revolution) has booked a role on ABC alien drama pilot The Visitors from Amblin TV. It chronicles the race against the clock to defeat an unseen alien enemy out to destroy the world. Webster, repped by Main Title and AKA, plays Jessup Rollins, an FBI agent with two disciplinary reprimands on his record and a past of difficult behavior. He recurs on NBC’s midseason The Night Shift.
Related: 2014 ABC Pilots
Romany Malco is set as the lead of ABC‘s multi-camera comedy pilot Keep It Together, lifting the cast-contingency off the project from hot actor-comedian Kevin Hart and former Community executive producers Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan. Written by Goldman and Donovan based on Hart’s life and stand-up and, Keep It Together takes a candid look at the post-divorce life of a couple, Derek (Malco) and Lorraine, trying to forge a friendship for the sake of their kids, despite differences. Derek is a fit and energetic exercise equipment salesman. 20th Century Fox TV is producing, with Hart, his manager Dave Becky, Goldman and Donovan executive producing. Hart would play a recurring role subject to availability. Malco and Hart have a long standing relationship dating way back to working together on 40 Year Old Virgin. Most recently they appeared together in the hit Sony Screen Gem Think Like A Man films. Malco is with Principato-Young, Paul Kohner, and Ziffren.
A keynote session with The Amazing Spider-Man 2 helmer Marc Webb leads the final lineup for the 2014 SXSW Film Conference slate which also includes chats with filmmakers Jason Bateman (Bad Words), Mike Myers (Supermensch) moderated by Jon Favreau, Ralph Steadman (For No Good Reason), and actors Robert Duvall and Tilda Swinton. The SXSW Film Festival runs March 7-15:
SXSW 2014 Features Lineup, New TV Section Unveiled
SXSW Midnighters & Full Shorts Slate Unveiled
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EXCLUSIVE: As Nas marks the 20th anniversary of his groundbreaking debut album Illmatic, a half-hour series project loosely based on his life as a hip hop artist in the 1990s is getting off the ground with a deal at XBox Entertainment Studios. Titled Street Dreams, the project, from Jamie Patricof and Lynette Howell’s Electric City Entertainment (The Place Beyond The Pines), is set in the 1990s in Long Island City’s Queensbridge housing complex, where Nas grew up, and takes a look at music, family and the trials and tribulations of the rap game. Street Dreams is being written/directed by Jonathan Levine, who also grew up in New York, spending his formative years in the 1990s. New York in the 90s was the backdrop for his coming of age feature The Wackness, winner of the Audience Award at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Street Dreams is now being developed, with Nas involved in the writing and music. His manager, Anthony Seleh, executive produces with Patricof, Howell and Levine. Patricof and Howell recently developed bodybuilding half-hour Muscle for HBO. Xbox has been actively buying scripted projects though it is yet to launch its first series. It also has in the works a pro skaters comedy series from writer Ian Edelman.
NBC announced today it will offer digital series for four of its primetime series; Chicago Fire, Parks And Recreation, Grimm, and Parenthood to keep fans focused in February while Olympics take over NBC’s primetime. All digital series will be streamed on NBC.com, Hulu and YouTube.
From today’s announcement: Read More »
Universal’s May comedy Neighbors, David Gordon Green’s Nic Cage starrer Joe, and Mike Myers’ directorial debut docu Supermensch are just a few of the newly announced titles set to screen at SXSW 2014, which debuted its full Features line-up today. They join previously announced opener Chef, from Jon Favreau, the world premiere of the Veronica Mars movie in a slate packed with over 115 features, 76 world premieres, 10 North American premieres, including the latest films from Alejandro Jodorowsky (The Dance of Reality), Jason Bateman (Bad Words), Nacho Vigalondo (Open Windows), a special screening of 1954′s original Gojira with Q&A with Godzilla remake helmer Gareth Edwards, and a rare Texas appearance by UT grad Wes Anderson who will present his new film Grand Budapest Hotel in an extended Q&A session.
Related: Jon Favreau’s ‘Chef’ To Open SXSW; ‘Veronica Mars’ Movie Among Premieres
In recent years SXSW has increased its television-focused programming, debuting SXSW alum Lena Dunham‘s Girls in 2012 and presenting a Bates Motel panel in 2013. This year the Austin film fest is introducing an entire Episodic programming section devoted to small screen works. In addition to a previously announced screening of Fox’s COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey with Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Episodic section will include Hulu and Lionsgate TV’s supernatural comedy Deadbeat starring Tyler Labine with cast and crew Q&A, a screening of El Rey and Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn pilot, AMC’s 1980s-set computer drama Halt and Catch Fire, Showtime’s John Logan-created Penny Dreadful, and HBO’s new sitcom Silicon Valley co-created by Mike Judge. Read More »